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“Fabulous Vacation”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Bear, Delaware
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fabulous Vacation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

We had a FABULOUS time at the Rui Palace in Riviera Maya! It was probably the best vacation I have ever taken! Everything was absolutely PERFECT! I could not have wished for a better trip!

The Rui Palace was beautiful! We did have to wait to check-in, but it gave us time to explore a little, and we were in our room by 3pm. We had requested a double bed room, which was not available the night of check-in. They gave us a king room the first night and offered to move us the next night, but the king room they gave us was so wonderful and in a great location (first floor right near the pool) so we ended up keeping it all week! We loved it so we didn't want to move! The food was also incredible! It was a little inconvenient to go to the main lobby at noon to make dinner reservations, but you could make 2 days in advance and the restaurants were yummy! We loved the Japanese place! After one night we took a nap and slept through our reservations, we ate at the buffet and ended up eating there the rest of our trip because it was wonderful and we didn't have to get reservations and a seating time. The staff was wonderful! Everyone was helpful and friendly! We were treated like true guests and we felt like rock stars all week!!

We did not make it to any other Rui resorts, but we did take 2 excursions. We took a van with a group to Coco Bongo one night. That was amazing! Highly recommend this evening out for a great party. We also took a day trip to Isla Mujeres. That was one of our favorite days! We took a catamaran out of Cancun, went snorkeling, had a lunch buffet, got to ride a "spinnaker", got pictures with a shark, and had shopping time in Isla Mujeres! Then we partied that night in Cancun. It was an awesome day! Another evening we spent some time on 5th Ave.

A huge thank you to my new travel agent Sherri Hall from TripGuy Travel. I have never used a travel agent before and now I will never book a trip without her! She made it so easy! She even helped arrange our airport transportation at 7 am when we ended up taking an earlier flight! The planning actually became fun and knowing I had her just a phone call away if I needed anything during our trip let us fully relax and enjoy ourselves!

Thank you Sherri and Rui Palace for a wonderful, unforgettable vacation!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kristen H
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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Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

My wife and I just returned from a week at the Palace Riviera Maya. We travelled as a big family, her parents, my parents and her brother (7 total people). We had 4 rooms amongst everyone and each room was great. They had a mini bar stocked with beer, soda and bottled water which was refilled daily, and they had a wall mounted liquor dispenser with vodka, rum, tequila and whiskey (which was a really nice touch). The room was average size but the bathroom was large. The AC in the rooms worked well as did the ceiling fan. Each room had a small balcony with two chairs which was perfect for reading in the morning. The bathroom was larger than expected with two sinks, toilet and shower. Our biggest complaint was that the light in the bathroom was in the middle of the room and there was not a separate light for the shower itself which resulted in some pretty dark showers. The other issue was that the hot water would run out if you used it long enough. We took two average length showers back to back and the hot water kicked out in the middle of the second. One set of parents had a junior suite which was huge with a large balcony and a sitting room which comfortably fit all 7 of us for late night card playing.

In terms of the hotel itself, there was a large pool with a swim up bar and lots of chairs. The pool was nice for laps in the mornings before all the little kids got there. The beach was great with a large open sand area and a shady area with beach chairs and hammocks (6 in total). There did seem to be a shortage of beach chairs in the mid afternoon, so make sure you get there early and reserve some for yourself. The hotel did have an average size gym with 2 elliptical machines, treadmill, free weights and some weight machines. The spa was nice. We all received massages which were pretty expensive ($82 for 50 minutes) but were very good. If you are looking to get some massages and save money, walk along the beach to the main town area (left from the hotel), past Senor Frogs and on your right you will see an offer massages being offered for $25 for 1 hour, or $45 for 2 people for 1 hour each. The messages are on the beach in special tents and although none of us did it, we did talk to a couple that did and they said that it was great. The best thing about the spa at the hotel was the sauna. It is without a doubt the best hotel/gym/club sauna I have ever been to. Heat was dry and temp was at last 110 F so you could really get a good sweat going. The hot tub (read: warm tub) left much to be desired.

In terms of food, there are two major buffets at the hotel. The main buffet and Chili’s (which turns into a steak house at night). Both were very good for lunch buffet and the main one was the only place to get breakfast but it was very good. As for the specialty restaurants, there are 5 of them (steakhouse, Brazilian bbq, Japanese, Mexican and fusion). The only one of them worth going to is the fusion one (Krystal). If I had the chance to do it again, I would eat at Krystal every single night of the trip. The menu is small but amazing. The lamb and beef were perfectly cooked every time and the service was excellent. I cannot recommend this restaurant more highly. The other restaurants were poor, especially the Mexican one (which was upsetting). I would not recommend going to any of them, stick with Krystal and the main buffet for dinner.

Alcohol selection was good with lots of top shelf options, but everything is clearly watered down. You can ask for double and triple drinks and the staff will make it for you without a problem, but if you don't specify you will most likely get very sweet and weak drink. They do have Dose Equis beer, both regular and dark (but they do not advertise the dark so you need to ask for it specially or you will get the regular one).

Evening shows were cut and were the standard fair acts. Fun to watch at night, but you're better off just going to a quiet table, getting a drink and playing some cards. Sports bar was nice with lots of soccer games on, good bartenders and NFL football during the season. They did have pool, air hockey, foosball and a racing arcade game but that all cost extra to play.

Overall, it was a great hotel with lots of good animates. The staff was excellent and they worked very hard to meet everyone's needs and always seemed genuinely nice to everyone. I would absolutely recommend this place if you are going to Playa del Carmen.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Michelle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
119 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

There are lots of options in the area, but the proximity to town and the quality or the resort is a big bonus (15-20 minute walk along the beach gets you to 5th Ave). You also have the option to visit (eat, drink, swim) the affiliated Riu’s along the same stretch.

The pool is huge but was a bit on the cool side, it also gets a bit rowdy as the drinks start flowing. For some peace and quiet, just drab a chair under the palms and kick back.

The food was great; there was plenty to choose from including vegetarian options.

When it comes to the bar, avoid the house bottles, ask for a premium tequila, rum, etc… and they’ll be happy to make it.

The interior facing rooms have a balcony facing the fountains & courtyard, all the others are exterior facing the neighboring hotels. My family had one on each side, and I'd suggest the courtyard view, but either way you can't go wrong.

Minor annoyance, the WiFi is spotty and you'll need to login for each session.

Car rentals can be done in the lobby, you'll pay a bit more compared to renting in town, but it's worth the convenience. Look for Mario, he'll set you up with a car on the spot.

Service was great and I would highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: You'll have more privacy with the exterior facing rooms, but if you want a balcony to watch the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Neil_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

This was our first trip to the Riu resorts. i booked this Riu not sure as some of the reviews were great and there were a mix of bad. I was a little apprehensive, but upon arrive, extremely pleased. The staff was exceptional, including the management team as they were always walking the grounds providing tips to the staff and listening to the guests. Definite return in the future. The experience was like being on a cruise without the caged feeling, as the beach and pool are available as are many sight seeing activities.

As an Riu all inclusive, you can visit any of the five Riu's. The Mexico has been completed and very contemporary, more for the younger crowd, and good late night shows.
The Rivera is about 15 minutes walking distance to the down town area, and about 25 minutes to Cocoa Bongo, which is a definite must. Walking late at night is safe. The locals consider this area the Beverly Hills area of Playa del Carmen. High rollers live in this area and it is a gated community with security at the gates. They know who comes and goes for the locals.

Our flight arrived at 6:00 am, which put us to the hotel at 7:00 am. Obviously the room was not available as check in is at 3:00 pm. They check you in, let you keep your luggage in the lobby under their view and you can change in the restrooms off the lobby. The restrooms have changing areas and are very clean. There is WiFi in the lobby and spotty in the rooms. WHO CARES, YOU ARE ON VACATION!

The buffets were great. Food was fresh, and lunch and dinner selections varied daily. There are formal restaurants, but its the same food as the buffet, just in a formal sitting area, and you can only make reservations between 12-3. If this is your thing, make the reservations upon arrival to get this out of the way. Not ONCE did we get sick. The food is fresh and the water/ice is FILTERED. Anyone that got sick, more than likely ate outside of the resort or had too much to drink.

There are travel/excursion staff on site at the hotel and they can help with activities. I used Lomas Travel. I booked them for my airport transport and they did not disappoint. I will detail more on the Lomas Travel Trip Advisory.

The drinks are not watered down, the whole facility was continually being cleaned, including around the pool areas. The staff was GREAT, very friendly and you felt secure having your belongings left out. If you had any property stolen, it was definitely from the other visitors and not staff. Keep your head, would you leave your iPhone/camera out in the open at a public pool back home?! You are responsible for your own belongings, this is what we call maturity, folks!

The whole facility was tiled, and this made it a little tough as people rolled their luggage through the facility late at night or early in the am. Door slamming from visitors was also an issue as it echoed. Guess some people just don't know how to be considerate of others. The rooms were very clean and nice. We did have one issue with the sink, but the staff immediately resolved the issue. The toilets are a little different. They are not made to handle paper waste, which clogs the toilet or requires multiple flushes. This was a systemic issue throughout all hotels. Beds were comfortable, not overly soft, or hard, and the pillows were good as well, not those crappy down pillows like other hotels. Yes, rooms can be humid and get a little musty, but you are staying in a humid environment at a few feet above sea level, what did you expect... Run the A/C and you will be fine. Not overly noisy and the ceiling fan helps as well.

The overall stay at this hotel, its proximity to the down town, facility cleanliness, room quality, and food rate this as an Excellent hotel for us. I would definitely recommend to anyone and for future stays.

Room Tip: Rooms are very good, well serviced, and staff attends to your needs. Plenty of towels in the rooms...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Zarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitehorse, Yukon
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

my wife and i spent the first two weeks of december 2012 at this resort. it was perfect. couldnt be better. first off for the people who got sick there. i think they must have been the ones who were at the pool at 10 am drinking till it closed at 6 pm. then going for dinner and gorging themselves on the endless shrimp, crab claws, deserts, deep fried food and all the rich and fatty foods that were available. your body "can't" handle that. you do have to watch and be careful of the people who drop the spoon in the bowl or plate of food and dig in and grab the spoon they dropped Yuk and preparing that many meals a day there is bound to be something undercooked over overcooked. just wait for the new batch to be cooked. there was so much variety that you could have something different each day and still not have the same thing. i must say i am from a food background so it is not like i dont know what good food is. remember is it mexico, not the Rizt in New York. now for the service. tipp a little to your breakfast waiter, lunch waiter, and dinner and by the pool and see what they do for you. our waiter at dinner the first night asked if this was our first trip to a Riu. when we mentioned that no, it was acually our third visit and that we had renewed our vows at a Riu and it was our 4th anniversery the next day. when we went to dinner the next night, that waiter (Daniel) had reservied and set up a special table for us at the buffet resturant. he had even stopped at a flower shop and bought a rose and put on my chair to give to my wife. he got a very good tip that night. that was just the start of the service for us anyway. the next night at dinner, once again a special table set up for us and a special night again. my wife did not like the white wine they were serving and asked if they had anything else. our waiter disappeared and was back with a much better quality. if you dont like it, just ask and they will find something else. through the evening in conversations with our waiter he asked how come we dont go to the specialty resturants, and we told him we liked to relaxe at dinner and you have to be in and out in a certain time at the speciaty resturants so we would be eating at the buffet everynight. he asked us what kind of foods we liked and we told him. the next night we went to the buffet, again our table was reserved and set up. our waiter told us we were not eating at the buffet as he had something special. about 10 minutes later we had sushi delivered to our table. two nights later we had ribeye dinner delivered to our table at the buffet. i could go on and on but you get the picture.our room was cleaned daily and want for not. service at the pool was also excellent. the one that really stood out was Victor. entertainment at night we thought was pretty good. some were actually pretty funny. the enterainment staff work upwards of 16hrs a day. the ones that really stood out was Ruudy who is the boss and man is he full of energy. Rickky and Yesmin were also very friendly and tried to get everyone involved in the activities. the beach is incredible. they have mexican bands in the courtyard everynight and a trumpet player on monday nights who is very good. if you get a chance, go to cozumel and rent a scooter and drive the island. it is very safe. it is a little busy till you get out of town but then there is a special wide lane for the scooters and the police are patroling, waving at you to make sure your ok. there is ruins, tequila factories, beach resturants all along the way. it is about a 65 km round trip and is a hoot. only cost us $30 for the day. if you have booked this hotel for a future vacation, you wont go wrong. we will likely go back first two weeks of march 2013. rememer to tip the service staff. yes i know they say it is included in your all inclusive but they dont get paid alot, so they do count on it. it is only a $7 taxi to play del carmen or if you want to walk it is about 20 minutes or so through a gated community, so it is safe. we ate at El Ranchero rest about half way up 5th ave, have the mayan coffee show for dessert. great service and food here. seen them cooking tequila shrimp by your table.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank yukonquest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012

My wife and i spent two weeks at this superb All Inclusive Hotel in November. We were very impressed with the hospitality. The choice of restaurants and variety and qualiy of food was very good, as was the service provided in all of them.

The bar staff were equally attentative and nothing seemed to be a problem. Service with a smile, polite and courteous and a determination to please.
Obviously well trained in customer service.

All areas of the hotel were clean and tidy and well maintained, no litter anywhere, not even in the surrounding environment outside the hotel. If only we had the same attitude in GB.

Rooms are quite spacious and those with views overlooking the courtyard are probably better located than those overlooking other hotels.

Nothing was ever a problem, thank you for a memorable experience.

Grahame & Betty Heap, Yorkshire.

Room Tip: High floor overlooking the courtyard
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank GrahameHeap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Libertyville, Illinois
Level Contributor
158 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

My son, granddaughter and I visited Mexico and stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya as part of an Apple Vacation package. This was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort. I thought we had booked a Junior Suite but we were shown to a Suite when we arrived. The Suite was much nicer and larger than the Junior Suite. During our visit we had an incident where money was taken from the room. Because of this we were upgraded to a Jacuzzi Suite. The hotel staff was wonderful in the way they dealt with this incident and the $100 we lost was more than compensated for by the wonderful room we had. Instead of looking over a restaurant we had a view of the ocean and a hot tub on our second balcony. I would have like a ceiling fan over our king size bed instead of just in the area with the love seat and chair as it got quite humid in the night no matter where the air conditioner was set. The bed was a little hard but I'm use to a soft sided water bed.

Because I was traveling with two boring eaters we ate only at Don Manolo's. They served breakfast and dinner buffets. There was a wide variety of choices at each setting. Some of the food was great and some was just adequate. Breakfast included meats, made to order omelets, other egg dishes, french toast, cereals, rice mixtures, etc. Because this resort caters to Europeans aas well as Americans there were also offerings not typical of American breakfast buffets. Meats, cheeses, etc. For the dinner buffets there was a different theme each night which included International, Mexican, Asian, and Gala. It was possible to find something good each night. I enjoyed the sushi, pork chops, and vegetables. Brussel sprouts were served often - loved it. I also loved the flan - one of my favorite desserts. Service was great. There were soft drinks and white and red wine and champagne. The red wine was undrinkable. I chose the champagne as being the least objectionable choice.

Tropical drinks were plentiful and were not very strong so you could drink a lot and not feel like you'd over done it. Each room had a frig with soft drinks, water, & Dos XX beer. There were also bottles of vodka, tequila and brandy in a bar area.

There are other restaurants on the property but you needed reservations at each. Reservations could be made each day from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm and only 3 days in advance.

There was entertainment and daily activities including horse shoes, ping pong, darts, & dancing.

We had a great time. My son declared our time in Mexico the best vacation ever.

Room Tip: We had booked a Junior suite but we were given a Suite instead. The Junior suites are adequate and t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank VickiLGreenOaks_IL
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 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach 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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