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“Awesome vacation, and some tips!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
Ranked #20 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Buffalo NY
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Awesome vacation, and some tips!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Peninsula last week from February 18-February 24. We had a fabulous time. The weather was hot, sunny, and a bit breezy at times but overall it was a great week! After reading reviews fanatically before leaving, I noticed some things while we were there that weren't mentioned in the reviews so I want to point those out, plus a few other comments!

Tips about the buffet:
We typically don't eat at many buffets here at home so of course we were skeptical of the buffet before even arriving. There are some awesome choices, however! The fruit is super fresh and delicious, and the salads/veggies are great. Tons of choices. The chips/salsa/guac and other hot sauces are delicious. You could always get a fresh corn tortilla and fill it with chicken or steak and your choice of other toppings. These were our favorite items.
The trouble we ran into was our schedule for eating. We would get up in the morning usually around 9, go for a run (more about that later), come back to the room, get ready for the pool and then go eat. By this time, the Las Olas buffet (open from 7-10 or 10:30) would be closed and the selection at the other buffet (Isla Mujeres) would be pretty limited and picked over without being replenished. The omelet station was great, though. We actually didn’t even realize that Las Olas was open for breakfast until a few days into our trip – what a difference! There is a huge breakfast selection with anything you can imagine, tons of yummy selections.
Also, when you are ready for lunch, Isla Mujeres doesn’t open until 12:30. We recommend that you try and go right around this time for the freshest selections. This buffet is not air-conditioned and there is a gorgeous breeze and view when you eat here – but the lack of AC makes the foods not as fresh.

Specialty Restaurants:
Mexican – okay, same buffet items as the regular daytime buffet, entrée items were decent but nothing super special. I had the shrimp dish and it was outstanding, but my husband’s pulled pork was just okay.

Italian – no reservation needed, tons of selections in the buffet and great entrée choices. We ate there twice and were happy both times. The chicken dish was our fave.

Steakhouse – I ordered mid rare and so did Scott, and mine was more medium well. His was better. The lobster was on the dry side, but still good. The seafood platter they bring before the meal was outstanding – ceviche, shrimp, mussels, smoked salmon, crab.

Krystal – hands down, the best. I ordered my steak rare and it was perfectly mid rare! Scott had lamb, also yummy. This was the only restaurant that also had full bar service right in the restaurant, the others just have beer and wine as far as I could tell. This was our favorite meal.

Asian – so-so. Everything was fine, both nothing I would run back to eat. Sushi platter to start with, soups or noodles for second course, and then the main. I had stir fried steak and vegetables with different sauces and it was good. Scott had chicken teriyaki, it was alright. They really try hard.

Other tips/notes:
All along the main road, there is a walking path – this was great for a morning run! Very safe and if you go about 2 miles or so, you are at the Riu Palace Las Americas. We stopped to look around (very pretty, totally different than our place), grabbed a water and ran back.

Like others have said, the bus is a great way to get around! We went to La Isla mall and other places and it is so easy to get anywhere for $1 per person, each way.

Freddy at the lobby bar – makes the best drinks and is the nicest guy! We tipped him well. He works so hard along with everyone else at the resort! So accommodating. Be sure to bring lots of singles for tipping, they deserve it!

Past the villas there is another bar on the beach that is hidden away. We never would have known it was there but were exploring our first night. We heard rumors it was for villa guests only, but that is not the case. It is more peaceful and you can sit at a table on the beach! Saturday night they have the beach party at this location and it was a great time.

Definitely take the ferry over to Isla Mujeres – adorable island and you can walk all around. Many suggest a golf cart but for $45 we didn’t think it was worth it. Tons of little shops and great little cantinas on the beach. We stopped at a place and had 2 beers each, guacamole, and a quesadilla for just $16USD!

I almost forgot – we never ate at Las Olas for dinner but one night had a later reservation but wanted to have drinks and munchies in our room. We went into Las Olas, made up a few plates of cheese, chips, etc. and they had no problem with us just taking it back to the room. This was great! We weren’t sure if we could just do this, but asked and they even offered to have it brought up to us if we didn’t want to carry it. Very nice!

Overall, we had a great week. I am not sure if we would go back to Cancun again, only because we have been to Playa del Carmen twice and like the more laid-back vibe there better. Still, we were able to have a relaxing and awesome week at the Riu!

Feel free to message me with any questions!

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor for the best view!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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17 Thank car_and_scott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

Looks can be deceiving. While pretty on the outside one has to ask why a hotel chain of this caliber and who serves champagne and cavier to discerning guests for breakfast finds it necessary to charge for the use of the air hockey and pool tables in the sports bar and has bartenders wash and re-use plastic cups as we witnessed on the night of February 25, 2013, not to mention the army of ants surrounding the refrigerators, and for the sake of all of us not used to extreme heat they should install some air conditioning systems that actually make sense and work properly. Yuck. I won't be back.
B T
Toronto

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Barb T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

Everything was wonderful from the time we arrived until the time we left. Staff was very friendly and polite. The hotel was very clean and the crew was constantly cleaning and taking care of the landscape. We stopped by the other RIU's in Cancun and this Hotel was the most modern. This hotel also had many pools and plenty of beach space without feeling crowded. Some of the other RIU's looked more tight as the guests were laying out. We stayed in the Villa's, and it was very enjoyable and quiet. Remeber to bring some money to tip here and there; although all inclusive, it goes a long way and the staff does truely work very hard. The Entertainment in the evenings was ok. It was almost like a high school variety show, but the live music was very enjoyable. If you want to go downtown and get tired of just being in one place, you can leave the hotel and hop on a bus for $1 US. We did this one day. They have people sitting outside by the entertainment area daily, if interested in booking a trip while there too. We enjoyed 6 day visit and would reccommend it to our friends and family.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bryan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

I looked for an exotic place where we spend our vacation in November opting as a destination for Mexico - Cancun area.

We chose the Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula because it is newly opened in May and located in a very good area. Modern design exterior / interior. We had the suite on the 7th floor overlooking the resort. A spacious room with tastefully matched with a spectacular view. What can I say, the more amazed us is made spotless cleaning 2 times a day suite room and people constantly cleaned everything in the spring. There is no bathroom floor or dirty, clean it shines.

The staff is friendly and helpful, very friendly Mexicans themselves.

The food is very tasty and varied, you can serve five restaurants: Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Krystal Fusion and a Steak House, where access is based reservation is made near the reception and main restaurant "Las Olas" Swedish buffet, there is a bar serving coffee drinks plus dessert and one right in the hotel lobby. Room service and sports bar is 24/7.

There is a shop with all you need ranging from pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, clothes, sun cream.

WiFi access (very good signal inside the hotel, balcony, beach), cable in rooms and sports bar are available inside about 6 pc.

Are organized every evening shows and shows on the beach and pool.

The animation team is active and diverse performing throughout the day.

After an hour spent in the gym to relax at the spa center where there are two jacuzzis, one with warm water 20 degrees and a 47 degrees shade the water, placed on an open terrace. This was very nice and relaxing.

Cancun is many things to many people. Youth is a continuous party. Clubs in Cancun are recognized worldwide, Coco Bongo club is most famous for his performances, the price of entry is $ 60. In other clubs price varies between 40 and 60 dollars and 90 dollars you can spend the night in 3 different clubs. The price includes open bar "drink as you can". We opted for Coco Bongo, Mandala, and I missed Cabana Beach Club City. There you book through agency representatives, go to the hotel animation team providing transport to club and input price without any extra charge.

For those in romantic honeymoon destination is perfect for a beginning of life in two. Sports enthusiasts can catch some great waves or sink in clear ocean.

And older people are able to spend the holiday in a perfect relaxing oasis with impeccable service provided by the resort and sleep nightly performances during the progress :))))

From ancient ruins to beautiful beaches, Cancun offers something for everyone. Indeed, it is a great destination with natural beauty with many attractions and archaeological riches. Regardless of what you want, you are likely to find in Cancun.

Do not miss to visit: Chichen Itza - which is at a distance of 2.30 bus ride, lunch is included and the price is 90 dollars, departure is at 9 am and return at 18 (not that you find agencies seek malls or town because you risk to pay the ticket and do not come to the one at the appointed time, purchase tickets from reproach. agencies who find in the theater in the hotel) and Isla Mujeres which is at a distance Cancun convenient. Place of departure to the island is 3 minutes away. We chose amabarcatiunile yellow-ultramarine which runs 30 minutes. Price is $ 17 round trip. Departure was from 8.30 am and return at 17. During the walk we had a unique specatocol provided by a mariachi "toothless". He arrived on the island we rented a car in the style of golf $ 45. Little isle tour taking us about 2 hours, stopping here and there to admire the scenery. We walked the narrow streets full of bazaars, including brightly colored houses slightly damaged when cleaning surprised us in a pleasant way. In the north-east of the island I was very happy to discover a surreal beach, golden sands of sun tropics, turquoise waves, dreamscape for which I can not find comparison. In short, a place that seems true gateway to paradise.

The beach is full of terraces and an enchanting atmosphere, if you are detached from reality.

Walk to Playa del Carmen can make to the city center by bus and from there change to Playa de Carmen, journey takes about 30 minutes, low cost. The bracelet have access to all RIU resorts where you can eat anything you want (drinks, food) and you can freely enjoy the beach or trip to Tulum pyramids + 1 hour visiting Playa del Carmen cost $ 50.

Do not use with your euros or dollars, although widely accepted rate is much better in Mexican pesos. (1 euro = 16.5 pesos, $ 1 = 12.5 pesos) Be cautious when accessing your ATM in the hotel that are paying in pesos and exchange commission is only 67% the amount extracted.

ATM nearest to dollar exchange is located near the exit of the hotel on the left in the store.

Use buses to get anywhere because it is safe and convenient transport 8.5 pesos / trip (0.68 U.S. cents) and travel frequently.

Mexicans are friendly and not aggressive at all, you can easily visit any corner without any danger.

We recommend this destination and this wonderful resort!

Room Tip: I think all rooms are great
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
12 Thank aalina00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Overall experience was awesome. We went with a group of 93 - we had a private check-in that was well organized. All rooms have beautiful views of the ocean and pool area . The hotel itself is gorgeous. The decor is very contemporary, more of what I would expect in Miami. I am personally partial to the more traditional look and luxury that the other Riu Palaces offer. The one thing I did not like was the layout of the rooms. The bathroom area is adjoined to the rest of the room - I prefer a little more privacy. The beach is small and has some rocky walls which I think adds to its beauty. If you want to enjoy the beach go next door to The Riu Caribe, it has a beautiful beach. The pool is large and chairs were available anytime of the day. The food was very good with many options. The Steakhouse was our favorite - the lobster & filet were excellent and we were even offered seconds on the lobster. I cannot say enough about the service, it was excellent as it is with all the Riu's. The staff was always smiling and asking if there was anything we needed from drinks to pool chairs. They truly go above and beyond!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
6 Thank Melinda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

I stayed at this hotel in December and it was awesome! New construction, great location, nice rooms, easy access to shopping, night life, etc. I just found this awesome deal to go back on Mar 8! Just $690 per person and it includes round trip non stop air from Austin, 3 nts all inclusive hotel, transfers and taxes at www.applevacations.com

Room Tip: All rooms are junior suites so you have plenty of room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank applebeachbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
109 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Arrival: Upon arrival we were greeted with drinks. We checked in before 3pm and our rooms were not ready. This was fine but the room we paid for was not available; the difference was we got a queen beds vs a king bed. The front desk did attempt to accommodate us and give us a king upgraded to an ocean view. But due to a misunderstanding between my husband and I we never moved. Side note: Others seem to have a lot of problems with the booking of rooms as well for some reason!

Hotel: Was very modern and clean and I enjoyed the fresh flowers every where which were so beautiful.

Rooms: Very modern and clean and I enjoyed the towel animals that were created each day. The only downfall with the room was that the bathtub was rusted out and I was afraid to get in it, but it was so cute. The TV was updated but couldn't figure out how to load my USB or SCD card once plugged in. We changed the settings but it never worked out. I wish the bathroom had a vent because I almost died in there. (LOL TMI) If you gotta go keep the door open no ventilation! Of course we enjoyed the liquor dispenser and the mini fridge with beer, water and soda. And lastly the shower was clogged but was fixed immediately. Whenever we had a problem it was solved immediately and followed up with a phone call.

Room Service: Was very quick and delicious. The chocolate cake was the bomb.com!

Shows: Were fun and entertaining especially the rock and roll show. I also enjoyed the band after the shows. The bands vocalist was very entertaining and i enjoyed his dance moves.

Bars: The bars were designed very nice and for the most part the staff was very friendly. So I can't wait to give a shout out to Meli & Jose at the Cabana bar; Gerado, Gilberto, and Diego at the Pool bar. They were so fun and friendly and kept us entertained and full of very good drinks. Diego was my very favorite and was hilarious.

Beach: The beach was cool and sure it was small compared to others but served it's purpose for me as I can't swim anyway. So I enjoyed being able to float out there. Downfall here was the rocks so be careful! Shout out to the lifeguard who patched up my toe whose name I cannot remember.

Pool: Was very nice. Swimup bar cool.

Food: Was good but I did read where nothing changed and it didn't. I ate the same thing every day and that's no fun. We didn't get a chance to go to Krystal's this time around but we did eat at the Japanese restaraunt on the last night which was so good! Shout out to Leo for showing my husband and I how to use chopsticks. If you want a late night snack head over to the sports bar for a hot dog. I liked it after drinking when i was hungry.

Would I visit this Riu again? Yup.
Did I have a good time? Yup.

Oh lastly I read where someone got food poisoning and this did not happen to me. But then again to be safe we took pepto chewables every day before eating. I only threw up once but that was due to all of the tequila. Ha ha.

One last thing bring your own change for tips as the front desk no longer offers change. Some of the staff can provide you with change in some cases. They work hard all day so most of them really deserved a tip for it!

Disco: It would be cool to have a place on site to dance if you don't want to hangout with the youngsters in party center. Or if they could turn the area where the shows are given into a place to dance with a DJ a couple of times a week.

Room Tip: I would choose the Villas next time because it is adult only. I read a review stating it was far fr...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Tarra A
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

Property: 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 #20 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula 4*
Number of rooms: 562
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