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!
- 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