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“Riu Palace Peninsula - we will return!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
Ranked #21 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We just returned from Cancun last night (May 26, 2012). We stayed at the newly opened Riu Palace Peninsula and enjoyed it very much. We will return. Our junior suite overlooked the hotel's pools, beach and the ocan. The room was very clean and had a jacuzzi bath, large walk-in shower, king sized bed and balcony overlooking the pools, ocean and hotel grounds. The room was very quiet, however anyone talking in the hallways could be heard easily due to the tiled floors and acoustics. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a good nights sleep each night. We kept the air conditioning on most of the time as we found the tiled floors would become slippery if we left the balcony door open (due to the humidity). The suite came with a stocked bar - rum, tiquela, vodka, and brandy. The mini fridge had beer, soda and lots of water. We were kept well stocked with bottled water. The room info package told us not to drink the water from the taps in the room, so we used the bottled water to brush our teeth. Ladies, there are plenty of hangers in the closet! The balcony had comfortable chairs and a towel bar on the wall for hanging wet bathing suits. The maids were very courteous and friendly - did a good job keeping our suite comfortable. I thought I read somewhere that there was nightly turn down service, however, we only received this service once during the week we were visiting. And only one chocolate on the pillow that one time, which I thought was odd as it was very obvious that there were 2 of us there. (a minor point)
We used room service twice. The first time was to order some nachos - when they arrived the runny cold cheese turned us off, so the next time we ordered we asked for there to be no cheese. This turned out to be more enjoyable. We had an interesting time trying to order a bottle of wine be delivered to our room. As we rarely drink hard liquor, the liquor cabinet with various items did not appeal to us, so we thought we'd like some wine.The room service department told us to call the bar and the bar told us to call room service. After much discussion with various hotel staff we were finally told that it is the hotel policy to have only hard liquor in the rooms. It was suggested that we go to one of the bars if we wanted wine. So we cooperated and did a trip to the bar anytime we wanted to have a glass of wine on our balcony. Since the hotels advertises a fully stocked mini fridge, we thought it would be nice to have a bottle of white wine in the mini fridge along with the other items (most mini bars at hotels I've visited have wine in them). However, the Riu Palace Penisula has a different liquor licence. To each his own, as they say. We just thought it was odd.
We had dinner at several of the themed restaurants. In order to eat in the specialty restaurants you make your reservations the day before. The hotel consierge was very helpful. We were able to make 2 reservations in advance for the following 2 days. Krystal was our favorite and we ate there twice. Lovely service by very friendly staff. The food was excellent. We enjoyed the beef with yams, and a yummy (and very creamy) leek soup. The glass of champagne when we arrived at the door was a nice touch. I enjoyed the steak and lobster at the steak restaurant although my partner found his rib eye a bit grizzly. The fresh fish and salad at the beginning of the meal was very good. We enjoyed eating outside on the balcony overlooking the ocean. Again the waiting staff were very friendly and attentive.
The only time we did note enjoy dinner was in the Italian restaurent (which did not require a reservation). The antipasto bar was plentiful and tasty. However my partner ordered the chicken and it arrived cold. I ordered the linguine with shrimp. I ate the shrimp but could not eat the linquine as it was tasteless. I've never tasted pasta like this before - totally and completely tasteless. And in an unpleasant way. I left it on the plate. Again, the waiting staff was very attendive and friendly. We mentioned this experience to the assistant manager who happened to pass by our table a couple of nights later. She asked how we were enjoying our stay and we told her it was very enjoyable except for the food in the Italian resturant. She made a note of it and will speak with the chef.
The buffet restaurant had everything you would want at a buffet. From salads, to soup, fresh fish, hot and cold items. Too numerous to mention. We found ourselves eating there for breakfast and 2 dinners as it suited our time better than making reservations. The restaurant reservations were eithr 630 or 830 or 845. We found 630 to be too early as we are not hungry at that time usually. We would have either a late breakfast or lunch and dinner after 730. There is so much food that we at only twice a day. There is a nice cappuchino bar in the lovely that serves take out as well as indoor service. They have small sandwiches and pastry for the inbetween times or late night snack.
Overall we enjoyed the food. The best thing about the Riu Palace Peninsula, in my opinion, is the staff - both attitude and service. Very professional and polite, with an attitude of genuine concern for our comfort and needs. Aside from the beautiful grounds, beach and amenities, there is also an interesting archeological site on the property. We had a view of the Mayan site from our balcony. It's quite a site from above - I will try to post a few pictures for you to see.

We will return. Men - remember to bring long pants and a shirt with a sleeve if you want to eat in the restaurants, including the buffet. One fellow did not do this and was refused entry into the buffet and became quite childish and as a result we felt quite uncomfortable having dinner on our last night there. The hotel has it's policies and follow them - no exceptions. I

We will return.

Room Tip: we asked for a junior suite overlooking the ocean - the suites have a jacuzzi tub as well as walkin...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank LindaandBill22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,656 - 3,662 of 5,337 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2012

I had the opportunity to stay here for two weeks. Starting the day after it opened.

At the moment you enter the lobby, you get the feel for this magnificent hotel. A mix of cruiseship extravagance and zen.

The color theme of the Riu Peninsula, is aubergine, fuschia and marble.

The cool lobby decor and restaurants are a stark contrast to other Rius as for example the Cancun and Las Americas. I must note that the lobby has very strong air conditioning.

All five pools are very original in their linear shapes.

Villas have access to there personal infinity pool as for the commoners have access to a huge infinity pool with a majestic view of the ocean.

The beach, bordered by the Tabago bar, has a few palm trees but not enough to create shade, so you may need to get a parasol if desired. By the beach bar you will find 4 beach beds for your relaxing comfort, or the best place to change baby diapers, as I saw a few times. Cute.

Aquatic activities per se are limited. The bay makes this beach calm and the ocean floor is perfect for walking barefoot. The beach sand is filled with shells and small rocks.

To the right of the hotel, a long but rocky shores with steps, that have been built-in, offers a nice sand bottom to walk in.

There are plenty of parasols and shade pool side. The pool bar is very nice and the design is keeping with the general theme of the hotel.

Kids and parents will appreciate one of the pool that slopes down slowly into the water.

Poolside activities include: bingo, football tossing, volleyball, aerobics, dance lessons and various games.


Restaurants and buffets; there are three a la carte restaurants that require a reservation. This may be accomplished by waiting in line at 8:00 am at the concierge desk to the left of the reception counter.

Krystal, the fanciest restaurant, strives to impress you with exquisite presentation of food, but unfortunately I didn't appreciate most of the food served. Carpaccio with charcoal oil.., shrimps (prawns) that taste like iodine...

Tamales, Mexican theme, was nice. It starts with a buffet entree and full service for the main course and dessert. The food was tasty and fresh. Yours to discover.

Kabuki, Japanese theme, was very nice with an entree of sushi, soupe, and nice main course selection. It was my personal favorite of them all.

Venice, the Italian theme, does not require a reservation. Buffet entree and full service main course. I didn't like my shrimp fettuccini, because again, the shrimps had an iodine taste and the pasta was tasteless.

Kudos for presentation at the buffet. Entrees, hors d'oeuvres and the main courses were freshly cooked in front of you, and most likely one may find something to there liking. This goes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My room was ocean view on the 6th floor. Huge balcony, where one may smoke if this is you guilty pleasure, offers a wide view of the pools and ocean and a Mayan ruin on site. I must note that the elevator are whisper quiet which is a stark contrast to the echoing corridors, for you may hear all your drunk neighbours arriving in the wee hours of the night after a spell at Coco bongo. Ya! Coco bongo woohoo!

Back to the room. A nice king bed, 35 inch flat screen tv, water jet bathtub and huge shower with separate shelves for toiletries and towels, double sinks and a toilet in a closet. A sofa (pullout bed) and table. Oh almost forgot, four drink dispenser, Smirnoff vodka, Bacardi white rum, brandy, tequila. A mini fridge stocked with Pepsi, Pepsi light, 7 up, Dos Esquis beer, tonic water and plenty of bottled water.
The shower is very slippery when wet and water changes rapidly without notice. Be careful, now!

Lobby is huge which includes a coffee shop and bar and the Venice restaurant

Internet is free for 90 minutes non divisible at the lobby.

The Renova spa smells of citronella and is a beautiful oasis. There is a jacuzzi and dry sauna. Massages are great and there is a salon and a small gym.

Personnel are very nice and helpful.

Tip, bring along a plug converter although American 2 prungs will work here.

Xtabentun is a wonderful honey & anis digestif. A must try at the sports bar or lobby bar.

It would be wise to bring insect repellent for the evenings.

Room Tip: insect repellant slippery shower floor.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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17  Thank Bigspender789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

We are travel agents who were lucky enough to have been awarded a visit to the RIU Palace Peninsula as part of our hard work with Funjet Vacations. This being just a few short days following the grand opening of the resort. Although you expect a certain amount of "bugs" must be worked out the first few weeks of a new resort, we (all 250 of us) converged on them all at once. The hotel set up seperate staging areas for us so that we didn't overtake the lobby like a hoard of bulls. lol Great job!

You may be used to the RIU's more stately appearance at the majority of their resorts but this is one of the new contemporary designs. I happen to really like the Vegas/Miami vibe! Purple chairs (and I mean purple!) and a good combo of textures and lighting everywhere. My co-worker loved this as well. This style will appeal to some of our clients so now we can offer both settings at a RIU.

We were housed on the 12th floor and had a fantastic view of the skyline, the pool area and the ocean. It appears that all rooms have ocean views while the corridors face the lagoon. We could have held one of our events in the stairwell it is so large. Our room was super clean and we felt sure we were the first to have stayed in there! (Can I have one of the soft purple blankets please?) lol. Our fridge was stocked daily with water, beer, and sodas. My only suggestion here is to perhaps add fruit juices for mixers. Nice big, soft towels for the shower. My co-worker did struggle a bit with warm water settings in the shower. I did not so I wonder if I used too much? Housekeeping has an enormous job that they do very well. Suggest here that housekeeping should be done with every room prior to 5:00p . We had to have our safe reset and maintenance was there pronto. Done. I'm not sure what services we received in our room that were a direct result of our being in the travel agent group or what is standard for every guest. I'll be sure to check on this. In any event, some very nice surprises! Thank you!

The pool bar area was fun and the pools sparkling clean and refreshing. The lounge closest to the beach was my favorite. Bonardo (sp?) is a superior bartender on the property; good music and nice ambience day or night. The sandy beach area is smaller but the ocean floor is very sandy and pleasant for swimming. I swam a lot and thought the water was lovely. The rock ledge on the (east?) side was fun to find urchin and other interesting creatures. You can walk the whole length of the ledge in the water if you like and there are carved steps here and there up to the resort. This was great to me but may be an issue for our beach crazy clients when the resort is full.

Once the landscaping has filled in a bit, this place will be fantastic. I saw an enormous array of flowers, shrubs, and even some bamboo. The giant field of Bird of Paradise at the entrance will be just killer in bloom. Thus, the reviewer who thought of "concrete paradise" may just need a little patience.

All of the agents in our group ate at different restaurants and we all had the main buffet so there are always differing tastes and reviews for food but over all, my advice to clients is that if you can't find something you like to eat here, you probably should have stayed home! I did not hear one hotel guest complain about getting reservations as I've read here so I cannot say that this was an issue.

I enjoyed the darling young people who put on an energetic show. I particularly think the bands and singers were of very high caliber. Ah, I remember being that young once!

We left the resort for various activities so I must do a shout out to Lomas Travel. They are just the best. I felt very much that we were not far from the hotel zone, the party zone or the shopping zone. Perhaps a short cab or bus ride.

I'm giving high marks today for this resort. They can only improve from here. The staff are sweet and friendly and I commend them all for trying to understand the multitude of languages being thrown at them daily. I'll have to return to see how things progress! Only the next visit will be longer I hope! Thanks Cancun....

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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18  Thank Lynn058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

Stayed for 7 days and it was 7 days too long. The hotel lobby may be big but looks like a nightmare of a greek diner, purple and grey and ALL of the lighing in this hotel is fluorescent. The buffett where most of your meals are is lime green and grey with this lighting and feels like a mess hall. The food leaves MUCH to be desired, more salad and chopped fruit and un labeled sauces then anything.I have just returned from the Doctor after a week of extreme diarrhea caused by ecoli bacteria which i know can happen anywhere in Mexico but I never ate or drank outside of the resort so be very careful. The staff is pleasant but slow, getting drinks at the pool will take half an hour,there is only bottled water service in your room,otherwise a thimble sized glass, the pools are nice but there is not enough landscaping so it feels like your in a cement paradise. The beach is what it is , rocky small and not "Cancun" water...stay in the actual hotel zone if you want the beach to be a part of your trip. The jackhammers are very loud especially from the balcony of the room, however youll be upgraded...which doesnt help with the food ,beach or service,so go figure. Getting a dinner reservation is waiting online every morning at 8....if your smart 7:30 ...this doesnt mean youll bet a reservation anyway,because they will first tell you you can book one night at a time , then when that nights 2 seatings are full , all of a sudden you can reserve for the next night, until there hotel is at full capacity and both nights are booked for which they all of a sudden will offer you the third and fourth night at one restaurant w no choice. Dont bother waking up early since your not missing anything....I was very disappointed but have myself to blame for not booking a hotel w more reviews, with this being my first experience in Mexico I realize that this location is very poor, for beach and walking to do anything...my loss, dont let it be yours.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Yvie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

How do I start. First of all I only get away once a year and I feel as if it was a waste of money and time. Check- in took over an hr when I'm use to it being no more than 15 min. Then we finally get a room and the king bed I requested wasn't given to us. All they can say was, we'll see if we can change it. No appologies whatsoever. The sofa in room which I thought was a sofa bed wasn't and my daughters crib took three times to request upto the last hour before she went to bed. The room is situated awkward and the shower kept backing up. It took them three days for them to come to fix it and by the fifth day it was back to backing up. As for the food. It was horrible. I'm so glad I brought food for my kids from home. The food was undercooked and rushed. I even got sick one day and according to one of the only friendly staff members there at the hotel, she stated I wasn't the only one including a few kids got sick. The restaurants that needed reservations were small and you had to get to the desk early in the morning to be able to even get one. At two of the restaurants I had to ask for the menus and drinks and at one we were there for 45 min without any food or drinks. The hotel also said kid friendly with a kids club and pool. This was correct, except they didn't say the pool for kids was the size of a jacuzzi. All the kids hung out at one of the adult pools and you had to be extra careful. Also we signed up my son for only one day to be in the kids club while they were in the pool. The following day the same guy took my son to the club room without my permission by himself with one other boy holding hands as I watched to see what happened from behind. How about asking the parents for permission. There were many things wrong with this place. From no lights in the elevators, to bad food, to bad service. Unfortunately , I wasted my time here on vacation. Beware. Don't do the same. Go somewhere else!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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10  Thank beirutcolon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

What a refreshing hotel! From the moment that you walk into the enormous lobby you are treated with style and color - the design of this entire hotel is fresh, intense and very hip!

The Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula offers everything that you'd expect in a 5-star property and more! The rooms are well designed - and what a gorgeous oceanfront view! The culinary offerings are special - from breakfast through dinner.

There are many options for restaurants and bars. The pool area is impressive; you can find a quiet spot or dive right into the action if you prefer.

The all-inclusive nature of the hotel makes it convenient for guests to find what they want, when they want. There is always a place open where you can eat/drink.

There are plenty of activities for kids during the day - in fact, the kids are involved at the beginning of the evening show. Nice touch for families!

If you feel the need to sweat out some of the calories, there is a health centre with a full schedule of activities. On the quieter side, you can capture the 'inner artist' in yourself at the art gallery where a local artist coaches helps guests express themselves on canvas. Heck, they will even ship your masterpiece home for a small fee!

Nice hotel, great people and an enjoyable time.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank ttarbllib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

What a beautiful hotel and brand new had only been open for 1 week when we arrived on April 13th. The food was great, service was great, room was great what more can I say........now the pool for some reason the water always seemed cold and they did not have a jacuzzi ??? But overall it was a wonderful vacation in a beautiful location and I would definately go back

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank LMANNERS
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 Peninsula

Address: Blvd Kukulkan, 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:
Ranked #21 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
Price Range: $287 - $555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula 4*
Number of rooms: 562
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Riu Palace Peninsula features 3 ADULTS ONLY DELUXE VILLAS in the garden with exclusive services for clients over 18 years old * The hotel is situated right on the white, sandy beach of Caribbean Sea. Its offshore coral reefs and lagoon offers perfect water sports opportunities. The sister hotel Riu Caribe is just 100 m away * Next Village / Location Corazone 4.0 km approx. * Next City Cancún 5.0 km approx. * Airport Cancún International (CUN) 21.0 km approx. * 1 Building 17 floors 514 rooms * 3 Deluxe Villas 3 floors 48 rooms * Accepted Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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