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“Absolutely exceptional.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd Kukulkan, Km 5.5 Lote 6-C, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 172 hotels in Cancun
Glasgow
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Absolutely exceptional.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Let me start by saying that the wife and I pushed the boat out a boat out a bit to be able to afford this hotel so this review comes from the perspective of someone who is more used to 3/4 star accommodation and service. We traveled from Glasgow at the end of June.

My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful 2 week stay at the Riu Palace Peninsula. We are both 33 and were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary during our first trip to Mexico and were immediately welcomed at the front door by Alex who walked us in to the impressive and modern looking hotel lobby and got us a couple of drinks as we completed check in speedily without any hassle. Our room was ready on time and our bags were taken there immediately and we were left to settle in. I had requested a high floor so was slightly disappointed to find that we were allocated a room on the 3rd floor but, after mentioning this to the front desk, they arranged a new room for us the next day on the 10th floor. What a view! To be honest the 3rd floor view was perfectly fine too though!

The rooms are beautiful, clean and spacious and, because it's still a relatively new hotel - what you see n the net and on brochures are actually what you get! The alcohol optics are a nice touch too and if your own spirit isn't in there then they are happy to provide it if you leave a note. The fridge is checked daily and restocked with beers, water and juice if required.

The drinks selection at the hotel is terrific and all popular premium brands are available. Drinks are as strong as you want them to be and they are most certainly NOT watered down - the condition I got myself in to in a couple of occasions is testament to this! :) They have cocktail lists but the bar staff seem happy to make anything you want.

There are 6 bars; one in the lobby, one at the pool, one at the beach two at the evening entertainment area and of course the 24 hour sports bar. I spent most time at the beach bar during the day and Diego the bar man was terrific. Friendly, warm and, most importantly - good at making drinks! We spent many a day lazing on our loungers on the beach and Cruz did a great job of keeping the Mojitos, Caipirinhas and Daquiris coming!

The coffee bar in the lobby is excellent too and I had way too many Iced Coffees! They offer an exhaustive variety of teas coffees and milkshakes.

The staff are all fantastic and work so hard to keep the place as immaculate as it is. The gardens are always being tended, the cleaners are always well ... cleaning, the maids clean the rooms and change towels daily (they actually ask if you need more towels a second time later each evening), waiters keep the drinks coming and the entertainment team do a good job of putting on activities for those who want them. I even observed a guy with snorkeling equipment on going around scrubbing the walls of the pools a couple of times!

The food is what really surprised me - it was absolutely fantastic. The breakfast is served in the buffet restaurant "Las Olas" and is pretty much the same thing every day but how many things can you really want for breakfast? They have a wide and varied selection or warm and cold food, cereal etc and there is no way you won't be able to find something you like - I recommend the omelette as you can select your own ingredients and then pass your bowl to the chef who cooks it in front of you. Delicious!

Lunch is served in the "Isla Mujeres" restaurant and is again buffet style. I ate a wide variety of meats; pork, chicken, beef, various types of fish, shrimp and many other things and enjoyed everything. My wife is much more fussy than I am but even she loved the food and never went hungry.

The Dinner buffet in Las Olas is exceptional. All foods are fresh and well cooked with tremendous variety on offer. I couldn't even begin to list all the different things I ate but I will mention that Thursday is Lobster tail night! :)

We ate in four of the à la carte restaurants; Mexican, Steakhouse, Japanese and Italian (you do not need a reservation for the Italian but others must be booked via customer service at the front desk). All of these were delicious but if I had to pick a favourite then it would be the steakhouse as the surf and turf was fantastic as was the seafood platter that receded it (king crab claws, shrimp, mussels, octopus). They tell you to book the restaurants two days in advance but on two of the three occasions I made reservations for the next evening without having to wait in any sort of queue. I have read a few people complaining about this process but I found it to be relatively painless and think it's a decent way of dealing with reservations in a hotel that is so huge.

You will not be disappointed if you don't eat in any of the restaurants though as the buffet is so, so good.

The pools are all fantastic although I stuck to the one nearest the beach. Not that there was anything wrong with the others.

The beach is great for chilling out at there is never any shortage of loungers here or at the pools regardless of time - you can walk over to the rockier area and feed the friendly iguanas a banana or two if you like. You can also easily walk along the beach to the Riu Caribe next door and use their facilities too.

The hotel location is great - far enough away from the main clubs to relax during the day but it's also no more than 5-7 mins to Coco Bongos etc by bus if you fancy the wilder side of Cancun. It would be walking distance if it weren't for the unbearable heat! The bus service is tremendous and costs 8.5 pesos (around 45p) regardless of where you are going. We went to Coco Bongos one night and got the bus back too after 3am a little worse for wear!

The Riu Palace Peninsula is a top drawer hotel and is certainly the best I have stayed at. I was gutted to leave the place and will be back next year, wallet permitting!

Anyway, I could talk about this hotel forever as I have only just returned and am still buzzing! If you have any specific questions then please feel free to drop me a note and I'll do my best to answer.

Oh and one last point - the room is equipped with quite a nice Panasonic Viera TV which has an SD card slot which you can use to look at photos or play mp4 video files and mp3s. I didn't watch any TV myself but if you have kids then it could be handy to charge an SD card up with some movies/cartoons for them to watch later at night. Just a thought.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (546)
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New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

As I walked through the door I received a warm welcome and a refreshing fruit punch to drink while I checked in. Check-in was quick and smooth. I booked directly on the Riu website and was a little concerned because I didn’t receive a day before confirmation like most hotels provide but everything was fine. The lobby was amazing! It was so modern and had so much seating, a bar, a snack café, and so much more. After check-in I went to my room and walking through the hallways and up on the elevator to my room I was truly impressed. I loved the room and the only thing I didn’t like was how there is no true bathroom only a toilet room and the sink, shower, tub, were just there in the open. The balcony was huge and had two chairs, a table, and a rail to hang wet clothes on. The room had plenty of storage space in the dresser and closet and the closet had an easy to use safe. There was also a refrigerator stocked with sodas and water, and of course the real drinks are on the wall. For as clean and beautiful it was, the room definitely had that humidity smell which I guess you can’t get away from near the ocean. Because I wanted flexibility, I mainly only ate at the two different buffets and the food was great! There were a lot of selections and everything was fresh and moving. I have a really sensitive stomach and I had no issues with any of the food. The beach had beverage service but it was so infrequent I would often just run over to the pool bar for a drink. I would definitely recommend staying here and I must say the staff here was awesome! Everyone that works here is so pleasant and always asking if they could do anything for me and that is so rare.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

I recently stayed at this gorgeous hotel just to get some time away from everything. Well, I came to the right place! This is an amazing hotel, since the moment you arrive you get special treatment. They really do make you feel welcomed. All staff were exceptional, they greeted you with a smilie a hello and ask about your stay and your needs. You are never ignored, I loved that! Our lady who did our room, such a great person! Level 7 ocean front jacuzzi room.. I didn't catch her name.. But she was very attentive, detailed oriented and even gave me some good tips for my horrible sunburn! Miguel at the Olas restaurant waited on us one night and was great! We would be seated in different areas but Miguel really stood out! We tried to make reservations at the other restaurants but all were full. I recommend that when you arrive, start booking your reservation!
The beach was great! I do recommend taking water shoes, only because the beach is a little rocky but the water is gorgeous and clean.

All in all, this Riu by far has been the best Riu I have stayed in. It maybe a little far from the zona hotelera, but even better! Not as crowded, just that the taxi can be very pricy!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Went to Mexico as a fast getaway from work. The RIU was great. Had a great time, staff is super friendly and ready to please which i found a little weird for an all inclusive resort. Food was wonderful in all the restaurants. Only down side is that you are required to make a reservation for them so do so in advance. Great pool, beach was perfect. I only wish the hotel offered shuttle service to and from airport instead of taxis or buses.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reading, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

My husband and I came to the riu peninsula for our honeymoon from July 1, 2013-July 6,2013. We couldn't have asked for a better time!! The pool bartender, Benerdo knew our names by the second day and had our drinks ready for us when he saw us walking forwards the bar. The entertainment at the pool is pretty fun. Roberto, really does a great job trying to get the crowd to join in the fun! Although, the riu next door has louder music and more pool games so you can easily switch your days up. Every night at 9:30pm there is a show in the theater. The bartender Luis is another great man who knew what we wanted to drink before we even ordered, so we just hung at the bar instead of finding seats to watch the show ( you could see the stage perfectly from thebar, and have room to dance. Even tho some night we were the only ones dancing!!!) If you can't tell by now, my husband and I spent lots of time at the bars between snorkeling, jet sking, and swimming (which was all right at the hotel)
The night life at the hotel dies down by 11pm but go to cocobongo with Roberto one night!! That place is wild!!!! The rest of the nights, the hotel offers places to go with transportation.
We loved the food too!! No complaints at all. We met so many great people and hope to visit again soon!

Room Tip: Get the honeymoon suite! Definitely worth it to have a Jacuzzi on you balcony!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

The manageress, a Tall Woman with Bobbed hair, was a very rude and argumentative lady who in my opinion should not be running a hotel. She was walking round the resturant area and asked my partner how she found the meal in Japanees resturant. My parner aswered it was ok. this seemed to upset the manager and who attitude became aggresive and confrontational. I stopped her and we walked away. I also witnessed her telling an old lady that she did not care about her complaint I would not expect a response like that especially the large amount of money that people have paid to stay in this hotel.
The rest of the staff are very polite and good at their jobs. Although the centre bar expects you to tip them every time or they ignore you, which became very annoying in a fully enclusive holiday...

Our room was supposed to be cleaned every day. It was not, where the maid just left towels and toilet paper on the bed one day.

the beach at the hotel is very rocky and is ok if you want to sunbath, but if you go to the public beach in the centre of cancun the beach is spectacular, if not very crowded.

One the first night we walked along the beach and ended up at a Trip/Tour Shop along from the hotel. They gave us quotes on trips. When we asked the Thompson Trip adviser the cost of the trips she quoted us $100 more than the shop we found. I asked why the differance, I was told that the shops could not be trusted. We went with the shop and found out that Thomson and the shops buy their trips of the same people.... We enjoyed our trips. But, were very unimpressed with Tompson trying to rip us off in such a way!!

Very unimpressed with the 800 pacos departure tax that every person has to pay seperatly with Thompson. I think it should be included within the ticket. Other Holiday firms do this.

The fight was ok, but the plan was not clean. The did not supply us with earphones that were promised in the original flight. they ran out of food and drink.

I paid 3500 (Brittish) pounds for two people on this holiday and it was just average. We will probably not use thomson again!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HOUSTON TX
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Short review this hotel is amazing i've traveled all over and have been to about 7 all inclusive resorts by far this is the best hotel..from the food to views and pool beach amazing, great staff, ignore the negative reviews and check this place out guaranteed...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula

Address: Blvd Kukulkan, Km 5.5 Lote 6-C, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 172 hotels in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula 4*
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