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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #42 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Whitby On. Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Best of the best”
Reviewed December 22, 2013

Cleanliness 5 star
Restaurants 5 star
Reception 5 star
Employees 5 star, with special thanks to Frenanda at Reception desk and Senior Estoban for his gracious understanding and Help in making my wifes Birthday so memorable!
Rooms 5 star +
Beach 5 star
This was our first visit to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya and we where certainly not let down. The staff, Buffet and Restaurants impecable. The Hotel immence and simply beautifully appointed.
No downside to this Hotel at all.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for a ground floor room facing inward to the center.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Owlie_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2013

"DFWTom" wrote a very comprehensive review on December 12, 2013 of Riu Palace Riviera Maya that my wife and I concur with, so I won't repeat anything already stated.

Room numbers start with 0, 1, 2, 3 depending upon which floor the room is located. Almost without exception, do not accept a room starting with a 3. These limited number of rooms, located above and around the main lobby, are smaller than all the other rooms in the hotel. These rooms do not have the split level feature of all the other rooms, and the balcony is very small. Finally, many of these rooms have an extremely poor vantage-point view.

Prices in the lobby convenience store are extremely high (ie. over $10US for a bag of chips), while the Pharmacy/Convenience store located under the lobby and accessed from the outside of the front of the building charges just $4US. Drinks and lotions are similarly less expensive in the Pharmacy/Convenience store below the lobby. Please note, however, that the Pharmacy/Convenience store accepts only Mexican Pesos.

For some unknown reason, the front desk does not exchange US dollars for Pesos. They do exchange Canadian dollars, British Pounds, and Euros. The best exchange rate can be found at banks or at the very many exchange booths found in Playa Del Carmen. At these booths, expect to receive 12.5 Pesos for each $US.

WIFI is very weak in the hotel...although during the early hours of the morning (ie. 4:00pm), WIFI is very strong and quick. The #2 wealthiest person in the world, Carlos Slim, made most of his money from telecommunications in Mexico. You'd figure that he could solve the problem!

Take full advantage of the opportunity to visit and eat at the nearby Riu Palace Mexico. You'll find this modern looking, recently totally refurbished hotel, to be an interesting contrast with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya which could be described as gaudy Romanesqe.

The week we stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, the occupancy rate was 88%...but, none of the facilities seemed crowded. We chose not to "play the towel game" early in the morning in order to reserve loungers around the pool and beach front. Whenever we arrived on the pool or beach, we were able to easily locate available loungers.

The Gym was good. There were three treadmills, 3 elipticals, two cycling machines, one rowing machine, and a wide variety of weight equipment. The gym is open from 7:00am to 8:00pm (although the sign on the door says it opens at 8:00am).

We were impressed with all the food offerings. We thought the best "a la carte" was the Gourmet restaurant in the Krystal room. All the "a la carte" restaurants are small, and if you can't get a reservation, let the maitre d' at each of the two dinner sittings (6:30pm and 8:45pm) know that you are available if there are "no shows". There are nearly always "no shows".

Room Tip: Generally, the higher your room number is on your floor, the better your room view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank paradise-8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico and we dodn't really know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The hotel lobby is welcoming and clean. The front desk staff were very nice and spoke reasonable English. Upon arrival they give everyone a lovely cocktail whilst checking in. They are constantly cleaning and it shows, the buildings and grounds are spotless, however the pool was a bit grubby with the odd tile missing, it was ok though and didn't stop us using it.

Upon arriving in our ground level room it was a pleasant surprise that it was not as per other reviews, the room was spacious and did not smell of damp at all. Between our party we had 6 rooms 5 of which were ground floor and one was first floor, none had this purported damp issue. It's not a King size bed it just two twins pushed together and at this hotel they expect three to share if there are three of you. However there was plenty of room and I got a decent nights sleep everynight. Everything is tiled and the floors are EXTREMELY SLIPPERY when you or they are the slightest bit damp. There were a fair few English speaking channels and there was always something to watch on the TV (Not that the Hotel have much choice in what is broadcast in Mexico). The room keys sometimes failed and I had to go to reception to get them to reset the key four times in two weeks, other members of our party also had problems.

The internet is absolutely appalling, to put it into context I spent 45 minutes on skype and actual face time was only 7 minutes, it just drops off for no reason.

The majority of the guests were American, Canadian and South Americans, there were very few Europeans and even fewer Brits i.e. our party only for the first week. Beachwear was respectable by most and my partner (female) commented how few women "let it all hang out" so it was a comfortable place for my two year old.

There is a great shopping street called 5th Avenue about 20 minutes walk away and it's well worth a visit. Be aware though the shopkeepers are aware of what wristband goes with what hotel and will claim to work there but be on a day off. It's a con they are shopkeepers.

As you are staying at the top Riu in the area you can visit the other 5 Riu's in the resort and make use of their facilities all inclusive.

Food was OK, much like any other international buffet throughout the world. I would flly reccomend making use of the specialty restaurants, they really are 5 star and the fact that you don't have to pay is quite unbelievable. Be sure to be hungry when you go to them as you get alot, especially at Botafego the Brazilian.

Drinks were good although the service was a little slow at times, however I complained to the waiters a couple of times and from then on I didn't have to ask. Lester in the Martini/Lobby bar is an absolute star and Suemy in the same bar will keep the drinks flowing and the good times rolling.

The sports bar isn't great, showing mainly replays. We were there whilst World cup qualifying soccer was being played and they could not show us the England match, there was also a world title Boxing match between Froch and Groves and the Pacquiao fight on the same night. None of these were available.

The food in the sports bar is reasonable for a snack, with Burgers, Hot dogs, sandwiches and cakes available. Whilst we were there the ONE microwave broke in the sports bar and when we left a week later it had still not returned to service. For a 5 star resort not to fix/replace this immediately is a shame.

We were at the resort for a wedding and the quality of the wedding was outstanding, I would definitely reccomend it as a wedding resort. The big day really was special and the cake was absolutely fantastic. I would highly reccomend the phtogrophers available in the lobby, even just for a family photoshoot. They really know how to work with the space available and produce some stunning photographs and memories for you to take home and treasure.

the entertainment team are outstanding, although the boss man bless him speaks four different languages for any announcements in a tone that really is difficult to understand and becomes boring. When Diego (I nicknamed him Rambo) compares the evening the whole night runs alot smoother and is more entertaining. I would reccomend the shows each night as they really are 5 star.

Overall our experience at this hotel was outstanding and I would fully reccomend it to anyone looking for a five star 1930's style resort. We are considering returning next year for more of the same. Visited 15th November to 29th November 2013.

Room Tip: A left wing ground floor room facing outwards seem to have no problems.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Scarlettsdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

This was our first time going on an all inclusive vacation. We have always cruised before, but this was a wonderful change. Riu Palace Rivera Maya was lovely and the hospitality was great. The location of it was far enough out, but still close to everything. The hotel setting was beautiful, inside and out and the landscaping was meticulous.

Room Tip: Our room was on the first floor and near the restaurants. We did not have to walk very far as we we...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Travelinglgirl46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

We stayed at the hotel for 11 nights in October. First impressions were disappointing however that was due to the poor room at the front of hotel which we received when we originally checked in. Once the room situation was quickly rectified the overall holiday was very good. Nice food, good cocktails and very friendly staff. Fantastic beach and great weather, overall a very relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico outside of a daily cruise stop. We didn't know what to expect, but we were somewhat pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The hotel lobby is welcoming and clean. The front desk staff were very nice and spoke perfect english. They are constantly cleaning, but I'm not sure they have mastered the cleaning yet. They were scrubbing the pool during the day while people were in it. They were brushing off the black mold all around the pool and not really getting any of it. I guess that was a good thing since they were 3 feet away from the swim up bar while doing this.

Upon arriving in the room, it was just as expected from the other reviews. The humidity and sea air certainly take a toll on these rooms. We ran the A/C on full blast the entire time and it got better as the weekend went on. It is not a king size bed, it's just two twins pushed together. The beds are NOT comfortable at all, but the room was pretty clean. Everything is tiled and the water was hot. We did kill two roaches during our stay, but I guess that's to be expected in Mexico on the beach. You'll get about 5-10 channels on the TV in English, some with subtitles. The internet here is a joke. It is slow and it will cut out for 5-10 minutes at a time, so don't expect to get anything done on the internet here. That was pretty disappointing because it costs a fortune to make any calls or text to the US.

A majority of the other guests were from Europe and South America. Not too many Americans, which didn't really bother us. There were quite a few women topless on the beach and men in speedos everywhere, so beware if you are bringing kids. An all inclusive really isn't the place for kids anyway. There is a bunch of shopping about a 20 minute walk down the beach. You can also use the other RIU resorts with your wristband.

Food wasn't bad. It's Mexico attempting to make American food, so they didn't succeed with every dish. The buffet was on the lower quality end, but what do you expect from an all inclusive. Don't waste your time with the "steakhouse" sit down dinner out at the beach. The best ones are the Japanese and the Brazilian restaurant.

Drinks were good, and if you tip they only get better. We had the same guy serving us at the pool all week and once he realized we were tipping, he made our drinks strong every time. If you don't plan to tip, don't expect good service. I tipped 20 pesos ($1.50 USD) every time we got a round of drinks. They are very appreciative when you acknowledge them working so hard. They are out there for 12-14 hours a day with only one day off a week to serve you. Take good care of them. FYI, they only have Dos Equis beer at this resort.

Overall, it was a decent experience, but we wouldn't recommend this resort and we won't return. There are much better options that we passed while walking on the beach.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DrewLuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHICAGO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

The resort is beautiful. The staff are very friendly. Good food choices and the beach is absolutly amazng! They need to get control of the smell there. It is very bad!!! We have to get new suit cases because we cannot get the smell out. Everything you bring home will have the musty mold smell. Other than this I would have given it a 4 1/2.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CHECKMATE9
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:
#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
#31 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 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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