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“What a great time!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
Ranked #23 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We had a really great time at this resort. Everything was pristine and very well kept. The little bar by the beach was the best! Our room was excellent and the service was good too. We tipped everyone, and it probably didn't hurt. The only problem we had is that we were on a pretty short trip, so dinner reservations didn't happen for us, though we were able to squeeze in the second night. The food is decent and the drinks are good, especially if you make sure you order top shelf. It really is a beautiful resort and I would recommend it to anyone!

Room Tip: From what I can tell, all of the rooms are ocean view!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank chalaine555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 14, 2014

Really nice clean hotel. Good service. Food was better then most hotels. Buffet was always changing and good. Specialty restaurants were ok service was always good. Entertainment was ok same band every night with same songs every night. They were good but could play other songs too. Hotel was very clean. Room was good view was unbelievable. We were in a jr. Suite superior eleventh floor looked right over the pools and beach. Every night the party boats were out in the water right in front of this hotel. From our room we could see them all lite up and then watch the fire works they shot off the boats. We could see the light over to the island isla very nice. The pool area was great. Clean and easy to find a chair right beside the pool. Excellent time.

Room Tip: Jr. Suite superior tenth floor or higher we were in room 1136 very nice great view. Free internet wo...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lisa h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We selected the Riu Palace Peninsula for my wife's 50th birthday after reading many reviews on trip advisor, we were not disappointed. We were very late getting to the resort because of multiple flight cancellations and delays arriving 12 hours later than planned. We were worried about getting the room type we had reserved arriving so late. The people at the front desk were pleasant and very accommodating which was great after spending 14 hours either in an airport or flying. We had booked a Junior Suite Superior Ocean View with Balcony and received the room type we had reserved, it was on the 11th floor and the view was spectacular.
The entertainment crew was very pleasant as was everyone else in the hotel, they went over the top to make sure you were having a good time and always had smiles on their face every time they greeted you, Juan was exceptional, always smiling and making sure you were happy. These workers put in very long days, you would see them in the morning and would still be there at the show late at night. The evening shows were not spectacular but if you didn't feel like heading out of the hotel they were adequate entertainment. One of the better shows was the night that the entertainment staff did they show, while they are not professional dancers they did a great job. The live band for the week was ok, they did not play our type of music and didn't stick around much to watch them, would be nice if you could see a couple of different bands in the same week but they must sign on for a week at a time.
The food, where do I start, we have cruised Carnival a few times in the last couple of years, the food at this resort was way above the food that Carnival serves. The breakfast buffet was your usual breakfast, but there were many choices, fruits, cereals, meats, pancakes, French toast, made to order omelets....etc. One of the waitresses took a liking to us and every morning when she would see us she would run up to us and sit us in her section and again at lunch when she saw us she would seat us again. The lunch buffet was great, I actually thought it was better then the dinner buffet. What a selection, everything from salads, meats, pizza, fajitas, Quesada's, one day I tried the Octopus which to my surprise was very good, it was well prepared cooked with peppers and onions, another day I tried the squid, again very good. There was also a nice selection of desserts. There are five specialty restaurants, we tried three of them, they only take reservations two days in advance which we did not find to be a problem but one gentleman was expressing his unhappiness with this relatively loudly, oh well you can't make everyone happy, remember you are on vacation.
The Italian restaurant was great but of the three we visited was my least favorite, but was still very happy with it. There is a salad bar, and a selection of four or five entrees to choose from. All were well prepared and tasted great. The Japanese restaurant was fantastic, started out with shrimp wonton soup which was very tasty, then they brought out a sushi plate, which was fantastic, I ordered the Tempura shrimp, excellent, everyone else raved over their entrees. As I mentioned it was my wife's 50th birthday and they surprised her with a cake and sang happy birthday to her. After we ate the cake they brought out the desserts we had ordered! Needless to say we could barely walk after all this. The steakhouse was great also, you started out with a Caesars salad, and they brought out a nice seafood appetizer to share, a plate for each couple, which included crab, shrimp, mussels, and smoked salmon. For the entrée three of us got the ribs, very good, and the other got the sirloin which was a nice cut of meat and he said it was cooked perfectly. Of course after all this you got dessert, Alaskan or triple chocolate cake. I wouldn't listen to any negative comments about these three restaurants, for an all inclusive they were fantastic!
On two nights my wife was surprised in the room, one night with the bed decorated in rose petals, chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne in the room, the other night bed decorated again and a bottle of tequila, and both nights a card from the staff wishing her a happy birthday.
The drinks tend to be on the weak side, but if you tip these hard working people and ask for a "little extra" in your drinks, you will get it. There is a selection of martinis and they are tasty.
Overall we were very impressed with the hotel and staff and will definitely look at other Riu properties in the future and would definitely come back here again.
The one small downside to this hotel is the beach, small, rocky, and we had some bad weather and full of sea grass that they remove daily, but after the bad weather they couldn't keep up with removing it from the small part of the beach directly associated with this hotel. You can walk a short distance to the Riu property next door and their beach is much nicer.

Room Tip: Spend the extra to be on the upper floors we were on the 11th floor and the view was spectacular.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank beachloversPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

Diago from the lobby bar was great, food was great and the wonderful entrainment staff Omar, Beto And Danny the crazy guy. Mojitos are great as well. We went to city night club which was great bit Elevation was very bad

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Gary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

The nice rooms, the service staff, and a good selection of food were the redeeming aspects of this resort despite having food poisoning, issues with the room initially, bad wifi, and lack of activities at the resort. This is the first time that I can say that I will not be returning to a resort. I and my girlfriend moderately enjoyed this resort despite only having three of the ten days with sun (not at all the resorts issue, but it is worthy of notice for the locality during January).


SERVICE STAFF - The service staff were fantastic and very courteous. There should be a more formal type of service within the restaurants as we were served by multiple people throughout the various sittings. It is distracting. There should be one host and one dedicated waiter/waitress for your table. The service and meals were prompt. We should be able to order any type of drink we wish at the restaurants, which was not the case. The staff are not expecting of tips which was nice (we did tip frequently though). The bartender in the beach bar near the adults only section (January 8th, night) was very nice and introduced us to the “Miami Vice” which was mixed very well.


FOOD – There was a very wide selection of food at the buffet, more than 3-4 times than available at the RIU PALACE just down the road. Some of it was quite good and my slight weight gain would deem it so (not working out every day would have also contributed). The Kulinarium restaurant has really good Bass and the steak was particularly good. Other notably good food: the waffles, coconut ice cream (wish they had it every day, fantastic), and the iced coffee (coffee bar).

There were no fresh juices (orange, etc), which would be expected of an all inclusive, at least all of the ones I have been to before. All that is served are artificial syrup based juices which were not palatable.

Besides that, I attained food poisoning from eating a hot dog at the sports bar. I did recover relatively quickly, only wasting a day.

I highly question the food safety practices at this resort. I have seen on two occasions where cooks touched uncooked food and then proceeded to touch cooked food. It seems to be common practice to have cooling trays with both uncooked meat and fruits/vegetables together. As a matter of good practice, foods that will not be cooked should never touch uncooked meat. I will upload an image showing the practice, which I saw three times over three days that I looked.


ROOM – The room was very nice (11th floor- ocean view). The resort and rooms have an open, modern, concept. The wide use of purple makes the resort look repetitive and cheap. The pillows and bed were really comfortable. We enjoyed the in-room jet tub several times. The maid service/ cleaning was done very well. Turn to channel 28 on your television for TNT which is a good movie channel (channel 33 also).


ROOM MAINTENANCE - Upon arrival to the room we noticed two burned out lights and a non-functioning refrigerator. How this escaped normal room check procedures calls into question whether or not it is checked or if they actually care. They were fixed within an hour of calling. Water is not potable, which is to be expected, but it smells strongly of sulfur in the morning.


ACTIVITIES - The amount of outdoor activities are below average for an all-inclusive. There are no inside activities for adults on rainy days. You have to pay for the pool tables in the sports bar. Suggestion: Put a deck of cards at each table in the coffee/bar area so people can pass the time. How about some indoor dance lessons in the concert area during rainy days?


BEACH AND POOLS – The beach was nice. Get there early to get a beach chair as they are hard to come by in the afternoon. The pools were clean and maintained daily. The pool bar should be for adults only and is frequented by rowdy children.


WIFI - I operate online businesses and require almost constant access (not constant use, lol) to internet services. The wifi at the resort is inconstant and does not allow for constant access. I was frequently dropped from using the internet entirely more than a few times due to congestion. There are many dead spots within the resort. Five main floor access points should be used instead of just two to help with wifi reception and traffic directing. I decided to get a data plan with a local carrier TELCEL (Total cost for SIM card and 1.5GB of data for 15 days was about $40). There is also Movistar and IUSACELL to choose from. Telcel has better service within Cancun though. You can visit the Telcel store at the Flamingo mall which is about 10 minutes from the resort.


CANCUN IN GENERAL - It is the latin american version of Las Vegas, which describes a lot. Although we did enjoy the atmosphere of the resort and locale, it seemed a bit too unrelaxed and busy. There are plenty of shopping and shows to partake in. Cancun is home to large brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, any many other top brands. Do not expect bargains anywhere as most prices are 30-80% higher than in the US or Canada. Jewelry in the RIU’s jewelry shop is 4 times the fair price (beware the 50% off sale that seems to change every week). If you are looking for a Las Vegas experience, go to Las Vegas. For a more calm and relaxing atmosphere, look elsewhere other than Cancun.


Overall, the price you would pay for this place would buy you a much better experience at another resort in another country.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank j g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

This is my 7th trip to Cancun, however, first time in downtown area and first time to a Riu hotel.
Normally I stay at an Iberostar property, but thought for something different would try downtown.
This hotel is less than 2 years old. Very modern decor. The biggest complaint I have is the poor design of hotel when it rains. The week we were there it rained all week, and the floors were all super slippery in which we fell several time and so did many others. Even the restaurant were getting rain into them, puddles on the floors. The theatre was like a swimming pool with standing water?? Who designed this hotel, didn't they think it would ever rain? We enjoyed the food for the most part at the buffet. I agree with another review in which they won't let you make reservations less than 2 days ahead. Ate at the Japanese restaurant and Steak House. Nothing to rave about. Steak House was a disappointment, piece of meat very thin/overcooked, baked potato was the smallest I have ever seen at a restaurant. Japanese restaurant was a little better but nothing spectacular. Housekeeping was hit or miss weather they would show up or not. I was in a Junior suite, great view but odd the tub was in the middle of the room, no walls.
Two double beds. Not a lot of activities, we actually went next door to the Riu Caribe and enjoyed their entertainment better. Also had activities when it was raining. Palace did not.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Snoopy.fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Let me start by saying that I have spent months waiting for this trip to arrive, and I had high expectations because of what I have read here. It wasn't a bad stay at this hotel, but I can't say that it's an excellent, or even a good place. It just barely made an average rating.

First of all I had reserved a Jr. Suite with a hot tub, and requested a first floor room. I injured my knee and I was unable climb stairs, and after reading here that there were no elevators, it was very important to me that is was on the first floor. I let them know that when I booked this trip in September. When we arrived we were greated by a great staff. All of them worked hard to make this a great trip. My wife and I received a great welcome with a hot towel and a nice drink. The problems started right there. I was informed that the only room available in the villas was on the THIRD floor. I told Jessica, the supervisor of the front desk, that I couldn't walk the stairs and requested a ground floor villa. Then she offered a room in the main building. We really wanted the jacuzzi tub. So I expressed that. She then magically found a villa on the first floor. So we took it with the option that we could look at the room before we decided. The bellhop loaded our bags and we headed off to the villa. The room was way back in a corner of the resort, near a main road, and right up against a fence that separated us from the Riu Caribe. The room was unacceptable. First of all it stunk like mildew. Second of all it had a problem with ants. It looked like this room had not been stayed in for some time and it needed dusting. I called the front desk and asked for Jessica, at this point willing to take a downgrade to a room without a jacuzzi. She said that I had waited to long, and the hotel was full, so she gave it to someone else. So much for letting us check the room out. We could return the next morning to receive the room we paid for. I arrived in the morning and she had nothing to give us. We were stuck with a dog of a room that stank, was dirty, and had bugs. Completely unacceptable. We must have gotten used to the smell, because we began to not notice it after a day or so. We only realized that it was really bad when all of the clothes we brought home with us stink of mildew. The jacuzzi tub didn't hold water, and was dirty when we went to use it. The place is new, and already has problems with their so called amenities.

The room itself was weird, the whirlpool bathtub in the room was in the exact center of the room, and actually didn't hold water either, until I played with the drain and got it to keep some of the water in. It's also a trip hazard because of the marble floors made it hard to no slip getting out. It's also just the right height to bash your knee against as you make your way to the sinks. It was just way out of place. The shower was wonderful however. It had great water pressure and offered a hand held sprayer, and a rain soaker from the ceiling. It was the best thing about this room.

The people who made this trip bearable were the incredible staff. They went out of the way to make everything as pleasant as it could be. They were always smiling and greeted us with a hola all of the time. Everything, other than the room, was great. They made sure my drinks were full, and remembered what we wanted, even without asking. Great service. This may be an all inclusive, but tip these people. They deserve much better than they are getting paid.

The grounds and public areas were spotless. The staff was always cleaning something. It rained and was very windy a few nights of our trip. We couldn't enjoy the pools and beach as much as we would have liked, but they made up for it, by providing great service at the lobby bar. It was busy every night.

The food at the buffet was great. It is not worthy of an award but it was always good. I did not have a bad meal at the buffet. The offerings were varied, and there had to be something for everyone.

We ate at all but two of the other restaurants. Japanese in Mexico just sounded awful, and the menu did not look good. The steak house just sounded boring. My favorite meal was at Krystal. They had a great lamb and cous cous dish that I completely recommend. The tapas were horrible however. Cold beet soup tasted horrible, and the tiny peanut thing on the tapas plate was underwhelming. Tamales was great. The food was wonderful, but not the best Mexican at the resort. The buffet had better Mexican options. The tortilla soup was one of my favorites of the trip and must be tasted. Kulinarium was just okay for me. I may have ordered the wrong thing. My wife loved her filet, saying it was one of the best steaks she had ever had. The desserts at all of the restaurants were lackluster. I think everyone I chose came with some sort of ice cream, and they were not all that good either. The Italian was not good.

The entertainment was slightly entertaining, but the performers made up for it with enthusiasm. On one of the rainy, windy nights they could not have a beach party like they and planned, so they help a contest to find out who was the best couple. It was not fun, and looked like it had been thrown together in a few minutes.

After the shows it was boring at the hotel, with nothing to do. We tried to hang out at the 24 hour sports bar, but it was just boring. The food at the sports bar is awful. They offer hot dogs, but the buns were stale and actually inedible. The nachos were horrible. The cheese sauce looked nothing like nacho cheese at all, a kind of radioactive orange color, they had all the toppings, but I found mold on some of them and passed. The sandwiches in the fridge needed to be rotated correctly as there was mold on them too. Disgusting. Avoid the sports bar.

The selection of beer was disappointing. Tecate and Dos Equis were the only ones offered. I would have liked a corona, or modelo, but the bartender explained that they had an agreement with the supplier to only carry those kinds of beer. The girly drinks were weak, but they would hook you up with a double if you asked. I could have drank all the margaritas and pina coladas I could handle and not feel the least bit of the effects of the alcohol.

Room service took a long time and tasted absolutely disgusting. Don't bother.

As I said before the only thing that made this bearable was the hard working staff. Even under stress they were friendly and seemed to really like their jobs at the resort. Without them this would have been a terrible rating.

Room Tip: Do not book a villa room, it would have been nicer had we stayed in the main building.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
5  Thank sunburntbrain
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 #23 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
Price Range: $303 - $551 (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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