We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Top marks all round for this hotel from us”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #51 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Bolton
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Top marks all round for this hotel from us”
Reviewed October 14, 2012 via mobile

Just got back from two weeks staying at the Riu Playacar 30th Sept - 12th Oct. we went as a party of four, two adult couples and we loved it. Our rooms were great, I got the impression that they had been refurbished fairly recently. Access to our two rooms was through one communal door, this opened into a small hallway where our two individual room doors were, all three doors were lockable. This set up would be ideal for families where you can have a separate room for the kids whilst still being in your own private contained area separate from the main corridors.
We didn't have any issues with the beds, mattress toppers were already in place when we arrived, in fact we found the beds to be very comfortable. There was plenty of storage in the rooms, two sets of bedside cabinets with three drawers in each, a dressing table with three drawers and a large wardrobe, at least 8 feet wide, with loads of hanging space as well as plenty of hangers and a full width shelf in the top.
As you would expect the rooms are air conditioned but they also have ceiling fans so a comfortable temperature was easy to maintain.
We did have our own balcony with table and two chairs although we didn't use then that much, choosing to keep the doors closed to avoid letting the mosquitoes in after getting bitten during the first night.
In each room there was an iron and ironing board and, another nice touch, an umbrella which came in very useful in our first week.
The food was very good and plentiful. Breakfast served in the main dining room 7.00 till 10.30, after that continental breakfast was still available at the poolside restaurant until it was replaced by the lunchtime buffet. I think this finished around 16.00 but you could still get light snacks of tortilla chips and cheese sauce or popcorn right through until the evening meals were being served.
We tried the speciality restaurants, ' the steak house' waiter service, where we did hear some people complaining that the steaks weren't very big (choice of 6oz sirloin, or 8oz ribeye if I remember correctly) apparently they'd been expecting something decidedly larger, I seem to remember somewhere in the region of 20oz being mentioned (blimey, I'd have meat sweats for a week if I ate a steak that big!) ' The Mexican ' where although the food isn't that different to that of the main restaurant, the fact that it's waiter service makes it a bit more special. 'The Asian' where the food is Chinese rather than Indian, again just a bit different to the main restaurant, especially when you take into account the deep fried ice cream, it was delicious.
Drinks are available all day every day, the none alcoholic cocktails are great during the day, banana mamas being my favourite. Come evening time after a hard day at the beach, it's nice to sink a couple of stronger ones, piña coladas, la mumbas, whatever takes your fancy. The alcohol quality is good, better than any other all inclusive I've experienced.
We never got round to sampling the evening entertainment first hand (although we could hear it in our rooms) because invariably after a lazy day on the beach, a couple of those cocktails and a satisfying evening meal we were usually way too exhausted to do anything other than seek out our comfy beds for a good nights rest.
Finally the very best thing about this hotel has to be the people who work there. The Mexican people are so friendly and helpful. Reception staff, waiters, bar staff, cleaners, managers, chefs, absolutely everyone, they cannot do enough for the guests and whatever they do they do it with a smile.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank jimnychris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,768 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,317
    1,683
    484
    179
    105
See reviews for
1,268
2,044
53
18
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (562)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
St. Charles, Mo
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We traveled with our 2 kids and another family and we picked this resort because of the price and because we liked the idea of it being a smaller resort. There are some good things about this place...mainly the beach. It’s really beautiful and the water is gorgeous. Very little seaweed, no rocks and crystal clear water. Lots of loungers and we never had an issue finding a place close to the water. The grounds in the resort are pretty and kept up nicely. We had a junior suite facing the "theater" in building 5 and it was fine. Nice and close to the pool. Do not request this area of the resort if you have trouble sleeping thru loud music though! It goes until about 11:30 every night. Housekeeping did a great job and if there were any special requests, they were granted. We got a few little towel animals thru the week which the kids enjoyed. The beds are HARD....no question about it! When I read a lot of the other reviews about the beds, I figured "how bad can they be"? They were very uncomfortable (even with the foam toppers) and the pillows are like sleeping on a bag of rocks.

The food is pretty much the same thing every day with a couple new items thrown in. I am not a picky eater, but I was really tired of the choices after only a couple days. The themed restaurants weren't much better. It was basically a main dish with the same things from the buffet thrown in. I guess we liked the Asian the best because it had a little variety. Be sure to try the cappuccino…yum!

The alcohol in the resort is plentiful and if you ask for a premium liquor, they are happy to give it to you, but we often wondered if they just poured the cheap stuff into the premium bottle or watered it down! (Funny how a full bottle of Johnny Walker Red looks like the label is almost worn off from all the handling and doesn’t taste anything like what you are used to) With all the drinking we did we should have been on the floor drunk, but never felt a thing! One thing they really need is either a beach bar or beach waiter for drinks!

We celebrated my daughter’s birthday while we were there and the staff brought her out a cake and sang to her which was nice. They also decorated our room with balloons. The rest of the service was okay, nothing really memorable. I never felt like anyone went above and beyond or was very friendly except for a couple of the bartenders we got to know thru the week. One thing we did notice (and it’s not the resorts fault) is that there were a lot of rude people staying there. While waiting in line at the buffet, people would just walk up and reach in front of you or push you out of the way. Or when walking down the main path, they would basically run you off the road. Rarely did we hear an “excuse me” or a hello when you said hi to someone. There are not a lot of Americans there and we kind of felt like second class citizens. Never noticed this at any other resorts. Weird!

The pool area is nice and there were a lot of lounge chairs, but by the end of the day, it looked like the water could use a good cleaning, especially near the pool bar. We did enjoy the nightly shows at the theater. Each night was different and they were entertaining. The entertainment staff worked hard, but there didn’t seem to be as many activities going on as there had been in previous resorts we stayed at, especially for the kids.

The shopping area across the street was very convenient and we did walk over there a few times. We also went into Playa (5th Ave) one day to shop. Lots of vendors, restaurants, stores and price haggling if you are into that. It’s definitely something worth seeing! The free internet in the lobby was okay…had problems with the servers going down a couple times. We also walked over to the Yucatan for lunch one day. It’s a lot bigger and I thought it looked nicer than the Playacar, but the food was basically the same.

I would like to say...although this review may sound like it, I am not an overly picky person. We read a ton of reviews before deciding to try this resort. We went with open minds and we were not expecting that everything was going to be perfect. We try to keep the "make the best out of the situation" attitude but this is our third trip to Mexico and compared to the other places we stayed, this resort is just lacking. I would probably not recommend this resort, when there are so many others in the area.

Room Tip: Buildings 5 and 6 are closest to the pool, beach and theater area
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank leDeal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

I stayed here Sept. 15 to 21 with a close girl friend. We chose Riu because my friend had been to Riu Tequila a couple of times before and enjoyed it. I wanted to be close to the beach.

When we got there, we had to wait a couple of hours before the room was available. No biggie, there's a bathroom near the lobby where you can change. We were able to get a 3rd floor room as we requested. It was in building 4, 3rd floor, room 4308.

The next day I had three bites at the back of my neck but didn't realize right away that those were from bed bugs. I also had two bites near my face (grosses me out thinking about it!).

The second night, my friend suddenly thought to herself that my bites might be from bedbugs because of the unusual location and the fact that we hadn't been in Mexico long enough and I didn't have bites anywhere else... so she asked if I would freak out if she started checking for them? I said no, please go ahead (this was past midnight and I was already in bed). So she started taking off the covers to check... and lo and behold found bed bugs!! UGGGHHH.

Immediately we started stuffing our bed clothes into bags, changed to fresh set of clothes and went to the lobby. This was around 1 AM. We asked for a new room, and thankfully they had one. The guy at reception tried to wave it off and tried to say they were not bed bugs, but my friend has experienced bed bugs before, years ago, so she knows what to look for. He gave us a room on the first floor of building 3 and didn't offer to help us move.

So, on our second night, at 1 AM we were packing all our stuff, lugging them down the stairs from the 3rd floor and moving into another room (we checked the new room for bed bugs before we unpacked again!)

The second room had better AC but the sink drain kept getting clogged and two days there was a NASTY sewer smell. It was also too noisy in the morning there is no chance of sleeping in past 7:30 AM.

Also, as mentioned in other reviews, the beds are hard. I'm in my early thirties - if I'm going on vacation, I really think I should be able to sleep as well as I do at home - it doesn't feel like a vacation if I'm not looking forward to going to bed!!!! "This is Mexico, accept it" is not an excuse. I grew up in a third world country and my beds there were better than the ones at this hotel - so, sorry, not acceptable.

Yes, this was cheap. But no, it wasn't worth it... I would not return. There are other "cheap" places where I can get better. The STRESS of bed bugs is not worth it. I had to boil all my clothes (including my swimsuits) when I got home and I left my suitcase in my car's trunk as a precaution. I have been vacuuming every day since I got home and checking for bites. Every single speck of dust in my bedroom makes me worry that I have bedbugs. If you've ever been bit by bedbugs, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, just do a quick google search and at least educate yourself.

Loved the beach at the Riu Playacar and I can see why people would return for it. But again, there are other beautiful beaches in Mexico and around the world.

The food was so-so, nothing to write home about. I didn't starve, but that's because I'll eat anything and it was all inclusive. I really wouldn't return for the food here. If it wasn't all inclusive and I had to pay extra for it, I would be very unhappy.

The entertainment was better at Riu Tequila - we walked there most nights to catch the shows.

In summary, I would NEVER return to any of the Rius... I'd rather spend a couple more dollars and stay at a nicer hotel. I know bedbugs are everywhere, even the nicer hotels, but even without bedbugs, I wouldn't spend any more money here - I would like to try the other hotels in the area.

Room Tip: Don't stay in 4308 - bed bugs!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank SunSandSea_and_Me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Myself, other half and 12 yr old son visited this hotel 5th to 19th August 2012. Thomson flight was OK but a fairly old plane and looked a bit dusty and tired. As usual, an upgrade required to access some of the movies but also to watch the other programmes from the beginning!
One tip is to avoid mexicans in arrivals in Cancun trying to sell timeshare - they accosted us by saying they were with Thomson and where were we staying etc...they were very 'in your face' and it's a nuisance after a 9 and half hour flight. You will find the Thomson rep easily.
Hotel check in fast and easy and room OK although ours bit cramped as we had an extra single bed. Really clean and fridge regularly stocked with water, soft drinks and beer. There are optics of tequila, vodka etc but it's not good!
Plenty of sunbeds for everyone, food absolutely brilliant, can't fault it and we've been to quite a few all inclusive hotels and the staff are amazing - I can't praise them enough!
Loads of positives about this holiday and hardly any negatives - the only negative is our own fault really and that was that it was too commercial for us with lots of jet skis, water sports and planes flying over advertising some club or other. I was a bit of a nuisance only being able to venture within the marked off area of the sea outside our hotel but if you turn right and walk for 10-15 mins you will find a lovely quite area to swim and snorkel.
it's very quick to walk into Playacar to 5th avenue and the shopping area but beware of sky high prices in bars and restaurants...the price lists are very well hidden so best to check this out before you start!
Weather was great 2nd week but 1st week we caught the back end of a hurricane and had 1 day of solid rain and then outbursts throughout the 1st week but it wasn't a big problem- if anything it's a break from the scorching sun.
Overall t his was a great holiday and the only thing we would change if we returned would be to find a quieter hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed in the block nearest the evening entertainment but was fine and nearer to beach/pool area
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

I loved staying here, the people since the lobby until the ones cleaning were súper friendly, the bartenders, the waiters, everybody were so helpful and kind, the location of the resort was great, with its beach, so beautiful, and the playacar ville is also so pretty and big, i like the fact that with the all inclusive can go to the others Rius in playacar, to enjoy the meals and shows, also the night shows were fabulous, you have to watch it and stay to the dance... The food was also great!! So much variety... In general a great expiriencie besides it rains 2 of the 4 days we stayed there!!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Annemexican88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

This is yet another of the many Riu's we have stayed at and really is one of the best...Being Diamond Class all our upgrades were honoured ..Emailed Elena the manageress prior to stay requesting top floor with view ...the room was superb...with balcony and sunbeds overlooking the pools and sea..usual cleanliness..stocked fridge ..ample towel supplies..Had a couple of probs but within minutes the wonderful Veronica on reception sorted them ...even phoned room to check all ok..The 3 bar chaps in lobby bar..Mike Edgar and Froilan were incredible..never had to ask for our drinks after the first night..they were set up as soon as we got to the bar..amazing..Lunch was avaiable from 12 right thro to 5ish which was great as you could have a snack before dinner...Great coffee machine..the cappuchino was divine. Dinner was amazing..great choice of food ...Breakfast also ..from yoghurts ..fresh fruit..cereals and English breakfast..with a choice of outside or inside sitting area.The pools looked nice but we are beach fiends..never a problem with beds..beautiful white clean sand and incredible warm turquiose sea..and of course beach towels supplied....The gardens are fabulous and beautifully maintained with the odd little animal and 3 cats ..The atmosphere in this Hotel is so friendly as being smaller than the Yuccatan.. which we've also stayed at .... we preferred.This really is a lovely hotel..please ignore any detrimental remarks..these people must have an attitude problem and need to treat the staff with respect which they so richly deserve..please and thank you works wonders !!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: The pink block good position..top floor..if u dont mind 3 flights of stairs..good exercise!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mickeymouse44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

To drive up it looks nice... But after 1 night we realized it wasn't. Our beds were very hard they hurt Our backs... The sink wasn't draining well we noticed, no big deal we thought. The next mornIng after I brushed my teeth the drain fell in the floor water was everywhere that was about 7:30. We let them know, no apologies or anything from them,at 3:30 our drain was still in the floor! Finally after calling the front desk 4 times they came up and fixed it, by taping the drain back on with electrical tape.

There is no room service, no snacks in the room, just drinks, there is 1 buffet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That's it. The only smacks you can get thoughot your the day is popcorn and nachos... We have cruised and love the food and service on cruises... This place doesn't even come close to being as nice! At dinner they have 3 restaurants so they say but they just split up the restaurant you have lunch at, into to different areas for you to set in for each menu.

What I can say nice about is the beach is beautiful, and our excursiOns were great!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Becwright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Playa del Carmen
0.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Yucatan
Hotel Riu Yucatan
#60 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.0 of 5 bubbles 5,570 reviews
0.9 mi away
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
#42 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 6,387 reviews
0.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
#38 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 5,348 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
ClubHotel Riu Tequila
ClubHotel Riu Tequila
#49 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 7,715 reviews
12.9 mi away
Barcelo Maya Tropical
Barcelo Maya Tropical
#7 of 17 in Puerto Aventuras
4.5 of 5 bubbles 4,303 reviews
0.2 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
#28 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 5,400 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Riu Playacar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Riu Playacar

Property: Hotel Riu Playacar
Address: Avenida Xamen-Ha | Manzana 6, Lote 6, Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Playacar 4*
Number of rooms: 396
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In the Playacar resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 8 annexed buildings * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Surrounded by 21,000 m2/25,000 sq. Yards of tropical gardens * Mexican Street, next to Riu Yucatan * 100 m/325 ft. From various shops * 55 km/34 miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Hotel Riu Playacar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riu Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Reviews
Playacar Hotels
Riu Playacar Mexico
Rui Playacar
Hotel Riu Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing