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“Disappointed?!? Really............????”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #47 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Disappointed? Seriously you must be hard to please....We just returned from a week in paradise. We were travelling with 3 other couples and decided on The Palace, Riviera Maya for this vacation. First off, I will say we have travelled throughout all parts of Mexico, many all inclusive resorts,with and without our kids, many of them Riu hotels, espcially in this area, last year The Riu yucatan, but never at a Palace.
From the second you step off the bus you are wisked into a Very grand lobby, very guilded and opulant, which is beautiful, I lean more towards the the open air, thatched roof type lobbies but it was certainly beautiful and staff couldnt be friendlier. we all had opted out of paying for an upgrade and took the room that was appointed for us, we were second floor facing outside edge of hotel grounds, which certainly was not the view of inside grounds or pool, But nothing wrong with this room at all,as stated in other reviews, did find it a little damp at times but this is quite normal and what you expect with the humidity. Grounds and pool are Beautiful!! and well maintained, towels were always clean and plentiful, never had issue, Beach is one of the best beaches in the area, , I will say this trip there was quite a bit of seaweed washing up, which I had never seen in previous trips to this area,but only first couple of days which i think was caused by the rainy weather first two of days, after that no more seaweed. resort is Close to town, walked the beach to town 1 day and cabbed it a couple times. Food was fabulous... with the exception of the brazillian resturant, did not like this one, Japanese is not my thing so hard to judge, but everyone else liked it, and Fusion was fabulous... and buffets were great with lots of choices. Saxaphonist playing in outside lobby monday night was a highlight, all shows were great and the entertainment crew work soooo hard all day to make sure everyone is having fun. I seriously dont know what you could possibly complain about at this resort, except that it might be a little to fancy for your taste, but as for the everything else it was wonderfull and we were all sad to leave.

Room Tip: request room on upper floors and closer to pool/beach area
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Tanned12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2012

We love this area of mexico (Playcar) - just on the outskirts of Play Del Carmen. It is very safe and has many beautiful homes. We did a circular walk every morning of about 7kms and finished off at the Starbucks which is a 5 minute walk from this hotel.

This was our fourth visit to the area and the beach is wonderful and we spend at least 2 hours per day swimming in the wonderful and clear waters. There are mayan ruin sites within minutes of this hotel and well as a very nice bird sanctuary.

This hotel is beautiful. The staff are very helpful and friendly. There was always a drink in your hand if you wanted one. All 6 restaurants were terrific.

TIPS: They do not exchange U.S. cash at the hotel. Canadian, Euros, pounds , swiss francs are all okay.

If you are a wine drinker ask for Marbaia or Avida. They serve a white and red Diavalo which is brutal tasting.

Negatives: Lots of broken beach lounges. Most fo the new ones are at the pools. They need to invest some money in new chairs.

Sports Bar could use a more attractive atmosphere. They have great sandwiches, fruit, desserts available 24hours there but the s[ports selection on tv was very limited. They need to get a NFL package, or show some Canadian football or ice hockey. Soccer, soccer ,soccer with teams that I have never heard of. Thje Tequila RIU has a sports bar that has multiple NFL games - please bring this package into the Palace.

All in all a very terrific experience. We are looking forward to our third visit to this hotel next September.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Donbrown51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I had visited the Riu Palace Riviera Maya late November 2011 (late review, but the memories are vivid!) with my girlfriend.

First: The room we were offered at first was a corner unit and small with a TINY balcony. So we asked to switch and voila! A much better room on the 1st (rather than 2nd) floor. It was great. Comfy sleeping, working A/C and quiet nights. Just ask.

Beyond that little hiccup, the trip was amazing. This was my 2nd trip to the beaches of Mexico and the biggest difference was...

THE FOOD:
It was wonderful, and if you're a picky eater like myself, you'll love the huge selections and variety of snacks (north american and local stuff). The a la carte was so good, we often opted for them over the sit down restaurants (which were also good.) Having a 12pm restaurant booking also helps if you like to sleep in.
The cherry on top, however, was the free room service. Chicken tacos at 2am delivered to your door?! YES PLEASE.

THE RESORT:
It was beautiful and very accessible. Every 2nd night had a different flea market/art display that moved in around the pool. The pool was great (although they close rather early, @ 8) and was big enough to swim alone or near the bar.
The entertainment at night was hilarious: campy and fun. Gets some people on stage, and everyone has fun. Order a mexican coffee and sit outside to watch.
The days were lively and the nights were peaceful. perfect.

THE SERVICE:
They were very friendly and knowledgeable. A few of them learned our names during the stay and we were often recommended awesome tequila/drink suggestions. Even when we bugged them for stuff like scissors and pens, they gladly obliged. Maid service was thorough and when you tip them they make a towel swan.

THE BEACH:
Also top notch- lots of space for privacy, and plenty of loungers for everyone. With all of the other RIUs nearby, you can safely walk up and down the beach to explore.
Snorkeling was great too: Lotsa open space, and then some scattered coral if you swim out a bit! coool.... You can borrow paddle boats, but if you want the catamaran, you have to have experience driving one (so lie and say you do!)

THE SPA:
We ended up having massages booked while we were here. It was an unique experience, mostly due to the ambiance. It was very rustic and inviting and the free hot tub almost murdered me (in a good way!) The massages afterwards left me in a hazy-eyed stupor for the rest of the night. I slept like a baby.


Cons: I kind of wish it didn't get so quiet at night; but if you're craving parties, 5th Avenue is 15 minutes away with lots of entertainment.


Last tips: Go down the street to the little market plaza and you will find a man who let his little monkeys climb on you for $5! That's what Mexico is all about!

Room Tip: Ask for first floor closer to the beach.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank kahulainc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Our flight was cancelled so we arrived a day late. Despite informing the travel agency in advance, who notified the hotel, we could not extend our stay an extra day. The Riu Palace management were not helpful and caused us a great deal of frustration. Then Jorge Martinez, an Olympus Tours representative, stepped in and worked with the hotel staff. He said, "Go and enjoy your vacation and let me take care of this." He then took care of everything. Thank you Jorge, this was a great relief!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Having stayed at several Riu hotel including Palaces this is our third palace stay what a disappointment, on the face of it this hotel appeared to be the equivalent to the Riu Palace Mexico but once you scratch the surface you see it is not. The rooms are smaller but fine, the main restaurant was ok but a lot smaller so therefore had less cooking stations than the other palaces so choice was rather limited. the specialty restaurant we went to (The Japanese, The Fusion twice and the steak house was fine personally it really enjoyed the Fusion) but I do object to having to return to the reception area at 12 noon to book, again at the Riu Palace Mexico you could book from 8-30 am so you did not have to wait in a long line to book

The pool area was very nice but I do not like the club 18 to 30 attitude where people start drinking from 10am and the entertainment staff think we all want to listern to their silly games and loud music this is not what I would expect from a 5 star hotel,even when you go onto the beach you have no choice because the entertainment was so loud. The beach was dirty which we had not experienced before in Mexico and the sun beds deffinatly need updating/cleaning (the management need to look at the Riu Tikida Palace in Morroco their bed chairs are top draw and comfortable)

One other point I think I need to express is my partner had to use a wheelchair for a number of days, this hotel is not wheelchair firiendly and unless you are extremely fit getting down to the ground floor is really hard with difficult to negotiate ramps.

The whole holiday experience was disappointing for me, Thomsons you need to look at this hotel it is not a top 5 star hotel it reminds me of the Riu Tequila/Yuctan (we have stayed in the Tequila previously and have visited the Yucatan and Playcar for lunch) these hotels are not as expensive but better value for money and on a par in many ways

I really look forward to the Riu Palace Mexico relaunch and hope there is not to many changes because this hotel had class and made you feel special from the first greeting at the door to leaving 14 days later I hope to be able to visit the Riu Palace Mexico one day

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My husband and I finally took our postponed honeymoon. We originally booked Riu Yucatan through bookit.com but somehow, the hotel had no record of our booking. But right before I could freak out in the lobby, the amazing Riu folks upgraded us to stay at Riu Palace instead!

Riu Palace is amazing. The architecture made us feel as if we're in Havana, not Mexico. The pools were never too crowded and plenty of lounge chairs by the beach or pool. Food (regardless if it's the reservation only restaurants or buffets) were also amazing. I can't say enough great things about this place. Staff were friendly and accomodating. Just make sure to have lots of dollar bills (or 10 pesos) for easy tipping. The waiters were never able to break a $20 when we asked.

I can only think of 2 downsides: First, the hotel could not offer currency exchange (apparently they were getting a lot of counterfeit U.S. currency so they stopped exchanging U.S. currency altogether although they still exchanged other countries). Second, it restricted free internet use to 90 minutes per day. However, there's no way to "log off" so basically, you could be using the lobby internet in one session for only 10 minutes and the next time you try, you have to wait 24 hours for the next free session. But it might be a good thing to not have so much internet access while on vacation!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Tammy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Really enjoyed this hotel. The staff were very helpful and friendly and didn't wait around for tips.
The rooms were very large. The beds were very firm (some may or may not like that). The only negative was they had quilts instead of the duvets I prefer at hotels.
The beach was beautiful and we had no problem getting premium chairs. The pool area was busier but also gorgeous.
The buffet had a very good selection and a nice outdoor patio. You could enjoy your meal out there or just enjoy the nightly live entertainment in the courtyard.
The 2 a la carte restaurants that we tried were very good. The best thing was the reservation system. They opened every day in the lobby at noon and you could only reserve 3 days in advance. Although there was a line when we got there, we had no problem getting our choices because they have 2 set times--6:30 and 8:30--and they acutally fill each restaurant's 20 or 30 spots. (Unlike other resorts I've been to where they tell you the times are all full but in fact the restaurant is empty because they don't want to pay to staff it!)
The theatre shows were better than most I've seen at all-inclusives, but nothing like on a cruise ship. There is no disco but there was usually some form of music playing in the evenings,
There was free Wi-Fi in the lobby for 90 minutes per day per device but make sure you're not on the fringe of the lobby or it will kick you out.
This resort is on a very nice beach and only a 20 minute walk into Playa so I highly recommend the location.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank CherylAS
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

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:
#20 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $312 - $527 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* The hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya is located directly on the white, sandy beach of the Playacar residential estate, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Playacar, Riu Yucatan and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels. The 400 spacious and elegant junior suites are set in the 3-storey main building, with its delightful architectural style and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens. * Next Village / Location Playa del Carmen 2.0 km approx. * Next City Cancún 60.0 km approx. * Airport Cancún International Airport (CUN) 55.0 km approx. * Main Building 3 floors 400 rooms * Accepted Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa ... more   less 
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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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