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“Barely a "3"”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #50 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Burnsville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Barely a "3"”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We are pretty lenient when it comes to budget all inclusive hotels because everything has a price and we know that you can’t expect everything when you are looking for deals. However, this one did not meet some basic things that would have allowed us to enjoy our vacation. I’ll start with the deal breakers. The bed was hard. Yes, I did read this in reviews and thought maybe those people were just being picky. It was so hard, my whole body hurt like someone had beat me up each day. I had a hard time even lifting my arms one day like I had really overdone a work out the day before. The beds really are truly unacceptable. This is something the hotel can fix. Another issue we had was the nudity. We asked several times to have a woman wear her top who parked herself in the most visible spot where you walk into the pool area so she could be seen by everyone. No one ever asked her to put a top on or leave. We asked 4 different people on 3 different days. That is also something the hotel can fix. The other easily fixable issue is room service. You can’t get any. We don’t like having to get ready to have breakfast when we are on vacation. It is really relaxing to have breakfast on the balcony and not have to shower first and get somewhat dressed up when you are hungry and just want to go to the beach in your swimsuit but have a bite first. The issues that will be harder to fix are… the balconies are too small, do not have a lounger for reading, and only a few suites have an ocean view. We did not think this would bother us, or we would upgrade when we go there but there were only 2 suites and neither were available. Also, the pool with the swim up bar is a circle where everyone packs in like sardines and there is not a connection to the other pools even though the pictures make it look like there is, so you cannot get away from volleyball going on 10 feet away from you (yum, pool water splashing in your drink!) or water aerobics, or just wanting to swim away for a minute and have some privacy. You would have to go to one of the other pools with no swim up bar. You can easily see in the pictures that the layout of the buildings are very long and your views would either be the walkway, or one of the other hotels on either side of the long strip of buildings. In short, the buildings are too far from the beach and pool. We don’t mind walking, we would just like to see more interesting things from our room. The good things were that the beach was great! You didn’t have to ask for doubles to get a decent strength drink, the food was fine except for the “Asian” restaurant. Don’t bother. Miso soup was like a salt lick and everything else was greasy. We had no problem with the buffet food. The shows are what you would expect, mostly dancing to different themes each night. It’s something to do. The girl dancers wear almost nothing, but I’m sure that’s for the guys. It would be nice to see a show without their stuff hanging out of basically bras and underwear but at least you can skip the show if you don’t want to see it. The rooms do not get below 75 degrees even if you are diligent about keeping your doors closed so bring light pajamas. In summary, the price was great, but we have found much better for the price. I would highly recommend El Cozumeleno in Cozumel if you are looking for value in this price range. Check Bookit, Apple Vacations, or Funjet’s website to find a week all inclusive with flights (from U.S.) for under $1000pp. We would not go back to this hotel if it was free. Seriously.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Minnes0tans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Washington, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I stayed at the Riu Playacar a few years ago and loved it there were no problems i go to Playa every year love the area Fifth Av is great i am going to the Riu Palace mexicio in Feb 2014 and the only thing that has me upset is the way the bathrooms are set up no privacy reading other reviews that has been a major concern with other people i hope Riu can get this corrected before i got but if not we will deal with it all in all playacar is a great place to go that time of year have a good trip

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Roger G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

? Second time to playacar resortThis time stayed at Riu playacar Staff lovely and helpful. yes a little tired but it feels Mexican? Everyone can find something good to eat? only gripe we hired the Hobbycats on the beach a few days? And some of them can be funny about even getting it to the water? Husband had to pull it down the beach a few of the days? We had a walk to the Yucatan As that's were we stopped last time? You could be anywhere in the foyer felt like being in a Airport terminal? No warm feeling but bar staff good!
Back to Playacar entertainment staff also brill? went to steak house twice but sadly both times steaks not very good? We was so lucky with weather hot hot? If they change this hotel in 2015 it will be very sad? just spruce it up and keep it warm and Mexican feel!

Room Tip: Block 5 high floor
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LancashireCatwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haverfordwest, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Had a fantastic time at the Riu Playacar, the rooms need a little up dating, but we hope that when it gets refurbished they don't spoil it. It was very hot, and only 1 days rain. The hotel is very clean and the food and staff brilliant.
The beach is breath taking!! and enjoyed every minute on it.
Jasmine the Thomson rep was very friendly and helpful, we booked 4 trips with her and she gave us all information we needed to have a great time on all of them, nothing is to much trouble for her, she also advised us on the best ways to get to places by ourselves.
Will definitely go back!!
Mike and Julie (Harley People!)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

Just got back this morning after 2 glorious weeks at the riu playacar.
It is an amazing place n the staff are lovely.
Hotel yes a bit tierd but that does not in anyway effect the cleanliness, food, service or any aspect of the place. They r still deciding wether to renovate or completely change the hotel to me its perfect as it is just need renovating to bring it up to date but they shud not update it like they have the yuctan it's to modern n not typical Mexican.
The rooms were clean spacious and well equipped but if u go on hol to spend all ur time in ur room then u r very sad.
The food was always plentiful m hot u would not go hungry as there is so much choice.
Entertainer. The team worked very hard all day n nite. U were never pressured to join in if u didn't want to. The shows as always are gud we didn't watch the shows this time as we new wot to expect.
Staff brilliant.
Beach axing the sea is so clear u can see ur feet and all the fishes swimming.
Location excellent 20 min walk or 70 pesos £3.50 in a taxi to playa del Carmen and 5th avenue lots of shops bars places to eat if u fancy a change.
Trips we didn't do any but spoke to a few who had and they enjoyed them just search around for a gud deal. Will definitely be doing a couple wen we return next year.
The weather was in the 90s m some days it was over a 100f very hot.
Pools. We r beach peeps but went pool a couple of times we went quiet pool no complaints at all. Also there is the pool where the team do all games u can watch from the other pool or go and join in.
All in all this hotel is worth the money u pay.
I also received presents for my birthday.
Do not be put off by any other bad reviews as to me they must be very picky or go around to find things wrong.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Stanner26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevenage
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I have just come back from a 2 week relaxing holiday, and I wished I could have stayed longer.
This is the smaller of the RIU chain of hotels in the Playa del Carmen resort but the attention to detail by all the members of staff is fantastic. Food is great and there was a plentiful choice, but it does get repeated but this did not stop me from enjoying it. Rooms are spacious and kept very clean(in fact they were cleaned every day of our 2 week stay). There is a mini bar and fridge in the rooms which are stocked up as you use them. Aircon does blow cold,but it wont blast/freeze your bits off.
The hotel is situated right on the beach front so not far to go to the beach. The hotel is looking a bit tired in places(I believe it is due for a revamp soon) but this does not detract the fact that it is well maintained. There was 6 of us that stayed here for our trip and we all cant wait to return.

Room Tip: 600's are near the pool and entertainment area, so you will hear the music from the evening show...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank smurfitdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Arrived back October 6th and had to come straight on here to tell you all how good it was. The following are very picky points which I hope help you decide if this is for you, however I would go back at a minutes notice.
Firstly the hotel is due to be knocked down and rebuild likely similar to the Yucatan, Please Riu dont do it. The Yucatan could be anywere in the world the Play a car is Mexico!. We were very lucky with the weather with just one cloudy day in 2 weeks and boy was it hot, in fact to hot for my wife and therefore we looked for shaded areas at most times.
The staff are unbeliveable good, hard working and always smiling, I was worried about tipping and for the first few days seemed to tip everybody however when I noticed nearly every nationality wasnt tipping I decided to stop for a while, the service however did not alter and were very deserving of their tips, which I then continued but more sparingly.
The internet policy is wrong, as on one day i was so pleased that it lasted for nearly 3 hours ( I did say my wife liked the shade) however the next day when I was hoping to speak to my children back home, it would not let me on until 24 hours after the previous session had ended, approximately 2am in Uk !
The food is excellent, its not home cooking though the choice is quite good, with regular fall back options of pizza, hamburger, steak or fish. It was day 12 before I had to have the same lunch although it was very similar options everyday. The drink is brilliant although I would say if you like your branded stuff then ask for it, it didnt make any difference with us as we often looked for first quenching cocktails.
The entertainment staff worked their socks off, although we did not enter into much of their games. In the evening they again worked very hard although the shows were disapointing for the most time as they consisted of some very good dancing but usually miming the song tracks. Tip here for Riu get rid of the pre recorded stuff and use the band in cooperation with the shows, the reaction of the audience when this happened just prooved it.
The area is well within a gated complex, with security everywhere, we always felt very safe with security even on the beach. The sales people on the beach actually listened to no thanks and also smiled back at you, they also did not distract you from what is a marvelous beach. The sea, when calm is like a mill pond with millions of fish swimming around you. Not many people were aware of this so another tip is take a snorkel and mask if you have one. Tropical storm Karen probable affected the sea on other days with it being very rough and only the odd fish to be seen. About 15 to 20 minute walk down the beach you will find a better place for snorkelling but be aware it is a tiring walk in the heat.
For sports fans your only option is to go to the sports bar in the Tequilla. Although this is something you should do even if you dont like sport, just to see how the hotels compare. My view from the outside is the Tequilla is bigger but similar to the Play a car but an annoying distance away from the beach and full of brits! Whilst on the hotels the Yucatan is very new and right on the beach, as i said previously to new for me, however if the bus had dropped us at any of these hotels we would not have complained, and they are really close to each other.
The animals, yes I said the animals. They made the holiday even better fo us, they are all over the grounds and boy do they own it. Agoutis, coati mundis and iguanas must have been photographed a million times.
Our room was classic Mexican yellow if you ask me and exactly what I was hoping for, plenty of room, lovely hot shower and my own drinks, although I only really liked the vodka in the optics. Believe me my wife would have complained if anything about our air conditioning was wrong but thankfully it was perfect. Big mention here to our cleaner Ishmael, who couldnt speak any English so our conversations were limited but boy could he bend a mean towel, which meant he had my wife messmerized with a new animal nearly everyday left sitting on our bed.
5th Avenue is definately worth a visit and is only 70 pesos away, we went several times including a boat trip across to Cozumel and was always charged 70 pesos. I used the rate 20 pesos equals a pound (its close enough) so just £3.50. Be prepared to be asked a lot to go into their shops, and remember if one of them(or more) say they are a waiter at the Riu and their Grandfather has just opend a shop, dont get caught like me into believing them (probably the shop was excellent anyway) as my wife pointed out to me I was wearing a Riu wrist band !!
Jasmine from Thomsons is quite new however deserves a mention as was on the ball when needed to be and did have a busy time with a few problems from other guests, all of which couldnt be helped. Hopefully she does read this however as she did advise my wife(after we had completed the cocktail list) that the 'Miami Vice' was quite nice.......i can confirm that for the last couple of days we were both fuelled by Miami Vice !!!!.
I will certainly be keeping an eye on this place and will be looking to come back to it next year if it hasnt been knocked down.

Room Tip: Rooms are in 6 blocks, with 3 floors. Closer to reception is block one 1, 6 closest to the beach. We...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Michael T
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
#34 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 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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