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“Great value family winter sun in a beautiful location”

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ClubHotel Riu Tequila
Ranked #51 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great value family winter sun in a beautiful location”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

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!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
21 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Effingham, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just got back from a stay at the Riu Tequilla, and are pleased. Some reviews I have seen have not been happy with the food, but from what we experienced, there was ALWAYS something to eat. We didnt "like" everything, but we were never hungry. You have to remember it is a different country with different food choices and have an open mind. There was always lots to choose from. The grounds were kept very clean, and the beach at the Riu across the street was GORGEOUS. We were able to eat and drink there all day as well. The rooms are a little musty smelling, but in a tropical climate, that could be expected and was a minor issue for us. I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: There are some rooms that are a little farther from the main lobby and resteraunts, but I dont know...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lisa Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Let me start by saying if you do not have a good time at this resort – you are the one with the problem not the resort.!!We, ( myself, husband, son 23, daughter 20) just returned from 7 nights at the Riu Tequila (Feb 15-22). Check in was quick and easy. Some people say the rooms are dated – I found them bright, cheery, welcoming and more important – clean. They did smell a bit funny in the beginning but I think you get used to it. Although it’s not expected we did tip our maid each day because they really did a good job of cleaning our room…and the towel creations were always a welcome sight when we returned from the beach. Also – they decorated our room for my husband’s birthday even though I didn’t ask them to. It was a nice surprise for him.
The food was good and I found there always to be a great selection at the buffet. The wait staff were polite and attentive too. We did try the steak restaurant one night and it was pretty good also. The entertainment staff was first class!! They worked so hard day and night and produced some really good shows as well as getting people involved in daily activities. Guests from the other Riu hotels came to the Tequila for the shows at night.
Yes - there are a lot of coatis around the complex but they really don’t bother you unless you feed them. I did find the Riu Tequila to be lacking facilities around the pool. However we spent the majority of our time at the beach so it wasn’t really a problem for us. The beach really is less than a 5 minute walk to reach . And it is a nice walk too. Or you can take the shuttle which runs really frequently. The beach is lovely and while there you can use the facilities at the Yucatan. I found their pool area to be a much better set up than the Tequila’s. Although the bar staff were excellent I did find a lot of the drinks really sweet. Some nights I’d have a hard time finding a drink that I liked. The good thing about All Inclusive is I could keep trying until I found something I liked : ) The mudslides were delicious!!
This resort is in a good location for easy access to Playa Del Carmen – a 30 minute walk or 70 pesos for a cab ride. Coco Bongos is a must!! What a night! We went with the entertainers and paid half what others paid with their tour operators. I think you may get better seats if you go with your tour operator but what we had was good enough to see everything. We also did XPLOR - ziplining, ATV's rafting and swimming in the caves. It was a good day out. If you are going to do it bring water shoes with you. Also I found their picture package to be a bit of a rip off.
I would have no hesitation in returning to Riu Tequila.

Room Tip: Room tip - We were in the 2100 block which is at the back end of the resort - probably one of the fu...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Hamish1844
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This was my 4th holiday in Mexico and I have loved them all. The sand is so white, the sea so blue, the people so happy and friendly.

The entrance and reception at the Riu Tequila are lovely, the staff were very organized and were ready for us so booking in was smooth and quick.

The rooms are lovely with a king size bed or 2 double beds, I found the beds the comfiest I have found in a hotel and the the pillows so soft and smelled lovely.( I have found pillows a problem in lots of hotels as they may put clean pillow cases on but the pillows themselves often smell of sweat.) We slept very well here, the only problem was the doors, the hinges made it impossible to shut the doors quietly. So we were woken each morning when our neighbors left their room (not their fault). The only other complaint or niggle I had about this hotel was the tv, most of the English channels were fuzzy, the handy man who came said nothing could be done as there was just a bad reception there. We don't usually watch much tv but it rained a couple if days so it would have been nice to have the option. The fridge had the usual soft drinks, beer and water which can be handy but we didn't use much. There were also the optics you often get in Riu Hotels.

The pool was lovely but I have always preferred the beach so this is where we spent most of our holiday. The beach is a 5 min walk away across the road and down a lovely walkway or there is always a sweet gentleman driving the small shuttle to take you to the beach if you prefer. The beach was one of the busiest I've been on but it is beautiful and we never had trouble getting a lounger. There is plenty of shade and unshaded areas.

The drinks were good and even though the hotel was full we thought the staff were brilliant and we never had trouble getting served. Try Xtabentun a Mexican anise liqueur fermented in honey.

Food was very good, plenty of choice and good quality. Never had a chocolate fountain with strawberries and marshmallows before. The first morning at breakfast I was a bit disappointed
with the friut choice lots of melon and not much more and I don't like melon, but every day after that the the choice of fruit was excellent, (Grapes, strawberries, apples, pears, bananas, peaches, grapefruit, oranges etc) They must have been waiting for a delivery. The Tequila had a beach bar which was quite good but we preferred to have lunch at the Riu Yucatan as their main restaurant (La Hacienda) was open midday and the Tequilas main restaurant wasn't. YOU CAN USE THE FACILITIES AT THE RIU YUCATAN AND RIU PLAYACAR, SO YOU DON'T FEEL SO CONFINED. YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE YOUR EVENING MEAL AND SWOP YOUR BEACH TOWEL AT THE TEQUILA. We tried two of the speciality restaurants, the steak house, which was ok but the steak wasn't that good. The Asian restaurant was very good, try the deep fried ice-cream. You can book these restaurants as you go in for breakfast which was so easy, much better than queuing up like you do at other hotels.

The evening entertainment was better than most hotels, the entertainment staff put their heart and soul into their performance and the costumes were lovely. There was also some early evening entertainment in reception (musicians, singers etc) and also a couple of professional acts. You had to get there early to get a good seat as the hotel seemed to be full.

All in all a very good hotel with very friendly efficient staff and no big problems.

2 week holiday 26th Dec

Room Tip: Try Xtabentun the Mexican anise liqueur it's fermented in honey, if you like Sambuca you may lik...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank janet o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This hotel was advised from our tour operator, it was a god choice the hotel is very good a real all inclusive, the restaurants offered a lot of food and the quality was good too. My only remark is about the people at reception, absolutely useless.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Giovanni S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barry, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Me and my husband went to Mexico over 3 years ago but to a different hotel, this time we came with husbands aunty and uncle and my 2 daughters aged 12 (the day we arrived) and 14! We all had a fantastic time. The beach is gorgeous, there is a lot of choice with the food, i am a very fussy eater and i managed to find something to eat everyday. Our rooms were always clean and Gabo made some lovely towel arts for us. The entertainment staff are very good and are always around encouraging you to join in the fun and games. When they have outside entertainment on i found it wasn't so great, the hotels entertainment staff were great though. Alot of dance shows! Plenty to drink, the cocktails are good! They have popcorn and nacho's throughout the day, they have a bbq on some days by the pool which isn't out too long so keep your eye out for that, we even had an ice cream trolley come round the pool areas a few days before we left which was a nice touch. The location is good with a starbucks and a few shops just down the road. The coaties are harmless, just make sure you dont have food in your bag, they will take food from you so gently, although you are not supposed to feed them you just can't help it. The decor is just a bit dated and could do with a freshen up but on a whole we had a fantastic holiday!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BeckyfromBarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My family and travelling friends have stayed at the Riu Tequila a number of times and each time we learn something different! The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food is deliscious, the drinks are plentiful and the place is extremely well kept.
If you are looking for good entertainment, the night shows are very well done by the activities crew, who work hard doing fun things with the patrons during the day and entertaining us at night. There is an excellent kids' club as well. I am planning on returning there this March.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Tequila

Property: ClubHotel Riu Tequila
Address: Avenida Xaman-ha | Manzana 3, Lote 19, Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#25 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Tequila 3.5*
Number of rooms: 664
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 
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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

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