We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Riu Palace Mexico, wonderful!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #26 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Topton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Riu Palace Mexico, wonderful!”
Reviewed December 30, 2008

Stay: December 9-16, 2008

Transfer: American Express transfer service was very efficient and on time.

Check in: Efficient and friendly.

Grounds: Fabulous, beach wide and beautiful. Plenty of hammocks and loungers available all day pool and beachside. Beach is filled with palms. Good shade available for those who need it.

Food: Great selection at the buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Specialty themes each evening. Krystal fusion restaurant ala carte was a wonderful experience.

Staff: Without exception, friendly, helpful and courteous. One of the main reasons we vow to return to Riu resorts.

Pools: Pools were clean and clear with plenty of palms and umbrellas.

Renova Spa: I used the hair salon to have braids done. Excellent service and price.

Laundry: We had our travel clothes washed and ironed. Excellent turnaround time and care in handling our clothes. Bravo!

Room: Excellent view of the lovely fountains. Our room attendant was fantastic, towel art, fresh flowers and attention to detail every day and night.

Amimacion: The team endeavors to get folks involved in a variety of activities, but they are never pushy.

Kids club: We observed the children and their caretakers each day, the children looked like they were enjoying a variety of activities.

Beverages: In-room fridge restocked every day. Bar service excellent with good selection of liquors as well as Corona and Negra Modelo beer available.

Entertainment: Music each night in the courtyard plaza, the evening shows were very good. We especially enjoy the Mariachi and Mayan show.

Other Riu resorts: We had occasion to visit the three Riu's in Cancun: Riu Caribe, Riu Cancun and Riu Palace Las Americas as well as the 5 other Playa del Carmen Riu's--Yucatan, Tequila, Lupita, Playacar, and the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. We were able to enjoy beverages and breakfast and/or lunch at those restaurants inclusive to our stay at the Riu Palace Mexico. Without fail we found the service and grounds to be excellent. Each has its own charm, and I can see why there are folks who return to each.

  • Liked — The cleanliness and style are fantastic.
  • Disliked — We couldn't stay longer.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Carol D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

5,324 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3,605
    1,195
    315
    127
    82
See reviews for
1,264
2,538
52
28
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (923)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
B.C. Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2008

We recently returned from the Riu Palace Mexico having stayed there Nov 30 - Dec 14, our 6th visit and 10th and 11th weeks.
Every year we say they can't beat this year, but every time we've gone they have.
I'm not going to discuss the layout of the resort, what the rooms look like, etc as that has been dealt in detail by others.
The first thing we noticed when checking in this year was that the horrible cigar smoke smell that used to be in the lobby and lounge area was gone. This area, the theatre lounge, all restaurants inside are now totally smoke free. You can smoke in the main buffet if you're seated in the patio area outside. Even though we're non-smokers this is generally where we ate breakfast and dinner, totally because of the friendship we have established with Santoyo, the Head Waiter of this section.
As we had always had fountain view rooms in the past this year we were hoping to get a top floor end of the "U" room. When Miguel at Reception was writing down our passport information I saw the # of the room we were getting, 2128 - 3rd floor centre of the north "U". Both my wife and I gave him high fives and he asked if we knew where it was. "oh yes"
Upon getting to our room we were met with balloons, several towel animals, flowers, and a bottle of champagne in the fridge.
Just laying in bed at night we could see the lights of Cozumel and then around 5:30 each morning you could see daylight breaking and the start of the sunrise.
Beach - as seen from pictures posted by others the beach was fantastic and as deep as it was when we visited in '03 and '04. It was now deep enough to put the beach volleyball court back out there but I hope they don't as it just gives that much more room for the lounges. By the way we never saw the towel game being played at either the beach or pool. When we headed to the beach at 9:30 am there were lots of front row lounges available at the pool, and the resort was operating at 100% occupancy for most of our stay.
The "whales" have created some interesting pools where the water is quieter and quite a few fish that we hadn't seen in past years. Watch out for the diving pelicans as they come very close to swimmers. During windy days there can be a riptide or suction effect that has the water from the pools hauled back into the open water and a friend got in severe difficulty one day when he was sucked out and got smashed against the sandbags. He was able to get himself back to shore but did require assistance from the local doctor.
Food - One of the advantages of being a repeat guest is some of the staff will make reservations for you in the specialty restaurants so you don't have to lineup in the morning. I did do it one morning when we decided last minute to go to Krystal. I had no problem making the reservations and was out in about 20 minutes, getting there at 8:10.
We ate at Krystal twice, Miyagi and Steak House once each. We were extremely impressed with Krystal. Maybe we lead sheltered lives but we told Maria, the Manager of the resort, it was the best meal we have ever had anywhere, anytime. You could cut the beef tenderloin with your fork. The Steak House has a new menu and we also had the beef tenderloin there. Excelente! Miyagi used to be our favourite but now took 3rd place.
The rest of the time we ate in Don Julian buffet and the food was very good with lots of variety every day. You just had to wander around, do a scouting mission, then start your selections. Many guests fail to realize there is a Mexican section daily.
Also, as repeat guests, and you'll see it in all the restaurants. If you see someone sitting at a table with flowers or flower petals all over their tables, it's either a special occasion or they've been to the resort many times. We had flowers nearly every lunch and every dinner but one.
For the first time we had absolutely no odour in our room, 3rd floor?, very quiet although we slept with our balcony doors open at night. No problems with theft, etc but then we didn't leave anything out in the open nor did I ever carry a wallet with me except when we went to town. While I never put my camera in the safe while we were there I did put it in the cupboard and hoped for the best.
Tipping - it's a personal thing but we like to tip for good or better service. We went through about US$230 over the two week period.
Hopefully the economy improves somewhat over the next year and we will be able to return for our 7th time. We met some guests who have been visiting the RPM twice a year, two weeks at a time, since it opened in 1999. Rius must be doing something right!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank bobfrombc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2008

Just returned from two weeks at the Riu Palace Mexico. We booked about 6 weeks ago with Thomson holidays in the UK and got an excellent price for a fortnight all inlcusive.

The location of the hotel is perfect, directly on a lovely stretch of beach, close to a number of other Riu hotels (all of which you are able to use) and a 20 minute or 50 peso cab ride into PDC.

The public areas of the hotel and the gardens, are very good, although as some of the other reviewers have mentioned there is an unpleasant musty odour in places.

We had a standard room on the top floor facing the garden (rather than the courtyard). Our room got no sun all day so was rather dark and a bit dinghy as a result. On the positive side the rooms are large and have all the amenities you could reasonably expect - including a free and constantly refilled mini bar. The furnishings in the room and the bathroom were a little tired and could do with updating but certainly adequate. There were two smallish doubles rather than one big king bed which was not great, beds were also very hard - didnt bother us too much but some might find them uncomfortable. We also found the room to have a constant musty odour - again this is reported in a number of other reviews and i'm not sure why the hotel cant do something about it. They put it down to the humidity and temperature but other places with similar climates dont seem to suffer in the same way?

The variety of food available was excellent, I can't imagine anyone would ever find themselves going hungry. However, I couldnt really understand the previous rave reviews for the food. It was adequate but certainly not gourmet! We tried 3 of the speciality restuarants. The steak house was ok, we didnt like the brazilian at all and the fusion restuarant Kystral was the best but nothing to write home about and certainly not worth getting up at the crack of dawn to secure a table! 'The buffet had lots and lots of variety but the food was really only like good quality 'canteen' food rather than what you would consider a nice meal out. Another issue we had with the food from the buffets (both at lunch and in the evening) was that it was often not particularly hot. I dont want to give the impression that the food was poor because it wasnt but if you are a foodie or if you like eating out at good quality restuarants then you will be disappointed in what is served.

Drinks service was excellent and we were never kept waiting for longer than a couple of minutes for service whether in any of the bars, round the pool or even on the beach.

The staff at the hotel were all exceptionally friendly and enthusiastic - and it didnt seem to make a difference whether you were tipping or not. I think the hotel staff are a definite strong point.

All in all we thought the hotel represented excellent value for money, enjoyed our stay and wouldnt hesitate to go there again. However if you are expecting luxury you might be disappointed. The 'five star' rating given in some brochures is misleading. This is not a hotel of five star quality, maybe more like a good european 3 or average 4 star - but to be fair the price you are paying should tell you what you are getting. Some of the true 5 stars in PDC cost over £600 per night - we paid less than twice this for 14 nights!

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Odour
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank finakyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nedjpd
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2008

Just returned from 1 week stay. Staff gave attentive feeling upon arrival. Room and lobby had musty odor which increased through the week. When brought room smell to their attention they did spray, check a/c and then finally placed an ozinator in the room which helped some. (yes I realize it's the humid area but neighbors room next door was not nearly as bad) Food OK, Nice to be able to visit other RIU hotels (in walking distance) Here's the bad part - at the RIU Yucatan brought wallet to poolside to tip with - had several drinks at swim up bar - had shots the barmaid prepared (we didn't request them) -bags within view - and yes you can guess the rest - wallet gone. Yes we were stupid to bring wallet but we truly feel we were set up by staff. Within 2 hours credit card was used at local stores for close to $3000 US When I discussed it with the Apple vacation director he acknowledged it does happen there (both Yucatan and Palace Mexico) and inferred not to tip at all - to leave all funds,credit cards etc in safe. Staff at hotel desk synpathetic but thats all. So as much as you may want to tip - FORGET IT. Also when leaving ANY area double and triple check that you have everything. Left a camera beachside late at night (few people if any around the area), went back for it and no surprise - gone . Three staff members were in area raking sand, questioned if they saw it but claim they didn 't. Next AM checked at main desk hoping guest may have turned it in.Hotel maintains rudimentary lost and found list. I found it surprising that in a 400 room hotel they only had 3 "found" items in a 48 hr period. The low number of items indicates to me that anything left unattended anywhere in the hotel is fair game to staff. Management must look the other way or staff would turn more in. If you go here keep your guard up at ALL times.

  • Liked — room layout
  • Disliked — insecure feeling we left mexico with
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nedjpd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethany Beach, Delaware
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2008

My lady and I spent the first week of December at the Riu Palace Mexico. It was her first time in Playa del Carmen, my seventh trip to the area, fourth at an all-inclusive resort. This was by far the best. We used Trip Advisor extensively to research our trip before we booked in October, all the reviews were great. Checked just before we left and found some not so good reviews that had us kind of nervous about our choice. Don't know what resort those folks stayed at but it couldn't have been the Riu Palace Mexico.

Check-in was a breeze. The cool drink was a nice touch. Room was very clean and did not smell! Didn't really care for the pushed together beds, but managed to get around that minor inconvenience. Our room did not have a view of the courtyard which, at first, was a disappointment. But when we figured out that the bands might keep us awake and that we had much better privacy on our balcony, that didn't seem like such a big deal.

When I research a resort the two things that matter most to me are the beach and the food. At RPM both were very good. The buffet was varied and good quality. The specialty restaurants were inconsistent. Didn't try the Brazilian on the advice of other vacationers. The steakhouse was OK, not a whole lot better than the buffet. The Japanese and Fusion restaurants were excellent. You need to get in line early to get reservations for them, both are small and fill up fast.
Had a very nice massage on the beach. Did an excursion to Chichen Itza. Did the shopping day in Playa del Carmen and mainly chilled on the beach.

Rooms were serviced at least twice a day. Everyone was very friendly and couldn't be more helpful. The only negative was we ate way too much!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tropicalozzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2008

its called a palace and it is a palace.

The layout of the hotel is very nice, and the rooms are great, with nice size bathroom, bedroom and sitting room part with sofa. (this was a standard room). There are 2 beds, each which are slighly smaller than a regular double and pushed together. They would be better off with one King size one, but it wasn't a problem for us, even if they are a little harder than i'm used to. Our balcony area was huge, probably about 15 to 20 feet long overlooking the courtyard. With a minibar in the room (restocked daily) this was bliss.

The food, particulary in the main buffet was fantastic and we are now several pounds heavier after 2 weeks of it !! The only drawback was with the bookable a la carte resturants where you had to be an early riser in order to book the Krystal. There is a queuing system that starts at 8.30 but some people were queuing we heard at 6.30. They have to be nuts! After all we were there for a holiday and rest and we could'nt be bothered to get up that early. The others were generally still available at 9.30 (Brazillian one is not very good). Clearly the system needs to be changed.

The service from all the staff was just impeccable. Drinks are served at all times, and I never waited more than about 90 seconds after taking a seat, in any of the dining areas, or theatre area before being offered a drink. service around the pool is also good and frequent. In the theatre areas the shows most days are actually quite good considering they are free.

The pool area is great, towels are provided, and its a short walk from there to the beach , which has some great hammocks in the shade. The beach area has black sand bags to prevent the beach from the tide and to prevent you being pulled away by the rip tides when the tide is strong. The pelicans frequently dive amongst the bathers for fish, which is quite a sight.

The staff are also all very friendly and I received 2 or 3 check up calls to check that everything was Ok with my room and that i was enjoying my stay. They clearly have a great service culture.

We have been to around 13 or 14 all inclusives all 4* or 5* and this is certainly the best of the lot. I highly recommend it.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — A la carte booking system
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Johnboyholidaykid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galicia, Spain
Level Contributor
112 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2008

We have just returned from a week-long stay at Riu Palace Mexico and can recommend this superb hotel to anyone looking for a great vacation in a tropical luxury resort. We have absolutely no complaints about the hotel itself or the staff, though I understand that if some travellers had the bad luck of being robbed, their experience of the place was different.
We also enjoyed a perfect weather all week long, so we spent 3 days on the beautiful beach by the grounds-it's really convenient, you just walk out of the pool area and get under the shade of the palm trees, with plenty of loungers and hammocks, two bars and two massage shacks facing the sea. Then you reach the white sand beach with picture-perfect blue turquoise water. There are black sand bags which stop the sand from being swept away by the tide and make pools where children and unconfident swimmers can get safely into the sea. If you want to swim further into the blue horizon you may walk to the right of the resort and find bagless areas. The long beach is also great for walking away the extra pounds you will undoubtedly put on with so much food!
About restaurants, we must say that the offer was excellent. Breakfast is served at Don Julian, indoors or outdoors at the veranda, looking onto the garden. The choice of food and drink is endless! Champagne, fruit juices and shakes, tea or coffee. Well, as a coffee addict I would say that coffee is the weak point of breakfast: the Americano is watery and the espresso from the machine is rather tasteless. Note: there is a Starbucks at the Plaza a 3 minute-walk from the hotel. You can have lunch at Don Julian (recommended) or at the 2 beach restaurants, but the food at those two is either pasta or burgers, plus some Mexican starters. For dinner you have the option of booking the 4 a la carte or staying at the buffet, which has thematic evenings. The booking is done from 8 to 9, you go to the theatre around 8, numbers are distributed and at 8.20 you are called in order and choose where and when you dine. We tried the Krystal (good try to have a Mediterranean/fusion resto but the dishes need more attention) and the Miyagi (Japanese, the best choice, friendly staff and tasty Asian specialities).
Overall, the experience was great, very relaxed atmosphere, quiet guests mainly from USA, Canada and Russia, people dress up for dinner so bring some decent clothes!
The only caution I would mention is about the balcony doors: they need to be bolted from the inside, otherwise they can be easily opened from outside, thus allowing intruders in. Anyway, just use the safe inside the wardrobe for peace of mind. And then chill out and enjoy yourselves.
Also, if I were you I would rent a car to get you to the archeological sites (Chichen, Coba, Tulum) instead of paying too much for a package tour and getting to Chichen at 11.30 when it's crowded and too hot. There is an Avis agent at the Plaza.
To sum up, a dream winter holiday in Mexico to escape from the cold dreary Europe and the Xmas season!

  • Liked — The excellent service, the well-kept garden, the main buffet and the Caribbean sea
  • Disliked — The 2 restaurants by the beach, El Patio and La Traviata
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank kayapetai2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Playa del Carmen
0.5 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
#38 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
5,277 reviews
11.1 mi away
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort &...
#10 of 17 in Puerto Aventuras
4,436 reviews
13.4 mi away
Iberostar Paraiso Lindo
Iberostar Paraiso Lindo
#5 of 11 in Playa Paraiso
5,805 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.1 mi away
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Iberostar Tucan Hotel
#40 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
6,320 reviews
2.9 mi away
The Reef Coco Beach
The Reef Coco Beach
#104 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
3,572 reviews
17.3 mi away
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Riu Palace Mexico? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury 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???L. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, BookIt.com, Hotels.com, Despegar.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Jetsetter, TripOnline SA, Priceline, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Mexico reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing