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“This is the best RIU Hotel in Playacar but make sure you get the right room”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #36 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed May 31, 2012

We had a superb two weeks stay here. The service by the staff was first class. Really hard working, so friendly and helpful, nothing is too much trouble. Our room was kept spotlessly clean and the service we received in the main restaurant could not have been better.
The Hotel has the best best beach location, plenty of space and extremely good shade under the beach palm trees.
The food choice and quality was one of the best we have found anywhere in the world.
The Hotel has a Palacial grandeur and creates the 'old world' ambience.
We had a frontline Jacuzzi suite No. 2048 which is one of the best suites at the hotel. A front facing suite on the first floor would also be very good, and we would probably choosed this next time as we did not make much use of the jacuzzi.
However the Hotel is closing down in September for 3 months for a total refurbishment into a ultra modern hotel. Whether this will be successful must be a big question. The rooms do need upgrading as the bathroom does need a separate walk in shower rather than a shower head in a slippery bath!
The hotel offers very goiod facilities and activities and Playacar being a gated resort is a very safe and pleasant resort, without the constant pestering and tak tak shops in nearby Playa del Carmen. One visit to there is enough.
An excursion to Tulum and Xclaret theme park well worth going to. At Xclaret take the free 45 minute English speaking tours and stop for the magnificient show in the evening.
We hired a car for a week and driving was easy and well worth it.
This is a very good inclusive hotel, but maybe if you want to keep to the colonial ambience you may have to choose the sister RIU Palace hotel which was refurbished 3 years ago

We would certainly return though for a Beach Resort holiday

Room Tip: Go for a front swimming pool facing room or a room as near to beach as possible facing the fountains...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Mike1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,308 - 2,314 of 5,766 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2012

my wife and i have stayed at this hotel twice ,each time we have really enjoyed it ,every one there is friendly the restaurants are all good including the buffet ,the pool and beach area are very good ,with a nice bar at the pool ,one of the nicest things is how safe the resort is with a private road for this hotel and other riu hotels close by ,another nice thing you can visit the other riu hotels and take in there entertainment,also eat and drink there if desired,this comes with booking there palace hotel .i take a taxi from cancun airport to the hotel,you can book and pay at the desk in the airport,its about $70 ,but you dont have to share with anyone ,or go around other hotels while people are being dropped off.coming back its a cheaper ride because there is no airport tax to pay .its worth the extra to get there faster.about a 40 min ride

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank statesidescouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012


- Small beach bar, at least 2 people must be there to handle the crowd. Closes at 5 pm when many r still on the beach - 5.30 closure would create more comfort.
- more paved tracks leading to the beach would be nice.
- beach: positive - nice wide strip, lots of palm trees that create pretty good shade. Lots of beach chairs. Drink delivery service is a good feature. 
Negative: sand is not so fine as in Cancun, lots of crushed sea-shells so u may damage your foot.
Lots of sea-weeds, not every day though, depends on wind. Beach towels are mostly worn off, some time got with dirty patches. Washroom is 60 meters away from the main beach sitting area.

Rooms: nice super king size bed with 4 pillows. Comfortable mattress. Ceiling fan is making sleep comfortable with low a/c. Room service is great too. We had our room done by 10:30-11am. Lots of clothes hangers. Having iron with the ironing table is nice.
Negative: sink, toilette are of age, no card, but key entry system - not very comfortable. In-house safes are electronic, though.

Restaurants: Brazilian, fusion and stake house restaurants are nice and worth going. Making reservation is a snap - the person on duty is from 8 to 10 am. Though you can reserve for tonight only.
At stake house surf and turf is worth ordering. They have also a nice presentation layer for their ice cream serving.
Buffet (Don Julio) for breakfast, lunch an dinner has wide variety of dishes. The only wish is they serve more salmon, calamary and lobsters.  

Swimming pool:
Nice shape, lots of chairs and umbrellas. The only problem - it is actually only one swimming pool of medium size, no infinity pool - not acceptable state of affaires for the resort of this level. They have a long stretch of fountains with shallow basins of no practical, other then esthetical, use that may be converted into the pools.

Internet: free Wi-Fi  for 90 min of use per day per device. If you need more time you may buy: 15/day or 65/5 days. Alternatively, you may use other device (like, use first 90 on your iphone and the second 90 on ipad) getting another 90 min of usage.
Free Internet is available at the lobby area only. Wi-Fi is not working even down stairs at Don Julian buffet, which sucks as you are unable to check emails, etc. while having food and hv to spend additional time at the lobby.
Quality of free Wi-Fi - good for basic operations, like checking email (not for attachments - d/load takes forever : I hv not succeded in downloading any), Internet banking (used iPhone apps for Scotiabank and RBC), FB, Twitter, chat, including Whatsapp, Skype -  I have seen people using it on their tablets.

Paid Internet: they claim that the resort is completely covered, but the further you are away from the lobby, the weaker the signal. It is practically non-existent at the beach area. Even close to the lobby, i.e. at buffet restaurant it took 3.5 minutes to update weather on the iPhone.

General: relatively large resort - it takes several minutes to reach the beach from the lobby area. Very active and friendly Aqua center, where u may get non-motorized equipment free as well as get paid services like snorkeling, scuba and fishing trips, parasailing and jet ski. Reception staff are great. When we were checking-in they were not very busy and even given us 3 options of available rooms to choose from. 
By staying at Riu palace Mexico you are able to use the facilities not only of all Rius around it at Playa Del Carmen, but also can go for a day to Rius located in Cancun hotel zone. I would recommend to visit Riu Palace Las Americas (1-hour drive from Playa Del Carmen. You may take taxi $55 each end or order van via reception for $130. If u order the van your driver will be at your disposal for the rest of the day, meaning you may do 3-4 or more other stops, being it for souvenirs or entertainment) The best there. Soon in May Riu opening Riu Palace Peninsula - brand new hotel in Cancun, only 1 km away from Riu Palace Las Americas. Nightly entertainment consists of the band playing at piazza and the concert - creating warm and nice atmosphere for the end of the day. Demographics: Age of the vacationers: mostly 35 and up. Greatest majority are the couples. Some - with kids. Country-wise: US, Canada, UK, Belgium, Germany. 

  • Stayed: April 2012
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5  Thank AlexS0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2012

JB Great holiday a few ups & downs which you get with any holiday. A little disappointed intially when shown to our rm it did smell very musty & looked pretty ordinary bed hard two beds pushed together not big enough to share single, pillows too big & hard.huge wardrobe with lots of hangers & ironing board. clothes line on balcony this really is a plus.coffee maker easy to use.Optics in room attractive in brochure but didnt really use didnt like brandy,tequila nothing to mix with it,bicardi didnt taste right & there was vodka no gin but drinks easily available in piano bar or room service never found ice machines.mini bar well stocked with water,beer pepsi diet pepsi sprite tonic(but unfortunately not schweppes.diet coke also not available)
very quickly felt trapped surrounded by rius felt like gated community 5th ave a little too far away couldnt just pop out for a drink, although taxis cheap 70 pesos each way
didnt like the red wine & cocktails often very sweet not very strong. chivas regal in piano bar fantastic.A/C Quiet but not very effective, ceiling fan also in situ
buffet food brilliant, great selection
brazilian restaurant very good a lot of meat but well cooked
steakhouse not good,very slow service we were 2nd sitting & had to wait over an hr for main course after starter steak & lobster over cooked it was so late didnt wait for pudding
kyrstal & japanese restaurants good
staff fantastic very friendly & helpful they work so hard & everywhere was so clean
turn down service at night even remake bed & give fresh towels
the hotel grounds are immaculate gardeners constantly working on them, impressive fountain
communal areas are good fantastic chandeliers in foyer overall impressive looking hotel
beach front- great beach some sea weed but staff clear it every morning strangely enough they bury it on the beach
a bit disappointed with snorkling i thaught it was included (have own equipement) but they charge $29 usd pp i thaught you could snorkle off beach but reef along way off limited snorkling
from beach white angel type fish plentiful when sea calm. enjoyed xa ha & cenotes
entertainment piano bar great & band which changed nightly in casino area
didnt like the shows it was just dancing (although they were good) with back ground music became a little boring a film or even karaoke might have been more entertaining
again entertainment staff worked very hard during the day volleyball horse shoes etc
pools,spa,gym all good
we tried RRMP it was good nice for a change but prefer our hotel better beach drinks service & RRMP Has no beach bar We also visited new riu hotel at cancun (only open i wk) very nice
saw one of the new rooms, it looked amazing, love the new colours it really is a wow
Both managers also readily available & very helpful

Room Tip: wait until it reopens after refit before visiting rooms are a little tired now but it will be fantas...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank jellybabe2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2012

My friend and I have just returned from our stay in the Riu Palace Mexico playa car. The hotel is beautiful and the grounds are immaculate. Staff are very helpful and nothing is too much trouble for them. Food in all the restaurants that we tried was excellent and the staff gave us excellent service. The hotel is getting a refurbishment in August to open again before Christmas and having seen the twos show rooms it will be ultra modern which sadly in my opinion will take away the old colonial style of the hotel at present. The beach area is lovely and very spacious. Enjoy my first trip to Mexico but sadly the weather was very disappointing as we had a lot of rain which put me off. Can I also alert those who wil be travelling with THomas cook to careful with the weight of luggage as my friend and I had to pay £70 as our hand luggage was over the 5kgs allowance as we had a small hand case plus our handbag not being aware we could only have one piece per person. That was very stressful at GAtwick going out.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank LorraineH390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

This hotel was designed for large groups of people on company paid bonus trips. That is exactly the reason why I vacationed there, so I didn't pay the bills, the company did. At ant rate, you will enjoy the huge buffet line of excellent food, the beef Wellington was so tender it melted in my mouth like butter. The grounds and dining areas are huge. The roomed are Spanish colonial art decor with rustic wood frame carvings on the furniture. The beach is right behind the hotel a long leisurely walk by the water fountains and manicured grounds. Nice accommodation for relaxing and taking in some solar rays on the beach. The only concern is the sudden changes in the weather that can catch you stranded and unable to escape from a Hurricane and possible storm surge of ocean water. So keep informed and ask your friends and family back home to call you on the phone and alert you well in advance of any approaching hurricanes so you can have the time to safely evacuate the area before all the fights out are booked up or grounded due to inclement weather. But if the weather is good take a trip to a local fresh water natural pool called a CENOTE. Make sure that you bring rubber sole foot gear because tender feet will be very sore walking on the sharp rocks. My feet hurt for one full month after walking barefoot on the rocks to get to the CENOTE fresh water pool. You can have a blast riding four wheelers motor bikes in a group to explore the local area and visit the ancient Mayan pyramids and the local water park and go swimming with the Dolphins, the kids will love it, guaranteed. Jet skiing, para sailing, bannana boat riding etc. Plenty of fun things to do and see in QUINTANA ROO State on the Yucatan peninsula. If you like to scuba or snorkel the Mexican carribbian of Cozumel off the Yucatan peninsula is probably the best clearest water to go scuba diving. Do not touch the coral without protective gear, it will cut you and you don't want to be bleeding blood in ocean water. Avoid underwater caves while scuba diving, if you lose your way and can't find your way out your oxygen air tank will run out and you will drown. Avoid also going scuba diving at night. The lamps attract predators like tiger sharks at night and you run the risk of becoming fish food. It happenned to a woman that got on a boat in Cozumel and enter scuba diving at night right after I got off that very same boat. She was eaten by a tiger shark and died. Nature does not play favorites and if you are foolish enough to challenge nature and not show proper deference and respect you are liable to end up at the bottom if the food chain! So be careful! Don't challenge any sleeping moray eels, they are small but very strong and won't let you go if they bite you and if they anchor themselves onto the coral you will drown! So be very cautious enjoy scuba diving but follow the rules especially avoid surfacing to quickly to avoid nitrogen narcosis "the bends". I have scuba dived the great barrier reef and Hawaii and the Mexican Caribbean and the Mexican Caribbian was the best, clearest water wit visibility up to 500 feet. Have fun, stay safe and buy a video camera scuba mask to record your undersea diving adventures like Jacques Cousteau for a lifetime of treasured memories that you can share with your friends and family.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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4  Thank Premanandaji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

This hotel was fantastic. All the staff made us feel special and were so kind and work so hard. I have never seen anyone put in so much effort and work such long hours as all the staff at this hotel. Food was fantastic - how do they get it so right when catering for so many people, too much food and drinks to choose from. The hotel is great and much better than most in the area (we went in most for a nose). Spent a couple of nights in 5th avenue and it was so much fun. Mexico now has a special place in our hearts, we will never forget our wonderful two weeks there. Now which RIU next?

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank shoegal2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 4 | 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $311 - $559 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Mexico 4*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Riu Mexico
Rui Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen

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