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“Exceeded Expectations” 5 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
Menomonie, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
72 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2009

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.

Miscellaneous
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!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ajrwdwgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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BC, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2009

We flew to Cancun Mar 7 and stayed until Mar 14, 2009. The hotel was great! Rooms facing the ocean with your own private balcony and liqour dispensor in your room. We left a tip in the minibar the first day and they were willing to stock however much we wanted (water, pop, beer).

The lobby bar during the day with Vincent is great. Stay a while at the bar. We had so much fun drinking and meeting people. It was a bit of a run away. Watch out for the mexican candy! LOL, A few of us had an early night due to the "candy."

The beach was nice and we could always find chairs. Make sure you bring lot's of sunscreen because it is expensive once you are there. Also, make sure of even coverage because most people walking around had funky burns. Makes an interesting conversation piece.

Service at this hotel is great. All staff were friendly and helpful.

To get around the city buses are inexpensive and quick. For a bit of change you can visit the Riu Cancun, which is not very far away.

If anyone would like to ask any questions about the hotel please feel free to contact me.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jamee2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2009

Ok, so I know this review is 3 yrs late,but I was on this site since we are going on vacation soon and wanted to check out our Hotel In Disney World. Anyways.....We stayed at this hotel for our honeymoon and it was an awsome experience. The Hotel was very clean, the free liquor and beer is sweet! The location and beach was perfect. Our room view was probably the only thing we didn't like as well as some of the staff service. When we arrived at 12pm, they would not consider it to check us in a little early just to be nice. They made us wait til 3pm to check in. If you can only see a tiny peice of the ocean, you got an ocean view room. So don't think your getting a full view of the ocean when you check in, unless you upgrade? The food was not all that great for an all-inclusive resort. though the restaurants they have , the food is pretty good but you have to make reservations. Though in my opinion, Cancun not a honeymoon destination, its still an awsome place for families and partiers. Enjoy

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jrlp214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2009

My husband, 2 year old and I just came back from a week at the Riu. I had read all the reviews before going so I knew what to expect.
Here is my breakdown.....

Beach - Terrific! Plenty of room, and lots of chairs. Chairs were available here until at least 9am so you don't have to get up too early to reserve one

Pool- One of the best around. It has a 1 foot deep edge all around the pool which is great for kids to play in or you could put your lounge chair in it to keep cool. People reserve chairs early.......6am!

Rooms - This is the poorest part. The rooms are just average but we did not spend too much time there so it was OK. The beds are slightly hard, the towels in room are old, and there are just little packets of shampoo and no lotion so bring your own! There also seems to be a big game of trying to get a better room (with a view). I think they give you a partial ocean view room and then if you complain they put you on a list for a different room. The only problem is you have to check out of your current room at 10am and not get keys to your new room until 230pm. This did not work for us because our daughter needed to nap. My advise....as soon as you get your room go right back to the desk and ask for a different one. We waited one day.....and that was too long to get a room right away

Food - the buffets were great. could always find some thing to eat. The steakhouse was OK and the Asian was fair, just a glorified buffet actually. We did not try the Mexican.

Drinks - If this is important to you than bring your own large thermos type cup. Then you won't have to keep going back to the bar for the little glasses they give you. Lots of people were doing this.

Staff- Were very friendly and helpful!

I would definitely go back! The beach and pool were perfect! And the price is right too!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mcshaneNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2009

This was our first vacation in Cancun. We were not sure what to expect. You hear so many stories from Know it Alls.
We LOVED Cancun and especially the resort. We were so happy with our choice, that by 2 days into the vacation, we were planning our next visit.
We have 4 college aged kids and it's difficult to get them all together for a vacation. We plan on taking them all there for Christmas.
The resort was amazing. The entire resort was spotless and the staff was wonderful. The food was very good and the buffett had many choices.
What a wonderful experience!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gloria8288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2009

My husband and I have just returned home from our second trip to the Riu Caribe. It was our best trip yet. The resort is very clean and the staff is wonderful. They are some of the hardest working people I've ever seen. Please tip then when your there. They deserve it and the waiges there are so low that they really do need it to feed their families.
Just a few tips:
First of all, this is not the Ritz. Please try to just relax and enjoy yourself. Don't be like the old grumpy guy at the staek house that we sat next to one night. Complaining about the Brandy being too cheap and the steak not being the cut he wanted. Mind you, he complained about these things before he even got them.
For an all-inclusive, you won't find better. We've tried and returned to the Riu. The Steak house is great. The Mexican is our favorite. We didn't do the Asian, but heard that it's just like the buffets back home. Albatros is the main buffet. They have something for everyone. Breakfast is the best.
If you go on an all day excursion and return after 10, there won't be any food available except the sports bar. You wouldn't be happy with the left over sandwiches that they have so eat before you return to the resort.
Don't be afraid to take the bus shopping. It's an adventure in itself and you'll be fine. Also, if you walk the beach to the south, over the big rocks, their is a ten minute beach walk to the boat lauch that takes you to the island. There you will find a small flea market that has great prices, an ATM machine and little cafe'. It's a very nice walk. Something to do on a day that you have nothing else planned.
If you take the fairy to the island. rent a golf cart. The views and homes are amazing. Go all the way to the south tip of the island. There you find a cafe' that sits above the ocean on the edge of a cliff. Have a cervasa and some fish tacos then walk down the trails . It was so beautiful. By far the most amazing views that we have ever seen.
The other tip I have for the Island is that the banks there don't change the USD for the locals so, if you pay in USD things will be more expensive. They have to travel to Cancun to change that in. Go to an ATM and get pesos. For example: to rent a golf cart in USD is $45, to pay in pesos equals $36 Usd. Only a $9 difference, but over the whole day it adds up. Again, you will be fine there.
Xcaret is a must. Bring your walking shoes. There are endless trails and alot to see, but by the end of the day your dogs will be barking without the right shoes.
Back to the Riu: Relax, enjoy the people and the paradise around you. Remember that you are the guest in their country so be respectful and go with the flow. No hurries, no worries. Drink a "sexy banana" for me!
If you have any questions, email me and I'll try to help.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lvmomof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
houston
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2009

Stayed 3 nts. at Riu Caribe at end of Feb. Went with another couple and had a great time. Hotel was booked but never seemed crowded. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Beds in Mexico are usually quite firm but these were comfortable. Extra pillows were provided on request.

Ate dinner at buffet, steak restaurant, and mexican restaurant. Preferred mexican to others and it is easiest to make a reservation for. If you sleep late and don't make the crack of dawn rush for reservations, the mexican restaurant is usually available. Brought my large 32 oz. insulated cup for bar drinks and it was cheerfully refilled every time. Also, food made poolside for lunch was excellent every day.

Pool and beach chairs need to be reserved early. Make someone get up at 6:30 and head down armed with towels, bags, etc. Hotel asks you not to reserve but if you don't, you will not have a place to sit by 7:30am.

If renting a car at hotel, be sure to sign up for Riu Class as it gets you a 10% discount for Thrifty on-site. Free airport shuttle is available if you book directly thru Riu but it can take a VERY long time. Easier and faster to grab a cab. Friends booked thru Expedia and bought transfers thru them - they arrived at hotel 1.5 hrs. after they exited customs and baggage.

All in all it was a great stay. It is possible to visit Riu Caribe for 3 or 4 days and never leave the hotel. I took $220 cash for souveniers, etc. and came home with money. Even after I paid $38 USD for a cab ride back to the airport - wasn't willing to leave the beach an hour earlier than I had to just for a free ride to the airport!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank chips&salsa
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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