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“...had worried about renovations, but worrying no more...excellent stay!” 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 #23 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Topton, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“...had worried about renovations, but worrying no more...excellent stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Stay: May 18-25, 2013

This was our 10th stay at the Riu Palace Mexico, the most recent before was in October/November 2012.

Lobby:
The overall appearance of the newly designed lobby is beautiful. The new seating arrangements are a welcome change. Check in was speedy and reception staff was helpful throughout our stay.

Rooms:
The room renovations are quite lovely. We didn’t think we would like the room redo, but we do. The television viewing area is limited, mounted to the wall directly in front of the bed. We found the inability to turn it to view from the sofa area a bit of a negative. The walk-in shower is awesome. The double sink area is great as well. The jacuzzi tub is a bit of a waste for us since we don’t use it, but other guests seem to like that addition to the rooms. Overall the brightening of the rooms and the colorful decorative touches are lovely.

One tiny problem in the room, and, I do mean tiny—the area given for the toilet room is very small. We did get used to it, but it is a much smaller area than the rooms offered before, and there is no bidet.

Courtyard:
The redone Riu Palace Mexico courtyard is very pleasant, and the new seating arrangements do offer more flexibility for guests. In the evening, the courtyard is quite stunning, it sparkles like a jewel.

Pools:
Riu outdid itself with the pool areas. The shades, palms, umbrellas and loungers are well-placed and plentiful around the beautiful new pools. The swim-up bar is amazing with in-pool tables and loungers. Well done! The new infinity water features at the beach edge of the pool area are beautiful, but we did notice that there is some confusion about how to use them. Some of the tiles around the pool area get quite hot in the mid-day sun, wear your flip flops.

Also, I know this isn’t any fault of the resort, but it would be nice to see children kept from the swim up bar pool. Children jumping on and around the tables and submerged stools are at risk for injury and that could quickly ruin a fun-family vacation.

Bars:
The beach/pool bar area is absolutely beautiful, really, it is one of our favorite spots. The bar staff is incredible, smiling and engaging, and always on top of things. The Riu Palace Mexico bar staff is a true treasure. We did enjoy the upbeat music around the pool, it does go far to make every moment a celebration.

The theatre bar is the same as before the renovations, and we were happy to see that because it is such a rich looking more traditional bar.

The lobby bar is as beautiful as it was before the renovations, but it is no longer open all night. There is a 24-hour area for drinks and snacks—it’s called Lounge 24. We are hoping to find the Lobby Bar open all night again at some point in the future.

Breakfast buffet:
Absolutely outstanding! We love the Mexican selections every day at every meal. Bravo! We enjoyed the new layout of the buffet very much. Staff was outstanding.

Lunch at the Guacamole buffet:
Well done! The Riu Palace Mexico offers a great selection and lovely seating areas. We enjoyed every meal. Again, the staff was unfailingly courteous and helpful.

Dinner at the buffet:
The Riu Palace Mexico offers wonderful selections, beautiful desserts, and a pleasant atmosphere. We enjoyed the renovated buffet very much. We had the pleasure of sitting in a variety of locations through the week and had excellent service each meal.

Dinner at the Italian:
Absolutely excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed the over-the-top delicious appetizers, meal, and dessert. The service was outstanding. We would like to add here, that there were a number of families who had unruly and loud children (and adults) that were intrusive on other guests, and made the Riu staff routines more difficult. To their credit, the Riu staff were unfailingly courteous to everyone, including the loud offenders at every turn. Bravo!

Dinner at the Steakhouse:
A birthday dinner was organized for me (Carol) at the Steakhouse, and it was an absolutely beautiful and delicious evening, topped off with the most incredible birthday cake we’ve ever seen!

Beach:
We do miss the little beach bar, but are happy to see that there are still a few hammocks. The new beige fabric on the loungers blends very nicely with the sand, and gives the space a more calming effect. Bathrooms are available at the rear of the lunch buffet area and in the spa.

Cappuccino Bar:
What a fantastic addition to the lobby area! Bravo, well done indeed! Day or evening, it is obviously a wonderful place to grab a snack or beverage. And, do NOT miss the Iced Coffee—absolutely incredible with ice cream and whipped cream!

Staff:
Amazing as always, from room attendants, gardeners, wait staff, bartenders, entertainment, reception to management. Well done!

Overall:
The Riu Palace Mexico is an amazing resort, with a lovely, hardworking and efficient staff, attentive, visible and pleasant management and we are already looking forward to our next stay in August 2013, and many many more in years to come.

  • Stayed May 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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English first
Montclair, New Jersey
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We arrived on Sunday 2/2/2013 approx 12pm with much rain which was a result of a hurricane in the Yucatan Peninsula. I was travelling with my son (19) and parents (70ish). The front desk agent was very friendly and welcomed us and directed us to have lunch in La Bodega while we wait for our rooms which would be available around 3pm.
Lobby:
The Lobby is very modern design, lots of purple and silver, in my opinion, ugly but I guess it's a matter of personal taste. The doorman, Manual, is awesome and always made us feel at home.
Rooms:
The rooms are also an "interesting" design. Not much privacy which is fine for couples but not ideal for a mother/son. The jacuzzi tub is in the middle of the room. The shower is very nice but has a frosted glass door ( not 100% private). The toilet is in a small closet type setup with no ventilation. The 2 beds are pushed together and then there is a nice sitting area which leads to the balcony. Our rooms (1010 & 1011) were facing a construction site of the next door hotel. Noisy during the day if you are in the room. The internet seemed to work well in the lobby but was intermittent in the room. The room was always very damp and musty no matter how cold we set the AC or fans.
Food:
We ate at every restaurant including the buffets. We loved Krystal and the Steakhouse was pretty good also. The Italian restaurant was terrible and I'm not a Japanese food fan so I really didn't like it either. The Mexican food was my favorite of course. The buffet was ok, there are plenty of choices for everyone. Reservation have to be made in the morning each day for the restaurants.
Pools and Beach:
The beach is beautiful. The water is very nice and there are vendors selling jetski, parasail, scuba etc. The Riu waiters are always offering cold drinks. The pools are also very nice. The pool bar was very popular and some activities were offered in the other pools like volleyball./ping pong
WARNING: The grey tiles are very slippery. My mom slipped and fell and so did many other guests. They need to change the tiles for safety reasons.

Spa:
The gym is small but nicely redone. They have a few treadmills, elipticals and some weight machines. The spa is small but nice. We had massages which were pretty good. There was no music so the ticking of the clocks and the loud walkie talkies in the halls were disturbing but otherwise it was ok.
Entertainment
The night shows were not so good. Lip synching is not entertaining. I think they need to redo their entertainment. I would've enjoyed more authentic mexican music/shows rather than having the staff try to act out american shows i.e. Grease

Weather
We had rain from Sunday - Thurs and weather was much better Thurs - Sat in the 90's and humid

People
The people at Riu are lovely. They were so friendly and hardworking. We were always greeted with a smile.

Room Tip: Tips: If you can't do steps, ask for a room near the elevator. Ask for a room facing the courtya...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Let me keep it nice and simple for you !
The good :
-The beach is beautiful , there are no rocks and you can take long walks on it.
-The location is amazing! You can take a 15-20 min walk or take a taxi for 7 dollars right down to 5th avenue which is a very touristic street where you will find many restaurants and shops
-The hotel has a nice modern look
-The food was pretty good (especially the italian restaurant, I don't recommend the steakhouse !)
-The staff are very friendly and they always want to make sure you have something to drink
-The drinks were pretty good
-There are jaccuzis and a steam room for FREE at the spa area which we found out about on our last day .. seems like a secret almost lol

The bad:
-I don't know why but the floor in our room would stay wet from the moment our maid cleaned it until the next day and our clothes would never dry even if hung out on the balcony (?) which resulted in our clothes having a bad damp smell.
-The wifi was very spotty in our rooms ( the signal is only really good in the lobby)
-You hear everything going on in the hallway.
-We had a balcony view of the construction going on at the yucatan so yes we would hear the construction in the morning and we could not really open our curtains as the construction workers could see us in our room.

This hotel is very good , it is not perfect but I never expect everything to be perfect. I am happy we chose to come here and I had a good experience with the Riu chain ( this was my first time staying at a Riu).

Room Tip: Try getting a room that is not on the Yucatan renovation side if you don't want to hear the cons...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Swansea, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

This is a factual account of events so far, hopefully matters are in the process of being resolved and by 3pm this afternoon (8th June 2013) we will finally be in a room fit for habitation! I'll let you know! We arrived on Thursday evening 6th June at approx 8pm, looking forward to a 14 night holiday in a lovely hotel that we had previously stayed in last year and had a fabulous time. We travelled again with our friends who themselves were also looking forward to another fortnight here. On arrival we were allocated room number 0094 and our friends 0092. The rooms had undergone extensive modernisation six months ago and the rooms were now open plan (bath in the living area), but no problem as we had viewed a 'new' room on our last visit and were quite happy with how they were going to look.
Unfortunately on entering room 92 it was covered in condensation with water running down the walls and the floor also covered in condensation and a film of water. In fact the lower level area of the room was very wet with a large puddle in the centre. We went into our room (94) and everything appeared OK. A visit to reception with a request for a change of room for No 92, as it was uninhabitable (and also posed a health and safety risk) was duly actioned and our friends were reallocated a different room on another floor. The following morning we woke and our room (94) was now covered in condensation (although the air conditioning and was on and no doors had been opened), the floor was covered in a film of water and our clothes were damp. The tiled floor, in particular, was downright dangerous and resembled a skating rink and one had to tread carefully to avoid slipping. We spoke with reception with a request for another room as soon as possible. I was disappointed that the reception staff automatically assumed (incorrectly) that we had opened the patio door and 'unbalanced' the air conditioning environment. The request for a change of room was met with a response of 'due to the high occupancy rate in the hotel there was little available until some guests had checked out'. Maybe I should have been a little more insistent but left the matter with the hotel reception. The floor was mopped and we spent the rest of the day relaxing, but we couldn't relax as my wife was concerned about damp clothes and would the problem be resolved. On returning to our room later that afternoon we were confronted with the floor awash with condensation again. A further visit to reception resulted in being told that there was no good news as they had been trying to get two rooms adjacent (which we had requested when we booked 6 months previously through Thomsons). Our friends who had moved rooms the previous day had found on returning to their newly acquired room that their luggage had been to another room. I was now getting a little frustrated but reception assured me that tomorrow (now today, 8th June ) we would be allocated two adjacent rooms further along the corridor.

Our friends located their 'missing' luggage and were reasonably happy in another room (98) no condensation problems, so opted to stay there, their problem solved but unfortunately ours was not!

Last night I spoke with the duty manager and asked him to accompany me to our room (0094)so he could see first hand what the issue was. He was apologetic (the first time we had received an apology) and housemaid duly mopped the floor of water so we at least we had a dry surface to walk on...... Or so we thought! At 1.00am I got up to go to the bathroom and nearly fell backwards as my feet slid from beneath me. The floor was again awash with condensation and water! The whole room was damp with condensation on the walls and ceiling as well. A visit to reception early this morning was at least encouragingly as they informed me I would be able to change rooms at 3 pm today but would need to check out of our room by midday. So 3 hours without a room and it's now just gone 3pm so I'm off to reception..........the story will continue!
I have only added an average overall rating at this stage as I want to be objective as possible. Everything else about the hotel is superb, in particular the food is excellent. I will review the hotel with star ratings at the end of our holiday.

Room Tip: Don't accept 0092 or 0094
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Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We went here for a spur of the moment trip in December, and I would definitely go back. Luxury amenities at a very reasonable price. The grounds are immaculate and the rooms are nicely furnished. We found the food to be good--not the BEST food I've ever eaten in my life, but for really good for an all inclusive. The Mexican restaurant was my personal fave! My husband ended up getting deathly ill our last day there (not sure from what?!) so he had to spend our final day cooped up in the room, but I enjoyed a day all to myself between the beach and pool! I do wish they had an adults only pool, but other than that, I think this resort is great. I really like the RIU chain - the employees are always friendly and the service always great! Entertainment at this particular hotel could've been a little better, but then again, this trip was all about R&R so we went to bed early every night anyway!

Room Tip: We actually loved being on the ground floor!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

I stayed here May 15-24 for my honeymoon. This hotel is great. I am not generally a fan of modern style places but I felt that it was done very nicely at this hotel. When we first arrived we were very impressed with the hotel and the front desk staff. We booked a basic room without a courtyard view. When we got into our room we were very impressed with the size and style of the room. Unfortunately we discovered quite quickly that the hotel next door is being renovated and it was loud enough that we could not sit out on the balcony. We asked to switch rooms and the next morning we switched rooms without a problem. Unfortunately the room that we were switched to was right next to the stage and so it was VERY loud at night (loud enough that I could not sleep). We asked to switch rooms again and this time we were upgraded to a courtyard view room that was as close to the beach as you could get. This room was great and very quiet. We spoke to Aaron at the front desk to get moved the second time and he was very helpful. You might also want to ask specifically if you want to have one king bed- some of the rooms have two double beds pushed together but this isnt great for couples. A couple of other reviews have mentioned the musty smell in the rooms- this is definitely true. We kept our balcony doors closed all day and the AC was always on but all of our stuff still had to be washed when we got home because it smelled musty. The hallways could be quite loud at night and early in the morning because the hallways are tile and the doors slam loudly and can be heard in the rooms. Overall though the rooms were great.

The food was good. I am a fairly picky eater so I didnt gain weight like a lot of people do when they stay at All Inclusives but I also never went hungry. The breakfast buffet was very good. I really enjoyed the specialty restaurants and would definitely say that they are worth trying.

The beach is amazing. It is all white sand with no rocks and warm blue waters. The pools were also nice. Since the hotel has several smaller pools they tend to be quite warm but this also means that they can be kept cleaner (we went to check out the big pools at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya and they were very dirty which really grossed me out). We went and checked out the other Riu properties in the area and we think that we made the right decision in staying at the Riu Palace Mexico. It was a great stay and we would return in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the beach- the ones that are close to the lobby get very loud at night beca...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
voorhees nj
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

I would 1st like to say that I have stayed at the Riu properties in Playa since 1999. I truly believe they are the best properties in the best area of Playacar.
I do agree with most of the positive reviews on here-beach,water, service, food, restaurants, cleanliness- all are correct.
One great benefit to the Riu properties also is the chance also to visit the other Rius for breakfast, lunch, and entertainment. This is something that is very enjoyable.
With that all being said, I am disappointed that the Riu properties are taking the ambience of the area you are visiting from their resorts. The hotels had beautiful Mexican decor and now they are being changed to very modern chrome and glass ambience. Based on the new decor, the hotels could actually be anywhere in the world with no distinction.
I could even try to accept that thinking it is the way that hotels are moving into the future but then I found out that the Riu resorts have even stopped the Mexican vendors from coming and selling their crafts at the the resorts. I know of no other property in Mexico that has stopped that. It is almost like they want nothing Mexican at their "Mexican" resorts!
With this being said, being in the travel business, I would still recommend these properties to anyone going to this area but would probably book the Riu Palace Riviera Maya for now until they change that to "silver and chrome."

Room Tip: request overlooking the fountains
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  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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

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 Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 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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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Riu Mexico
Rui Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen

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