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“Leave well alone”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #52 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We recently spent a most enjoyable two weeks with our family (two adults three children) at the charming Riu Playacar on the Mexican/Caribbean coast with its wonderful food, gardens, close proximity to the sea for the children etc. so we, like many others, were horrified to hear of a proposal to demolish this hotel and rebuild it in the style of the recently refurbished Riu Yucatan nearby. Everything we love about the Playacar, its ambience, style, authenticity etc. will be lost if this is the case. We have stayed at the Yucatan for the past two years, thankfully changing to the Playacar this year only to learn of its fate. Please think again - this is Mexico, the Caribbean, not New York or Las Vegas! If this goes ahead we are just one family who won't be returning to these hotels.

Room Tip: Rooms in one of the middle blocks are good as they are near restaurant and beach.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank gillian w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 May 2014

I just returned from the Riu Playacar- Playa del Carmen and let me tell u--- I LOVED IT!

I have travelled to Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cuba but this by far was my most favourite vacation!

Only a few complaints--check in was QUICK which was a bonus however that same night we had a broken A/C, water did not work throughout the whole hotel which meant you could not shower, wash hands or FLUSH…disaster. When we spoke to front desk he said he could not help and to wait until the morning time to speak to someone. (he didn't give a rats behind about a thing, even by his tone of voice)
The rooms were just "OK" looking, nothing crazy.. no door to separate the beds from washroom-- there is simply just a curtain which was sort of weird, but whatever.
Balcony was spacious.

There was no such thing as 24 hour snack bar… if you were hungry at night then you would have no choice but to venture out and grab something outside the resort which was kind of inconvenient.

Front desk was not helpful for the most part. We requested for a late checkout on our last day because our bus was not coming to get us until almost 6pm and we had to check out at 12pm. They told us to keep coming back and check the morning of which we did and not one person was helpful. The hotel was "booked up" supposedly. So we had to shower and get ready after enjoying the beach in their showers close to the lobby. Not the greatest, but we wished we had our room for only a couple hours extra- we were willing to pay-- its an extra $50 for late checkout.

Our maid was amazing, she cleaned our room spotless! and always left little stuffed animals made out of towels which was cute. Her name is "Alba".

but honestly besides those little things….. the hotel, people, beach and FOOD were FANTASTIC!!!! 10/10!!!
Never had to search for beach chairs, plenty always available.
Towels always fresh
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the buffet was absolutely AMAZING!! always a different variety and the taste was incredible.
The beach was beautiful- there was usually a server most days to come bring you drinks aswell we had ceviche served to us on one of the days ! YUMMY!
Lobby, washrooms, hotel rooms and grounds were SUPER clean always
Nightly entertainment at the resort was just okay, some nights more exciting and fun then others.

The hotel was geared mainly towards couples and families I would say. If your looking more for a younger crowd (20s) I would possibly suggest staying at the Riu Yucantan or Tequila. Being allowed to share those resorts was great, we would go there to see the night shows or just to walk around and see different peoplel. They are walking distance from Playacar.

Nightlife- - what can I say… the BEST!!!!! if you are staying in playa del carmen you NEED to check out COCO BONGO which you can buy tickets at your resort. ODI AND RAUEL who sell them at Playacar are AMAZING guys!! so funny and helpful!! they made our trip such a fun one. As well as FREDDY who is part of entertainment!! great ppl! If you do plan to go to coco bongo go on a monday-wed when it is not overly packed. It rams up to 1800 ppl so you don't want to be stuck like glue to one another lol also they BLAST the A/C i mean BLAST it in there!! bring a little cardigan or wear pants that night.

Also, try to go to Señor Frogs which is also super close… food is amazing and the atmosphere is great! I had the burrito and nachos--- they were delicious
5th avenue is perfect for shopping, eating and lounging. The options are endless there!!
If your into nightclubs def check out Blue Parrot, Tribeca, Mandalla and la vaquita. all located across from each other! $9 cab ride from hotel.

The shops located directly across the street from the hotel are perfect also to purchase gifts or little things for yourself. The jewellery and art work are so beautiful there!!
Playa is not a place you cheap out on, you WILL spend money and prob lots of it if you plan on shopping! :) They also have a starbucks right across the hotel- BONUS!

I didn't even need to use my bug spray--- not one bite! for myself or 2 friends :)

If you have not been to mexico do yourself a favour and really really check out playa del carmen! It is gorgeous and you will not regret booking. If you are looking for a small, intimate, a little older looking, chill out resort then stay at playacar. If you are looking for something a bit more modern, larger, and a younger crowd then possibly look into Riu Yucantan. Both resorts are in a perfect location close to everything!

I cannot wait to return back to Playa del Carmen… I might check out a different hotel this time, but it was still a great and memorable experience at Playacar! :)

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank ashleemxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This was my sixth trip to Playa Del Carmen. It took me a few years to save so I could bring my children.Last time I was there I stayed at the RIU Palace. What a wonderful hotel. I knew the Playacar would not be as nice as the Palace but I didn't think it would be as run down as it was. The room was very outdated and the smell of must filled the air. The room never got cold enough to sleep with anything but a sheet. The grounds were falling apart. broken cobblestones, tiles in the pool and broken statues were just a few of the items wrong with the hotel. The food was ok but when we went to the steak house we got cheese sticks that were frozen on the inside and cold side dishes. I was very disappointed because we could of stayed at the Azteca for cheaper but better accommodations. I trusted the RIU name. I will not do that again. Now, I am nervous because I told a friend how much we loved the RIU Palace and now she just booked a room at the Tropicana. I hope they don't disappoint.

Room Tip: There are so many hotels in Playa Del Carmen I would only stay at a hotel a friend recommends.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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6  Thank Nicoler1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I was looking to entertain my children as well as enjoy an amazing beach. Both of these goals were achieved. The kids were entertained nightly, there were other children there from several different countries that my children made friends with. The food wasnt really authentic Mexico, but the kids really enjoyed it. Bug spray advice from Trip advisor was the best advice when staying here. We sprayed ourselves every night, but still got bitten, LOL. Besides this the kids got to see spider monkeys making their way through the trees as we swam in the pool. Great experience for the kids, relaxing for the Mom, LOL.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank yaslovesjamaica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014

This is a great hotel because it is smaller and more authentic than the other hotels around it. All the staff were friendly and polite, nothing was too much trouble. Everywhere was kept clean and tidy, the gardens were immaculate. A large variety of food was offered and displayed beautifully. The beach was wonderful where everyone could lay on a lounger under their own Palm Tree. The bar staff would come round taking drink orders to save you a trip to the bar yourself. The best thing was that it wasn't overcrowded anywhere, not on the beach, not around the pools, the dining halls, the theatre area. The whole ambience gave a great "Chill-Out" holiday.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank zayerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2014

My husband and I LOVE Riu resorts. In fact, we stay nowhere else. We weren't more pleased with this one than any of the others but we did have a great time.

Check in - Upon check in we weren't given towel keys or a room key for the safe so we were a little annoyed when we had to come back down and get them both at separate times but not a big deal to us as we enjoyed the outdoor scenary.

Drinks - the drinks are much stronger here than anywhere else we've been and we were not complaining. :)

Food - the food was average. I've never had exceptional food at a Riu but we are there for the value and don't really care about the food as long as we're not sick or starving. The fresh fruit and fresh fruit juice however, were both amazing.

Room - The air conditioner worked great and it was cleaned on a daily basis so we have no complaints. The T.V. channels were mostly in spanish but hey - we were in Mexico and were so tired from the sun that we didn't mind and went right to bed anyway.

Overall experience -

We would come here again. I have read reviews where people needed to "upgrade" or were "drugged" or it was "unsafe". I never felt a smidge unsafe here and even walked by myself along the beach at night. I am a 24 year old female with a huge chest. I was fine. You will be fine. The drive from the airport to the resort was not scary. Mexico was not scary. We left and went shopping in downtown Cancun and people were generally nice to us. I made it back in one piece and you will too. :)

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nikki S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Last week I stayed at the Hotel Riu Playacar for one week. I was a solo traveler seeking dental work in Cancun. Oh, by the way, this is an excellent idea for a forum on dental tourism. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I liked the Riu Playacar in that it was clean, affordable, and made with a sense of history instead of the other hotels that were cheap and glitzy. It was just charming, and I admire that for being in a sea of all inclusives fighting to get my dollar. I appreciated the quiet and the use of solid building materials such as granite cabinets, large tile floors, and cleanliness. The food looked good but it wasn't the most flavourful. Still, it was good and healthy with a lot of choice. The staff were polite, but a bit distant or they seemed tired and busy. I run a B & B so I know how difficult it might be at the end of a busy season. Still I had hoped to make a connection with the staff or realize that what I needed was important. This was the only downside. The staff seemed remote. Other than that, I enjoyed myself. I have no complaints about the hotel. I would stay there again. It doesn't get full marks, but for the price, I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: I think they are all about the same. I did switch rooms as one had a strong cleaning smell. The hote...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank ArtisanSuites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Playacar

Address: Avenida Xamen-Ha | Manzana 6, Lote 6, Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £162 - £391 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Playacar 4*
Number of rooms: 396
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In the Playacar resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 8 annexed buildings * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Surrounded by 21,000 m2/25,000 sq. Yards of tropical gardens * Mexican Street, next to Riu Yucatan * 100 m/325 ft. From various shops * 55 km/34 miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Reviews
Playacar Hotels
Riu Playacar Mexico
Rui Playacar
Hotel Riu Playacar Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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