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“Wonderful” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2014

The resort is very beautiful, and clean. There is food available 24/7, but if you want to go to one of the restaurants you have to book ahead of time, and they are almost always full. The resort is not too far from 5th avenue by taxi, and it is great for shopping. The only downside is that it takes a while to get from the airport to the resort. Overall it's a resort, I would recommend for anyone to visit.

Room Tip: Try to get a courtyard room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KaylaMarshall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,000)
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stayed here last week with 16 of our closest friends, no big problems at all. We all ate dinner together almost ever night,food was great. Beach was above average, 2 small complaints, mattress was pretty hard and entertainment was so so.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Matyi75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

I have stayed at may Rius and this one is wonderful. The hotel is in a wonderful location and close to may attractions. The service is fantastic,grounds are beautiful,food is fantastic and lots of variety. Beach is miles long and sandy.In my opinion you can't beat a Riu in Mexico or Dominican.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nanci J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wallington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

I recently returned from my trip to the RIU. We were there from 3/2 to 3/8. I stayed with my husband and we traveled with my sister and her family with 2 kids 8 and 10. Let me begin with this is our 3rd time to Mexico. 1st time SECRETS MAROMA, and 2nd ROYAL HIDEAWAY. We understood that we've been to the best so our expectations were lowered.
CHECK IN:
The check in went well. My sisters room was ready before ours, so we all just piled into there and went to lunch. We were in the building closest to the ocean on the second floor. Just a few doors away from each other facing the other resort. No biggie, there was still a nice garden view. O and they brought us fresh tasty fruit punch.

ROOM:
As I said before we were on the second floor 1031. The room had a very slight smell but it was more of a cleaning agent. My sisters did not. We just brought baking soda since we read reviews before. Nice size room. We didn't mind the bed, what we did mind was the weird yellow stains that were on the sheets. We called at night for a change but no one came. They changed them in the morning. Also our toilet seat was falling off. The fixed that immediately as well. The toilet was not good. You had to flush it MULTIPLE time for just a tissue. In the shower the whole towel rack was coming out of the wall and in the closet the little door that closes in the plumbing was completely off. I got the feeling that our room was falling apart and needed some major TLC. The only good part about it was that the TV played our flash drive so we had plenty of movies. We didn't change rooms because these problems were just cosmetic. We only were in the room to sleep. I will say though after an after noon shower we walked to the lobby and the odor in the halls of the last 2 blocks of rooms was UNBEARABLE. It smelled like pure sewage.

BEACH:
We went to the beach at 7 am every morning. We were the first ones there under the palm trees. We did notice that a mere few chairs at the pool were also taken but MANY prime pool spots available. The beach never had an issue. The beach area at the palm trees offered great shade and sun with a much needed breeze. The downfall was though the beach had a lot of cigarette buts, forks, and I even saw a tampon. I think raking the beach would have been a good idea. Also a fair warning, in the palm tree area there are TONS of roots and sticks sticking up from the ground. My niece cut her foot. Overall a few bumps but the ocean was amazing shallow and great for the kids.

FOOD:
The food was good for a buffet. We were really impressed that the line was actually behind the buffet. Food was being cooked fresh and accordingly. No empty chaffing dishes or old ones coming from a warmer. We went on the kitchen tour and learned that all the kitchens except for chilis cooked out of he same area. So I guess if you prefer a more romantic meal go to the restaurants, otherwise I feel the buffets had similar types of food and a larger variety. There was something for everyone.

ADVICE:
If you are a truly picky traveler about rooms, then I wouldn't recommend going here. Everything else was great. The staff especially the entertainment staff was awesome. The waiters were pretty great too. Never an empty drink. Tip them they deserve it. The 12 o'clock reservation wasn't awful be weary for weddings, chilis was closed for one night while we were there. A little tip about the towel cards, we walked by the pool at night and and there were a good 6 towels laying around that I guess people just left. You can use these and trade in. Collect the cards we did :)

So in the end we had a great time. If I was traveling with a family, I would come back to the resort. Otherwise I would be heading down the beach to Royal Hideaway. A different atmosphere. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank flowingn2hex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

Overall, this was a very beautiful resort with lots of great food and amenities. Since there's a lot of information already on here about this resort, I will try to mention what to me were "important things to know before you go".

Transportation: It was a 45 min. drive door-to-door with a private shuttle through USA Transfers. Well worth the cost considering I want to start my vacation ASAP. Both drivers were prompt, courteous, and drove in a safe manner. (Bring your email vouchers to hand to the drivers).

Check-in: Fast and efficient with a guava juice drink. Amenities were explained in detail, and off we went with our luggage to our room (thanks to the porter).

Room: This is where the resort falls short of being perfect. Negative room reviews are accurate--our room A/C was inefficient resulting in a constant warm room temp despite our attempts to change the thermostat, make sure the balcony door was always shut, and repeatedly returning to our room to see if the maid had finished cleaning and powering down the room (I don't know if all maids do this, I would assume so, but the A/C power was always shut down by the time the room was finished being cleaned). There is a square power button to the left of the door-- the upper part has a small circle while the bottom part has a small line. If the top part of the button with the circle has been pushed, the power is off, so make sure the bottom part of the button with the line is pushed (when you see it this will make sense). Unfortunately, this made no difference in the room temp so we settled for the ceiling fan on high which did help. Also, when trying to open the balcony door, look for a sliding bolt which is located over 6 feet up on the door. Push the bolt over and down, then over to the left so that the door can be opened (too bad the porter did not show us this little trick--we struggled with it for over 5 min. until we figured it out). The mattress was OK, we slept fine, the linens were adequate and didn't bother us, and the bathroom met our needs for the most part. People with mobility issues may have difficulty taking a shower because it is a tub/shower combo where you have to really step high to get in to take your shower with a hand wand (there is no fixed, standard nozzle). We had to call maintenance once to fix the toilet--they came in about 2 hrs. time so watch how much TP you put into the plumbing system! Room service is complimentary and available 24 hrs--we used it once and the order was correct and came within 20 min. Very tasty, but limited menu.

Pool: Just gorgeous, despite the occasional missing tiles. I especially liked the swim-up bar area in the afternoons after 3 p.m.--a great place to meet fellow guests. There are small enclosures with tables and sitting areas, perfect to sit and have your drink while socializing. The infinity pool was great and even had an ocean view. My husband's favorite part of the pool were the built-in loungers where he could keep cool while getting a tan at the same time. Watch for the beach BBQ several times per week--it's primarily hamburgers and hot dogs but a nice change from the luncheon buffet at Chilis. I didn't see too many people bringing plates from Chilis to the pool loungers, but at least it's possible to eat poolside--some resort chains do not allow this. Oh yes, staff brought out Calamari for guests to snack on poolside, but that was only on the weekend.

Beach: Beautiful and relaxing. Sand always cool, perfect for long walks in either direction. Lots of loungers but no shade umbrellas. Instead, there is a very large coconut grove which provides lots of shade. Waves can be somewhat rough, but not as bad as the Hotel Zone beach. Water sports equipment includes kayaks, small catamarans, boogie boards, and wave runners. Parasailing is just down the beach.

Food: I thought the buffets were very good, especially for dinner. Lots of small specialty dishes as well as typical buffet fare; usually a cook making something fresh at several stations. There is guacamole, but they could offer more Mexican fare--the Mexican food they had was very good, but not a lot of it. We ate at Botafogo a la carte (Brazilian Rodizio)--beyond gluttony, more food than any one person should be allowed to eat at one sitting. The meats varied in quality, some were excellent, others were very dry. Be choosy here, don't just eat it because they are coming around with another skewer of meat. We also ate at Krystal which was an excellent dining experience from the service to the quality of food and presentation. Very nice and worth the time to wait in line to make a reservation. A la carte reservations can be made daily from 12 to 2 or 3 p.m., look in the lobby by the piano, staff is usually sitting in the corner with lists and a la carte menus. There are two a la carte sittings--6:30 and 8:45 p.m., generally speaking.

Entertainment: I'm not generally into resort entertainment, but the evening music is hard to escape if your room faces the courtyard. Most bands were excellent, surprisingly, with one exception. There's an area for dancing by the performance gazebo and lots of tables. We never did make any of the theater performances, so I can't comment on them.

I loved this resort and would definitely return after their scheduled renovation in 2015. Please, Riu, don't turn this Riu Palace into another contemporary Vegas-style resort like some of the other recent Riu renovations--just fix the rooms and re-tile the pool!

I've uploaded lots of pics on Flickr and my Pinterest account--send me a message for the links or if there's a question.

Room Tip: Superior Jr. Suites have views of the courtyard. I emailed a special room request one week prior to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank mstess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here with my family a couple if weeks back and literally don't have a bad word to say about the pace, rooms spotless, food amazing and staff could not be more friendly Carlos in the main food buffet arranged lobster for us in our last night as a surprise all in all was an amazing hotel Krystal restaurant was our fave! Would definitely return!!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Kansas
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

This was our first time at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen. We have stayed at the Riu Yucatan a couple of time, but I prefer the Palace. We have stayed at the Riu Palace in Puerto Vallarita and love it,which is one reason why we chose the Palace in Playa. After walking to the Riu Palace Mexico, we prefer the decor of the Palace Riviera Maya. Gaby at the front desk was the BEST to work with us to get us up on the second floor and to get those traveling with us to have rooms close to each other. The rooms we booked were the garden view rooms and the views were amazing and worth the extra money. May not be able to see the ocean unless you look through the palm trees, but the garden view is perfect. We ate at all of the specialty restaurants and couldn't decide which was our favorite. They were all different and unique. We were pleased that we had no trouble booking the specialty restaurants and when we booked they were not overly full and easy to get into. Carlos who works at the breakfast buffet and the lunch buffet at the Chili restaurant was so much fun! Rodrigo was another server that we had a good time with. The servers in the Piano Bar were lots of fun too! In fact all the servers are friendly and makes your stay very enjoyable. The show with the servers and the flaming dessert at the Chili Steak House was a blast! The water was so clear and had many shades of blue. The beach was nice soft sand and you are able to walk quite a ways out into the ocean, because the sand in the ocean slopes down a little and then back up again, so you can be out in the ocean a ways and have the water hit you check high. The only problem we had was some of our group found roaches in their rooms. One family we met had large roaches a couple of nights crawl on his face. One couple in our group, one day had a couple of roaches in their room. Another couple in our group one evening,had dozens of small roaches on their balcony, but the rest of the week they didn't see any. Luckily we did not have any in our room. Next time I may think about bringing insect spay. Before we went, I read on trip advisor, that others had noticed an odor in their rooms and suggested bringing room deodorizer, I did, but never needed it. But other than the roach incident, we had a great time and would stay here again!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Denise7787
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:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Luxury 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
Reservation Options:
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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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