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.
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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