this hotel is of a modern design, which unfortunately doesn't suit everyone. This was our third trip to Mexico and a Riu Palace. My favourite was the Palace Mexico, a very close second was the Palace Playas das Americas. The design of the foyer and cocktail bar is very contemporary and whilst it looks really good, the high ceilings and lack of wood to absorb the noise, for me, made the experience less than perfect. Noise travels and echoes in the cocktail bar and café area. Whist the staff at the customer service desk were very helpful, overall the service was very hit and miss, some staff were excellent, others quite poor. We ate in most of the a la carte restaurants at least twice and found that the service was excellent on one occasion, but unfortunately it wasn't repeated. We walked out of the Japanese restaurant on our second visit prior to finishing our meal, along with a couple of others who were unhappy with the service. We visited the Palace down the road, where we stayed at on our last visit to Mexico and had lunch in the buffet, there was a marked difference in the service, and the selection of food was better! There were plenty of 'big wigs' walking about, we noticed that they spoke to some people once or twice, but not us, you'd have thought that they would want the views of a variety of people. The cleanliness of the hotel and the grounds was top notch, every spillage was cleared up instantly, the public toilets were very clean, the pool area and the beach were all clean and tidy. There didn't seem to be enough parasols, there were built shelters, but these don't suit everyone, seems to be quite a common thing in more modern hotels. Have also experienced these in new hotels in Egypt and Turkey. I'm not sure the bath in the bedroom works for me, some had the Jacuzzi bath on the balcony, that would be ok, as long as there was a bath with a shower head in the bathroom, I love to soak in the bath with lots of bubbles even on holiday! Other than that the layout and design of the room was good, and it was always spotlessly clean. There were a lot of younger people in this hotel, and perhaps it suits them better, we didn't get into the pool with the swim up bar, it was always full of young Americans, some of whom didn't appear to leave the pool from the moment they got in until they left around 6pm in the evening! It was very noisy there and we made sure we were well away from there after a couple of days of having to raise our voices to speak to each other. Would I go back to this hotel? No, for all the above reasons, it just didn't suit us. We had planned on going to the Palace Mexico but we thought we'd try this, and I now wish we hadn't. It was a good holiday and we enjoyed it, but it wasn't perfect and when you spend the money to get to Mexico that we Brits have to, you want a great holiday! Saying that I would recommend it to someone up to the age of 35,or anyone who likes noise and the party atmosphere. I suggest that Riu consider introducing a programme to ensure that all staff, regardless of their role in the industry are able to speak and understand English. The cleaning staff, a vital cog in this very large machine, seem to have little understanding and ability to speak the language that is spoken (in various accents) by the majority of the hotels clients, and whilst I appreciate my pigeon Spanish is embarrassingly poor, Riu are not paying me to stay at their hotel. One criticism of Thomsons, on the day we were leaving a young couple were waiting to be picked up, their flight to Manchester was leaving way before ours, their taxi hadn't turned up, we offered to take them in our taxi, but the driver wouldn't allow this, we saw them at the airport when they arrived with just minutes to spare before their flight. Surely the reps at the airport should have realised that they hadn't turned up when expected and done something to find out why, I appreciate it's a busy time for them, but surely they have a duty of care, isn't that why we pay a tour operator rather than book it ourselves, to ensue we get from A to B and back again, with minimum hassle?
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