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“Fun Birthday adventure” 5 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
Philly
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fun Birthday adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

My Husband and I stayed here for my 30th birthday in February 2014. This was our first time staying at an all inclusive, so maybe I had a little too much fun. Anyway, the food was pretty good, the drinks were great (except for the wine but i didnt go to mexico for the wine), and the location was awesome. It is easy for us to have fun when the drinks are unlimited and the weather is a perfect 80 degrees. I would definitely go back.

Room Tip: I stayed above the building where they had the nightly performances (room 3060) so it was loud but t...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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 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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Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

2 couples of us were here for 8 nights and everything was good. Our rooms were on the 3rd floor with court yard views and again compared to other reviews here we had no problems.
We ate at the Japanese restraint 1 night and the steak house another and the food and service was excellent. You need to make reservations a day ahead. The pool, grounds and ocean were excellanta. I agree the sand beach could be cleaned up some but mostly guest there cause the mess. The buffet food was god everyday. Side trips were easy to access from here. We took a taxi to 5th avenue which cost $7.00 each way. There was a small shopping center with in walking distance. We enjoyed our stay here and will be back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Quincy, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

My husband, myself, and another couple just returned home from 5 days at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. I wanted to write a quick review of the pros and cons that I wish I had known before booking:
Pros:
1. The hotel and grounds are beautiful, the beach is not rocky at all.
2. Rooms and hotel are very nice and clean.
3. Overall, the staff was great. Very friendly and spoke fluent English (much appreciated).
4. Short walk to Playa del Carmen

Cons:
1. No night life at the hotel. If you want to go to the disco, you have to walk about 1/2 mile down the road to the Riu Tequila (it's not across the road as the maps would have you believe). The disco...WOW! Apparently this place is popular for swingers as there was some swapping going on. And I don't mean dancing...more along the lines of soft porn as the night went on. There were also a lot of teens there (obviously under 21, remember the drinking age is 18), and of course they were loaded. What bothered me...the bartenders were feeling them up at every opportunity, having the girls stand between their legs with their face in their crotch to pour shots in their mouths...
2. Hotel night life= at 9:45 the hotel entertainment staff put on a show, which was sooo weak. Dressing up in drag and prancing around the stage in outfits with the butt cut out...not what I paid for. If you have been to other resorts costing similar $, you understand that I expected quality entertainment shows to be brought in. Did not happen. Many families grabbed the kids and left as the show was very inappropriate.
3. The entertainment staff! The guy in charge LOVES to hear himself talk. As there is only one pool and they are there all the time, there is no getting away from them unless you go to the beach.
4. More on the entertainment staff! The main guy is constantly introducing his staff, at least 2x/day and every night at the "show". This takes about 20 minutes (told you he liked to hear himself talk). When they are introduced, the staff member steps forward and dances. As in strip tease dancing (one girl actually does the strip tease dance that she does in one of the "family friendly" night shows). At the pool, the girls stand on a platform in the middle (wearing very skimpy bikinis) and aimed their lower half at some old mans head. Kids reaction to see this happening to their grandpa...
5. Beach- Again, beach was beautiful and without rocks. Problem...the drug dealers. We had the same 6 every day, walking around with back packs and selling "cigars". Yes, they really had cigars but were also selling pot and blow. They were actually nice guys and it was quite interesting watching how they operate. The lifeguards were part of their watch and if a cop showed up we could not figure out how they disappeared so fast! If one did get arrested, he was back bright and early the next morning! What bothered me the most...our waiter would bring the dealers drinks all day but to get him to get us one was like pulling teeth!
6. The 24 hour sports bar- yes, it's open 24 hours with bright florescent lights on at all times. Blinding lights. There are 2 pool tables and an air hockey table...that cost $2.25 per game. Like we haven't paid enough already. So, when you go to the bar because the evening entertainment is not worth watching...take money. I have been to many other resorts that have a bar like this and have never had to pay to play a game. This is ridiculous.
7. I spoke to 3 different groups of girls, all about 18-20 years old, and they all had the same complaint. The HOTEL staff would not keep their hands to themselves. I witnessed this several time, staff holding out on drinks until they got a kiss or hug.
8. The food: buffet is ok, same every day. The steak house was by far the best, Mexican and Japanese ok, the other 2 sucked. People often got up and left after the appetizer to go to the buffet.

In summary: If you want to go for a party vacation, you will probably like this resort. The only problems I would remind you of is the poor night life, plan on hiking to another resort if you want to stay out past 11. If you want to stay on the beach, the Riu Mexico is directly across the road from the Riu Tequila.
If you are looking for a place to take the kids, do not go here. Along with the above cons, there is not a kid program. They say there is one...this is a small kiddy pool and swing set with a shed and a sign stating kid playhouse.

Room Tip: The rooms either look out to the side or the courtyard in the middle.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 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.
Hartsville, South Carolina, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

Everyone on staff at the Riu is wonderfully attentive and accommodating. The food was delicious! The room service was not shy or slow about bringing either another pot of coffee or coffee packets - whichever we preferred. I LOVED that there was lunch on the beach available if you'd rather not get dressed to go inside and that there were plenty of lounge chairs, which has always seemed to be a challenge when we vacation. The daily activities were a fun way to break up the pool and beach, too.

On the downside, our room. The location was great because we enjoyed the nightly festivities from the comfort of our room. But the actual room had issues.

It would not get cool and it stunk. At night, if we slept with the windows open, it would get cool. I do not know if the air conditioner was broken but after a day of the beach and 80* (F) + weather, I wanted a cool room and even lowering it as low as we could (and I think it READ 55*) would do nothing much it seemed.

And it stunk like mold and mildew, even after housecleaning. So much so, that all clothes that I did not wear - and were freshly laundered when I packed - came home and stunk and had to be washed. It's been 3 weeks since we have been back and my purse - that I left in the room the entire time - still has the stink on it.

I didn't like that part but we did not complain because we enjoyed the location so much AND to the credit of the Riu staff - we knew that had we said something - they would have bent over backwards to fix it. And this is why I'm not even sweating the hot stink too much.

Room Tip: If you'd like to hear and see the nightly activities, ask for the 2nd floor across from the loun...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Tallapoosa, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for 7 nights and we were very happy to leave. The grounds are beautiful along with the beach, but the pool was filthy the whole time we were there. The first room assigned to us was on the 2nd floor and it smelled so strong of mold and bleach that my eyes started burning immediately. We opened the patio door, sprayed the room and left for several hours. When we returned it was no better. They did relocate us immediately to the first floor. The 2nd room was not as bad but it was very damp and musty. Upon returning home, all of our clothes had to be rewashed, $200 was spent on dry-clean, and I am still airing out my purse, wallet, toiletry bags, etc... Everything smells disgusting.
The staff was very friendly and worked very hard from sun up to sun down. The food was okay but not fantastic and you get tired of eating the same things. The specialty restaurants were good but the menu doesn't change from night to night.
There is no shuttle to the other resorts, the airport or to the shopping district. If you stay at a "palace" you can enjoy all benefits of the other RIU's EXCEPT for dinner. You must eat at your own hotel! The food, entertainment, beaches and pools were the same at all RIUs.
I will never stay at any of the RIUs in Mexico.
Don't expect to get much sleep. The walls are paper thin and you can hear people walking, talking, dragging suitcases, and maid carts 24-7.

Room Tip: Higher floors are closer to the mold in the ceiling.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

My husband and I just returned last evening from a vacation at The Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Our first time visiting Mexico.
We are 40 somethings searching for a relaxing, warm vacation. This hotel right on the money! A 3.5-4 hr. direct flight from Boston. Mexico is 2 hr. ahead of EST (their spring forward is the first weekend of April)
Lomas travel picked us up at the airport with an air conditioned van. About 5-6 couples to drop off at various resorts along the way. Our driver made it bearable with ice cold Coronas in his van for the 45 min. estimated drive to our hotel. Nice touch! Upon checking in, Alex helped us upgrade to a nicer room than originally booked. Rooms basic, king bed, mild air conditioning, even on the lowest setting, fan above our bed made the room very comfortable for the week, bed ok, balcony beautiful, large tub/ shower (about 1.5 feet step up into tub, not the easiest for elderly or infirm)
Tip: keep your room cards VERY FAR AWAY from any ipads, cell phones, etc. they demagnetize instantly. Needed 2 trips to front desk to get new ones, until we figured out the secret.
Tip: bring about 100-200 USD with you for tipping. They work so hard with everything and appreciate any tips they receive.
Food: AMAZING! No direct need to book at their specialty restaurants. They are a set menu with some with more offerings than others. The evening restaurant at Chilis was great with waiters doing some special tricks to keep you entertained. Thanks Cesar! You Can book with them 12pm-3pm daily only. We went to the buffet most nights. Selections changed daily and was plenty from apps to desserts. Their fresh fruit and omelette stations were two of our likings! Thank you Nico for your excellent service! If you wish to stay outside by the pool or beach for lunch, they have a beach BBQ DAILY. Basic BBQ hamburgers, Hotdogs, toppings. One day, They opened coconuts and added Rum to the milk. Talk about a midday drink! :)
Two chefs came around the pool area daily about 3pm with a cart of shrimp and fried chicken pieces with dip. A nice touch for afternoon snack. Chilis stays open until 3pm if you are interested in snacks such as soft serve ice cream, fruits, light meals.

The beach and pool were beautiful. There were waiters on the beach and poolside always jogging around asking if you needed anything to drink. You can sit/lay in the direct sun on the beach (loungers included), stay closer to the pool on loungers under the palm trees (some in the sun/some in the shade) or stay poolside on loungers/ some with umbrellas for shade. Towels provided for pool/beach.
Entertainment at pool area: Excellente! Ricky Bobby and his crew were there to make sure you were having a fun time! A variety of games and activities by the pool.
The staff at the swim-up pool bar were very nice and quick.
One of the most surprising and annoying things about Mexico is locals walking around selling their wares. Most of the time, they came by about 4-6 times per day. The day before we left, it seemed like they kept asking us if we wished to buy their wares every 5-10 minutes. Mostly jewelry, cigars, sunglasses, pottery. If you stay by the pool, you won't see them. This made our beach visits not as fun.

If this is the restaurant you choose, you will not disappointed!
Top notch service and food! Beautiful beach and weather. Great activities if you are looking for things to do on the resort.

Room Tip: Room 2114, top floor faces the pool area. Not loud near the evening entertainment and close to Chil...
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

The resort is very beautiful, and clean. There is food available 24/7, but if you want to go to one of the restaurants you have to book ahead of time, and they are almost always full. The resort is not too far from 5th avenue by taxi, and it is great for shopping. The only downside is that it takes a while to get from the airport to the resort. Overall it's a resort, I would recommend for anyone to visit.

Room Tip: Try to get a courtyard room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 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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