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“Sun, a pristine beach, great food and a whole lot of pampering...the RIU has it all!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Sun, a pristine beach, great food and a whole lot of pampering...the RIU has it all!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2009

We just got back from a week of bliss! Before the trip, we read the reviews and felt ready for OK food and great service, but instead we got so much more. The place is far more beautiful & impressive than the pictures online and the food was delicious! We arrived quite late on Valentine's Day. It was after eight yet the front desk help were all smiles and handed us a much needed cold drink! We were quickly checked in. We got such a good price on this trip that we weren't expecting much with the room. The rooms are large with a living area and bed area. The bathrooms are huge. Our room faced a well groomed garden area. It was peaceful. We spent many an evening and morning relaxing on our deck. An ocean view would have cost so much more and we were happy with our quiet room. We enjoyed the pool and the beach. We never had trouble finding chairs. The entertainment crew kept everyone busy with activites. We also ate at each of the specialty restaurants except the brazilian. Each one has a theme. Chili's is a steak place on the beach. Norman at Chili's kept us laughing. My lobster was very flavorful. Don't expect a US steak, Mexican steak is not the same. The Japanese was a big surprise. All of the food tasted very well, except for the soy sauce. My favorite was the new Krystal fusion place. It was a true dining experience. Each course was a presentation. My sea bass was tasty and fresh! We also spent time in the sport bar playing pool and such. There are five other RIU properties within the Playacar area. You can walk to each and eat or hang out, but the prettiest is this one. We worked out one morning in the gym. There were two treadmills and a couple of bikes (not a whole lot!) so we ran in the mornings around the loop of Playacar. Also, Playa Del Carmen was a five minute walk from the hotel. We went one night into town for shopping and dinner. Another day we took the ferry over to Cozmel and spent the day on the beach snorkeling and eating, yum. The water was lovely. We also rented a car and drove to the ruins of Chichen Itza. It is easily a three hour drive there and a three hour drive back. The rental "guy" told us it was only one road to get there, not true! We had a tiny map to go by and after a few turns and round abouts, we arrived at the ruins. The ruins are amazing and very interesting to see up close. They no longer allow you to climb up the ruins, however they are very interesting to see. Yet, I loved the ride along the way because you see so much of the real Mexico. If you are brave, do it but get a detailed map! On the way back to our hotel from the ruins we took a ride futher south by Tulum (another ruin you shouldn't miss)! There is a quirky restaruant called Zamas right on the beach that you have to see at sunset! You sit under a thatched roof and watch the waves crash nearby. They have music there, as well. But the most incredible sight is when you walk back to your car from the restaurant. Look up at the sky and you will see billions of stars. Wonderful! As you can see, the trip was fabulous and I can't say enough about the RIU. You would have to work hard to have a bad time (as many people do!).

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank L_N_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,281 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
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michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2009

My family and I spent five days at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. The place is spectacular. From cleanliness, to service to outstanding cuisine, it's virtually impossible to find a bad thing to say about this resort. And this comes from a very nitpicky traveler. If you're looking for a relaxing, luxurious resort, then this is for you. It's not too crazy and not too laid back, The entertainment at the pool is perfect without being obnoxious. I found it to be just right. We brought our 8 and 6 year olds, and they always found something to do. The resort isn't crowded with too many kids, and I did'nt mind that at all. The service is wonderful, especially at the bars. The one thing that stood out for me was the food. I've traveled in Mexico numerously and always found the food to be medeocre, The food at the Riu Palace was superb. If you're not into buffets, you are going to love theirs. From fresh fruit smoothies, made to order as you watch, to beautiful presentations, you will be overwhelmed with choices, one more delicious than the next. The specialty restaurants were just as delicious, especially the French Restaurant. I think the Riu Palace has gotten just right. We were in a group of nine, and none of us wanted to leave at the end of our stay. Worth every penny!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank jlhkm5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
Level Contributor
162 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2009

This was our first all-inclusive vacation and we based our location in part on the many great reviews located here. The location of the hotel is absolutely awesome. The pool area is very nice (although pool was chilly) and the beach area -- with one section shaded with palm trees and the other directly on the beach -- was awesome. Beach chairs were plentiful. While I did request a King bed via e-mail, we ended up with the two fulls pushed together : (

We did the buffet every evening and were quite pleased with the variety and quality. Service was excellent -- sit in Piste's section if you can. He will treat you first-class.

The hotel itself is impressively decorated. Our room was more than sufficient with a separate "living" area -- I think the hotel may be all "suites".

Only downer of the trip was of my own doing -- cutting my hand on a broken glass and going to the Hospiten. But they took care of me with 4 stitches and a positive experience with the Mexican health care system (4 stitches did cost $920). Unfortunately, even though we told the front desk to have the glass and liquid cleaned up from the room, it was only partially removed.

In conclusion, this is a top notch hotel and a great place to relax and get away. We loved the all-inclusive and will look forward to another RIU experience in 2010.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank MidwestLiketoTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, IA
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2009

We stayed at the Palace from Jan 18-23, we were suppose to stay at the Yucatan, but they upgraded us to the Palace......
24 hr roomservice (the menu is limited) but it was good
Food excellent everywhere, we have been every year for 6 years to Mexico and The Dominica Republic and the food was the best here of anywhere......
The weather was perfect and so was the resort.......

I have no complaints at all~~~ please feel free to email me if you have any questions........

One thing I want to add about the shopping in general in downtown Playa is if you go shopping there, they will automatically take you to 5th ave, if you notice on the way there, there is a couple shops on the street right before they drop you off, go back and shop there first, We found things much cheaper there, they said it was because they don't have to pay a fee for being a "downtown shop"
they have 2 shirts that were 4 for $10 , the same shirts were $17.99 downtown.... There is also a store called Jelly something and they sell Gourds that are made into lights, they are so much cheaper here then downtown I got 4 of them for around $60.00 usd and they wanted that much for 2 downtown, HOWEVER CAUTION, if you buy from here ~please watch them when they pack your gourds because 2 of mine were hanging light gourds and they sent the electric cords with them that were unfinished... so please use caution there.....

The only negative I have is that the pool water was freezing (the only people that were in there besides my daughter had wetsuits on)!!!!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 7asprinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

Overall I thought that the Rui Palace was a 10 until it came to the rooms,The musty smell that was in our first room was absolutely horrible. The location could not have been nicer but we couldn't stay in that room and had to move with a little bit of trouble. The second room was a little better but the minute we put the air condition on we would get the musty smell. We had to just use the ceiling fan at all times which was hard to cool the room down after we took our showers for the day. We went so far as showering at the spa so we wouldn't heat up our room. I think they have a problem with the air ducts or maybe they need to be cleaned well. I would expect thta from a basement but notin a fairly new resort. I don't think I would stay at a Rui resort .

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank barbmass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

We stayed here February 6 - 13, 2009. Flying for the second time with JetBlue which is great, compared to the Canadian Charters which are pathetic.The previous three reviews hit it right on, it's exactly how we found it. The one thing we have found with the Riu's is their unbelievable service. It does not matter how full the resort is their service is always great and the staff are among the friendliest I have ever encountered. We checked out all of the other Riu's in the area and they were all very nice, the food and service at them was also great although more crowded than the Palace. We had a great time and will certainly return.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank caribbeantraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

My wife and I have done many cruises (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity) and she wanted to try an A I. We stopped in Playa for a cruise and wanted to come back so we did. We decided on Rui Palace Riviera Maya because of the reviews here on Trip Adviser. Our review will compare past experiences with our cruises.
Overall we felt it was much more relaxing than a cruise in that you were not rushing off and on the ship during port days. It was a much more inimate feel as nothing ever felt crowded. Except the daily early morning chair hogging/saving, which I admit we also took part in. Chair hoarding was much worst on a cruise ship. The most sought after chairs were at the pool and the over flow was the beach. Not a bad situation at all.
The food IMO was much better here than any cruise I have been on. The Specialty restaurants we tryed were, Brazilian, Japenese, and the Steak House. I would compare these to a specialty restaurant on a cruise which you had to pay extra for. The major difference I saw was the fact dinner at these restaurants were only an hour compared to two hours on a cruise. We had no problem at all with that.
The entertainment crew was great. We got to know several of them and always had a great time, dancing, horeshoes, darts, kyak racing in the pool(yes the pool is enormous) and just talking to them. We did tip and as stated in previous reviews they were recieved with sincere thankfullness.
The main reason we chose Playa was for the location. We walked into town at least once a day. We loved the freshly squeezed orange juice and home made tacos from the food carts. Our one day trip other than walk to town was a trip to Akumel. We hired a driver for $100 US and had a great day snorkeling and visiting the lagoon (I forget the name of it). This was some of the best snorkeling I have seen. We saw large sea turtles, sting rays, barracuda and tons of fish.
Just a warning to all. Be travel smart and watch you belongings at all times. While eating at a sports bar in town our friend had her wallet stolen. This put a damper on our night but not our trip. I am sure there could be thieves anywhere but we felt much safer in the resort.
We will still be cruising but not as much.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jerseyharry
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 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury 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
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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