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“second visit”
Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #62 of 210 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Newport, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“second visit”
Reviewed 14 March 2014

This was our second visit to the riu yucatan.
Starting with the flight, last year we experienced a 34 hour flight delay , this year we had a 10 hour delay from birmingham due to a technical fault ,also no in flight entertainment ,exhausting journey (12hours in airport then flight time) we also had to fly from birmingham to manchester to fuel plane and pick up new pilot and flight crew. knew what to expect at mexico airport, no problems with immigration.smooth ride to hotel with local rep.
We liked the refurbishment both in the rooms and public area, same comment as other reviewers about the clear shower door and damp smell in rooms. If you set air con on low setting this seems to help. If set to high the room / bed feels wet. Left a few coins in room these were stolen , maybe. Mix up with cleaner thinking was tip??? Not sure ,reception filed in form but nothing else. Other belongings o.k valuables in safe o.k. we stayed in room 1902
Towel over door solves the clear glass issue / shower cubicle. Room very clean, fridge stocked every two days, ask for diet softdrinks if you prefer. Wonderful animals made from towels, made us smile.
The beach is beautiful , soft, clean lots of subjects and Palm trees for shade, ask staff to help move beds . Walked every day and enjoyed zumba classes held on beach. Use free body boards,
Food , good selection, no hand wash facilities to clean hands before entering restaurant s a few people complained of diarrhoea, food self service lots of handling of utensils, ice scoops by guests , this needs sorting. Also issue of birds in restaurant by beach stealing food.
We love the location of this hotel, feels safe, taxis available, staff hard working, grounds clean, like watching the wild life.
Hotel needs to sort out the restaurant issues though also mosquito s are a problem we tried lots of sprays the one that worked well was called 30/30 insect spray from the chemist in playacar. My husband has 21 bites on each hand after sitting in the lobby bar .
If you have booked , I'm as sure you will have a great time,and want to return ,tempted to book again

Room Tip: No lifts so choose a room to suit your need, no rooms have sea view
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Helen b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 March 2014 via mobile

Probably the worst all-inclusive I have ever been to. Poor quality food, run-down rooms and poor service just to name a few. I am contacting Apple Vacations as they need to downgrade their star rating of this hotel ASAP. Also many idiotic rules (related to wearing of all inclusive bracelet etc).

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
1 Thank Pentilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chertsey, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2014 via mobile

Had an absolutely brilliant 2 weeks at Riu Yucatan the hotel and resort were fantastic. The food was amazing, the rooms great and cleaned daily, we would love to go back, I would def recommend this hotel. The fat cat catamaran trip is well worth the money

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
4 Thank AnnaCaffarey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Review by a Travel Agent. We have recently returned from the Riu Yucatan where we travelled as a family myself, my partner, my parents and most importantly my brother for his 30th Birthday celebration holiday. After scouring the globe for a suitable destination Mexico was chosen after celebrating my own 30th there 3 years prior at the Riu Tequilla. Not wanting to go to the same hotel twice we booked in the Yucatan following the advice of its recent refurb.
After a very good and comfortable flight of 10hours from Manchester on the Dreamliner we arrived in Cancun to an extremely busy and hectic airport that could clearly not cope with the volume of 18 flights arriving at once! After 2 1/2 HRS IN THE TERMINAL we finally departed for our journey to the Yucatan and all the stresses of the mayhem at Cancun airport were soon forgotten.
The Riu Yucatan is situated right on the beach in Playacar and immediately on arrival it looked impressive! Pink, purple and silver décor greeted us which is not to everyone taste but we loved it and thought it looked trendy, hip and on trend.
There grounds are immaculate and the guest rooms are located over 9 blocks with some more towards the beach. We were allocated rooms towards the front of the resort and together as I had requested. The rooms are a good size with minibar containing optics and a huge flat screen TV on the wall. Unlike the main public area of the hotel which has been completely renovated the rooms have simply been coated in white paint and fitted with glass blocks in the bathroom in line with the décor of the hotel. The hairdryer was old and tatty as was the ironing board and fixtures and fittings. I guess naively I was expecting the rooms to have been completely kitted out too but on a hotel on this size I expect the coast would been quite significant. At first I was disappointed in the rooms and expected more from a recently refurbished hotel. However, the main thing is they were clean and the towels and bedding were cleaned every day during our stay so this compensated although it maybe worth Riu updating these things in the near future to keep up with standards expected of them.
The hotel is spotless and there are always people busy cleaning, tidying, sweeping and making sure that everywhere looks nice.
There are five resturants at the Yucatan. The main self service, a Italian, Mexican, Steak and Oriental. The Mexican, Steak and Oriental you need to book for the morning before (unless you are American and then you make your own rules up). This is the only issue we had with this hotel as it became a bit of a joke after a while. Firstly, the hotel were accepting reservations for the speciality restaurants (mainly the Steak) and yet they were actually closed for private weddi parties. The first we knew of this is when we turned up for dinner only to be turned away! The reservations counter was only open from 0700-1000 and unless you booeked before 0830 you were lucky if you got in! As we found out midway through the holiday the hotel was 70% occupied by American guests who in the words of the hotel manager, get up early and go to bed early and therefore they make their bookings as soon as they got up. Setting my alarm for 7am when I work 6 days a week to book a restuant is not my idea of a holiday I'm afraid and I really think Riu need to seriously think abiut this. It maybe worth having two reservation bookings times to allow bookings forst thing in the morning for the first half the restaurant and bookings then midday for the other half to give everyone a fair chance of booking. You are then not missing out if you are on a early excuration as we did one morning. What frustrates me the most is the front desk staff who don't seem to want to help you, acknowledge this and instead just stare at you with a vacant expression with no offer to help for find a resolution. This is an area this hotel lets itself down severely and if Riu Yucutan wishes to be a high class hotel on par with its neighboring hotels it really needs to think outside the box here and understand that they need to cater not just for Americans as they clearly seem to. We travelled on a 10hr flight to visit the Riu and have been loyal to the brand which is upsetting when your needs are not considered as much as those of others.
Saying this the restaurant situation was the only fault we could find and it by no means spoilt our holiday. This is merely feedback to Riu and the manager reading this review so hopefully they can work the restaurant reservation system more in line with other Riu hotels my family and I have visited.
The entertainment was not fantastic I have to say but the entertainment team are excellent and put 100% into everything they do. They were friendly, welcoming and my brother went into Playa del Carmen a couple of times with them on nights out. They worked tirelessly as did all the staff at the hotel and every credit must be given to them. The food was excellent and choice plentiful even for my incredibly fussy fiancé who only eats something if is if beige! The drinks were great, Blue Ocean cocktails being my favourite! The beach is amazing and the sea like a warm bath! No shingle, no seaweed just perfect! The sand is powdery white and the beach although packed you did always manage to find a sunbed from here or there.
There is a new Ibiza chill out pool at the Yucatan which we loved and spend our fourteen nights either here or on the beach but never the main pool as it was too loud and busy. The Ibiza pool area has its own bar open until 1800 and plays chill out music all day. There is also a man made sandy area with double beds and hammocks to relax in. This area was a great addition to the hotel and very well thought of.
For those travelling in the future make sure you take plenty of protection against mosquitos as being in the jungle they are in abundance. We were all bitten at some point and the especially like to get you at dusk whilst walking back to your room or sat around a bar. Leave your air con on and take plenty of spray. The hotel is also located next door to the Iberostar Tucan who I think have themed themselves like a zoo! If you don't like the sound of peacocks waking you up each morning then book a room towards the back of the resort although we quite liked this as an alarm call.
We booked trips to Xcaet, Coco Bongo and a fishing trip whilst there and all available to book either with the hotel, your holiday rep or in Playa del Carmen with a tour company. Xcaret was a fantastic day out and swimming the caves is an absolute must! Coco Bongo is a great night out and we strongly advise to book with direct with Coco Bongo (the reps visit the hotel or come to the beach) as you are booking directly with them you get the best seats in the house, VIP entry and waiter service all night, I would not book this any other way in future as they even pick you up from your hotel and drop you back off at 0430 if you can last that long!
All in all having been to both Cancun and Playa del Carmen then Carmen wins absolutely hands down. We stayed at the adults on Excellence Playa Mujeres last year and although that hotel was up a notch with Jacuzzi tubs, turndown service, premium liqueur and a la carte service there is something about the atmosphere at a Riu that I love. Given the choice next year I would have to say the Riu as its in a fantastic location, the beach is amazing and for something like a birthday holiday or a party of friends or family then it has something for everyone. I would consider the Excellence for a quiet holiday just me and my partner for somewhere for everyone then it has to be the Riu.
We would like to try one of the Palace resorts in Playacar and the Riu Playacar after its refurb and if the right deal came up then definitely the Yucutan but they really need to get their act together when it comes to restaurant reservations this I would say is there only let down.
All in all a wonderful holiday enjoyed by us all we absolutely loved every minute but I would stress to my customers the problems with the restaurants for anyone who enquires about booking here.

Room Tip: If you don't like lots of noise from birds and peacocks then request a room away from the Iberos...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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1 Thank Cazza30_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014 via mobile

We (parents with our 21 and 14 year old) can not fault anything about this hotel or the entire holiday. We booked with Thomsons who actually rate this a 4 star platinum not a 5 star. All the hotel, grounds, pool and beach were spotlessly clean (never once saw any monkey poo!!). The cleaners never stop cleaning day or night. We are vegetarians and had plenty of choice of lovely food at all meal times. If you eat meat and fish you would have struggled to get through all the choice available. All the staff are very hardworking, helpful and friendly. The entertainment staff are fantastic and our 2 enjoyed joining in the beach/pool games and sports. The hotel is not that large so despite an earlier comment about the hotel not providing transport around the hotel it is just not necessary. The other hotels are within a 5 minute walk also. It is no trouble either to get up of your sun lounger to get your own drink!! The bar staff were lovely and you never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to get served. I did get bitten in the first day or 2 despite taking mosquito spray. We bought bands from our rep and he arranged to get our room sprayed which was done the same day. No mossies in the room after that. If you keep the air con on you shouldn't have a problem with the smell/damp. We didn't see the entertainment every night but when we did it was a great selection of dancers, acrobats, fire dancers, a rock group and tenors. All very professional. Great wildlife living in the gardens too with a tuneful dawn chorus.

We pre booked Chichen Itza and Xel Ha in the UK. Both amazing days out. It is well worth the early start with Thomsons to go to Chichen Itza as you miss the crowds and the intense heat. On this trip you also get to see the Yucatan. It's jungle, jungle and more jungle out there with vultures! For Xel Ha there is so much to do that is included in your ticket there is no need to pay for any extras. You can see the dolphins and manatees easily although unfortunately these are in enclosures. The stingray though are free and we saw them in the lagoon a number of times yet the people who paid to see them didn't! We were there 9 hours and really another hour would have been nice! You do need to use biodegradeable sun cream at Xel Ha.

We hired a taxi to take us to Tulum and ended up hiring Carlos taxi 66 for the whole day. He was brilliant with a wealth of local knowledge. The Mayan ruins at Tulum are in a beautiful position. Again you need to get there early to avoid the heat and crowds. He then took us to a local beach with hardly anybody on it. The waves were great fun. We finished at Akumel in the hope of seeing the turtles. We didn't but we had a lovely time three.

None of us wanted to come home including our 21 year old who doesn't normally holiday with us. We made some amazing memories in celebration of his 21st birthday that we will never forget.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
7 Thank callyNewark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Stayed in the Yucatan in December 2013. Flew the Thompson Dreamliner which was excellent .
The Hotel has undergone a refurbishment with the main foyer a mixture of silver and pink.The foyer is well laid out with plenty of seating and a nice bar that gets lively of a night . There are only 5 restaurants . Mexican, Italian , Steak house , Oriental and the main buffet . The oriental is the best followed by the Italian the main buffet , steak house and surprisingly the Mexican is the least favourable .The main buffet was either very good or decidedly average . As with the main meals of an evening the Americans and Canadians like to have breakfast early so there is normally a shortage of tables as the lack of staff meant dirty tables are left a little to long to be cleared. The staff are very good but stretched to the limit .Entertainment is hit and miss but as guest are allowed to use the facilities at the Riu Tequila we watched most of the shows there. The Tequila also has a very good sports bar showing European football as well as American sports. The beach is excellent with a capital E There is a sandbank and the water only comes up to your waist for a good few yards so even non swimmers and children are very safe.There are 2 pools a large one where all the water sports take place and is frequented by the entertainment staff. There is a chill out pool by the foyer with cabana beds and hammocks. There is also a nice little bar serving alcoholic and virgin drinks and a varied selection of coffees. The hotel is well situated and if you like walking you will love it. Go out the front and you can walk to Playa del carmen in a leisurely 30 minutes through a nice private estate made up of hotels and private homes and because of the security you feel safe all the time.Go along the beach and you can be in playa del carmen in 45 minutes .Playa del carmen is a lively town with a multitude of bars, night clubs souvenir shops, duty free shops, and boutiques . If you only go to Playa once go to COCO BONGOS and you will have a night to remember. The Thompson holiday reps at the hotel do a bar crawl that finishes at coco bongos and we had a great night . It was £48 each with unlimited drinks at 3 bars and cocos. Even if you don't stay at the Yucatan the resort itself is one of the cleanest and safest i have stayed in.

Room Tip: Its all good.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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5 Thank colivar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Stayed Feb 28th-Mar7th '14.
We originally booked the RIU Tequila but upon arrival they offered us a free upgrade to the Yucatan! Immediately put us in taxi's and the hotel paid for them to take us to Yucation (literally a 5min walk lol)
Check-in was instant not a single person waiting. Johnathan at the front desk was hilarious and very informative. We would always make jokes with him when walking by the lobby.

I booked room 9205 by myself and my friends who were a couple stayed in ajoining room 9206. Very clean, fridge stocked, nice big flat-screen TV with many English channels was a plus. Beds nobody had issues sleeping. Although mosquitoes were in the room after a rainstorm it got very humid and we got bit a few times.

The resort is very clean as well. Staff are always working non-stop from the landscapers all the way up to managers. I don't think i saw a single person standing around and they were all very friendly.

The food ohh man did we ever gain some weight coming back it's probably the best selection of any resort I've ever been to(check my reviews I've been to many resorts). Honestly the Buffet was my favorite restaurant every night it was changed. We tried all of them and Shanghai(asian) was definitely our favorite the PeKing duck was the best. Least favorite is definitely the steakhouse. I recommend skipping this one entirely vegetables/sides were cold and meat was not the greatest cuts.

Pools were great! Quiet one was definitely our fav the chairs are upgraded and you get a canvas roof you can open to expose sunlight above you which is amazing. The bar there Ibiza was also good. Beach was cleaned everyday I noticed and chairs were hard to find just takes a while. The first day we got bit by sand fleas so I highly recommend packing insect repellent! I used Muskol Deep Woods and never got bit after wearing that.

My fav bar was definitely the Lobby. Nancy and Ricardo run a pretty tight shop and never leave you waiting long for a drink or shot. We joked around, had a lot of fun and hung out here everyday! They also carry good liquor brands such as Smirnoff, Beefeater, Johnny Walker and Dos Equis beer on tap.

I highly recommend this resort to older crowds, couples and families. As a single traveler I did meet a few people from all over the world but this is definitely a typical Riviera Maya Resort. Don't expect RIU Caribe or other Cancun hotspots for partying. Although I'm sure now during March break it's a different story so I've been told from Resort staff.

Room Tip: Bring bug repellent!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
3 Thank Monopoly83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Yucatan

Property: Hotel Riu Yucatan
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 1 | Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Yucatan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 507
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km/ 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * In Playacar's resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 2-storey buildings * Mexican "Hacienda" style architecture * Surrounded by 40,000 m2/44,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Next to the Mexican Street * 800 m/2,650 ft. From various shops * 55 km/34 miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Yucatan Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Mexico
Rui Yucatan
Hotel Riu Yucatan Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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