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“Great place!” 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 #32 of 179 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

Firstly, I should say this was one of the best holidays I have ever had. I went with my girlfriend and it was a perfect break for us. We were there for 2 weeks and I think I can count on one hand the number of times we actually left the hotel. We wanted a nice break away doing nothing with plenty of sunshine, being able to eat and drink as much/little as we wanted. So for all of that it was perfect.

Weather was brilliant! First 2 days it was cloudy/rainy, although very warm. The remaining 12 days it was baking sunshine everyday.

This was the first time we had been on an all-inclusive holiday, therefore we weren't sure what to expect. Overall the food was great. There is a wide variety of foods on offer every day. There are 3 restaurants (steak house, Mexican and Asian) as well as the main dining area. All 3 were fine - steak house = good, Mexican = ok, Asian = great. These 3 restaurants you have to book in advance for (you are told this when you arrive) but you have to book a day or two in advance which is a bit of a pain as you have to plan in advance when you would like to eat at them, and a lot of time the restaurants look quite empty, so it's questionable how efficient the booking system is. However, on 2 occasions we hadn't booked a restaurant but fancied Mexican/Asian so just popped in about 8pm-ish and asked if they could fit us in, which reluctantly on both occasions they did give us a table - worth trying on the odd occasion but you can't get away with that all the time.

There are 3 pools to choose from. All look great, but the main middle pool was our favourite, for obvious reasons such as being next to the dining area for lunch and also the swim up bar! The beach is literally a staircase down from the pool area and the hotel has its own section of beach therefore there is always space and loungers free. The beach was great - white sand, tidy, clear blue warm water - staff constantly on hand asking if you wanted a drink bringing down to you from the bar.

From our perspective the staff were great. They were always on hand to help us. On occasion some seemed a little grumpy (some of the bar staff) but this was outweighed by the majority of staff being incredibly friendly and helpful. The reps around the pool are always up for a laugh and offer loads of activities for people that fancy doing something (pool volleyball / water polo / boccia / aqua aerobics etc.). Whether you give a tip or not, the staff are always happy to help. We found the hotel reception staff extremely helpful on a number of occasions.

Room was great. Barely touched the alcohol in the room because there is so much on offer downstairs! Room was modern, fresh, cleaned every day, fridge restocked with alcohol and water every 2 days, spacious, good cable TV.

Drinks were also great. Anything we asked for we got. Premium or basic spirits they all tasted great, but if you would like to ensure you always get the premium spirit such as Smirnoff/Absolut vodka, just ask for it when you order and they'll be happy to give it to you.

Nightlife was good. We went to a number of places but only really went on 2 big nights out. One of which was the Thomson bar crawl finishing in Coco Bongo club which was an awesome night, well worth doing. Usually we would go out most nights on a holiday but with everything at the hotel as it is, you fancy getting to bed earlier and wanting to be up early by the pool/beach drinking and having fun in the sun rather than nursing a hangover until 2 in the afternoon! Single people might obviously see this differently...

All in all it was a great holiday. Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
  • 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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Kaukauna, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from a great vacation! Loved the hotel. It was very modern. Sleeping rooms were great. Be sure to ask for a pool view (as you will get pool and ocean view as opposed to overlooking an empty field with just a glimpse of the ocean). 3rd floor and above give the best views. Food was standard. Drinks were plentiful with some top shelf options. Dos XX was the beer on tap. Resort had a quiet pool and an adults only pool if you don't want to be around kids. Beach was gorgeous. I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oklahoma
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Let me start out saying this was our 3rd visit to this resort. It has been two years since we stayed at the Riu Caribe. Here is my honest review!
The beach amazing! But erosion has taken over a little. The service and staff amazing! The pools amazing! The entertainment staff amazing! Have I said amazing lololol, you will absolutely love this resort, family's with children and young couples to people in the 60"s....
The food well it's good but was disappointed in the Asian restaurant I remembered it as better then it was this time. But all the other restaurants were just as good as I remembered, trust me even the most picky eaters will find food that you will like.
The weather did stink a bit when we were there in September but that's a chance you take when you go to the tropics during hurricane season. Don't get me wrong we did have some beautiful sunny days but also had rain :( ,,,, but hey enjoy your vacation you can't control Mother Nature ....
We did the Captain Hook dinner cruise what a great time!
We did miss seeing the venders that use to set up on Saturday nights in the lobby, you could buy things without leaving the resort, there is a gift shop but a little pricey and there is a small convince store to the left of the drive with very reasonable prices.
The rooms have been updated just wish there was a coffee pot in the room, had to get dressed and go down to the lobby, not a big deal but if you like coffee in the morning you will understand lololol...if I can answer any questions feel free to ask. Would we return to the Riu Caribe oh yes in a heart beat!

Stayed September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

There were 7 adults that went. Two of my friends did a lot of research before we booked here. It was one of the best vacations I have been on. The staff was excellent, the room was clean, may not have been the most comfortable bed I have slept in but nothing that disturbed my sleep. Mini bar was re-stocked every day. We spent 6 days lounging at the pool across from the swim up bar. All areas of the hotel ere always clean. The entertainment at the pool was great. They always had something for every one to participate. We ate at the buffet every breakfast and several dinners. The food was good with a big variety. One of my friends isn't a big buffet fan but he even liked it. We also ate at the Mexican restaurant, big portions and very good. The steak house was also a treat. Before our trip was up we all agreed we would be back next year.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Jr. suites on the 5th floor, I recommend the jr. suites 5th or 6th floor for the be...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Aylesbury, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Just a quick one really never got round to writing this review but honestly had the best holiday I have ever had. The hotel is clean and comfortable the main lobby is open plan which means it does get very hot as no air com in this area however the air con everywhere else is more than satisfactory. The staff are very efficient am quick and always on offer to I help even coming round to your sun loungers by the pool and com the beach to get you drinks. The whole hotel is very well kept and the rooms were wonderfully clean the maids do a brilliant job.
Personally found the buffet restaurant the best place for dinner we only tried the Mexican one and it was not as good so didn't bother with the others. I for one can't wait to be back in cancan and back at this resort.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Hotel is absolute amazing no other words could describe it! The staff cant do enough for you! The rooms are immaculate and are cleaned everyday! The pool and beach area are beautiful clean and tidy! The entertament at the pool is a really good laugh something for everyone, even the kids,Don't know why anyone can moan about the food or drink yet again something for everyone I really enjoyed it! I went for 10 days but wish I done the two weeks as I don't think the 10 days were enough for me here! Can't wait to go back here next year!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We got an amazing TravelZoo price on airfare, transfer and hotel out of Austin for 6 nights, so my expectations weren't 5-star (despite Apple Vacations giving it their highest rating). My needs are simple. I don't go to Mexico to DO anything. I want to read on the beach, have cocktails by the pool, and bliss out on the Caribbean blue. And to be fair, I've never been to an all-inclusive that I HAVE to go back to.

We had a really nice time and would go back if we got the same kind of econo-travel deal we had this vacation. Like most, the Riu Caribe is an attractive resort with lots of drawbacks.

So, let me tell you the good and the bad.

GOOD:
* Very nice beach compared to the last couple we've been to. Lots of palapas and white sand. A couple of little raised areas where just a couple of beach chairs fit under a palapa. Makes you feel above the crowd. There were red or yellow flags up the whole time we were there (Oct 14-20), so the water wasn't as clear as we might like, but that's certainly nobody's fault. Men were out raking up the kelp on a regular basis.

*Separate, quiet pool for grown-ups away from all the disco and children and games and other things I have no need for. No waiters, unfortunately, but bar was very close to get our all-inclusive Bloody Marys and Blue Oceans (quite tasty frozen beverage of choice for this locale). Plenty of palapas, plenty of chaise lounges.

*Room was clean and bed was comfortable. We stayed in 653, which had a beautiful ocean view. We have a tiny shower at home, so I loved this one with its impressive water pressure. More about the room in the Bad section.

*Really interesting, varied, international crowd. We estimated about 60% from the UK (met a lovely couple from Wales and another from England), only 20% or so American (which is why you go to another country), 15% Mexican or South American, and the rest an interesting polyglot of Germans, Russians, Brazilians, and a few Chinese and Italian folks. You never knew what language you were going to hear on the elevator!

*There was some evidence of green features. The room electricity didn't work unless you put your key card in the holder, so a lot of electricity saved there. Also, the AC went off if you opened your balcony door. HOWEVER, this was also a bad feature because the humidity is so intense, your room doesn't cool back down for a long time, so we only went out on the balcony once - and we're from Texas!!!

NEUTRAL:
*There are things to do, if you want to. We saw people parasailing and jet skiing and long-boarding and kayaking. We weren't among them, but they're there.

*We saw lots of people reading, but unlike many resorts, there wasn't any obvious place to leave books you'd read and pick up used ones. I think they ought to have this in every resort; we leave at least 6 or more books behind whenever we go to the beach.

*Unlike most Mexican beaches, they do have straws for your beverages. I'm not sure they should with the amount of drinking going on and the trouble straws apparently cause for sea creatures, but I usually bring my own to Mexicao and this time I didn't need to.

*You can have 90 free minutes of Internet connectivity each day, which doesn't mean you can get your email. . . . But why do you need the Internet on vacation?

*The bartenders were hit or miss. I found the ones in the lobby snooty, while other reviewers said the ones outside weren't friendly. After listening for a while, I asked the outside bartender (who had worked there for 7 years) if guests were polite enough to try to speak Spanish to him. He laughed and said "NEVER!" That might make me a tad annoyed, too. He was good to me!

*No coffee maker in the room, but huge urns at the base of our elevator bank. I don't drink the stuff, so I don't care.

*There are 4 bottles of cheap liquor over the mini-fridge, with beer, Pepsis and two big bottles of water in the fridge.

*I'm going to go neutral on the spa. Had a massage by a lovely woman (who obviously didn't have a lot of training) in a very small room with towels instead of sheets and weird yellow lighting. She worked hard and was sweet, but we could not communicate well. Nevertheless, the service was there and I needed it. Was it worth $90 + tip? Probably not. But my hubby is not patient enough to give a good massage. The lobby of the spa was attractive and it was all clean.

BAD:
*Lighting is the worst thing about this place, to me. They use bright white fluorescent EVERYWHERE, which is school house lighting, not dinner lighting or resort lighting to me. So harsh. And then the lights in the bathroom were dimmer than the room lights! That's where I need to see to put on my makeup!

*There were only three unallocated outlets in the whole room, and one of ours didn't work! Very tough to curl your hair and charge your phone at the same time. We Americans do like our electricity! I didn't even have an outlet on my side of the bed, and the one on my husband's side was taken up by the clock.

*Tap water isn't drinkable, but the sign in the bathroom is very small.

*I am cursed by construction noise in Mexico. I made sure there was no construction going on in the area when I took this hotel. They assured me my room was beautiful and quiet. Sure enough, they were doing something with a jackhammer in the room next door. But only for 2 days, so I didn't try to get a room change.

*Food is certainly plentiful, but there wasn't a lot of taste. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's kind of nothing. They want you at the buffet, but they want you inside in that horrid bright white light.

There are 3 restaurants where you have to make a reservation - usually at least a couple of days in advance. I hate that on vacation. I also don't understand why they lay the restaurant out so that everyone can see that there are several empty tables, even though the restaurant says that they're "full." That just ticks everybody off. I was told that each restaurant is set up to do 130 meals a night, but it looks like they could do twice that and just aren't. I heard a lot of grumbling about that.

Breakfast in the buffet was fine.
There was a decent Beef Wellington one night
The Mexican restaurant's appetizers were very tasty, even if the dinner disappointed
There is only one kind of beer
The "better" red wine is even worse than the "house" red. Both are awful, but the house is drinkable.
Why is there an Asian restaurant in a Mexican resort? We didn't even bother to try that one.

It's interesting to me that when I get back to Texas from a Mexican resort, the first thing I want to do is have Mexican food! They have pico de gallo, but no salsa. Tabasco, but no real peppers.

So, in short, don't go to this resort expecting a gourmet experience or the exceptional service of a Ritz or JW Marriott - or even of a more expensive resort. Go to bask on the beach and relax. That way, you'll enjoy your vacation as much as we enjoyed ours.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
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
#29 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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