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Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

The first night my husband, young son, and I were scared to death when the fire alarm started to blare at 2:30 AM. We jumped out of bed, tried calling the front desk, but the lines were continually busy. In sheer panic, we flew down 9 flights of steps in our pajamas, surprised to find that we were the only people there. The person at the front desk sort of embarrassingly chuckled while explaining that the alarm was due to people smoking in their rooms. I thought it was very odd that not one other person was in the lobby, or even in the hallways on our way down. As the week went on, I realized that nobody responded to the alarms because they were a nightly occurrence. This happened 7 times during our stay -- in the middle of the night each time -- and was infuriating. As a mother, I was torn...dare I assume that the alarm is yet another false alarm, chance that there is really a fire, and not evacuate? Or, do I continually tear my son out of bed in the middle of the night...night after night...and drag him down 9 flights of steps for no good reason, other than doing what I know is the responsible thing to do? As ridiculous as it may sound, I did the latter. It was the fear of "The Boy that Cried Wolf" mentality that kept influencing my conscience. God forbid, the one time we don't evacuate, the hotel goes up in flames, and my family perishes in an inferno. Each time I complained to a manager, I was told it was beyond their control because people smoke in their rooms. Well, the questions that they could not answer were: 1) why have ashtrays in the guest rooms, if cigarette smoke triggers the fire alarms? 2) why didn't the alarms go off during the day when overwhelming cigarette smoke bellowed from nearby rooms? To my third question, I got an absolutely terrifying response... During our
9-story descent each night, I noticed that the alarms weren't sounding on EVERY floor? It seemed as though the alarms were sounding on random floors each time, never consistent throughout the guest-occupied floors. The explanation I got was, "the alarms ONLY sound on the floor where smoke is detected, and ONE floor directly above it!" What??? I could not believe what I was being told! So, if there was an actual fire on, say, the 2nd floor, only the alarms on the 2nd and 3rd floors would go off -- not in the lobby, not on the 1st floor, not on the "executive floor," and not on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th floors! What??? When I asked how that could possibly be true, I was told, in all seriousness, that that is how the alarm system functions. Even more concerning was when, during one of our many middle-of-the-night treks to the lobby, I was told to go back to our room because the maintenance person checked on the alarm and everything was safe. When I expressed surprise that a person could have already made it UP 9 flights of steps, and already reported back that things were safe, in same amount of time it took us to basically RUN DOWN the same number of steps, the person at the front desk seemed equally perplexed. She said the maintenance person checked the alarm on the 2ND FLOOR and it was safe to return to our room. Well, the only problem with that was, we evacuated because the alarm on the 7TH FLOOR was blaring!! The front desk -- the "command center" for the fire alarm system had ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE that the fire alarm was going off on the 7th floor, and yet, we were assured that it was safe to return to our room!! When I told her the alarm was sounding on the 7th floor, she stepped into a back room and said she "reset" it. Well, it was apparent that since she had no clue the alarm on the 7th floor was even sounding, she reset it WITHOUT sending somebody to check it out first.

I realize that some may think I am making a big deal about this fire alarm issue, but I do so with the thought that all too often it is only AFTER a tragedy happens that authorities recognize what should have been done differently in order to prevent the disaster. When dealing with a potentially deadly issue, there is no room for the possibility of a "Boy that Cried Wolf" scenario, with a deadly result.

Lesser CONS, but cons nonetheless (in no particular order):

1). The buffet is set up in a large cafeteria type style, in a room where the doors are left wide open. Needless to say, where there is food, and access from the outside, there will be flies, and lots of them! Flies on the food...flies on the tables...flies being swatted away from your face, drink glasses and plates, non-stop. It was really disgusting to see flies land on the food you were just about to take and eat. Chances are they had landed on the same food prior to my walking up. Totally unsanitary, not to mention disgusting. It's no wonder I read other reviews where people said they got sick. Although, their sickness may also be contributed to the guy who manhandles and cuts the fruit with his bare hands. For example, he will hold a quarter watermelon with his bare hands as he chops it. And, if the fruit has been shifted to the back of a serving platter by the guests, he uses his bare hands/forearm to slide it back to the front of the tray. That was gross to me.

The food in the buffet was just okay, and definitely not at all exceptional for any meal. I think this is where the resort makes its money because it churns out buffet food in mass quantity, and it is not high quality. It is very difficult to get "reservations" at the restaurants where you would expect the the food quality to be better, so the majority of guests end up stuck eating at the more cost-efficient (to the hotel) buffet. I will address issues with the restaurant restrictions below.

The ceiling of the cafeteria collapsed during breakfast one morning when it was raining heavily. People were eating when the ceiling collapsed right on top of them and water poured on them. What an unacceptable mess.

There is a very large, oversized picture of a dead kangaroo and other dead animals prominently displayed on the main wall of the dining room. Not particularly appetizing.

2). Too often, there was garbage laying around the property, whether it be empty drink glasses on tables outside, cigarette butts piled in ashtrays, dirty napkins on the ground, ice cream cones laying on the steps to the beach for days, and empty cups left for hours on the railings in the elevators, the property was not kept clean. The building itself was clean in terms of the big picture (windows, floors, rooms), but the grounds were not maintained.

3). As other reviewers wrote, it was odd when maids knocked on our door, ostensibly to bring us a requested item, when we had not requested anything. This happened twice while we were in our room, with the "Do not disturb" sign hanging on the door. Not sure how many "visits" they made when we were not in the room, and/or whether they entered our room when we were not there. The first time the unsolicited maid appeared, she was holding a towel, and making it seem like we requested it. We had not. The second time, another maid was holding a bathrobe that we also had not requested. Our room was 733, and when I said we didn't request anything, she asked "room 732?" and I said "no, 733." What raised suspicion is that 732 was five feet across from our door, but after I said we were 733, she didn't bother to knock on 732, she just left. That happened both times. Something else that raised suspicion was that another day, I had requested bottled water that never came. When I called the front desk to inquire, I was asked if I had the "Do not disturb" sign on the door. When I said that I did, I was told that even if I specifically requested something, the service people are NOT ALLOWED to knock if the "Do not disturb" sign is hanging on the door. If that's the policy, why would the UNSOLICITED (and not at all apologetic) maids feel that it was perfectly okay to knock on the door to bring me something I hadn't requested, and yet, the water delivery person would not, even though I had specifically requested what he was bringing? Something doesn't add up, it was very peculiar, and definitely raised my suspicion.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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15  Thank VEGILL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We stayed at the Rui Palace Las Americas for a week of decompressing and relaxation - with a mild focus on value vs. amenities. We were extremely happy with this location. We upgraded our room, and got a corner view overlooking the ocean at the rear of the room and the pools to the side, which was well worth it. The pools were plentiful and well maintained. The beach area was very small, but with a lot of poolside seating, we were never disappointed with our seating.

The quality of the food was above average for being in Cancun, and the service at all of the restaurants was top notch. Like most all-inclsives, you must book the seated dinners in advance. The food at the Krystal restaurant was the best we've had in Mexico over the years.

The beds were not very comfortable and were fairly hard. This was our primary complaint, but given how well the hotel exceeded our expectations elsewhere, we were able to overlook this shortcoming.

The staff was friendly and certainly contributed to a positive experience. The front desk was especially accommodating. Coincidently, we stayed during my wife's birthday, and the staff went through a lot of effort (without being asked) to make it memorable. We had already traveled in advance of her birthday, so this was not expected to be the highlight. However, the hotel made her a 10-inch personalized cake and served it after dinner one evening, which was a nice touch and was able to source and provide a dozen roses last minute as I forgot to call in advance.

Overall, we would highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Upgrade! Sometimes upgrades are a waste, but not here. The corner rooms, if you can get one, are remarkable.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kipp88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Just returned from a 5 day, four night vacation in Cancun at the Riu Las Americas. This was my third trip to Mexico and by far the best resort. The staff was friendley and courteous, rooms was adequate, (beds are hard), food was delicious, especially the Japanese and the drinks were above average. May be a good idea to tip every now and then to receive preferred service. I was concerned with the reviews about a musty smell, but hardly noticed it. The only negative comment about the entire trip was the airport. Be sure and not to lose your immigration papers you receive on the plane or they will ask for $30 apiece to fill out another one! The representatives for the airport were rude and not very helpful. We had to depend on other customers to help us out and not to mention the smell of the airport and temperature were terrible. Overall a great trip except for the last several hours we had to endure with the airport officials ripping us off.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Junior Suite facing the ocean, it's worth it. Once you arrive, book your dinners, the sooner the better.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Molly201108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

I went to Riu Palace Las Americas twice in a 3 months period.
The view is unbelievable.
The location is great (5 minutes walking distance from bars and clubs).
Staff was incredible, it's a type of service that deserves good tipping.
The pools are very good. Wide variety of drinks, quick, easy... If you're laying down or inside the pool, the servers bring them to you.
Food is good. You can't ask for gourmet food at an all-inclusive. In my opinion, it was worth staying in the hotel for dinner (they have 5 different restaurants but you need a reservation).
Rooms are spacious & clean.
I had no complaints at all!

Room Tip: -If you plan on going to Coco Bongo, buy with the agencies at the lobby instead of buying with the representatives. -Bring coffee mugs if you are a beer drinker, they keep them cool longer. -Try asking for an upgrade at check-in. Ocean view is amazing!
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Elisinha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Excellent service, great food, stunning grounds. Property sits on the beach with great views. Sorry Ferierai to Cozumel. The resort sits in between two other Riu's And then stated the palace you can use the other facilities at the resort. It's great to have different pools restaurants and dance club. Very impressed with the entertainment as well. You can relax and do nothing at all or join in activities to be active and busy. Not being a big fan of Mexico, I felt like I was in a tropical resort. The staff was both friendly and helpful and was very impressed by their great attitude. A very fun filled vacation at the beautiful palace

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank bella9505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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