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.

“Our return to Riu Playacar”
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 #52 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
somerset uk
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Our return to Riu Playacar”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Stayed at the Riu tequila twice but always ended up over at the Riu playacar everytime.. so this time we booked for Riu playacar.. we are so happy we did.. as its the smallest hotel you get so much more attention from the entertainment team, reception, bar staff ect.. As this hotel is on the beach this was ideal for us.. walking down to the white sand and turquoise sea every morning was out of this world..

Me and my partner were upgraded to a suite as we were a wedding couple.. we were greeted in the room on arrival with champagne and even more champagne and wedding gifts after the ceremony.. My parents stayed in a standard room, and to be honest i would have been happy if we had been given that room, they were so spacious and clean it was unreal, all had mini fridge and mini bar which was great and had a separate dressing area and a step in shower, which was great for my disabled farther.. the wedding co ordinator was great, she had kept a list of everything i wanted on previous emails that were sent before arrival so our meeting before the ceremony was very pleasurable and went very smoothly. We had our wedding on the beach so as you can imagine was WAW! We were a small wedding party of 5 but this made no difference as the amount of support that i felt from people around the hotel was amazing, as i came down in my wedding dress heading to the ceremony people around the pool area and main restaurant all stood and clapped and cheered.. it made me feel so special and very emotional.. Food has greatly improved from last visit.. basically you could eat steak every night if you wanted to.. im a picky eater but if anything, there was way too much choice.. haha.. The only thing i would do differently when i return is not book a a la carte as the main buffet did themed nights every night and so you could get the food there that was in the a la carte's.. Playa del carmen is a 5min taxi drive but has changed a little from when we were last in mexico 2 years ago, but its for the better.. there's tons of shops and restaurants and the port to catch the ferry over to cozumel, which is well worth a visit for duty free shopping.. there is also a wal mart around 10min taxi drive from 5th avenue, it worth looking round if you want something different to do..

We did only 1 trip while visiting this time, it was "wet and wild" in cancun.. Now this is a hard trip to get on while staying in playacar as thomson or scuba caribe don't provide it unless you want to swim with dolphins then scuba caribe provide.. so there was a hut over the road from hotel in mexican street which provided us as a family of 5 with transport, tickets into the park, all the slides and all inclusive while inside with food and drinks and transport back all for £190 (which if you have travelled to mexico before would agree is a very reasonable price for a day trip) Working out £38 each approx. (this was obviously the price without swimming with dolphins, as we have done this on a previous holiday.. with dolphin swim, price goes up approx £30 each for whoever wanted to swim with them.. It was a great day and we would recommend it to anyone travelling with a family or couples.

I also celebrated my birthday out in riu playacar, luckily out of the 2 weeks we were there, it was hot and humid 97% of the time.. on the eve of my birthday, i was sung happy birthday to by all the waiters and were given a lovely birthday cake with their compliments :) on coming back to the room, i had a card and gifts waiting for me from the hotel (very sweet touch)

Ps.. Adventure photos did my wedding pictures which turned out superb.. they'r located in the lobby and Antonio was our photographer (he was such a sweety) they take anything from wedding photos, honeymoon photos, to family photos and couple photos..

One last thing, i recommend that you go to the beach party which the entertainment team organised once a week.. the coconut drinks were delicious.. we will be returning

Room Tip: We stayed in block 5 which was great being close to pool/beach.. if you don't mind entertainment...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank cals25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,754 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,307
    1,680
    483
    179
    105
See reviews for
1,260
2,039
53
18
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (561)
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
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

My mom and I stayed at the RIU Playacar from Sunday, 10/21 – Thursday, 10/25 on our first ever all-inclusive vacation to Mexico. Below, I've highlighted my personal opinions into categories with tips, as well.

* Airport transportation ~ Olympus Tours:
Through our booking web site (CheapCarribean), we were assigned Olympus Tours as our transportation guide to/from the airport. Immediately when you exit baggage claim, there are a ton of individuals in light blue tops looking to book your transportation for you. They will flag you down and claim that they are Olympus Tours (or your booking company) and try to direct you to "the right booth." Walk right past them and walk outside the airport -- where many pre-booked transportation services are, including Olympus Tours. The guys outside were tremendously helpful and caring, too -- they made sure that we put our passports away and secured a time to speak with their tour representative at our hotel that night. The transportation to our hotel was very smooth in an air-conditioned large van with fun music playing. The driver offered us his personal suggestions when asked. The trip from the airport to the hotel was approximately 45 minutes to an hour, since we had to drop a few others off at their hotel, too. I thought this was neat, though, as we got to see a few other resorts, too. The tour guide that we met with in the hotel that evening gave us a great deal to Xel-ha, along with showing us other options. He wasn't pushy and, were we to have said "no," I do feel as if he would have shook our hand and been perfectly fine with it. The tour to Xel-ha was run by another company (Experiencias Xcaret) and they were, as the Olympus Tours rep said, very organized and professional. The RIU Playacar does not have a voicemail system, so we had to call Olympus Tours from the front desk the day before our departure. They let us know the time they would pick us up and, again, nothing but smooth, wonderful service from them.

* Hotel and room:
The hotel was kept very clean and it didn't feel "dirty" to me at any point. The service was outstanding. Everyone always wanted to ensure you were having a good time -- you're greeted with drinks at the counter upon check-in, too! In fact, the only "rude" people we encountered on the trip were others staying at the hotel. The rooms themselves were clean but, yes, as other reviews state: the beds were very hard. The first night, they were out of bed pads, but the maid put them on our bed the next night for the rest of our stay. So, I'd suggest asking for a bed pad at time of check-in or in your "requests" note at booking. Note that there's a shampoo dispenser in the bathroom along with bar soap, but there are NOT small lotions or conditioners in your bathroom. Be sure to bring those. Also, a lot of reviews talk about a "mold smell" in the rooms. This "mold smell" seemed more to me almost like a faint basement smell, which I smelled MANY places in Mexico (airport, Xel-ha, etc) -- it seems more due to the humidity than mold. I should also note that our hotel was without cold water for 7 hours on our last night's stay. They did get this fixed around 9:00pm and immediately had buckets full of water in the main bathrooms to flush the toilet. There were many, many staff on the ground trying to get it fixed as promptly as they could, so I don't believe it was an every-day occurrence -- but it is worth noting. I don't believe it took anything away from our vacation, though.

* Location:
Compared to the other hotels we saw during our transport, RIU Playacar is in a somewhat "gated community" -- we felt very safe. You can walk to "5th avenue" in 25 minutes and the walk itself is lovely to do and very interesting to see the little condos nearby, but it is WARM! Walk to 5th avenue and take a $7 taxi back to the hotel. :) There's a small shopping district directly across the hotel with a Starbucks! Yes, a Starbucks! :)

* Food and drinks:
The drinks were nice, although definitely watered down a bit. They even come on the beach and bring several around at many points throughout the day. The food wasn't extremely marvelous, but it also wasn't bad -- anyone who complains about the food is expecting a home-cooked meal, I think. We ate at the general buffet for dinner one night and the following three nights, we tried out each restaurant (Steakhouse, Mexican, and Asian). The Asian restaurant ("Jade") is its own area (self-serve, but the waitstaff still helps you), and the Steakhouse and Mexican are divided dining areas with separate waitstaff. The Steakhouse restaurant seemed the most popular, with Asian second (beware -- they sometimes run out of soy sauce... and some people get really grumpy about that... I watched a tourist rudely ream out the kind waitstaff for this... ridiculous!), and the Mexican being last (I think most people avoid it because there's Mexican-type food on the buffet, but it is far better than the buffet... fajitas were great!). There was plenty of room in the restaurants each evening, so I don't understand why some people say it was impossible to get a reservation. We went down to breakfast around 8:00am every morning and wrote our name down, but there was definitely many seats left each night in both areas. Also, for a "dinner bell" for the buffet in the main lobby building, the resort staff claps their hands and parades around a table -- which is rather cute to see. :)

* Entertainment:
We caught a resort show one evening of our stay -- a Mexican lip-sync of "Grease" which, to the team's credit, was entertaining and they clearly practiced their dance moves. But, it's not Broadway, but was still enjoyable. They offer several contests throughout the day. The schedule is written on a board outside the buffet area. I will say that I found the pool contests a bit disruptive while on the beach, since I could hear the announcer yelling while trying to read. They also played a game of horse-shoes one day right on the beach, which was also disruptive, but, regardless, they do try to entertain their guests and it's just important to be open-minded and enjoy your stay! There's also a singer in the main lobby area every night before 9:00pm which a lot of people seemed to enjoy, too.

* Beach:
Beautiful! You can walk barefoot at all times -- no rocks to poke at your feet. Very, very close to your hotel.

* Excursions:
As noted above, we used Olympus Tours to arrange our transportation/tours for us which ultimately led to a trip to Tulum and Xel-ha with the tour group Experiancias Xcaret. If you choose to go to Tulum, bring bug spray unless you want to buy it outside the area! Tulum is right next to a swamp. It was very humid and actually down-poured for 15 minutes while we were there, so dress lightly. The Tulum + Xel-ha + Dolphin Ride was $220 per person through Olympus Tours. When you calculate the trolley ride that's included at Tulum, general admission, transportation, and the general price of a dolphin ride alone, this is a great deal. Xel-ha is highly recommended, as is swimming with dolphins. However, beware that one picture of you and a dolphin is $29 USD. They take wonderful photographs of you during the experience, so you have a lot to choose from. However, my suggestion would be to get your photograph taken with the iguana/parrots/macaw outside the restaurants -- it's free to have your photograph taken and they will be at the entrance printed out for you to choose from should you wish to. One photograph is $13 vs. the outrageous price they charge for a dolphin photograph.

* Spa:
The resort does not have a spa, but they do have a small building that offers massages and hair braiding (I had 5 braids put on the side of my hair for $10 -- and it turned out nice).

Overall, this was a GREAT vacation! ENJOY yourself and the experience... and be open-minded!

Room Tip: If you're concerned about noise, request a room closest to the main building (which is still ext...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Sarahsitas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

october 2012
it was two weeks of a wonderful holiday I have travelled around the world twice in my fifty years I also hold a diamond card with riu.Excellent food,staff and cleanliness 1st class,a la carte deserves 10 stars.How soon can we go back?Thanks playacar XX Best riu ever,been to cancun 9 times this rates highest award that i can give.

David Oldfield Retired Northumberland

Room Tip: rooms towards beach bright and sunny
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

My son (27) and I stayed at the Playacar from Oct 4th to the 12th, 2012. The first thing I have to say is that it was one of the best all-inclusives I've stayed at. (This includes 12 others)

It's not that the rooms are that great, they are good though. The best part was the incredible service and attention the staff give to the guests. The front desk personnel are professional and very personable. They had no problem switching our room from a 3rd floor to a 1st floor at check-in. My son and I had a great time with the resort's "Entertainment Team" the whole time we were there. I can't say enough about all of them, Glen, Omar, Oscar, Luis, & Carla. They do a wonderful job of getting you involved in activities and meeting others at the resort.

The pools and beach area are beautiful with plenty of sun and shade available. We never had to worry about finding an open lounger. The food was very good and we ate at each of the specialty restaurants, I liked the Japenese one the best. Frankly, if you complain about the food here, you're just looking to complain. They have so many different things to eat that you're not hugry if you can't find something you like.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and the work they do is a real plus for the hotel. We also wanted to give a shout out to the bartenders and the restaurant wait staff, they are never more than a few steps away from keeping your table clear and bringing you a new drink.

I have no problem recommending the Riu Playacar to others and will seriously think of going back there next time I want to head to Playa Del Carmen.

Room Tip: We stayed in building #3. It was right in the middle and good for either going to the pool or the ma...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank roncorec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012

Everything about this destination was great. The Riu Playacar is the smaller of a number or Riu hotels that are available to Riu guests in Playacar. It is located right on the beach and has a great choice of speciality restaurants, Steak, Asian and Mexican. However, don't expect curries in the Asian as this is really a Chinese restaurant. The alcoholic drinks are of good quality and the staff at the hotel are excellent and very friendly. The beach location is excellent, white sand, palm trees, turquoise blue sea. Two swimming pools, one quiet and the other with a poolside swim up bar and various day time activities. There is night time entertainment which finishes by midnight and therefore allows for a pieceful nights sleep. We were a party of two couples and not many children were there at the time of our visit (29 Sept - 13 Oct) However children are catered for.The only down side to this holiday was the Thomson penny pinching flight. Although the journey is a means to an end and nothing really to do with Mexico and the fantatstic location I feel it important to make the reader aware so that they can prepare themselves for the long flight. Namely, the in flight films are on a loop and unless you are prepared to pay 5 pounds each, you cannot watch them or pause them when you want. Also, no water or soft drinks are provided unless you pay in between the in flight meal and snack provided. The in flight meal is pretty standard fare but the snack is meagre and sub standard. On a positive, the seating in standard class is quiet good and they do provide free headphones. I would have much preferred that Thompson would have charged a little more for the holiday without leaving me feeling aggrieved by their in flight extortion tactics. It is ridiculous not to receive complimentary non alcoholic drinks on such a long flight.

Room Tip: The rooms are located in three blocks either side of a central path leading to the beach. The night...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank royks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

We traveled for the first time to the area several years ago. First time at RIU Playacar. Would definitely stay at this hotel again. Lots of very nice people, lots of very nice staff. Of course the place could be updated, but word has it, it will be undergoing one in 2014. But would definitely stay at this place over the others we have visited in the area.

Room Tip: All rooms seemed the same. Two double beds pushed together.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MIZ10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smithfield, Utah
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Good price, nice resort. Everyone was so friendly! The king room was large with the biggest bed I have ever seen! The bed was very hard, but we slept really well. Gratuities are supposed to be included, but I saw a lot of tipping going on, I was so confused! The beach is beautiful, the water warm. There are many water activities that are free.there is a money exchange place across the street that had a better exchange rate than the airport. The food is plentiful and good. This is a small resort, it was not crowded, it is generally quiet except around the pool. Lots of bilingual staff. I would recommend this resort to a friend and I hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: Upper floors are walk up. Rooms on north side have private balconies.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank D'Anne M
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 5,560 reviews
0.9 mi away
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
#41 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 6,379 reviews
0.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
#39 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 5,335 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
ClubHotel Riu Tequila
ClubHotel Riu Tequila
#46 of 214 in Playa del Carmen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 7,697 reviews
12.9 mi away
Barcelo Maya Tropical
Barcelo Maya Tropical
#7 of 17 in Puerto Aventuras
4.5 of 5 bubbles 4,284 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 5,391 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 Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, BookIt.com, Orbitz, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Hotwire, 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