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“Great Vacation - Probably won't go back though....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Cancun

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Hotel Riu Cancun
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9, Manzana 50, Lote 5, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #26 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Helena, Arkansas
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Great Vacation - Probably won't go back though....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2009

We stayed at the Riu Cancun from March 19-23 with our two kids, age 15 and 12. The hotel is beautiful and very clean. Our room was in the annex and was a jr. suite. We had a beautiful view of the ocean and pool, with only a very small part of the view blocked by the roof of the lower building. It really didn't bother us at all. Room was spacious, well-appointed and clean. Yes, the beds were hard but not so bad that we didn't sleep well. Housekeeping staff is friendly and attentive. On our first day, I tipped the maid $10 US and requested that she refresh the room with 8 towels and 8 washcloths daily, which she did for the entire trip.

The food, in my opinion, is excellent. We never made any reservations, but ate at the buffet for every meal. Breakfast is my personal favorite, the fresh juices at the juice bar are delicious!!!! Eggs cooked to order and wonderful link sausage, yummmm. The coffee leaves something to be desired, and is non-existent before 7am when the buffet opens. They supposedly have early morning coffee service in the lobby bar, but it was always all gone, or the machine wasn't working (the word "machine" should be a red flag anyway). Drinks are strong and service is fast at all the bars. I tipped occasionally, but got just as good service when I didn't tip.

The pool areas were crowded, but a chair was always available. Yes, some folks did rise early and save chairs, but who really cares? If you care enough to snag a sweet spot by the pool then it's worth it to you to get up early. The PA system by the activity pool was really loud and annoying after a while, avoid this area if you want peace and quiet. The area in and around the swim-up bar is the rowdiest, and we actually got to watch a group of intoxicated 20-somethings chant "LOSE THAT TOP" over and over to an equally intoxicated 30-something woman in reference to her bikini. Security was called and it got a little ugly for a while. But the Riu handled it well, and I got to have a good discussion with my 15 and 12 yr old about how stupid some people can get when they drink too much. There is no hot tub, which I didn't realize, which is a deal breaker for my son and husband. I never heard the end of that!

The sun was elusive, and is probably the main reason why I won't stay at this location again. Whoever designed and built this building should be horsewhipped:( There is so much shade, and by 4pm, no sun at all except for a little sliver of real estate behind the stage.

All in all, a nice resort and I would recommend it to friends and send clients there (I am a travel agent).

My daughter and I took a tour to Chitzen Itza. A nice, clean, air conditioned bus picked us up at 8am and drove to a cenote (sink hole) which was very beautiful and you could swim in it (see pics). Then we got back on the bus and went to a buffet restaurant for lunch (yuck), then got to the ruins about 2pm. They are very interesting, but the "peasants" (what my daughter called them, it cracked me up!) selling all the knick-knacks really take away from the splendor of the place. If I were to go again, I'd hire private transport and take a guidebook. It was a 12-hour day.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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6,198 reviews from our community

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  • Location
    4.5 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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1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

I went here with some friends and we all agreed that this place ruined our vacation. There all inclusive is bland food and cheep alcohol. Pretty hard to drink. There were roaches in our room. Birds were in some of the eating areas and would come and try to get your food. I ended up sick for three days. We went down to the pool and there was vomit in it. the water in the pool was not sanitary. The bars smell like rotten beer. Overall not happy and wont ever go back. I would not recomend this hotel. Its sad because the hotel is beautiful and in a beautiful place. To bad they dont take care of it.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

Me and my husband along with another couple found a good deal from Orbitz.com for $1120 from Seattle (non stop flight, 7 days all inclusive).
Base on photos of the hotel and inexpensive rate we did not expect too much from this vacation however, from the moment we walked in we knew we are in a good and fun place.
Few days before checking I called the front desk to request to have a room w view and be next to our friends room. She could not promise it, but she made a note of that. When we checked in they gave us 2 nice rooms next to each other w limited view and they said since the hotel is 100% occupied, they can not give us any room higher than fifth floor. But the next morning, they move us to 12th floor and that was a prefect room with beautiful ocean view.(please note that Riu Cancun is one of the few hotel in Cancun that all of its room have view towards ocean and pool, but we were looking for the best view).

We have been in many part of Caribbeans before and we always got all u can eat and that usually did not turn well except, this time food was very good especially service at all dining rooms and restaurants were excellent. We were not impress by desert bar or good quality of drink, yet enjoyed it a lot.

They have two small pools and one good pool w beautiful view towards ocean. All 3 pools were clean and nice and if you swim few laps you won't feel cold. Just too bad they close the pool area around 6:30 pm!

The best part of the day was swimming in the ocean and resting on the shade/sun.
Even though many Cancun' hotels lost their beach on 2005 Hurricane, Riu is one of few hotels relatively with good size sandy beach. There are rocks on the beach and inside ocean, which we did not mind as that attracts many fishes. So everyday we snorkel for free and could see fishes especially around the rocks.

Nightly entertainment was another good things about this resort. Every night we watched different show, from Mexican dance to Broadway show and we enjoyed all of them.
The resort itself is very clean and you see many housekeepers working day and night to make Riu spotless.
Another good thing about Riu was its location. There is a huge shopping mall and a big flee market across the street from the hotel and many restaurants and clubs are close by. So if you stay in this hotel you do not need to take a car, cab or bus as everything you want is around you.
Over all, we enjoyed our vacation and staying at this friendly, beautiful resort. However we found the following issues a bit annoying:
1. There is no wireless internet and they just offer an expensive/slow internet in hotel' Sport Bar
2. Riu does not have Key cards and still offers old fashion, big key plus they give one key per room and if you lose the key, you have to pay $50.00.
3. Towel service at the pool was bad, per room you could get 2 towel per day and if you lose your towel you will be fine for $20.00.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

This hotel totally lived up to my expectations and I am a very picky person! The food choices were amazing and the beach was beautiful! The rooms and maid service were also wonderful. They have a nice fitness room to work out in and plenty of outdoor sitting space. The only thing that bothered me was if you want to get a chair by the pool you would have to get up really early and put your towel on it to reserve it because they fill up fast. The location is really close to shops, flea markets, and restaurants. Also - if you want to use the internet it is $3 for 15 minutes or $8 for an hour.

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

If you reside in a federal penitentiary or an orphanage for slightly awkward children or you live on a lower middle class housing estate somewhere near Basingstoke; you have a monotonous, poorly paid, unrewarding job you dislike that you only keep to pay an overinflated mortgage that you ladened yourself with because society told you to; you eat fish and chips, oily curry or oily Chinese take-away 5 nights per week and Findus Pancakes the other 2; your weekends consist of mainly sitting in unexplainable traffic jams to go to the megamall, Ikea or a large city fringe garden centre with 2.5 screaming kids in the back repetitively asking “are we there yet” or perhaps a your weekends mainly consist of caravanning, with the same basic afflictions, around Wales. Or on the other hand if you have simply had a full frontal lobe lobotomy; if you fit into any one, or any combination of these categories and you wish to replicate this life whilst paying overly inflated prices to be in an incredibly expensive tourist destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular then the good news is that the RIU Cancun is definitely for you!!

Driving upto the Hotel one is relatively optimistic and hopeful. Its façade is relatively promising and boasts more impressiveness than the surrounding competition (apart from the Riu Palace next door – but that’s another story).

Once one enters the premises however, optimism starts to diminish and never stops diminishing. It is rather replaced by a tidal wave of exponential horror that you are actually in a form of hell and that somehow you have made an error of choice larger than Beelzebub’s ball sack.

Beyond the miles and miles of package holiday suitcases and loitering individuals in football shirts lined up in the foyer is reception where I was cordially greeted by an entirely unhelpful front desk clerk no doubt contemplating suicide in the face of checking in another days endless torrent of pasty budget vacationers with the principal aim of getting to the all inclusive bar and buffet as soon as humanely possible.

Check in was painful but not nearly as painful as the drink that they brought to me upon check-in. I asked for a strawberry daiquiri and received something akin to a large luminous red fairground lollypop laced with low-grade paraffin and melted into a glass with some ice. In my view one can generally always judge if you are going to have a good meal at a restaurant by the quality of the bread in the breadbasket. The drink said it all. Once I had finished picking my rotten teeth up off the floor I realized this was going to be a grueling experience.

And grueling it was.

The rooms are cheap, plastic and ugly. They look like they were designed to house summer camp kids or perhaps old incontinent people that retire to Florida. Even the beds have plastic underlays. I’m not sure if they were there for the Floridian pensioners or the paralytic inbreeds who pis$ the bed every night. Once I had quickly decided to leave the room and venture for food my only final hope for a positive experience was, for a brief moment, still alive. I had hoped that I could at the very least eat a good and plentiful supply of food.

So off I went in search of the buffet!

The Buffet:

Well at least over the course of the week myself and my friends derived a huge amount of pleasure from the buffet.

……….Pleasure in the form of ripping it off for being the most putrid and repellant display of food (if you can call it that) since the rykers island federal penitentiary ungraded their menu to include Big Bubbas regurgitated, undigested lung and kipper stew that he scraped off the floor and ate from the previous weeks food fight.

The help yourself buffet became affectionately know amongst myself and friends simply as “Gruel”. Shall we go for gruel? What’s for gruel tonight? Did you have your gruel yet?

I couldn’t possibly detail what was on offer because quite simply I don’t know. It all looked the same. Simply that they named the gruel each night by a different name supposedly Italian gruel, Mexican gruel, Chinese gruel, Japanese gruel and of course general gruel. Lunch depressingly always fell into the general gruel category which was no great drama since the Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Mexican gruel were identical to the general gruel anyhow.

Mostly I resorted to making cheese and tomato sandwiches.

And if you wanted to theoretically escape from the gruel and eat at one of the 2 waiter service restaurants in the hotel then you have to get up at 6.30 and queue in the foyer for an hour to get on the list. Yes that’s right queue at 6.30 in the morning. Once you have made your way to the front of the cue and staked your claim you are told simply by an unfeasibly miserable hotel rep”don’t be late”.

When I overheard an American lady with a staunch southern accent in the queue say – JAY-PAN-EASY food “whowt eeeys thayt?” my expectations were immediately and horrifyingly confirmed.

The Restaurant:

We went a 7.00pm. And were simply “served” gruel.
The Rest

The place is unbelievably packed. You can’t even get a sunbed by the pool or on the beach unless you get up at 5am and fight for it and the sun disappears behind the hotel at 2pm anyway (1pm if you are by the pool) (2.30pm if you actually put your sunbed in the sea).

They do have a roof terrace that captures the sun all day but it looks like the top level of a mall carpark and the water in the Jacuzzi is suspiciously yellow and would be just about big enough for 2 or maybe 3 time bandits.

The nightly entertainment is predominantly focused on the kids. The bar serves watered down liquor although once you have spent a few days there one realizes they keep the good stuff under the bar and is available upon request. Not that that matters because a 3 year old with severe learning difficulties could make a better cocktail that the barmen at the Riu. However on the plus side the nightclub is so dark that you cant even see what you are drinking so it eases the pain slightly.

Final Verdict:

Avoid the Riu at all costs. It’ll break the bank, break your desire to ever eat again, break your as$ and break your will to live.

I need another break!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Cumbria in UK
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

This review is a bit late in that our holiday was in September 2008, however this was our second vacation here and i thought i at least owed a review on the hotel. So here goes. Myself and hubby aged 27 and 31 chose this hotel five years age for our honeymoon and loved it so much we decided to go back last year for our anniversary. Well it was just as good second time around. After a very tideous flight and about a quick twenty minute transfer we checked in-the lobby of the hotel is gorgeous and staff were very friendly, we were all escorted to a confrence room where we were served an ice cold drink which was very welcome. We were then given our room cards and a map etc. The rooms are spacious and the drinks dispensers and beers etc in the fridge are restocked every day at least. We always left a tip for the maid and tipped the drinks boy when we saw him. We were left swan towels and the room was always left tidy for us upon return. The first time at this hotel 5 years age i got a "tummy bug" and was in bed for nearly three days, i'm sure that this had nothing to do with the food and more to do with the intense hummidity and heat which i had never experienced before. Last year tho i never got ill. The food was delightful, every kind of meat, veg, fruit, salad that you can think of and all cooked to quite a high standard, (my hubby is a chef.) so needless to say we never went hungry. All the staff are so freindly here they are always saying Hola and are happy to get you a drink we tipped the "quiet" pool bar staff every other day as this is where we sunbathed most, they really appreciate it and make a special effort to remember your drinks and bring them to you before you even ask! The heat here is as i said very intense and i'm a fair skinned red head so take plenty of high factor sun cream and a hat. The shops outside the hotel are also near by we often jumped on a bus and went to the mall five mins up the street, i think the mall opposite the hotel is a little expensive, so for suvineers etc look about and try the markets. There is a Hagen Daz ice cream stop at the mall opposite also. You feel ver safe walking around here. Although watch out for the massive kurbsides! There are three pools in all at the hotel but we only really used the quiet pool for obvious reasons - this pool looses the sunshine at about 2ish so we shade bathe for a couple of hours or napped and then moved onto the beach. That was the one thing that saddend me was to see how little of the beach is left after all the huricaines. five years age you could walk all along the beach up and down the sister hote next door and beyond, but the sea is so far up now its just for sunbathers. Its still beautiful tho and the crystal white sand and turquise sea make for good relaxation and photos. I think thats about it, we didn't do the night life thing (as we're avid sunbathers and were too tired to stay awake much past 11 o clock!) although many people did and we heard that coco bongos was a huge hit - maybe next time! So if you've booked this hotel good on you and you won't be dissapointed.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2009

Not much to say but good here if you can ....Awesome! great rooms good food and great resort, day trips are fun! Staff is great. Beautiful views awesome beach!

I would go back tomorrow, if this place comes up for under $1000 don't miss it!

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Cancun

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9, Manzana 50, Lote 5, 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 Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#24 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#40 Family Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Cancun 3.5*
Number of rooms: 569
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in "Corazone", Cancun's resort area. 14-Storey main building and a 5-storey annex building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 20 M/65 ft. From a shopping centre. 10 Km/6.2 Miles from downtown Cancun. 20 Km/12.5 Miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Cancun Hotel Cancun
Riu Cancun Mexico
Cancun Riu Hotel
Rui Cancun

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