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“Not bad, public areas could do with a remodel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #53 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not bad, public areas could do with a remodel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2014

Stayed here for 3 days (2 adults + 2 kids) in Dec 2013. Good value for money, because kids stay & eat free.

It's a nice hotel with a great beach, but public areas could use a remodel. The beach is large, fine brown sand, and stretches in both directions. The sea was shallow enough to allow wading in for quite a bit.

Rooms were big and are in 3-level units. None of the rooms have beach views, but the property has nice landscaping and coconut palms on the beach for shade. A curtain separates the bedroom from the bathroom. Bed and mattress were big, but average. The toilet area of the bathroom has its own door. The room and safe have old-fashioned, regular keys, not the more convenient card & digital keys, so you only get one key to share. The units stretch from the lobby to the beach -- the units near the lobby may be quieter because the units near the beach are near the night entertainment stage, which can be loud till 11 PM.

Food was fine and service was friendly. However no one ever came around to ask if we needed drinks while we were on the loungers near the pool or the beach. This was different from the two other Rius we've been to, where service was better.

The pools and dining areas look old and could use a remodel. Towel service was very good.

Guests can use the other Rius near this property, but not the Riu Palaces, for everything except dinner. Dinner is required to be eaten at Riu Playacar. The Riu Tequila across the street is very nice, and has a much better lobby, dining areas and pool. However the Riu Tequila has a longer walk to the beach. I would stay at the Riu Tequila instead if you don't mind the 8 min walk to the beach.

No gym or spa, but you can use the ones in the other Riu properties (cannot use Riu Palaces).

There is an Alamo car rental desk and an ATM in the lobby. The Playacar Shop Market is a small shopping mall, right across the property, which has an Avis car rental.

The hotel is about 20 min walk to the Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), which is main tourist drag in Playa Del Carmen. Taxi to the south end of 5th Avenue is 70 pesos. Taxi back from 5th & Avenue Constituyentes is 100 pesos. Taxi to Cancun airport is 550 pesos and takes about 45-60 min.

Check out was at 12:00 noon, and since our flight was later, they gave us a free pass after check out to use the resort, including lunch & drinks. The lobby has a room to keep luggage after check out if you have a later flight.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VnCh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,597 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (542)
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English first
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

Stayed here for Christmas and New Year - had a fabulous time and think that Riu Playacar is a little gem. Such a shame they intend to turn it into a 'glossy Palace' type place. Used USA Transfer from the airport, prebooked before we left home and paid for when we arrived. Highly recommend them. Check in was quick and no problems, room (in block 5) was a good size and a lovely 8ft bed. Aircon worked well. No problems with any plumbing. The cleaners worked hard and always left beautiful towel art. There was some noise from the entertainment area but always quiet before midnight so no real problem. Choice of food was good and so well presented. The Christmas meal was spectacular - the chefs excelled. The beach is brilliant with plenty of sunbeds and shade. We didn't use the pool but there were always plenty of sunbeds. Sellers on the beach were not a real problem and it was funny watching the lifeguard using his binoculars to check for the police patrols so he could warn them to scatter. He actually didn't spend any time checking out to sea which we thought was bad especially as there was not a sectioned area for safe swimming. The hotels either side had them but not Riu. Jet ski, sail boats and kayak were zipping all over the place and with a non observant lifeguard there is an accident waiting to happen. Selection of shops directly over the road and of course 5th Ave was $7 taxi. Wifi (free) in Lobby was patchy but was sufficient for us. Overall we had a lovely holiday, the only problem being the 'safe swimming' area which we were told was not the responsibility of the hotel. ALL the staff are so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Go look at the Yucatan and all the shiny gloss and then go back to the warmth and welcoming of Riu Playacar, I know which I prefer.

Room Tip: Blocks 5 & 6 may get more noise from entertainment. No lifts so lower floor if mobility problems...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sal6518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

We took this trip over Christmas 2013 with our kids between 11 and 8 yrs old. If you are reading this, probably you are aware of Playa Del Carmen area. It is approx 1 hr from Cancun airport via a highway.

I will make this review short and to the point,

The Good
-------------
- It is on the beach. If you plan to spend majority of your time on the beach, then it is not a bad choice.
- Bodyboards and Kayaks are available free of charge after you fill a waiver form. However the Wyndham next door had much more water sports options with trainers and better sail equipments.
-Mexican decor throughout.


The Bad
-----------
Smoking is allowed throughout the property. We had tough time near their lobby area which was smoke filled.
Very limited vegetarian options. Most dishes contained Beef & Pork.
No Gym
Alcohol is inclusive, but very diluted. Think 4 draft beers = 1 canned beer.
Rooms are just average. Holiday Inn/ Days Inn type quality.
Entertainment/Music programs are closer to the beach area, so if you stay closer to the beach, it will be very noisy very late in the night. The music/entertainment was not good at all.

Bottom Line
---------------
If you are taking a trip to this area look for other properties which may offer better value for your money.

Room Tip: Stay closer to the lobby area if you do not like loud noises of late night music on the property.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Naturallycool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

Gloriously luxuriant. Ultra inclusive with watersport etc included.
The Restaurant is over looking pristine, crystal white sand of the Mexican Yucatan peninsular with a warm breeze and honeysuckle scent drifting in whilst you sip fresh local liquor. (Booking is essential, especially for good sea views)
The Hotel was spotless and 8 foot wide bed, Boom ! Well stocked bar, if you like various Tequilas. Worth every penny. The Rep' was a pushy git, selling very overpriced tours to mostly FREE state attractions. We had a Laredo 4.3 Jeep for $30 a day less than they offered to provide on. The staff did new towel art, new fruit/ drink day every day, sheets, etc. ACE !
One little scam was the pillock on the Catamaran Dock on our beach would not except my RYA International Certificate of Competence / Licence and wanted $50 to take a locally recognised course and the local bar also tried changing the Peso sign to Dollars after I had signed it. Cheeky. Still a Brilliant Hotel though !!!

Room Tip: Take a sleeping mask, It never seems to go dark, Book the Restaurants well in advance ! Otherwise p...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warba, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

We spent 5 nights at the Riu Playacar 2 yrs ago and I never got around to reviewing until now. We were a group of 3 families with young kids totaling in 10 people age range 45 years-5 months and all of us enjoyed ourselves. Great food great drinks and great staff with super clean grounds and a beautiful beach.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sara l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetaskiwin, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

We just came back and had a great time ! The food and drinks were amazing, very tasty and lots of choices. The Christmas Eve dinner was a feast to say the least, WOW !
Rooms were comfortable and very clean and I liked the Mexican feel about this hotel , beach is great, always enough beach chairs and groomed everyday.
Service staff was very friendly . I am going back for sure !

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank 144heidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

Second visit to this hotel in 2 years and pleased to say it hadn't changed, just as friendly as we remembered it. Yes, the hotel is a little tired and needs a refresh, we heard that this may happen in 2015, and sincerely hope it doesn't go the same way as the Yucatán, soulless glass and chrome! Could not fault the service from the staff and in particular the animation team, who are wonderful. Not even the rainy weather could spoil this great resort and boy did it rain! So please Mr Riu if you value your customer's feedback, don't change this little gem too much.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Karen C
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:
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#40 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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