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“Nice family vacation”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #43 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We booked our vacation with sunwing vacations before I read the reviews and I was expecting the worst from them when we headed to the airport. We had no problems with Sunwing whatsoever. Our outgoing flight was only 1/2 hr late (not a big deal) and yes, the plane was tight but it is a charter and we expected that. Our Sunwing representative was at the resort every day during the hours he said he would be (Frederick was awesome) and was disappointed that other Sunwing customers did not utilize his services. He set us up on a couple of great excursions with no trouble. Leaving the resort, the bus was, again, 1/2 hour late, and again, not a big deal but we arrived at the airport in plenty of time for our flight. Sorry to hear that other people had a bad experience with Sunwing but ours was good. No different that when we had flown with any other vacation company.

The resort was nice, it was all close to the beach and pool and the wait staff was attentive. A couple of good tips left on our pillow ensured that we always had fresh towels and a clean room. The food was good, typical of the all-inclusive hotels and the New Years Eve buffet was great. Nice to have a restaurant near the pool. Being able to walk to town in 10-15 minutes was a perk and we went to Playa del Carmen a few times to look around or to try a restaurant. Plenty of ways to spend your money there!

All in all, it was a good family vacation. I would return to Playa Del Carment and to the Riu again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank lvan35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 11, 2013

We have been to the RPRM twice in the last 2 years (January 2011, and again in February 2012). Unless something drastically changes, we will be going back many more times.

We cannot say anything but good things about this resort: the architecture and accommodations, the manicured grounds, the beach!!, the sun & relaxation, the food and beverages, and ... I could go on and on. But, above all, it is the dear people that are part of this resort's staff that really make this resort so special. I think Americans would do well to take some lessons in happiness and work ethic from many of the people that we encounter in the Playa area.

We have eaten at all the specialty restaurants, and we enjoyed them all. On our first trip (6 days), we ate at each of them, and waited in line for the reservations, etc. On our second trip (8 days), we decided that a more relaxed approach to dinner meal times was better, although we did eat at the Krystal and Mexican specialties. The dinner buffet has a wonderful variety, and although we could never try everything available, we enjoyed nearly everything that we tried.

Nightly entertainment is the only part of the regular life at the resort that we cannot comment on, except for the Mariachi band! We went to their shows each time we’ve been to the resort, and they are incredible! Make sure to attend. Other than this, we usually walk in the evening, and settle in to our room early

The staff treated us as if we were at a palace. They are such friendly, hard-working individuals, and they are truly enjoyable if you take an interest in them. We asked questions of them, thanked them for their hospitality, and tipped them regularly (they deserve every dollar!). If you take the time to show genuine interest in the staff, it will enrich your life and vacation experience.

I’d like to give thanks to some of the staff that really made our last vacation so special (but there are many more): Nicodemo, our breakfast waiter; Juan, the breakfast Matre D’/manager, Minerva, our lunch waitress; Jose and his assistant Carlos, our dinner servers/waiters (these guys made us feel so special!). Papito, the saleperson at the palace jewelry store. All of the housekeepers that attended to our room (leaving a note of thanks, some chocolate, and a tip is so appreciated and deserved).

This resort has a special place in our hearts. We consider these fine people our friends, even after being there just 2 separate weeks. I am shocked by any negative reviews. I know that some are probably legit. However, I would bet that many of them are from people that likely just have a negative attitude about everything in life, which is indeed, quite sad.

Room Tip: When booking your stay, spend the extra couple hundred $$ (for the week) and pick a room with the co...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lake-LaSalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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16  Thank Buffrush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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11  Thank MattPlett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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6  Thank LynnPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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7  Thank Trawler23
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:
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $256 - $617 (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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