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“Clean - like Disney”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Red Deer, Alberta
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Clean - like Disney”
Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

Just got home from a week at the Rui Palace Riviera Maya. Beautiful property, but what impressed me most was how well-maintained and CLEAN it was. Staff, from all departments, were friendly and accommodating - but I specifically noted that the cleaning staff did an exceptional job. They obviously have a rigorous cleaning schedule, and no surface is left untouched. It was cleaner than Disney - you know what I mean. The food was excellent, as well... From the a la carte's to the buffets - excellent food at every venue and every time of day. Great beach (beautiful white sand) which was also groomed and cleaned on a daily basis. A 20 minute walk to the pier at Playa del Carmen to the north, and a 25 minute walk to a beautiful (man-made) reef to the south - lots of opportunity to get some exercise,enjoy the sun, and do some snorkeling. Evenings were relaxing - without the usual annoying entertainments that we have experienced elsewhere. Great live music (most jazz) to listen to, and things were quiet and dark by 11pm. This isn't a place to go if you plan to do a lot of late-nite partying. But if you enjoy a beautiful beach, excellent food, and a clean facility, then this is the resort for you. The only drawback was the occasional smoker at pool-side or on the palazzo after dinner - I don't enjoy smelling cigarette - and especially cigar - smoke. Some people have no manners when it comes to lighting up. I wish the resort would designate specific areas for smokers, so that the rest of us could fully enjoy the experience that this beautiful resort has to offer.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank StressBuster50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Smyrna, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

I usually stay at the Riu properties when I travel for vacation but this Riu Palace in Riviera Maya has been the best thus far, let me tell you why!!!! The service was great but I must brag about how damn good the buffet was every single day the best of the best food, I ate like a queen, We had lobsters tails, Shrimp, Calamari, Mussel, Crabs, rib eye steaks, Salmon and last but not least the fried bananas with ice cream was the bomb and this was all at the buffet. Chilies and the Japanese restaurant was good but we found our selves wanting to go to the buffet so we cancelled our reservation for the other restaurant to eat at the buffet! The staff was friendly and the resort was really clean. I was a little disappointed with my arrival drink (non alcohol) and no cold towel to wash off like in Jamaica! 5th ave was not the far to work to but I must say it was not cheap there like some other parts of Mexico I felt like I was in the states it was $15 for a box black and mild's if you smoke that, they said its no more than $5 a box in the states and $5 for one and there only a $1 for one in the states, There wasn't anything under $15 just a little fyi. I went January 17 -22 and it was cool but nothing a sweater couldn't handle and the ocean was still warm. Bring a pear of sneakers . Tulum was great as well and snorkeling was so much fun !!! One of my favorite Vacations thus far!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Meme20142014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

I just returned from a 1 week trip here with friends. It was my first time in an AI resort, and it exceeded expectations on all fronts. We booked through bookit and got a good package with air and free airport transfer (a small shuttle bus). Everything was well organized and went smoothly.

LOBBY AND GROUNDS
- Very grand entrance, old hacienda style. Very clean, people sweeping away sand and cleaning the beach at all times (the Playa del Carmen area outside Playacar had rougher sand and more seaweed, garbage, etc. on the beach).
- Lovely outdoors areas with palm trees, fountains, etc.
- Came back one time ~2am and the lobby area was completely dark, including the stairs that take you to the rooms. We commented on this and hopefully they remember to leave a few lights on, otherwise it would be dangerous.
- Did not see the tennis courts
- Sports Bar is very dark and depressing - did not spend any time there! Internet stations, air hockey, pool (but all require coin payment), and sad pre-made sandwiches
- The Spa/Gym area is worth checking out -- it was never busy because I think a lot of people forget to come here! The spa was really expensive, so we didn't use that but there is a hut for beach-side massages that looked nice. The gym has new equipment - ellipticals, stationary bikes, treadmills which you can hook up to your ipod or you can watch TV and listen with your headphones. A small selection of machines and free weights as well. The sauna and jacuzzi are really nice. If you prefer a steam room, there is one at Riu Palace Mexico.

ROOMS
- We were in room 7 which was on the ground floor facing a wall from a neighbouring facility. We asked for a room switch and got 2102 which was much brighter and had a nice balcony overlooking the courtyard. I liked that the balcony had a swimsuit drying rack!
- The room was fine since we weren't spending much time there anyway. Sometimes there was the musty smell, but it wasn't too bad. TV was fuzzy but we didn't really want to watch TV. Shower is a bit dark.
- We took a look at Riu Palace Mexico's rooms to compare. They have a more modern look and nicer rain shower, but they have an open concept bathroom which some might not want.

POOL
- Just one big pool mainly and at times the water was a bit chilly! I wish the pool were open late for night swims, but it is closed after 8pm to clean and treat it.
- Poolside area is nice but can get noisy with all the activities (volleyball, belly flop competition, aqua fitness). If you prefer a quieter spot, there is a nice area shaded by palm trees on the beach.
- Towel cards - you can get up to 2 per person. You can only exchange towels once a day (they didn't tell us until midweek, so I'm not sure how consistent these "rules" are).

BEACH
- Lovely beach where you can walk for over 30 mins. either way (north takes you to Playa del Carmen, shopping, restaurants, and ferries to Cozumel; south takes you past all the Playacar resorts including other Riu's that you can access, and finally a stretch of beach with no resorts that is peaceful and quiet).
- Picture perfect white sand and turquoise water - check the flags for safety conditions for swimming (green, yellow, red, black in order from safe to dangerous). Waves get choppy at times and I think it would be difficult to kayak in the open water. But it would be great for sailing, parasailing, etc.

FOOD
- I don't think anyone comes to an AI resort expecting really gourmet food, as it is mass produced. However, I found the variety was pretty good and the freshness and quality were decent. Some items are hit and miss and as the week goes by, you figure out what you like.
- I ate everything including fruits, salads, and other uncooked items (e.g. smoked salmon) and was fine. One of my friends was worried about getting sick from those items, but all the salad items were kept cool all the time.
- As others have mentioned, food labels were inconsistent and I think this would make it hard for anyone with dietary restrictions or allergies.
- We tried 2 restaurants. We liked the Brazilian restaurant a lot and went there twice. They bring out different cuts of meat (beef, chorizo, chicken, turkey) and you can get as much as you like or skip certain ones. They also bring out cast iron skillets of potatoes, polenta, veggies, and bacon wrapped plantain... So tasty!! The Krystal restaurant is the fanciest option and they have more wine selection and nice presentation.
- We did not have difficulty booking reservations, although it is annoying that they are only made from 12-3pm.

EXCURSIONS
- We did 2 excursions. We went to Xel-Ha with an organized group (basically, $109 US for park admission and door to door transportation). I don't think it was absolutely necessary to do it as a tour, but it was fine for us. We were in the park all day long and it was a highlight of the trip! It's just 45 mins. away.
- We went to Tulum ruins, Tulum playa, and Akumal on our own. We hired a driver for the day for $100 US which was great because we could stop wherever/whenever we wanted.
- Different agencies have a person who comes to the hotel lobby each day for a few hours to give information about tours. Usually, it is cheaper to do it on your own but some may like the convenience of not having to think about any of the planning.

ETC.
- Do take some time to check out the other Riu properties as each has a slightly different feel. We really enjoyed the vibe at Riu Palace Mexico at night -- their entertainment was better and the bar has a Miami-beach feel to it. Riu Tequila is the only one with a disco -- it was just okay. If you talk to the entertainment team, they can recommend clubs/bars in Playa del Carmen and some go together as a group each night (this is not "official" and not posted anywhere in the event schedule).
- Also spent a day at Riu Palace Mexico using their pools, which are a bit bigger and nicer IMO. Their lunch buffet was also a bit better than Riu Palace Riviera Maya - more choices of Asian food!
- Service was excellent throughout. Sitting by the pool or on the beach, it was just a matter of minutes before someone came by with water, cocktails, beers, etc. Sometimes they even brought little appetizers! Staff were very attentive and hard-working. They were very appreciative of tips, but I don't think you would get worse service if you didn't tip constantly (we tipped most of the time, but not for every single drink/meal).
- We didn't take part in a lot of the organized activities, but they seemed well run and a good way to meet other guests.

We met a lot of people who are return guests and could easily see why! Would definitely consider coming back here (or to Riu Palace Mexico) or trying other Riu resorts in different places.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TO-psych
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

This was or second stay at this resort. I like the resort and am very happy with the place. The food was "hands down" better than it was our first stay. they must have gotten some new head chef and it shows. The beach is very nice with lots of loungers. The beach service was not as good as my last stay. 2 years ago the beach manager was out on that beach the whole time making sure people were getting served and keeping the vendors away (unless you wanted them ). The beach was all so a lot cleaner. I still liked the beach but if you need drink service with out wait you will be disappointed. The shows at night are poor but they are trying and to me I could care less about the level of entertainment. I would be happy if they just played music. I wish they bands they bring in they would just have them play all night. I have heard as others that they are set for a remodel I think spring of 2015 and it is time. I really wish they would have brought in vendors one night like they used to. My wife really liked that you could shop without going to 5th ave. This time we went down to the plaza playcar. Lots of store and I liked it over 5th ave.

Room Tip: The first time we stayed we were in room 21## this time we were in room 1146 I liked that hall I did...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JROBERTSJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We traveled to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya with friends. We go someplace different every year. We book together so that we are close to one another and not on the other side of the complex...we were put on completely different wings of the hotel. The front desk took care of this the next day. When we got to our first room and I turned on the water this black water and lots of air came out not good. Our friends had the same problem with their water. When you did get clear water you had no hot water. When I complained at the front desk it took them forever to tell me that they were having problems with the water. Why not tell you when you check in. I would not have been so upset if they would have said that we are experiencing a problem with our water and you may have discolored and no hot water but we are working on correcting this situation. The rooms and hotel do have a smell to them, we noticed this when we have stayed at other all inclusive s.
The food was good the best restaurant was the Brazilian the food was very good. The Mexican was not impressive the meat was overcooked and very dry. Take the tour of the kitchen on Thursdays you get to see how the kitchen is set up. For the restaurants you have to make reservations from 12-3 middle of the afternoon why, most of the restaurants had plenty of empty tables and one would think you should be able to just show up after a certain time and be seated. Didn't like the fact that you had to leave the beach or pool to go and make reservations.
The shows were so so. We went just so we had something to do. The shows start late. The entertainment they have at the gazebo was very good especially the guy who was like a Kenny G.
The staff that took care of our rooms were very nice and did a great job. The people behind the bars are wonderful. Find Adriana she is fantastic, you can find her at the swim up bar and at night at the shows she will take good care of you.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Angela A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evansville, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed January 30, 2014

This is a great place. Food selection is great and they treat you very well. A beautiful resort that is very well kept. Also, has a very beautiful beach. Great service and we very much enjoyed being waited on at all times. No having to run up to a crowded bar and wait to be served. This is a great feature. Service here is wonderful. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldwin, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

We traveled to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya with two other couples over the weekend of January 17th and absolutely loved it! Upon arrival the doorman and front desk staff were very friendly and welcoming. The resort was absolutely gorgeous and well maintained.

FOOD: We ate lunch at the buffet "Don Manolo" our first day and two times for dinner. Each time there was a huge variety to choose from and we were never disappointed. We dined at the Brazilian restaurant Botafogo once and thought it was very good. The Chili's buffet had a good variety and really hit the spot for lunch.

ROOMS: Our room was always clean and the maids did a great job of keeping the fridge stocked. There was a faint musty smell but nothing like we had experienced a few years ago at a neighboring resort, so it wasn't a problem. We had to call for extra towels once they were knocking on our door within five minutes! We used the room service the morning before we left and it was also very speedy, and tasty (try the club sandwich). The view from our balcony was nothing special but we didn't pay for a "good" view and were rarely in our room so it wasn't a concern.

POOL/BEACH: The weather was a little cool so the pools were too cold for me but they looked beautiful! The pool bar staff stayed very busy but never made you wait long for drinks. The beach waiters were always cheerful and fun and you don't mind giving them a tip for all they do. The beach was very clean and simply gorgeous! The water is shallow quite a ways out which I liked since I'm not a strong swimmer.

STAFF: I don't believe I can say enough about the staff! They were so hardworking and friendly. Santos, our waiter before the evening shows was so much fun and always had us laughing. Diego from the entertainment crew went out of his way to be friendly and stopped to talk anytime he saw us. For me, great staff like this adds so much to the experience and I thank them!

ENTERTAINMENT: The first night it was some sort of audience participation thing and was ok at first but became repetitive and was just so-so. The second night was the magic show and we enjoyed it very much. The last night was a Mariachi Band. They were also very good but we had to get up early the next day and only saw about half the show. I heard some of the upcoming shows were good but we weren't there long enough so see any of the others.

I hear the RPRM will be up for a remodel sometime soon but I certainly hope they don't go the modern route they've been going with their other remodels. We checked out the Riu Palace Mexico and it was just too much pink/purple/silver for me. It felt cold and had absolutely no Mexican feel to it....could have been anywhere. The pools were simply large rectangles and not visually appealing. I'm hoping they will retain the "palace" feel for this resort or possibly add more of a Mexican flair. I would definitely recommend this resort and can't wait to return!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LanaD73
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:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family 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
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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