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“Pretty in Pink”
Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #63 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Just returned from a 2 week stay at a very pleasing resort and hotel, made all the better by the staff - thank you all! I can understand how the transformation is not in everyone's favour, even a few of the staff (understandingly!) preferred the previous "Hispanic style" to the current "American/European décor" but it is, without doubt, very refreshing and provides a modernistic and pleasant first impression on entering the reception area.
Food - excellent. Be it in the buffet areas throughout the day or the Italian themed restaurant (day & night not required to book), or any of the 3 bookable a la carte - the Steak, the Asian and Mexican themed restaurants - the food was immaculately presented and never disappointed. Top tip 1 - get there early to book the 'bookables' (opens at 7am!) and be 1st at the sitting ie 20:30 for the 2nd sitting at the Asian = best choice from the buffet! Top tip 2 - pop on a T shirt (not vest!) and visit the Italian for lunch, this may appear a bit of a walk from the pools or beach but it was always the highest quality, very quiet and well worth the walk!
Service - excellent. Be it Reception staff, the Bell Hops, the Bar staff, the Waiting staff, Table/Hotel or Room cleaners or anyone not mentioned they all went that extra 'bit' to make your stay so welcome. Top tip - ok it may be 'all inclusive' but it doesn't hurt to tip anyone who has gone that extra mile.
Rooms - excellent. We were in Block 8, 3rd floor very quiet, reasonable size and spotless. The cleaners did the 'towel bit' (fish, elephants rabbits etc) which always helps.
We preferred the beach, beautiful and one of the best i've been on (!) to the pools, no major issues, a bit wary of what was in the pool bar water though(?) - but you take your chances! The 'Chill Out' pool and bar area is a nice addition but can get very hot due to lack of breeze, it is nice to lounge and relax in the hammocks!
Nature reserve - excellent. from the timid Sereque dashing round the grounds to the inquisitive Coati, the iguanas or the howler monkeys, or even the squadron of pelicans flying over the beach - the hotel was not overrun (unlike the Riu Tequila(?) due to the numbers of Coati roaming - happy to hear from a holidaymaker who stayed as we only went across the road once) and these provided great photo opportunities, although the birds at meal times can be a bit of a pest.
Our previous Mexican Holiday was in 2007 across the road at the Riu Tequila, thoroughly enjoyed the holiday (did Chichen Itza + Dolphins + Xel Ha + Xcaret - all still strongly recommended!) but the hotel now appears to be looking in the need of a refurbishment but possibly (?) it should maintain her original 'Hispanic style'.
Having dived previously in Mexico i pre-booked on-line with Scubacaribe.com Mexican Greatest Dive Pack to take advantage of the discount - excellent company see separate review. Also booked the Whale Shark Safari - if you've had the Dolphin experience this is a must do 'bucket list' while you are still able to swim with these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.
We also visited Akulum to see turtles (don't touch!!) + sting rays (be careful if you walk in the sea!) and Tulum but used a taxi rather than 'arranged trip' - certainly cheaper and definitely pay in Pesos - a lot better rate than the US Dollar!
A night out visit to Coco Bongos although relatively expensive (paid for the VIP Gold!) was thoroughly enjoyed, another experience not to be missed - bouncing from the beginning until the end @03:30! - arrive at the club for @22:10 to be towards the front of the queue, the doors open @22:25 and you get the 'best seats' - tip generously! Take a night walk down 5th Avenue and enjoy the ambience - far better than during the day + more to see - Mayan pole flyers and entertainers in the 'square' in front of the beach.
Would also like to quickly thank the Thomson Reps, Alice and Dan, for aiding the arrival of our 'late guest' = cheers!
I would most strongly recommend Riu Yucatan and this area for a holiday, we love it and thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and intend to do it again - i hope you do!

Room Tip: We were in block 8 on the third floor - no issues!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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14  Thank carolanne48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,726 - 1,732 of 5,823 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2014

24 year old couple staying end of May for 10 days. Had a fantastic time. Hotel was excellent, great decor and loads of space so you're never on top of people. brilliant to see the animals within the hotel including agutis, spider monkeys and raccoon like creatures. Hotel staff very helpful and friendly, particularly the bar and waiting staff. Go out of their way to help you and make conversation. Rooms are also lovely and very comfy and the towel animals are a highlight to come back to each day!
Location was ideal, right on a stunning beach with crystal clear water. Also only a 5-10min cheap taxi ride into Playa Del Carmen or a nice 40 min walk along the beach. The town is a fair size so theres plenty of bars and restaurants. Pay a visit to Coco Bongo too, best club ever!
Tripswise we definitely recommend Xcaret which is about a 10min taxi trip - do the sea trek, an unforgettable experience! Also did chichen itza and Jungle Maya Tulum which were both fantastic with exceptional tour guides.
No problem getting sun loungers by the pool and also had no problems with mosquitos.
Had an amazing holiday even though we had a tropical storm for a couple of days. There is plenty to see and do so recommend getting out and doing lots!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Carla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014 via mobile

This hotel is amazing and I am surprised people have found fault with it to be honest! The main entrance decor is very modern and not my taste but it's immaculate and to be honest how much time are you going to spend in reception?!
Rooms are clean and tidy, large size and plenty of storage.the bathrooms are open plan so not ideal if you want privacy but were ok for myself and my husband. We stayed in block 4, quiet at night but nice and close to daytime facilities.
Staff- exemplary service throughout. From housekeeping, gardeners, bar, waiting and reception staff everyone works so hard and they ALWAYS say hello/good morning which I found very welcoming and friendly. They are true ambassadors for good customer service.
Food- excellent choice throughout the day. I've never seen a bigger choice at breakfast and everything was tasty! Lunch also good selection and nice and fresh. Dinner great choice again every night. Personally we didn't think the a la cartes were any better than the main restaurant but perhaps worth a try for a change of scene. You won't best the main restaurant for its food though!
Pool/sea- pool near beach was dirty every day which was a real shame and while I prefer the lovely Caribbean Sea it would have been a nice option to have when the waves were strong. I saw several staff checking the pool each day but only saw it cleaned once in two weeks. It was disgusting I have to say and I'm really not normally fussy with this sort of thing. This is probably my only negative comment on the hotel though! Plenty of sunbeds available every day even if you look at lunch/in afternoon.
Scuba caribe are the onsite PADI dive centre. My husband used them 3 times, much cheaper than Europe, great choice of dives (including a drift dive with turtles!) and really nice, friendly staff.
Overall a smashing holiday at a great hotel. We would recommend and will definitely book at Rius again.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Bumblebee1303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

My husband and myself stayed at the Riu Yucatan for the second time in May 2014. We'd previously stayed here 2 years ago before the renovations and we liked both the old style and the new modern style even though it was very different. People who complained that it was dated before the renovations are probably the ones who are now saying it's too modern.

We had a room on the ground floor which was lovely and very conveniently situated close to the main pool and the beach. The open plan room/bathroom layout may be awkward if you're sharing with a friend due to the glass shower screen but for us it was fine. There was a fridge with beer, soft drinks and water which was topped up every day and four optics with spirits in which was replenished as necessary. There is no kettle or coffee/tea making facilities but we knew this and took a travel kettle, although we didn't use it much.

The hotel and grounds are spotless and the staff work very hard to keep it that way, there's always staff cleaning round the hotel. There are monkeys, agoutis (like big guinea pigs on stilts as someone described them), coatis (a type of raccoon) and lots of different birds, including woodpeckers and over near the hotel next door we saw toucans. We only ate in the main restaurant (didn't use the a la carte ones) and found the food to be excellent, loads of choice even for fussy eaters, great service from the waiters/waitresses and no problem getting a table.

The beach is absolutely beautiful and we spent most of our time here, rather than round the pools. There is a quiet pool but I think you have to get there fairly early to get a sunbed. Around other pools it can be rather loud and having seen how cloudy the swim up pool was, there's no way I would've gone in there!!

As this was our third trip to Mexico and we'd already done several trips we only did one trip and that was to Chichen Itza which was a great trip. We booked with Thomsons and although we could've no doubt got it cheaper booking elsewhere, I would recommend you book with Thomsons as we set off at 5.20am, meaning we got there early before all the crowds, a definite bonus, we had pastries, coffee and orange juice on the coach on the way there and later on we were offered beer, water, soft drinks and even tequila. The guide was fantastic, so informative and really brought the place to life. By the time we left, the crowds were pouring in so it's well worth the early start, you also avoid the intense heat by going early. This trip also goes to a beautiful cenote to swim, then lunch is provided and finally on to a town called Valladolid. A highly recommended trip.

We went to Fifth Avenue several times, both during the day and at night, it's a must, if only to see the great entertainment going on, try and catch the pole flyers in the main square near the mermaid arch on the beach.

I would definitely recommend the Riu Yucatan and the resort of Playa del Carmen, just go and enjoy it!!

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
10  Thank goose1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Stayed at the Riu Yucatan April 2014, the hotel is welcoming and the staff are all friendly and very professional. The hotel has a lot to offer with a modern and colourful environment. The beach and pool areas are great but the sun beds are a bit to close for comfort and private conversations. And not much shade on the beach, but it is beautiful. Plenty going on around the hotel and walking distance along the beach to the town for ferries and bus to further afield. Watch out if booking trips in hotel as the exchange rates that Thomsons offer are a rip off. The trips however were great. Chichen Itza was a great day and the guide made this an education. Xel Ha also a great day with lots to do with zip wires, cliff jumps, bikes, lazy river, good food and snorkelling with sting rays and colourful fish. Great diving is on offer from the dive centre on the beach and a trip to Cozumel is a must for diving with rays and turtles. maybe not on parr with the Red Sea but still an experience. Take note that the bathroom is open plan, which we were not aware of when booking and going there with young adults is a bit weird. After talking to reception staff they sent along a shower curtain. They will help with any concerns. Drinks and cocktails were great and food not bad for an all inclusive hotel of this size. Grounds are very pleasant and some nice wildlife around the hotel.Had a great two weeks

Room Tip: ask for a room near the beach
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Margaret R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Check in was fast but the Hotel itself was nothing special. The pools were big but crowed and hard to find a chair. Even though I saw Staff members cleaning the pools, they still always seemed dirty. "No wait staff at the pool". Every other all-inclusive that I have stayed at had servers by the pools, the Beach and in the hotel lobby bars but not this place. Even at breakfast and lunch we had to get our own drinks. The rooms seemed dirty and in need of paint and new mattresses. It was like sleeping on a slab of granite that had been placed on top of a set of industrial springs. We stayed in building 6 which was close to everything but noisy at night while the entertainment was going on. No room service here either! The nicest part of the trip was the friendly and very funny bar tenders and the beach.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Travelfor2forlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Firstly we would like to thank riu for giving us a fabulous memorable holiday.

We started our journey on the dreamliner from gatwick this plane is truly amazing, and is a must for a long haul flight!

We arrived to a warm welcome a nice cold drink and a very modern and sleek reception area. As soon as we got to our room our suitcases were bought to us, which was kind, however this hotel is lacking a lift!! Lugging suitcases up to the third floor for anyone is not easy. We were surprised about the lift situation. Anyway,
We had trouble to begin with to use the optics which we were helped with as soon as the bags arrived we then received a phone call to see if we were okay and if we needed anything. This was great and made us feel as though we were welcome and no trouble. Our only complaint regarding our bedroom was the smell, which as mentioned in other comments is damp and does leave your clothes smelling quite bad. We were reluctant to leave balcony door open due to Mosquitos, we know the mosquito issue cannot be helped but was very bad. So remember to bring as much repellant as possible. Going back to the room, once air con and fan was on it did take the strength of the smell away slightly.
Customer service is second to none, it is honestly fantastic! All of the staff are so friendly and work so hard. We have never experienced such cleanliness, the workers are continuously looking for ways to improve and keep the hotel clean inside and out.
Beach is out of this world, first trip to Mexico and we were blown away! Wow. Not sure about the sun lounger comments as we were up around 8am-9am and always got a lounger around the beach or pool. You cannot expect to get one after midday if the weather is nice, as all areas become highly populated, as expected.

One special mention to the house keepers rooms were immaculate! Day in day out, always left with a pleasant towel animal and a very tidy room!

Unfortunately I do not think the hotel is designed for the tropical storms we experienced the first three days, as there were leaks in a couple of areas in the hotel one of them being the Italian restaurant. Also we did feel for the money we payed, we should have been able to get wifi around the hotel. The price for five days is £50 to receive a temperamental wifi. A little bit of a cheek we think! Only other niggle is the repetitiveness in the four extra eating places, there could have been more variation. I do not feel we could have been all inclusive for two weeks comfortably. However if you are not a fussy eater in the slightest there is plenty, but not much for veggies.

With little niggles aside do not fear this hotel based on the negative reviews, it is modern, clean and very welcoming. We were blown away by our surroundings, and had a fantastic week stay. After all, not everything is to your liking in any hotel.

Thank you riu Yucatan

Room Tip: Do not go on ground floor due to Mosquitos!!! Higher the better
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank karisandpaul
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

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
Amenities:
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:
#33 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: £163 - £368 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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