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Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

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Westland, Michigan
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683 posts
14 reviews
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Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Hi all,

I've read the recent reviews of the Riu Palace Mexico - how can a 5* resort get such terrible ratings - is it that bad?

We're booked for July and I'm already stressing - we paid a lot of money for a short stay (3 nights) and we're hoping to relax, have drinks, great food, service and accommodations. But it doesn't appear that might be the case.

Any comments on great rooms with a view (and quiet at night), where to eat and when, tips on getting a great pool chair with an umbrella/palapa (hubby is fair-skinned), etc. would be appreciated.

It's our 9th anniversary and hopefully it will be memorable... or a disaster!

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Sharon, Canton, MI

B.C. Canada
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8,772 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Forget those reviews, we've been going for the past five years and going again for another two weeks in December. Great food, drinks and service. The beds are firm but you can get a pad that apparently softens it a bit. Haven't used them as we sleep very soundly on a firm mattress. One thing that does bother some people is that instead of a king the bed is two doubles made separately and pushed together. Again, we usually end up sleeping on just the one side.

There are only a few, 18, rooms that overlook the pools with maybe 6 of those getting a slight view of the ocean. The rest either overlook the Riu Yucatan to the South, the Viva Maya to the North or the fountains/courtyard. There are two different rates for the garden view (other resorts) and the fountains so depends what you paid for.

We've never had a problem getting a lounge on the beach, no matter what time we go down. Around the pool is another matter and poolside are generally gone very quickly in the morning but the second row has usually lots of empty lounges and umbrellas all day. When we go the resort is usually at 100% occupancy.

We prefer to eat dinner in the buffet, just for variety of food and flexibility of time for eating. They have a different theme each night. You're only there for a few nights and if you'd like to eat in one of the specialty restaurants on your anniversary I'd speak to Rosario Bustamante the Public Relations Manager or Judith Winkels the Subdirectora (Asst Mgr) the day you arrive. Sir Edward Krystal would be my first choice for an anniversary dinner and Miyagi (Japanese) second choice.

Westland, Michigan
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683 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

BobfromBC,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your prompt reply... finally I can sleep at night... I was so nervous - you've made my month!

We definitely can deal with the double beds pushed together... but "bugs in the bed" are a problem as we've heard in past reviews.

Do you happen to have a map of the resort... as we only have 3 nights we want to hit the resort running.

Thanks again! I appreciate your prompt and positve response.

Sharon

B.C. Canada
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8,772 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Checkout the "unofficial" Riu website and discussion board www.riubambu.com Lots of pics, virtual tours, things to do at the RPM and all the other Mexico/Caribbean Rius. Here's a link to a map of the resort. BTW if you check the discussion board I'm "jobob" there.

riubambu.com/RIU_WEB_PAGES/…

Erie, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Playa Paraiso
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4,094 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

we stayed at the RPM two years ago. It is a beautiful hotel. The rooms were nice. The beach was much nicer then.

We are not buffet people, but it was fine.

We liked the Brazilian restaurant and the Gourmet. The Japanese and Steakhouse were a disappointment.

We had some serious glitches with service and the food was only slightly above average, but we are foodies and have unreasonably high standards.

I think most people would be happy with the RPM.

If you are a rum drinker, try the Havana rum. It will make the whole trip worth it!

Westland, Michigan
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683 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Thanks Bob and Act,

I love Trip Advisor Forum - it's great people like you that respond and, in this case, put my mind at ease.

Sharon

Michigan
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513 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Hi Sharon,

We stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico in 2004 (I know a long time ago) but we had a fabulous time! It was our first AI experience and other than the room we got it was a great vacation. Bob has it right about the beds. We thought the beach was great...lots of shade and no problem getting a chair. My husband is fair headed and needs the shade! Service was great and the pool was just OK. We loved El Patio for lunch everyday. We ate at Sir Edwards twice and really loved it. The mimosas at breakfast in the buffet were a nice way to start off the day :) The lobby was beautiful and we enjoyed cocktails in the lobby lounge before dinner. A great mix of people. Not too many kids which was fine with us. There is a nice little shopping plaza right outside the hotel with souvenirs, etc. or a 5 min taxi to PDC. I know the beach has suffered some damage, but what can you do?? Go and enjoy and let us know how it was when you get back! p.s. I have lots of family that live in Canton!!

Westland, Michigan
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683 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Hey Liveforvacationgirl,

WOW - the stress is gone - like everyone says... with the right mind set, there should never be a "bad" vacation.

Thank you so much for all the insight (and 2004 seems like yesterday for me) - we've stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach (5 times), Aventure Palace, Bahia Principe, Royal Cancun, and Golden Crown (now Great Parnasusus (sp?)) - so you can see, we love Cancun and the Mayan Riviera. I was just such a wreck with the recent scattered reviews of the Riu Palace Mexico - especially since Funjet is rating it at their highest level.

That is too funny about lots of relatives in Canton -perhaps they're neighbors and we haven't yet met?

Thanks again Live for the kind words and vote of confidence for the Riu Palace Mexico.

We'll go, have an adventure and report back in July!

Sharon

Kentucky
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614 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Hi MISharon,

We vacationed last June at the RPM and absolutely loved it. There really wasn't much to complain about. The resort has a lovely old-world ambience, the service was outstanding, the food above average, the grounds beautiful! Yes, the beds are firm, but mattress pads helped a lot. The pool is unspectacular, but we didn't travel to Mexico to sit by a pool. Even with the beach erosion, sitting under the palms and gazing at the aqua waters of the Caribbean, while sipping a fruity drink, was pure heaven.

You've chosen a wonderful resort. Best wishes for a great vacation.

Westland, Michigan
Level Contributor
683 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Hi KY,

Thanks for the prompt response - mmmmmm fruity drinks, my fave!

About the pool - is it small, is it shallow, would you mind describing it - is there a swim-up bar.

You know, I'm feeling silly now for such stress over a 3 night vacation - the weather so far in MI has not been pleasant. Sure the lawn is beautiful only because it's rained every darn day... so we decided to try to be assured of sun in July for 4 glorious days (hope the Mayan weather cooperates) - so I really appreciate you words of inspiration.

Thanks again, may our paths cross on some awesome vacation.

Sharon

Kentucky
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614 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Riu Palace Mexico - Help?

Sharon,

The pool encircles and curves around the bar. One side of the bar is walk-up; the other side is swim-up. Also, one side is the "quiet" side, while the other side often has activities (volleyball, etc.). I don't think any part of the pool is deep. We were at the resort for 6 days and only spent a couple of hours at the pool, preferring the beach and gazing at the beautiful ocean. We also spent quite a bit of time on excursions, but since you're only going to be there for 3 days, you might prefer to spend most of your time at the resort.

My favorite things to do at the RPM include sitting on the beach under the palms, having breakfast on the terrace and sitting on the patio sipping drinks and listening to live music before (and sometimes after) dinner

If you go with a positive attitude and a determination not to let minor annoyances bother you, you'll have a fabulous time. Enjoy!