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“Riu Playacar”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #53 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We (9 adult travelers) stayed at this resort Dec. 12-20, 2013. The resort staff is very friendly and welcoming. The pools are very nice. The beach is great. You can walk to Playa Del Carmen via the beach a very easy walk. Self serve popcorn and nachos available all the time at the snack bar by the beach. Never went to the show in the evening, the show never started until 9:45 pm. There is entertainment in the lobby until 8:30 pm. The music is loud in the lobby. There 4 villas on each side of the walking path to the beach. The grounds are very well kept. The staff is constantly cleaning, the hotel supplies umbrellas which you will need in the evening. Mosquitoes are out at night so bring spray. We would stay here again.

Our travel agent that we have used for the past 10 years is a great person to work with, will look for the best priced flight and resort and helps in making the ultimate decision on the resort. Here is her information: Denise Perkins
Vacation Consultant, www.thetropicaltravlers.com,

Local 1.610.296 6363 ext. 118
Toll Free 1.800.479.0949 ext. 118

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank flhtc80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

So I am more than a little shocked that so many people rate this as a 4 or a 5. Let me preface this by saying we have been to this area 6 times. We always stay at a different resort because there are so many great all inclusive options. This time we were a part of a larger group and we did not plan the trip so were just along for the ride. The property is super dated and rundown. I know they are going to tear it down and they should. A lot of people on hear have expressed disappointment about this but you can update and make a place nice without turning it into robot palace.

The bars and pool are just not inviting. At all other resorts you are hard pressed to get a seat at the bar or by the pool because that is where everyone wants to be. Not the case here as there is no big reason to be on the property during the day at all.

The Food: The food here is awful. You have to make reservations for the 3 restaurants by 10am or you are only allowed to eat at the buffet. This is actually ok since the buffet is the only decent food. You don't expect 5 star dining here but the Mexican restaurant was inedible and we were in MEXICO. Many other resorts we have stayed at like the Aventura Spa Palace have more themed options and far superior cuisine. Another big disappointment was that this place has no room service or late night food options. At every other all inclusive we have stayed at there has been 24 hour room service.

The rooms are not very big, smell a bit musty and are dated. They are no nicer than the Courtyard Marriotts I stay in when traveling for work.

The Good: Yes the beach is very nice. But it is also nice for the other 15 resorts that are on the exact same beach. The one saving grace is that your bracelet gets you into the Riu Yucatan and the Riu Tequila. We spent our whole trip at the Yucatan which has 4 great outdoor pool bars and is a nice property. The Tequila is nice for post dinner activities as it has a sports bar and a nightclub.

We still had an awesome time because we were in Mexico with great friend but there are so many incredible resorts in the Riviera Maya….spend your hard earned dollar elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Hawkfan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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4  Thank VnCh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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8  Thank Sal6518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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- 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
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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
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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.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Naturallycool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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12  Thank Bob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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5  Thank sara l
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

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
#36 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: $226 - $504 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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