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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
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Reviews (5,864)
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Reviewed August 18, 2013

The hotel, staff and accommodations were fantastic! Really great place for families with or without kids!
The food needs improvement... Everything looked so good at the buffet- and there was plenty of it, however it lacked taste... everything was bland, overcooked and dried even more by the heat lamps at the buffet... The deserts were so good to look at - and all tasted the same... no flavor, not sweet, just pretty... It's a shame, since there was everything to choose from, steak, chicken, fish, seafood and more...and nothing to really enjoy....
The grounds, entertainment, the atmosphere were all fantastic ! The service was also the best we have ever had ! I hope they have a better chef next year - I'm planning on coming back !!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Murshal k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Gorgeous beach and lovely pools. Beautiful, elegant resort...European feel, with fountains and gardens everywhere. A feast for the eyes. We were seven people, on a family reunion, and we had an almost perfect time. We loved the food in the main buffet as well as the restaurants. I would just be careful about the sushi in the Japanese restaurant...the one family member who ate it got sick. One can't be sure of the cause of the illness, but we wondered about the sushi. We were so pleased overall, that we would come back again anyway. Very good value for money in July. We took the snorkeling trip right from the beach, and it was excellent...saved us a bus trip. We visited Mayan ruins and loved that. And the evening entertainment at the resort was fun. Even though the hotel was fully booked, the place never seemed crowded, and the service was great.

Room Tip: We were on ground floor, halfway between the lobby and the pools. A great spot.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jackie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya from 8/1-8/9 with our 3 teenagers, and another family with 3 teenagers. The best thing about this resort was the beach. The beach is wide, has soft white sand, and warm crystal clear waters. Furthermore, there was never any need to reserve chairs, even for all of us. There were lounge chairs either right in front with no shade, or on the sides under the palm trees. What's more, the waiter came by every 30 minutes to get drink orders. There are some vendors around, but they were very polite. All you had to do was say no thank you and they went away.
Before coming here, I had 2 worries: safety and connecting rooms with our kids. I felt safe at this resort, as it was in a gated community called Playacar along with several other resorts, condos, and a few small shops. I did see guards with guns around, but they didn't look threatening. We also took a walk on the street to go see the other RIU properties, and felt safe. As for connecting rooms, we had 0113 and 0114. It was a great setup that each room could be private from each other and from the main hallway.
The resort itself: I loved the old world charm here. We visited RIu Mexico down the street which has just been redone and that was glitzy with purple and pink paint. It reminded me of a vegas joint. Our hotel was charming with wrought iron seating at the main plaza, and soothing colors that you would expect in expensive hotels. Our rooms were very comfortable. My one gripe would be that we ran out of hot water several times.
Food: it was good, but I've had better. The main buffet, Don Manolo, was a huge hit with all of us, especially the kids since they could eat whatever they wanted. For sit down, we tried the Brazilian, Japanese, Krystal, and Chilis. I liked the meat at the Brazilian (Botofogos) and Chilis (steak house). For the sit downs, you had to make a reservation between 12-2 near the lounge bar. The line moved fast, and there was never an issue about getting a reservation even with 10 of us. Our kids ordered room service late at night several times, and although the menu was limited, they liked having that option.
This resort is perfect if you just want to relax. Our day consisted of having breakfast at 9, going down to the beach or pool at 10, having lunch at 2, going back to the beach or pool, then having dinner around 6:30. At night they have a show for little kids around 7:30, then for adults around 9:45. The show was ok.....the best one we saw was the Broadway one.
I was very surprised there weren't a lot of bugs here. I had brought a bug spray, but didn't need it.
Our children met many other children after several days, mainly from the UK. They also met a few from Switzerland and Texas. DUring the day, there was beach volleyball, soccer tournaments that they did. I know there was also horseshoes, table tennis, and exercise classes in the pool.
One day, we went on a tour using alltournative.com. Our guide took us snorkelling, rappeling, and zip lining at a 'Mayan Jungle Adventure'. Then we went to TUlum to see the ruins. Our kids picked this tour, and we were glad they did. We saw some natural things (the underground river and caves, then some history at Tulum). Definitely worth the money and time!!!
I would go back again, because for the price we paid (we had gone to Beaches at Turks and Caicos 2 years ago, where we paid $5000 more) we got a lot. The food was good, the rooms were comfortable and clean, and the pool and beach were beatiful.

Room Tip: pick a room that looks towards the middle of the resort. we liked 0113 and 0114. they were very close to the pool and beach, and didn't have to climb up the stairs.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank shelley d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I originally booked a room at Riu Palace Riviera Maya through Riu website almost 5 months in advance of the trip. A few days before our visit I received a phone call from Riu asking me to switch hotels to Riu Palace Mexico as they were over-booked. I said "no" as I had read the reviews and wanted to stay where I had made the reservation. They called back the next day and offered a room upgrade and a free stay voucher if I made the switch. I agreed and the next day we were on our way to Mexico. When we arrived at the airport the transfer service did not have our reservation. Apparently, Riu cancelled the original reservation and when they made the new reservation at the new hotel they forgot to include the transfer. We sat in the airport parking lot for two hours waiting for them to figure it out.

We were told this voucher was good for one year at any Riu resort in the Caribbean. I have been trying to use this voucher for the past three weeks. Riu will not discuss the voucher with you on the phone. You have to email them and you go days before getting a response. We selected our dates and hotel in Jamaica and have been told (after two weeks) that this hotel is not open to voucher use even though it has plenty of vacancy 7 months from now. They will not discuss further options until I email them three dates that would work for us and three hotels that would be acceptable. These are not the terms of the written voucher and certainly not how they explained it when I accepted it. "Any hotel in the Caribbean" now apparently means one of three hotels that we will choose for you. We are limited to travel dates because of children (and child care) and Riu is making it slow and impossible to use this voucher. We are trying to make this reservation well in advance and reserving a room at our desired hotel should not be a problem.

We have been Riu customers for almost a decade and this experience is going to cost them a loyal customer. I write this post to make people aware of the problems with their 'vouchers'. Demand immediate compensation instead from them as these "complimentary stay vouchers" are garbage and are given out to placate a customer instead of actually resolving the original problem.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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23  Thank Dave3249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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