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“Monkey business in the jungle!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #60 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
South Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Monkey business in the jungle!”
Reviewed December 14, 2011

With a cluster of Riu hotels within walking distance of each other in Playacar, we took our time choosing the one that we thought would suit us. We chose the Riu Yucatan and we think we got it right. From the moment we arrived until the time we left, we enjoyed the experience of staying here. I'll say more about the entertainment later, but, in short, it was exceptionally good. I've suffered through many dreadful hotel shows over the years we've been travelling (I'm sure you have too) but some of the evening shows here wouldn't be out of place in the west end of London, or on Broadway.

We arrived, tired, after a long flight from the UK and were grateful for the efficiency with which the hotel managed registration for quite a large group of people. There was no queueing: a large table in the centre of the lobby had everyone's details all ready in named envelopes. A member of staff welcomed us, gave us a brief introductory talk about the hotel (along with a complimentary cold drink) and within ten minutes we were en route to our room. Our room was large with plenty of hanging and drawer space and two very comfortable beds. The free safe is hardly a miracle of modern technology but it's easy to use and, unusually these days, it has sufficient space for a netbook or small laptop. Sheets and pillowcases were changed every day and the room was always cleaned exceptionally well. There was a four-position optic in the bathroom (gin / tequila / rum / vodka) and a range of soft drinks and beers in the minibar.

Mosquitoes will be queueing up to make a meal (or several meals, more likely) out of you. So go well prepared with creams and sprays. We took a plug-in mosquito killer for our bedroom and found it useful. But even so, we were bitten several times. We put most of these bites down to sitting at tables outside in the dusk - mosquitoes seemed to lurk (not sure if a mosquito can "lurk", but you know what I mean) under the tables. We noticed that one couple had come better prepared than we were: they had brought a citronella spray with them and sprayed underneath their table every half hour or so. That's a good idea and if we went back, we'd do the same.

This is an all-inclusive hotel and if you had the stamina to do so, you could drink 24 hours a day. Bar staff are friendly and polite, work amazingly quickly and there's a good range of cocktails on offer. The pool bars are delightful and were well supported every day whilst we were there. The beach is wonderful - white sands which were never crowded and this hotel, of course, is right on the beach with plenty of free sunbeds available. Once you're in the water, the beach drops quite steeply away, so it's worth keeping an eye on small children if they're playing close to the edge of the sea.

The title of this review refers to the fact that, on more than one occasion, we saw a troop of monkeys in trees within the grounds of the hotel. In fact, there's quite a bit of wildlife in the grounds and it's charming to see a variety of small animals foraging in the grounds whilst you're out walking from your room to the hotel and vice versa. The dining room is in the central part of the hotel and it is air conditioned. We thought the selection of food available was very good and opening times for both breakfast and dinner were very sensible. There are three other restaurants open to residents which need to be booked at breakfast in the dining room for accessing the same day. The steak restaurant appeared to book up more quickly than the mexican or asian restaurant, so on the day you fancy a steak it's worth appearing at breakfast a little earlier than usual (unless you're an early riser, of course).

More about the entertainment. Most of the evening shows were very professional and the standard of dancing was superb. I put this down to a very able professional dancer who, I think, is on the staff of the hotel. She is the choreographer for the shows and the athleticism of the dancers, and the use they make of a stage modest in size is exceptional. The Michael Jackson tribute show is a tour de force and very enjoyable. The only criticism I have is that, at the end of every show, the entertainment staff launch into what appears to be the Riu hotels "corporate" song ("I want to go to Riu" I think it's called). If there is anything that would make we want to book at a different hotel chain it's that song . . . . .

There's a pleasant walk into Playacar of about half an hour via the road outside the hotel, but taxis are plentiful and cheap if you'd rather travel that way. About half way to Playacar, and on the other side of the road from the hotel, is the Playacar Plaza. The Plaza has a range of tourist shops and a couple of booths selling trips. We actually saved a lot of money (about 40 US dollars each) on our tour operator's price by booking a trip to Chichen Itza at one of these booths. The salesmen work on commission only, so if you decide to book here, don't accept the first price suggested. We played hard to get and secured a considerable reduction on their first offer to us. The trip to Chichen Itza was very good, although that was the only one we booked in this way so I can't comment on the quality, or otherwise, of any of their other excursions. It's worth knowing that trips depart from, and return to, the Plaza and they won't drop you off at your hotel - unlike trips booked via your tour operator.

All in all, then, the Riu Yucatan is a very good hotel. We were there in late November / early December 2011 and I wouldn't hesitate to book this hotel again if we were to return to the area. Finally, if anyone from Riu hotels reads this review, I just wish to point out to you that your company policy of apparently not allowing guests from Riu hotels (like the Yucatan) to visit hotels in the Riu Palace series without prior appointment was an unwelcome surprise to me and made me feel very much like a second-class guest. There appears to be no similar restriction on guests from the Riu Palace visiting other Riu hotels. I'm not sure that a policy which made me, your paying guest, feel inferior is the kind of policy which would necessarily encourage me to book again.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mineworker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mars, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2011

We had orginally booked the Grand Sirenis and switched after 1 day to the RIU. There is no comparison. This resort should be a 5 star. Food was great, staff was always friendly and helpful. Walking in this resort is beautiful and they even set up a giant Christmas tree in the lobby with Christmas lights all over the resort.
Beach was beautiful!
I can't think of one complaint for this resort. We had a total of 6 rooms in 3 different building and all of them were great locations. We watched the Steeler game in the sports bar that was open 24 hours a day. They also had a cooler of sandwiches, fruit, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and chips and cheese next to the cooler wtih a microwave.
LOVED THE PLACE!!!

Room Tip: We thought all of the rooms in the Yucatan were all great locations. Nothing seemed too far away...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Nikki R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire , UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2011

Returned December 7th 2011 after a two week stay .............
Having been to Mexico and stayed at the five star Royal for my honeymoon 3 years previous, i revisited Mexico with my best mate (36 & 42) and chose the Yucatan due to its good reviews and use of other hotels. While it was not the Royal, it was clean, had a good location and the staff were so friendly it didnt matter if you tipped or not, you still got the same service. Check in was a breeze, met with a cool drink, given your keys and sent on your way leaving the staff to bring your luggage soon after. We were in block 9 which was behind the hotel farthest from the pool etc but quiet so no problems hearing noises from reception or bars. Yes the key is a little inconvienient however we took the room key and safe key off its huge fob and used a keyring to carry them with us (fitted in our bags then) .
The room was clean and pleasant... yes a little tired but had an excellent shower and hairdryer. The bed was extreamly comfortable and the room was cleaned daily. On exploring other areas of the hotel everything was spotless and there was always a member of staff cleaning somewhere. All areas were nice and cool and the bar staff worked hard to ensure you were not kept waiting too long for drinks. Entertainment was cheesy but gave you something to watch and their were specialist acts brought in quite often who performed either in the theatre, reception or restaurant.
Food was great, i am quite fussy but found something to eat every day, there is a really good selection to please all palates and it is hot and plentiful despite what time you decide to dine. we tried all restaurants and the food was good in all although i prefered the steakhouse and asian as opposed to the mexican but that was due to personal taste not quality of food.
Pool area and beach were lovely, we spent all our time on the beach as there was always a nice breeze and plenty of people watching to do. Sunbeds were always available and you could always find shade if need be, there was also a variety of watersports to enjoy or sights to see for example watching the pelicans and seabirds dip to catch fish.
We booked 3 trips via Thompson and although a bit dearer than booking else where, were well worth the money, coco bongos a must....what a nite, the pirate ship for familys..really entertaining and great food and service and then Xel Ha, what a day, we got there early and practically had the park to ourselves, we walked to the lazy river dodging iguanas etc on the way (all harmless) relaxed down the river, attempted the rope walk (need shoes for this) and enjoyed several goes on the ziplines....it was a great all inclusive day and the food and provisions at the park were excellent !.
All in all it was a great holiday, all staff were really welcoming and helpful, the area is clean if a little dated but that adds to the charm and the food was great...............would i return ??? With my friends yes or for a cheaper getaway with the hubby definately ....but if you want complete luxury and five star service this maybe is not the place for you so try the royal in Playa or cancun ?? Where ever you choose to stay in mexico i dont think you will be disappointed.its a beautiful country with beautiful people...........just a shame its 10 hours away :-(

We took mexican peso and dollars..... can use both in the shops and for trips

Word of warning at the airport for return DO NOT go over your luggage allowance, i got stung on my honeymoon so took extra kg this time.they will charge you £17 per kg over and be careful what you put as handluggage.no fancy candles etc or chargers x

One more thing.............i lost my ipod touch..ouch...on the last day ( must have been the upset of going home) so if anyone found it (as it has not yet been handed in) could you please let me know as it was a pressie from my hubby who couldnt make the holiday x

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank pugsy69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2011

A little late in reviewing this hotel but had to write something as had one of the best holidays we have ever had.
We flew from Gatwick and stayed at the Riu sadly only for 1 week, it is a long way to go but still well worth it.
We flew with Thomson and had a 10 hour flight but with the 6 hour time difference, it did take a few days to get over the jet lag but with the beach to sleep on during the day and the gorgeous cocktails to drink in the bars, it wasn't a hardship!
The transfer was quick, about 30 minutes and arrived at the hotel to be greeted with a cocktail and our room key and details, very quick and very organised.
We left our bags to be brought to the room whilst we went ahead. We stayed in room 5010 I think, which was 3 rooms down on the ground floor for where you collect your pool/beach towels so it was very close to the entertainment area. This only bothered us the first night when we were tired and wanted to sleep but there after we were up and out until early hours every night anyway but if you do want sleep before midnight then do get a room further away.
The room was lovely, large, clean and had a great size bathroom with a good hairdryer (so ladies you don't need to bring one, I didn't). Our eyes lit up when we saw the free bar in the room! so necked a tequilla and went to have a nose around.
Pool area is gorgeous! 2 swim up bars, loads of sunbeds and shelter and you never have to fight for one and just beyond that is the most amazing beach. Still after 7 days of being there, everytime I saw it, it took my breath away.
The sea was warm warm warm! and the beach was never packed but had enough people on it that there was always a lovely vibrant atmosphere. You don't need to bring any towels with you as everything is provided by the hotel.
You can get your drinks at the bar and take them to the beach, so everything is catered for.
Everyday around the pool they had something going on at all times and also did beach volleyball and did a beach party once during the day with a band which was lovely.
The bar and the entertainment area were great, 2 great bars with great people serving you. The 2nd night we were there we gave our barmen the equivilant of about £5 and he took good care of us, we never had to ask for a drink it was always waiting for us but we mainly did it as the service is fantastic, amazing, smiley people.
Food is lovely so much of it and again the serive is spot on. One thing that did used to annoy me was the other guests wasting food!!! Often we would see people walk away having left piles of food on their plates. I found it so rude and greedy. You can go back as many times as you want so don't be a careless pig!
We did 2 trips whilst there booked through our rep which was the cheapest dolphin trip which was great, only 6 of us in the group and had a great time but we went at 7am so possibly best to go first thing.
We used the Tequilla hotel one night, entertainment area great and again bar lovely but the shows they put on weren't for us, but some like it I suppose. The night club in tequilla is awful!
Also (and the highlight of the trip) was a visit to Coco Bongo's!!! You HAVE to go there. My husband and I love to party and go to festivals every year so really fancied it and were not disappointed.
We again booked through our rep and because we booked the dolphin trip too we got 2 tickets for £35. Do not bother going VIP just do what we did, pay via rep and turn up and queue at 10.30pm, we got in fine and a lovely waiter gave us a seat by a table so we pretty much an area to ourself without having to pay!!! but go early to get in. Soon as you walk in as we did at 10.30pm you are served drinks and up dancing on the bar! great fun...every town should have a Coco Bongo's! We left there at 4am.....and had to fly home morning so wasn't feeling to good but worth it!
I really can't say enough about this place, it is fantastic and I truely can't wait to get back.
Food amazing, beach amazing, pool fantastic, staff superb, weather gorgeous (apart from the day we arrived but we had the tale end of Rina)!
Book you won't be disappointed, a couple like myself and my hubbie or a family, all will enjoy!
x

Room Tip: If you want to have an early night and sleep by midnight get a room away from the entertainment area
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank CollinsKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rowley regis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2011

read alot about this hotel before we went, now we are back and wot can i say only that its wonderful,so clean,so friendly,more choice than anything else ive seen so to all you moaners you only hv yourself to blame.words cant describe how nice it is will be going back for sure.

Room Tip: if doin a trip do explor its brill
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank pjoebo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2011

Dont listen to the people moaning saying its not a five star hotel just because the towels arnt folded right or they didnt refil the fridge on time, they are been pathetic and have nothing better to do then go through everything with a fine tooth comb rather then enjoy there holiday, they are nothing but sad, pathetic LOOSERS!right thats my rant about them over!you will not be disapointed with this hotel it is amazing, the wildlife is great the hotel is very clean, the staff are very friendly and will go out of there way to make you happy.they dont expect tips all the time but now and then they deserve it!! The meals were excellent always something new on and nice food to try, im a fussy eater and i didnt have a problem filling my plate!! Steak house is nice, i didnt think much of the asian and the mexican but everyones tastes different. The fire show and michael jackson show was good.excellent location right near "xplor" park- u must go its brilliant! And the dolphins was the best part of my trip!! The pools looked clean and the beach was lovely, i would definatley go back just wish i booked two weeks instead of one!!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank XvickiX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2011

Spent 2 weeks here in November - overall a great experience with only a few niggles which could be improved. Beach excellent (30 minute walk into Playa del Carmen) - only negative was the occasional whiff of exhaust from the jet-skis. Pools & bars fine - no problems with service/towels etc.

Food at the Hacienda (main buffet) excellent - always good choice of freshly cooked food (minor negatives were quality of wines - would buy own bottles from town next time - and the lack of fresh coffee - but the bars & other restauants serve good expresso) - went to Asian & Steak restaurants twice - both very good (rib-eyes better than sirloin) - went to Mexican restaurant once which was fine - but seemed little point as good Mexican food always available in the Hacienda.

Rooms fine - minor issues (fridge not on, no bottle opener for beer) both addressed immediately. We were in block 3 so room was quiet (as requested) apart from the occasional trundling of service trollies. Wildlife abounds - agoutis, monkeys, iguanas, the odd coati (loads of them in Riu Tequila) and a wide variety of birds. The troup of howler monkeys visited for 5 days so you got an early morning call with a difference at 5am! - but then they quietened down.

Plenty of activities - went to Tulum under own steam using collectivos and on trips to snorkel with turtles & in cenotes (great).

Room Tip: If you are noise-averse, avoid rooms by the theatre & pool (and maybe the service path down the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank bluemarvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Yucatan

Property: Hotel Riu Yucatan
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 1 | Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Yucatan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 507
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km/ 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * In Playacar's resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 2-storey buildings * Mexican "Hacienda" style architecture * Surrounded by 40,000 m2/44,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Next to the Mexican Street * 800 m/2,650 ft. From various shops * 55 km/34 miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Yucatan Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Mexico
Rui Yucatan
Hotel Riu Yucatan Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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