Overall this is a solid hotel that most will be satisfied with. The beach is exceptional and everything else is very good. Deduct one star for the Vegas-like decor and lighting scheme. I wouldn't think this would matter at all but it got annoying as described below.
Location: Very good.
The Playacar area feels very safe and women in our group jogged by themselves through the neighborhood and felt very safe. The hotel is about a 40 minute walk along the beach to PDC. A little too far to walk to PDC then walk around PDC then walk back. I'd recommend taking a cheap 5 minute cab ride to and from PDC.
Rooms: Very good.
Yes the bathroom is open to the rest of the room. Yes the toilet is in a very small closet like room. But overall the rooms were very clean and very comfortable. Mustiness was not a major issue as long as you keep the AC on and the patio door closed.
The thing I hate about the rooms and the whole hotel is the lighting. In fact this is the main reason I only gave 4 stars instead of 5. I know it seems like it wouldn't matter, but the entire hotel including the rooms have this really harsh cool light. It feels like a Vegas lounge everywhere. Over time it just wears on you and is the opposite of relaxing (think overpriced Vegas lounge vibe instead of warm tropical vibe). I found myself craving warm lighting but the only place in the resort to have that is outside in the sun.
The buffet is excellent. We only ate there once for dinner but it was delicious. The a LA carte restaurants were meh. I'd stick with the buffet. The lunch beach buffet was solid and had a good selection. We definitely enjoyed the food but its not like a foodie's paradise.
Beach: The beach is amazing.
Very wide with choice of shade or sun. Lots of loungers and great sandy water entry. The volleyball court is off to the side and needs some more sand as you can feel concrete under it if you dive.
Pool: OK not great.
The four pools are all too small. Finding loungers isn't too bad but the actual water areas are too small. The main pool with the swim up bar is the most undersized. Its the same size as the side pools and was fun but was always packed with people. The side pools are a little more serene.
As people have mentioned, the grounds are meticulously clean. Aside from the harsh cool lighting and decor, no complaints at all.
Very laid back and not in your face animation team. The pool bar played music but not too oomph-oomph. The daytime entertainment is perfectly relaxing. The nightime entertainment is a little sleepy but you can go into PDC for some liveliness. They do have a live band at night which is great to just sit and listen to with a drink.
Service: Amazing. Nothing more to say.
Overall: I'd go back but I also wouldn't mind trying one of the other resorts in the area.
- 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