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“Beautiful Property” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av Xaman-Ha Mza 9 y 10 Lote 1 Int.Fracc. | Fase II Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #41 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful Property”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Very nice property.....The service was nice enough, but the food was substandard, and the house wine was very poor....stick with the buffets...the specialty restaurants have good atmosphere, but not so great on food

Room Tip: Get a room that is not on the lowest tier level of choices...upgrade a little higher than the lowest...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,748 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Bourbon, Missouri
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

Overall rating on this one would be in the middle of the 'Average to Very Good' if they gave me the choice.
We went to this resort for my niece's destination wedding. It rained almost everyday(hard), of course, they have no control over the weather and we did go during 'hurricane season(9/16-9/23). BUT, we did have a great time with a bunch of really fun friends and my nieces wedding was beautiful.

PROS: Very clean, very beautiful and well maintained property, our room was very nice and it offered free wi-fi(this is a great help to stay in touch with family at home without breaking the bank on phone calls)beautiful pool with lots of places to lay out, excellent spa, very good drinks(favorite pool bar server-VICTOR) AND you have the opportunity to visit and eat at the other Riu properties. There are 3 properties within walking distance. There are also 2 'markets' within walking distance.

CONS: Several places to eat, BUT the food was only 'OK', but not great'. The 'Wedding Gazebo' was way to close to the pool. I took video for the wedding and it was hard to hear the wedding ceremony over the 'pool' noise. The view from our room left a lot to be desired. It was the roof of the neighboring resort(a bunch of air conditioners and roof stuff)so needless to say we did not sit out on the 'lanai'. One last thing,,,room service kept our room very nice, but one day they took the remaining TP and forgot to replace it with more. Simple oversight, I do not fault them with this, BUT what I do find fault with is we called the desk to have it restocked..waited 40min and then called again...waited another 30min...no one ever came. My husband had to go down to the desk. In their defense, there was a large group of people that had just arrived....BUT, that being said, that is not one of those requests that they should have completely ignored until they got around to it ; )

One more thing,,,this is not a PRO or CON,,just a FYI:
They have a 'master' switch on the wall right next to the entrance 'light' switch. Almost everyone in the party of people we were with and several people we met at the pool had an issue with that at one time or another. They don't tell you it's there and if you 'inadvertently' hit that one instead of the light switch...every thing goes off....then, when you get up in the middle of the night or come in after a day of drinking at the pool ...you hit your light switch and NOTHING comes on!!! (until that switch gets turned back on : ) Seems minor unless you are the one that has to get up in the middle of the night and stumble around because NONE of the light switches work : ) It's a little annoying.

Room Tip: Make sure to open your drapes BEFORE you unpack!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria Heights, Illinois, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Loved Loved Loved this place food rooms service all was great. Will be back 2014!!! The Buffet was where we ate service outstanding. All ac. which is a plus. Food great. Stayed at Iberostar last year the resort was good also but way to big Del mar. Riu was half the size close to beach and food.

Room Tip: Our room 53 was ground floor close to pool and Beach
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westerville, Ohio
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Beautiful resort, great location, great service, great food. We felt very safe walking within the community and to Playa del Carmen.

Only negatives were the dampness and smell in the room and lack of adequately functioning room air conditioning. This made the room uncomfortable for lounging and sleeping. We reported this to the service desk, but it made no difference. Everything we brought came home damp and smelling musty. This may be the one factor that keeps us from returning to this resort.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonita Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
312 helpful votes 312 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Stayed here 5th-12th Sept. We were 3 adults with two rooms. My husband and I have stayed at over 20 all-inclusives in the Riviera Maya area, in all categories and this was good value for the money paid. Have previously stayed at Riu Cancun, Riu Yucatan and Riu Palace Mexico.

Impressive architecture, nice landscaping and elegant lobby on entry. Speedy, efficient check-in. We were on the top floor in the southern wing at the pool end of the building, with a distant view of the ocean over the palm trees and overlooking the courtyard. Room was comfortably furnished; found the bed to be one of the hardest mattresses ever, but had no problem sleeping most nights. One drawback was that the room smelled very musty and everything got damp - didn't ask to change as liked the location and view and this dampness seemed to be a problem with a lot of the rooms (according to other guests and previous reviews). Spacious bathroom, but I felt lacking storage space - could do with a shelf under the sinks. Tub/shower was quite dark. Poor ventilation system. Our housekeeper did a great job of cleaning and 5 nights out of 7 we had turn-down service. Fridge was restocked with my requested choices - beer, diet pepsi and soda water. Plus, there's optics (rum, vodka, brandy and tequila) above the fridge and also a coffee machine. There was an ice machine on the ground floor. Flat screen tv, but apart from US open tennis finals, we didn't have the tv on, so no clue what other channels were available. Clothes drying pull-out rack on balcony, plus two chairs and table. Wifi worked fine in room (code given at check-in), but had to log on each time.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't co-operate and we had battering rain for hours for 4 of our days. The pathways were inches deep in water; the deluge was too much for the drainage system, though the staff did their best to try and clear a path. The entertainment crew did a remarkable job trying to fit in the activities whenever there was a break in the rain!...and also organized blackjack tables in the lobby to try and keep guests entertained. There was also the sports bar for an indoor activity. There were shows each night in the theatre; some by professional troupes and others by the entertainment staff.

Booked three a la cartes (Mexican - enjoyed; Krystal - ok, meal was cold and returned; Brazilian - organization was awful, bread served 20 mins after soup and salad was finished and first meat served 50 mins after seating, left and didn't wait for any more). Wasn't a fan of their reservation system - book in main lobby area between 12 and 3pm. Ate at buffet the other four nights - large, varied selection, BUT, why, oh why, do they insist on cooking the heck out of shrimp and fish till it's like rubber?? What a waste of nice ingredients.......Breakfast buffet had a very nice and varied selection to choose from. Lunch was ok - smaller selection at open air buffet near beach and larger choice at the main AC buffet. Service was excellent at all buffet meals. They did a small bbq on the beach a couple of lunchtimes (rained out on others); selection was limited to hamburgers, hotdogs and some fixings.

For my taste, I wasn't impressed with the cocktails, even when specifying brands. White wine wasn't the best either...but that is normal. However, all bar staff were willing and hard-working; just seemed to me the booze wasn't what the label said......

The beach is deep, with nice white sand and blue water. Shade is provided by palm trees. Our first couple of days it was very calm, then when the heavy rains arrived, was quite choppy with a strong undertow. Pool area looked nice, but just walked by it as we're not pool people. Didn't seem to be a problem with loungers on the dry days/spells.

We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday, largely due to the efforts of the entertainment staff, who made it a lot of fun with the rifle-shooting, boche ball, horshoes, darts, bingo etc, etc., despite the inclement weather:):) Not forgetting their energy in the shows at night. Kudos to them all!

Wasn't impressed that on departure, in battering rain, no umbrella available and luggage was put on the ground in inches of water! Bellman couldn't wait to get back inside and shelter! Prolly can't blame him - weather WAS pretty bad!

Looking forward to our next Riviera Maya trip and better weather!:):) Mags

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
313 helpful votes 313 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

This was our second stay at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, the first being in September of 2010. We spent 5 days in a Junior Suite overlooking the central court yard with a small view of the pools and beach. The room was in excellent condition, although we do look forward to when RIU remodels the bathrooms and installs a walk in shower and gets rid of the step in tub (if ever). That is the only thing we do not like about the rooms but that is certainly not a big issue. Our room had a full king size bed rather than the two beds pushed together that some rooms have, which we like better. The fully equipped rooms include wet bar restocked daily, four wall mounted liquor dispensers, an electronic safe, full bathroom amenities, hair dryer, large flat screen TV, sitting area with a sofa and a nice patio or deck. We had no issues with anything about the room.

The lobby and grounds are well maintained and very pretty. The pool area is large and divided into two pools, one above the other, with the lower having a swim up bar. The one thing we noticed is that the pools need some TLC as several small tiles were missing on the bottom and sides - not a big deal but something that is unsightly. The pools are kept very clean at all times, there are plenty of chairs and towels, and since no "floaties" are provided or allowed in the pools there are no arguments over hogging them.

The beach is absolutely fabulous, wide with soft sand and many palm trees to provide needed shade. The staff keep it clean and also provide beach drink service to all the chairs. it is possible to walk into Playa del Carmen on the beach (three years ago this could not be done due to some erosion near the end of the beach at the edge of town). This is a pleasant walk.

The food was all very good to excellent. We had breakfast each day in the main buffet and it always offered a great variety of food and drink. Lunch is served at the buffet located near the pool and again there was a great variety of food on offer. Dinner is either in the main buffet or one of the ala carte venues. We ate once in the buffet and it was quite good and also dined in the Mexican (very good), the Brazilian steak house (very good but not our cup of tea) and in Krystal which was our favorite. The food and service was excellent in Krystal. A hint is to try to reserve Krystal as soon as you arrive as it only has 13 tables, some for 2 some for 4 so it fills up fast.

The only thing I would like to see changed at the RIU is the silly reservation system for the ala cart venues. It would be nice if they just let them be like many other all inclusives where you place your name on the list, get a pager and go about having a cocktail or two until the buzzer sounds. However, they do tend to be small so this might not work so well.

Overall we rate this hotel excellent and plan to return again as soon as possible.

Room Tip: If in low season ask to be upgraded to courtyard view if you are placed in the garden view rooms. S...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Springboro
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

We returned from a week long Apple Vacation trip to Riu Palace last weekend. Apple reps are great to assist with everything. We booked 2 excursions - Myan Adventure and ATV through the Jungle (Jungle Jims ATV) -- Both were worth every penny! Demi and Moses on our ATV trip were awesome guides. Alex on the Myan Ruins trip was outstanding. Riu Palace is extremely clean. The staff are excellent - always going that extra mile to make your stay more enjoyable. Although our weather was not great, we made the best of the trip. One morning it was raining, so the entertainment staff set up a casino in the hotel lobby. Playing blackjack is a lot of fun when you're not risking money! Hector from the entertainment crew is wonderful -- so funny and entertaining. Bar staff go through the lobbies, pool and beach area to continue getting your drinks. Beach is absolutely beautiful. So much better than Cancun beach area. The other huge plus to this resort is it is inside Playacar - a gated community of residential and hotel resorts. It's a very safe area and you can walk down the sidewalks like a neighborhood. It is also close enough to walk to 5th Ave in Playa Del Carmen - a HUGE shopping district ranging from high end shops to "mom and pop" stores. Very safe area. There is so much hype in the USA right now regarding safety in Mexico. We never experienced anything that questioned our safety.

RIU Staff work incredibly long hours, but always appear happy! Only downside we had was they were doing some type of repair in the room above us, and sometimes around 9:30am they would start drilling, sawing, etc. Sleeping late wasn't an option - but this would not keep me from going back. At least they waited until after 9am. We have stayed in RIU Cancun in the past. Although the design is very similar, the Riviera Maya location is much better than the Cancun Riu. The buffet food is good, with lots of choices. We chose 3 restaurants - Mexican, Steakhouse and Brazilian. All were good, but the Brazilian was outstanding. Wanted to go back again! This is our 4th all inclusive vacation (2 with Riu and 2 with 2 other companies). I would have no hesitation in going back to a Riu again. All inclusive is a great value!

Room Tip: We had a less expensive room with a view of a garden. Limited view, but you don't stay on you...
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  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Address: Av Xaman-Ha Mza 9 y 10 Lote 1 Int.Fracc. | Fase II Solidaridad, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 400
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Riviera Maya
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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