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“Nice with some problems.”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice with some problems.”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We went with a large group of people for a wedding. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. The resort is nice and well laid out. Food and drinks are very good. The reason for the average review is 1: a member of our wedding party had there I pad stolen out of there room by the turn down service. The hotel offered no assistance in the recovery of this and shrugged it off. MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR SAFE!!! 2: we had a white shirt dry cleaned for the wedding and when it came back it was yellow. We used the service offered threw the hotel. The Riu did however reimburse us for the damaged shirt.
Overall it was a nice stay but just be cautious of those few things. Others on here have complained about similar things as well.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cgrochola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,276 reviews from our community

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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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Temecula, California, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

This was the first trip to Playa del Carmen for both my wife and me. We booked this particular resort on the advice of friends and WOW what a beautiful place!!! The grounds are impeccable, the staff is superior and the entire experience was awesome! I just can't say enough about the experience. When you book, you don't just get a hotel, you get an entire experience. From check in until check out, we were treated like VIPs every moment. The staff is exceptionally courteous and the entire facility is spotless. Even the bathrooms by the beach are marvelous! There is a private beach which is consistently cleaned and straightened.

I have read other reviews which are not so glamorous and I was hesitant but I can tell you (having just returned in June, 2013) that the place is awesome. Yes, you do need to monitor towel usage as some people pointed out (you get a card that you have to trade for a towel each day) but who cares? Not really an issue at all. And yes, you have to stand in line to reserve tables at the "themed restaurants" but, oh well, it took 10 minutes out of my day and I could book them two days in advance.

And, if you don't get a table at the themed restaurants, the buffet (which does not require any reservation) has food which is equally as good! In fact, I preferred it to the Brazilian Steakhouse. The buffet changes daily and features custom omelet bars, turkey carving stations, handmade donuts, churros, etc. etc. etc. Extremely comparative to the buffets we had in the finest resorts in Europe.

The only thing I would suggest is, if you plan on drinking, you might want to tell the bartenders to increase the amount of alcohol they put in your drinks. The first day we enjoyed countless pina coladas only to determine that there was very little alcohol in the drinks. We simply asked for more and the bartenders were more than happy to oblige. I think this is designed so that there is not a glut of drunks in the resort. They also close the (very cool) swim up pool bar at 6pm everyday (but the pool remains open until 10pm or so) for assumably the same reason. The upside is that we didn't see ANY drunks wandering around the resort. And, there are more than enough places to get your drinks once the pool bar opens, you just need to walk a bit into the resort.

EXCURSIONS:

I would wait to book any excursions until you get to the resort. We did and were glad we waited. The offers that the on-site tour companies had were better than any deals we could find on-line. And they are available everyday in the lobby of the hotel. As an example, when we were there, we could get a package to visit Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Xplor (on different days) all for $220 USD per person. This was far cheaper than had we booked them separately on-line. They also arrange all the transportation to and from the location and you get personalized tour information to help you get the best from your time. As a side-note, while all of these were SPECTACULAR, if time is short, I would skip Xcaret and spend more time at Xel-Ha. Xplor is very cool and can be done in one day but should be avoided by anyone who doesn't plan on zip-lining. While you get to do all the events with the price of admission, aside from the zip-line, the others are just neat and not worth the price of admission. However, Xplor is amazing - I don't mean to underplay its cool factor.

You should also note that with Xcarat and Xel-Ha, the price of admission does NOT include all the cool features. We ended up paying for extras like snorkeling the coral reef (Xcaret), swimming with the manatees (Xel-Ha) and doing a "sea trek" (scuba without the tank) at Xel-Ha. This amounted to another $300 USD per person (total, approx.) but well worth it. At most places meals and drinks are included with admission. They will, however, gouge you when you buy photos of your once in a lifetime adventure. Xcaret and Xel-Ha were $14 USD per photo and Xplor was a whopping $29 per photo (although there are other photo price options.)

If I had to do it all over again (I can't wait to) I would invest in an underwater camera or a water proof case for my iphone and take my own photos.

Room Tip: Best rooms face the interior of the resort (pool area, entertainment, beach). With the best of the...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ed M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed at this RIU resort with another couple. This resort is very large, not so large that you need a golf cart but still large.

Upon arrival you enter into a beautiful lobby that is very grand. we were greeted with friendly staff who checked us into our room right away.

The rooms were one of the larger rooms in comparison to other RIU's that we have stayed at in the past. Very clean and wonderful bedding.

The food was amazing as usual. They had a lobster night (Thursday I believe) which was great! An abundance of selection and all very fresh.

The pool was clean and staff was very attentive. Even brought us drinks to the beach daily.

They had a lot of shows and activities during the daytime as well as in the evening. They also had a 24 hour sports bar where they had every game playing on multiple tv's. You could also order late night food here as well.

We walked into town two days, hit the shops and sampled some of the best Tequila.

I would definitely recommend this spot to friends and family.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Michelle K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soouthampton
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Booked this hotel to celebrate our pearl wedding anniversary. The hotel itself was lovely and the staff were great especially Kiki and Tony who served our drinks on the beach, and Anna who was in the restaurant in the mornings when we went for breakfast.
Our favourite A La Carte Restaurant was Krystals. We also tried Chillies which was nice and the Mexican Restaurant although not so impressed with that one and service was very rushed in the Mexican.
The Animation team worked very hard and were good but entertainment in the evening has room for improvement.
Waiters and waitresses again gave excellent service during the evening and they certainly had some rude and arrogant people to put up with.
Our room was comfortable but would not recommend it as noise from workers grinding etc in hotel opposite meant it was noisy in the daytime.
We had room 2148 on the top floor but would of been better toward the beach more but still garden facing as courtyard is noisier.
The first week of our stay was not too bad but the second week was like being on a 18-30s holiday.
We never used the pool bar as it was full of rowdy drunks who sat in there all day and i do not think they even got out to go to the toilet.
we were woken up several times in the early hours of the morning by shouting and banging through the corridoors, we were told to dial 9 to report it but by then they have gone and you are awake.
I am sorry to say it but there were a lot of ,loud, rude drunk, people there that only go there for 3 or 4 days and go wild but they should still respect other people are on holiday too, some with children,
Dress code was ignored in the evenings by quite a few people too although we did witness one man refused entry into the dining hall as he only had a singlet on but then we saw another one with swimshorts on !
We later found out a lot of guests were given free upgrades as the Yucatan was being refurbished and lucky them as they paid about £1300 less than us.
We did meet some lovely people during our holiday but after this experience it has put me off spending a lot of money on future holidays.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank susan b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Hi All
Just returned from a 5 night stay at the Palace Riveria Maya. My wife and 2 grown children (24, 22) had 2 Junior Suites #1141 and #1142 and were very satisfied with the cleanliness and size of these rooms.I am going to give you and overall assessment of this resort, so sit back and read.
First of all, we are just an average family from Boston. We have been to Cancun 3 times and this was our first trip to Playa Del Carmen. We have stayed at Riu resorts prior to this trip, but it was our first time at a Riu Palace.
LOBBY: The first impression can be deceiving, but not here. The air conditioned lobby is spectacular. Trust me, if you have been to open air lobbies in Mexico it still gets pretty hot. This was a sanctuary. Coming in from the beach and taking a seat at the lobby bar was fantastic. I can't put into words how beautiful and clean this lobby is. You really have to experience it for yourself.
Also, the front desk personal are not miserable or unhelpful as some have suggested. They were kind and willing to help. They also spoke and understood English.
ROOM: As I mentioned, we had Junior suites. The room had double sinks and nice size shower. It had a fridge that kept the beer, water and soda nice and cold. We had a king size bed that was directly under the ceiling fan. This was great, because the air conditioner blew out the cold air and the fan blew it right on us. Both our rooms were very comfortable. Next to the bed, there are 2 steps that lead down to a sitting area, and then there are sliding doors that lead to a balcony. The room is just great. I really don't think you need to spend the money on a Superior Suite, unless you want a jacuzzi.
FOOD: There are many options. The buffet has many selections to choose from. I hear that people claim that they should change up the food options, but what can they do? They offer beef, chicken, seafood, deli meats and cheeses. They have all sorts of breads and desserts. What else can they offer??? Come on people, stop complaining. There are 4 specialty restaurants. We ate at 2 of them. I highly recommend Krystal's. The beef. fish and lamb were fantastic, plus the wait staff was exceptional. We also ate a Chilis. This is the snack shack during the day and then the steak house at night. It is the only open air restaurant and the food is not all that great. If I went again I would try one of the other 2. All in all the food was just fine (nobody got ill) and I would have been perfectly fine to eat at the buffet everyday. By the way, breakfast was great. Start with a mimosa and a cook to order omelette, what a treat
POOL-BEACH. The pool was big and refreshing. There are volley ball games and other activities going on. But, I think this is the only lacking part of this resort. The entertainment staff work hard and are very friendly,but really didn't get the people going. The beach is nice. The waves were just right for anybody. Also you walk out 50 feet and the water stays 3 to 4 feet deep. It really is ideal.
LOCATION: The resort itself is a 40 minute ride from the Cancun airport. Just be prepared for that, and it won't feel has bad. The resort is located within a gated community. It is very safe If you walk out the front and turn left, you can visit the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Playacar and the Riu Tequila. If you go right. you can walk to 5th avenue. The walk is about 20 minutes, but very flat and outlined by some beautiful homes. The entire walk is within the gated community. As soon as you pass the guard house you are at 5th avenue, just great. We did some shopping and had lunch at Senor Frogs. If you haven't been to Senor Frogs, stop in and have a drink, pretty funny place. By the way, if you don't want to walk, it is a $7 cab ride from the resort to downtown.
TIPPING: I am not going to tell anybody to tip or not, but a dollar here and there is just a nice gesture. The staff works very hard for very little money. The four of us each brought $25 in one dollar bills. They really do appreciate the generosity.
EXCURSIONS: We have been to Mexico a few time as I mentioned ,so we didn't take any trips. But I have to say my son did his first scuba dive. They offer free training at the pool every morning. You put on the scuba gear and swim around in the pool. After you take this lesson you can decide if you want to pursue and go out to the coral reef in the open ocean. My son did the training and did his first dive. They take under water pictures of you out at the reef, and these are pictures that my son will treasure forever, By the way, the total cost was $99 if you want do everything
SUMMARY:
I would consider this to be one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in since we have been travelling. My family was sitting on the patio near the pool bar overlooking the ocean and try to decide where we would rank this vacation. We said it was in the top 3. We ranked our fist trip to Mexico at the all inclusive Riu Caribe and our 2nd Disney World trip has the other two. We really enjoyed our time at the Palace and will always hold onto the memories. We probably won't go back since we have now been to Mexico 4 times. Time for a change, plus our children are getting older and might not want to travel with mom and dad anymore.
Remember, it is vacation. Be happy. We all work so hard to pay for a trip like this, so chill out and enjoy.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank BFDBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The strongest memory is the kindness and the friendliness of the staff, after one week's stay it was like being amongst friends.
The private beach is fantastic: white sand, palm trees, the beautiful blue ocean awaiting to cool your body......add to this a team of waiters offering you drinks and water melon while you lie in the sun, plus the barbecue on the beach at lunchtime and you'll understand why one can't fail to be happy in this hotel.

The hall is a triumph of beauty, you feel like a character in a Mexican film.
Another breath taking view is the lane leading from the hotel to the beach.

The food is delicious, you will miss every bit of it when you get back home!

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank EWV3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Love this resort!! We had a great time. Loved how clean and friendly the staff was. Very good customer service, no problems at all. The only thing negative I can say was we were just there Jun 15 - Jun 22, so basically hot and humid, but still not too bad, the pool area ocean helped that out. However, the pool closing hour was a negative. It closed at 8:00 PM, we think that could have stayed open till 10:00. Also the food was pretty good for a all inclusive, they also had some good restaurant choices, only bad thing some of them required pants. So just be prepared to bring some pants in 90 degree temps. One other bad thing, they could have had more beer choices. They only has dos XX's and sometimes Tecate. We would love to go back in the future!!

Room Tip: Make sure to make reservations for the restaurants days in advance.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jpmadri
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
#29 Luxury 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
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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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