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“Margarita time”
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #52 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 June 2014

It's always margarita time at the playacar with bar tenders Froy and Jorge never failing to have your next drink ready, they will make anything you can think of. All the staff are great (and seem to be there 24/7) . The rooms could do with a bit of updating but they are clean enough and the one small problem we had was fixed very quickly. Plenty of choice on the food buffet, the Asian restaurant my favourite. You can just relax or if you prefer join in the fun at the pool everyday. Having the facilities of other 2 hotels to use is great for a change of scenery but we thought the Playacar had the best bar and pool area.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Gail A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2014

That's how I felt within 2 hours of stepping foot on this resort. We traveled there with a group of seniors who had just graduated from high school. As many adults as there were kids, to celebrate and spend one last week together. More than once I heard--can we just go home?

When I received my room, it was not what I'd reserved and they wanted me to stay in it all week and told me that they would not refund me the difference. They told me all the rooms were virtually the same and it shouldn't matter. I insisted on Monday that I get the room I paid for, and when they finally obliged, it was three times the size of the one they tried to stick me with. The excuse for day one was that their engineering staff was repairing it. The day 2 excuse was that I couldn't get in it yet because the guests had not yet vacated it and it needed to be cleaned. Hmmmm! Which was it?

Upon arrival we found the hotel staff (registration area) quite rude! And that continued with key staff members for the remainder of the week. We had been traveling since 4 am, so we all headed to bed around 9 to get rested up for the week. An adult (parent) in each of our 10 rooms. The next morning we received a warning letter from the property telling us that if there were any more disturbances our entire party would be asked to leave with no refunds. It said we had ignored repeated requests and that there were complaints about noise after 10:30, breaking glasses at the lobby bar and destroying property. (Remember we went to bed at 9 pm--and hadn't even been on site for 24 hours). We were also told and reminded during the week that security was watching our party closely. After talking with other guests, we found out there were two other groups of kids there--one with 54 and one with 20 some. Even their sponsors admitted it was their kids, not ours. It's a shame that our kids were unjustly accused, and when the staff realized it, even more a shame that we didn't receive an apology in at least the same way we received the warning. Seems it was ok to intimidate the young adults, but older adults stumbling in by our rooms every morning at 3 am was quite acceptable. Collectively we spent a lot of money on this trip and trusted the RIU name. Won't make that mistake again.

While staff did a great job cleaning the rooms, there were things they couldn't control. Bathroom was infested with ants that spilled over into sleeping quarters and all the bedding smelled musty. One room had bathroom tile missing and earth showing thru the floor. They did do a good job of keeping the grounds clean. They didn't seem very friendly though. Like they weren't happy. On other resorts I've always been greeted any time I encountered a staff member and made to feel welcome. Maybe it's a RIU thing, but it was quite strange.

Activities staff was pleasant and helped us enjoy our stay. Hats off to Erick and Charlie! One huge issue was the inconsistency with the drinking age. After those who we'e not 18 were sternly warned not to drink, bar tenders would serve drinks with alcohol in them to those kids requesting virgin drinks. This happened on several occasions and I even experienced it myself. In addition, I witnessed more than once during an activity the younger kids deny a drink stating that they were underage, only to get the response no one cares and forced to drink anyway.

Food was edible and there was a good variety. Nothing memorable though. The restaurants with dinner reservations took a very long time. Plan for a good 2 hours. The restaurant service staff was good.

The beach was excellent. Because of the intimidation of the staff, our party chose to spend our evenings at the beach away from hotel activities so as not to disturb the other guests. All was good but the bug bites. I would also warn you to guard your possessions closely. Within 24 hours of being on the resort we'd had a cell phone and a large amount of cash stolen. Again, problems I've never had with another resort.

Good news is, we didn't let the cranky hotel staff ruin our trip. We ended up spending more time off the resort than we had planned, I highly recommend the royal dolphin swim and snorkeling. Swimming with the sea turtles was amazing.

I hope this review was helpful. I felt compelled to share our experience. I'm usually pretty forgiving and can overlook much. There are many other things I could mention, but just suffice it to say...there is indeed, no place like it's home.

Room Tip: I recommend you choose one in another resort. But if you do stay here, the suites are worth the upgr...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Tammy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Four in my family stayed here end of May to early June. Two separate rooms, but next to each other. The first day, our ac didn't work and we had to call maintenance. They fixed it rather quickly, but disappointed we didn't have a very cool room until the second day. The second day we returned to our room to find that room service had cleaned, but apparently the attendant decided he would try one of our protein bars that I had brought along for my husband who is diabetic. The half eaten bar was left on the sink in the bathroom. Had he eaten all of it, I would have never known, but he left a half eaten bar !!! Then we found that we had only been left one bath towel. I called the front desk, and asked for another about 4 pm. They said "it's on it's way" It never arrived, so I used a hand towel to dry with. About 11:30 that night, after I was in bed and asleep....the phone rings and I answered. The operator asked if I still needed the bath towel????? So the trip didn't start off so good. My son was in the other room, and he had asked several times for the alcohol dispensers to be refilled in the room, but it was never done throughout the entire week we were there. Like he said it wasn't that big of a deal, however they shouldn't tell you they will take care of it and then never do it. The mini fridge is only restocked every other day, and I would say that when it was restocked, it was only partially restocked, not fully, so sometimes there wasn't much bottled water, which you need as you can not drink the water from the sink. The food was good. We tried both the Mexican restaurants and the steakhouse restaurant. We had not complaints. And the food on the buffets was always pretty good too. Lots of choices, always two or three fish items along with calamari and shrimp. Plenty of choices. The resort offered a lot of activities. Bocce ball, darts, air rifle shooting, scuba classes, beach and pool volleyball, dance classes, etc. All in all we had a very good time, and would probably stay again. Sometimes you can complain, but it might be worse somewhere else. I do have to give special recognition to Alessia at the front desk. She was exceptionally friendly and helpful when we had troubles with our tour/excursion people. And also to Israel and Julian that did the scuba classes. I was very apprehensive and they really were very patient and walked me through the scuba session. They really calmed my fears.
Our travel agent told us that this area of Mexico was usually a little tamer and quieter. The last two days we were here however there was a large number of high school students and parents that had arrived and were out of control. The parents were as bad as the kids, swearing loudly at the bar, drinking excessively, dropping and breaking glasses over and over again. The hotel security finally ushered some of the parents and kids out, but this kind of ruins things for everyone. We did see one of the bar tenders refuse to serve a young man however that didn't have the appropriately colored wrist band on, so they do try to control the underage drinking to the best of their ability. But when you have parents that allow their kids to be drunken misfits what are you going to do.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Stayed from the 30th of May until the 6th of June. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Rooms were clean. Excellent buffet. Both the inside bar and pool bar had awesome bartenders. Had no problem finding places around the pool. Steakhouse and Asian Restaurant also had good food but you better make reservations first thing in the morning. No complaints. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I hope if they remodel they do not take away its charm.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Patti M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We stayed at the Riu Playacar from 20th May till 4th June, Although many of the staff are highly tip orientated, we enjoyed our stay, I am happy to tip for good service, and I usually tip the Maid at the end of my first week, and at the end of my stay, however the mini bar was not refilled, and the towels were not changed (I left them on the floor) and the towel models stopped on day three, so I tipped the Maid little and often. At breakfast on day four the coffee was not served until we had nearly finished, and we had to ask for milk, I had not tipped the previous day. However in general the service was good, I found a few pesos tipped often got the service, and probably tipped less than I would normally, because I would normally tip quite high ammounts twice during the holiday.
This hotel seems to be used by American visitors with no sense of how to behave, I suppose because it's only a short hop from the Southern States they get it cheap, I saw young people served far too much alcohol, breaking glasses, standing on chairs, making lots of noise, banging doors late at night and screaming, and the adults were not much better, they are generally loud, struggle to drink moderately, or can't hold their drink. When sitting in the restaurant in the evening they can be seen drunk, whooping and hollering from across the restaurant, and are usually quite boisterous, don't expect an excuse me if they bump into you.
They seemed to overtake the pool bar, lots of beer, never get out to the toilet types.
However it' a nice hotel, with mostly lovely staff, and the food is great.
My first few days made me fell like always booking with RIU, But the way they allow a few guests to behave, and carry on serving alcohol to people who have obviously had too much, or are too young spoils the holiday.

Room Tip: Anywhere away from American drunks.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mirky1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Overall great experience. Remember, you are in Mexico people! This is not a luxury hotel but very well taken care of and food is ok. After all, I would think you are going there to go to the beach and let me tell you its great! If all you care about is getting top notch liquor or better yet, you need* top notch liquor to get wasted everyday then bring your own. The drinks are great I thought. I see many people complaining on here about the alcohol but all the drinks were good to me. Maybe if they see your a bit uptight and rude then you wont get the best treatment. I know I wouldn't give it to a snob either. Btw,
that's besides the point. Other people complain about the free Wi-Fi. Yes they only give you 90mins a day and pretty much just works in the lobby, again you cant really complain.... If you are there to be at the beach then why do you even want Wi-Fi? Pay for it if your on business and not for pleasure. It's $15usd a day.
The food is pretty much average. after drinking all day the first plate is always great.. it does the trick. The second plate wasn't always the best but hey again... I was there for the beach!!
Staff was pretty nice I don't have any complaints.
Again I'm not uptight and need extra attention so this hotel was great. There is many luxury hotels in playa or even Cancun for those looking to get special treatment.
Here you get what you pay for.. so stop complaining people!! :)
I traveled with 9 other girls for a bachelorette party and we had allot of fun. They were nice enough to help us get a taxi into town every night and were safe back at the hotel every night.. (or morning ;) )

Loved it.

Room Tip: The double rooms actually have an extra bed twin bed... (at least ours did)
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Alex P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Awesome beach with little or no surf is what makes the resort to consider,away from the hustle and bustle of playa del Carmen,other riu resorts are in the same area for you to enjoy as well,but not at the Riu Palace where you wont be allowed in,a good walk to town or a shot cab ride,rooms are great with a tropical ambience,food is good and the bars as well,a good choice if you don't want the party scene of Cancun,from town you can grab a ferry to Cozumel worth checking out as well

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank jack123156
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £179 - £354 (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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