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“Absolutley Fantastic Hotel”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #42 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 15, 2009

My husband and I traveled back to the "Riviera Maya" this summer without the kids. I searched and searched for places to go in the Carribean and decided to go back to the Riviera Maya where we had spent the previous summers vacation. I read tons of reviews regarding the hotel. And once we arrived....I knew I had made the right choice!

The one thing that stood out the most was the staff. They were so friendly, kind and happy. They literally always had smlies on their faces all the time and were pleased to oblige. I felt very comfortable in this resort. There were no pushy timeshare people around....I dont think the the hotel allows for that sort of solicitation. There were a few agencies around during certain times of the days that offered excursions, tours and such....at very reasonable prices...and again, they were not pushy at all.

The room was gorgeous and so was the property itself. It was all inclusive and let me tell you....we lacked for nothing. The food was fantastic! I was ready to come home after 7 days of food, fun and sun....but, all in all. I would definitely go back!

This hotel gets 2 thumbs up from me!

Trisha Mumford
Seguin, Texas

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank MumfordMastiffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,319 - 3,325 of 5,542 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2009

Where do I begin?

Staff - From the moment we arrived to the minute we left they were everything we could have asked for. Chano and Noe were two of our favorites, if nothing else because they had a great sense of humor.

Restaurants - Don Manolos (sp?) is the main buffett restaurant that you will likely eat at most frequently. The food was good. We ate breakfast there each morning and dinner there once and each time I thought the food was fresh and tasty. The place was incredibly well staffed, if not overstaffed (if that's possible). You couldn't get out of your seat before someone was there to take your plate away. We also dined at Chili's (buffett by day, steakhouse by night). The buffett was fine, but we weren't particularly impressed by the steakhouse. For as well-staffed as Don Manolos was, Chilis seemingly was that understaffed. It's not as though they didn't work hard, because they did, it just seemed odd. We also dined at the Japanese restaurant which was OK. The food was average, but we didn't go in thinking that we were going to be getting fresh sushi, so that was fine by us. The last restaurant we dined at was Botafogo which was excellent. The food there was the best we had at any of the specialty restaurants. The restaurant reservation system is a little bit goofy (you can only sign up for two reservations at a time between the hours of 12 and 3), but it works as long as you are flexible with your time during the day.

Rooms - The room was clean and the air conditioning was a live saver. The bed was nothing to write home about, but they give you so much booze you can easily drink yourself to sleep if need be. Seriously, they give you four bottles of hard alcohol that they will replace every two days. Is someone really going to hang in their room to consume two fifths a day? The one thing that I would recommend is bringing a plug-in air freshener. We plugged it in the minute we arrived and had none of the musty smell others have had issue with.

Beach/Pool - The towel/seat saving situation was by far the best I've seen at an all-inclusive . . . an absolute non-issue. They have so much pool space as well as beach space either under palm trees or on the beach that we never had any issues finding an open spot to post up for the day.

Location - Just about perfect. The right distance from town that you could walk in if you wanted to, yet cost only $5 for a taxi to anywhere in the center of Playa del Carmen.

All in all, we had a fantastic experience and wouldn't hesitate to return.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank turfguy44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2009

I relied heavily on this site in deciding on where to go for our wedding/honeymoon, so I feel I must share my thoughts. We visited this resort from July 18 thru the 29th. We were married on July 23rd on the beach. I must say it was the most amazing wedding....it was everything I have ever dreamed about and more. One thing you should know if you decide to get married here on the beach.....your wedding will draw a crowd. Our wedding was the first wedding that week....it was at 5pm on the beach....I was so amazed and touched by how many people came to watch our wedding. When I walked out on the sand and all those people started clapping and cheering.......I got so choked up. It was a very special feeling and memory. I felt like I had known all those people forever. Diana at the resort, I have to personally thank her for going out of her way to make sure that me and my husband and our guests were all taken care of the entire time we were there. She made sure that everything we wanted for the wedding, we got....Thank You Diana!! Everybody there was so friendly. I can't say one bad thing about the RIU Palace Riviera Maya. I read hundreds of reviews before I decided on this resort and I am so thankful this is where we went. Jose at the pool bar, AWESOME!!!!! The lobby bar is great. Everything is great. If you are looking to get married in Riviera Maya, you should pick this place. You will not be disappointed!!! The beach and water in our wedding pictures are amazing. That is all I can say about everything here...AMAZING!!! We will be going back, soon I hope. We met lots of nice people, went snorkling, hung out by the pool and beach all day. This is a very relaxing resort. We had kids in our group (ages 6 to 12) and there was something everyday for all of them that kept them busy and having fun. The entertainment staff do an amazing job during the day. It is great to go to a place and with in a day or so, the staff remembers your name, remembers who all is in your group and what you like to drink. Once again...AMAZING wedding and AMAZING vacation!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank mwimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

This was my first trip to the Mexican Riviera and also my first All-Inclusive. Upon entering Playacar (the gated neighborhood the hotel is located in), I knew it was going be nice. Playacar is loaded with beautiful homes and condos. When I entered the hotel lobby, I was amazed at its grandeur. It was breathtaking. Crystal, marble, mahogany, stained glass, granite and wrought iron all over. It is nicely done. We had a Junior Suite that was really nice as well with a huge 10x12 terrace overlooking the courtyard. The terrace was my favorite room amenity. The hotel is shaped like a U so there arent many ocean view rooms. It is either Courtyard or Garden view. Courtyard is a really good view. The grounds are amazing. It is spotless wherever you go and they are constantly cleaning and grooming and polishing. The pool is huge and we could always get an area with available seats. There were plenty of market umbrellas to get away from the sun. Even on the beach there were plenty of palm trees to shield the sun. The beach sand was fine and white and the ocean water is crystal clear. My only complaint about the pool was that it wasn't cool enough. It didn't give that refreshing feeling you want from being soaked up by the sun all day. My kids loved every minute of it. the pool bar was great as well.

Service. Bar none, it was great. We love Rosario and Gustavo. They hooked us up all week long. Even though tips are included, tip anyway. $5.00 every fre rounds goes a long way there. You become like a celebtrity. Over the whole week, it was the best $150 I spent. In my room I needed more towels and more pillows. both calls were delivered within 3 minutes.

The food was average at best. There are two buffets. Don Manolo is the main breakfast buffet and it was filled with variety and was plentiful. Don Manolo & Chilis do lunch. It was basic and food was boring after the 2nd day. Regarding the restaurants, We ate in every one except the Japanese restaurant. The Mexican was great as well as the fusion restaurant Kristal. The Braziallan was really good as well and the steakhouse was OK. still, the service at the restaurant was great.

The nightlife is not that great. There is usually a band in the evening from 7:30 or so until 9:30 then there is some sort of show in the theater. Most of them were amateur at best. We were cool with that because I had an 8 and 10 year old with us and we weren't looking for that crazy spring break-ish nightlife.

The overall client was right up our alley. It was mostly an upscale crowd that I felt very comfortable with.

As for the drinks... The grade of alchohol needs to be better. I didn;t love the drinks, although I consumed many of them. My kids loved being able to go get non-alchoholic beverages whenever they wanted.

I highly recommend doing the Dolphin Discovery. We had a blast doing that. It was the most costly thing we did on the trip but worth every penny.

I would go back there or to another Riu in a heartbeat. If I were travelling with just my wife, I would not do an all-inclusive though. I would want the freedom to go to any restaurant I favor.

The one thing that you must do if you go to the Riviera Maya is go to the beach at 5:30 in the morning and watch the sunrise. That was my own personal highlight of the whole trip. I have some amazing pictures of that.

I hope this helps you out in choosing a destination. Overall, I give it an 8 out of a 10. One point was lost due to the food and the other is the lack of nightlife.

i highly recommend it if this is the type of trip you are looking for.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank mspinnato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2009

We went the first week of August and had a wonderful time, there was fourteen in our group. The rooms were clean and the air conditioner worked very well, just remember to keep you balcony door closed. The food was wonderful I enjoyed all of the restaurants but Krystal was the best. The waiters at all of the bars did a wonderful job of making sure you always had a drink. If going on an excursion I would not use Best Day to make my reservations, they tend to forget to tell you about extra fees that need to be payed. We booked the Captain Hooks Pirate trip and was told that of the fees had been payed but when we got to the ship were told we owed an extra 8 dollars each. That trip was ok the food was good but the ship was to crowded and the trip was to long, it is more for a younger party group. The staff at the resort worked very hard to make our stay great. Overall our trip was great. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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6  Thank moe40moe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2009

My husband and I were married here on Saturday, August 1st and we were joined by 25 guests who also stayed here. We all had a fabulous time. I don't see how anyone could complain about this resort. The place is beautiful and the staff work very hard to please you. The food is very good. There is something for everyone. The buffet Don Monolos is great and offers a large selection each day. The specialty restaurants-steakhouse, mexican, and japanese were very good. My husband, myself, and our guests have all traveled a lot to different all inclusives and this was by far our favorite. The servers are very nice and deserve tips. We tipped them well because they work so hard and deserve it. We would order a drink and then they would have another one waiting on us. Our favorite drinks were the miami vice and mimosas. We stayed in the 2 story jacuzzi suite and it was spectacular. There was marble everywhere and we had a fantastic view. The bathrooms and closet were spacious enough for all our things. I went into my guests rooms as well and all were very nice. The suite is worth the money. Room service is prompt and good at the hotel. The bars are very fun and the bartenders work very quickly. The entertainment was very good. I was impressed. We saw the Vegas show and liked it a lot. The beach is gorgeous and the sand whales help with the waves. They didn't bother us at all because they blend in as they are covered with barnacles. Our wedding was so beautiful at the gazebo and the staff went above and beyond our expectations. Our guests had a great time and they pampered us endlessly. I am a very picky person and I loved this hotel and I definitely will be back. Please say hello to our favorites: Jose, Chano, and Gustavo! They were the best!!! We did the Delphinus swimming with the dolphins excursion and it was great. The dolphins were so sweet and gentle. Also, our favorite excursion was the Catamaya catamaran excursion. They served us great drinks, we snorkeled (I saw a sea turtle!), serve lunch (lobster, steak, or hamburgers, and we danced the day away! The hotel has a parasailing company along the beach-this was fun and we had a great view from above. Please disregard the negative reviews and go to the RIU Palace Riviera Maya!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank pdcbride09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2009

If you're looking for a luxurious, secluded getaway for a romantic honey moon or wedding, them this is NOT the hotel for you. If on the other hand, you're looking for a fun place to stay and want to get the most bang for your buck, then you found it. The Riu Palace is the perfect hotel for you!!
Pros:
Best food and drinks of ANY all inclusive I have ever stayed at (and I've stayed at many), great location for activities (close to 5th St, Ixcaret, cenotes etc...), GREAT beach (with both shaded and sunny areas) and a beautiful courtyard and pool. Did I mention they also have midnight sandwiches and a bar open 24/7??

Cons:
Beds are HARD as a rock! Cheesy hotel facade and lobby decorations (Donald Trump meets Arab princess meets bad 1700's colonial). The hallways between the rooms are kind of dark and noisy and, depending on what you're looking for, you may or may not appreciate the fact that the pool gets kind of crowded in the evening with people drinking and kids running around.

Tips:
The service is great as it is, but you'll be surprised how far a few extra pesos will get you when you befriend the beach attendants/waiters.

Conclusion:
In the past I have stayed at other hotels twice as expensive in the area and I have not received twice as much for my money. This hotel is a great value all around!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank WrldTrvlr37
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:
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $256 - $605 (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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