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“Best RIU Palace we've been to” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Avenida Xaman-Ha Manzana 3 Lote 4 | Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #24 of 198 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Denver, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Best RIU Palace we've been to”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Just got back to Denver late Jan 15th. We've been to Cancun/Playacar about 8 times over the past 15 years and have stayed at 3 Palace's, to include the one in Cabo and Las Animas in Cancun. This was the best Palace we've stayed at by far, followed by the one in Cancun, with Cabo a distant last. I could not agree more with illinifann's comments--it's as if I wrote them. We did find, however, that the buffet food was as good as if not better than the speciality restaurants. We also found the wait staff to be a bit better at Don Julian (buffet)--they really worked hard to ensure you had everything you desired in prompt fashion. The only complaint I would raise was the quality of the wine--poor compared to Las Animas but much better than Cabo's (worst wine we have had at any RIU). The hotel "remodel" was much better than expected given some of the comments posted late last year. Regarding in-room privacy--the shower has a large "frosted" European shower door--you can literally walk into it fully clothed, undress, shower, dry off, and then get dressed again, without fear of getting seen by anyone in the room--we Americans are really hung up about nudity but I fully appreciate the concern when there are children in the room. The dimensions of the shower surprised us as they are about 4 feet by 4 feet with recessed shelves holding clean towels or your clothes--they don't get wet unless you get carried away with the hand-held shower--I used the overhead shower option--fabulous--and we had lots of water pressure and hot water. Regarding some earlier comments about lack of lounge chairs on the beach--there were sufficient numbers when we were there. We visited the RIU Yucatan--we have stayed there 3 times previously--and all agreed that the relatively small price increase at the Palace was well worth it. (We had forgotten how large the Yucatan was compared to the Palace). One last note regarding transportation to/from the airport. This was the first time we arranged to pay for "private transportation" to the resort. We have not had much success with previous Apple trips getting us from the airport to the resort and back over our 8 trips--a "milk-run" of sorts (i.e., stopping at many resorts before arriving at our resort). It was not worth the extra $100. Another couple from Denver took the Apple shuttle and arrived 5 mins after we did. On the return trip their shuttle left 5 mins before our private van--same type of van, by the way--and arrived 15 mins before we did. It appears that they are using more small vans like they did in the 1990's rather the the very large buses they began using in the early 2000's.
In closing, this was our best RIU experience to date: Great staff, wonderful facilities (Gym has new equipment too), good food and spectacular weather (ave temp was 85 degrees F.). One last tip--if you can fly on Tuesdays--the package price was several hundred dollars cheaper--all airfare driven. Enjoy!

Room Tip: We were on the fop floor and the only noise we heard was from the nightly entertainment, which was o...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 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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Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Just got back from Riu Palace Mexico. I've been coming to Cancun/Riviera Maya for many years and have stayed at an assortment of AI's. The newly remodelled Palace is a great resort, the best I've been to. The rooms are nice, large, modern...love the large shower. Of course the stocked mini-fridge is an added bonus.

The specialty restaurants were all good and the steak house was surprisingly good. I usually don't get a tasty steak in Mexico but the ribeye that I had was very tasty. The Japanese place was also good.

The buffett was as good of a buffett as I have had in Mexico. Large selection and very tasty. In fact we strolled next door to the Riu Yucatan one day for lunch and were going to eat there but we noticed their buffett had about half the selection of the one at the Palace so we went back and ate at the Palace.

The new pool area is really nice, water was warm in the pools which isn't always the case at other places.

The bars are good with a decent selection of booze along with a couple of good beer choices. I also used the 24 lounge a few times, either for a quick beer or cocktail before venturing out to the resort or a quick cup of coffee in the morning. The 24 hour lounge also had internet access and a couple of flat screen TV's for the news or to catch a game. You could also get bottled waters, sodas and snacks at all times.

About the only thing that was slightly not up to par was the room service. We ate room service one night and the menu is fairly small and the club sandwich and ham sandwich with chips weren't the best. I understand a limited menu for room service so it wasn't a big deal.

Overall, a really good resort...I couldn't think of anything that warrants a complaint.

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 12/29-1/6/13.
Arrival- airport was crowded and it took 1.5 hours to get out. Than we spent another 2 hours waiting for transportation - Hotelbeds, which never came. Imagine yourself, 8 of us, with 3 kids, outside 90 degrees, no shade, no water( you afraid to leave to get some- what if the car will come). Never did, so we got one from a differed company, paid again and took off.
Check- in: was quick( too quick, as they forgot to give us towel cards and the explain that you need a code to access Internet - free access. We requested 2 rooms next to each other 6 months in advance, email 4 weeks prior and a phone call 48 hours prior- still didn't get it. Others that were checking in at the same time- did get it ???
Lobby- gorgeous. We like the new style and the colors.
Rooms: spacious, clean and comfortable. We liked the set up and the colors.Always cleaned by 2pm( we spent at the beach all day, so maybe earlier). Turn down- every day. The mini bar was always full. We had nice courtyard view.we had enough room to store our staff. Used jacuzzi ones- very nice. We had kind bed and it was comfy. Internet is very slow, but it was ok and as its free- it was nice to have it.
Grounds- meticulously clean, beautiful !
Tennis courts- were destroyed during remodeling, therefore currently under renovation. Should be ready in few weeks.
Gym- nice, with new equipment . We didn't use the spa as its very pricy, but did check out hot tubs: one had super hot water, second super cold. Pressure- visible, but one cannot feel it- like a bubble bath.
Pools- 4 separate ,great!!! Water was warm, pools were never crowded, despite the fact that hotel was full. I think layout has a lot to do with it. The bar by the pools was great, with premium drinks and nice cappuccino . You can sit down , listen to music and watch the ocean.We participated in lots of activities and liked it. The service by the pools was very good.
Beach- perfect! Never had issues with beach chairs. Water was super.
Restaurants- buffet had a very nice selection for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was boring. I was disappointed to find out they didn't make fresh juice. We used to have freshly squeezed orange juice at the other resorts we stayed. They have juice station, but it all mixed with water and orange juice is from the box. Food was good.
Dinner: we tried Japanese , Mexican and Krystal. All were good, with nice food presentation . We liked buffet better though.
The only really negative thing- the service at the restaurants- very slow and not always very accommodating. You can wait for 10 minutes to get your cup of coffee in the morning. You see lots of supervisors that all they do- watch. They will never bother to assist you. They will go and find a waiter and tell him what we need. It was a bit disappointing, especially taking into consideration that we always tip!
Never had issues at the bars, nor at the snack place. Anna was amazing! The piano bar is a nice touch. Cup of coffee in late afternoon, accompanied by great piano player- try and you will enjoy it!
New Year's Eve celebration was amazing: you can choose 2 sitting-6:30 and 8:45. The food was excellent ! Was very festive everywhere. We felt the celebration. After dinner there was an Authentic Mayan show ,followed by life band at the court yard. At midnight everyone got hats, masks , confetti and some more. With fine words by the manager Ildiko , we started the countdown . There were fireworks as well! It was memorable!
Check out- 10 seconds.
Summary- we had an amazing time and would go back again. Kids and adults alike.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Toronto
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Stayed here 3 years ago. Significant renovation to many parts. All modern decoration caters to younger generation. If you don't like the new modern design, then you should go to Riu Maya Riviera.

Like:
- All hotel staff are always friendly and very helpful
- Wifi access inside room and in a lot of places
- Quite public areas. The pools are quite empty
- Clean rooms.

Dislike:
- Hotel initially charged my US credit card in Mexican Peso. Talked to public relations and they immediately credited the original amount and recharge in US dollars. So make sure they charge in US dollars during check-in.
- Food was a quite salty at specialty restaurants, especially the Japanese restaurant.
- mosquito spray coming from central air conditioning leaves a faint smell for a couple of hours. Have to open walkout window.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We loved almost everything about our trip. The weather was great, the hotel beautiful.
True the drinks are watered down, but at an all inclusive if they served strong drinks there would be an awful lot of drunk people wandering around (My opinion).
The hotel staff was very friendly and very professional. The dinner buffet was decent, but the restaurants that you make reservations for were all very good. We dined at 4 of the 5 and the Mexican, Fusion and Italian were all first rate. Since the hotel is practically brand new everything looked amazing. It is by far the nicest all inclusive hotel we have ever stayed in. A side note there are 4 other Riu hotels very close and you can eat and drink at any of them (except dinner) We enjoyed wandering around the other hotels. The pools were extremely well maintained. Plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas. I really can't think of anything they could do to make the hotel any better.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Our family of 4 and friends(also family of 4) went for Christmas break. We've been to several Riu resorts in Los Cabos(Santa Fe), Punta Cana(Bamboo) and this was the best! We knew the resort was renovated in Dec. '12 & that is the reason we chose it. We love the style, like we are in Miami, South Beach. You can see from pics.

Rooms - The rooms are modern, clean and spacious. Large shower, jacuzzi tub in middle of room (we liked it), Firm mattress. Sunken sitting room and large balcony. A/C and fridge works well.

Staff - Staff were friendly, accommodating, and always available. Alfredo at front desk is exceptional in service. We noticed the housekeeping were always supervised by manager and didn't have access to room by themselves. We think that is good for security. Always bring lots of $1 bills to reward good service and it is very much appreciated by staff and they treat you well. And they work hard.

Grounds - grounds are kept clean although some palm trees were dying (guess from replanting?).

Pools - are not very large, though there are 4 and it was cold. Pool bar and cafe has nice view of the ocean. No drunks at pool.

Beach - is one of the best! Large beach area to spread out. Lots of palm trees to provide shade if you wanted. Plenty of loungers at pool & beach so no fighting over them. Super soft sand, warm ocean. Staff brings drinks to beach often so never have to get up to get drinks.

Food - was very good, fresh, and enough choices to satisfy most. Staff replenished food often so never dried out food or cold food. We didn't try any a la cart (past experiences at any resort a la cart were never that good) and we heard people were disappointed. Food a buffet is better IMHO. Beef tenderloin, turkey, fish were very good. Christmas ever dinner was excellent with Alaska king crab, lobster, tenderloin, turkey etc.! Coffee at buffet were not good but you can ask your wait staff to bring you espresso, capuccino from the bar. Also, the bar serves premium drinks (well not ultra premium) Chivas, Don Julio repassado etc. Not watered down.

Entertainment - live band at night (sedate music). We never went to any shows so don't know how they were. At pool side the entertainment team has the usual activities. Never loud. Piano bar at lobby everynight. This resort is for people looking for quiet vacation. There is a disco across the street at Tequila.

Gym - clean, new equipment but small. If you are looking for intense weight room, this is not.

Town - Playa del Carmen is 5 min. by cab ($7 or 70 peso). Town is bustling, touristy but worth a visit. Exchange is a bit better in town but across the resort is a mall and exchange is almost as good without having to go to town. If you walk, it is 20-25 min. not bad. Hotel gives you 1 peso less for $1.

We really enjoyed our stay here and we'll go again. Recommend for family, and couples looking for clean, quiet resort with excellent service and staff.

Room Tip: Rooms facing Playacar or Yucatan are quiet at night but no views. Facing inner court is nicer. Groun...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We stayed at the palace for 2 weeks in Dec 2012 , we both loved it ! The hotel the food the staff the beach !! everything was Amazing what a beautiful resort its our second trip to Mexico and we are always sad to come back home ... we miss it already : ( we will be back sooner then later that is for sure !! Thank you Riu Palace Mexico for making our vacation wonderful : )

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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 Mexico

Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico
Riu Palace
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen
Rui Palace Mexico
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha Manzana 3 Lote 4 | Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#18 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Mexico 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int???l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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