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“Worst holiday ever”
Review of Hotel Riu Lupita

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Hotel Riu Lupita
Ranked #78 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Worst holiday ever”
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Rooms smelled of raw sewage especially when it rained.

Spent 2 full days in hospital due to food poisoning (every other couple we spoke to had suffered from this too) managed to rack up $1900 for the insurance to pay for all the drips and medication I needed to get well again. The most ill ive ever been... and ive been to a lot of backwards countries... the Food is lying out for hours, available to birds and flies to eat. The lady handling the raw fish to cook also handled the cooked pastas and handed you the plate with her raw fishy hands.

The mini bar was meant to be stocked every 2 days- we had to constantly ask them to do this only to be shown a list which says we have been stocked. Eh but we havnt!!

Were not given any towels one day in our room. we called reception who said they would be straight over with some for us, Waited 2 hours went to reception twice in this time and were told to go to room and wait.... We almost missed dinner that night waiting for towels.

The animation team are rude, pushy and far too loud... The big pool which gets the most sunlight hours have blaring rave music and the animation team are always trying to pull you off the loungers to join in with their "crazy games". We avoided them by going to the quiet pool and getting an hours less sun or going to the beach.

There are not enough loungers when the hotel is full... We had to sit on the bar seats one day. They won't let you swap your beach towels the night before so if you want to get to the beach early you can't... You have to wait til the towel hut opens at 8am ish. Although sometimes even then you wait another half hour or so for them to bring the beach towels out.

The bus to the beach and into town runs every half hour which is convenient but it has no rear shock absorbers... If you sit in the back half of the bus be prepared to be flung out of your seat at every speed bump... Which there are many!!

Don't expect any service in the restaurant.. They are not interested, the table cloths are dirty (if you can even get a table) there are several large tables set up for 9 people - we had to sit there several nights with strangers (not our idea of a romantic get away) the cutlery is dirty. Once even a waiter took our used tea spoon and gave it to another guest to use.

We were asked to fill out a questionnaire one night in the restaurant and were heckled by ABLE to change our tick from the good box to the very good box or he would face the chop. We didn't change our tick but felt pressured to write something nice about ABLE as he was hovering over us... He hadn't spoken to us up til that point and he didn't speak to us again afterwards... Very fake.

The reception staff... Especially aldo are fantastic... Excellent customer service skills and the only good thing about this hotel. They do have an answer for everything which can come across as patronising but I feel sorry for them having to deal with the constant complaints from guests.

We needed to call our rep one day (Thomson) as he had not appeared. We waited an hour for him then asked the reception if we could use their phone to call the Thomson local office number... They wanted to charge us $2-$5 for this. We asked if we could leave a note for the rep behind reception for him to pick up once he finally arrived.. We were told we could leave a note but they might not give it to him.

We had no issues with the coatis etc... They were not aggressive to us or anyone we spoke to... The main problem is the black birds as it is very unhygienic having them roam freely round the restaurant tables etc.

We had booked this hotel mainly due to the price and we were told we could use the other riu hotels near by... This is not the case... The other riu hotels are proper riu hotels and quite rightly obviously don't want to be associated with this complete dump. We are seasoned travellers and do not require or expect any luxuries. We only want somewhere clean to rest our heads and to relax in peace together to enjoy our holiday. This hotel doesn't even have basic levels of hygiene and we certainly don't feel rested after 2 weeks of sickness, stress and upset at this 1 star hell hole.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Theraster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Aurora, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2013

This resort should not have the Riu name. We have stayed at many Riu resorts and this one is old and badly needs renovating to bring it up to Riu standards. We were on the third floor with a view of a jungle, our a/c didn't come on, maintenance had to start it, our toilet ran, no clock radio, no lighting outside so couldn't see to try to open our door with a broken key. We are pretty sure our mattress wasn't a mattress, it was a box spring on a box spring. Food at snack bar was so old and unhygienic. This place is a disaster. Not sure if we'll try a Riu resort again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Wight, England
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

After reading several reviews, we booked to go here, believing that we could use the other Riu Hotels. This apparently stopped over christmas. Other people from all nationalities were also under the same impression. On the plus side, the staff are really friendly and do try their best. There seems to be major changes going on as we were asked to fill in questionnaires during our stay about the food, bars and service. There are two pools, a quiet pool and an activities pool. The activities pool had the most sunbeds, but you had to endure music blaring through the speakers and the silly games that the entertainment team came up with (they always stated that they had a job to do and if you didn't want to join in you could go round the quiet pool), don't get me wrong, they worked tirelessly and were very good at what they did - if you wanted it, the problem with this is the ONLY bar for the 300+ guests was right next to the "noisy" pool, there was no quiet place to sit with a drink and watch the world go by.
We had two teenage boys with us 16 and 17 years old and they were completely bored. The activities were for adults and usually involved drinking games, and the creche was for young children. They do have tennis courts which you can use, which the boys did a lot - although the hotel did double book them once. The boys joined in with the volleyball - until my son cut all his feet up (it is sand over concrete and because of the sand it is called beach volleyball, therefore you were not allowed to wear shoes, in case you trod on someone who wasn't wearing any). There was table tennis, but the animation team used it a lot for competitions.
The Coates that people have mentioned, we didn't have a problem with, on the whole unless you encourage them by feeding them (and there are signs all over the place telling you not to), then they wont bother you, what I did find awful was the fact that these big black birds would come down and try and take food off of the empty plates on the tables, they also walk all along the edge of the snack bar which is very unhygenic and could have been a result of my husband and me spending a whole day in bed with food poisoning. The food was repeated every day for 14 days, only called different things, if it wasn't eating during meal times, it would then be put out in the snack bar. The best place to eat was at the beach club - this was cooked fresh every day and had far more flavour.
There is a complementary minibar which is restocked every two days, unfortunately we had to remind them twice to do it in our two rooms - they even came to our room to take photos of the empty fridge to make sure we were telling the truth!!!
There were not enough sunbeds when the hotel was full, one day we couldn't find any round the pools so decided to take the courtesy bus to the beach club and there were no free sunbeds there either, we ended up putting our towels on the sand, not brilliant when you have a bad back!
The rooms were a nice size and those people who have complained about the beds being hard have obviously not stayed in Europe, where they are a lot harder. We asked the hotel before we arrived if we could have the two rooms together as our teenage sons were in one room and they very kindly accommodated this. They gave us third floor rooms overlooking the quiet pool, although the only view we had was the tree tops in front of the quiet pool. Both rooms had two double beds in and were perfectly adequate for our needs.
The beach wasn't at all what we expected either from a white sand beach, it appeared very man made and was a lot nicer in Playa Carmen itself.
This was our first long haul holiday and the experience has totally ruined it for us - especially as we arrived 3 days before one of our suitcases and had no clothes to wear! Another story, and another mess up by Thomsons.
We would definitely NOT go back here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank licallum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Just returned from the Lupita (end jan 13), before booking this hotel we as always checked trip advisor, we knew Thompson rated this hotel 3* plus but as previous posts on TA and further confirmed on the Riu website we believed we could use the facilities of the three 5 star Riu hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Lupita. Wrong, on arrival we were told this policiy had been stopped 6 months ago (someone should tell Riu's webmaster this fact). Not much more to say really this is a 3 star hotel with 3 star accommodation and 3 star food. The rooms were cleaned everyday and were fine, the food repetative but just ok, the drinks(cocktails) just various different alcoholic slushy's. The staff were nice enough but nothing of the ordinary. Playa del Carmen felt like an american/canadian run of the mill mainland Spanish resort-nothing impressive or remotley Mexican!!!!. Fortunatley we discovered Tulum half way through our week and we de camped there using the 'en collectivo's' (think turkish dolmus minibuses) that took us there each day from just off 5th avenue. Tulum is spectacular the most amazing beach ive ever seen and if i went again the Riviera Maya would be the only place to stay. On this holiday we got what we paid for unfortunatley. Lesson learned.

Room Tip: rooms in other hotels are better
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GstarLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Saskatchewan
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for one week from Jan 7-13. It's a very small Riu, quaint, nothing fancy, simple and basic. If you're looking for opulance and glamour, you won't find it here. What you will find are friendly staffers, a clean room (yes, the hotel is older and in need of updating but it's fine.)

We didn't choose the Lupita, it was a prize so we were initially not that thrilled about NOT being on the beach, but we quickly realized that it didn't matter much. Every morning the shuttle would leave beginning at 7am at 30 min intervals until after sundown. (7pm) So we would get up, enjoy some breakfast and head to the beach. We'd generally have a few hours at the beach or shopping in Playa Del Carmen since the shuttle stops there too. Then we'd eat lunch at the beach club which has a pool, showers and a great beach. We'd take the shuttle back, relax, then have lunch. We could go back to the beach or take a walk. We never did walk from the resort itself, but if you get off at the Playa stop, you can walk to the touristy areas to go shopping or go the opposite way to the "regular" playa town where locals shop etc. I went there a couple times and it was completely safe, and I found a lot of things much cheaper than on the tourist strip.

A couple tips - there IS a period of time that there is no real food available from 6-7pm before dinner. The bar and the snack bar are open but the food options are not great. We put a couple buns or fruit plates in our hotel fridge so we could snack on them if needed in the late afternoon.

Also - you could apparently rent a bycicle from another Riu closeby for $9 a day or $5 half a day. That could be a nice option to get around and see some of the local areas. We also heard that you can easily take the "collectivo" (local bus service) to get to some of the nice snorkelling areas but we didn't do that since we are homebodies!

We also changed rooms to a 3rd floor room overlooking the quiet pool, which is also overlooking the bar but we didn't hear any noice at night.

Mostly French (from France) and European, South American and Canadians at this resort. Not many Americans. Kids club was there but mainly empty as the parents seemed to bring their kids with them to the beach.

Overall a great home base, food was decent (many, many choices on the buffet and they really tried to make it a different theme each night.) Sometimes there were special evenings with games etc. The a la carte restaurant was great. Not much to complain about from us.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better view and a higher ceiling with fan.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank amzpet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

Ahh Mexico,Simply one of the nicest places on earth beautiful coastlines,Tasty food ,Freindly locals and beautiful Caribbean sunshine.
That is the best I can say about the Riu Lupita and you will get the same whatever hotel you choose on the Mayan riviera.
The Lupita is a hotel that claims to be 5***** but is way short of the mark 2** at best, Dated antiquated rooms with no view no matter where on the complex you stayed.When we first arrived we were shown to our room which when we got there was full of workmen trying to fix the wardrobe we were tired and asked if there was another room were we could rest straight away and were shown to the building next door which had a view straight in a 15 foot high privet hedge which runs the length of the complex shielding it from the golf course we asked for a room with a better view and were shown to a building further down 1300 block which at least looked onto a bit of fairway, for our trouble Aldo did send up a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine which was appreciated
Rundown bar areas and the most pot marked driveway I have ever seen if you are a bit unsteady on your legs give this place a wide berth,I lost count of how many people tripped over the uneven concrete.
Food average at best but you will normally find at least something to eat at the buffet If you do not like margerine though you may struggle as that is normally all that is available at the buffet and you have to ask for butter even though you have to ask for anchor or they will not understand you which brings me to another point I have stayed in Mexico on a number of occasions but the staff in the restaurant are the most ignorant I have found The hotel is very French focused and the staff seem to migrate towards them giving them a more personal service than we experienced and we were not alone among the small British contingent in the resort Even when we questioned this the resteraunt manager admitted the resort was more French focused.
As mentioned in previous reviews by others there did seem to be a lot of bug control going on but we were never bothered by any bites or stings so they have this under control despite the resort being surrounded by plant life and large lakes on the adjoining golf course ( not the Lupita's )
The animation staff try tirelessly to entertain and the reception staff especially Aldo were always helpful and approachable the bar staff were generally very nice especially Cerifes ( not sure if that is spelled correctly )who always greeted you with a happy smiley face and was always quick to fill your glass even if you didn't want him to
The first few days we struggled getting the room cleanes as we like to go for a siesta around 2.30 housekeeping kept attempting to clear the room at around 4 but after a quick chat with Aldo this was sorted easily enough
The beach is approx a 10 minute bus drive away on a rickety old bus which is not helped by the worst sleeping policemen ever but once ther the beach is really excellent with plenty of beds ( get there early ) and the food there was generally better than on the resort itself THere was plenty of waters sports available and the prices were competitive £40 each for parasailing (excellent) or £35 for jet skis but there was also kayaks and catamarans available for hire, We spent most of our time at the beach away from the resort which we found suited us a lot more as the resort itself left a lot to be desired.

Overall **
Food ** Barbeque ****
Staff Restaurant *
Staff everywhere else ****
Beach ****

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Biscuit267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Just arrived home after our second visit to the Riu Lupita. This is not a top of the range Riu hotel, if thats what you want, choose one of the other Riu hotels in the resort. What you get with the Riu Lupita hotel is quiet relaxing hotel with outstanding staff, welcoming atmosphere and excellent food.
We will return to the Lupita next year!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank jjohnoboro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Lupita

Property: Hotel Riu Lupita
Address: Avda. Xaman-Ha, Manzana 20, Lote 1 | Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#81 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Lupita 3.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 2 km / 1.2 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Main building and 1 and 3-story bungalows * Surrounded by 25,000 m2 / 29,900 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 3.5 Km / 2.1 Miles from the beach (complimentary transportation) * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 2.5 Km / 1.5 Miles from various shops * 50 km / 31 miles from Cancun Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Lupita Resort
Riu Lupita Mayan Riviera
Riu Lupita Mexico
Hotel Riu Lupita Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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