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“Great place to be, in Cancun!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
Ranked #20 of 181 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great place to be, in Cancun!”
Reviewed February 25, 2014

So my husband and i booked this hotel, just right after valentines day and though we booked the reservations a month prior, a week after we booked the hotel was already at full capacity. I had some other friends that decided they wanted to do Cancun for Valentines day as well, but they just could not get any accommodation at any of the Riu hotels in Cancun. So keep this is mind, to book early because they do tend to fill up fast. Another thing i found out was that if you stay at any one of the Riu, u have access to all the other locations. However, if you are staying at the Palace Peninsula, there isn't a need to check out the others.

Upon arrival, we were very impressed by the size of the hotel, we could spot the tall distinct hotel on legs from almost 2 miles away. Driving up along the one way street, I also noticed that in comparison to the other hotels, this one seemed newer. Later on, i did find out that this hotel is only 2 years old.

There are a few reasons why i didn't award this hotel 5 stars. One of them having to do with our check in. Yes, we did enjoy the vip service of cold hand towels, and champagne, however that did not excuse the delay, or them telling us that we had canceled our reservations. This especially worried me, since i knew that they were over capacity, and that it was a busy weekend for all the rest of the hotels as well. I will say that the staff did the best they could to accommodate us, while they got our dilemma all situated. They did give us wrist bands, which allowed us to go eat at the Italian restaurant, it was like a half restaurant half buffet. Mainly buffet style, but there was also a menu you could order off of. The food there was surprisingly very good. Actually I feel that the food on the entire resort was the best all inclusive food we've ever experienced. And we have experienced quite a few.

The service at this hotel is exceptional, from the greeters at the main door, down to the bathroom ladies. Everyone is always walking around with a smile, being polite and saying hi or good night in spanish. That speaks volume for a hotel of this size. To see that all their workers are happy, must mean that they are being taken care of properly. Yet, with that being said, i did ask one of the locals how much these workers get paid, and to my dismay, they only make about $5 a day!!!! a DAY!!! thats nothing! so please please, remember to tip, everyone!! The bartenders, the servers, the maids, the doormen, the bellmen, pretty much tip everyone that helps or assists you to do anything. $1 goes a long ways down there, and its nice to show them that you appreciate their service. Yes i know its an all-inclusive, and you feel like you already paid for the tip as apart of your expenses, but really a few extra bucks is not going to hurt you, i bet you spend more at starbucks everyday before work! lol I really want to emphasize this. Only because I felt like my husband and I were the only ones tipping! I couldn't believe it! Its the service industry, no matter what you should tip! Realize that the tip only goes to those certain individuals, and not corporate, those locals need all the extra $ they can get! ok ok enough of the tip issue

About the rooms, or the decor of the hotel itself, since the theme is pretty much the same throughout. If you do not like purple, DO NOT come to this place! It's as if you walked into a modern willy wonka playhouse. The furnishings are very modern, with the use of glass, metal and square or straight shaped objects. Mostly the colors are grey, silver or black and white, but then there are pops of purple everywhere, lol and i do mean everywhere. This hotel tends to like red too. Its funny because purple happens to be one of my favorite colors, but even by the end of the trip i felt like i was purpled out!

The one thing about a hotel being designed with modern influences, is that they try to cram everything into a smaller space. This was especially so when it came to our room. Since we paid quite a bit extra for our Jacuzzi Villa Suite, I was under the impression that we were going to get a larger room. I felt like we just got a regular room, with a extra jacuzzi on the balcony.
This was one of the other reasons that made it so i didn't rate this a 5star. When booking this room i was under the impression that it was a true suite. Where the set up would be the bedroom and a separate living room. I think the hotel ppl were describing the jacuzzi rooms attached to the main hotel. I heard those rooms were bigger.

There were a lot of pluses though, for staying in the villas (fake villas) they were all known as the VIP.which meant you had access to the 1 vip pool and cabanas, and the vip restaurant, which was nice because those don't get booked out as quickly as the rest. And since the grounds of this hotel is not as large as some of the others I've been to, it was conveniently a close walking distance to everything.

Overall i was very impressed with this hotel, it is clean, modern, the staff are very friendly and helpful, the food is delicious and the drinks never stop pouring, what more could you ask for in cancun!?? And it was very reasonably priced too!! I highly recommend this place to everyone. I saw kids, adults, grandparents, couples, gays, friends, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. So if you are looking for a place to stay in Mexico, this should be it! Good luck! xoxoxx

Room Tip: Vip villas get more access to hotel amenities and is closer to everything
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6 Thank QueenThrongkumpol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hamilton
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

e Riu was a pleasant surprise. The food was great..compliments to the chief. The staff were helpful in all areas. The transfer to the airport arranged by jet blue got us there in time to wait a long time. Taxi would have been better. Safe to walk at night along the hotel row. Only thing..hotel did not change currancy?

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank susanHamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

We stayed here for 5 nights at the end of january and loved it. Room was spacious and clean, pools were wonderful, view was amazing, food was really good with a little room for improvement, service was top notch.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank brad p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I traveled to Riu Palace Peninsula from 2/20/14-2/23/14 (long weekend). This was a semi-impromtu trip with two of my girlfriends. We're having a pretty ridiculous winter in Philadelphia and thought it would be nice (and necessary) to get away for a few days. While the January/February timeframe is not ideal financially to travel (most expensive time to go to that area), it was a must-do.
I've stayed at 2 other Riu resorts in Cancun over the last 4 years. I originally stayed at Riu Cancun off of a trip I won on the radio. I visited Riu Caribe during that trip and decided I wanted to go back with a larger group.
This time around, it's been over 2 years since I've had a "tropical" getaway. I was very impressed with Riu in the past, so I decided to give their newest resort in Cancun a try. I read reviews about Riu Palace Peninsula for a few weeks before my departure and was impressed with what I read. A few people had complaints about the beds and the beach. I have zero complaints about either...
Service: From the moment you step foot in this resort, you see that everyone that works here aims to please. They meet you at the door with a fruity drink (non-alcoholic) and hold your bags until your room is ready. My only recommendation is to have your swimsuit in your carry-on, or put it on at the airport. We didn't mind waiting for the room (we had an early flight in), but would have rathered wait in the pool!
Value: Again, not the best time to travel financially, but keep your eye out for Apple specials and you should be good. The only money we spent was on tipping (which is well earned AND appreciated).
Sleep Quality: The beds aren't SleepNumber, but would you expect them to be? They're not the hardest matresses, though. I had no problem sleeping. Sit in the sun all day and you won't either.
Cleanliness: This resort is spotless. The rooms are extremely clean and are well tended-to. The pool with the swim-up bar in a little gross by the end of the day; but again, to be expected.
Location: You have to take a bus to get into town and to head to Riu Cancun and Palace Las Americas, but it's $1 and comes every few minutes. This resort is right next door to Riu Caribe, so you can walk along the beach to use their pool and beaches. I thought the location was great.
Rooms: Again, clean, mini-bar always stocked, AWESOME views...
Food/Beverage: I heard a lot of complaints on here about the beverage selection (only 3 beer choices). I am not picky about that, so it is totally fine by me. Nobody at the resort seemed to care. The food is SO super fresh. The fruits and vegetables are gorgeous, the seafood was raved about the whole time we were there and the selection is amazing. We ate at the buffet, which is always different. They had a surf & turf night, which was really popular. The Mexican restaurant was good. The soup is great! By far, the best restaurant is the Italian place right in the lobby. I couldn't believe you actually got to order a MEAL after eating what they offer at their appetizer buffet. We ate there on our first and last days. The food is AMAZING! I'd recommend any of their 3 meal choices, but also the cheese/pasta/spinach recipe at the buffet. The grilled vegetables are great, as well.

I hope this is helpful for anyone looking to travel to Cancun! Riu Palce Peninsula will only make you want to book again upon your return!

Room Tip: I generally enjoy a higher floor, but found it pretty convenient to be on the 1st floor (it was the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank beachnbeerORbust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

I decided to take a few days off and escape the ridiculously cold Chicago winter. I went to Cancun by myself and knew that I didn't really want to do much aside from spending my days on the beach. This resort is all-inclusive which was extremely convenient for me because I did not want to worry about finding restaurants to eat, especially since I was alone. The food is excellent! No complaints there. They were a little stingy with the alcohol at first, but if you provide a good tip, they put a little more in there for you... this is everywhere you go, so it didn't bother me. Yes, I know tip is included in the price, but chances are since food is included you won't be spending much on anything else. You can fork over $10 bills here and there. Maybe even a $20. Go to the coffee bar and get an iced coffee. AH-MAZING!!! They put ice cream in it! They have a few sweet treats there also.

I paid for an ocean view room, and what I got was a room on the east side of the hotel. Because of the way the hotel is shaped, I did still get an ocean view, as well as a lagoon view. It wasn't the ocean view I wanted (I wanted ocean and only ocean), but what they gave me wasn't wrong. If it had been a serious bother, I would've said something, but not a big deal.

One thing I really didn't want was to be bothered by children. I don't mean to offend anyone with kids, but I just didn't want to deal with crying, tantrums and such. I just wanted to relax. Not once did i have an issue with this. Although this is a family-friendly resort, there weren't many kids around. Most guests were couples (straight and gay) or friends. There were few families with kids, and the ones who did have children were very respectful and made sure to either ask their children to quiet down or took them into the hotel away from the beach. Speaking of the beach, topless sunbathing is technically illegal in Mexico, but I know some resorts won't tell you anything. This is one of those. I sunbathed topless, as well as did a few other women. The beach waiters won't tell you anything about it, and even pretend not to notice that your tatas are out. They were all very respectful; not once did I feel violated, uncomfortable or unsafe. I also went to the beach pretty early (around 7:30am). That way the people who are bothered by the topless women don't have to sit near you. Another thing to mention, there is a side of the beach that is all smooth, but it's surrounded by palm trees, so the sun exposure isn't the best... which may not be the worst thing. If you've never experienced the sun in Mexico, you may turn a shade of red I like to call "lobster". I, however, really wanted color, so I went to the beach on the other side of the hotel, which is a little rocky, but there is more than enough sand. You can still go in the water. Still looks and feels like a beach, and I personally thought it added some character. If the rockiness is a huge issue, you can go to the other Riu hotel next door. I didn't go there, so I can't comment on that. The rocky part is also where you should go for topless tanning because there are more adults there and it's towards the end of Riu's beach. There aren't as many people towards the end so you can take off your top without worrying about offending anyone. (The waiters still walk down that way, so don't worry about not getting service.)

I did notice that the pool area filled up a bit. I didn't spend any time there. The pool over by the villas seemed to be empty enough. Very few people.

If you want the view, don't spend the money on a villa. They are only 3 floors, so you won't get much a view unless you are in the very first building. The villas are adult-only, but like I said, there were hardly any kids. Spend that money on a room in the main building with a jacuzzi instead!

I can't comment on the entertainment because, like I said, I just wanted to relax. My days were spent lounging around and catching up on sleep.

The room was VERY clean! Actually, they go into your room more than once a day to make sure you have everything you need, and they fix it up each time. New, folded towels, beds made (if you spent some time sitting or lying in it during the day after they initially cleaned). I felt bad that they cleaned so often, so I actually put my "do not disturb" sign on the doorknob a couple of days so they wouldn't have to clean so often. The one thing they didn't replenish was the water bottles in the refrigerator, but I had enough for the 4 days I spent there. I'm sure if I had asked for more, they would've done so quickly. It wasn't a problem to me, so it won't cost them a star.

They also have taxis at the hotel 24 hours a day, so if you want/need to go somewhere and don't want to spend all day at the resort like me, you have the option to go places. You can also take the bus. There is a walking/running path along the entire Kukulcan Blvd. There are always visitors exercising along the path, which is nice. You can feel safe walking it.

There was a little issue with the spa. I had bought and scheduled a massage and facial online about a week before my trip. When I went for my appointment, they didn't have a record of it. I provided them with a copy of my email confirmation that had the time and date on it. It turns out that even though you get a scheduled time online, you still have to go into the spa upon your arrival to schedule the services...? Doesn't make a bit of sense to me. They were able to fit me in for a massage right away, but I had to go for my facial the next morning. Not a huge deal, but annoying if you're in the mood for some pampering and don't get what you're expecting. You should know that although it is located inside the hotel, the spa is technically a separate entity, so it's not Riu's fault. The girl at the spa was very apologetic and did what she could. Just wanted to mention this in case anyone purchases their services online.

Overall, it was a truly enjoyable mini getaway for me. This will definitely be my hotel of choice when I go back.

Room Tip: I was in room 1003. The floor was great for the view. If you want a full ocean view, I believe they...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
8 Thank hvnlysinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

This hotel is nothing short of amazing. We had originally booked at the Riu Caribe, however due to a mix up we were upgraded to the palace... and am I glad we were. Upon arriving we were greeted with ice cold beverages while we were checking in. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and the property well kept. Diego in the lobby bar is excellent! Drinks were spot on and is very cheerful. Karrina in the buffet for breakfast was incredible as well. Every morning remembered what I wanted to drink and where we liked to sit! The buffet at dinner is very good, the steakhouse is very good as well.. But my family and I really found that the italian restaurant was the best there! The linguine with shrimp was awesome! Got a swedish massage there, Javier was very good. They surprised me with a cake and a bottle of tequila for my birthday in my room, and we didn't even mention it to them at all! It was literally the best nights sleep I had ever gotten!
This was my first all inclusive vacation, and I was blown away! I can't wait to return to the Riu Palace Penninsula next year!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jmacbain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wakefield
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Have previously stayed at the Moon Palace twice, and although that was fabulous - the Riu Palace Peninsula is my new favourite.
As previous reviewers have stated if you are really really picky then you could maybe find a fault but during our 2 week stay from 5th Feb 2014 I couldn't !!
Not normally a lover of buffet style restaurants (even at the Moon Palace) I loved the food on offer here. Not once was I disappointed and my husband looked forward to creating his own omelette every morning, to be cooked by the excellent omelette chef. Lobster was a regular on the buffet and was cooked to perfection.
we tried all the speciality restaurants - the fusion one being the favourite (ate their twice). Not so keen on the Japanese but that's down to personal taste - not anything they did wrong.
It was my birthday while we were on holiday and I was sung to by the waiters, presented with a birthday cake and was left a present in our room - lovely touches that made my day extra special.
No need to reserve a bed by the pools, any time of day there was always plenty of room. bit busier on the weekends when there seem to be lots of weekend breakers from USA - but still OK.
Wasn't too keen on the swim up bar as it seemed that people stayed in there all day and the water was a bit cloudy !!
Did a trip to Isla Mujeres which included snorkelling but if you don't want to do snorkelling I would suggest going on the ferry $19 each return. Then hire a golf buggy to get around the island.
The rooms were fabulous - all with ocean view. Maybe the bath in the middle of the room is not the best idea - husband walked into it a few times during the nightly trip to the bathroom !!.
The best asset that the hotel has though, without a doubt, is the staff - all very friendly and can't do enough for you. No complaints about any of them.
Entertainment was OK - could hear it from the rooms but was all finished by 11pm. Beach parties with fire show were good on the Saturday nights.
We will return to this hotel next time we go to Cancun

Room Tip: all rooms have sea view
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank alshell
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
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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