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.