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“Excellent All-Inclusive Resort!” 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 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #10 of 178 Hotels in Cancun
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Excellent All-Inclusive Resort!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

My first trip to Mexico, and I stayed in one of the best resorts I have ever stayed in on any of my vacations! The Riu Palace Peninsula is very contemporary with its purple decor, high-backed lounge chairs all around the lobby area, and the oversized chairs at the bar. They bring you a cool beverage while you are waiting in line to check in, although I use the term "cool" mildly. It was so hot and humid there that the ice melted pretty quickly, and for the most part, you're just guzzling a drink at room temperature. The service is impeccable from the moment you arrive at the resort. Alex greets you at the door and takes your bags so that you don't have to drag them with you to the check-in counter. They just line your luggage up along the wall with everyone else's luggage, and you identify your luggage once you get checked in, and the bellhop brings your bags to your room. The floors to the rooms are all concrete, which makes total sense, what with people going in and out all day wet from the pool and beach. They open the windows all day to let in the ocean air through the hallways, though, so you don't get that locker-room smell. The rooms are amazing! If I was a drinker, I would be more excited about this, but because I'm not, I thought it was just quite entertaining. Above the refrigerator (that never cooled our drinks, mind you) was a liquor dispenser of rum, tequila, vodka. The refrigerator had supplies of bottled water and beer that was replenished each day for your convenience. Our room was spacious, decorated in their signature purple color, and the balcony overlooked the several different pools at the resort. The pools....what can I say? They had beds in the water with a small table on which you could place your drinks! I was in heaven! The beach was a part of the resort, so we made our way out there the remainder of the week, as well, and as I mentioned about the service, it was impeccable! There was always someone walking around to make sure you had something to drink. The all-you-can-eat buffet was just your regular American-type food, pizza, burgers, hot dog, chips, guacamole, salads, fruit, etc. I recommend making reservations for the fine dining restaurants during your stay. The food is much better at those places. If you read the website, the all-inclusive part does include tips, but we tipped them a buck or two each time they brought us drinks, as I doubt they make very much in their salary to begin with, and they really are working hard to give excellent service. I always saw smiles on their faces like they're happy to be working, so unlike many servers you encounter in the U.S. Makes me wonder why we don't appreciate our jobs more back home. And the servers who work the beach worked twice as hard, because it was HOT there in July! We were in bathing suits and could barely stay away from the water to keep cool, so I truly appreciated these guys for bringing us drinks! My only challenge while there was remembering to brush my teeth with bottled water, but that's so minor compared to my amazing stay there! The wifi is choppy in the rooms at best. They worked best in the middle of the day when everyone was at the pools or beach. I could never get it to work for me at the pool, but there were a couple of spots at the beach where the wifi actually worked. I highly recommend a vacation there, if you are looking for a place to relax, where you don't care about the time of day or day of the week it is. You will thank yourself for going!

Room Tip: If you can afford to upgrade to a suite with an extended balcony, it comes with a hot tub right on t...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,284 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

We spent 2 weeks at this hotel from 27th July to the 10th August 2014 and had a really wonderful time.

Every member of the staff we had contact with provided excellent service but we would like to give special thanks to:

Samuel and Marlenne who looked after us in the restaurant and made us feel very special. When it was my daughter's birthday they along with other members of the team really gave her a very special night to remember - thanks again for that guys.

Roque who took us on a tour of the kitchens. We were sat in reception and someone asked us if we would like to go on the kitchen tour so we thought why not? If you ever stay here and get the opportunity to do this tour I would recommend that you do so. The kitchens are of the very highest standard, Roque and his staff are so passionate and proud of the service they provide and rightly so as they really do run a first class operation.

I would certainty recommend staying here if you are going to go on holiday in Cancun.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Orem, Utah
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

It was okay. Food was okay, nothing great but I never left hungry, I always found something that I could eat. Food hours were a little funky, I wish they would open earlier for breakfast and stay open later for lunch and dinner. Especially if you wake early, i.e. I was up by 5 or 6 every morning but breakfast didn't start until 7am. Specialty restaurants, we did the steakhouse one night the steak was okay, salmon was great. Also dined at Krystal another night, I got the sea bass and it was delicious. The dinner buffet seemed to mimic the lunch buffet so I would definitely try to make specialty dinner dining reservations if going there again. Entertainment was tacky, it was also very loud until late at night. Location was far away from the downtown area, so you pretty much just stayed at the resort unless you wanted to pay for a taxi ride into the downtown area. Beach area was small and rocky, therefore the time was spent in the pool! The resorts on the other side of Cancun definitely have better beaches. You had to walk next door to the end of the resort (about 7 min) if you wanted to do any kayak or paddle boards. That is also where the jet ski rentals were. It wasn't convenient at all for water activities. Views were great. Pools were nice. Resort was about 85% occupancy when we were there and most days it felt like 50%! Which was nice. There are hammocks and day bed by the pools and on the sand, wasn't hard to get one. Pools open late and close early which was disappointing. Rooms were spacious and all had great views. The higher the floor, the better the view. Spa was okay, I keep asking for more pressure in a deep tissue massage and didn't get it, felt more swedish but was still relaxing. Fitness center was small and had little equipment, poor fitness center hours too, but it was clean, VH1 music videos were playing. Had sweat towels and cold water...but a view of the street! Sports bar was a joke, the only thing ever showing was soccer. It was quiet and uncomfortable in there. No music, no sound for the games on tv. They didn't show ESPN or any NFL games at all. There were a couple race car video games a pool table and air hockey table. Overall, would I stay here again, yes, but it wouldn't be my first pick. It was a nice property though. I did a two tank dive with scuba caribe (desk is next to pool), it was not a smooth operation, very poor experience. The dive master didn't brief us of the spots we were diving, just said, reef and spoke very little english. We had to walk to the end of the other RIU resort. then carry it back to the pier, get in a little boat, go around to other resorts pick up the other guests that were on the dive trip, were dropped off at a different pier and then waited about 30 min for our dive boat. We had to set up our own gear. Everything was poorly communicated and overpriced for the experience. Boat for dive was supposed to leave at 9, we didn't leave until 11. The first dive they rushed us to the bottom and didn't wait for slower divers for their ears to adjust to the pressure. Divers were playing catch up the whole time so didn't get to really experience that. Second dive was better after many complained. We had to switch boats and had to wait approximately 30 min for a boat to take us back to the resort, then didn't even get dropped off our resort and had to walk back carrying all of the gear. I went to a different dive shop that night, because we wanted to dive again but with a different company. About a 5 min walk from the resort there is a dive shop called coconut divers, they leave from the marina, and gave us a 1st class experience...and to top it off they were $40 cheaper too! I'd definitely dive with Coconut Divers again! Overall resort staff was very friendly, accommodating and nice!

Room Tip: If you have a RIU Class number, they will probably get you a higher floor at check in. The higher t...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Champaign, Illinois
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

Top notch hotel. Spent a week here with 2 other couples and we all had a great time. All of the food was great and the staff even better. One complaint is the stiffness of the beds. Felt like sleeping on rocks. My wife and I had a couples message it was amazing. I would advise not drinking before hand. I had two drinks before and something about that message because those drinks hit me like I had been drinking all day.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

This was our first time in cancun. We stood in the hotel for five nights. First of all the hotel was beautiful. The rooms were very clean and neat. All the servers were very respectful and were always on top of their game. Special thanks to Alfonso. He did an amazing job and took good Care of us. Silvia made us feel so special by making a different towel sculpture for us every day. The food was superb the beach amazing. Free + fast wifi everywhere. We had wifi by the pool and the beach. The night shows were nice and they even had a live band. We will definitely come back to this piece of heaven.

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

I highly recommend this hotel, excellent staff and beautiful resort. The only "negative" thing I have to say is the beach is small .. to expect when you go to cancun! You will definitely enjoy you time there! Worth every penny. There is also a lot of activity to do if you go with kids.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Succasunna, New Jersey
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

We stayed at this resort in January and wanted to try it again for a full week. This stay was even better than what we had experienced our first go visit, almost everything was perfect.

Check in was very quick with no problems at all. During the check-in we were greeted with a welcome cocktail. We had booked a superior room, which turned out to be on the 17th floor again. The room had a slightly different view and we now know that the end rooms on floors 16 & 17 have 2 doors out to the balcony. Our room was kept spotless our whole time there with a different towel animal each night. While you don’t really have turn down, some nights they did pop back in while we were at a show to move the pillows off of the bed. Since this room was long from to back, the placement of the tub, was slightly better than our room the last time, I did not have to worry about falling in to the tub in the middle of the night.

The pool area was beautiful, and we made sure we went in each pool, except the pool bar pool. Sorry, those skeeve me out a little. The weather was very hot and the only bad thing was that by the afternoon, the pools had heated up and were not as refreshing. The water in the ocean stayed a nice refreshing temperature though. We never had a problem finding a chair in an area we wanted. If it happened to not be under one of the structures they have for shade, the attendants will bring over an umbrella for you. There were activities going on all day, from 10am till about 5, when the entertainment group goes in and gets ready for the evening shows.

I took the stretching classes each day with Jordi, and he changed them up each day so that you were not bored. We even tried the water aerobics one time, and that was a lot of fun too.

Bar service at the pools was great. Jorge must have walked by every 10 minutes to check that we had everything we needed. We did not spend as much time in the Trinidad bar as last time, as we wanted to enjoy the sun as much as we could.

The beach area is rocky, but they have cut steps into the rocks to allow you to get down to the water. You can take a float in and if you want, float around the big rock to the smaller beach that they have. If you want to go to a bigger beach, the one at the RIU Caribe, next door, is available. We did not like that beach as much as it had more seaweed there. Also, if you walk to the end of the beach at the Caribe, you will see Kayaks, Sailboats and the like. Any non motorized device is included in your stay. You do have to pay for the Jet Skis.

We tried to get to the gym a few times, but the gym is very small, and by 7:30am it is full, so we just took walks out the front of the resort. Really nothing to see either way, as the resort is not in a great place for shopping, but there are a couple of small stores for some small items if needed. If you walk out the front and to the left, you will come to a small flea market with lots of junk for you to look at, as well as a convenience store.

The food was very good. We ate all of our breakfasts at Las Olas buffet, the food was good and the service great, if not too good at times. As soon as you get up they take your plate and silverware, so if you were just going up for seconds, you have to steal some silverware on the way back. There were plenty of choices for you at the buffet, with a section for Italian and Mexican.

For lunch we were going to eat at the buffet, but one day we decided to see what the Italian restaurant Venicia was like. You must be 100% dry when you go in there, but the food is surprisingly good. I was a little hesitant on eating Italian food there, as we get very good Italian food in the NY Metro area, but the appetizers and dessert are set up from a buffet, and then you pick a main meal. The menu is the same for Dinner, and we even came back to try it one night.

We wanted to eat at the specialty restaurants, and that is where there is room for improvement. Our first night we ate at the buffet, and on Mexican night (Wednesday) we did the same. The food is very good in the buffet with a lot of different choices. Basically you have to be able to find something to your liking.

When we checked in we made reservations for Tamales (Mexican) and Krystal (Fusion). Making reservations is very easy, they only will book for the current day, the next day, and 2 days out, but we never had a problem getting the restaurant we wanted. Tamales was very good. They give you a margarita when you come in, then you have your appetizers from a buffet, then they bring you tortilla soup, main meal and dessert. We really enjoyed the fajitas. During the meal they will come by with a sombrero to take let you take a goofy picture, and they give you a tequila shooter. That is a shot glass with Tequila and some squirt, the waiter then hits it on the table and as it fizzes up, you down the drink.

The food at Krystal was not really that good. I don’t remember what we had, but I know the service was not very good either. We also tried Hiruki, the Japanese restaurant, which we did not find to our liking either. Nothing specific, but the food was just not that good. We had reservations one night for Kulinarium, which is affiliated with the Villas. The menu there is very similar to Krystal, so after our bad experience at Krystal, we cancelled Kulinarium.

We also treated ourselves each day to an iced coffee at the Capuchino bar. The coffee was great, and some of the desserts they had were very good too. One thing is that I always think those small desserts look better than they taste, so we did not try anything other than the chocolate covered strawberries and the chocolate covered corn flakes.

The lobby bar, on the other side of Cappuccino was also a good place to listen to the piano starting at 6pm before dinner. One thing we did find on the drinks is that they are on the weaker side, so we always had to order our drink and ask for extra whatever in it.

Entertainment each night was also nice. The shows were all nice and if you need anything during the show there are a lot of people walking around to help you out. The magic show was fun, but it was the same as the show from January. The best show might have been the beach party that they had on Saturday night, but since that was our first night there, we could not stay up for it.

While we were at the resort we did want to take a ride over to Isla Mujeres. During the day there are representatives from all the different tour groups that sit in the theater area. We booked our vacation through Liberty Travel, so there was an Olympus Tours person that we talked to. They had decent prices, but what we found was that the resort also has a booth for different water sports/tours. Willie & Cesar were the two that we talked to. We booked the Isla Mujeres tour through them because the tour, on the Samba 2, is only for RIU guests. It runs on Tuesdays & Fridays and they pick you up right at the RIU pier, located between the Caribe & Peninsula resorts. I did leave a separate review for that tour with more detail, but I will say it was a decent tour, as you got to snorkel, got a lunch at their “beach club” and then got about an hour to wander around the main town. Overall not much there though.

We also decided that we wanted to see about other snorkel tours and talked to Willie about a boat that we saw. He gave us the price but told us it was a glass bottom boat and that if we wanted to just snorkel, he had a newer tour that would be better. For $55 there is a tour called Total Snorkel. It is a small boat that goes out around 1:30 and comes back at 4:30. The boat comes over from Adventure Cove and picks you up at the resort’s pier. There are 3 crew members, on our trip it was Miguel, Carlos & Alberto. For that cost they give you the equipment, a lesson if you need it, waters to drink, and they take you to 3 spots to snorkel. The first spot is on a reef and the amount and variety of fish you see is amazing. The 2nd spot is very close to the first. There was not as much to see, but still the snorkeling was fine. The 3rd spot was the best. We went out to a ship that sunk during a hurricane. It is in about 10 feet of water or so. You can swim around the wreck, and then even through it. The current is a little strong but you see a lot there. It was an excellent trip, well worth the money and the crew were all great. We would do that again in a second.

We would really like to visit this property again, but most likely will not. Not because we did not like it, but only because there are too many other places to travel to.

If anyone has any questions about the resort, feel free to contact me.

Room Tip: On floors 16 & 17, the end rooms (ending in 22 & 31) have a better layout, as they have 2 do...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 Palace Peninsula

Address: Blvd Kukulkan, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 178 Hotels in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula 4*
Number of rooms: 562
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