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“Lovely location but bedrooms need refurbishment”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #49 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 17, 2014

My husband and I have just returned from a week's holiday at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. We were concerned before we went as we had read adverse comments about a musty smell in the bedrooms at this hotel. This proved to be the case and at a third attempt of a new room, we ended up in room 2105 on the top floor which didn't smell quite so bad and had a good view of the courtyard and garden areas. The food is excellent with a good choice of different restaurants. The hotel is clean and the public areas well cared for and we always had clean towels in the room every day. All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. It was, however, noisy around the pool area with loud music and regular games and activities being organised by the Animation Team. It is best to sunbathe on the beach area in front of the hotel for a more relaxing, quieter time. I believe that this hotel is due to be refurbished in 2015 and having been in other Riu hotels which have been modernised, it is long overdue. However, we did have a good holiday and would look forward to seeing the hotel modernised in the future.

Room Tip: Chose a top floor room with a courtyard view
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sue T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 15, 2014

We , that is my wife and I stayed here for a week from 31st Jan to 6th Feb, 2014 following the Yucatan Explorer tour. The Hotel is very big and somewhat impersonal, however, it is immaculately clean and cared for. Our room 2140 was an outside room, large with two double beds and a working bathroom with a great shower. We always had clean towels and were always given three clean towels for the two of us, room was kept very clean and tidy and minibar was restocked as required. We found the staff to be happy and friendly and service was always good . Food generally was very good both the buffet and speciality restaurants giving great choice and great tasting meals. My birthday was celebrated here and we booked the fusion restaurant and they really did go to town and ensured a great meal and service. A cake was produced a whole bottle of Cava supplied and then all the staff sang a Mexican birthday song, thank you. All in all a very good hotel, great grounds, good beach, lovely staff and good drinks of International brands, Only two things stopped me from giving it five stars:-
1. Why do two sittings in the Speciality Restaurants, 6.30 is too early and 8.45 too late.
2. No quiet area around the pool, I like many others would prefer peace and quiet rather than constant music and Animators constantly announcing games and so forth. I know many people will enjoy the music and I say good for them it is just that I would like a chance to be quiet and relaxed. Apart from these two minor quibbles an enjoyable stay with mostly good weather and great times. We did walk into Puerto del Carmen and it took about 15 or 20 mins for a change of scene and noticed that since our last visit 7 years ago the town had grown, indeed one local said that it was now vying for the longest shopping street in the World ? perhaps a dubious claim to fame.

Room Tip: Quiter rooms are on the outside, not a great view but otherwise ok.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Gloucestercouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya during the first week of February. We were a little concerned given some of the negative reviews here on TA. Perhaps we were lucky but we did not find the negative reviews to be accurate in our experience.
Regarding the smell/odour we did not experience that. At worst perhaps a little humid feel to things.
The bed was not too hard for us. Actually, it was very comfortable.
The food, as many have posted, is ok - especially the buffet. The specialty restaurants that we ate at were ok - the Chili's steak restaurant and the Brazilian. I liked the Brazilain but my wife didn't. They bring all sorts of meats to the table and you get to essentially sample them all with small portions.
Also, making reservations for the restuarants was not a big deal-no longer than a five minute wait.
The beach was great! Always plenty of loungers available and you can choose if you want to sit under the palm trees in the shade or in the open area by the sea. We didn't sit at the pool area as we prefer the sea. Also, the pool area was more noisy, and seemed to be popular for those people who prefer to have drinks at the swim up bar. Also, a lot of pool games take place making for a noisy spot.
Upon check in we were a given a choice of two rooms and we chose room 2107- which was great. Just the right location. Slightly on the beach side facing the courtyard. Nice balcony with no room on one side of us and since we were on the top floor in that area there was nobody above us as well.The bathroom was large, with the shower in the bathtub. We never had a problem with hot water.
Some have complained that their room was too long a walk from the restaurants or other locations-the property is not that big so if a five minute walk is a problem than I guess there is not much one can do.
The staff are very friendly and we gave tips in U.S. dollars.
As I posted elsewhere we arranged the transfer from the airport with Canada Transfers- and they were great both on arrival and picking us up right on time on departure.
Our only regret-not booking for 10 days.

Room Tip: The courtyard view on the 2nd floor which is for the most part the highest floor (there are a few ro...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MeirToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Our family week at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya was fantastic all around, friendly and helpful staff, impeccable service, great dining, excellent beach, awesome relaxation by the pool, and easy walk to the main street of Playa del Carmen. Our kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves -- ages 20, 18, and 15.

Want to especially recognize the scuba program. My 15 year old son and I completed the basic scuba certification while at the resort, under the instruction of Andrew Hoar. Andrew made the entire experience very enjoyable. An excellent instructor on the use of all dive equipment, in-pool training, and great dives on the reef 10 minutes off shore from the resort. We highly recommend Andrew and the rest of the Riu Palace dive staff for anyone considering scuba certification, which we were able to complete over two days including the dives.

Overall, highly recommend the resort for families overall, and anyone with teens.

Room Tip: Recommend any room facing the courtyard
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank VAMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

We spent the first week of Feb 2014 here and had a wonderful trip. There were a few bumps in the road which I will get to but the overall experience was great. Lets talk food, eat in the specialty restaurants including the buffet but stay away from the Mexican, (Mexican is just not good as a buffet.) The best part of the trip was the staff. They were extremely friendly and accommodating, quick with the service and the beverages. Go to the sports bar as Claudia is the best. The only problem we had with the staff was the front desk when we complained the tile was coming up in our room. Took two days for them to look at it and then they left us a note saying we were being relocated. We went down to the desk to get a new room hoping for an upgrade but not only could no one there make a decision we had to wait 3 hours to get our bags moved to the new room. Back to the good stuff. Great pool and and bar. Beach is beautiful and immaculate. Playa Del Carmen is an easy walk but they do go after you in town to buy everything and anything. I would definitely go back to this place. Understand they are renovating in 2015 so maybe I'll wail until then.

Room Tip: Take a room on the outside, no view but then none have one. Rooms on the inside can be loud with the...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank gdgk1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

We had a very fine week as a couple at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. It is located in the safe Playacar area within Playa del Carmen. Very nice beach, friendly staff. The food is like that on a cruise -- good but seldom great. The special restaurants are a bit better but the main benefit of those restaurants is to have table service instead of a buffet. The wine at the table isn't great but I don't go for the wine. We looked at all the other Riu's in Playacar and this one looks the nicest. I'd happily go back.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BigCJ65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Below is an email that I sent to Riu corporate regarding my experience:

I stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya from November 28 until December 2, 2013. I was very dissatisfied with my trip. Customer service at the resort was abysmal.

On the first day, we took the shuttle from the airport. The shuttle was booked through Riu. I understand that you contract outside companies, but at a minimum, I would expect that the driver would know how to get to the resort. He didn’t know where it was. The vehicle was old and frightening, and it took us 1 ½ hours to make a 45 minute drive.

Our room was not particularly clean, and one of our sinks didn’t work. It smelled incredibly musty. I understand that we were by the water, and I expect a little bit of that smell, but I’m still trying to get the smell out of my clothes and toiletries. No one ever replenished our mini bar, and the rooms weren’t cleaned until late in the day, so we often didn’t have clean towels when we needed them.

The first night at the hotel, I ruined a dress. Somewhere, most likely on my balcony, I sat in bleach. The next morning, I took it to the front desk. The front desk person told me that she spoke to the housekeeping manager, and they would try to clean it. I tried to explain to her that it was bleached, and it couldn’t it be cleaned, but she asked for a chance, so I let her try. Two days later, I had heard nothing about my dress, so I returned to the desk, and I was told that it had been sent out to be dyed and that it would be back Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, I was leaving Monday morning. I asked to speak to a manager, and someone came out about 20 minutes later. I again tried to explain that the dress could not be fixed. She promised that the dress would be back first thing in the morning. No surprise, the dress could not be fixed. I returned to the front desk Monday morning, and I was finally told that I would be paid for the dress. I would like to point out that I never talked to the same person twice, and the only person who ever apologized was the front desk person on duty on Monday.

On Friday, we went to the gym. While we were working out, one of the employees filled bottles up with water and flung water all over the floor, hitting patrons and leaving the floors dangerously slippery. I dried off with a towel, and I had it around my neck when I walked out and was yelled at by someone working at the spa.

Friday night, we had a giant bug in our room. It took housekeeping 20 minutes to get to our room, at which point, she sprayed an entire can of Raid in our room. We had to sit outside in the middle of the night until our room aired out.

Saturday night, when we were trying to get ready for dinner, our power went out. We called the front desk no fewer than 6 times. It took maintenance an hour and 40 minutes to come to our room to turn the power back on via fuse box. We were promised a call from the manager, who never bothered to call.

I also do not think that at a place where we’re spending over $300/night we should have to deal with employees gluing tiles on the pool, leaving their supplies around the pool when the pool is at maximum capacity. It was very unprofessional.

I will say that the bar staff and the wait staff were very good, but the management was terrible. I will not recommend this resort to anyone.

I received no response to this email to corporate. I will not recommend this or any other Riu property.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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12  Thank ginchi
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: $290 - $558 (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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