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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
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Reviews (5,820)
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Reviewed May 26, 2011

We travelled to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya - our second stay at this hotel, our 7th at a Riu property-this hotel is still our favorite. The beach is beautiful, the service is FABULOUS, the food is good and plentiful, as are the drinks. The rooms are lovely with plenty of room, considering the amount of time we spend in a room!

I still think the "damp smell" folks notice have got to be the tropical climate-we live in VERY arid Colorado and the dampness doesn't bother us, we expect it. We saw positively no bugs-OH WAIT! We saw a flying ant on the patio. They clean and clean and clean all the time.

Our son, daughter in law and 3 year old grandson came this time-they were very pleased as well. The 3 year old had fun, I don't know if there is a lot to do for older kids.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank wildwindcollies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2011

The service and friendliness of the staff was excellent.
The cleaniness of the rooms could be improved but the biggest issue was the dampness. The beds felt damp, the plastic cover under your sheet didn't help! The kind a child has for any little accidents. The extent of the dampness was really noticeable upon our return home, It took 2 hot washes to remove the damp stench from our clothes. Horrid.
The food in the buffet restuarant had a good choice. However the La a Carte menu's were disappointing and not authentic. Jacket potatoes in a Mexican restuarant?
Location was great, directly on the beach but be aware you cannot always swim in the sea, strong currents.
The hotel was more comparable to a good 3 star hotel, with 4 star service.
Save a few extra pennies, shop around and get the same price to go to the Maldives.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank debbie7205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2011

PROPERTY: Gorgeous and impeccably clean. You will see the staff cleaning somewhere at all times of the day. The staff is very hard working.

BEACH: Sand is very pleasant. Only stepped on a few rocks one day we were there. The current is pretty strong. The water was a great temperature. No one bothered us on the beach at all (people selling things, etc.).

ROOM: My number one fear was seeing cockroaches while we were there - I did not see a single one. We requested a room on a higher level near the beach, as another reviewer had suggested. We kept our suitcases zipped at all times, just in case. The only insects we had in the room were ants that came up the sink pipes. We used the stoppers on the sinks and did not see any more ants the rest of the trip. The beds were very comfortable. It could get quite loud in the hall, but it wasn't really an issue for us.

FOOD: The buffet is ok. Some days were better than others - but overall, it was the same food each day. The best food was served in the specialty restuarants - Krystal and Yashimo (I think that is the name). The fact that the food was so good in these two restaurants made me disappointed in the rest of the food. The Mexican place (Agave) was bad and the Steakhouse (Chilis) was just ok. I'm still trying to figure out why the Mexican wasn't the best out of everything. We did not make it to the Brazilian steakhouse.

RESERVATIONS: Really not a big deal to get reservations. Some people complain about standing in line, but if you go a little later (not exactly at 12) - there is no line. Also, you can make reservations 3 days in advance so you really only need to go once or twice depending on how long you are staying.

ROOM SERVICE: Only ordered room service once - would not recommend the nachos.

DRINKS: Served in tiny cups which we found kind of annoying. We have stayed at Dreams and Secrets on other trips and they serve drinks in regular size glasses. The Riu serves them in little plastic cups which means you have to keep getting up to go to the bar for a refill. Also, if you are tipping, you will be doing more as you are going through drinks faster.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the wine could be better. I am a wine drinker and did not care for the white wine they served. The champagne was good though.

TIPPING: We decided before we went on the trip that we would tip. We did not see a lot of other people tipping. I don't know if we got that much better service for tipping - I think it would have been about the same to be honest. I am still glad we tipped because the staff was very nice and hard working - they deserve it.

EXCURSIONS: We did a half day trip to Tulum which was great. It's not far - it took about an hour because we had to switch buses at one point. We also went to Xcaret - proclaimed the #1 attraction in the area. We would not go back to Xcaret. We did the underground river snorkeling which was the highlight of the park - it was a lot of fun. The rest of the park, unless you are planning other water activities (which you have to pay additional for and the entrance to the park including food and transportation is $120 per ticket already) was pretty lame. It was basically a zoo, like any zoo you could go to in the US. However, the animals have next to no room to exercise, play, etc. We felt really bad for them and thought Xcaret was a sorry excuse for an "ecological" park - most of exhibits don't even look "natural" - also the ruins were not well protected.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Room Tip: request a room on a high floor, close to the beach
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jess_n_Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2011

I stayed at the resort for one week and was happy once again with this hotel. I have stayed 6 times previously and while the beach was washed pretty much away a few years back due to the hurricane I am happy to say that it is back!

The weather was great and while the resort was busier than last year everything remained on par. The food was good, nothing that a foodie would write home about but it was plentiful and did the job needed. There is top shelf liquor however you need to request it when having your drinks made. If you don't then you will get the lower quality liquor.

I was quite surprised that more people were not tipping the staff. I have always tipped a few dollars for wait staff at breakfast, lunch and dinner and especially for the cleaning staff as they work so hard and such long hours!

I know that some people have reported that there were cockroaches at the resort but we did not see any, no bugs at all in fact, and never have in the past either.

The one recommendation that I have is bring a few extra beach towels from home as the pool towels never fully cover up the chairs. Also not a lot of people knew about the little stretch of stores and shops down the road beside the Riu Tequila. It is within walking distance and I prefer it over 5th Ave down in Playa Del Carmen. The pearl store always has some pretty stuff and you can negotiate your prices at pretty much every store.

Overall it's a good resort without breaking the bank!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank destination_junkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2011

On May 3rd 2011, my fiancé and I flew with 17 of our nearest and dearest to Cancun (a few more met us later). From Cancun airport we were taken to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. When we approached the area of PlayaCar, we were blown away by the other hotels and areas. As one of our friends said "OMG look at that hotel it's amazing!!" we drove into the drive of the Riu and couldn’t believe this was where we were staying. Going inside you are immediately taken in by the welcoming smiles and glistening chandeliers. Getting checked in was easy. My fiancé and I didn’t like our rooms view so I asked reception for an upgrade and got room 2111 with a great view of the gardens. This room did smell a little damp but it had no affect on our enjoyment of the holiday. We visited a few other people's rooms and theirs smelt fine. The beds were absolutely fine. Seeing complaints that they were too firm is ridiculous! Despite a damp smell and "firmness" I slept like a baby for 10 nights no problems!
The rooms were cleaned every day of course and many times I left my Tiffany necklace on the side and it would still be there when I got back, so that's a good point.

The sports bar was great! only at night though and only if Victor is working! lol. With his friendliness and eagerness to get you wasted, you will be stumbling out of the sports bar at 3am filled with cocktail shots!

The restaurants were great! The buffet one is perfect for breakfast and dinner and the Japanese restaurant was great too. The pool was warm and the staff were great getting you drinks. On the odd occasion you might even get the pizza man from Chili’s coming round with fresh slices for you to nibble on. We also had the pleasure of having a BBQ on the beach which was great with a side of salsa lessons!

On May 9th....My fiancé and I got married!!! We wed at 3pm at the gazebo and it was the most beautiful day of our lives. Nancy our wedding co-coordinator did everything we asked of her and our day was perfect. The reception table was apparently a little dross before we arrived so my maid of honor and best man tidied it up a bit. so if you choose to get married here, have someone on hand to have a quick look at the table layout.
We had our reception at Chili’s and the food was great! we had a private section and the waiters kept the champagne flowing! Our cake was wonderful too. Vanilla cake with strawberry filling and white icing. The only downside with the reception was that dinner was at 18:45 and we had to be out by 20:30. So speeches and gift giving we had to wrap up pretty quickly. But again, no negative effect on our day what so ever!

On our last night in Mexico a few of us went to Coco Bongos in Playa Del Carmen and let me tell you that this is an experience not to be missed!!! I can’t say whether my mum or nan would enjoy it but for us youngsters is was AMAZING!!!! Ladies if you go to Coco Bongos wear a tight dress at least thigh length. WARNING: If you wear a light flowy short dress and dance on the bar like some girls did, air will be blown up your dress and everyone will get a look at your private bits!
But again such an amazing experience! You have no idea where to look!! There's so much going on!! Balloons falling from the ceiling, paper blown, bubbles floating, The Mask, Chicago, Usher, MJ! The list goes on!!!

Anyway, I'm veering off! Look, if you are easily pleased at a fabulous hotel in a fabulous country with a fabulous beach and plenty of things to do, this is the place!! If you are used to la de da quiet, boring 8 star hotels, don't bother. Anyone who has written a bad review on this place has no bloody idea what roughing it is! They don't call it a palace for no reason!!! I will definitely be going back next year!! and all our wedding guests said they will be joining us back at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya for our vow renewal in 10 years time! lol.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Shevz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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