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“Treated like Royalty at Riu Palace Mexico!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #28 of 210 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Indianapolis
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Treated like Royalty at Riu Palace Mexico!”
Reviewed October 12, 2010

Just got back yesterday from a wonderful stay at the Riu Palace Mexico in Playa del Carmen and it far exceeded our expectations. We have been to all inclusives Sandals resort and another one in Puerta Vartalla but this one was truly special. First, the grounds are absolutely breath-takingly beautiful. Every single time we walked down the courtyard to the beach we kept saying we couldn't believe how lovely it was. The palm trees, fountains, bridges, pools and views were out of a picture book!

The food was very, very good. Big variety, all types of ethnic foods represented, nicely presented, good service...really all you could want. We enjoyed each of the 4 specialty restaurants and particulary liked the Krystal and the Bodega. We also noticed they had a larger variety of cocktails and some more top shelf liquors than we had at past all inclusives. (Still, wished they had Sapphire Gin!). We were there at a time that wasn't very crowded so we easily got any reservation we wanted for the specialty restaraunts. However, they are not huge spaces so if it was a busy season, you would have to get there before 9am to get your choice I would think.

The beach was so nice---loved the many and lush palm trees that provided shade for our Irish skin! It was so nice to have continual drink service come around at the beach and pool. They even had a cookout on the beach for lunch. We did heed the others' advise and brought lots of $1 to tip the hard workers and were very happy to reward them in a small way for their smiling service.

We did do one excursion which was about 2.5 hours total snorkeling trip to Inah reefs. It was remarkable...both the type of fish you saw and the beauty of the reefs. In the past, we have done longer excursions to ruins, etc... but we lilked this one because it took off from the beach, was about a 15 minute boatride down the coast, snorkeling and then the ride back. It was very reasonable at $35 usdollars a person.

The room was very nice, but as others mentioned, it did have a hard mattress. We asked them to come up and put an additional pad on it and they did so quickly. That was helpful. It also had a very slight musty smell but I don't think you can avoid that in the Caribbean area or any tropical place due to the constant moisture. I do have pretty bad allergies and am happy to say had no problems and after a day or so didn't notice it at all.

Unless you are the pickiest type of traveler, I cannot see how anyone wouldn't just love this beautiful place. I told my husband that the day I find lots of criticism for a place like the Riu Palace Mexico is the day I need to get a better grip on what is really important in life! Of course, there are always circumstances that can make a stay anywhere frustrating or disappointing. But, I think for about 95% of travelers, they would be very delighted with a stay here.

Don't hesitate to go to the Riu Palace Mexico kingdom to be treated like Royalty!

Looking forward to visiting more of the many Riu properties!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Irishlilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Diego, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2010

All in all this resort is great, but there were a few minor things that could be worked on.
First I will start with what needs to be fixed.
1) The hotel still has regular keys that you have to take with you everywhere. It is a real pain to keep track of the key when in the pool or at the beach. I have not been to a hotel that didn't have key cards in at least 8-10 years.
2) The "king" beds are 2 beds pushed together that slide apart throughout the night
3) The pool does not have steps to walk into it.
4) If you want to go to the night club or sports bar you have to go to across the street to Riu Tequila

Now on to the positive:
The service was spectacular. The food was very good. The beach was pristine.
If you are looking for a resort to relax at this is it. We went over to all the other Riu resorts in the area and this one was definitely the least crowded. FYI if you do go over to one of the other resorts to check out the pool or beach be sure to take your towel as we had a hard time exchanging our towel cards for towels while there.
We went to all of the specialty restaurants and my husband like the brazilian the most, I prefered Krystal, we didn't really like the Japannese. We didn't have any trouble getting reservations but it didn't really seem like the resort was at capacity so maybe that helped. The buffet was smaller than other Riu palaces that we have been to but still had plenty of choices for us.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank bgarcia79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sewell, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2010

I was hesitant at first to stay here because there were mixed reviews of this hotel. But, family members that we were traveling with had stayed here several times in the past and loved it. So, I figured we give it a try.
The hotel is beautiful with modern and old world charm. It is very clean and the service was very good. Even our four-year old daughter was kept entertained.
The few things that could be improved are the pool area has no steps for easy access in and out ot the pool. They only have a ladder that is pretty steep. Also I have never stayed at an all-inclusive that did not make thier frozen drinks out fresh fruit. This hotel only uses mixes that can be bought in any supermarket. That was a litlle disappointing if you are going for the true tropical luxury. They are also very strict about men wearing long pants to dinner, even in the buffett. I can understand it for the restaurants but, the buffett seemed a little extreme since men can wear shorts even in the clubs.
All in all it was a very pleasant experience and we look forward to going back again.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank mskane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2010

Arrived on 4th June check in was straight forward & fairly quick . Had a room on the Groundfloor , quite far down complex, penultimate block for the pool. The room was spacious & clean the King Size bed was actually 2 double beds pushed together . Nice space at the end with couch / table & telly , which led to a small balcony looking onto a path around the back of the complex. The bed was a bit hard & the bathroom was a bit tired looking especially the small bath with shower over, however the room was spacious , impeccably cleaned each day & minor problems with a couple of light bulbs & the toilet running were dealt with quickly when raised .
The pool was bit of a disappointment as it was quite small & split in half by a main path through the complex to the beach. However the staff down there looked after you well(towel change, book exchange, bar & waiters ). We don't normally do 5 star so was a bit of shock not having to get off the sun lounger to get a drink, the waiters round the pool area are continually , serving drinks, tidying glasses & generally making sure that you are ok.
The main buffet was very good , with a lot of choice a number of different show cooking stations & in addition on various nights held theme evenings. The speciality restaurants were a bit hit & miss, Grill down by the beach & Krsyal Fusion were nice & they made a great effort to look after you. The Brazilian was OK , but most of the meats you get in the buffet from the show stations & the Japanese food wasn't very nice, late letting you in, people were being rushed to leave before they finished their meal to make space for 2nd sitting & this was caused by the staff being late letting people in & their slow service.
The other facilities were beautiful especially the Lounge bar , with dark wood & the large chandelier in the main atrium . The staff & reception & the bars really did their best to make people welcome & relax. I guess one of the issues were mosquitos , they were biting everyone & jungle Formula didn't appear to work (even the 50% deet high strength) , however when chatted to the rep , she advised we buy a local deterrent called "OFF" form the nearby pharmacy & that seemd to keep the little biters at bay. The only other issue we had was the wife had bit of a funny tummy for a few datys, & so did a few othe other guests we talked to, but I think this was probably down to the heat & humidity rather than anything else . The temperatures were 40+ C the humidity was in the 90s . Some people were overheating under the sun brolleys as they don't block the heat like the palm leave roofed stations in other parts of the carribean.
As it was during the World cup, the hotel set asid one of the conference room with a projector screen & a couple of tellys. They also put in wine / beer / soft drinks in coolers & provided snacks so that the visitors could see the matches .
In short it was lovely hotel, with great staff. We would definitely go there again but not in june with heat & humidity .

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brocher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2010

Travelled with Thompsons (not impressed at all) Unfortunately, this would put me off going to this resort again. The trip from London in total took approx 11 hours - there was no onboard entertainment which made the trip tedious. We were told by the staff that it was either a choice of onboard entertainment or not being able to use the toilets?? The ride was rough and uncomfortable and the Thompson Staff were mediocre.

The Riu Palace Mexico was lovely, beautiful grounds, lovely people and a fab location.; If you got a bit stir crazy there was the opportunity to walk or ride into the town. The town was buzzing with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. The entertainment at the hotel was Okish, the food was plentiful and well presented. You could never have an empty glass at this place as the waiters hovered to refill your glass. Would love to go back again but NOT with Thompsons. It is a shame that Virgin do not fly direct to Mexico.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lesterlamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2010

This was my first trip to Playa Del Carmen although I have stayed in Cancun several times. I found the Riu Palace Mexico to be a good value for the money but with a few areas that could use improvement. I think these are mainly due to the natural aging process.

PROS: My stay was from September 11-18, 2010. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Manuel, the doorman. During the entire week of my stay, he always greeted me by name and gave me a "fist bump" greeting. He made me feel welcome.
Upon check in, the front desk staff saw that it was my birthday and offered me an upgraded room, #1047. It was September, so I'm sure they had rooms to spare. But it just illustrates that the hotel's attitude is to service and please the customer. Without exception, that's how I was treated during my whole stay.
The grounds of the hotel are meticulously manicured and maintained. The Beach is very nice. I liked that you walked through a shady grove of palms get there. You have the option of staying under the trees if you prefer not to cook or laying on the wide open beach. There were always plenty of lounge chairs no matter the time of day. The ocean water was a very pleasant temperature also. One day, a group of people took some bread out into the water with them and were feeding the fish. The fish that fed looked like frisbee-sized angel fish. Very cool!
The food was good with lots of variety. I always found plenty of options that I liked or wanted to try. I didn't go to any specialty restaurants so I cannot comment on them.
One day, I had a migraine so I booked a massage on the beach. It was raining that day so it was very peaceful and relaxing. The massage girl found that my back was full of knots and the treatment helped me tremendously.

CONS: Generally, my complaints are minor. The first being that the hotel is showing it's age. There are many cracked or chipped tiles in the halls and corridors. There are areas that need some paint and touch up too. All cosmetic but they're things that I noticed.
My main complaint was the air conditioning in my room. It was BARELY able to keep up. The unit's blower only put out a slight amount of air, even on the highest setting. I needed to keep the ceiling fan on at all times to keep the air moving. Without the fan, I think it would not have kept up. On the second to last day of my stay, they worked on the adjacent room's air conditioning and needed to access the A/C unit in my room too. After they were through, my A/C unit had developed a vibration noise in the blower. It sort of sounded like water-hammering in pipes, but not that loud. I have a background in maintenance so I know exactly what happened. They knocked the blower out of balance when they were messing with it. I comlplained to the desk and supposedly someone went to look at it. It wasn't fixed though. Since I'm a heavy sleeper, I just decided to live with it for one night.
Speaking of maintenance, I noticed several things that wouldn't get by Q.C. in the states. The most noticeable being the florescent fixture over the sink. There were exposed wires due to the ballast being replaced and the cover not replaced correctly. I guess you have to expect things like that because of the quality and training of the maintenance staff in Mexico. Also, the shower drain was very slow. There was always a big puddle of water and soap suds around your feet while you dried off.
As I said, minor complaints but worth mentioning, I feel.

On a side note... I am a single traveler. Next time, I would probably stay at one of the sister properties instead of the Palace. During my whole stay, I didn't run into another single traveler at the hotel. It's definitely a couples destination. The Riu Tequila across the street was packed with a younger, more lively crowd. If I'm still single and go back to Playa, that's where I'll stay. Lot's of Europeans at the Tequila, I noticed. That would make it even more interesting to me.

All in all, I would recommend the RPM if you're a couple or family. My package was through CheapCaribbean.com and very reasonably priced for the level of service I received. If you're single or young and fun. I'd stay somewhere else. The RPM is geared toward a more quiet, upscale crowd.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank TMG0440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2010

We stayed for our anniversary and had a really wonderful time. The hotel is in a fantastic location with a stunning white fine sandy beach. The sea is perfect, warm, clear and coral free. The walk south is stunning where jungle meets beach, with rocky outcrops and bays. If you are into snorkelling there are reefs nearby and tours on offer. I recommend the free scuba lesson then a reef dive, truly amazing and easily affordable. The food at the hotel is great, plenty of choice and all to a good standard. It's the people and service that make the hotel so special, real attention to detail, highly professional and genuine. I wouldn't think twice about returning, loved it and hands down beat Barbados for this time of year. Take enough money to get out on some excursions, so much to see, and if you can tip, do so, the staff truly deserve it, without ever making you feel you have to.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jimbert
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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