Having read a number of reviews about the Riu Yucatan after booking it, I managed my expectations accordingly. Travelling with my husband and one teenager, we found the resort as follows:-
Our view only..........
Welcome – We arrived in the middle of the afternoon, welcomed with a refreshing drink and gathered with other arriving families for an explanation of check-in procedure and were given pre-prepared envelopes, one for each party, containing resort map, room key, safe lock and key, beach towel cards, and suitcase stickers with room number. Having been asked to place the suitcase stickers on our cases, they were sorted and duly delivered to our room minutes after we had located it. Very swift service.
Room – we had a room in Block 9, it was nicely decorated with 2 double beds, dressing area and en-suite. When the porter brought our cases to the room, he asked if we’d like a 3rd bed and 3rd chair for balcony area. He also provided additional towels, all within 1 hour of our arrival and no fuss. Our room was thoroughly cleaned every day, with fresh towels (bath, hand and face), fresh bedding at least 3 times during our 10 night stay and towel art/flowers/ruffles on a couple of occasions. We had a TV (American channels, BBC World News, films and sport), and the fridge (pop, beers, water) and optics (vodka, Rum, Gin and Tequila) were replenished regularly. The room had a safe (no additional cost), ironing board and iron, hairdryer, plenty of wardrobe spaces and hangers. Block 9 is one of the furthest away from the ‘action’ and therefore nice and quiet.
Gardens – The gardens around the resort are beautiful, extremely well maintained, with footpaths being swept almost constantly.
Wildlife – lots of agouti (look like big guinea pigs in high heels – cute but timid), we saw a couple of Coatis (racoon like creature), howler monkeys, Iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds, other tropical birds, geckos and a few cockroaches! WARNING: This resort is heavy with mosquito. Garden staff do spray the grounds on a regular if not daily basis, to try to ease the situation, but we were still bitten numerous times (quite possibly the worst place we’ve been for mosi attacks). A good quality repellent goes work.
Restaurants – choice of 4 - steakhouse, Asian or Mexican all to be booked from 07.00am (early risers will always get a booking) no restriction on number of visits to each venue. Steakhouse was good, buffet salad and breads, service main course and pudding. Lots of choice on menu – good ribs. Asian, all buffet with limited main courses but lots of good starters type dishes and soups – great fried ice-cream pudding. Mexican – buffet salads, breads and soups. Served main course and pudding. For all three restaurants, my tip would be if you want to sit and chat/relax after dinner, book the second sitting. (staff looking to move you on from first sitting if you out stay your welcome!) 4th venue is the international buffet – loads of choice, salads, veg, fish, pasta, meat (hot/cold), pizza, the list is endless, all buffet with drinks served. Breakfast in the restaurant – everything you can imagine – fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs, meat, cheese, pancakes etc. No-one will go hungry at this resort. It is great fun watching other people pile their plates mountainously high with some very strange food combinations. Staff very efficient with plate clearance. For basic ‘quick snack’ at lunch time, the pool side restaurant was perfect, with burgers, chips, paella, salads etc. After 10 days of this ‘variety’, which was a little school refractory in terms of mass catering we were ready for a food holiday!
Bars – plenty of choice, day or night, efficient, friendly service. Lobby bar quiet most of the time, more lively at entertainment area and during day at pool bars.
Entertainment – good variety day and night, we were not pestered to join in at all, but made welcome it we did, best bit was band and dancing on the beach it was great fun. Team work really hard to provide something for everyone.
Staff – All the staff were very friendly, polite and efficient, manager addressed welcome meeting and we saw him around the resort regularly. The cleaners worked especially hard, constantly sweeping, mopping and cleaning public area in particular, the place is spotless – even the seaweed is sweep from the beach! There are no glasses or crockery items left lying around as someone is always collecting.
Pool/Beach – The Pool area was busy, not at all quiet - but it was the Easter Holidays. Take a bed away from the swim up bars for a slightly less noisy experience. The beach is lovely, very clean, clear and slightly wavy ocean. We walked to Playa del Carmen (destination Senor Frogs!) in 30 mins along beach. It is a public beach so you do get a few beach vendors, selling hats, cigars and bracelets, but they are polite and leave you in peace if you say ‘no thanks’. Lots of beds from Yucatan, both in shade of palm trees and on open beach. Volleyball pitch and football plus sailing etc through hotel Team. The beach is a much more relaxing and tranquil environment to that of the pool area.
Sunbeds/Towels – There were plenty of sunbeds both around the pool and on the beach, however early risers get the best spots for all day sun worship. Towel exchange by pool is a quick service.
Internet – Free connection for 90 minutes each 24 hour period, lobby area users could be found on laptops, ipad, iphones etc pretty much at any time of the day or night.
Other parts of resort – Hotel Tequila, open for Yucatan guests, we were made welcome, and we thought this was busier than Yucatan. Good entertainment with nightclub from 11pm. A short cab ride to 5th Avenue (70 pesos/£3.50 per cab not each) to shops, restaurants, street entertainment etc and ferry terminal to Cozumel. Gym facilities at Yucatan are ok, although if you run get outdoors on pathways around Playacar, see the resort.
1. If you like a quiet resort don’t visit this one during American/Canadian Spring Break.
2. Buy good quality mosquito repellent and use it!
3. No ‘best’ clothes required at Resort, don’t over pack (Airport check- in very strict on weight at Cancun on return journey, you will be charged at least £17 per kilo over your allowance – no negotiation)
Overall view of Riu Yucatan = good, nothing to dislike and staff work very hard for you to ensure your holiday is the best it can be. Playacar resort is a great beach holiday location, Mexicans are warm people and we’ll be going back but maybe not to Yucatan. We visited Riu Palace Mexico next door which looked lovely.
Other people have commented about its ‘star’ rating, Riu state 5*, First Choice state 4* I would agree that it’s not 5* (not for want of trying by the staff) and 4* is a more realistic if not generous rating by tour operators. You get what you pay for and the clientele matches.
Ask for room furthest from 'action' (pool and entertainment) for a good nights sleep.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC