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“Riu Palace Mexico...Good but not Great”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #29 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Riu Palace Mexico...Good but not Great”
Reviewed March 7, 2009

Checking in was a little bumpy. We thought that the bellmen would take our bags to our room. Instead we found ourselves lugging our luggage ourselves. We even asked how best to get luggage to our rooms and we were directed to the elevators. No big deal, but it was worth mentioning. We've stayed in other AI resorts in Mexico and never had to take our own bags up so that was little suprprising.

Once we reached our room we quickly discovered that out bathroom toilet had cigarette burns on the toilet seat and rust stains in the tub. A bit disgusting but we managed. When we asked earlier where we could find a snack we were told that we should order room service. Mind you we checked in around 3 in the afternoon. What we discovered the next day is that we could have simply walked to El Patio and grabbed some food. Instead we were prisoner to their limited room service menu. We were unfamiliar with all of the ammentites that we had in our room such as the inbeded bottle opener within the wall or the location of the minibar. It was a tad annoying to have to search for these things. If the bellmen were to take your bags to your room and do a quick tour of the room it would have alleviated the time we wasted in trying to figure out how to do simple things like open the windows. I'm still wondering where the spa was located. When I peaked into what I thought was the spa, there was a timeshare meeting taking place.

On a more positive note the grounds are beautiful and the beach is wonderful. Like other reviewers stated the lounge chairs are in abundence. We thought the food was better than some of the other AIs that we've been to in Mexico. However the drinks were not as potent or creative as we've seen in the past.

It was great that we were only 1 1/2 miles from 5th Ave. It made nighlight pretty enjoyable and shopping was a breeze.

All in all we had a good time. But we probably wouldn't go back. Going forward we know that our personal tastes require a 5 star rating when traveling out of the country.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank l_janele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Northern Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2009

We had a wonderful time at this hotel and defintiely agree that all future trips to Mexico will be all-inclusive. At check-in we had reserved as a honeymoon couple and did show our marriage certificate, however did not receive the promised goodies, they did send us a small fruit plate to make up for it . . . no so amazing.
We only left the hotel a few times to check out the shopping in Playa and visit some favorite sites. The shopping district is within walking distance, but it's a bit of a trek. The buffet was fabulous and had great variety. I would suggest trying all of the restaraunts, King Aurthur's had the best steak I've ever had, we actually at there more than once. However, my hubby had to get up quite early to make sure we could get the reservations we wanted.
The staff over all was pretty good, they do a great job at keeping your glasses full, especially your first nights there. I would make sure to fill up at the meals, room service options were not that great.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank kpettijo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2009

The staff did everything to please you and it was hard to believe they could all be so nice. Every inch of the resort was spotless and beautiful. Rooms were roomy (at least perfect for 2 adults). There's even a small clothesline on the deck for your wet swimsuit. Champange every morning at breakfast, all the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages you could drink 24/7 and in your room. Guests would go out early in the morning and put a towel on a chair around the pool so they were hard to get, we never did get one in the 7 days there but my only question was - why would you sit around the pool when the beach is right there? It was nice being able to look at the other Rui's to check out the difference between them. It was our first time in Mexico and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DizzyDi2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KS
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2009

We visited the Riu Palace Mexico 2/18-25 & thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I had emailed the resort in advance hoping to avoid a ground level room & requesting the north side of the resort w/a courtyard view. But, upon arrival they did have us booked in a ground level room on the south side of the resort w/a courtyard view. I kindly asked if there might be any 1st or 2nd floor rooms available & voila, we were in luck. Thank you Shannon!! (I hope you received the envelope that I left for you when we checked out.)

Our 1st floor room (1133) was very nice & quite suitable for us. I also would rather have had a king size bed versus the two beds pushed together, but of course, we made due. After all, it was only for a week. I don’t think any of the rooms have a walk in shower, but that would have been preferable over the tub. There was always plenty of hot water & good pressure in the shower. The room was cleaned perfectly every day & the mini fridge was also restocked every day. We were happy to leave a daily tip because the room was so well kept each day.

As previously noted on other reviews, the grounds are indeed beautiful & very well maintained. We stayed on the beach each day & didn’t really take time to experience the pool area. There were plenty of beach lounge chairs available in the sun or the shade. So, didn’t have to worry about getting out early to save chairs. There are various activities to get involved in if you are so inclined. Or, if you just want to relax & read (which I did) there are quieter spots to do that too.

We are not picky eaters & loved the buffet. Special thanks to German for all his excellent service & attention. (I hope you received the envelop we left for you.) We also tried the Steak & Brazilian restaurants & found the food very good & the atmosphere just fine for us. Although, limiting the reservations to just one a day was a bit inconvenient.

My husband is a scuba diver & he did go out with the dive operation there at the resort his first day of diving. But, his preference is go out with smaller groups. So, we went in to Playa to book the rest of his dives for the week with a dive operation that he used the last time we were in Playa Del Carmen, Beach Divers. My husband finds the people there to be very friendly & accommodating.

This is our 8th year going to the Playa area & the fourth different all inclusive resort that we’ve visited. I would say that the Riu Palace Mexico is our new favorite!! We walked around the other nearby Riu resorts and for the most part, they looked pretty nice as well. But, I think we made a very good choice in the RPM. We very much hope to be able to return & enjoy another week in paradise!!

V&M Dexter

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Viv01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Recently returned from Riu Palace Riviera Maya. I've stayed in Playa before (05) but liked this place better, mostly because of the beach. Food is ok, breakfast and lunch the best. But, my clothes from the week in the room all had to be laundered due to a musty smell that I couldn't ignore- even though the clothes were never worn. Staff is outstanding! Service is first and foremost to be sure. I would definitely stay again, but do something about the odor please.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lovetrout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Ontario
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

We stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico for 1 week in late January 2009. We had 9 family members ranging in age from 6 to 62. For the whole week, there was always something to do for everyone. Kids enjoyed their nightly entertainment (early in the evening) , as well as the later show for the adults ( some shows not really for children- very funny for the adults).
Food was great all around. Buffet had a nightly theme that changed each night. Lots to choose from. A la carte restaurants were also very good. Steak house is down near the beach - don't miss out. The brazilian restaurant was our least favorite.
Beach was nice. We've been to better beaches in the Caribbean, but the Palace Mexico has the best beach front out of the resorts near it. Being the Palace, you were allowed on all the other Riu properties, the one thing that set's these Palaces apart from the other Riu's was the fact that everytime you sat dow anywhere, within a minute there was someone taking an order from you. We walked over to the Riu Tequila for Superbowl at the sports bar, and we had to get everything for ourselves. Not that we are lazy, but it's a really nice feeling while you are on vacation to be waited on with such excellent service. I would not hesitate at all to highly recommend this resort- no matter what your preferences are, you will not be disappointed, at least we were not.
We did some diving while away, and Scuba Caribe was right there on our beach with their diving store. Very convienent to just walk down to the beach to catch the dive boat. A couple of downers were that for a couple of days the winds were very strong, closing the harbour, therefore no scuba diving:( Because the waves were quite strong they closed the beaches, and wouldn't let you in the water. Some resorts you could still go swimming in front of- over cautious on Riu's part, or "we don't care" on othe resorts part.
Here are a few tips to help out
1. Starbucks accross the street to the right (5 min), if you feel the need.
2. Be at the stageshow area around 8 am to get a ticket to book your nightly restaurant, then return about 8:25 to book. look for the person handing out the numbers.
3. Pool has no easy way in, 1 step, jump in, or use the ladder.
4. Riu Palace Riviera Maya has a way better pool. Walk north on the beach about 10-15 min, or walk the roadway 5-10 min.
5. Walk into town (30 min) great walk through the gated community of playacar, past some very small ruins.
6. All cabs are $5.00 US for up to 4 people anywhere in town.
7. More of a kids selection for lunch at the restaurant by the beach (pizza, pasta etc...)
8. Cabs to town always want to drop you off at the first shopping centre just outside playacar. Be specific and don't just get out when you arrive at the mall at the beginning of 5th ave.
9. Have tons of fun, you are on vacation, if the printer at the internet cafe does not wrk don't lose it- your in Mexico, and you're on vacation.
10. A smile, and a couple of "please" and "thank you's" , in spanish of course, will go a lot farther with the staff than getting angry, anf getting in their face.
Enjoy your time at this great , and friendly resort.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MickeyMontana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

This resort was amazing. So clean, food was great, beautiful beaches and I just can't say enough about the service. We always had a drink in our hands and never had to go looking for things. Someone was always there to help or answer a question. We called for more blankets and literally as soon as we hung up the phone, there was a knock at the door with the blankets. They have servers walking the beaches with drinks and you could also order from them and they would bring you the drink you want. They even had a BBQ on the beach on the Friday and we could eat right there and they also walked around and served us fresh fruit. The people are so friendly, I felt so safe and I highly recommend this resort to anyone wanting a fantastic holiday. There is a dance club at the RIU Tequila across the street that we could go check out. We could go into any of the RIUs and eat there or use their facilities if we wanted. It was neat. Well I just can't say more about this wonderful place!! I recommend it to anyone wanting to have a great vacation.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mombi
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
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 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. 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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