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“Still the best”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #52 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
tyne and wear
Level Contributor
266 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
“Still the best”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

We returned to the Riu Playacar after a 4 year break and this is still the best hotel I have ever stayed in.
This is a very comprehensive review so skip if you don't like a lot of detail.
Flight
We booked with Thomson and prior to departure were offered the choice of paying to select a seat at £30 return each. When I checked the website there were only seats in the centre and no window seats so we decided not to book. We checked in the night before and were given a choice of seats including window seats and it was explained to us that they keep a number of seats back.
We were delayed for 2 hours on the ground at Manchester. The food was good on the flight and the choice of films were okay.

Room
We arrived to a refreshing cocktail and check in was seamless. We were on the third floor
and there are no lifts but we were offered a porter to carry our luggage.
The room was spacious with Optics containing 4 litre bottles of spirits two dark rum, vodka and tequila. There was also a fridge which contained 2 bottles of water, 2 orange, 2 lemonade, 2 soda water and 2 cans of beer. These are replenished every 2 days.
There were some toiletries including soap, shampoo, shower cap and the shower was large with a dispenser containing shower gel. There were loads of lovely thick towels and plenty of storage and coat hangers. There is also a free safe in the room and a TV with lots of channels in various languages. We found a lot of movie channels and a lot were in English with spanish subtitles. There was a small balcony with a table and a couple of chairs and a device to place your washing to dry. We were very impressed with the room. The air conditioning was very powerful too.
The Cleaners worked very hard. The rooms were kept immaculate and gleaming at all times. There were frequent towel animals left for us too.

Staff
The Staff were all extremely pleasant and helpful working very hard. The entertainment staff seemed to be there all day and night. From early morning until the show finished at 11pm some of them seemed to be there for the full 14 days of our holiday. They also offered to take people down to Playa del Carmen clubbing after that so literally must be on the go most of the day. The staff in the buffet restaurant were lovely and efficient, Plates were cleared away immediately and your glass was topped up as soon as you were ready for another. .

Pools
There were two pools, a swim up lively pool and a quiet pool. Both were clean and there were always plenty of sunbeds. There were a few days where they would set a table up over lunchtime with a barbeque, fruit, cocktails in coconuts or one day it was seafood salad including prawns and octopus. There is a set of shelves next to the towel hut with lots of books and magazines in various languages

Food
The food in this hotel was fantastic. Every morning there was a massive choice. This included bacon, sausage, fried, poached and boiled eggs, omelettes,croissants, danish pastries, ham, cheeses, smoothies, fruit juices, pancakes and doughnuts. You could either have waiter service for your tea or coffee or help yourself.
For lunch there was a fair variety which included burgers, hot dogs, chilli, various types of pasta, icecream, cakes, chips, fish etc. You helped yourself to water, pop, tea and coffee
For dinner there was a huge choice which over the 2 weeks included-carvery beef, turkey and chicken, a massive salad bar, various cheeses and hams, a large variety of cakes and deserts, lovely ice cream e.g the strawberry contained real strawberry pieces. There was a large selection of mexican foods including chilli, nachos etc. There were steaks, pork chops, pizzas, pastas, tuna steaks and salmon. The wine was ok and I tended to stick to Rose but it was all drinkable.

Drinks
There were a lot of premium spirits available in the various bars in the Playacar and the Riu Tequila. In the playacar I drank the brown bacardi and they had smirnoff vodka. The pool bar had Finlandia vodka. There were also various premium brandy and whiskies. In the Tequila Sports bar I noticed Morgan Spice and Appleton rum. There was also Finlandia and Absolute Vodka. The cocktails were made with local spirits and they all tasted good. The chocolate martinis were great but a bit too powerful for me

Entertainment
There was lots of entertainment during the day, ranging from aqua aerobics, yoga, shooting, darts, volleyball, spanish lessons etc. They also had a cocktail making class. There also seemed to be a lot for children to do.
On a night in the foyer they had singers, mexican games, and a casino on various nights.
There were various shows which were quite good. Lots of dancing, some spectacular gymnastic shows and Mariatchi shows. The entertainment team really tried hard to get everyone involved and were excellent.

Riu Tequila
We went over there a few times. Their theatre is bigger but gets packed earlier so you would have to be there quite early to get a seat. They have two bars next to the theatre and an air conditioned sports bar and air conditioned disco. We enjoyed the air conditioning so went a few times to liven up. The sports bar also had fridges containing burgers, hot dogs and fruit which you could get any time of the day or night. We had one lunch over there and weren't impressed as the tables were a bit too close together and they didn't seem to have as much variety as the Playacar.

Flight home
The flight home was a nightmare. The food was absolutely disgusting so I would suggest getting something to eat at the airport.We also had a child with the lungs of Pavarotti screaming and shouting all the way home and after a 10 hour flight with no sleep I was a bit grumpy to say the least. The airport at Cancun has a few food outlets including Johnny Rockets for nice burgers and milkshakes etc. Average price would be around £10 for food and drink. In the duty free the prices are in dollars yet in the food outlets the prices are in pesos. You can spend either though. Duty free prices are around £19 for 20 english cigarettes.
This has been very comprehensive but I have tried to cover things other people may not have mentioned. We had a fabulous time and will return once we forget how bad the journey is

Thomson and luggage
Just a mention that I would suggest you don't take any decent luggage with you. My partners case looked like it had been trampled on by an elephant by the time it came off the carousel at Cancun airport. When we got back to Manchester I found mine had the wheels buckled and knocked out of shape. Since we got back Thomson have been no help at all and haven't even replied to my email regarding the damage to the luggage.If your luggage is damaged at Manchester you should report it inside the Arrivals hall. The rep in the Playacar had told us to go to the Thomson desk once we got home and we were told there that as we had come through Arrivals they couldn't do anything.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a taste of luxury

Room Tip: A lower level so you don't have to carry your case upstairs
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank TyneAndWearColumbus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

The transfer was pleasant... Meaning no problems... Driver had to drop off a couple of folks off at resorts before we got to our resort... The other couples did not give him a tip and I thought that was wrong. We had our teenage daughters with us... So 4 of us and I gave him I think 12 bucks and he was so appreciative...

The resort ... It is older but it is wonderful... It didn't seem old ... Just was aware of that from other reviews... Which made me nervous reading them after I booked our trip. It could not have been any cleaner... We stayed at an Iberostar in the area before and it was fancier but this place was great! Loved the buffet... It was satisfying.... Huge variety... Can't go hungry here. We ate the Jade ( Asian ). Service was phenomenal ... Food very good... No complaints what so ever.

The walk to Playa Del Carmen was hot but not long really... We walked there a couple of times.. Took cabs a few times ... That's 7 USD plus a dollar or so tip... It's a very short trip in a cab... If you plan on walking.. And shopping .. Just grab a cab on your way back. They are every where and it only takes about 30 seconds to find a cab when you are ready to go.

The shows... Ok .. Fair .. I'd rather go to sleep and wake up early.. They are a little cheesy... But so what. The service was excellent...entertainment staff ... Especially Omar was so much fun... Gets people involved... Volleyball, horseshoes, water polo , salsa lessons, beach bocce etc... And the activities are short and if you don't want to, then say no. I would definitely stay here again but it won't be there next year since they are replacing it with a palace.

Go to Playa Del Carmen... That's fun! My 16 year old wanted a massage... Well on the beach in town... 70 minutes for 20 USD... Can't beat that.. She loved it.

Room Tip: We stayed at the building closest to the lobby / buffet which worked out just fine. Not loud. We l...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank WV4Steelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

I've stayed here twice and i can honestly say that you can not fault this hotel the food is great the entertainment team are amazing, they try to include you in all the games the day is pact with activities except dinner time were the entertainment staff take 2 hours and 30 minutes dinner but even then they sit with, you and eat dinner with you. The pool facilities are great as there are two pools one being more quiet with a water fountain which mostly either is normally empty or not very busy, the other a more adult friendly
with a volleyball net and some times water polo nets if someone forgets to take them back to the beach or beach football isn't on that day. The swim up bar is run by very enthusiastic workers but I personally thought that they didn't serve children correctly as if the children was there before an adult they served the adult first. The food was that good you could not fault it plenty of choice pretty variable and always something for the English that you liked, such as they always served pizzas hot dogs burgers steaks. But also serve other things too. The only let down was that with the food at breakfast I personally didn't like it but that's just me. I very recommend this hotel and I am looking to go again this summer for the third time.

Room Tip: You might want to take a room nearer the lobby if you don't want an,y noise at all although I ha...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Connor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

what fabulous people and a very welcoming hotel nothing was to much trouble even though we had five days of rain fabulous food and plenty to do to try to entertain the guests, entertainment reps were very good the shows were all very good

Room Tip: ground floor would be my tip
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Shirley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
devon,uk
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here beginning of june,where to start ?? After a 4 hour delay on flight out from bristol we arrived very tired !
Simple transfer & check in then off to our room,which was well presented & clean.
The following 5 days then presented us with everything that mother nature could throw at us,sunshine followed by torrential thunderstorms,wind,etc,at times couldnt get from lobby back to room without getting drowned,quite an experince !
During this time the hotel staff did there best to keep us all happy with card games & other entertainment which was good fun.
Overall the hotel was great,beautiful beach with loads of beds,good food,let down by extremely poor service in the mexican restaurant one evening.
Easy walking distance to 5th Ave,make sure to check out El Fogon restaurant for a meal,
Had a great time overall,shame about weather at start of hols,but you cant blame the hotel for that !!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank skins89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Overall, the place was good. They made an effort for variety in the food and it was fresh enough. Don't go to the Asian restaurant, it's an all you can eat and the food is tasteless. You're better off at the regular all you can eat for which you don't need any reservation. As for the room, it was nice, except for the water which awfully smelled of chlorine. It was like taking your shower in a pool. Terrible! And the traces of rust around the bath, not so pleasant. As for the shows, they were more entertaining some nights than others - I recommend the Mayan folklore, very impressive! The location of the hotel is perfect and the beach is incredible, that's the best memory I'll keep of the hotel. It's a great place for families but if you expect to find a real five star hotel, it's not the place.

Room Tip: Our room was in the building near the lobby and it was perfect, we didn't hear any noise.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Denischka06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2013

If you dont enjoy this place you dont enjoy life. By far the best vacation I have been on. The staff was exceptional and went above and beyond to take care of us and show us how to have a great time. I cant say enough about them. The food was great!! I ate like a king. So much variety and oh sooooooo good. The drinks were flowing and never had a problem getting what I wanted. The bartenders are exceptional and quite funny. Tequila shots at 9:00 AM really arent that bad!! The resort is small and that was a good thing. Easy flow through the complex. The rooms are not bad at all. If you complain about the rooms you are spending way too much time in them. The beach was to die for. Enough chairs for a small army in the sun or shade. I wouldnt hesitate to book another trip here.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Floridabnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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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

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