We stayed for our second visit for 11 days in November. Our trip was fantastic!
Service is what separates this resort from others. Never have we stayed in a place where every member of the staff is friendly, welcoming and their eye contact is so great. They could look at you and know what you needed before you asked. We had a few minor issues with the shower, the mini-bar was skipped a couple of days and we had to call for service, but overall, it was great. Bar service, beach service, restaurant service, were all great. I emailed a couple weeks before and asked if we could have our room from the last visit, or be in that general area. When we arrived the front desk attendant was pleased to give us the same room.
The 2,500 pictures already on Trip Advisor well represent the true resort. If you page through them you will see pretty much everything you need to in order to understand the resort. There is much controversy about the new design. My comments are mixed. As to the color scheme, etc that is written about often, well whatever. The classic mexican decor is pretty much gone. If you look close you will still see the classic chapel intact, thankfully but the wonderful wrought iron around the lobby is still there, just covered in white or silver paint.(really?) The purple and silver accents, well, they are purple and silver. I would sum it up that classic mexican palace ambience (that did need some updates and refreshment with new linens and paint) has been replaced with mid-level cruise ship interior design. Its okay, and after a while it grows on you,( not to the point of going "oh wow", but so that you don't notice it anymore) but its still more sleek and slick like a cruise ship than a palace. Enough said!
How about design questions?
The beach, grounds, gardens, fountains, outdoor spaces are great. The pools are now geometric and lost much of the dynamic impression of the curved pools and the beautiful floral tile bottom. Now there are 4 pretty standard square/rectangle/geometric pools and two very shallow infinity pools that we never saw anyone over the age of 2 using. If you saw the old pools, or look online at Mapquest or Google Maps you will see a very dynamic and beautiful use of the pools as a true resort feature. Now they are pretty much just pools. One is used for volleyball, one for scuba lessons, one pool bar and a larger quiet type pool. The geometric design lost a lot of the "wow factor" from before.
Now the rooms. Well, they have been pretty well described on Trip Advisor. My comments pertain to their flexibility and limiting factors. The open bathroom/shower much discussed is limiting. The resort does seem to cater to an older crowd of couples. While everyone has talked about the frosted glass shower door, the purple glass block, the tiny toilet room, etc. There is a 1 inch gap between the shower door and the wall, who wants to get dressed in a damp shower stall, the toilet room while private, is tiny and not really convenient. The tub is in the middle of the room next to the bed. I doubt it is really used very often. Did it bother us, not really. Would I take my kids or grandkids there and share a room, NO. Is it therefore limiting, absolutely. It is not designed to be used by family, friends or people that don't know eachother very well. I guess that's why I think it is limiting, its just not for everyone and gets in the way of a big group of potential customers who might want to vacation with teenagers or non intimate friends. Just seems to be an odd decision to give up a large sector of potential customers for a limited functioning design.
Much has also been said about humidity in the rooms. I would guess that when they open the bathrooms and made them one big room, they forgot to upgrade the air conditioning system. So, we really noticed and restricted long showers because the room simply doesn't ventilate the humidity out of the air. A closed bathroom with high humidity is not as noticeable as all that steam pouring into the room. I think they missed that in the design.
Another design issue is the tiles located in the rooms and throughout the exterior. They get very very slippery. This trip they had those warning cones set up everywhere telling people to be careful, "slippery when wet". I don't remember them from 2011. So do be careful, they are not only slipperly, but the black ones get hot. Black tiles, in a tropical climate with maximum sun, makes you wonder about the design?
Just a few thoughts. The food was great, we had grilled lobster on our first and last nights. Plenty of variety for dinner, lots of choices with the speciality restaurants, but buffet was good enough for us. Lunch got a little boring and routine, but its lunch so no big deal. It really was a great trip and I would definately recommend it to others given the limitations outlined above.
We will definately go back. By the way, I watched the weather forecast everyday for weeks before we left. Everyday it predicted rain. Yes, it did rain most days, but it was always after 4-5 pm often during the night. We never lost a beach day due to rain and while the forecast said their was a 40-50% chance of rain and they were mostly correct, it never rained during the prime beach hours. Have fun!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Orbitz, Travelocity, HotelsClick, Hotels.com and Despegar.com so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Mexico reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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