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“Amazing, will definitely be returning”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Riu Cancun

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Hotel Riu Cancun
Ranked #31 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing, will definitely be returning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

We travelled to Riu Cancun on May the 28th for 14 days as a young couple and had a great time.

The transfer from the airport is 20 to 30 minutes. When arriving at hotel our cases were taken by porters and we were greeted by friendly staff at reception to check in. After signing some forms we were given our room key, safe key and towel cards which didn't take long. We were brought a refreshing drink while James at reception told us the basics of the hotel. We gave the porters our room number and our cases were brought to room just minutes after we arrived.

We stayed in a standard room. The decor in the rooms were a little dated but didn't bother us at all as you spend very little time in room anyways. Our Thomson rep did tell us that the hotel is getting renovated in january though. The room its self was very clean and kept spotless by the maids who would change your towels and sheets daily. There was a flat screen tv in room, an iron and ironing board kept in wardrobe which came in handy and also hair dryer in the bathroom that worked well even on thick hair. Two double beds pushed together to make a king size, personally didn't bother us as long as they were comfortable and they were. Our room was very quiet considering it was right next to the lifts we didn't hear anyone coming in at night. There was a door separating the passage way/bathroom/wardrobe area from the bedroom, so this probably kept the bedroom a lot quieter at night. The mini bar and fridge were restocked every other day, the fridge held cans of beer, bottles of pepsi, diet pepsi, 7up, water and also cans of soda water and the mini bar liquor dispensers held vodka, tequila, rum and gin . If you manage to catch the man who comes to restock them, give him a tip and give your request, he fills the fridge or liquor dispensers with whichever you like best. (For example, if you prefer all beers in the fridge or all vodka in the liquor dispensers, he will give you). Our room was on the 14th floor over looking the quiet pool, the views are amazing as you look onto the sea and beach it takes your breath away. (Every room has a sea view balcony). There are only 4 lifts in the main building of hotel and at peak times there is a short wait. If your staying on a high floor the lift stops on most floors till you reach the bottom as others are also pressing for it. And even if it gets full with maximum of 8 you have the wait while it opens on each floor even through no one else can get in and it begins to get a little warm in there but it didn't bother us all that much as we still got where we wanted to be.

Back in England Thomson advised us to take our currency in Mexican pesos, when we arrived everything was advertised in dollars and you get a lot more for money if spent in dollars so next time we shall be taking this as most others did. We also booked our excursions with Thomson and paid in pesos but what they didn't tell us was that if we took English pounds and paid for our excursions in that it would have been £100 cheaper than we paid because of exchange rate, next time we shall take English pounds to book excursions. Also one dollar bills are useful for tipping. The Thomson reps in hotel are always happy to help, they have their own area in the hotel lobby and are there most hours of the day.

We booked Coco Bongo Vip with Thomson, its definitely worth paying the little extra money for Vip, your above on the balcony and have a perfect view of the show, others below looked like they couldn't move. All inclusive drinks all night and you get to go in Vip bar downstairs from 9:30 until time for everyone to go in at 10:00. This is one of the best nights in Cancun, i recommend everyone to go, amazing for all ages, from tribute acts like Elvis and The Beetles to Rhianna and LMFAO and all latest songs played in between the acts to dance. You don't have to move all night as you have your own waiter in vip, your glass is never empty.
We also did Royal swim with the dolphins, get picked up from hotel 7:30am and taken to port where you get onto a small boat with others and taken to dolphin discovery. If you book with Thomson you get an all inclusive wrist band, you get all inclusive drinks/snacks on boat and all inclusive drinks/buffet lunch when you arrive as Thomson have a new area for only Thomson guests so after you have your swim with dolphins you spend a little time here, in the pools, sunbathing and having lunch which is very nice. After lunch you are then back on the boat and taken to 'garrafon' where you can have a free snorkel and free zip line and again sun loungers, pools ect are here plus all inclusive drinks and snacks again. (Lockers and towels are provided free of charge). You arrive back at hotel around 4:30-5:00pm, (well worth money).

The Hotel riu canun is lovely inside and especially out. There is people staying here of all ages, families, young adults, old couples and young couples, mostly english and american guests as well as a few spanish, canadian ect. The pool areas and beach are beautiful, there is something for all ages, pool bar and entertainment pool does gets very busy and loud but there is also the quiet pool at the other side of the hotel which is very relaxing and also has its own bar near. Then there is the beach which was my favourite as it was peaceful but also had things going on like volley ball and football nearby.

Staff at the hotel couldn't do enough for you, very friendly. The entertainment team put on some good shows at night as well as activities throughout the day, always something to do. The entertainment team also run a bus from hotel at 10:30pm and welcome guests to join them to go to senior frogs or coco bongo etc with them. Entertainment team also run a kids club during day and kids disco at night, saw them a few times throughout the day doing activities etc and all kids seemed to be enjoying.
There is always staff cleaning or tidying in the hotel when you walk around the grounds no matter what time it is, you always see someone either cleaning, gardening ect. The hotel is spotless.

The hotel is a in a perfect location, facing lagoon on one side and beach on other. Only a walk away from the night life and shopping. There is also a bus stop right outside hotel and only 8.50 pesos to any other stop. The La isla shopping centre which is a bit further away from hotel is just a short bus ride away. We also got the bus to the riu caribe once as you are able to use all their facilities throughout the day. Right next door to the riu caribe is the riu palace peninsula, they are more modern compare to the riu cancun and riu palace las americas but their beach and outside grounds like pools etc aren't as nice as the riu cancun in my opinion.

The food was lovely, there is something for everyone to chose from at riu cancun. Such a variety from breakfasts through to evening meal. At lunch you can either eat in the main dining area inside or in the la mission restraunt which is facing the beach outside where i preferred as it was more casual. There is a bbq around the pool some days which is also nice. We also tried 2 of the speciality restraunts, the steak house and brazillian and they were both very nice but the buffet is just as good to be honest but they were nice for a change.
Bars, barmen and waiters you can not fault, always have a smile on their face. The club pacha in the hotel is okay i suppose, this is open from 11 til 2.

The hotel also has free wifi in the lobby for 90 consecutive minutes per device a day.

Weather was okay, rained 4 days out of 14, the rest of the time was lovely. The beach and pools don't get shaded till around 5:30pm, the only place that gets shaded earlier is the quiet pool as the sun hides behind the hotel but there is always plenty of sun loungers at other side of hotel at any time of day, especially on the beach.

Overall the hotel and location is beautiful, beach is amazing. Can not fault staff one bit and hotel is spotless and with the renovation happening in january next year it should be even better. Will definitely be returning sometime!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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2 Thank BrookeX
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 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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hayleyann1986
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

My partner and I went to the Riu Cancun for a week and I spent a lot of time researching this hotel before booking. My partner had been before and said that this hotel was perfectly situated, so due to wanting to be able to walk to the nightlife, we chose the Riu Cancun. We booked with Thomson, and we happy with our package.

Complex overall: We were happy with the large complex. Very large lobby with many staff on reception to get you all checked in quickly. A lot of seating areas and free 90mins of wifi in the lobby, so you will often see a lot of people lounging around in there with their phones! Very easy to get around the hotel with a lot of signposts. To the right as you walk in is the quieter pool and bar, and to the left are the activity pools and swim-up bar. There are elevators, but these can be very busy so you can be waiting around sometimes. Complex was very clean, and we saw a lot of cleaners around most mornings.

Rooms: We were on the 11th floor, so had to use the elevator to reach our room. The rooms were average and definitely not 5 star. We also had two twin beds pushed together, which was apparently the norm after speaking to other couples. The balcony was small but the view - oh my gosh, it was amazing! The bathroom was a good size, double sinks and powerful shower and bathtub. The hairdryer was surprisingly very powerful, so no need to pack your own. There was also a good iron and ironing board. Plenty of wardrobe space, drawers etc, and finally, a fully stocked fridge and complimentary mini bar! So no complaints at all with the room, very basic but you are not in Mexico to stay in your room! The air conditioning kicks in when the balcony doors are shut, but we found this too cold at night, so we always left the balcony door open with the mesh door closed to stop bugs coming in. We didn't experience any noise on this floor at all, so no problems with getting some sleep!

Food/Drinks: The hotel has a main buffet restaurant (Don Juan) for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we really enjoyed this as there was a great selection of food (Salads, pasta, lots of meat, fish, Mexican food, sauces etc) We only became sick of the food after a week, so definitely no problems there! There are plenty of tables, and you can be waited on if you wish but most people will get up and go to the drinks dispensers. There are also speciality restaurant's - Steak House, Japanese and Brazilian. We only managed to book in for the Steak House. I don't like steak myself, so it was more for my partner. I had chicken. However, the meal was good quality, and plenty of it so definitely worth booking for a change to the buffet. You must be prepared to wait a few days for your booking though, as they get full quickly. We didn't visit the other restaurant's.

There is also a snack bar that is open 24 hours and they have a selection of hotdogs, burgers, nachos, sandwiches and pizza. Good after a night out! We found the drinks very good, and I loved the majority of the cocktails! There is always someone willing to serve you quickly, and obviously you will tip them if you want them to come back if you are sitting away from the bar. However, we never felt pressured to tip either in the restaurants or after receiving drinks.

The hotel has its own nightclub, Pacha. Please don't mix this up with the Ibiza version :) It is a small, dark square room with one bartender in the middle, and the usual music (Pitbull, pop music) but it is good for a laugh and we had a good hour in there after Senor Frogs used all of our money ;)

Staff: We found the staff very attentive and not always waiting for a tip. They seemed to genuinely enjoy serving you, and obviously tips were graciously received! Our Thomson reps were very good (Freddy, Peter and Tara) and we booked our excursions with ease. No problems with any staff member; always say hello and ask how you are and will assist you however they can. The cleaners always thoroughly cleaned your room and we left them a tip twice in the week.

Pool areas/Beach: We stayed around the quieter pool area as we don't like to participate in pool activities or games. Call us boring :) The hotel has a larger pool towards the steak house and snack bar, but we found this to be very busy. The swim up bar and pool was always absolutely packed and very noisy! So we headed to the beach most days - which was BEAUTIFUL! I've never seen sea so clear. I also saw staff members clearing away seaweed in the early hours of the morning. We never had problems getting a sunbed either by the pool or beach, but we went down around 9am every morning. Umbrellas are hard to get though, so you may need to come down earlier to get one of these. The pool is also lovely. Waiters tend to leave you alone at this pool, as the bar is right by you. One thing to note was that the sun disappears around 3pm from this pool, sometimes earlier, and also around 4pm from this section of the beach. So if you want more sun, you will simply move down the beach, or head up to the busier pools. You will get to know what areas become shady and where you need to be if you're a sun-worshipper :)

There are vendors on the beach walking up and down but they show you once, you shake your head and they move on, definitely do not hassle you.

Surrounding area: The hotel was directly in front of a row of shops, a few pharmacies and excursion booths. There is also a shopping centre with a HSBC bank and cashpoint on the second level. We had to use this twice! We felt perfectly safe walking around these areas in the day. I had to buy some tablets for a bad stomach and they were 120 pesos. The pharmacies rarely have prices on their items, so I guess they can charge what they like.

Close-by is the nightlife area (Dady'O's, CocoBongo, Hard Rock café etc) We went on the madness bar crawl to visit all of these places, as we like to be in a group. Found the bars very good and due to being on the bar crawl, we managed to get drinks quickly and find seats. The reps looked after you, and didn't pour drinks down your neck unless you wanted them too ;) So don't be afraid of going, it's a good way to experience the nightlife and meet other drunken people. The bar crawl leaves you in CocoBongos. We didn't stay too long as we had already booked the VIP experience. However, we managed to see a few acts and left before we'd seen too much which would ruin our own show.

We were told by the reps to make sure we got a taxi home, even though we were so close due to police corruption. Despite having a drunken boyfriend who wanted to walk several times, I always managed to get him in a taxi as I didn't fancy being fined heavily or having to break him out of prison!! You'll pay about 100 pesos to get home from CocoBongos. You are hassled in the streets by people, but just ignore them and walk past. Also don't have your photo with the mask or characters from CocoBongo! One couple were charged 300 pesos after taking a picture on their own camera!

We also visited Senor Frogs with another couple, and do recommend this for a crazy night out! However, it is not in walking distance from the hotel. A taxi cost us 80 pesos, and 100 pesos back which was fine by us. Taxis were trying the charge more than this from CocoBongos, which is a lot closer than Senor Frogs. Go to Senor Frogs if you want to drink by the yard, have crazy staff around you, watch people on stage and generally have a good time! The drinks were fairly expensive though, around 180 pesos for a yard of cocktail.

So overall:

Cons: Average rooms - pay a little more if you want luxury.

Pros: Clean, very good service, mixed resort either lively or quiet, beautiful beach, lovely staff, good food/drinks....could go on and on!

Pros definitely outweighed the cons! I only didn't rate this a 5 due to the rooms.

Enjoy your holiday :) & take plenty of cash - excursion prices will leave you penniless if you book with Thomson (But they're all worth it!)

Would definitely return to this resort, but would quite like to try the Riu palace next door next time :)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hayleyann1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely loved this hotel n didn't want to leave! Spotlessly clean. Amazing staff who didnt ever stop and nothing was too much trouble, Amazing location. Couldn't fault anything! Will be going again one day that's for sure

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brooke_d85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

The resort is gorgeous! Unfortunately it rained for half of my vacation. I will say the staff was very helpful but the food was horrible! The way the food was laid out it made you want to try everything, I just wish it tasted as good as it looked. This was my first time in Mexico and I wasn't thrilled by it. This is a nice resort for couples and families. If I visit Mexico again, I will definitley come back to this resort!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank anb48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City, Iowa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

My husband and I, along with another couple and their 18 year old son stayed here in the first week of June. We checked in a couple hours before the other couple (that had 2 rooms reserved) and asked the staff that we all placed in the same hallway as we had all reserved the same type of rooms and we were there a little early. We had to wait 2 hours to even get to our room as they weren't ready yet, and we understood this because of what we had requested. However, a short time later when our friends arrived they were upgraded to suites in a completely different building right away when checking in (they didn't even ask for it!). There rooms were larger, had amazing views of the ocean and weren't on the same floor as a lot of partying kids. I went straight back to the front desk and told them how upset that we were as we had to wait for what we thought was rooms on the same floor to only be in completely different buildings - and I wanted what we had waited for. They asked us if we had book suites and we told them we hadn't, but neither had our friends. I told them I wanted to be in the same hallway as our friends and they told me that they would "see" what they could do, but couldn't do anything that night. So the next morning we found a note under our door that our upgrade had been approved and we were moved that day. I don't know what the hotel does to constitute upgrades, but after reading several reviews it doesn't really look like they really know either....

The resturants were a nice change of pace to the buffets, but they pretty much served some of the same food and took a really long time doing so. We made reservations for all of them the second night we were there as we knew they had long waiting lists. The servers were great!

The white sand is amazing, but I have seen better beaches. And as far as the lounge chairs go, if you'll need shade at some point in the day you'll need to come down by 7-730am to reserve them as they go fast. We've never traveled in June before so we weren't exactly prepared for how hot and sunny it would be (we had awesome weather!). We had to buy more sunscreen by the 3rd day, and went to 3 different places as the prices were so high. We paid $27 for one bottle of coppertone, so make sure to pack extra.

Also, make sure to pack extra swimsuits as they won't dry overnight whether you put them on the balcony or in the room to dry. The rooms are very damp, as were the sheets we were sleeping on. I know vacation you don't spend a lot of time in your rooms, but this was not something I had expected and was very disappointed with it. I know it's Mexico and June, but it wasn't fun.

The staff was good, the waiters were especially attentive!! The only bad note I would have was while playing water polo one day after the entertainment crew got some of my group involved - the game got a little intense and I was the only girl playing - one of the crew actually shoved me into the pool (from a ledge I was playing goalie on) into a group of big guys so he could score a goal. Needless to say I didn't play anything again after that, left it to the big guys to just show off.

I would recommend this hotel for young adults as it is very close to the clubs and shopping. But I don't think I would go back and stay with my husband. I had a much more relaxing time when we took the fairy to Isla Mujeres for the day (which is just down the road from the Riu). We rented a golf cart - a must do! Then found a spot on the North side of the Island with much better & larger white sand beach that had a small bar that served Corona (was disappointed we couldn't get that at the Riu) and food, and the bartendar came out to serve us at the lounge chairs we picked and put an umbrella in the sand (for free as long as we were drinking!). The shopping on the island was fun as well - we were heckled, but we anticpated that and just smiled while walking by.

I'll go back to Mexico, but not in June and not to the Riu.

Room Tip: Whether you book a suite or not, i guess ask for it - who knows, you could be one of the lucky ones...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bebe228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

I went in a group of 10 (friends and family) i cant fault anything wrong with the hotel. The staff are great they can't do enough for you, the pool area is always being cleaned, the beach is the same! The food is good along with the entertainment at night, they always have something to watch aswell as games to join in with whilst at the pool. The only thing i would say they could change is the room decor. It's abit dull but the beds are very comfy and you get a choice of two pillows on your bed firm or soft. Thank you for a fantastic holiday!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beckie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

I went on my honeymoon and we had a lovely time. The staff cant do enough for you and made our stay very enjoyable. The maids were constantly cleaning and the hotel was very clean. The only thing we didnt like was the swim up pool bar as it was VERY over crowded and full of drunks and younger people being rowdy which is fine.. AT NIGHT.. not in the daytime when people are relaxing. Other than that it was a lovely stay at the riu cancun.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank emmakenyon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Cancun

Property: Hotel Riu Cancun
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan | Km 9, Manzana 50, Lote 5, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#25 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#39 Family Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Cancun 3.5*
Number of rooms: 569
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in "Corazone", Cancun's resort area. 14-Storey main building and a 5-storey annex building. On the beachfront. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 20 M/65 ft. From a shopping centre. 10 Km/6.2 Miles from downtown Cancun. 20 Km/12.5 Miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Cancun Hotel Cancun
Riu Cancun Mexico
Cancun Riu Hotel
Rui Cancun

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