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“Great Value, Clean Friendly Staff”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #51 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great Value, Clean Friendly Staff”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Loved the resort, good selection of food, it is similar everynight but if you don't try everything at each sitting you can easily have something different to eat each night. The resort is not brand new but it is very well maintained, we witnessed many areas being painted early morning, so even though it is reported that it will be torn down in Spring 2015 they are still keeping it looking beautiful. We loved that the resort was small and quiet at night and we enjoyed the Mexican decor; the Yucatan was redecorated a few years ago and has a more mordern, South Beach feel, if this is your taste then you will love it!

The staff were very friendly and helpful always, we had a few minor issues in our room, no different than what can happen at home and they were addressed immediately.

We had read a recommendation not to book excursions at the hotel as it is cheaper across the street; we found this to be true; however we have a few pointers that unfortunately we had to live and learn but wanted to share
1. going to Xcaret or Xplore (10 minutes from resort)..you can save up to $70 for a family of four by taking a taxi, not to mention you can decide what time you leave the resort and when you return..the cab ride is $15 each way but do confirm with the taxi driver before hoping in. Finding a cab for the return trip will not be a problem as there are many there waiting...the cost to enter the Park is $99, adult; children between 5 and 11 $49.50.

2. DO NOT BOOK A CAR RENTAL prior to seeing/inspecting the vehicle...our biggest mistake, we booked a snorkling tour and a rental car in Cozumel through MKT Tours in the Plaza across the street; the deal was $60 for the snorkling and $35 for the car for a few hours in the afternoon..the snorkling tour was fantastic...but words cannot explain the car they had waiting for us..it was a VW rabbit, with the back roof sawed off, the MTK tour guide, Jonathan,had said we were getting a VW convertiable, we expected a Bug convertiable. We had paid Jonathan a deposit but had to pay the remainder prior to going on our snorkle tour, so we were already out the money, we thought how bad can it really be...well let's start with if you let your foot off the gas it stalled (manual transmission); the driver's seat moved back and forth while driving, hard to break or change gears from the back seat...and the car was completely stripped inside..they are better cars at any junk yard. We drove around the block and brought it back, we were told we would have to get our money back from Jonathan. Well that was a song and a dance and we ended up out of pocket. Our recommendation would be take the ferry to Cozumel it is a great trip in itself, the ferries are clean, airconditioned and have TVs it about a 30 min ride. When you get off the ferry all the excusion booths are lined up , no middle man and you know exactly what you are getting...wish we would have known this.

We didn't not let this bad experience ruin our trip we chalked it up to a life lesson, we will know better next time...we stayed 10 days and would highly recommend the resort if you are looking for small and relaxing.

Room Tip: There really is not a bad room, you may get a glimps of the Ocean from an end unit in blocks 6 or 7...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014 via mobile

We were a group of 3 couples who stayed for 2 weeks in February.
The hotel is traditional Mexican decor and this is what attracted us to it. We hated the look of the pink/chrome nearby Yucatan hotel.
The rooms are in 6 blocks 3 storeys high. They were lovely and clean but could use some updating.
The pool is lovely and there is plenty of sunbeds here. The only draw back is the shade us only available on the back row and is in the form of large palm umbrellas. Pool bar is great and the bar men frequently come round to serve drinks.
We frequented the beach a lot during our stay as the breeze here relieved the heat at times. The only shade here is the palm trees but this worked for us as we could move in and out of the sun. The bar men again frequently served drinks on the beach. The vendors were not a problem and would leave you alone with a polite "no thanks". The beach BBQ was great but beware the gulls.
We did not eat at the specialist restaurants preferring the buffet. There was always something to choose from.
We used the lobby bar each night and Froy & Jorge were fantastic we never had to ask for drinks they catered for us well.
The only negative for us was in the second week a large party if 60+ teenagers arrived they were very noisy at night and not what we expected from this type of resort. The hotel did try to address the issue without success and we had several sleepless nights.
All in all we enjoyed our stay and feel it's a shame that this hotel is to be knocked down.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Zebedee_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

My wife and I stayed for 8 nights and enjoyed every minute.
We spent a week from hell in Cuba last year and Riu restored my faith in resort travel.
After a very long, busy year we were in need of some serious r&r and this resort did not disappoint.
The rooms are a little dated but the grounds are very clean, the food is good, and the staff is very nice.
I am used to vendors on resort beaches but encountered none, which was appreciated.

My wife is planning our return next year.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank apryce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grundisburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
5 Thank gillian w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
7 Thank ashleemxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Litchfield, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
6 Thank Nicoler1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank yaslovesjamaica
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

Property: 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
#35 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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