My wife spent literally days researching the best vaule from the 20 or so large all inclusive hotels in Playa Del Cama, and after much deliberation decided this was the best combination of:-
1. Country (Mexico). Friendly people, and a great combination of beach and Mayan culture.
2. Location (the hotel is on a beautiful, private road - lined with palm trees, and equally stunning hotels, each set back from the road.
3. Climate (80 degrees every day in February with 12 hours hours Sunshine).
4. Proximity to the stunning beach - although not directly on the beach, you have full access to three other hotels on the beach (lunch, snacks and drinks), and the beach is just a 10 minute leisurely stroll away
4. Price. Lets face facts. You get what you pay for. You could pay an extra £400 ($600 for our American friends), for a hotel on the beach or save it for tips and tee shirts that say "OneTequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila Floor!". But you'll still be in Playa De Cama, just less wealthy
OK - so you have an idea about the area, now what about the hotel?
Well, firstly, I've got to put this in context - this is the third time I've been to Mexico, each time all inclusive, to similar hotels - so I'm in a position to compare.
OK, firstly the hotel Tequila, (despite what I think is a silly name) gets absolutely top marks !
Reasons? (No particular order)
1. All of the above. Ie. Country, location, Price etc
2. The entire hotel is not just "clean" it's "SANITISED". As I sit hear in reception at 6:45am I can see 8 staff busy, washing, scrubbing, polishing and buffing the already clean area, and I the rooms are perfectly cleaned every day.
3. The staff are friendly and helpful. Don't get me wrong, you do very occasionally meet a poor overworked chap without a smile, but on the whole, everyone is approachable, friendly and helpful - a tall order from people who do 11 hour days 6 days a week surrounded by wealthy tourists).
4. The food varies between being good or great. Lets face it, it's a massive catering exercise in an "all you can eat" restaurant - and there is just one main buffet restaurant - but the presentation and quality deserve top marks. Every day there's a "theme" including Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and International food. For valentines night there were hundreds of red balloons, and every other day, the most incredible ice sculptures.
5. Food variety - including (tonight). Mexican, Vegetarian, Slow cooking (Stews etc), Pasta & pizza, Kids section and Chefs speciality of the day
6. The rooms. Our room (two adults and one child), included two double beds, a large chest of draws and two chairs in the bedroom plus a large built in wardrobe, separate toilet, shower and sink in the 10 foot by 6 foot bathroom. In short, enough room to swing a tiger. And worth noting - SPOTLESSLY CLEAN
OK - so apologies if this sounds like a travel reps review (it's not - I work in an IT department in London), but there must be some downsides to this hotel?
Again- no particular order...
1. I did overhear somebody complaining in a loud accent (choose your least favourite) - "This hotel is nowhere NEAR the beach". It you really want to fall out of bed, and onto the beach spend the extra money and stop moaning. It's a 10 minute walk (or 3 by golf cart if your feeling lazy).
2. Restaurant choice is limited and must be booked. The buffet is great, but other (more expensive hotels), have six or more bookable "speciality" restaurants whereas this has just three (Steak, Mexican and Oriental). Also you need to book a table at 7am for than night. However, buffet variety is good, and the speciality is simply very similar food at a set time 7pm or 9pm so what's all the fuss about. You pay your money and takes your choice.
3. Limited selection of bars. Again, at almost double the price, I stayed at a hotel down the road with so many bars I could do a pub crawl. This has One 24 hour bar, two evening bars and a single day-time bar plus the obligatory "swim up" bar. On the positive side, there's 3 other hotels on the beach, and you can (and I have), do breakfast, lunch (but not the evening meal), and drinks in those as well.
4. Internet. It costs more than it should (in my opinion). At £10 ($15) a day or £50 ($75) for a week, it's a bit pricy, and with adequate rather than fast speeds. Although you do get 90 minutes free per day in the lobby area (paid for service includes your room). On the other hand - get a life! Don't come to paradise to spend all your time on Facebook bragging about how wonderful it all is - just enjoy it.
OK - so if you've got this far, your ready to book the hotel - I do hope you enjoy it - it's been a lovely. Two weeks here, and the hotel management and staff deserve an excellent (and balanced) review.
So what would I advise:-
1. Factor 30 sun creme. It gets hot!
2. Please visit Chi Cheniza or Tulum for the mayan culture (sorry about the spelling)
3. Watch Apocalypto - the film directed by Mel Gibson about the Mayan habit if ripping out the still beating hearts of victims - it's actually quite a good film and based in this area - then you can see it for real
4. Book a"Fat Cat" boat trip (see my separate review on Trip Advisor). Great way to live like a film star on a boat for a day
5. Visit an "Eco park". Expensive but a great day out. Pay with MasterCard (Feb 2013) and get the second day free. I did XCaret - go by taxi for £7 ($10) each way - the "Bus package" is to be avoided as why. Pay more to go by bus as they are so close from this hotel?
5. PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE. Bring about 3-5 US dollars a day for tips. (OK, so if your American you may already know this, but us Brits have an awful reputation). The staff are very low paid, work incredibly hard, and rely heavily on tips. You may complain "we'll, I've spent all this money coming here - why should I pay more in an all inclusive hotel", but it's just the way it is. Get down the the post office, and order lots of One dollar bills.
6. Relax and enjoy your holiday - you've worked damn hard for it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Within the resort area Playacar along with the hotels Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan and Riu Playacar * Main building and 1-story buildings * Surrounded by 48,000 m2 / 57,600 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 800 m / 2,650 ft. From the beach (complimentary shuttle) * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 300 m / 990 ft. From Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int'l Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Clubhotel Tequila Hotel
- Riu Tequila Mexico
- Hotel Riu Tequila
- Riu Tequila Playa Del Carmen
- Rui Tequila
- ClubHotel Riu Tequila Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico