Some of the reviews I’ve seen below are correct with what they say and some that are definitely not.
What I will give you is a frank and honest opinion from a young English couple. We stayed here from April-May for 2 weeks, through Thomas cook and it was a last minute holiday as we had the time booked off but didn’t book the holiday until a week before leaving, so very last minute! We went for 1 thing, that was to switch off from our busy London lives and relax, this wasn’t a clubbing holiday!
First thing to anyone travelling through Thomas Cook – Cancel and book with someone else! The whole TC experience is one that is still a 1980’s packaged holiday to Benidorm. There is a thing that paying so much for a holiday £3000 to be exact, there should be some form of “quality” in your holiday experience. TC does not represent any form of quality in what is serves to you as a customer on your holiday. We felt completely ripped off. The flight was a charge-a-thon, where they will literally charge you for everything possible – Headphones, adaptor for headphones, water, drinks, food, baggage, choosing your seat and next time it will probably to use the toilet! I feel really sorry for the families who take their children away, as it all adds up on what you think is an all-inclusive holiday so you don’t need any extra money! The in-flight service with screens is the worst of any long haul airline and the seats cramped in width. Wrong, with TC you do. The coach transfer from the airport was the worst of my travel experiencing life. We never once saw our TC rep and nor did we intend on seeing them. There prices for excursions was double what the local price was. We never did take the coach transfer back. We went in our own taxi which made it smooth and easy. TC lack one word from the whole of their service and travel experience they give their customers – it’s called “Quality”. The US customers arrive by private mini bus shuttle to their hotel. The Brits arrive in massive coaches dropping 6-7 hotels on route thus taking time off your holiday! Ok TC rant over!
We had booked a double standard room, I emailed the hotel ahead of arriving and asked for a high floor and if possible a sea facing room. They upgraded us no problems and didn’t have to pay an extra charge to a suite, 3rd floor, sea facing right at the front of the property. So great start! Yes the rooms are date, but it’s very clean and has all the mod cons you need. Air con, bathroom, mini bar with everything in, balcony. My main complaint was around the pillows, hard as concrete. But that’s personal preference I guess.
The grounds of the hotel are beautiful maintained and kept spotlessly clean. I’m not sure who smells the lobby upon arriving or what they have smelt, but it smelt like a lobby to us. It didn’t smell mouldy, it didn’t smell damp and it’s a grand lobby. That’s it. I think I went there 4 times during our stay. Twice to check in and out, third to go on an excursion and four to go and use the free wireless. So I guess I’m saying it could have been the smelliest lobby in the world, I wasn’t sleeping there and wasn’t using it. People worked there all day and everytime I went there I didn’t smell anything, just Mexico!
The pool for me was a disappointment, it was fairly small, round shaped and split into 2 halves. The quiet side and the swim-up bar noisy side. I say this because I have stayed at many hotels where the pools have been far superior and they were 4 star. It was clean though. The beds though were good with cushioned loungers and shaded brollys so you could sit in or out of the sun. The other good thing about the pool was the drinks waiter service. When we stayed around the pool a few times, we were on the quiet side. A waiter would come round all the time, ask what you wanted and within 10 minutes we had it beside us. This happened every day we used the pool. Fantastic – The pool did provide great relief however from the hot days so we were always in there and cooling ourselves off.
One of the best things about this hotel is the beach location. I’ve lived and travelled across the world and lived in Australia for 2 years and seen some amazing beaches. But this is a great beach for what you want. My only gripe across the whole 2 weeks was that they didn’t provide cushioned sunbeds here to. I thought I booked the Riu Palace Mexico because it’s better and more expensive than the surrounding Riu’s? Thus provide me with better facilities/services, please. The sand is golden, the sea is clear and blue and sometimes gets busy. We never once had to go searching for a sunbed, we practically got the same ones every day! I’m not sure where the previous reviewer below was on this beach, but it couldn’t have been the same (about not seeing a waiter on the beach) From 10am every day, the waiter would come round with all sorts of different drinks until 5pm. I think every hour at least if not more. Although it was not order service, they brought enough variation round for everyone. Water, soft drinks and alcoholic ones. The water is so warm and lovely to go for a swim in, watch out for the fishes that swim on a few feet from the shore, brilliant sight. If you turn right facing the sea you can walk for 30-40 mins and there's nothing but more beach - we did this almost every morning as a nice walk along the sea.
The Riu entertainment team are a pain though. Every day I had to hear that idiot shouting out “volleyball”, “bingo” every few hours. We thought that every week they should post to everyone’s room what activities are on at what time, then you could decide for yourself if you wanted to. Not to be told by one of the entertainment staff “Hey England” “do this” – cheeky bit*h.
This was a bit of a mixed bag for us and we found that many people were similar to us.
The best was the breakfasts they were the best I’ve had on a holiday like this. Smoothies, omelettes, pastries whatever you want they’ve got it.
The dinner buffet restaurant is excellent and the service is beyond some of the best I’ve had. The waiters constantly fill your drinks up and know what you want. The choice on offer each night was varied and delicious; we never once got bored of it through our 2 week stay.
The a-al-carte booking restaurants were where the mixed bag comes in, I’ve outlined below.
• Brazilian – Don’t bother
• Japanese – below average
• Krystal (fusion) – Average
• Steak House – We found this the only one worth booking and trying, it’s your own preference if you like it. I had steak and lobster and it was excellent. Plus it’s by the beach so a late night stroll was always nice afterwards.
The biggest let down for us in this hotel was down to what has also been mentioned previously. Something to do after dinner. We are definitely not ones for watching cheesy shows, terrible ‘lift music singers or animations and that’s all this hotel offers. The cocktail bar in the lobby is good for pre-dinner drinks but after dinner it’s just lounge bar and not entertaining at all. Also for me, sitting outside in the courtyard after dinner and staring round at nothing seemed a bit too boring for us. We found ourselves most nights just either going for a walk or heading to our room and sitting on our balcony – we didn’t know what else to do and we didn’t want party party, just something in-between if that makes sense?
What this hotel needs to do is keep open the poor bar after it closes currently say from 6pm-12pm with some easy going music or maybe a juke box or something cool. Then guests could all mingle and get to know some of the fellow guests. For me, and when I’ve stayed at other hotels – this is a simple flaw that’s missing from this hotel. Just somewhere for guest to relax and have a drink together. If you didn’t want this, then you could go to any of the other places mentioned above!
Tours – Now this was the best part of our holiday, we booked “Your Private Tours”, check them out on tripadvisor on here. Amazing day. So easy to deal with Jay, great value for what we did – Tulum ruins, swam with wild turtles, lunch on a beach, swimming in the cenotes and a natural aquarium inlet to. Brilliant, could recommend it enough and they pick you up. We had 1 other person with us and she was a lovely American lady.
Hope this helps in a review if you are considering staying here. We got a late deal and thus paid a lot less than some of our fellow travellers from the UK and I wouldn’t be paying more than we did. The good thing is that this hotel is closing in August for 3 months and having a full revamp. Rooms, lobby, new pool, bars etc. So I hope this will take it up a notch in terms of a level. We went to see one of the new rooms and although they look very modern and clean, it didn’t feel like nothing special. Although saying that a great improvement on the current ones.
Would I stay here again? No but only because I would want to try somewhere a bit more luxurious and nicer in respect to hotel. It’s a lovely hotel and aspects of it are great. For us, it was exactly what we needed. 2 weeks in the sun in a beautiful location and not have a stress or worry for 2 weeks.
Email ahead and ask for a high floor sea facing room you might just grab a free suite. We did.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC