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“Great but Dangerous Beach”
Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #64 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2009

I agree with all the travelers review about great location and food.. BUT be very careful on the beach, the 2003 storms washed much of the sand away and there are dangerous ripe tides, if you go out past the sand whales. Something the brochures never mention.

Also watch out for the Cozumel ferry schedule it is very flexible and will often leave before the scheduled time if full.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank RetiredRovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 August 2009

This is our 2nd consecutive year staying at the Riu Yucatan, We were on our honeymoon last year and wanted to return with the children this year and once again had a great holiday. I have always been of the opinion that there are too many places to visit to return somewhere for a second time but this place is the exception. I will get the negatives out of the way first. Yes there were lots of mossies this year - more than last I would say but have holidayed in many other places and had to suffer the little so and so's but go prepared with sprays etc and its not all that bad. Rooms are a little tired but are kept spotlessly clean and towels replaced daily. Because of the high humidity levels, there is a slight musty smell to the towels but it is not unbearable and as you are showering regularly and are given clean towels daily it is not too bad. It would be nice to have tea and coffee making facilities in the room. We took a little travel kettle (took an age to boil) and tea bags but should have taken some little cartons of long life milk as we struggled to get some milk early in the morning before the restaurant opened. Edge of the pool could have been kept a little tidier. The problem with people reserving sunbeds is an issue but one for the hotel to sort out. Now the positives!! The atmosphere at the hotel is brilliant. The staff are so lovely and friendly and genuinely can't do enough for you. The animation team are great fun and get the balance just right. Their are activities each morning between about 10am and noon then again from about 3pm to 4.30. My son and daughter loved playing water polo everyday and made friends of all different nationalities. I did aqua aerobics a couple of times which was good fun. My husband did the rifle shooting and was just as hopeless as last year!!! The beach is paradise. Beautiful picture postcard white sand, palm trees and turquoise sea. Lots of water sports - children took out jet skis, we went parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing. My husband did his PADI diving course and my son and I learnt to sail the catamaran which was great. Evening entertainment very good. If you want a change though, you are free to use some of the other Riu hotels and there is also the town of Playa del Carmen a short taxi ride away which is really nice to wander around. Once the children, 18 and 16 hooked up with some other teenagers, they all went across to the Riu Tequila hotel which had a sports bar and a nightclub. We did a few trips last year and this and would strongly recommend Xel-Ha eco park, the dolphin swim and Chichen Itza which although is a long day, is well worth it. You get to see some of the real Mexico on the journey. Coach lovely and cool and cold drinks available as and when you want them and you stop at a beautiful cenote for a swim on route to Chichen Itza. The food in the hotel is of a good standard and although a bit repetitive there is a large choice and perfectly satisfactory and would defy anyone not to find something they liked. Of course there are the speciality restuarants too which are good for a change - we particularly liked the steakhouse and the asian. The majority of people we spoke to last year and this year really liked the hotel and said they would definitely like to return. Enough said!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank KTBYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2009

............... if thats what you are after thats what you'll get. we were 2 familes - 4 adults and 3 kids all under 7

Rooms are large and adequate for a fyoung family of 3 or 4 [2 adults and 2 younger children] whilst a little tired and by that I mean caribbean flowery curtains and tiled floor they are clean and kept clean every day with fresh towels. fridge stocked daily with corona's and pepsi/soft drinks and water and 4 optics refilled as used - we didnt use them but I think there was vodka, rum, tequila and maybe whiskey!

2 double beds, tv, small table and 2 chairs, dressing area, large wardrobe, patio with furniture for 2. no tea/coffee making facilities so an early mornign coffee whilst you adjsut to the time zone is a no no!! go to the restuarant they open early!

main large restaruant for breakfast/lunch and dinner - varied over the week but as with most AI hotels you dont get bored of the food ............... just bored of eating!! restaurante by the pool fo rlunch serving more snack life food doubled up in the eveing as half american and half mexican restaurant - you have to book. food is ok but open air so very hot in the evenings. asian restaurant again you have to book but varied food ............... chinese/indian and japenese [well bit of sushi] ............. hot icecream is worth a try!

lobby is large with a bar and then 2 swim up bars, pool bar and 2 large square bars used inan evening.

staff are pleasant and helpful, you dont have to tip them but when you do get good service then what is US$10? tip becuase you can and you want to not not becuase you have to!

plenty of pool beds and you get clean beach towels as and when you want. beach is great with plenty of beds but no shade - we went to the walmart in the town and got 2 parasolls for about US$10 each.

you can work form the hotel to a few shops but for about 4 or 5 US$ you can get a cab at the hotel entrance into the town .................. walk along hte beach and you can use hte other Riu hotels ... so pop in for a snack/lunch or a cool beer ............ they are all the same and with the exception of the 5* the rest are a little smaller.

the staff work very hard and long hours

there is a kids club which have daily activities and get them invovled in evening entertainment and award certificates which the younge rkids seems to like - but no-one is pushy if you dont want to get invovled - you dont. alhtough they are not as strict as other hotels i have been to and you dont have to sign them in or out ............... which is something I woudl have liked as my 7 year old wandering around large pools and huge grounds of the hotel was not what i woudl have wanted - luckily he is [fairly] sensible for a 7yr old!

the grounds and gardens are very well layed out and clean and plenty of vegitation

their is a nightclub on site [which we ditn try due to kids under 7 withus] a spa on site, gym and you can have massage by the pool or by the beacj for extra charge ................. the beach is the best bit for clear water and wide white sand compared to the other hotels..................

the 2 men did a fishing trip but booked it themselves and had a great time catching sail fish. go into the town for a change [althoug liek everywhere else expcet a little bit of hassle ........ they rely on us tourists buying there goods]. Barter a little htey want to sell - i wanted a flag and knocked the guy down from US$80 to US$20 ....................

like all other hotels/holidays, you do get what you pay for and comparing this to a 5/6* hotel in dubai it isnt ........ but then its better than 3* and as par tof the riu chain then you can expect a certain standard - but as with everything if you want 5* then you have to pay a little more!

I would recommend the hotel puts tea/coffee facilities in the room - which would be more welcome that the vodka/gin etc .................. and get some shade for the beach. otherwise you will enjoy yourself. I hear they are doing the hotel up - so maybe no more flowery curtains!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank LOUBY11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2009

My Wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon from july 20th - 27th

Upon arrival, this hotel is quite amazing. The reception desk is great. They explain everythign to you and show you the way to your room.
We originally stayed in a standard room. It was on the third floor of building 2. The room was ready for us and very nice. The only problem was the air condition seemed to be just turned on so it was quite hot. More on that later.

We ate at the dinner buffet on the first night. The food and service were both spectacular! We then went to the Tequila bar by the pool and spent the night laughing and joking with the bar tenders. They made us several drinks that we had never had. We had a great time. They recommend just about anything with tequlia of course!

We went back to our room that night and it was still about 85 degrees F in the room. This made it extremely uncomfortable to sleep, but as we had a little too much to drink, we just went to sleep.

The following day we sat on the beech most of the day. We wanted to go in the pool but the sludge of sun tan lotion, cigarette butts, and spill drinks that were floating on top turned us off. I would recommend you stay way from the pools unless you dont mind swimming in sludge.

The ocean on the other hand, was gorgeous. The sand whales are actually quite fun to climp on and jump off. There is free snorkal rental on the beach, and you will see many fish swimming near the sand whales. The sand is white, and stays cool. My only complaint on the beach is the cigarette butts that are literally everywere. Its like a giant ash tray. My wife an I are from Ohio were smking is banned in most public areas so it was quite an adjustment for us. Just a heads up to any non smokers, there are a lot of europeans at this resort, and they love to smoke. They dont really car if you like it or not either. They will blow it right in your face.

If you are an American, and want to stay somewere that you can meet other Americans, stay away from this resort. There was 1 other American couple there during our stay. We enjoyed it because the idea was to get away, but some may not.

On wednesday we went to wet n wild in Cancun. We only wanted to do the swim with dolphin activities, but everything is bundled in mexico as a package so you get stuck with both. That was a great time tho and we had the van pick us up early.

The driver got lost on our way back to the hotel and it took almost 2 hours to get back. That night we finally got sick of complaining about our crappy air conditioning and requested a new room at the front desk. We had complained 4 times and they just kept telling us they would look at it. No one ever came. They offered us dinner at the Palace down the street, but dudnt fix our air. We declined and requested a new room.

They gave us two room keys so we could pick the room we wanted. The first room was just as hot as our original room. The second room was ice cold and perfect, except for the ceiling leaking and the shower torn apart!!! I guess we werent supposed to use the shower? We took both key back and told them about the rooms. They then had Octavious walk us to a sweet. It was nice, not necissary tho. We only wanted a room that we could sleep in without sweating. The air condition in this sweet was a little cooler than our first room so we took it. It was still around 80 degree F with the air on full blast. He then wanted us to give him a tip for giving us this sweet. I told him if thats how its going to be, dont bother and just give us a normal room with working air. He changed his mind and left us to the new room.

One thing you will learn about Mexico is, they expect a tip for anything. Even talking to you it seems.

That night we ate at the Asian buffet. It was ok, nothing to rave about tho. You have to wear pants and shirt with a collar to the specialty dinners. Just an FYI there is no air conditioning in these restaurants so be prepaired to sweat while you eat.

The lunch buffet is nasty and gets old after the first few days. How many times can you eat hot dogs, hamburgers, or a sorry excuse for pizza in a week? The bast part of the luch buffet was the soft serve ice cream.

The dinner buffet get repetative as well, tho they do change it up a little bit.

Finally, when they say dont drink the tap water in mexico, they mean dont eat the ice, or touch andything that tap water touches either. Both the wife and I were on the toilet multiple times in a day by the 4th day of our trip. A week later, We are still sick. We drank bottled water only, but I guess they make the ice from tap water. If you drink any of the frozen drinks that are made with this ice = mexicraps for a week.

Overall, this hotel is fun, but not the best. Next time we will try one of the nicer hotels in the area. Both of the Riu Palaces look very nice. For the price difference, I would recommend you avoid the yucatan and enjoy a nice stay at one of the places.

Do make sure to check out Chichen Itza while your in mexico. It is absolutely amazing.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank schoat333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

We have just come back from 2 weeks (14th July to 28th) at the RIU Yucatan and I have to agree with some of the recent reviews about this mossies, the sprays that we took did not work, the mossies just lick it off and then bite you. We were all eaten alive and this gets you down especially when it is happening day and night and ruins the holiday experience. We even resorted to spraying around the door frame at night as well as the’ Jungle’ plug-in repellent, this did seem to reduce the number of bites when sleeping. The weather was very hot and on some days very humid. It rain twice and this was during the night. Some days were cloudy but it was a relief to get some cooler days.
Rooms were basic but thoroughly cleaned daily; the mini bar was always stocked with soft drinks and bottles of beer every two days. Optics dispensers were in the room containing Rum, Vodka, Gin and Tequila and bottles replaced when empty.
On arrival at the hotel a refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail was served while we checked in. The reception staff explained all about the hotel. The reception staff are very throughout and on our first night a phone call was received checking that very thing was okay. We had a few minor issues which we reported to reception and they were dealt with promptly. Don’t be afraid to raise problems with reception they are only too pleased to sort it out.
The hotel gives a very competitive rate for exchanging currency and we used them for all money exchanges.

The food was excellent and very nice and there was always plenty of choice. On top of this there are 3 other restaurants Asian, Mexicana nd the steak house which need to be booked in advance. The Asian is very nice, steak house food is very nice but be warned the mossies will eat you here and the Mexican is nice food but is not traditional Mexican food.
There is not much shade on the beach and you will need to get up early if you want sun lougers in the shade around the pool. It seemed that everybody gets up at the crack of dawn and put towels on the loungers and then they go back to bed, reappearing around 11am. This was very annoying.
The animation team work hard throughout the day and at night, putting on a evening show, Michael Jackson and Grease they were very good.
We did a few trips which were booked through Thomson and we felt were expensive, Captin Hook was very cheesy but the food was the best we had in Mexico, F1 day out involved going on a very fast speed boat, snorkelling on a reef, lunch followed by quad bikes. If you have a bad back then the speed boat will not be for you it really throws you about. Swimming with whale sharks was brilliant we were very lucky on the day we went with 60 whale sharks being in the water, this was a very expensive trip but was very enjoyable and very frightening at first when you see a whale shark swimming towards you with its mouth open. We booked the chichen itza trip at the kiosk in the plaza which is a 5 minute walk from the hotel, it was half the Thomson price and was very well organised, be warned it is a 3 hour coach trip and it is very hot and very humid when you get there.
We did enjoy our holiday thanks to the staff at the hotel but will not be returning.
Would I recommend this hotel? Yes if the mossies and the grabbing of sun loungers out are sorted out.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank whfa2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

We chose this hotel in order to strike a balance between the holiday wants of reasonably well travelled parents and those of accompanying teenagers looking for a more sociable busier environment than we'd usually take them to and in which there'd be access to pool, beach, new friends and nightlife, without in our minds them having to go too far out of sight and offsite to find them. Furthermore, and from past experience, I didn't also want to finish the holiday with a massive extras bill in respect of drinks etc., so the all inclusive option for us was a must. In that respect we probably achieved what we'd been looking for, they had their space, and we had ours................or so we'd hoped if we were prepared to venture out at some unearthly hour of the dawn to place our towel on a sunbed in order to reserve it.

Frankly, I go on holiday to relax and cannot bring myself to have to get into this ridiculous routine. The resort information and various signs around the pool states that this practice is not tolerated by the hotel management, yet I saw no evidence of that rule being exercised by them, as I understand it is in the neighbouring RIU hotels. There are plenty of sunbeds on the beach as an alternative, complete with welcoming onshore breeze, but no parasols and just a few with natural palm tree shade, so unless you want full sun, be prepared to get up early and make your reservation in the customary way, or keep a close eye on those "reserved" sunbeds that don't get utilised until much later in the day and claim squatters rights, as regretably it was apparent that a number were "reserved" each morning and not taken up until the afternoon when the intended users had tired of the beach and wanted to relax in the shade, having had their cake, they clearly now wanted to eat it !

Bar service was good and fast with self service options too, and food was available in abundance throughout the day with a fair choice of options to enable you to vary your intake as you wished at all mealtimes and beyond, with alternative themed restaurants on site which could be booked for dinner with the restaurant receptionist at breakfast each morning.

The rooms albeit a little tired now, were sufficeintly well appointed, spacoius, clean and serviceable, but do exercise caution as mosquitoes are rife, especially if you leave any of the room doors open for any length of time, and unless you want to spend your leisure time swatting flies, I'd suggest you take a couple of anti-mossie plug ins for each bedroom/bathroom area, along with a high concentration DEET spray for your limbs, to protect against the obvious ones you'll find in the evenings, but especially those that seemed to lurk under the tablecloths in the dining rooms, an appropriate place I suppose for them to get their nosebag too.

The staff at the hotel were very friendly and attentive and constantly seeking feedback to ensure that as guests we were happy, and was there more that they could do for us. The Thomson staff too were very helpful and Wendy did a great job in comprehensively describing the various trips avaiable for booking, a result of which we enjoyed our trip to Chichen Itza with a refreshing Cenote swim nearby, all under the very knowledgeable guidance of Serge. Xel-Ha is also to be recommended, and we had a fantastic half day trip on a RIB with FatCats to Akumel where we snorkelled for a good hour or so and saw turtles, stingray, barracuda and countless other reef fish and plantlife, which then inspired to me to take a PADI diving course with Gustavo and the brilliant team that run Scuba Caribe at their dive centre at the RIU Yucatan.

In all we had a great holiday, striking the balance overall of what we'd hoped to have achieved in a family seeking a mix of wants, but next time we'd possibly choose somewhere a bit quieter where sunbeds and some shade were more readily available, however if my daughters were asked the question, they'd no doubt wish to return chanting the word we all were repeatedly encouraged to spout by RIU's answer to RedCoats..............Excellente!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank Grumpyish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

AWESOME location, food and hotel. As someone with high standards I was not disappointed by this hotel- I can honestly say that any bad reviews should be discounted as it was wonderful and if you had even the slightest concern (which we didnt) the hotel staff were instantly available to sort it out. Witnessed a few people moaning about the most ridiculous of things and to be honest found it quite hilarious- these are the kind of people that have probably written bad reviews and would complain if they were put up in Buckingham Palace! (I'm sure everyone has come accross these types- the kind that try to look important by making issues)
Do take a mosquito plug for your room- this was a godsend and for the ladies I would take boots own jungle strength mosquito spray and lay off the perfume! I had spray of it on both legs and arms each evenng and got one bite in 2 weeks. Did see some people who had been bitten lots and i have been bitten on holidays before but the repellent was awesome!

So much to do- take extra money for trips as there is something for everyone! But also so many beaches, pools and walks if you cant afford the trips. Also def 2 weeks needed- its too far to go for one week and you'd be going home just as you got settled!

So clean and friendly and not shabby- gardens attended everyday and little statues/ fences painted fresh at least once a week

Just a little note though to say if money is no object the 2 Riu Palace hotels in Playa Carmen were just incredibly indulgent and I think you would struggle to find better hotels in Mexico. (The Yucatan was to the same standard though but these were very exclusive and I can imagine a few celebs may have stayed at these there)

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank anon063
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:
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £180 - £322 (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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