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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #33 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
A TripAdvisor Member
Kissimmee, FL
Reviewed April 24, 2004

My wife and I just returned from a week long trip to the Riu Palace (April 2004) and had a spectacular time. The resort was impeccable, the service was second to none, and the grounds are beautiful. The pictures on the website do not do it justice. Everyday the crew are out there cleaning the floors, painting the railways, and making the landscaping perfect. I guarantee that you will be amazed with the beauty of the resort. The pool area is nice with plenty of lounge chairs and a great swim up bar. Just following the pool area is the entrance to the beach. This part is a tropical paradise with palm trees, hammocks, and crystal blue water. If you can afford to spend a little more, the suites are well worth the money. There are only eight on the premises and each includes a second floor private balcony with its own jacuzzi. It is incredible. The only dissapointment with this great suite was the fact that they had two double beds pushed together and made separately. That was a little odd. Another recommendation would be to stay away from the bus tours. They tell you that the stops are minimal, but after six stops to different hotels and two hours later for a thirty minute drive, we were not amuzed. I would recommend either staying at the resort or renting your own car or taxi. If you have an adventure side to you, the ATV Jungle tour is great. You ride out for about 30 minutes and then swim in an open cave and then ride back. It is well worth it. Also, if you want to make your wife happy and yourself, sign up for the couples moonlight massage on the beach at the resort. It is worth every penny. My only criticisms of the resort include 1. having to make daily reservations for the restaurants 2. no king size beds and 3. the lounge chairs around the pool get too hot. You can see that I had to get picky in order to criticise. I have traveled a lot and I would have to say this is one of the best resorts that I have ever been to. You will be treated great, eat wonderful food, be amazed by the beach, and have a great time. I will definitely recommend the Riu Palace to my friends and family and will probably return myself.

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,879 - 3,885 of 5,717 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2004

Those were my first words when I walked through the front doors. My wife and I stayed at the Palace from April 10-17. We are 35-40 and had an absolutely wonderful time. The rooms: very roomy, basicly a suite with a stocked wet bar. In the wet bar we had Coronas, Pepsi, Water, Pepsi light (Diet), 7up and Orange soda. They restocked it everyday. Also, you had four alcohol dispensers on the wall-Vodka, Rum, Tequila and I think Gin. And all top shelf. The beds were firm, but not hard we slept very well every night. We do like a firm bed, but nothing like what some were saying that it was like sleeping on a rock, it was very comfortable. Also, the pillows were fine don't bring your own. Suggestion--Buy the Superior room to get the courtyard view, we did and arrived early and got one of the rooms in front, we were 15 steps from the pool. Gorgeous!! Pool: very nice, plenty of chairs, it was always fun by the pool bar. The water was very nice, not to cold very refreshing and great way to cool off. The pool bar was great, it was beautiful to just there and sip a drink and look at the resort. Beach: This is the third pool!! So blue, it was unbelievable. Plenty of chairs, never had to search for a spot. The water is so warm, when someone from the Pacific Northwest approaches the ocean it is usually with a wet suit and a certain amount of preparation that it is going to be very cold and I did indeed approach with the same mental preparation, but to my surprise it was warm, like bath water. Suggestion--Bring an insulated mug for the beach. The beach bar is not really that far away but who wants to get up when you are so comfortable in the sun. They will gladly fill it up. Food: All the food was very good. Don Julian was excellent, so much variety, never had a bad meal. La Bodega-one of the reservation places, steak house-excellent, you will love the way they serve it to you. I am a meat lover so I was in heaven. Didn't eat at the other reservation place, Sir Edwards- I heard it was also excellent. La Triviata and the El Patio down by the beach also very good, we ate lunch there. Like I said, We never had a bad meal, it was excellent. Say hi to Eduardo and Gustavo our waiters in the Don Julian, great guys, treat them well. Entertainment: A little boring, but since you stay at the palace you can go to any of the other three Rius in the area. Suggestion--walk across the street to the Riu Tequila, excellent shows and also where the La Pinata is located. This is the disco. Young, Old and Middle age in their, it was a lot fun. The music was from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today. A fun mix for everyone. Excursions: We went to Chichen Itza through the Cancun line which was organized through Olympus Tours. They took us to a Mayan village and in one their homes, very interesting. Not all tours do this. It was a very long day 12 hours, but very interesting and fun. Suggestion--Eat breakfast before you go. Went to Playa del Carmen-fun shopping down 5th ave. a lot of shops. Suggestion--Make sure you bring money because they don't all accept American Express, Visa or Mastercard. Also, we could only find two bank machines in the area. We went to Cozumel to go snorkeling, again bring cash, ferry only takes cash and Chankanuub only takes cash. Snorkeling was amazing, great pictures. Overall, it was the best trip we have ever taken and can't wait to go back. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me.

4  Thank DDCRABB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2004

The riu Palace is a beautiful resort...We visited the Riu palace for our honeymoon in November. When we arrived we were not very impressed with our room. It faced onto a little garden and we were told we were to have an ocean view. There tends to be an older crowd who enjoy talking about all the money they make...The food was great...the drinks were awesome....if your a young couple wanting to have a good time this is not the place.

Thank Kelly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2004

My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary at the RIU from 4/09 to 4/16 and it was great!!
I'll try to make this quick: Hotel: great, exceeded our expectations, more beautiful than any photo. Room: great room, not good view, but we didn't care. We didn't spend much time in it. Beds were a bit hard, but not a big deal.
Food: really good. Not gormet quality, but very fresh and plenty of variety. Beach: OUTSTANDING!! Plenty of shade and lots of sun if you wanted it. Beware of topless and speedo clad Europeans. Most really shoudn't, if you know what I mean. Pool: very nice, not that big, preferred the beach. Entertainment: not much. It's a very relaxing atmosphere. Excursions: only 2, one to Xel-Ha; was great, but not if you are an experienced snorkeler. If you do go, make sure to swim over to the far side of the lagoon where it's less crowded. Tons of fish, great big ones by the floating bridge. Other trip to Cozumel, nice but I got sea sick on the ferry over....yuck!! If you want a party atmosphere, go to Cancun. Playa del Carmen is very quiet and has a resort area feel to it. Very tropical and lush. The town is nice, but very pushy time share guys and store owners...it turned me off. E-mail questions if you have them. Laurie

2  Thank Laurie46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
rochester, New York
Reviewed April 17, 2004

We just got back from a wonderful vacation at the Riu Palace. We, my husband and I , and our 3 children (ages 15, 14, 12), plus our friends and their 2 children (ages 13 and 17) loved the Riu! It was clean, the rooms were beautiful, though the beds a little hard and pillows flat. They would come into the room twice a day, once to clean and the second to tear-down the beds and bring extra towels. They even made the cutest animals out of the towels! The staff were very friendly and helpful. The food was plentiful and very good, even for our kids standards. All they ate was the pizza and pasta, even though there was all kinds of food! I felt there was food for every palate. The grounds were beautiful, and even though the hotel was to capacity, you would never know it because there was so much room! Especially by the pool area and the beach. You never felt cramped and you never had to wake up early to save a chair by the pool. There were hammocks under palm trees, there were beach chairs and there was a bar right at the beach! We looked for a hotel that would entertain our teenage kids and there was plenty there. Water sports and motorized water sports were right there on the beach. Bring money because they are independently owned. They are not through the hotel. The kids even parasailed and thought it was great! We took a few tours through Apple Tours and they were very accomodating. They were right there in the hotel lobby and took care of everything for you. All we did was show up at the specified times! The only problem that we saw was with their gym. It was very small and hot, though we made due! This was really the only thing we had a complaint bout. We would definitely choose the Riu Palace again to vacation! We had a ball!

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2004

We spent 7 day's at the Riu Palace 3/20/04 - 3/27/04 for our 20th annversary. I was reluctant to go as we come from an ocean city in the northeast, but I am glad we did. If what you expect from a vacation is good food, clean and spacious rooms, and a wonderful white sandy beach than this is the place. plusses: The staff was very frendly and cordial. They made you feel at home and also treated you like you were at a palace. We came in late on Saturday night so our choice room was not available but Monday we were upgraded to another room facing the courtroom. The in room bars were stocked daily although we were not in the room long enough to use the liquor portion. The beer and waters were consumed on a daily basis. The food at Don Julians buffet at breakfast and dinner was plentiful and delicious. The was also a large variety. I don't know how people can complain that the food variety gets old after a few days. If you want to eat healthy you can but there is also plenty to indulge on the guilty side. Sir Edwards was the best dining experience for us as they pampered us with a 3 course meal. (Try the Duck). The patio restaurant had a nice atmosphere but the food was average. we didn't make to La Bodega. The beach was spectacular. The sand does not get hot like back home and it is kept inpecably clean. They rake every morning and align all the chairs every day. We never had to reserve a beach chair and there are plenty of shady areas if you want to get out of the sun. The red flags were flying most of the week so we didn't get to use a lot of the water crafts but the body surfing was great. it was fun watching the midwestern americans trying to do it. There was a good mix of people from all over the world. I was surprised to see as many older teens as we did but they did not detract from the vacation at all. At night they would go across the street to the Tequilla Disco and not be hanging at the palace courtyard. The only negative was getting up at 6:30am to reserve the dinner seatings. If your there by 6:45 you will have a hard time getting a seat. Hints: bring insulated coolers to keep your drinks cold at the beach and pool. Tip your chambermaids with coloring books with crayons and I guarantee you will see the towel animals. Don't try to see Xel-ha and the Tullum ruins in one day. Take a whole day for Xel-ha. Taxis are 4 us dollars to downtown playa del carmen. You may want to use them for excursions also as the packages you get from your reps stop at numerous hotels so a 1/2 hour ride to and from becomes 3 hours instead. Tip the workers they work very hard and deserve it.

4  Thank tfs5815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2004

I just returned from a week at the Riu Palace with my wife, 3 kids and Au Pair. The facilities were spotless and the service was generally excellent. I would say the food was very good. Even my kids, ages 3-7(Picky!) found something to like. In addition the staff was helpful with some special requests. My suggestion regarding kids is that you should pick another place if you are thinking of ages 4 or younger. At the peak of the spring break season there were maybe a half a dozen in the entire resort in this age category. I actively sought out the hotel manager to try to get a late check out for one of my rooms so that my youngest could have a nap prior to our late travel home. They refused to address the request until the night before departure and when I finally found the manager after being misled by the manager in training for 3 days...they could not have cared less. I also don't believe it is woth the premium for the younger kids. Regarding "5 star" this hotel will not satisfy the 5 star consumer. The bathroom soap, shampoo etc are more in the motel 6 quality. The alcahol options are not top shelf.
The choices are mid range and the wine options are sub-par. The towels for the beach and pool were filthy. The Gym had no air conditioning. It was so hot you could not use it. While there were short comings we did have a good time. I would reccommend it but moderate your expectations regarding the areas described above.

2  Thank Rick S
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
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:
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $290 - $541 (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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