Me and husband and 6 of our friends (couples and singles - in five rooms total) stayed at the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun Mexico for four nights, five days (July 28-August 1, 2013). In short, I'll sum up the vacation and resort in three words: amazing, beautiful, extraordinary. We booked this trip through Apple Vacations. We would go back in a heart beat!
Now you can read on for my in depth review of each aspect of the resort if you choose.
ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT
I am so impressed by how far the airport has come since the last time I was in Mexico (9 years). It was a breeze going through customs and security. A short line that went very, very fast. The airport was very easy to navigate around in and figure out where you had to go. We had a private van shuttle take us to/from the airport since there were 8 of us so we didn't have to make any stops which was nice for a change. The resort is only 20 minutes away from the airport.
Our Apple flight changed after we booked the trip from a 9:00 am flight to 6:30 am, so when we arrived at the resort at 9:30 am, of course they didn't have one room available. So we had to leave our luggage in the lobby while we went and ate lunch and swam. Checked back at 1 pm, like they asked us too and no rooms were still available. When we went back at 4 pm, we were able to get all four rooms. This is the time you want to make your dinner reservations!
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Whether it is Mexico, Dominican or Jamaica - I've always found the food to be average at all of the resorts I've ever stayed at. I have nothing negative to say, it is standard resort food. It's good. We ate at the steakhouse twice. The steak was very good. It came with a sampler platter of a variety of cold seafood for the table to share (we had 8, so we got two platters). You share the salad and platter of sides, they offer one salad and one platter per two people. The beverages are great, loving going right down the drink menu and ordering every frozen cocktail they have to try new drinks. The beer selection is Dos Equis. Wine selection is very limited, I like a semi sweet or sweet wine (Riesling, Moscato, etc.) - they only had the dryest of dry wines. They do use all top shelf liquor, you don't even have to ask, which is fantastic. The mojitos aren't good because they aren't as sweet as at home (they do not use simple syrup, they put a packet of sugar in the drink).
Beautiful white sandy beach....ocean is crystal clear turquoise, you can see fish swimming around near your feet and it was seasweed free while we were there. Many loungers (no umbrellas) on the left side but on the far right side, all of the chairs had umbrellas, never had a problem getting a lounger. You could pull them near the water, which is nice (a lot of resorts do not allow this) if you want to lounge in the ocean. The server was around to ask if we needed drinks every 10 minutes - amazing service. Needless to say he earned a very good tip!
On my bucket list was to stay at a resort that offered an infinity pool - this resort has TWO. Going into the trip I was trying to hype up the infinity pool and explain how amazing it was going to be, my hubby and friends still didn't get it...BUT NOW after having been in an infinity pool, they said they will not stay at another resort that doesn't offer one. :) The infinity pool off the lobby is more family friendly (didn't go to that one), the one off to the right has a swim up bar, a DJ and activities. The bartender works his tail off and does an amazing job!
We had a standard room with a balcony on the side of the building, if we looked to the left, we saw ocean if we looked right we saw the shops across the street. The room was very clean, no bugs. The bed was firm but comfortable. The King Bed is actually two double beds pushed together, yes you read right - two separate beds. The shower, no matter what time of day or night, always had hot water and water pressure was never a problem. Huge plus for any resort! You have the option to hang a green or red door hanger up so the maid knows whether or not to clean your room. Don't bother, she came no matter which door hanger we had. The room safes are not combination safes so you have to request and get a lock and key for your room safe at the front desk. We didn't realize this until after we checked in so we had to make a trip down to the front desk to get ours. It's a standard key, I'm sure my key worked in other rooms, although I did not test it. We did not have problem with security, we had our Ipad, Ipod, Keys, Phone, etc in it. They have four liquor dispensers in your room - Bacardi Rum, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Absolute Vodka and the fourth was either a Brandy or Scotch. All rooms have a sitting area with a TV.
The resort was immaculate. Every plant, tree, rock was in its place. You never saw bugs crawling around. I would advise to bring some "OFF" bug spray. I did get a few bites on my legs during our steak house dinner (which was an open air restaurant).
NIGHT LIFE - THE GOOD
The nightly shows were very good, very entertaining. I don't think I've every really enjoyed these at any other resort. They had a Grease theme, a 70's/80's rock theme (those are the two I remember) and there were very good.
NIGHT LIFE - THE BAD
The Pache night club onsite was terrible. It opened at 11 pm nightly. It was SO hot inside. The music was a latin techno, so if you're into that, you'll be happy; however, my group is into pop, hip hop, etc. so we were disappointed to not hear any familiar dance music. It is also pitch freakin black in there minus the few neon spotlights. We went there each of the four nights at different times for about 2 hours each night to see if maybe there might be different music playing but there wasn't.
The Riu Palace is a very short 10 minute walk from the bars and clubs "strip" - Coco Bongo, Daddy O's, Fat Tuesday's, Carlo's & Charlies are literally right around the corner. Do not taxi Make a left out of the resort, then turn right and that entire street will be lit up with all of the neon club and bar signs. We walked to the strip during the day to scope things out. Then went back at night. We only went to Fat Tuesday's and had drinks. It's open air and right on the street, they have a DJ, no cover charge, great drinks (Red Bull, Bud Light, etc.). It was a lot of fun. Cover charges range from $20 (smaller clubs) to $75 (coco bongo, etc.) depending on the club and whether or not drinks are included. We also went to Margaritaville and had drinks and lunch one day and shopped at the flea market there. Definitely barter!
Easy, breezy with the front desk. I will say when we met with our onsite Apple rep the day before we left to see what time we had to be in the lobby to catch our 10:30 am flight, he seemed very agitated with us because I guess he had left messages on all of our phones and we did not return his call? Either way, he asked no less than four times, why we didn't call him back. He was borderline rude to us actually. Very disappointed by this. He told us to be out front by 6:25 am. The shuttle did not show up until after 7 am.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located in "Corazone", Cancun resort area * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the hotels private beach * 8-storey building * 100 m/325 ft. To Hotel Riu Cancun * 120 m/390 ft. From a shopping centre * 10 km/6.2 Miles from downtown Cancun * 20 km/12.5 Miles from the airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Cancun
- Cancun Riu Palace
- Riu Las Americas Cancun
- Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas Cancun
- Riu Palace Las Americas Hotel
- Las Americas Cancun