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“Small town feel”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #51 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Onoway, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Small town feel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2014

Just came back from a week of fun, food and booze. Resort is small but very personalized. We checked out the Tequila Resort and Yucatan but like the Mexican feel of Playacar best. Buffet was the best. Great selection, great service, and never tired of it. Not crazy about the Ala Cart restaurants. Never had a problem finding a beach chair or a pool lounger, no matter what time we wandered over there. Pool very clean but if you sit close to bushes/trees, expect ants to visit you. Sand very clean and quite deep so you got your exercising walking on it. Imagination club was fun, friendly and left you alone if you chose not to participate. Jazz, Maria and Fredy we our favorite. Karen at reception was very patient with us with our many questions and requests. We had fun interacting with her. Booze was plentiful at bars and in your room. Never had to wait long even though resort was full. Was hoping to have Sol but only severed Dos Equis XX so I walked a short distance across the street and bought some. Lots of selection for alcohol and non alcohol drinks and the kids (not many) seemed to have fun as well. It is a shame the resort will be bull dozed in 2015 and replaced with the Riu theme of modern. One disappointing aspect was the towel art in room. Demonstration showed many art creations but maids seem to recycle thru them and nothing too imaginative. Room was clean, air conditioner was not overly loud and plenty of hot water. We stayed in blue building, 3rd floor. Not a great view in any building of the resort, but it is not really needed since we spent little time on balcony. Evening shows are the same as in any resort, nothing too spectacular, but it passes the time if you are unsure what to do. Would I go back? In a heart beat.

Room Tip: No elevators so if you have a hard time with stairs ask for ground or 2nd floor.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank 1MangoMama
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
Street, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2014

Just got home from 10 days at the Riu Playacar and we couldn't fault it, staff were friendly and attentive, the amenities were exactly what we needed, the food varied and delicious, a small hotel offers the more personal service that you don't get from the bigger palaces etc.
Food, although we tried the Mexican and Steakhouse meals (which you have to to book) we thoroughly enjoyed the main restaurant. Most evenings we headed for the veranda to avoid the air-conditioning and ate such huge plates full of salad that we sometimes never got on to the main meal. So much choice, in 10 days we were never bored.
Accommodation, clean, fresh linen and towels including a wonderful variety of towel animals, fridge in the room topped up every other day. Beds were comfortable - we did seem to have quite a few Mosquitos in the room each night but that was a really small issue.
Staff, friendly, helpful, enthusiastic
Beach, white sand always loungers available and plenty of shade when to sun got too hot.
Excursions. We travelled with Thomsons and used their excursions, all of which were great fun, informative and well resourced.
I can honestly say that our experience of the a Yucatan peninsular will have us coming back to Mexico sometime soon. And as for the hotel, there is a rumour that it is to be pulled down and rebuilt as a palace. I really do think this would be a shame!

Room Tip: It the block nearest the beach was great and being on the back of the building meant that we weren...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Purpledingles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

We stayed here from Nov.27 to Dec.8,2013, it seemed to be a very busy time. We stayed in Building 6 on the top floor facing the walkway. Well I have to say the resort isn't huge so no matter which building you stay in it doesn't really matter. The rooms are all pretty much the same, the bed is horrible, so strange pushing two doubles together and calling it a king they make each bed individually and push it together so there is no snuggling in the middle : ( It takes 50 stairs to get to the top floor and you really aren't getting a view or any benefit for being up there, so save yourself the hassle and stay on the lower floor. The shower pressure was good, it took about five minutes for the water to heat up but when it did it was very hot throughout the shower. Didn't use the bottles of booze in the room, you just don't know how long it's been up there. Maid service was good, but beware, if you leave a tip on the pillow for the maid, the person who fills the fridge will take it, this happened with us, so hide the money in the bed..... The food was really good, the booze was weak, ask for name brand, they keep it under the bar and ask for a double, they don't mind. The beach is awesome, nice and sandy and the waves were a lot of fun, not good for snorkelling, not one fish out there. Entertainment staff were great in the evenings just before meal time and also around the pool area. Only went to one nightly show "Michael Jackson" and it was good. It was a 25 minute walk to town out the front door of the hotel to the right, there's sidewalks all the way there and most of it is covered by trees so it's quite shady. Your room key is a room key and it does have the room number etched on it, so don't lose it or someone can go right to your room. Also the safe is a key so you have to keep a good hold of that too. Take a couple of safety pins and you can basically pin the key anywhere!! The only bad thing was there wasn't enough loungers on the beach, sat on the sand with my towel a couple of times, other couple of times just stayed around the pool, lots of loungers around the "quiet" pool. This is a public beach so they do have a cordoned off space for all the hotels, once you are past this point you are fair game for ALL of the vendors, lol.
Walked down the street to the Riu Tequilla and had a drink there, they aren't right on the beach, and walked to the Riu Yucatan, that place was packed too, and verrrrrrrrrry pink...... Good staff, tidy grounds, all in all a good trip.

Room Tip: They're all fine, maybe stay on the lower floor, just more accessible.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Tina8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2014

Just returned from a week stay in Riu Playacar.
This was our second visit to Playacar and booked this hotel after reading a few reviews.
We loved our stay, yes hotel room was dated as stated in previous reviews but we did not mind as It was clean. The food was amazing, there was something for everyone with a wide array of selection. We had access to both the Tequilla and Yucatan sister hotels. We found the Yucatans interior too modern to our taste. Riu Tequillas was much nicer with a colonial style but had no beach. The staff in hotel was courteous and efficient. Excursion sold in hotel by tour reps. cost double the price of what you can get from local tour companies. We booked Chichen Itza with a company right outside the hotel and was great with a wonderful guide.
Our only regret was, not staying longer. We would totally recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank pinkshark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2014

Was there from Jan 18-25th. This being our first time in Mexico and after reading a few reviews I was a little skeptic. Booked through Sunwing, and we had 2 hour delay there and back. Not too bad, considering one couple going home to Victoria, BC had 12 hours.

A little tip for when filling out the customs cards on the way there, make sure you fill out the bottom section too. For those families travelling with toddlers, they do have milk on the plane, and they have milk (ask for cold or hot leche) at the resort. One of the stores across the street (not in fridge section but in one of the isles) has them too. I was worried my 20 month old would hate it but she had no problem and drank lots of it. Also it is worth it to take up space in your luggage to bring beach toys such as pails and shovels. Unless you don't mind paying $6-24 for beach toys. And pack extra sunscreen. They are ridiculously expensive.

Got to our hotel around 10pm, check in was quick, and pleasantly surprised to find a playpen in our room even though we did not request for one. The Jade restaurant had hot food/snacks, so we went there for a late dinner.

Rooms:


Maid did an awesome job keeping our room clean everyday. I read reviews about mold problems, but our room was immaculate. We were in the 6000 block (closest to the beach 6102) and ground floor. We just had a regular room, and with 2 kids (1 year & 7 year old) it was still spacious enough. We tipped our maid everyday and left a larger amount on the last day.

Our bar fridge, however, was only stocked three times while we were there (probably because we barely touched anything in there except for the water and beer). They give you plenty though; 3 big bottles of water, 6-8 bottles of pop and 5 beers every time they stocked it.

Beds are a little stiff but still got a good nights sleep. And sheets were clean.

Grounds/Pool:

Immaculate. They work so hard to keep everything clean. One worker was even washing the lamp posts, which looked cleaned already. Didn't like how some of the guests left their garbage anywhere they pleased especially at the beach. There were so many garbage cans they could of easily taken it to.

Pools we're generally clean. The pools at the Tequilla and Yucatan were in nicer condition though. It was a little on the cold side for me, so I didn't swim in there too much. Never had a problem finding chairs. However in the busy season I can see this being a problem.

Staff:

Very friendly. And they did not have the "Give me a tip and I'll give you better service" mentality. The entertainment crew works very hard as all the other staff does . And long hours. After the show, they take the guests into town to a disco every night. Pool bar staff were great and the drinks were good and never had any wait.

Beach:

Beautiful and clean. Other than some straws and garbage left by guests it was immaculate. No seaweed, cool, beautiful, soft sand and turquoise water. Plenty of chairs, although we never used them as you weren't allowed to bring them past the life guard tower and we wanted to be close to the water. We had mostly yellow and red flags on the days we were there. But we swam everyday. Water was nice and warm and waves weren't too big. My 20 month old and 7 year old spent lots of time in the water. Nice shallow sand dune to swim to as well. I certainly did not mind that we had to share the beach with all the other hotels, as this was in a hotel zone. Plenty of room. Don't understand how people can complain about that. No nude people as far as I saw. Just lots of women with most to all of their bums hanging out. Towel service was great also.

Food:

I was so skeptic about the food before going. But that immediately changed when I got there. We ate mostly at the buffet. Plenty to choose from and lots of variety. If your picky, you'll find something you will like. I would suggest going to Tequilla or Yucatan for a few breakfast or lunch buffets though for a different scenery. Steak A'La Carte was decent. Obviously not grade A quality steak you would find in Canada or US but it was not shoe leather hard. The Asian A'La Carte was buffet style though. So to me it wasn't really anything special

Overall, we had a great holiday. Would definitely come here again. Although, next year we are going to try Grand Palladium Colonial as they have a mini club (age 1-3). We didn't get a chance to take the Catamaran or canoes/cayaks out as our 1 year old was too young. They do have a great Kids Club though. My 7 year old never went but the same staff did the kids disco and entertainment throughout the day and they were great with the kids.

Check out was 12. Our transfer to the airport wasn't till 5 but you can leave your luggage in the luggage room and still have lunch and use their amenities and towels. You just have to give your towel cards and bracelets before you leave.

The only thing I was not happy with was how much we got charged for babysitting. They didn't say the price up front, and the ladies do it out of their own time. So an hour into it, we checked on our girls and asked about the price. It was $15 an hour per child. I was so choked. I paid her for an hour and a half only and we took the kids out with us. I was expecting $8/hr per child. Never again. So be warned ask how much before you commit.

And if your thinking about going to Xel-Ha. Just a warning their food is horrible!!! So eat breakfast at the hotel and bring snacks. Everything else there was great.

Another tip, paying in pesos is a little cheaper and you don't have to worry about them ripping you off when converting from US currency to Pesos. Cab to town is either $7 US or 70 Pesos. Walking from the beach, it took us 30 minutes (keep in mind we had 2 kids). Might be shorter walk for others. Start at half of what the store keepers ask for and walk out the store and they will drop the price. The souvenirs are so cheap looking and expensive, but as this was our first time we did buy a few things. Next time we wont though.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Esther P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

This was our 2nd stay in the Playacar area. Last year we were at the Riu Tequila, but chose the Riu Playacar this year because it was on the beach. We were very happy with our choice. The resort is small, but that lends itself to a cozy feel. The food was fantastic, always lots to choose from. Our room was kept spotless. We did go back to the Tequila a number of times for the evening entertainment - the calibre there is top-notch. The beach is amazing. I could go on & on, but the bottom line is that we had an awesome week away. The staff there are excellent...from the grounds keepers on up to the top!!! If you are looking for an inexpensive, but quality hotel - this is it!! Also, the proximity to Playa del Carmen - it's a 20 minute walk along the beach or road. No worry's about safety at all!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gotthetravelbug2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2014

A beautiful spot. Friendly, professional staff everywhere. Good entertainment every day. You could be as busy or as lazy as you wanted to be. Room was kept spotless. Food was top quality.
This was our first "all inclusive" vacation, but will not be the last.

Room Tip: We liked being on the 3rd floor. Very quiet and restful.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Bruce and Linda S
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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