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“Service at its Best/Design ??” 4 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 197 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Grand Rapids, MI
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Service at its Best/Design ??”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

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!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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
  • 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
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

we stayed at this hotel for the last two weeks of October and had a lovely time.
The staff were very helpful and nothing was any trouble for them to accommodate your needs .The hotel was beautifully kept and there was a wide variety of food in the buffet restaurant also there is a steak house, Japanese , Italian and the Krystal restaurants and presented lovely.
We also enjoyed the entertainment in the evenings, people who had taken part in the days activities where presented with prizes, which was great to see so many people taking part.
would recommend this hotel and holiday.

Room Tip: room facing the fountains are a good choice
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  • Stayed October 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

We came here with high expectations and have been disappointed nearly every step of the way (this isn't exactly the cheapest hotel around).
Our room wasn't ready upon arrival, and we waited several hours (in the lobby with an infant). We were told repeatedly that it would be ready in 15 minutes. When we finally recieved our keys we were asked not to go to the room for at least 10 minutes as it was being cleaned. I'm not sure what their definition of 'clean' is, but it doesn't suit mine. I don't think our room has been swept in weeks and the shower grout is so dirty that I don't think it has ever been washed with soap. On the plus side, the crib we requested was set up and ready for baby. It is very deep and I am too short to reach the baby or put him in the crib, but perhaps this is a good thing if you have an older child who is an escape artist.
The rooms are not even close to being sound proof and we can hear regular-voice conversations by our neighbours. It is extremely loud in the evenings when sound is amplified by the tiled floors in the hallways.
We have a proper king size bed but other guests tell me that theirs is two beds pushed together with a fitted sheet holding the mattresses together, making a crevice in the middle. I haven't confirmed that for myself though.
Don't count on hotel shampoo/soap. There is an all-in-one dispenser affixed to the shower wall. Doesn't quite cut it for my long hair and I am thankful I remembered to pack conditioner.
The temperature control is lovely and the black-out curtains do the trick for nap time.

Not bad. Food is served very plain with selections of sauces which works well for picky eaters. Wide selection of fruit. However, on day 2 I am already somewhat bored with the selection of prepared foods.
Beware if you have allergies or food restrictions. Shellfish is generously mixed in with many dishes and food is poorly labelled. This morning's example is a large sign reading 'vegetarian' parked above the cold meats section of the buffet.

Highchairs are available everywhere and have safety belts and locking trays.

Clean pool and lots of shade on the beach. Tile everywhere makes walking quite treacherous after a rain or rinse by cleaning staff. The spa is nothing special, and the waxing service I recieved was done with cold wax, making it somewhat uncomfortable. Warming the wax seemed foreign to the estitician once I mentioned it.

Can not say anything negative about the staff. Everyone is eager to help. There is very little language barrier.

Wi-if is technically available, though connectivity is lousy. Been trying to post this review for four hours.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

Riu Palace Mexico Hotel

I stayed with my husband in this hotel for two weeks in November 2013.

Where to start with my review? OK, I’ll start with the flight, Thomson Dream Liner, it was a great experience, very comfortable, first class cabin crew and the food was a very good quality, well presented and piping hot. 10 out of 10 to Thomson.

Arrival at the hotel was quick and Reception Staff very friendly, polite and we were in our room in no time at all. We had been up graded to a Junior Suite and I have to say it was lovely, very modern, very clean and comfortable with everything you could ask for and need. Raul who did our room most days was excellent, we always had shower gel, clean towels etc. and his towel art was amazing.
The fridge was well stocked we also had optics and coffee machine along with bottled water every day.
The grounds and gardens of this hotel are beautiful, well attended always, the water fountains are lovely, and our room looked onto these and was a peaceful scene to sit on your balcony with a late afternoon drink or coffee.
Restaurants, there were various a la carte to choose from, we did book and eat in the Steak House but I have to be honest and say, the Main Buffet Restaurant was so good that it was our preference for the holiday. The choice of food, preparation and presentation was always excellent. The waiters and waitresses worked hard to ensure you wanted and waited for nothing. We sat in the same area for breakfast and dinner and at this point I have to mention and give big thanks to Josefina who made every meal for us memorable.

The Animation Team were smashing to spend time with, Iven, Enrike, Jesus, Cindy, Cristina & Mari all worked hard to ensure the guests enjoyed themselves. There was a stretch class, rifle shooting, aqua gym, darts, volley ball, bouche, horse shoe throughout most days, not forgetting the dance class about lunch time. Also there was a very talented chef who did ice carving, which you could admire later in the day in the Buffet Restaurant.
The pool area was extensive, towels were available daily, Esther was always ready with a fresh towel and a huge smile. Waiter service at the pool and they also went down to the beach. I have to say to sum up, we were well and truly spoiled by the friendly happy staff of the Riu Palace Mexico.

Room Tip: Junior Suite 1140 was our room but most rooms have similar views over the gardens and fountains.
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  • Stayed November 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

My husband and I stayed in Riu Palace Mexico for a week in November. We chose the hotel because of it's great location and favourable reviews. It did not disappoint. The check in was very efficient, we arrived slightly early but we were invited to explore the hotel and start using the amenities (including restaurants). We got the keys to our room at 1pm and got a free upgrade. The design of the hotel and the rooms was beautiful, very modern and functional. We had a beautiful view of the fountains from our balcony. The hotel is located just on a beach but also has 2 swimming pools. The food was great throughout our stay, we loved the seafood, Mexican food, meat and fruit served everyday. We use the buffet as well as Krystal and La Bodega a la carte restaurants. In La Bodega we had lobster and steak which was great, food in Krystal was just ok.
What set this hotel apart for us was fantastic service of the staff, nothing was too difficult for them and they promptly attended to all our needs. We also took part in hotel's activities i.e. ping pong tournaments, beach volleyball and bingo. The entertainment staff were great!!!
We watched the theme shows every night, some of them were great, some very average. Overall, it was a fantastic stay and we would highly recommend the hotel to other travellers.

  • Stayed November 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

If you are used to family friendly hotels and more european style comfort this hotel is not for you. To me this hotel is oriented towards US tourists. Not enough space in the swiming pools. If your idea is to go to drink and stay in the swiming pool this hotel is also for you.

There was smell near the bathrooms by the swiming pool restaurant.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Bucerias, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

his is written as a warning to all travelers lodging at any of the resorts in the Playacar area of Playa de Carmen. (Playacar Allegro, Wiynham, etc) Beware of a side path adjacent to the Riu Palace just south of Lupita Riu Restaurant and the Wyndham: DO NOT ENTER! That is if you don't want to get pushed, and humiliated BY THE RIU PALACE employees. Evidently it did not matter I was an older lady, the man with a bell boy suite blocked our way back to the beach after we had gone through the path which did not have a "Do Not Enter," sign or "Private Property," at the beach side of the path. I explained kindly we had already gone through the path and wondered into the Playacar neighborhood and we just wanted to get back to the beach. I thought he was joking, and I laughed thinking he was just going to give us a warning, instead as I intended to continued back to the beach, he literally pushed me to the ground. I could not believe it! I graved the chain link fence which didn't help in my fall and hurt my already broken wrist. The worse happened when the manager did not apologize for the behavior of his employee. At that moment, and as I explained to the manager at the Riu Palace, all I wanted was an apology, instead as it appears the Riu will be hearing from my attorney. I like to add that this path is clearly just a walking path (about eight feet) with a chain link fence on the Wynham side and one on the Riu side…a path that has no other purpose then to access the beach from the Playacar neighborhood to the beach. The Riu Palace has a grandiose entrance which is very well defined from both ends, the street and the beach. This path is clearly separate from this and it has not inlets put runs without interruptions from beach to the Ave Xaman-Ha. Our intention was never to trespass their property and anyone else that would like to adventure off the beach can easily get mislead.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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

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
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:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 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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