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“Better than Expected!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Caribe

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Hotel Riu Caribe
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Cancun - Quintana Roo, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #30 of 172 hotels in Cancun
Edison, New Jersey
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Better than Expected!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My friend and I were looking for a resort for a long birthday weekend. We read dozens of reviews multiple times and were totally confused! We chose Riu Caribe and it was perfect for what we wanted. Our goals were an all-inclusive with a swim up bar and not too couple-ly.
Be prepared that this resort is a little further away than most. I was slightly worried when we hit the lobby and felt like I was back in the 70s. Orange/white/silver decor. Whatever. We were there every night hanging at the lobby bar meeting tons of fun people. The rooms were SO clean and they really do have unlimited bottles of alcohol!! All of the staff were extremely friendly, spoke English very well and were very attentive to our needs. Once they know your names, they remember forever...it's a nice touch! The pool entertainment staff were fantastic! We've been to alot of resorts and this was the most fun we had. They are very engaging and there are lots of activities. No fighting for chairs - lots by the pool and on the beach. The food is OK - but exactly what we expected for what we paid. Do not miss the juice bar at breakfast. I tried weird combos that were awesome!! The crowd is very eclectic. Older couples, families with small kids, very European, middle aged couples.....not alot of single groups. But we had tons of fun anyway!!

Room Tip: The elevators take forever!! So while a higher floor has a better view, it's a longer walk up t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (613)
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

This all inclusive was very hit and miss. First, the hits:
- The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. They really made the trip excellent
- The beach was one of the best in the hotel zone. Clear calm water you can swim in, even on a windy day.
- The location was great for getting around. Bus stop right out front, Ferry to Isla Mujeres (must see) within short walking distance, close to downtown.
- If you're into night life, the hotel arranges to take you to a different club every night ($40-$70 a night) and sets you up in the VIP section with bottle service... this was a huge advantage in the monster clubs in Cancun.

The misses:
-Entire hotel shuts down at midnight. The lights turn off, so you either have to get out of the resort or go to bed.
- Food was overly salty, to the point we couldn't eat the veggies. Often the food was cold, which was a major concern with some of the seafood dishes.
- You couldn't get a bite of food after ten thirty at night. We ended up venturing out for food a lot.
- I don't drink, but other travellers complained constantly about the poor alcohol. Most of it smells like nail polish remover. You could see people buying alcohol at the corner store and bringing it back to the resort.

Overall, we had a fantastic trip for great value. But it would have been a different story if we intended to stick to the resort every day.

Room Tip: Rooms directly facing the ocean have stunning views, but are very noisy early in the morning. Opt fo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

This hotel was of the high standard you expect from the Riu chain. Good food, service and generally a high quality environment. But there were a few problems that did spoil our overall holiday enjoyment.
1. Of the rooms we were initially allocated, one had leaking air con (towels were on the floor soaking up the water!) and one had no hot water at all. We were quickly offered other rooms (thanks to the receptionist), but I don't understand why we were allocated faulty rooms in the first place - don't they check them regularly? The last thing you want is to change rooms twice after a 11 hour flight from the UK!
2. The beach is beautiful soft white sand, but crowded with row after row of shoulder to shoulder sunbeds. The hotel has tried to ensure sufficient sunbeds are available for its large number of guests, but the beach is far too small to accommodate them.
3. The entertainment was ok with the team working hard throughout most of the day and evening with various activities and shows. The problem was with some of the guests who had too much to drink and were very loud and annoying to most of the others present. The entertainment team try to handle these situations diplomatically, but it is not pleasant for those not so drunk.
Overall the holiday was good, but I would not return to this hotel. Our previous holiday in Mexico was at the Riu Yucatan in Playa del Carmen. That was a far better experience.
We used to be big fans of all-inclusive holidays, but the level of drunkenness leading to noisy, loutish behaviour seems to be increasing. The problem seems to be worse in Mexico and the Dominican Republic where the guests are mainly from the USA and Canada, although those from the UK and Russia are becoming just as bad.
Maybe we are getting too old for this type of holiday and need to move more up-market away from the noisy youngsters.

Room Tip: Sea facing rooms are best. The lagoon facing rooms suffer from road noise.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryville, Illinois
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Riu Caribe is a good choice for vacation in Cancun.The price is reasonable, the service and staff do an excellent job. Rooms are modern and the ocean views are worth the upgrade. The place is always clean and plenty of activities to do during the day. Would return for another week. The only area that needs improvement is the reservations for supper. If you want to eat at one of the restaurants, you must make reservations early in the morning. This can take up to a hour to get through the line. Some days they claim the restaurants are full and you will need to eat the buffet that evening. This needs improvement, since most of the restaurants are not even half full when you walk by in the evening.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and I decided to take a quick vacation to Cancun in November 2012 for 4 days. With this being a quick, last minute trip, we were just interested in relaxing on the beach with a book & a cold drink. The reviews on Riu Caribe were mixed, but having stayed at a Riu in Cabo earlier in the year, I figured we couldn't go wrong.

The location was great, a short ride from the airport (we bought transfers ahead of time), and just down the street from all the shopping and night life you could want. We've never taken the bus in Mexico before, but we will from now on. The bus stop is right outside the property, and for around $2 us dollars per person, they will drop you off anywhere you want to go on the strip. We easily caught the bus at any given time during the day and night.

Checkin was very easy, we were greeted with a tropical drink, and given the map of the property. Our room wasn't ready, but they take your luggage, give you your wrist bands, and you're free to explore the property. We were upgraded to a nice room on one of the top floors right in the middle of the property, with an beautiful view. The room was modernly decorated with a huge balcony and a full mini bar. Our fridge was refilled daily with beer, water and sodas.

The beaches were clean, and we often saw the men out raking anything that had washed up. We were able to get chairs and umbrellas without much of a problem. The only downside is bar service down on the beach isn't that great. Order two at a time or be prepared to go get your own drinks. There are vendors daily on the beach, but leave you alone if you say no. It's a nice walk and easy access along the beach to the other Riu hotels. There were two or three pools with lounge chairs and swim up bars as well.

The food was typical of an all inclusive, the most positive thing being we didn't get sick! We ate at the buffet inside for breakfast, which offers cereal, fruits, cheese, bagels, eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon etc. For lunch we ate at the buffet outside, which offers hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, salad bar, pasta, nachos & desserts. The hotel offers reservations for dinner. We got reservations at the steak house and the Mexican restaurant. I noticed neither had great reviews, but we were pleasantly surprised. The steak house was great, we were greeted with sangria & I had the kabobs, they were very tender. The Mexican was good, they offer a buffet that you can eat from while waiting for your main meal from the menu. Endless margaritas don't hurt either. All in all the food wasn't fantastic, but we were pleasantly surprised based on all the negative feedback.

We took advantage of the daily spa specials, and had a great hour and a half couples massage. The ladies were very hard working & easy to talk to. We were able to book our appointments the day of our arrival. There were several excursion operators offering tours in the lobby that are more than willing to help you out. I know they have nightly entertainment as well, but we went into town at night so we missed the shows.

We hadn't been to Cancun in over 10 years, instead visiting other Mexican locations. But after this visit, we would definitely go back. It's not the best hotel we've stayed at but well worth the money, a great value, and a good vacation. We'd stay here again!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Sorry this is abit late! Wrote a while ago,but it wouldn't load on Trip Advisor :(

Just returned after spending New Year in Cancun. Once again Riu did not disappoint. Even though this didn’t have the ‘RIU Palace’ status it had been recently refurnished so felt fresh and trendy. We stayed 10 nights and I couldn't fault the service or knock the cleanliness of the hotel or its pools. Thomson rep Carlos was excellent. We were delayed on or return 19hrs and he kept us quickly informed and made it so we had no inconvenience whatsoever, just an extra day in the sun. The Entertainments team were one of the best I’ve experience at the Riu's.

So not to bore you just a few snippets below,

Room - Great rooms, very spacious considering it was only a double, our teenage girls were in the next interconnecting room. We had great views as on the highest floor (9). I was a little worried at first about the glass panel between the bathroom and bedroom, but I assure you, you can not see through it. Beds were so comfy - We asked for a topper and it was like a memory foam bed. AC worked perfect, plenty of storage, safe was good. My only tiny criticism was that on a few nights my shower was freezing (avoid a shower around 6pm)

Pool/Beach- Never have I seen a pool cleaned so much. There were plenty of beds, but unless you get up early (7-8am) you might not get the same one’s each day. We weren't bothered as I like a different outlook each day. The beach was lovely. The sea can range from very choppy to a mill pond. Beds and shade are a plenty. OMG can’t believe that some reviewers have complained that there is seaweed.... It’s the sea what do you expect! And truly it isn’t a lot!

Entertainment - Far too much to comment on, all was very entertaining, the teenagers loved it. If it’s not your thing then bars and clubs a 10min bus/taxi away or 30min brisk walk.

Restaurants/Food- Only tried the Asian, it was ok, but the food in the buffet restaurant I thought was better. The pizza place was fab in the day! Freshly made. If you can’t find anything to eat here then you are just too fussy!

Trips - We did Speedboat/snorkelling - Excellent, but not for the faint hearted. We also did the Thomson Bar Crawl which took you to Senor Frogs, Sweet Club. Mandala and finished off in the VIP part of Coco Bongos. Drinks were included, but you couldn’t really choose anything other than beer or Spirits and mixers. Coco's was amazing!

All in all a great experience, Save your money on going to the Very expensive Riu Peninsula next door, its very new, so the price reflects it, but I'm not sure you get your value for money. We paid £1600pp for 10nights at NY to Caribe, the Peninsula was £1000 pp more! We would defo go back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Overall, there are better options out there to pick from IMO, however everyone has their own tastes and reasons for liking for disliking a particular resort. I, for one, did not like the RIU Caribe. If value is a main concern, you may find that its worth the $, but I would rather ante up for a better resort. If you like lots of people, and the bustle of being on the Cancun strip, you may find it more accommodating to your tastes. I would prefer something quieter with less people and far better meal options.

Good: Staff was excellent and always very helpful with what they could do.
Entertainment was good, with pool activities daily and evening shows and an occasional band in the lounge area.
Beach was nice, fairly clean as the crews raked up sea weed at morning light, but not very spacious. There was never a problem with finding lounge chairs, but I think that was due to the weather vs overall volume of them. It was windy (East blowing West), which made the breeze very cool early AM and after sunset, so plan for a light jacket or sweatshirt ... you may need it.
With the RIU Caribe being right on the strip, there are local buses running constantly into town and up and down the strip for $1. Beats a taxi anyday IMO, since it gives you a taste of the locals as well. We took the bus into Cancun to Walmart, which was an adventure all by itself. We also ate at a local restaurant in Old Cancun called the La Parrilla, which was very good.
We also walked freely without ever feeling threatened or unsafe. We even walked along the strip at night about 2 miles when we missed our bus stop and did so without any feeling of unease.

OK: Room was very small, bed was uncomfortable and only a full size when a Queen was promised. Mini fridge was nice to have, but stocked every other day, not daily, so we often ran out of our favorite beverage in the room. Bottled water however is provided in the fridge which was a big plus for me. Marble rains throughout the rooms, but they never seemed to appear very clean. Perhaps the age of the hotel is showing itself.
**We asked for a room with a view and got it not knowing what was coming. There are a few smaller rooms located above the elevator level of the 9th floor. We ended up in one of those. It required climbing 3 flights of steep narrow circular stairs (fire hazard) which I wouldn't recommend to most, not to mention the size of the room was barely able to accommodate the furniture nevertheless our bags.**
While the pool was nice, it never appeared to me to be clean with sand often seen on the bottom and debris, etc floating about. Also worth noting, it is NOT heated and on cooler or cloudy days, is often empty due to the temp being just too cold to enjoy. The only days we enjoyed the pool was when it was sunny with temps above 85. There is also a quieter pool to the south end of the resort, by the Pizzeria bar. What you won't find is the jacuzzi unless you search for it. It's by the outside stairs to the Spa.

Bad: Too big ... this hotel has 1000 rooms. This equates to a lot of people fighting for the same space at the same time. I'm used to staying at AI resorts in the 300-450 range and I found this RIU location too crowed for my tastes.
The food was just short of bad, with exception to the fresh fruits and breakfast was decent considering its hard to mess that up. For those that are accustomed to AI buffet type meals, I. E. Old Country Buffet, Golden Coral etc, you may find it serves your needs. For me however, after about the 3rd day, I was ready to go elsewhere because of the food alone. Is it disgusting? No, but you will likely find that each day resonates the same as before with minor twists in the selections. After a while, everything started to smell of sauteed peppers & onions, fish and mango, regardless of what you ate. The desserts were not worth the taste test and I tried everything hoping for the best. They all lack the sweetness we are accustomed to here in the states and I'm not a huge sugar fan at all. In the end, the ice cream was the only dessert that tasted "normal". We reserved a dinner at the Steak House one evening and found that to be superior to what we had at the buffet. Just be sure to book a day or two in advance or you will find them to fill up quickly.
When arriving at the hotel, if your room is not ready, you will be required to wait. We waited 4 hours for a room, which means leaving all our bags unattended by the front desk. Not something I felt overly comfortable about, but they sat there with around 20 others that were in the same boat. Most changed in the bathroom and headed outside to the pool while waiting.
Wi-Fi ... yeah, I know, this is vacation .. but, 90 minutes is not much and it all has to be used in a continuous session. You can buy Wi-Fi for the week for $50, but I never had a strong enough signal in my room to surf anyway, so it would have been wasted money. Best time to surf is early morning when there are few using Wi-Fi.

Finally .... would I return? No, absolutely not. While the staff was wonderful and did their best, I believe the resort comes up short and far better options are all over.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Caribe

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Cancun - Quintana Roo, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#28 Family Hotel in Cancun
#30 Business Hotel in Cancun
#32 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Caribe 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cancun's resort area. 9-story building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 3 km. /1.9 miles from a shopping center. 4,5 km/2.5 miles from downtown Cancun. 21 km/13.1 miles to Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Real Cancun
Grand Caribe Cancun
Grand Caribe Real Cancun
Riu Caribe Resort Cancun
Riu Caribe Cancun Mexico
Riu Caribe Mexico

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