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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #47 of 216 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The Riu Palace Riviera Maya is by far the best 5 star hotel I have ever seen and stayed in. Everything about it, from the service to the grounds, make it a gorgeous place to go on holiday. My first impression was wow when I first walked in the lobby as it is so big and beautiful! The rooms were so nice.. we had two double beds and then some stairs down to a sofa and TV and then a large balcony. Not sure why we got a bigger balcony than others, especially as the view wasn't very good, but I don't mind as you could see how amazingly kept the gardens were and you can pay for sea/pool view anyway.

The staff are so polite and would literally do anything for you. The beach waiters always ask if you want a drink, so if you're feeling a little lazy then you don't even have to leave your sun bed.

The food is amazing to say it is all inclusive. Some hotels may lower the standard when it is this board, however here it was so nice. There was such a variety of options from seafood to your everyday pizza and fries. The a la carte restaurants were also lovely and could be visited for free whenever as long as you made a reservation that day (or before) between 12 and 3. My favourite was Krystal as it was something a little different but the Mexican was also popular. 'Chilli's' was a gorgeous steakhouse which was a beach bar in the day. There was a nice selection of food for lunch if you didn't want to go to the main restaurant, but to be honest everything is quite close together anyway.

The beach was literally a step away from the swim up/pool bar and the pool, so you could go between them without having to walk far. The beach was absolutely gorgeous; what you'd expect on a Caribbean beach. The pool was a lovely lagoon style and was nice and upbeat on a daytime, so if you'd prefer no music, I'd say go to the beach. The animation team make sure no one is bored though; I loved the games they played in the daytime where anyone could go do the challenges as it brought everyone together. This hotel is similar to the Riu Palace Mexico down the road, but with a more traditional touch. I feel the Mexico is a bit too modern and Americanised.

The hotel is also in the perfect spot. Looking from the entrance, to the left is all the hotels including the other Riu's that you can use the facilities of. I found this particularly good when it came to the use of Riu Tequila's nightclub! To the right of the hotel you can get a taxi (or walk down the beach) to the centre of Playa Del Carmen. The infamous fifth avenue is there with McDonald's, MAC etc and then the famous bars/clubs like Coco bongo and Senor frogs which are apparently really good.

Overall, I would rate this hotel the best out of all the Riu's nearby as it had everything (even free WiFi and room service!) as well as a gorgeous display. I would definitely come back here if I were to revisit Mexico!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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10  Thank alicekatex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,926 - 1,932 of 5,677 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

Nice hotel, clean , large and not crowded even when all rooms are filled. best beach you could imagine. Food real good, especially Mexican restaurant. People there are so nice overall except front desk people. Only negative is they would not print up our boarding passes without us e mailing them despite thier knowledge that we did not have a laptop or smart phone. No conceirge desk is also a neagtive but front desk did not go out of their way over this little request despite speaking to manager. Other than this the place would have gotten 5 stars!!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Carmello2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We travelled to this resort from 8/1 to 8/8 with our two teens, 19 & 17 and our friends family, which also had teens. Everyone in our group enjoyed the week stay at this resort. We had adjoining rooms for the teens.It was a nice set up as you had a little hallway with a door. Then there were separate entrances to the two rooms. So if you wanted, you could close the outside door and leave the two inside doors open. If you wanted privacy, you could simply just shut your door. Rooms were very spacious and clean. The staff did a great job of cleaning each day. Only complaint is the hot water was sometimes iffy. Several mornings there was little to no hot water available. AC worked great and the bed was comfy. You had a couch and TV, plus a nice deck area to sit out at night on while waiting for everyone to get ready for dinner.
Food was OK. The main buffet dining spot was excellent. Plenty of stuff for everyone in the group. Always had multiple choices. The restaurants were nice, but a bit of a pain as you had to make reservations and could only do it for two days in advance. They would make them at noon each day and there were always lines (but they do go quickly). We tried the Japanese, Kristal, and the Brazilian style restaurants. There was also a restaurant near the beach that you could wear your swimsuit to. This was more for a quick bite, as they served burgers, salads, pizza type foods. This turned into a steak house at night. Again, the food was OK.
The pool area was a nice size, and there were plenty of lounge chairs. They do use a card system to get towels. You had to turn in your card to get a towel. There was a threat of a charge if you lost your towel/card. It worked OK, but there were a few times where they ran out of clean towels during the day. The swim up bar was nice and always well attended. The drinks, while tasty, felt somewhat watered down. It was OK with me as we had teens that were legal to drink in Mexico (drinking age is 18). They did have higher end alcohol if you asked versus the well stuff that they were throwing into the Pina Coladas and Margharitas.
The Beach was the best part of the resort. They had a huge beach area, that had the white, white sand and crystal blue water. You could look across the ocean and see Cozumel. Again, plenty of lounge chairs. We never had to worry about finding a place for 8-10 of us to sit on the beach. I have been to places were folks got up early and marked out their spots. None of that happened here. They did have vendors trying to sell jewelry, cigars and sunglasses, but a simple no thank you and they continued on. You also have folks trying to sell the water sports (jetski's, parasailing, snorkeling trips), but again they did not hassle you if you said no.
Safety: we felt very safe at this resort. It is in Playacar, which is a gated community. We were able to walk around and felt safe at night. You could use any of the 4 other Riu resorts in the area. All were a short walk away.
At night they had a show. Nothing great, but it was something to do after dinner. There was a sports bar, as well as many other bars for you to get a drink. The Sportsbar was open 24 hours a day if you are a night owl!

We also did an excursion off the resort, doing an Altournative Tour to Tulum, in which we got to zipline in the jungle, snorkel in a Cenote (underwater cave/river), and do some rapelling. After the activities, we had a 2 hour tour of the ruins of Tulum. I would recommend this tour. The kids picked it and us adults enjoyed it just as much as they did.

The week in lovely Mexico went by way too quick. Many of the friends that the kids made were from England. They were staying for two weeks. We were jealous. I would recommend giving this place a try if you are into a low stress vacation where relaxing at the beach or pool is your main focus each day. If you are more active, they did have daily volleyball, beach soccer games and many many more activities for you to do if you desired each day. They also have a full service spa. We did not use it, but our friends did and they enjoyed their massage.

Give Riu Palace a try. A great value for the cost we paid.

Room Tip: We had rooms 111, 112, 113 and 114. It was right near the pool area. We had a view of the ocean from...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank CTSoxFan_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Very nice place but a little dated.. .. pretty grounds and scenery... not much of a night life at the resort though.... no nightclub. A lot of older couples roaming about.. would recommend for any couple wanting a "quiet" relaxing time without all the usual young drinkers acting up at the pool.. The pool is very small so if you expect to swim laps this isn't the place to go. Beach was nice and clean. restaurant buffet food was good but choices where a little less than I've had at other all inclusive resorts in the area. If you have small children they will get bored really quick because there are no activities directed towards kids.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ti L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

This was our 6th year going back to a Riu resort and our second time to Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Although beautiful as before and they put a nice swan towel decoration in our room for our anniversary, there were several very disappointing experiences. The first room they gave us still had the smell of smoke; in the second room we were given, the door was open, TV was on, remote was missing, there was hair in the bath tub. We didn't bother to go back to change again since we were too tired. Had to call in twice for the TV remote. On the second day, we asked for a rollaway bed. It took two calls at 10 and 3 and finally a visit to the front desk at 6 to get the bed. That night we asked for a blanket, gave up on waiting that night, called the next morning and again had to go to the front desk in the evening to ask for a third time to finally have it brought up to the room. Cleaning crew did not leave us any shampoo/conditner/lotion on any day. Perhaps they thought we don't want any since our daughter had brought her own shampoo and conditioner. Restaurants (Crystal, Mexican, and Japanese) that used to serve fillet in the past now only serve sirloin. However, the general buffet on our first night seemed to have better food quality than before.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Farnoosh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

We just got back from this hotel on 9th August. We were a party of 13 ages ranging from 13 to 50 years. There is something for everyone at this hotel. The service is fantastic and the staff can't do enough for you. Beach and pool area are great. Rooms are very clean...a little dated and quite roomy. Hallway is very noisy and you can hear people talking from the other end.
Entertainment is very good in the day with activities, evening entertainment not that great..average. Animation team Ricky Bobby and co are such a laugh. Would defo go again. Coco Bongos is fab we got VIP tickets which is worth it. Snorkelled with turtles and swam in underground cenote really fab. Swam with dolphins at x-hel quite exspensive but worth it. Love Mexico!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank elthamfams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

just got back it was beautiful very clean plenty of chairs by pool i also liked all the palm trees on the beach no need to fight for an umbella no matter what time of day. the only thing i didnt like was at 12:00 you had to stand in line to make resevation for the 5 resturants 6:30 or 8:45 you can only make resevations for 2 days at a time if not there early enough you didnt get the time you wanted we ate at all the resurants and enjoyed all of them . it was a family resort young and old couples and families we had the best time will return in the future

Room Tip: 2047 third floor close to pool and beach quiet
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank klicin34
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
#35 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $313 - $533 (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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