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“Amazing building but ...”

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
Ranked #20 of 181 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Amazing building but ...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

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?

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mrsj210960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

Just came back from a weeks stay at this hotel. It was better than I ever expected. Service was outstanding, the food was amazing with so many choices. I can't think of any food that you couldn't get. Beautiful pools and right on the beach. The staff we so helpful and couldn't do enough for you. My only complaint was that the shower water too ages to drain away
But apparently that's a problem all over Mexico.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank K80pot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

I was impressed to contact thw hotel before the trip to request some surprises to celebrate our anniversary. They graciously offered many items would be shared upon arrival. When we got there, we got none of our requests and also got a double room overlooking what appeared to be a junkyard. Offered no solutions. Spa and restaurants were well-serviced. Pool staff used the N word routinely as well as name-called people not drinking or participating in their stripper pole dancing poolside. We had issues with drunk people trying to access our room, stealing door signs and blaring music. Had to ask for assistance daily.

When complaining to hotel, someone asked us why we didn't accept the free upgrade they offered us upon checkin and how we liked our delivered strawberries and champagne....none of which happened. Seemed like some dishonest things happening at front desk if a check-in person noted that to cover themselves. We go to Cancun every year. First time at a Riu. Every other name we stayed at over past 13 years cares about customers more. Riu won't be a repeat place for us unfortunately. Shameful since the building was beautiful and food was decent and staff at restaurants was wonderful. Not worth spending money and time in a place that can look you in the face and say, oh well, deal with it. You already paid and we don't have to guarantee anything. Didn't care about a negative review because the place is so big. I can share my story and use my voice to book with other resorts like the Palace resorts, LeBlanc, and such...as this one doesn't compare with any of the others we have stayed at. Beauty is skin deep, just like this resort. The flaws are in the heart of the resort, which appears to be the management philosophy of just not really caring or having integrity to make things right when a mistake occurs.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank rsgall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013 via mobile

This place is not 5 star. Building is just over a year old and the grounds are well kept. The lobby and the hotel overall is not your traditional Mexican/Carribean syle motiff. If you like purple this is your place. Two points.
1. Service is below average.
2. Eating Dinner. They have a reservation process for the 5 "themed" resraurants (steak, japanese, mexican etc...you must get a ticket 3 days prior at
8 a.m. for a designated eatery. Essentially 1000 plus guests jockeying 3 days prior at 8 a.m.
for 150-175 seats. Was informed the steak joint(converted lunch buffet area) was fully booked for 8:45
seating. At 9:15 it was less than 50% capacity.?? Just a poor process & policy. This alone is cause enough not to entertain or recommend any RiU properties.
Was an absolute pleasure meeting Margaret & Murray from the great state of Mississippi.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank J R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

We arrived here shortly after our wedding in May. A holiday of a lifetime sums it up in few words, but I'd like to be more elaborate - i'll try not to bore you.

Arriving at the hotel (via Private Taxi may I add, no sweaty coach) The thing I remember the most is the size of this Hotel, its HUGE. Standing near reception looking at the hotel is quite a sight, the entrance into the hotel is also just as good, with a large, airy (very well air conditioned) reception area, the decor being ultra-modern, which is a stark contrast to the surroundings and other buildings, but totally to my taste. The receptionist explained the basics, the restaurants, how the booking system worked, and then the best bit - our location, the VIP section, the 'Villas'. I must admit I was a little skeptical, having read some reviews, but this hotel had me from the word go, everything was shaping up to be spot on.

The room had a fantastic view (beach, sea, infinity pool) flat screen TV, King Size bed, Jacuzzi on the balcony, Jacuzzi Bath inside, twin sinks, fridge, minibar, optics with spirits...

And people saying the spirits were watered down, pull the other one. I went downstairs and told them that the optics were empty, they came back up with a bottle, unopened, and opened it in front of me, then added it to the cabinet. So unless Diageo (UK) who makes and exports Smirnoff are filling their bottles full of water then sealing them (audible clicking sound as it is opened) then this is impossible :)

All of the things they promise, both Thomson and RIU delivered. We had cocktails around the pool (and even in the pool) thanks to the awesome Fernando - who deserves a medal may I add. If you want top shelf spirits, just ask! I fell in love with Bacardi Anejo & Coke while I was over there, never got delivered their own brand if I asked for Bacardi.

The food was very good. My wife loved the non-buffet restaurants as they arent her thing, and we had a good meal in every one we tried. The Italian was an easy favourite, with a small buffet starter, and a a la carte main meal, it suited us both to the ground. You could eat until you burst, and still not try it all. My only issue, was with the beans and hash browns at breakfast. The hash browns were very soggy, the beans very watery. Maybe they leave them that way as they would really dry out otherwise? Everything else was spot on. The outer lunch area could do with a insect-o-cutor for the flies, maybe it was the time of year, but there werent enough to cause a panic, but a few more than I would of liked to see.

The beach, small and tidy, the photographers did a brilliant job of our honeymoon photos, and captured images we simply never could ourselves. We enjoyed our excursions from Thomson (thanks Gary) and our time spent around the hotel was simply bliss. When it came to the later evening, We were warned that the entertainment was typical Mexican (we were warned to drink a few tequila before hand) and I didn’t know what this meant, until I saw the stage show, then later put on the TV… Mexicans are kind of crazy. Fun, but crazy. You will see what I mean.

Things to note:
1. No supermarket in-hotel - there is one a short walk to the right in the neighbouring RIU Caribe.
2. Plugs accommodate both Spanish & US style plugs, at 110v AC. Check your equipment.
3. Dont drink the water - Anyone that does drink it and then gets sick, needs to blame themselves before blaming the hotel's cleanliness. There is a notice to say do not drink the water.

Cant wait to go back at some point! Would recommend the VIP section for couples.

Coco Bongos was an awesome night in the VIP, And Dolphin Discovery was an all over brilliant experience. Seeing the dolphins in the sea rather than a little pool made the difference.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bunceyyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

I was with my family from August 31 to September 4, 2012.

Since we booked, we included the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. The company hotelbeds (which provide the service), is staffed with black shirt waiting for travelers once they exit the airport doors. You must wait about 15 minutes for transport, and from the airport to the hotel takes about 30 minutes. -this is because the route passes first through the RIU Cancun, RIU Americas, and finally the RIU Peninsula.

Hotelbeds staff is qualified, and willing to assist you promptly.

Once you get to the hotel, they offer you a cocktail while you are in the frontdesk. Although we arrived before the scheduled time, the room was already available.

The room has a minibar with pepsi, water and juices. There are alcoholic beverages like Smirnoff Vodka, Brandy Presidente, white Bacardi Rum & Tequila Jose Cuervo.

The regular room is spotless, comfortable mattress and enough pillows. the A C is soundless, and there is a fan directly above the bed, barely perceptible. On both sides of bed there outlets (110 VAC) and night reading lamps. The water pressure in the shower is good, but the floor is very slippery.

One day they forgot to make the room so we had to call the front desk for it. We were surprised as the service took less than 15 minutes to come.

Regarding the food, I read that for many people is repetitive. In my case, I found good variety, and I did not have to repeat courses in seven days. In addition, the hotel has 4 themed restaurants, where you should book in advance.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank caherna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

absolutely amazing hotel the staff were 10/10 for helpfulness and kindness. the hotel view was unreal, the pools were great, the food and drink was great. me and my gf had the best holiday ever and I would highly recommend to any couple. rooms were cleaned every single day, staff work non stop to make you feel welcome. best holiday I have ever been on and both hotel, the photos don't do it justice you will not believe it when you are there I was in awe

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank johnbham86
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 181 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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