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“Overrated. Not 5 Star Resort. Wouldn't even return to Cancun” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Caribe

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Hotel Riu Caribe
Ranked #44 of 181 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Overrated. Not 5 Star Resort. Wouldn't even return to Cancun”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2014

Where to start. Basically, this was my first vacation to Cancun and based on this resort and my experience there. I would not return to Cancun. EVERYTHING in Cancun is OVERPRICED. Don't forget sunscreen, they charge $30 US dollars for a bottle of sunscreen. I'm not sure if they think money grows on trees here or if tourists are just that dumb. Food was disgusting. Do not bother going to the steakhouse. The steak can't even be classified as a steak. Mexican restaurant was not good. Did not go to the Japanese restaurant but I can't imagine it be any better. The drinks we're okay. They don't try to make them look "tropical". No room service. There is a fridge in the room which they are supposed to fill with pepsi, sprite, beer, and water. I called a few times saying I need it refilled. Response I get "We don't have room service, they refill them every few days". The room felt very damp and the A/C didn't work very well. It smelled like mold. Some of the lights in the room didn't work. Wifi you only get 90 minutes a day and you have to sit in the lobby. Calling cards were $20 for 50 minutes. THEN when you check out they charge you a bunch of different fees that were not disclosed when checking in. That is what pissed me off the most. I would not reccomend this resort. I would not even visit Mexico again because the locals there basically do not leave you alone, they just want money from you and they have outrageous prices for everything.

Room Tip: All smell like mold
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ama t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,195 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,144)
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English first
Usk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2014

We have just returned from a two week stay in the riu caribe and we enjoyed every minute of it. On arrival we were quickly checked in to our room on the 8th floor (we had emailed to Request a high floor). We were very impressed throughout the stay with the friendliness of all of the staff in the hotel. The rooms and the hotel in General were immaculate.
We tried all of the restaurants in the hotel early on in our stay so we could decide which ones we would like to go to again. We thought they were all good, surprisingly the Mexican was my least favourite but my partner really liked it so I really think it down to individual taste. One thing with the Mexican was that the tortillas that we had originally were really awful, they just tasted dreadful, undercooked and very floury, we asked if they could be cooked a bit more and they brought us some flour tortillas (the corn tortillas that they give you are really not nice), again this may be down to individual taste but I would recommend requesting the flour tortillas as they are much nicer.
The steak house was our least favourite and the Chinese was my favourite, I would definitely recommend trying them all, the fried ice cream is amazing.
Overall we thought it was excellent and everyone we spoke to thought the same.
There are obviously hotels in Mexico that are of a higher quality but they obviously also cost more. For the cost we thought it was very good, we travelled 27th jean for two weeks and paid around 2700 of the both of us.
Clearly the new hotel next door is more modern but I presume that it also costs a lot more to stay there!!!!!
Great time, don't let the bad reviews put you off too much, everyone's expectations are different.

Room Tip: High floor
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 123456954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014

We arrived at the hotel on Feb 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm, upon arrival we were told that the hotel was completely booked and the room we booked and paid for was unavailable. The front desk provided us with a temporary room which they stated was only until Feb 8, 2014 at 3:00pm, when we would get the room we paid for. I requested to have the room we paid for and I was told no, and that I should contact Apple Vacations if I had a problem. I told them why would I contact Apple Vacations they did not provide a response. They refused to provide us with the room we booked and paid for.

The temporary room we were provided was room 28, the room was lower than the 1st floor, it was not accessible from the hotel, and It did not have an Ocean View or a balcony. We had to walk around the hotel to access the room from the outside like a motel room not a 5 Star Resort. The room had no front door you can only enter and exit from the sliding glass door on the small patio with a regular key that had a long stick on it (I don't even know where we were supposed to put that key with the stick on it, it didn't fit in the smaller purse I brought on vacation). We were told there was only one key and not to lose it because we would be charged a lock changing fee. The room was adjacent to the jacuzzi that was enclosed in the spa area. Once you opened the patio door the smell of mold was thick and choking through the whole room, you could tell it was permeating through the walls and vents from the spa area. The room was subpar and looked like a cheap motel room. After about 2 to 3 minutes in the room I began to have an asthma attack. We went back to the front desk and explained to them that I can't breath in that room and it is triggering my asthma. I told them that the mold spores in the room are most definitely health hazard and that no one should be put in that room. The front desk flat out told us that there is no other room and that is the only room they would provide us regardless of what we paid for. I told them that I would not stay in that room I would rather sleep in the lobby. After arguing for nearly an hour we were provided a different room, 174, that was on the north side of the first floor and faced a dirt road. That room was definitely older in decor not what the hotel boosted on it's website via pictures, but it did not have mold so we reluctantly agreed to stay in that room for the night even though we paid for a Deluxe Ocean View with a balcony because we had no where else do go and we were in a foreign country and this was our first trip to Mexico.

The front desk told us that in order to get the room we booked and paid for we have to check out of this temporary room at 11:00 am on Feb 8, 2014, and we would not be provided another room until 3:00 pm. When I asked why we needed to check out and be without a room we paid for they said that was their policy. There was a sign at the front desk that said check out was at 12:00 pm, I asked why we had to leave our room at 11:00 am instead of 12:00 pm like the sign stated, they again said it was their policy. On Feb 8, 2014, we checked out of the temporary room at 11:00 am as requested and had to wait until 3:00 pm to get another room. We couldn't do anything because we feared if we left the resort and were just one minute late after 3:00 pm our room would be given away as it was the first time. We couldn't go the pool because we had no where to change, take showers or hold our belongings. We just had to sit in the lobby for 4 hours. Other people who had just arrived and were checking in on Feb 8, 2014 were being allowed to check into their rooms prior to 3:00 pm and we had to sit and wait. This was my first time in Mexico, my first time at a RIU hotel, and my first time with an All Inclusive. I am very disappointed in the service I received at the 5 star RIU Caribe hotel. We paid a lot of money for this trip and we did not get what we paid for. We were even without a hotel room for part of our trip. This hotel was very unaccommodating and told us that it didn't matter what we booked or paid for we would be provided what was available regardless. I did speak with several other couples who were at the RIU Caribe during our stay and they had very similar situations they booked and paid for rooms via travel engines such as Orbitz.com and were given the same run around about the hotel being fully booked given temporary rooms that required them to move and be without hotel rooms for hours just to get the room they paid for. They only people I spoke to who were treated very well were those who booked directly through RIU Hotels. Those that used other websites were definitely being treated poorly and getting the rooms they did not pay for. I am not sure if this hotel chain is running a scam offering travel sites rooms to sell for them just so they can have full occupancy but they do not have the amount of rooms and provided customers like me with this rooms that are horrific. I seems like customers book hotel rooms and they pay for certain rooms with amenities and when you check in you are told too bad you get what we give you.

Bed - Hard

Food - Is good not great best is probably breakfast, restaurants are the same as the buffet don't understand why you need reservations. The Steak Restaurant is probably the best of the three. Can't get food on resort at 10:00 pm

Shows - Terrible

Room Tip: Well Rooms in the middle of the hotel and on higher levels have a great view. But you don't get...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Krystyna828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
preston
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014

Firstly, let me say what a fan of the Riu group I am. We use their hotels a lot (at least twice a year) but we're very disappointed with the Caribe compared to other hotels in the group. We were upgraded to a corner room which had a nice big balcony but the room smelled of and was damp. The lifts didn't work on our side of the hotel which meant that we had to walk to and from one side of the hotel to the other which is no great hardship but the most annoying aspect of this was the fact that you ended up waiting ages for the lifts that were working. After a few days I enquired at reception when they would be repaired and the guy on the desk appeared to be surprised that they weren't working and went on to assure me that he'd look into it. He'd clearly fobbed me off which annoyed the hell out of me instead of being truthful and admitting that they hadn't worked for months and they were waiting for parts.
The food was ok and you certainly won't starve but despite there being two guys on the door at the main restaurant we were only shown to a table twice which meant that you were left to wander around the restaurant to find one yourself. Annoying and not what I'd expect from Riu.
The steakhouse was ok. The Mexican was dire. Didn't go to the Japanese so can't comment.
Bar service was good and, in the main, the staff were really nice and friendly and efficient. Angel on the front desk is a little star and did his best to make our stay there enjoyable but we eventually moved next door to the Peninsular which I'll review separately.
The good bits:-
The quiet pool was, in the main, quiet which is what we wanted. However, for some unknown reason they decided to set up a blackjack table there on two consecutive days and the entertainment staff were desperately trying to get people to play. Absolutely nonsensical. By definition people were going there to relax in peace. There was plenty of activity going on at the main pool (which was very nice) for those who wanted it. The reason I was given for this initiative was that they didn't want the people at the quiet pool to feel left out! At least the fundamental thought behind the idea was well intentioned.
The bar service, friendliness of staff and cleanliness in the hotel were all good points.
Overall though, my thoughts were that it wasn't run to Riu's normally exacting standards and that there were insufficient staff, particularly in the restaurants to cope.

Room Tip: Other than get on the top floor to avoid noise overhead and get on the side of the hotel where the l...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PrestonSam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgend, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014

Just home from a 2week stay at the Caribe and had a fantastic first time stay in Mexico the Caribe is excellent we were on the 9th floor as reqested a high level room for the view and we're not disappointed. all the staff can't do enogh for you the pool has everthing a childrens pool a busy pool and a more quiet pool with its on bar we spent all our days on the wonderfull beach as with it being Febuary there was a lot of shade around the pool area. The entertainment staff put in countless hours and always take time to chat Crazy Cesar well the name says it all and Tony was great could go on and on about the Caribe can not praise it enough but to be honest the only thing that let's this hotel down are the lifts we were on the top floor and did not find them to bad but they are slow.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eifion T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

Three couples stayed for a week and we were all disappointed! Never did we have a meal that was amazing. Just as other posters stated, the Mexican restaurant was terrible, Asian and steak Ok. Pool was nice and beach great but there is nothing to do here at night. Cheesy entertainment starts@9 but it leaves guests with nothing from after dinner til the show so people get restless or tired. No shampoos or lotions provided in the rooms so pack your own stuff. ELEVATORS STILL NOT WORKING (AFTER MONTHS OF POSTS HERE ON TA) ON ONE SIDE OF THE HOTEL. Would not go back.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Juli O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zimmerman, Minnesota
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

My wife and I just got back from a trip to Cancun and stayed at the Riu Carbie. We have been to the Cancun area 4 different times all with good experiences. This is the first time that we have stayed at the Riu Carbie. Our overall experience was good. It was a little more expensive than other hotels of the same value.

Items to be aware of:
Do not pay for an upgrade to the Ocean Front Room for several reasons...they are indeed all facing the Ocean, but make sure you stay on the 4th floor and above to see the ocean. Make sure when you are booking any room that they, if you want, give you a room with a king bed. Our first room had two full size beds in it and they said that they cannot guarantee a room with a king size bed, but offered to push the beds together...lol. Also, all the OFR's are located in the middle of the hotel with an open air lobby that goes to the top of the hotel...all of the nightlife happens in the lobby and it can be very loud in your room till midnight. The rooms are small compared to other properties for the same price. They ended up moving us to a room with a king sized bed after the first two nights, but only after talking to Adrian. He was great to work with and upgraded us to an end Suite for the rest of our stay. FYI - the elevators were very slow and only a couple seemed to be working out of the two banks (6 total). We took the elevator up and the stairs down.

Observation - We arrived on a saturday morning and noticed no servers around the pool for the whole day, but as the week went on, they were out serving people. Also, we were only able to get our room at 3pm. Couldn't get a chair near the pool the first day. They also offer free wi-fi in the lobby for 90 min continously, once per day for free, or $50 for 7 days to use at any time.

Good things - The chocolate martinis at the bar in the lobby were awesome. They had a lot of good drinks. We ate at the Asian and steakhouse resturants and they were good...not the best we've had, but good (need to make reservations starting at 7am, and more than likely 2 days out). They had good cappachino/espresso (sp!) which could be gotten 24hrs/day in the sports bar. The beach was pretty clean and you could use boogie boards and the (1) paddle board whenever you wanted in the ocean. I also understand that the entire hotel went through a remodel in the past couple years and it looks really nice. The buffet was similar to any other all-inclusive buffet with a little more variety...the french toast style crossiants with cinnamon on top were my favorite.

Advice - get down to the pool area between 6-7am to reserve a chair by the pool...bring your towel up to the room at night so you can reserve your spots the next morning, whether you are going to be going on an excursion or not.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Caribe

Property: Hotel Riu Caribe
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
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:
#27 Family Hotel in Cancun
#32 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#34 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Caribe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 506
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cancun's resort area. 9-Story building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 3 Km. /1.9 Miles from a shopping center. 4,5 Km/2.5 Miles from downtown Cancun. 21 Km/13.1 Miles to Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Real Cancun
Grand Caribe Cancun
Grand Caribe Real Cancun
Riu Caribe Resort Cancun
Riu Caribe Cancun Mexico
Riu Caribe Mexico

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