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“Brilliant holiday”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #28 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Brilliant holiday”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Just got back from 2 weeks here, brilliant, food good, staff fantastic, so friendly & helpful, location is great.
Not happy that Riu have relaxed the dress code to a point that's anything goes, standards have slipped, even the Brits are coming into dinner like they have just come off the beach, some people looked positively scruffy it appears from what we were told that some nationalities don't like getting dressed up, what's wrong with smart casual...... But please tatty flip flops and shorts are not acceptable at dinner.

The cleanliness of this hotel is superb.

Room Tip: Don't take rooms on ground floor, because of the humidity they can be a bit damp, we were on the...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6 Thank abc123liz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wakefield
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico unfortunately the weather was terrible landed in the rain and departed in the rain. 3 days of sun all in all, we received the back lash of 2 tropical storms, everyone was saying never seen anything like this before but unfortunately nothing you can do about the weather.

However the hotel and staff made sure we had a excellent holiday despite the weather, we even received a letter from the sun apologising for not appearing together with chocolate coated strawberries and chocolates.

We flew out on the Dreamliner, wow well worth the extra money, colour changing windows, large seat and plenty of leg room. TV on headrest plenty big enough with enough films and games to keep you amused for the 10 hours you are in the air.

On arrival was met at reception, bags whisked away whilst we signed in with a welcome glass of champagne. Was taken to our room by bell boy. Room was lovely, bright and clean. Large jacuzzi bath, jack and jill sinks. Massive walk in shower and private WC, had read a lot of negative comments regarding WC, a load of rubbish. It is private with door, small cubicle but plenty big enough. Clean bedding everyday, towel animals and flowers to fruit bowels. Towels changed twice a day and pool towels as many times as you needed.

The hotel is set right on the beautiful white sandy beach, ocean a lovely shade of blues and greens and are able to paddle out without becoming too deep. A little bit rough but made it fun ( apparently due to weather). Plenty of sunbeds on beach, waiter service with drinks. BBQ's on beach most days even when it was raining heavy.

Swim up pool bar, cocktails great and Ernesto loves you to try anything he makes, really good fun. Plenty of sunbeds, umbrellas around pools. Entertainment staff on hand all day don't badger you to get involved if you don't want. Waiter service with drinks constantly round if didn't go to bar yourself. Ice cream man round most afternoons and chefs round with fruit and snacks every afternoon.

The food WOW WOW never eaten as much, definitely need elasticated waist bands for return journey home. Everything is displayed lovely, and plenty of everything, all hot and fresh and chefs on hand to cook things how you liked them. Staff so friendy and go out of their way to make your meal enjoyable, and what great memories they have, remembering which kind of cup of tea you like and how you like your coffee. Lovely fresh fruit drinks and smoothies made whilst you wait. So much choice for breakfast can recommend the pancakes and the omlettes which chef would make for you to order and took less than 3 minutes to cook..
This restaurant is also open as the main buffet on a evening, your welcomed into the restaurant with a glass of champagne or something different if you wish. Your drinks replished before even fully drank the same with the water. Asked about your day and your plans didn't seem like it was a rehearsed question, did seem genuinely interested. Dirty plates removed almost immediately but didn't feel like they were hovering or intruding. Different varities of meats, fish and vegetarian and the salad bars where huge. Lots of fruit decorations which were amazing. Ice sculptures were awesome ( watched them make these in 100 degree heat). The desserts were heavenly, even my husband had one every night and he doesn't do puddings!!
There were 5 other specialty restaurants which had to be booked on a morning, no long queues and only one 1 occasion could we not get the restaurant we wanted and that was because it was closed that night. We only actually went to the Italian (twice) really nice and cosy, food lovely small menu but yummy. But our favorite was the steak house ( 5 visits) this also is the main buffet for lunch again lots of choice and very nice. Although still full from breakfast so tended to go around 3pm and just have small snack. The steak house on evening was lovely, set alongside the beach so could hear the ocean its a lovely setting. Steaks are like velvet and just melt in your mouth. The puddings are served with a display of alcohol on fire tricks before flambeing your dessert.

The staff from the receptionist to the maintenance staff are all friendly and helpful and all wished you good morning and a nice day. Felt really sorry for them when the rain did come down as they tried in vain to prevent walk ways and open areas from getting wet to no avail, as soon as the rain started the mops and brooms were out to our amusement.

We walked along beach to Playa del Carmen took about 35 mins but a lovely walk ( passed 4 weddings taking place) , plenty of tourist gift shops all very cheap but the shop keepers quite insistent on your coming into there shops. All items priced in US Dollars rather than Peso but were happy to accept Peso or credit cards. The taxi's were plentiful and very cheap but the journey very bumpy due to all speed bumps. Can walk direct from hotel along beach or road safely. We were advised by travel agent to take Pesos rather than dollars next time will ignore advise and take dollars.

Unfortunately with the weather been so bad all excursions were cancelled so the only one we could go on was Coco Bongo which was really good and entertaining but quite costly for what it was nearly £200 for the 2 of us, drinks were included photos were taken with characters and were offered for sale but would only accept dollars the same with the waiters they refused Peso's and wanted dollars which I found very rude when a large tip was offered!!

Will definitely go back to this hotel and were currently looking for dates now.

Room Tip: All rooms appeared to be same, corridors seem very long if walking inside but a lot quicker if you w...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Salb256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So. TX Gulf Coast
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2013

My husband and I traveled to Playa del Carmen for the very first time and were 100% pleased with the resort! From the moment we walked in until the morning we left everyone there made us feel like family and were more than happy to help us in anyway that they could. The room was very well kept and cleaned several times daily, Beds were very comfy.

Food at all of the places was very good, we did not find anything that we did not care for at all. You can always find something on the buffet to please your pallet! We ate at the Miyagi (Japanese food) which was excellent, as was the Krystal restaurant (Fusion food). El Patio has the best steaks! You will not go hungry and will always have more than enough to eat as well as plenty to choose from. The only negative thing was that we like a LOT of ice in our drinks and we like iced tea with our meals....we had to ask for the iced tea (only twice, then they remembered and would have it waiting for us when we got back to our table) and we had to ask a couple of times for extra ice.

Evening entertainment was fun and lively. It was nice to sit out in the open air and meet new people from all over the world before the show started.
Although this is a family resort, you will not have to worry about anyone running and screaming in the halls or unruly persons ruining your vacation as there are none. Everyone is very friendly and fun to be around - staff and guests alike.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kvilliva612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Jolla, California
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Loved the new look! Great remodel job. Their new restaurant, La Bodega, is a quiet spot for wonderful Mexican dishes either for lunch or dinner (need reservation at night). Plus, the best shrimp cocktail ever. Krystal's ambiance, service and food is first rate and the Steak House serves up a great "surf & turf." Both restaurants require reservations. Don Julian's rules for breakfast and the buffet selections are mind boggling. The beach is sublime. The staff is friendly and attentive throughout the hotel. The Renova Spa was a delight and my only complaint is that I didn't stay long enough.

Room Tip: Reserve a mini-suite on the east side of the resort.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Howard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2013

This is the third time we have stayed at this resort and the first since the rennovation. The addition of the coffee shop was fantastic, and I love that they have added a few more reservation restuarants. They did away with the brazilian restaurant, but added an Itallian and Mexican to the Japanese and Steak House. The food has gotten better than it ever has been. The new design of the pools are more pleasant. The beach is incredible. The rooms are the one thing that I miss the original design. The bathroom is an open concept. There isnt any privacy to take a shower or bath. The lavatory is doored off but the area is very small and I kind of miss the bidet. We also had a problem with the room flooding one night a heavy rain storm came in. We were on the second floor with a huge balcony looking over to the stage which was fantastic, but it didnt drain fast enough and the water started coming into our room. The one saving grace was that the living area was lower than the bedroom area and closets. We did call the front desk and they said they would send someone in the morning. Good thing it wasnt hurricane season. I would still stay there again, but only if Riu Palace Playacar was booked.

Room Tip: definitely get a room off of the first floor
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank lw12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birmingham,england
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

well where to start... ok the bad points. the pools. the piano player
there are 4 small pools, IMHO they should make at least the one with the bar in adults only.
the piano player was abysmal, although he plays anything from les mis to bon jovi, he killed every tune by playing them too fast, and at least 1 bum note in each tune. We tried to get to the lobby bar after 9pm after he had gone. whilst other people liked his playing this is just my opinion.
now the good points.
we were the only 2 off the coach to check in. met by the bell captain who 'welcomed us to his palace'
took our cases inside and we checked in.
I handed over my riu class card and while Octavio explained about the hotel and its amenities etc a lady took my card, came back and we were given a free room upgrade.
excellent start to what was an unforgettable holiday.
we were given room 1127 which faced the sea. (you cant see the sea through the palm trees)
it was an awesome view though out to the pools, and away from the entertainment area, but a long walk after a few vodkas. lol.
tip.. if you are near the far end of the building and you want to fill your ice bucket in the room there is one situated on the ground floor under room 1126 opposite side to the door that leads to the fountains/ pools etc as you only pass the one near the front lobby and it is not on the hotel map.
food is amazingly well presented, for a buffet style. the one thing I found strange was the bread and toasting machines were nowhere near the butter and jams, which for the first breakfast was a bit like hunt the butter game.
that said I tried new foods I would not try before and I enjoyed most of them, refried beans were a bit weird. but that is a matter of taste.
there is no 'lets put our towels on this bed at silly o'clock game'
plenty of sunbeds for all.
the staff work extremely hard to ensure that your holiday is great. nothing is too much trouble at all. cleaners work all hours, bar staff attentive especially felipe in the lobby bar, we even had a call from the front desk after a few days asking if our room was ok.
I will be adding photos soon

Room Tip: email hotel and request courtyard view. they will try to accommodate, as Thomsons only have outside...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jph15178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico March 23 to March 30, 2013. I had stayed at this property before, but that was a long time ago - 2004. This property was recently renovated and the décor was changed to a more modern look from the dark stained wood that used to dominate. I was a little put off by the new look when I viewed pictures before our stay. Having seen the new look in person, it is very well done and it really lightened up the lobby, and restaurant areas.

The rooms now have the open format, which I am not a great a fan of. - the sinks, tub and shower stall are all out in the open. If you are need of some private time, the only place you will find it is on the commode. Housekeeping kept the room clean, and the mini bar was regularly restocked with beer, booze and water. The tv, radio, lights, and safe all worked with no problem. The bed was very comfortable. If you sleep with the slider open, bring some ear plugs, the little black birds on the property make quite a bit noise talking to each other. If you sleep walk, block off the sitting area with a chair as there are a couple of steps down that could hurt. The open format is one of the few negative comments that I have to say about this trip.

You will see comments about the humidity and moldy smell. First of all, you are on the Yucatan Peninsula - at a beach front hotel....so of course, you might experience some moldy smell when the rooms are closed up. I am sensitive to mold, and really did not have a problem. We are Caribbean vacation veterans, so we usually pack a plug in Febreeze unit to combat musty smells if they exist. It is also a good idea, to open up the slider and the front door to air the room out every day.

The property was very clean, as Riu hotels generally are. The staff was very helpful, and friendly. The front desk was not particularly helpful, but since I had been here before, and we knew our way around, it was not a problem. Throughout our stay, language was not a problem- you can get around even if you are not fluent in Spanish.

The workout area is a great improvement. New equipment and clean. The pool area was redone, and is so much better than what it was-- the old pool area design was a real negative. The pool area is now well organized and there is more than one pool to lounge at if you choose the pool over the beach. Towels were not a problem to get.

The bar service in the pool area was very good, and the staff will bring you drinks at the pool , and on the beach. You can get name liquors at this hotel, not all of the top brands are available but we could usually find a liquor that was acceptable. The house beer is Dos Equis, but you can also get Tecate Light in a bottle. Tipping helps your service, but isn't necessary.

The Beach area was great. No trouble getting loungers, clean and not overcrowded.

The food was good, - plenty of choices, and we had no problem with finding something that we could eat. I wouldn't call the food great, but I'd say solidly good. We ate solely at the Buffet, in the main hotel, and the restaurant that is pool side for lunch.

We could not get reservations for theme restaurants for the days and times we wanted so we gave up. Another small negative. Note, men have to wear long pants to dinner at this Riu - that's the norm for the theme restaurants, but they also require long pants at the buffet for dinner as well.

This Riu Palace does not have a sports bar, instead they had a small area for food, drinks, tv, and computers for internet access ( for a fee) open 24 hours- Lounge 24. It was OK. Fortunately, the Riu Tequila right across the street has a huge sports bar open 24 hours - so you can catch up on news or catch a sporting event you want to see.

The location is good. Since this is a "Palace" Riu, you can visit, and eat and drink at the other adjoining properties. There is a shopping mall just across the street. You can walk to "Fifth Avenue " for shopping - about 15 minutes away. From there, you can get a ferry to visit Cozumel ( about a 1/2 hr trip).

I had stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya previously, and I really loved that property - but this hotel has about the same amount of property, is recently refurbished, and has less guest rooms - so you are not crowded when eating, or beaching it. This is now my favorite Riu hotel in Playa del Carmen

This hotel is about 50 minutes from Cancun airport. Shuttle pick up times to get you back to the airport may seem very early. We arranged a cab in advance, it costs $ 35 USD and you can sometimes avoid the crowd at the airport check in.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PKfromNE
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

Property: 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:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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