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“Thank you, Riu, for making my wedding beautiful and effortless!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Thank you, Riu, for making my wedding beautiful and effortless!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2011

My husband and I married at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya on March 18, 2011, right on the beach. We stayed at the resort with an intimate group of friends and family, and we were all more than pleased with the service, accommodations, and the resort overall.

First, as a bride who initially fretted about working with a wedding coordinator in another country (and via email), if, god forbid, I ever had to do it again, I would have no hesitation with working with Ms. Nancy Hernandez. Everything was beautiful, flawless, and perfect; I could not have asked for a more accommodating coordinator. Everything I requested was met. It went smoothly. There was practically no effort on my end; I was presented with options via email, my husband and I chose what we wanted, and then, for clarification, we met with Nancy a few days before the wedding. Everything went as planned and was better than I ever could imagine. We had cocktails and appetizers in the Lirico Lounge, and Santos took extra special care of us. Our dinner was at Chili's, and our 2 waiters doted on us, hand and foot. Every intricate detail was taken care of. My husband and I were practically walking on air! I think our guests also had a phenomenal time. Also included in the package were room upgrades, a couple's massage, wedding cake, bouquet, minister, etc. P.S. The wedding cake, which was chocolate cake with strawberry filling and white icing, was sooooo rich, fresh, and delicious. They even delivered our flower arrangements (included) and cake up to our room the next morning!

We also went during the "high season," and during spring break. Yes, the resort does discourage spring breakers, but since many people have the time off in the States, naturally people take advantage of a warm place like Mexico, so it was probably busier. With that being said, we were not able to take advantage of all of the specialty a la carte restaurants. You have to make reservations between 12-3, and you are definitely better off making reservations a couple of days in advance because spots fill up quickly...especially during the high season. If you cannot get a restaurant, you are still taken care of by an exceptional wait staff at Don Manolo's, the buffet. The choices are endless, and they do feature new items nightly. The wait staff effortlessly made sure our glasses were always full and our needs met between trips to the delicious buffet and whilst eating.

The food was plentiful, rich, and tasty. Every time we ordered room service, it was delivered in a timely manner. My friends and I enjoyed going to Chili's for the lunch buffet. A woman named Gina will take exceptionally good care of you!

Drinks were also plentiful. One thing I would recommend is bringing a mug or some sort of cup because the ones they offer are tiny....but they will fill up your mug all the way to the top. Islas was our favorite bartender; the espresso martinis and pina coladas were my favorites...as well as a plethora of shots of Don Julio and hot sauce. :)

Because of our wedding package, we had an automatic upgrade (based on availability) to a room with an ocean view. The view was gorgeous. We did not have any complaints of our room, and we found our bed to be comfortable. We also found the resort to be very clean; I did not even see a gecko, and I had a friend tell me that they were everywhere! Unfortunately, wifi is only free in the lobby, but there is a sports bar where they have internet usage for a cost, which I am not sure what it was....I was having a little too much fun than having to be on a computer all day. ;)

Most importantly, the staff was simply exceptional. They seemed to "know" us right after we checked in. Some even called us by name, and they have great senses of humor. We immediately felt comfortable with all of the staff. Every request we had, it was met instantly.

The beach was a bit crowded, but I am not one who enjoys laying out all day either, so if I didn't get a lounge chair the second I was looking for one, it wasn't a big deal. They do open up. It was fun to go running on the beach; the sand was smooth, the turquoise waters were warm, and we even had fun night swimming on a few of the nights. The location of the resort is only about a 10-15 minute walk from 5th Avenue and the ferry to Cozumel. If you walk on the beach, it seems like the walk is even faster. And the shows were pretty entertaining, but a lot of shows in Mexico are similar. They have activities throughout the day as well, for both adults and children.

I would definitely go back to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Not only did we have a wonderful experience, but we made memories that we will cherish forever.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kristinakmiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2011

My husband and myself will not be returning to a Riu ever in our life time...We purchased this trip and my husband wanted to see Beautiful Mexico for the first time!!! We stayed at the Riu from March 6th through March 12th. We payed a pretty price for a ruined vacation. They had to move us three times because of roaches. My husband and I were very sad about the whole experience. It all started at the beginning of our vacation. We complained, but we still saw those creatures. They managed to get into our suit cases and made it difficult to enjoy the trip through out the whole week!!! The whole thing just stayed with us during the entire experience and vacation..I have been sharing this story with my friends and family to not return to this RIU ever.....No more RIU's for us!!!!

The country is beautiful and the people are wonderful and thank goodness for that!!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ilovekoalas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2011

My wife and I were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived till the moment we left. We were awed when we walked into the hotel. We were mesmerized when we walked through the court yard to the pool. We were blown away when we had the buffet lunch by the pool. The staff was courteous and always willing to go that extra mile. I didn't like the fact that you had to get a shirt on and shoes before you could get lunch at the buffet by the pool, but I'm not going to let it bum me out when rules are rules. The young kids in charge of entertainment were GREAT. Tania, Hemana, Panda, David, Tony, Leo, Alex, etc!!!!!!!! These young people are why we are going to try to come back over and over again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bethpinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2011

Let's start with the good.... This Hotel is perfectly located. The beaches are very nice, and the pool area and bar were a highlight. Finding a drink was never a problem, you DO however have to ask for top shelf liquor, or you will be dissappointed. The area is safe and the taxi's are cheap and friendly, and plentiful. The beach party they threw us with the coconut drinks was the highlight of my trip...

Now the bad:
The restaurant situation is rediculous. They advertise that they have 5... 5 star restaurants... Yeah.. If you are lucky enough to get into one... You basically have to be in the lobby every day from noon to 3 to make sure you get a spot... First of all.. Who wants to wait in line in the middle of the day to get a spot in an all inclusive restaurant?? Secondly... The restaurants seat about 30 people... It is just false advertising.. It's kind of like saying WE HAVE 5 RESTAURANTS.. If you can stand on your head for five minutes and balance a ball on your nose...

We ended up paying people off to get into the Restaurants... Which i guess if you don't mind doing that then... They are NOT all inclusive.

Overall I love the area and will return, but it won't be to this Hotel. I think my taste has outgrown the RIU brand. Something I never thought I would say.

PS. I am very easy to please, but I fealt like I spent my whole vacation catering to the Hotel instead of the opposite.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chadreece2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oh
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2011

I'll cut to chase having stayed at 5 resorts in the area, many of the very same comments apply. also, please note that you have the option of using the other 4 Riu in area although, why would want to?? this is the best one.

Pros: Largest variety of food (within buffet) that I've seen...something for everyone!
Great beach with shade options as has palm tree section
Service is excellent, these are hard working folks!
Pool is massive, grounds meticulously kept up and look new, even though resort is 5 yrs old
Standard rooms are adequate, no major complaints
Provides for relaxing vaca, not wild and crazy crowd, families, retirees, mostly americans/canadians
Marbella red wine is best choice here, beer is okay

Cons:
The typical beach chair fiasco at the pool, better be up and claiming a chair by 7am or relegated to outskirts if your lucky. People put books down starting at 2am but dont show up at chair until noon...rather frustrating!
Coffee is pretty horrible overall, Starbucks in walking distance
Dinner reservation are a challenge, must go over every day and stand in line
Free internet in lobby (none in rooms), really poor service overall and very spotty!
Beds are pretty creaky and uncomfortable, if sharing and someone moves you will awaken!
Lost sun lotion, to buy a cheap hawaiin tropic in gift shop was $25...refused!
Drinks are terribly watered down and sweet, I'm non drinker but had 7 cosmos before felt anything...what does that tell you? But again, this is typical of all Mexico resorts. Tthey display Absolut, but your really getting cheap well liquor. Stick to wine or beer

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelly23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, England
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2011

My husband and I have just returned from an amazing fortnight in the Riu Palace. The hotel is great, the location couldn't be better and as for the staff - Christina, Alex, Rosario to name but a few where a credit to the hotel. The beach is a gem, we don't bother with the pool - what's the point of sitting around the pool - you could be anywhere. The beach is lovely to walk along and only takes 10 minutes until you are in 5th Avenue. Walking the beach one day we saw a stingray and a turtle. Loads and loads of sunloungers. Alex would even bring drinks down to the beach.
The entertainment staff worked hard always something going on if you wanted to get involved - I did try the coconut cocktails. A must.
Walking around outside the hotel is great we did venture into the other Riu's - wouldn't give you tuppence for the Tequilla - lager louts and real bad atmostphere. The mexican was nice and we did eat there a couple of lunchtimes and have a few drinks there of an evening.
The rooms itself were spotless we had asked for a quiet room and that's what we were given. There are optics in the room - vodka, brandy, whiskey and bacardi aswell as alcohol and soft drinks in the mini fridge.
The food in the buffet restaurant is immense and we really enjoyed the ice and the fruit/vegetable sculptures. We did eat twice in the Steakhouse - Rosario is the manager here - I must say the steak here is the best my husband and I have tasted so good that we just had to go back. We tried the Brazillian - very good and also the Mexican twice again very good.
We did the trip to Chitzenitza be warned it is a very tiring day but boy was it worth it. The Mayan ruins are immense and not what we were expecting at all. A great day out and a fantastic guide -Rex.
In all I can't fault this hotel but then a holiday is only what you make it. We met some lovely people - All Americans who made our holiday even more special.
Would I go back - the million dollar question - No - why - there are too many other places in the world that I would like to see.
Would I recommend this hotel- most definetly.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Teresa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Des Moines, Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2011

We travelled to Playacar on March 12 for 6 nights. We were a group of two couples, with no children along. We had booked our stay at the Riu Tequila. When we arrived on Saturday night at 11pm, we were told we were being upgraded to the Palace. The hotel staff put us in taxi's, paid the fare, and transfered us to the Riu Palace Rivier Maya, which was about 1/2 mile down the road. Needless the say, this was quite an upgrade! While I'm sure we would have enjoyed our stay at the Tequila, the Palace was luxurious in comparison. Entering the lobby we first noticed all the crystal chandaliers, and the stained glass design above the largest chandlier. Beautiful.

Our room was very comfortable, 2 double beds pushed together, with a step down area where there was a loveseat and coffee table facing the television. Our deck overlooked the tennis courts, and the hotel next door. We had a refrigerator in our room, as well as a coffee maker, and liquor dispenser. The bathroom was spacious and had a jetted bathtub. Our friends were initially offered a room that smelled very smokey. They were then given a different room that was laid out similar to ours.

My husband and I have stayed at other all inclusive resorts in the RIviera Maya area. Granted, we had not stayed in the 5 star hotels, but they were quite nice. In comparison, the food at the Riu Palace was fabulous. Breakfast always had a cook making fresh omelets to your order. The fresh fruit was delicous. Lunch was served in Chili's restaurant overlooking the beach and ocean. Couldn't have asked for a better view. One day a chef was making Cerviche, which was a mixture of seafood, vegetables, lemon juice and topped with fresh avocado. Wow!! THe dinner buffet was fantastic, we had lobster, shrimp, beef tenderloin, paella, and more. We ate dinner in the Brazilian ala carte restaurant one night. It was very good, but we preferred the buffet where we could go eat at whatever time we wanted to, rather than at a set time.

The swimming pools were sparkling clean and beautiful. The swim up bar was always a popular spot, especially on St. Patricks day. There is a grove of palm trees from the edge of the pool area to the beach where there are lots of lounge chairs. Then it is followed by a nice strip of beach with more lounge chairs.

The chairs by the pool and beach did fiil up early in the morning. We put towels on chairs to reserve them after breakfast, because our first day we did not do that, and at 11, it was difficult finding 4 chairs together.

The beach at Playacar is beautiful. We walked quite a ways in each direction, one day walking to Playa del Carmen, and the other day we walked in the other direction and explored all the other Riu resorts. Because we were staying at the Palace, we had access to all the Riu resorts.

The staff at the Riu was extremely friendly and hard working. The waiters working around the bar area cover the pool and entire beach area for the guests and will bring drinks, and check on guests about every 15 minutes. Extraordinary service. We did leave tips for the housekeeping staff, and gave small tips to waiters and bartenders when they did a great job.

One day we took an excursion to Aktun Chen. We ziplined, walked through a large cave, and swam in a cenote. Loved it. Our friends visited Coba, and they loved that as well.

We are all hoping to return next year for another stay at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, or maybe a Riu Palace in another location.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BWM1977
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 Riviera Maya

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Address: Av Xaman-Ha Mza 9 y 10 Lote 1 Int.Fracc. | Fase II Solidaridad, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Riviera Maya
Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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