We, my husband, myself, my mom and my father, stayed at the Riu Caribe March 13-17, 2009. So the age range was 31-72 years old. My parents do have some problems with walking but the resort was pretty accessible, some wheelchair ramps and handrails on most big stairways. After reading many reviews, I had mixed feeling about staying there, and I guess lucky for us we had a totally positive experience. My husband and I had been to Cancun previously two years ago and stayed at the Barcelo Tucancun and even though we liked that we loved the Riu Caribe.
Arrival: Arrived at about 11:00am the front desk staff was very friendly and met us with a glass of mango juice. We were offered a room right away but turned it down because it was a 2nd floor room which was located right next to the spa/gym. We got our wristbands and were told to come back around 2:30-3:00 by the front desk but the bellman said to check back around 1:00 and a room should be ready. So with no room we changed in the spa area which was clean and it had lockers but I didn't use them. We put our valuables, like camers, ipods and money in a bag and carried that with us and stored the rest of our luggage with the bellman. So we hung out at the resort, lobby bar, sport bar, walked around, ate lunch then checked back around 1:00 pm as the bellman suggested and sure enough our room was ready!
Room: We had two rooms and they were on the ninth floor, 924 and 926. Both had a view of the lagoon, sea, and of the central hotel zone. It was very nice. The room was always spotless, and we had a towel swan to greet us. We got new towels everyday, even though we had hung ours up to reuse. The beds were hard, but it didn't bother us, expecially me since I like very firm matresses. There were a lot of hangers in the closet and decent drawer space. However, I would have liked to have seen some more shelves in the closet. The balcony was a little small but two people had plenty of space out there. The mini-fridge was nice to have and even though it was supposed to be filled every other day ours was filled every day.
Food & Drinks: The buffets had pretty good food for an all-inclusive, one of the best of the all-inclusive buffets I've been too. There was a little bit of variety everyday, but much of the best stuff was there everyday. Loved the quesadillas and bacon for breakfast everyday. The pizza at the pizza place was okay, it was a good snack. Loved the coconut ice cream, and they had it everyday. We ate at both the Asian restaurant and the steakhouse. The steak at the steakhouse was a little tough but decent flavor and the baked potato was really small, but the salad and fried veggies were good. It was nice to have a nice sit down meal next to the beach/sea. The Asian was okay, not a big asian food fan but the rest of my group liked it. My dad liked the fried ice cream there. It was not a table service meal but a buffet. The bars were all very good, the lobby bar is a big place to hang out at night, there is music there nightly. The swimup bar was another favorite. The mojitos, tequila sunrises, Miami Vices, and Caribbean Seas were our favorites. Definately take a big mug with you, the bartenders will gladly fill them up. The reservations for the dinners go go quick so you will have to get in line early for reservations. People were lining up at about 6:45 am for reservations.
Pools & Beach & Grounds
The pool was awesome, we loved how it wound around and had all the bridges. We liked that there were large ledges around the edge to sit on. There is one area that has a rail and some steps to enter otherwise you have to step onto the seating areas.
The grounds were nicely landscaped with lots of palms and shrubs. There were some hammocks by the beach too. There was a lot of loungers by the pool, and some near the pizza place and off to the side of the pool. The pool and beach loungers do start getting reserved early. We always went down to the beach about 7 am and got a decent spot under a palapa, we would reserve it go eat breakfast, and after breakfast we would go back and most spots were taken.
The beach was great and there were a lot of palapas. There weren't a lot of shells but some people were finding them down towards the end of the beach. The sand was white and soft, it never got hot. There was some seaweed on the shoreline that was raked up on most days, but it wasn't a big deal. One day the water had some seaweed floating around, it seemed like it had more in the morning but by noon it wasn't an issue. And it wasn't like there was huge globs of it just a little wisp here and there. Oh, you might want to get a lounger with a mat on it, there were a little more comfy than the ones without.
We saw one show at night and it was good, the Saturday night show was the Caribbean Show, the dancers were good. We heard the Mexican and International shows, and the music was good. The Mexican show is on Friday. There were vendors in the hotel lobby on Friday and Saturday but we didn't not see them any other night. Some of the paintings the guys had were neat, I bought a cool one of Tulum that the guy had painted with his fingers. There is a gift shop inside the hotel and a drug store right outside the hotel. The bus stops are very close to the hotel, one across the street and the other one a 30 second walk to the left. The ferry dock that goes to Isla Mujeres is about a 5-10 minute walk away, my mom and dad used it fine. We went during all the hype about the drug cartels and we never felt unsafe. The turtles were really cool to see in the lobby too. Overall the whole resort was clean, and had friendly staff.
Other Things We Did:
I hired a private driver for the day through Cancun Valet. It was $275 for the day and was totally worth it. They even provided drinks and snacks. We used the guide to take us to Tulum and to Playa Del Carmen. We got to Tulum at 8am and beat all the hordes of people with the tour buses and it was great, felt like we had the place to ourselves, that is until we were leaving and the crowds had arrived. Then did shopping in Playa Del Carmen and ate at the Senor Frogs. Back in Cancun we also went to Margaritaville twice, once about 5:00pm for supper (it was good) and once about 8:30pm. The 5 o'clock time was definately more laid back with lots of Buffett music, and the 8:30 time they were ramping up the party, no Buffett musics at all.
Would we go back, definately, no doubt about it. If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me and ask!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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