I will preface this by saying that my previous trip to the Riviera Maya was incredible and really set my expectations high. We stayed at the Excellence Playa Mujeres which is an amazing 5* AI. This time around it was a group of girls going, so we had to find a trip that fit in everyone's budget. We got a great deal on the Riu Palace Mexico, and for what we paid it was a good value. However, in talking with some friends we made while on the trip we learned that they paid more than double what we did and probably could have stayed at a MUCH nicer resort for the price. So do your homework before booking!
Rooms: They are fine. A little dated/run down but that should be rectified after the upcoming renovations. There were 2 of us per room, luckily it was with my sister because the beds are pushed together. So if you're not comfortable sleeping close to someone who's not your partner, think twice! ;) The room was always kept very clean and the fridge was always stocked.
Pool: Slimy. It didn't matter if it was first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon, the tiles were always slimy. Our room faced the pools and I never saw anyone cleaning them. Ever.
Beach: Filthy. After staying at the Excellence I guess I was spoiled by the pristine beach. This is not the case in Playa del Carmen. Cigarette butts, empty cups/glasses, garbage, etc. You couldn't walk through the sand without stepping on something. It was very disappointing. That being said, the palm trees are beautiful, the water is gorgeous and warm. Plenty of room to find sun or shade. There are also many vendors on the beach which can become annoying.
Drinks: Bring your own mug unless you want to get up and go to the bar every 10 minutes. Luckily we did bring mugs; I felt kinda dumb at first hauling mine around but sooo many people commented on the small glass sizes and said they wish they would have brought their own container too! The small serving sizes coupled with the fact that there was absolutely NO drink service on the beach or by the pool (at least that's what we experienced) makes bringing your own mug a must. Some people we talked to said that they were offered a drink on the beach (one time), but no one in our party ever saw anyone serving drinks on the beach. We got up and walked to the bar for every. single. drink we consumed on this trip (poor us, I know! ;).
Moving on to alcohol: They DO have Don Julio and other top-shelf liquors. They will tell you they don't but after we tipped the bartender a $5 the Don Julio magically appeared. So make friends with a bartender as soon as you get there and you will enjoy the good stuff vs. the crappy cheap stuff they normally use! They make the drinks very weak, so we always asked for a shot on the top of whatever we ordered. The bartenders are very sweet and will make pretty much anything you want!
Food: We enjoyed the food. Everything was plentiful and hot. Definitely no Michelin starred cuisine here, but again, for what we paid the food was decent. We learned on the last day at breakfast that you could ask for a latte or cappuccino and they would get it for you. Much better than the coffee they serve (most days I walked across the street to Starbucks - they accept USD but give you change in pesos FYI).
Annoyances: This is the second all-inclusive I have stayed at, and like I said previously the first one was a 5* so we didn't have to wear wrist bands, no towel cards, etc. I hated the whole towel card thing and how you could only get ONE towel. If they were nice big towels it would be different. Bring your own beach towel (and some of those clips to clip it to your chair ;).
One more than one occasion while sitting at breakfast we witnessed a housekeeper fill her bucket from the fountain. Not sure if I'm just super picky/finicky but I found that bothersome. Twice while leaving the lunch restaurant, maids were dumping dirty water in the drain at the foot washing station. Surely there must be a place for the maids/housekeepers to fill and empty their buckets!
I didn't start this review with the intention of being so negative, but I'm just putting out there what bothered me so that you can make an informed decision on where to spend your vacation. Overall we had a great time at the RPM but I would most likely not go back.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Mexico
- Riu Palace
- Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
- Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
- Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
- Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
- Riu Playa Del Carmen
- Mexico Palace Riu
- Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen
- Rui Palace Mexico
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int???l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, BookIt.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Travelocity, Hotels.com, Priceline and Tingo so you can book your Hotel Riu Palace Mexico reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.