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“7th visit”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #40 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Guisborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“7th visit”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

I have read some of the last reviews and unless something has drastically changed which i doubt. We are about to go for our 7th visit on the 9th march, since 2008 to travel 10 hours we must love the place. The staff are so friendly the beach is fantastic. Any kind of food you want is there and fantastic. What more can you ask for.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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26 Thank valjohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This was my first time staying in Mexico, although my partner had stayed in Playa del Carmen before - just not at this hotel.

Unquestionably, the approach to the hotel is impressive - naming this "a palace" has credence. Similarly the vast reception has palatial aspirations! Our room was on the ground floor and overlooked the long causeway that runs along the hotel. Amusing to find optics in our room complete with brand names rum, white rum, brandy and tequila - it went largely untouched for the holiday though! The bars did a fine job of providing alcohol...

So rooms and hotel good; beach was fine with sun loungers available for hotel guests - service on the beach though was inconsistent.

The long buffet catered for just about every type of food imaginable - cold meats, salads, fish, eggs, pasta, sweets, cheese - you name it, it's there. And maybe there's the problem - how many times can you stand at that sort of table and find it new and diverting? In haste, let me say we're not ungrateful: the catering staff work hard and with stunning results. But the wealth of food verged on the extravagant and you just cant help wondering about the waste... After 10 days, I'm ashamed to admit that we found the buffet unexciting as the novelty had worn off.

Overall, we had a fantastic stay - one real problem though... The terrible noise from the animation team from 9 'til 6 every day at the pool! Reading this back, I know we sound like complaining miseries (!) but the din from that team in the daytime was seriously unpleasant!

Finally, you might expect this to be a Riu Club Hotel rather than a 5-star hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
16 Thank Buffrush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Dec 29th 2012- Jan 5th 2013. 4/5 of our party contracted Norovirus. which i think some of the previous posts are mistaking for food poisoning, as it has the same symptoms. truth is, this hotel has been having troubles containing the Norovirus since the beginning of December. that is if they have been making the attempt at containment. My 17 MONTH old daughter and wife had to be hospitalized due to severe dehydration due to this.

The hotel looks great on the outside (pool, lobby, beach), but on the inside looks very outdated which is surprising considering the hotel is just barely 7 years old. you could hear everything from neighbouring rooms. I occasionally heard others showering beside me, people having conversations, and water dripping from their taps, Often times we were wondering if people were in our room or not. I'm sure the neighbours enjoyed my exploding diarrhea and vomiting. when the maids "clean" the floors. they throw a rag on a stick and wipe the sand around and call it a day, leaving us having to rub our feet together before getting into bed. towels, sheets, and table cloths usually had stains on them. not sure if this is to protect the environment from harsh chemicals or not, but left me wondering. Beds were lumpy and rock hard, making me want one of the many foam mattress toppers lying in the halls.

When you arrive you are each given one "towel card". This allows you the distinct privilege of having ONE pool towel at any given moment. lose a card and you pay a hefty fine. The towel Nazi lady constantly made you feel like you were stealing towels. These towels were not made out of gold and thus making their towel system completely impractical

The staff are very nice, but very hard to communicate with. Their English is non-existent and my Spanish is worse.

The Food was one of the worst parts of our experience. The buffet was large with lots of variety, But extremely bland at the the best of times - to being too salty to eat - to being inedible at the worst of times. The reservation only restaurants, were no different. And instead being able to phone to make a reservation you were made to wait in a line to do so. The Wine selection would be better served out of a box.

Our only freedom was spending the night and day at the hospital, xcaret and eating outside the hotel. I can now say i have been to hell and back, but I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank MattPlett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Stay 07/12/2012 to 22/12/2012.
The Riu Palace is a beautiful clean hotel set on an amazing beach. Within easy walking distance of Playa Del Carmen either by road or along the beach- good option to have so that you do not feel stuck in the resort.The staff are very friendly and hard working. Special mention to the restaurant manager at Krystals, Alfonzo, Kevin & Suemi who looked after us very well.
The only part we felt met the 5 star standard was the Krystal restaurant. The restaurant was beautiful with a lovely ambience. Alfonzo our waiter was excellent and very attentive. The food & wine was to an excelllent standard. We were very lucky to eat there on several occasions. On every visit the table would be set up with rose petals and hearts. An example for the other restaurants to meet the same standard of service & food.
On arrival we were allocated room 2159 ,,,,mmmm ..not a room that should be used in a 5 star hotel. There is a very big noisy ice machine right outside in the corridor. The room itself is fine except a very strong musty damp smell. There was further noise from generators on the side of the building aswell as from the hotel next door. The road was also located to the side of the building. After a very sleepless night we asked to be moved ( luckily we had not unpacked) and this was accomodated with a room further down the corridor. The hotel tend to put alot of Thomson guests in these rooms and are constantly moving guests if the hotel is full. A shame really after a very long flight and with a 14 night stay it was not the best first impression to get on arrival. Our next room was ok (no view though )the only comment would be that the bed sheets were uncomfortable and all our clothes felt damp and had a musty smell so even the clothes we had not worn had to be washed when we got home.
We thought the breakfast buffet was very good with lots of choice. Lunch we only had on a couple of occasions and not all impressed, more 3 star. We did not have any problems booking into the restaurants at all. If you are prepared to go along to the restaurants and wait 15 mins then you can usually get in.(as lots of guests book them, then don't turn up) Another tip is if you have really enjoyed the food & service is to tip the waiter & tell the restaurant manager how good it was ....this usually gets you in again without having to go and queue between 12 & 3 pm.

Top tips avoid rooms 2159 & 2160 at all costs. Best rooms with view overlook the fountains.
If you want to see the entertainment avoid eating 8.45 pm sitting in restaurants as you miss most of it and there is nothing once that finishes. (ther is a disco at another Riu hotel 10 mins walk).
Go along to restaurants at prefered sitting & be prepared to wait 15 mins usually you can get in.
Tipping your bar sever usually gets you served quicker & stronger drinks.

Room Tip: Top tips avoid rooms 2159 & 2160 at all costs. Best rooms with view overlook the fountains.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank LynnPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Padstow
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Me and my wife stayed here 12 months ago, and were thouroughly dissapointed, so we are again in playa del carmen so decided to pop in to see if any improvements had been made since we were there. We walked in to be stopped by the door man (as you would expect) and explained that we had stayed there and wanted to look around to see if there had been any changes, he rudely and bluntly said no, and with no explanation or an offer to get somebody to show us around just stared at us and waited for us to leave!! so after 18 months and no signs of improvements especially in the service department!! here is the review. The building looks impressive but thats where the impressiveness ends, the food is avarage, facilities limited and tired, and the staff act like you are putting them out (except for a small handful) there is clearly not a service ethos within the hotel. To put it short there are far better hotels in the playa del carmen area with far better location, beach, service and facilities.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Trawler23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skipton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I dont' want to start on a negative but I just wanted to say we were ill on the holiday but I don't blame the hotel, food or water, there was definately a stomach/sickness vomiting bug going round while we were there and we were affected but we were there for 2 weeks and this only impacted on us for 2 days in the middle of our holiday, I think we would have been ill earlier if the hotel water was to blame, I know other people in other hotels were affected by the same bug. Overall we had a fantastic time and would definatley return to the hotel. The facilities were immaculate constantly being cleaned and swept. We were lucky enough to stay over Christmas and New Year and the special celebrations, ice scultptures/ decorations, food and entertainment made this a brilliant celebration.The manager was constantly walking around and checking in the restaurants and outside around the pool he was certainly very accessbile. All the staff were friendly special thanks to Hector and the rest of the entertainment crew, also the drinks waiters Santos and Rafa and Islas the cocktail barman in the lobby bar, who made a great Kurant Martin. We tried all the specialist restaurants and they were all nice in their own different way, only criticism would be Chilli's at night which we felt lacked atmosphere. Only other slight crticism would be for better quality sunbeds although it was busy while we were there we always managed to find beds. Also some cabanna beds would be nice touch although there are some hammocks. The sand is clean and the sea is clear and warm (warmer than the pool!). Overall we would definatley recommend the hotel and big thanks to the staff for making it such a wonderful Christmas and New Year

Room Tip: If you are not upgrading your room as for one on the north wing, it is much quieter than the south.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gilliemay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

The Riu Palace was an absolutely beautiful hotel. The beach was amazing- the best out of all of the places we have been to in the Mayan. The hotel staff were wonderful- they were friendly, polite, and always went out of their way to accommodate us. The rooms were very clean; however, the beds as well as the sheets were uncomfortable and outdated. We upgraded to the junior suite with a view of the pool which was well worth the extra money seeing as the basic rooms had no view at all. The entertainment was one of the worst we have seen- very boring and repetitive, with the exception of New Years Eve.

Unfortunately, our trip was not what we expected as 3 out of 4 people in our party got extremely sick. One of them began puking on the second night after eating at the Mexican restaurant, and had severe diarrhea for the next 2 days. My mom experienced stomach pains and nausea on the third day and was in bed for almost 24 hours with a fever. They were both afraid to eat anything for the rest of the trip. I was fine for the majority of the trip, but woke up in the middle of the night on our second last day vomiting, after eating at the Fusion restaurant. I was fine by the next morning, which makes me believe it was definitely the food or water. I have been to several all inclusive resorts and have NEVER experienced this before. This was not the stomach flu, but clearly from something we had eaten. I would not book another trip to this resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
17 Thank Valentina B
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 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
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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