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.
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.
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.
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. .
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- 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