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“Great Resort & Service....Disappointing Food” 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 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #33 of 178 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great Resort & Service....Disappointing Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I was there with my wife and 5 friends for about 6 nights in March. Overall i have to say the experience was good. The service as is the case in every Riu I've stayed at, was fabulous from top to bottom. James at the Front Desk knew his stuff and for me coming from a hospitality background I was highly impressed.

The beach was excellent...lovely white sand and a beautiful rock free beach. There was minimal seaweed and we spent 6 excellent days in the water and relaxing on the beach.

The pool was a little noisy due to the final week of Spring Break so we made our fun in the pool by the pizza bar. Warmer water and just a fantastic pool.

The quality of the rooms was excellent and while I'm not sure of the housekeepers name, he was amazing putting out rose petals and keeping our room spotless throughout the stay.

I've read some reviews that staff at this hotel deliver poor service based on no tips....not at all. I actually did not tip our regular bartender or the housekeeper or our server till the last day of our stay as I do believe in tipping based upon quality of service and NOT tipping early to receive quality service. Needless to say each of our regular staff were tipped very well.

Scuba Caribe were excellent on the beach and set us all up with a fantastic private speedboat charter which took us out to Isla De Muerjes away from the busy beach club, setting us up in the middle of a fantastic sandbank. What a day!!!

The only reason this resort does not receive a 5 star rating is the miserable food. After two excellent experiences in Jamaica and Playa Del Carmen both in Riu's, this was a big let down. The buffet was good the first night but got old and boring after...Overcooked salty food that needed generous helpings of salsa and hot sauce to even be edible. We were only able to secure a la carte reservations at "Shangri-La" and wow....this was honestly the WORST restaurant i've ever eaten at...untill we went to Chilis a few days later (seperate review for that one). Not a la carte and more importantly...terrrible salty, generic Chinese food. If I wanted to order bad North American take out....I would have.

Its very disappointing that the food was so bad as it forced us to go into town to eat and the whole point of an all inclusive is to be able to get your money's worth by enjoying your meals at the a la cartes and diverse buffet.

I would probably not stay at the Riu Caribe again because food is an important part of any vacation I take and they failed big time on that regard...really too bad as the rest of the resort is beautiful.

Room Tip: Oceanview 4th floor in the right wing
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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English first
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We just returned from our first stay at the Riu Caribe, and wow... we were completely impressed with this facility. We were there during the peak spring break time, so there were definitely some young adult partiers on site, but nothing too disruptive. The food is absolutely excellent, the pools fantastic, the beach is gorgeous, the event staff is fun, and the hotel staff very accomodating. It is in a beautiful area of Cancun, close to other activities and fun. We will definitely return to this resort in the future.

Room Tip: There didn't seem to be a bad room in the place, all have ocean views and terraces.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fremont, Wisconsin
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

The resort itself is beautiful and food was good - beach was gorgeous! However, we chose to stay at a RIU again as it said that they discourage "Spring Breakers". Well, the resort was full of them and they were completely obnoxious! Came home at all hours of the night - knocking on doors as they could never seem to remember which room was theirs! The swim-up bar service was the worst that we have ever had and they were obviously there to cater to the spring break kids. Poolside bar service was very minimal and we were forever having to go get our own drinks and wait in line - which has never happened to us at the other RIU's that we have stayed at. This may discourage us to ever book at a RIU again - which is sad, because the resort was beautiful and we've always had a good experiences with the other RIU resorts that we have stayed at.
Lenny @ the Steak Restaurant was the absolute BEST server! He was kind, attentive, helpful, etc. The resort should give him a raise!

Room Tip: Stay on the 4th floor or higher - great views!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

My best friend and I stayed at the riu caribe during the beginning of september 2012. We're both 21 and we wanted to stay in a hotel that gave us the opportunity to go out each night into cancun, as well as relax and sunbathe during the day.
Overall, we had an amazing two weeks at the resort and we were both a little sad to be leaving. We met some great people - as well as a handful of not so great - and these are the people that really made our holiday!
When we arrived at the hotel mid afternoon our check in was done as a group - to save time. When we were given our room key we made our way to our rooms after leaving our luggage for reception to bring over. Although I had emailed the hotel a week before our stay to request two double beds we were given a room with only one. Usually this wouldn't of been a problem if were only staying for a couple of nights, but as we were here for two weeks we went back to reception to request a new room with two beds. James at reception was so helpful! He upgraded our room to a junior suit so we had a sea view room on the corner of the hotel so it was much bigger, we were so happy! The only downfall to this was our luggage seemed to take forever to arrive - over an hours wait. I'm not sure if there must of been a mix up and they took our suitcases to the first room, but it did seem like a very long time to be waiting, especially when you've been on a 9 hour flight and you just want to freshen up.....but we wasn't complaining, we were on holiday!!
As well as a big bedroom, the bathroom was great, with two sinks and a big shower, nothing to fault it on!
The hotel was lovely, I had been a little apprehensive at first about booking this hotel. In the past I have stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana and the Riu Palace Bavaro in the Dominican Republic, and also the Riu Palace Mexico, and I was a little worried this hotel would fall short, considering it isn't one of the Palace hotels. It wasn't as beautiful or as breathtaking as these other hotels but I knew what to expect and I was more impressed than I thought I would have been, it really was a lovely place to stay.
The beach was awesome, just what we expected. Who cares about a little seaweed! We sunbathed on the beach most days as the breeze was much better by the sea, but spent most of our time sat by the pool bar. I was a little creeped by the fishies in the sea, but its their home and I think a lot of people will enjoy watching them swim by their feet.
One big let down from the pool area for us was that the pool bar was in the shade all day. I appreciate that people will like to sit in the shade to cool down, but there are a few of us that would still love to sit by the bar in the sunshine!!!!
The waiters at the pool bar are without a doubt the best waiters ever. I think my friend and I both got a little reputation for ourselves and whenever they saw us they started to chant 'shots shots shots shots' and would pour us a shot without being asked.... don't let this put you off, these waiters aren't pushy and we'd both just laugh and decline the shot if we were feeling a little hungover. I gave most cocktails a try and although they aren't going to be top of the range they were pretty good!!
The food really was the biggest let down...however did gain points for the pizzeria, which is amazing and should really be open a lot longer than it is! I would of enjoyed having a pizza every night, much better than the food they served during dinner. During lunch the food was nice, it was the evening meal that really let the hotel down, everything became bland and I could not wait to get home and eat something real! I did however enjoy the spring rolls, mm they were nice, but I only saw them once! The waiter who served us for dinner - I can't remember his name - was very nice, always calling us 'princess' and being friendly, making us laugh and smile. He did really brighten up the meal time experience and when it came to us leaving we was both prepared to leave him a good tip, except, we arrived quite late for dinner on our last night as I'd been developing a cold during our last week which got the better of me on our last day and I'd had a nap and overslept. When we got to the buffet it was about 20 minutes until they closed and we was just greeted with a 'hola' and were poured a glass of water, none of the loveliness we had been receiving the past two weeks!! I really thought this was quite rude and seemed like the nice attitude we'd received so far was a bit fake. I work in sales and you have to put a smile on your face even when you want to kick, scream and shout at someone. Besides, we never stayed long at the restaurant, we ate our dinner and left, and on this particular night we wanted to get something quick to eat so we could go back to the room and finish getting ready so we could go to coco bongo - hadn't had chance to go there yet so I was going to forget about my cold for a few hours and enjoy my last night. Needless to say, we didn't tip the waiter.
Security seems to be good, after a minor experience with them, they seem to help with looking after their guests! hahaha (much more to this little story but, always good for you to know)
Also had an incident one night, Adrian on reception was a big help and for the rest of the holiday I felt so safe coming home in the early hours of the morning knowing that we would safe!
We tried to go out as often as we could at night as it was so incredibly, soul destroyingly boring at the hotel, even the shows were shocking. I'm not sure if it was made much more boring knowing we were in Cancun and the clubs were practically on our doorstep, but there really wasn't anything to do. It ranged from about $40-$65 to go out, and that included the transfer to the club, entry and an open bar. Transfers back to the hotel wasn't included, we generally paid about $15 for a taxi home, could work it down to $10 but a bit of a struggle, rather just pay and leave rather than haggling when I just wanted to get into bed. We enjoyed all the nights we went out, 8 out of the 14 we were there. I'd recommend trying them all, they go somewhere different each day of the week and its worth going for the experience, not anything like the clubs at home.
The weather was great for the first nine days, then went downhill. The first few days of rain it was just during the night, the beginning of our second week, then gradually it rained more and more throughout the day. Our last day was spent in the lobby - had enough of the boring lobby at night nevermind throughout the day! - and although the entertainers come inside, I wouldn't call it entertainment. I eventually went to the room to try and sleep off the cold i'd got.
Why would I have a cold when I was holidaying in Mexico? ah, because of our lovely big free junior suit!! Which started to leak the first night it rained. It leaked and leaked and leaked. Two days before we were leaving, after multiple trips to reception, we requested a new room. Our clothes were very damp and we were waking up and getting out of bed into a big puddle of water, our entire room was flooded! All the hotel could do was provide buckets to catch the water and it just wasn't good enough, the buckets couldn't catch it all! James explained that this happened with the junior suits. Bit of a downfall if you've paid extra for this! We were then moved into one of the ordinary rooms, they are very small, but i'm not sure if we felt cramped after having so much space!
I'd also like to mention that I'm forever cold in bed, I used both the fleecey blankets and I thought the maid would of figured that I slept with them as each morning they were both on my bed, but after our first week the maid took both blankets!! I couldn't believe it. Felt like a punishment!! My sleep quality was ruined! Looking back, I can't quite remember why I didn't ask reception for another blanket, probably because i'd had too many trips there already. Oh well!
Finally, the entertainment. The first few days of the holiday I really thought the entertainment was great. But I soon realised that the entertainment team have their favourites, after talking to another group of girls staying at the hotel and having this pointed out to me. On nights my friend would be taken by one of the male entertainers to the DJ boxes in each club, and i'd be left, although we'd made friends with others and I wasn't left by myself I still feel that this is unacceptable. If anything had of happened to my friend or myself when we werent together I think the entertainment team would of been to blame. I think that its disgusting that the entertainers use these nights out as an excuse to get girls drunk, to kiss them, and also take them back to their apartments. I think this needs to be addressed by the hotel management.
On two occasions I arrived back at the hotel without my friend as the entertainers - two in particular, one male and one female - had got her drunk and taken her away from the rest of the group. She didn't arrive back to the hotel until the next morning.
I would like to say that Super Tony really was super.
Overall, I had an amazing girlie holiday with my best friend. I didn't want to leave the sunshine or the beach, but I was looking forward to going home to see my boyfriend, to eat nice food and get back to normality.
Would I go back? Maybe, if the entertainment team weren't so desperate and slutty.

Room Tip: Corner suites leak.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

The travel agent’s inexperience brought us to the RIU Caribe on American Spring Break. Result: almost all nights we were awaken by shouts, banging of doors or broken glasses. During the days, this spectacle was more temperate, due to the personnel’s efforts (and turists' hangover).
Positive: comfortable facilities; impeccable maintenance; diligent and considerate personnel (from front desk to housekeeping). The Albatros restaurant (buffet) had spectacular food and staff, but there are other more informal gastronomic alternatives that worked fine. The ample beach has sufficient facilities and the complex is equidistant from town and shopping and entertainment centers. Truly relaxing Spa.
Negative: Noisy lobby and bar; service at thematic restaurants from poor (Shangri La) to plain bad (María Margarita, where we were abandoned by both maitre d’ and waiter, stuck with spent plates at the table and unable to move forward with dessert) to the point of deciding to skip Gaviotas' reservation and dine out in our last night. The sprawling design of the complex has lots of steps, a disadvantage for elderly people.
Summary: a place that has “it all” for people willing to tolerate “it all”. During our stay it seemed invaded by an army of barbarians, trying to be contented by another army, this time of servants working restlessly in their duties. We doubt we’ll be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chilliwack, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My husband and I spent a week relaxing and enjoying "down-time" at the Riu Caribe. As another reviewer mentioned, we chose the Riu based on prior stays at the Riu in Cabo San Lucus. The service, food and staff were all excellent. We enjoyed the pools, the beaches, and the grounds. Everything is well kept, clean, and organized. We were initially assigned a third floor room which we felt was very noisy. We had paid for an ocean view which we could barely see from our balcony. After three days we asked to be moved to a higher level and they quickly accommodated our request and we moved to the seventh floor with a fabulous view of the ocean. The hotel is well situated with a bus stop just outside on the main street. The busses run about every five minutes and they quickly get you to your destination. All in all, a nice place to stay at a reasonable price with a fabulous beach and incredible view!

Room Tip: Higher level floors away from the Lobby and Entertainment will provide less noise! The Lobby is des...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

My wife and I were here Feb 2 to 14, 2012. First time in Cancun. Picked the Riu Caribe based on past stays at other Riu hotels. The Caribe did not disappoint. Was well up to the standards they keep at all other Riu hotels. Good food, room, grounds, facilities, service, security, activities, etc.
If we would have liked Cancun more and made a decision to visit again then I think we would not hesitate to stay here once again. However, Cancun as nice as our stay there was, does not appeal to us to warrant another visit. Just not Mexican enough, too touristy. Mind you this is the intention of this resort area. The government set it up 40 or 50 years ago to be just that and it has been successful for them. We are not night club, late night people nor much for shopping in the glitzy malls. We did quite enjoy our day trip over to Isla de Mujeres.
Anyways, the only reason I gave this hotel a 4 star very good is that I reserve 5 star ratings for hotels that are much more expensive.
This hotel is top notch for its price point and we very much enjoyed. No disappointments.
Try it you will like it.
Vaya Con Dios, Amigos/Amigas

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Caribe

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Zona Hotelera, 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Family Hotel in Cancun
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#32 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 506
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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