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“World Class Beach”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #52 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Yes, the beach is why we come back to Playacar! This is our 6th trip to Mexico. 3rd time to the Playacar area. 1st time to this property. We really liked the size of this property, 386 rooms. The food was great. We only ate at the buffet. The rooms were big enough with shower only. i believe all the rooms have two double beds. (pushed together to form a king if needed). I guess the rooms are dated, whatever that means, but who cares it's a great value! The grounds and pool are nice.
There was plenty of bottled water provided in the mini fridge. The proximity to 5th ave. Playa del Carmen is great if you're into shopping. We were in the bldg. closest to the lobby but it was still a short walk to the beach. Nothing is far from your room since it's a small property. Even the lobby is just steps away from the main blvd. and the Playacar shopping area. I only used the free wifi a couple of times and it worked okay. The vendors on the beach were not pushy and there was no vendor night at this resort. Drinks seemed strong enough and I like Dos Equis beer! We tipped on occasion at the bars, restaurants, and housekeeping. The staff were very nice. At check in we requested a 1st floor rooms and received them without a problem. We would return to Riu Playacar in the future!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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8  Thank sunfunbeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 9, 2014

This was our first visit to Mexico in almost 20 years and the first with our kids. We arrived after dark due to a flight delay. Having no idea where we were or where we were going was very disorienting so would suggest trying to arrive in the daylight in order to get your bearings. We had never done an all-inclusive before and were a bit concerned because our kids can be quite picky eaters. That was put to rest within the first half hour as we went in for supper - lots of choice from soups to salads to pizzas and chicken nuggets and fries to Mexican and on. We were never disappointed in the food. The bar service was excellent and the bartenders were always willing to free-pour our drinks and make virgin whatever we asked for the kids. The beach - how can you get any better than powdery white sand? Love the palm trees for a bit of shade, lots of chairs. The ocean was beautiful but could be a bit of challenge to get out to the shallow part if a windy day. There is a bit of a deeper dip for about 20 feet so don't send weaker swimmers alone - at least until the afternoon when the tide goes out and it is a bit shallower closer to shore. Once you are past that dip, the water is only about 4 feet deep so lots of fun to play in the waves even if it is a windy red-flag day. The entertaintainment staff were lots of fun without being annoying. The evening entertainment was different each night for the "adult" show. Sometimes it was a bit hit or miss but that's ok - lots of people to entertain with lots of different likes. Can't comment on the pool because we never went in. The room was a bit dated but perfectly fine considering we used it to sleep in and shower in after a day at the beach. They had given us an extra cot so our kids didn't have to sleep together which was a real bonus. Their double beds are tiny. There was a bit of a sewer smell at different times - not sure where it was coming from but it was quickly dispersed if the ceiling fan was left on. We did walk through several of the other resorts on our beach and we were definitely one of the smaller ones. Depends what you like but we loved that we never felt crowded nor did we have to wait in line for anything. We also liked the Mexican feel to the place rather than the generic resort feel you would get at the other newer looking resorts. There were a few mosquitoes but not enough to feel the need for bug spray. Suggest you take some anti-itch cream just in case. The little Mexican market across the street was a nice bonus. All in all a great vacation and definitely a place we would consider going to again.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank Eileen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

My wife, my 8 year old boy and I are just back from a week at the Riu Playacar. We had a wonderful experience in what I would say is a small vacation resort. Let me start first with the good and close this article with the bad.

The Good

Hotel is well located in a secured area (Playacar) about $9 in taxi from the 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen or you may want to walk (we did it by the beach and it was 40 min). Accross the street you will find Playacar Plaza where you can buy souvenirs, you will find a travel agency there is also a Starbucks where you can free internet if you buy a coffee).

Everything is clean, the service is amazing (never had to wait from check-in, to ordering my drinks and getting my food at the buffet), the food is excellent even at the buffet.

We got the room 6117 with a view on a garden. The room was really close to the pool and the restaurant Turquesa where you can have your lunch at the buffet at night and the "A la carte" restaurants at night. We were close to the Theatre and the pool but still it was quiet to go to bed. The room has a 35 inches flat screen, AC, a safe, iron, a shower apart from the bathroom which is convenient. Everyday you are welcomed to your room with an animal made of the towels. The room was wasw really clean.

A lot of activities for everyone, at the pool and at the beach. You can do 4 activities that are included in yoru package (no extra cost), which are Kayak, small catamaran, body surf (not sure of the other one). It is a family resort, so you will find a small pool with 2 feet of water for the little ones. There are two other large pools, one where the bar is and where the activities and animation take place and another one if you want more peace to read your book or simply enjoy the sun.

The beach is amazing. Soft and white sand. While were were there we only had one day of green flag and it really looked like paradise. With more waves (yellow or red flags) you can expect the water to be not as clear. You do get asked for jetski and other water sport activities and a few people will ask you to buy their jewelries but overall it is quiet. We were there for the first week of March, so I would say the high season, the hotel was full but still didn't have problem to find a chair (different with the main pool where the bar is).

The staff are friendly and always with a smile. It makes a big difference in your stay. It is a small hotel (may be 200 rooms) and you never feel the place is crowded.


The Bad

The hotel does need to be revamped. It is supposed to be renovated next year in 2015. In my opinion the price of the hotel should reflect that but it does not, they charge you as if it were a modern place.

Initially we were given a room with two double beds. We asked to be moved into a room with a king size bed but none were available. I have to say the hotel did respond nicely by replacing a the matrice with a king size bed top.

We also like to take our coffee in our room in the morning but there were no coffee maker in the room. Coffee is also not the best at the restaurant.

Rooms come with the old fashion keys (not electronic) and the room number is on the key which can be an issue if you lose your key. I suggest to not put the safe key with the room key :-).

The safe is also with an old fashion lock. I prefer a PIN than a key, it is more convenient and probably safer.

There is no WIFI in the rooms. You have to go to the lobby to get free Internet and it is not only very slow but you can only access it from your device 90 minutes per day. There are a WIFI access that you can buy also but I did not, so I am not sure if it is worth it.

We also found the restaurant "a la carte" to be disappointing. The repurpose the sitting area where you have your lunch at the restaurant Turquesa and split the area in two, half is for the steakhouse menu and the other half is for Mexican menu. There is no ambiance with white light bulbs in your eyes and no music. The food was also disappointing. We enjoy better the food at the buffet. We didn't go to Jade, the Japanese restaurant.

Not many rooms with ocean view, I think there are maybe two so don't have high expectation with ocean view in your room


Conclusion

We enjoyed our vacation and would return

Room Tip: Reserve a seat early (before breakfast) at the main pool where the bar is if you plan on spending th...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank clippe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

I have stayed on the Yucatan 5 times and have never had a bad vacation. This was another amazing stay. The Riu Playacar is the smallest of the 5 Riu Hotels around it and had a very comfortable feel. The staff were friendly and helpful. The food was good. The beach and pool were perfect. Our room was in one of the middle buildings and we had a 60 second walk to the pool and a 90 second walk to the beach. The lobby was 60 seconds the other way. The room was a bit dated and we knew that heading in but it was clean and comfortable. We had read other reviews that discussed a sewage type smell and we did find the area at the very end of our building. It wasn't constant but it was unpleasant. I could understand if you had the room right next to it. The entertainment staff was very good also and did a good job of balancing getting people involved in activities and being bothersome. The service at the pool bar was awesome. My compliments to Daniel after the first day my drink was at the bar before I could swim to it. I would stay here again without hesitation.

Room Tip: Stay away from the south side of building 3 if possible.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Dinodjdj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

I travelled here recently with my father. He is handicapped and confined to a wheelchair. His favourite thing to do is to sit in the lobby and watch the comings and goings and the activity.
The reception staff where so helpfull and took time often to talk to him, it made his trip very very enjoyable.
Also great food in all a la cartes and just loved Jade, which is the sushi resteraunt.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
5  Thank wes_hepburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Our second visit after a four year break and we have to say it was as good as before, we love the place. I have nothing negative to say about it, everyone is so polite,helpful and cheerful. the food is amazing and the entertainment people are 100%. I must admit the location is our biggest draw but saying that it was the whole atmosphere that made it special and to top it all we had the best room in our opinion, it was 6312. We have already broken our golden rule of not going to the same place twice, but i would love to go back there again. I also heard about the hotel being referbished/rebuilt whichever it is. I really hope though that they keep it like it is, its very much part of its charm. If you are going on holiday here have a great time.......

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank longclose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

This property is average for everything. The food was good, with a lot of variety. If you want fantastic food, look to the Riu Palace resorts instead.
The kids club was fantastic. Our daughter was there daily and we had to drag her out of there at the end of each day. The little kids pool was right next to the kids club, which made our stay easy.
We didn't really spend much time on the beach, but took advantage of the coconut water that was made available daily by the tree trimmers.
Bring shoes to walk around the pool area! The pool area surface is made out of interlocking bricks, which are hard on your feet. The pool entertainment staff worked hard to entertain and involve people.
Wifi is only available in the lobby for a total of 90 minutes/24 hr period. It's EXTREMELY slow, so don't expect to be on facebook or even attempt to skype or facetime anybody. We had to pay for internet as my husband had to work during our visit, and that internet was intermittent and not reliable as it was fast, then slow and sometimes the connection didn't work.
We enjoyed our visit there and visited some of the other nearby Riu resorts during our stay.
I would say this resort is a little higher than average, and it provides good value for your money. If you expect to be pampered daily with outstanding facilities, you might want to look elsewhere though. Although the facilities are good, they are not the best we've been to.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank canuck_chick_11
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
#35 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: $192 - $498 (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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