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“Second visit and what a change”

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ClubHotel Riu Tequila
Ranked #47 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Second visit and what a change”
Reviewed 3 August 2012

This is the second time we have visited the Tequila. The hotel is right on the beach but when we came before we were disappointed as there was hardly any beach left because of the storms and what was left was covered with huge black sandbags which wasn't highlighted in the brochure or on the website. As beach dwellers this had put us off visiting again more recently.

What a transformation! The beautiful beach is back and no sandbags.

The beach is spotless, cleaned daily and any seaweed raked and buried (!) with lots of sunbeds both in the sun and back from the beach under the trees which give good shade.

We had phoned in advance and asked for a particular block and had been assured that this was no problem but when we arrived we had been allocated a different block. We asked the manager if there was any chance to swap but he said no as the block was full but said there was a room available in a similar block which we took and WOW what a star he was as when we arrived it was a suite with a separate living area and TV as well as the two queen sized bed bedroom with TV as well! This hotel also has the full size spirit optics in the room (local gin, vodka, tequila and whiskey) as well as soft drinks and beer and water in the fridge. You can also get extra water from the reception area each day if you get through a lot like we did.

Hotel is great, very clean and all the staff are friendly and helpful, always smiling and greeting you. They all speak spanish and it really amused the staff when I tested out my very limited spanish on them especially one of the breakfast chefs who tested me each morning with daily greetings!

The food is amazing - so much choice at all meals. We had breakfast in the main restaurant each day (try the banana smoothies) and tended to have a snack at one of the beach front bars at lunchtime and then eat late dinner in the main restaurant or one of the a la cartes. The restaurant booking system is much better here than at previous hotels - you just book for the same night when you go in for breakfast. We like to eat later so never had a problem booking a table but I think the 6.30 sittings tended to get very booked up. There is always a huge range of food available and I challenge anybody to not find something they like and you should see the HUGE range of puds if you still have some room - plus try the ice cream, it is out of this world and the only time my husband ever eats ice cream!!

The guys in the bars are great, especially the ones in the front nighttime pool bar! They obviously enjoy their jobs and always remember what you drink and quite often have another one ready for you as soon as you finish the previous one unless you stop them!! They do fab cocktails too and watch out for the tequila slammers!

The entertainment crew work really really hard all day and through the evening and are always smiling. Each night is themed both in the restaurant and in the main theatre with a Michael Jackson night, a Night at the Movies etc and they review this in front of the main restaurant earlier in the evening which is fun. There is also a cocktail of the day as you go into the main restaurant each night and the reception area becomes quite lively.

The hotel is located in a sort of hotel complex - this is Playa del Carmen - with a number of other hotels. You can go into the other Riu ones to drink and you can also have meals at some of them if you want to, and use their pools etc but we mostly found that their guests came to ours at it was right on the beach. There is a little golf cart type bus that ships people backwards and forwards between the hotels if needed but we walked. There is a small shopping mall about half a mile down the road which you can walk to - it is very safe and no hawkers or you can get a cab to the local town where there are loads of shops and restaurants and bars which we did a number of times.

There is lots of wildlife in the hotel grounds including howler monkeys who gather in the mornings in the trees above the path to the restaurant posing for pictures (and peeing on unsuspecting people too!). There are also lots of agouti (a bit like big guinea pigs) and huge lizards who like to come up and take bits of melon from you if you are patient.

When we came before we did the Chichen Itza trip which was amazing - but a long bus ride to and from the site. This time we visited Coba which was closer and absolutely amazing. If you get a chance to go, do do it - and do climb the temple - it is quite scarey and I couldn't quite believe that you were allowed to do it - or that there was only a piece of rope up the middle for those that wanted to hold on or that nobody actually fell on the way up or down. The view from the top is amazing. In contrast to that we visited a natural pool in the forest on the way back and were allowed to swim as long as we wore a lifejacket!! The Mayans obviously have a confused H&S criteria!

We took lots of one dollar bills to tip bar staff and cleaners etc during our stay. The staff don't expect it but those guys really work hard for the very low pay they receive and we always like to show our appreciation.

We would definitely recommend the Tequila to anybody who wants a relaxed holiday with a great beach. This hotel and the location are definitely on a par with some of the more expensive Palace type hotels we have stayed at.

Room Tip: We were upgraded to a corner suite that had a double aspect that overlooked the pool on one side and...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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12 Thank KarenMoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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sussex
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2012

Having just returned from a week when the hotel seemed packed I cannot recommend a visit during peak holiday times. It wasn't all bad though:

Rooms - spacious, light and airy. Good standard of housekeeping. Hotel supplies soap and shampoo - but no conditioner or cotton wool etc. Golfing umbrella included with iron, hairdryer and local spirits on optics. Very sound proof apart from the occasional banging of the heavy room doors. Ground floor rooms have passers by peering at their washing...

Pools - two linked by main lunchtime restaurant. One used by entertainment team and the other "quiet". All (very close together) sunbeds reserved by about 08.30 everyday - even if not occupied until after lunch. Staff do nothing to remove the towels. There's insufficient room by the pools so there is a further area of beds, set on sand, nearby under trees. These were usually reserved by 10.00 and are also very close together. The entertainment team have music piped out all day. Sitting round the "quiet" pool we were twice treated to a group of lads playing techno on their ipads as loudly as possible while doing "aggie, aggie, aggie, oi, oi, oi" chants for no particular reason.

Beach - tons to do. Not much in the way of shade. Insufficient number of sunbeds but no-one gets upset if you use those from the other Riu hotels nearby. You can also eat lunch in two them so no need to go back to the hotel to eat other than for dinner. All have ice cream machines on the go all day!

Main restaurant - very very good choice of food at breakfast and dinner. You could eat pizza, burger and chips every night if you wanted! Always a Mexican buffet at the far end (along with omelette station in the mornings) for both meals. Smoothies made to order at breakfast. Don't see how anyone could get bored with the choices as different countries are featured every night (in addition to the daily Mexican area), always a fish option and plenty for the veggies amongst us... Always a hot dessert made to order, always fresh fruit and always jelly and ice cream. No actual cream to be seen anywhere though. Tables are very close together and the fact all meals are buffet style, coupled with the sheer volume of people means its a bit like Grand Central Station in the rush hour. Didn't try the other restaurants - they tell you bookings (two set sittings in the other restaurants) can be made until 10.30 each day but there was always a queue before 07.00 to do just that so I suspect you need to be an early bird if you don't want the (turn up when you want) main restaurant.

Overall - there was nowhere to sit in the shade and enjoy some peace and quiet. Nowhere to sit in a breeze and relax. In fact, nowhere to sit other than in seried ranks of sunbeds with little space between them. Playacar itself is a large manmade village/town full of resort hotels and villas - and it could be anywhere in the world. Prices are in pesos but they accept dollars. Shops sell all UK confectionery, Walls ice cream etc. Tui charge a lot for trips - exactly the same can be purchased in the nearby shopping complex for nearly half the price - go about 9pm and be prepared to haggle!

If, like me, you like somewhere with guaranteed hot weather, a beach, somewhere to get some peace and quiet when you want it, and the ability to experience local culture then go somewhere else. If you want to spend all day on the beach/in the water, or lying on a sunbed and aren't too bothered about where you are, then you will adore it!! We all want something different from our holidays.....

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are best if you like sitting on the balcony without being in full view of passersby
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank bluepiglet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2012

We're a young couple and stayed at the Riu Tequila for two weeks this July. We both loved the hotel and want to go back in future. The staff were excellent - friendly, efficient and helpful.

The all inclusive was very good, with a huge choice of food in the main buffet restaurants and a choice of three a la carte restaurants (of which we'd highly recommend La Lupita, the steakhouse, which was absolutely brilliant).Drinks and snacks were available 24/7 from the Sports Bar and there's a nightclub for the adults which is included. The cocktail menu is large and the majority are delicious. The bar staff will also make off-menu cocktails for you if you ask.

The entertainment staff work incredibly hard - there are sports and pool-based activities running all day, a kids show in the early evening and a grown-up show afterwards. The Las Vegas and Mayan shows are especially good.

Our room was in block 8 on the ground floor. I saw reviews beforehand saying ground floor rooms suffered with damp, but we had no problems. The terrace was lovely for evening drinks from the room's mini-bar and optics (which are 100% included in the AI), the TV has plenty of English channels and was nice to have. The bed was enormous and comfortable and the bathroom was divided into a dressing area, a shower and a toilet, which was handy. The maid cleans the room daily and does a great job, so we tipped her a few times. You'll get a different towel animal almost every day and the occasional Hershey's Kiss on your pillow.

As the Riu Tequila's settings are almost rainforest-like, there are quite a few animals around. There are coatis (like raccoons), agoutis (like big guinea pigs) and iguanas. Don't feed any of them, particularly the coatis, as it will draw a crowd of dozens in seconds. They are very cute though, and it's nice watching them from the terrace.

Location-wise, we really loved the Tequila. The walk to the beach is 5 minutes along a tree lined path, and no trouble whatsoever. The AI, it being a Riu, allows you to use the facilities of the other Rius in the area - there are two on the other side of the road, one a little further up Playacar, and one in Cancun. The walk to Playa del Carmen takes about 20 minutes and is pleasant, but there's taxis at the entrance to the hotel who will take you there for 70 pesos (about £3.50). Also, just to the left of the hotel is a little market-type shopping mall with a pharmacy, corner shop, clothes shops and souvenir stalls, as well as a Starbucks and a tour operators' booth.

In terms of excursions from the hotel, we recommend going to Chichen Itza, which was amazing, and Tulum. Tulum is very easy to get to on your own, and doing so will save you so much money compared to tour prices. You can either get the ADO bus (66 pesos each person each way) or a colectivo (like a minibus,cheaper than ADO) from Playa Del Carmen. It takes roughly an hour. You're dropped at the bus station and it's a 10 minute walk along a straight road to the ruins, entry to which was only about 50 pesos each. It's a lovely spot with interesting ruins and a gorgeous view of the Caribbean Sea.

All in all, highly recommended and we can't wait to return.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank sowbridge90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2012

The hotel has lots of rooms, but due to the 2 floors buildings it does not seem that big, or crowded.

Rooms - We have stayed into a ground-floor room. The humidity was pretty high (so, the room was a little bit smelly), but I have not checked the upper-floor rooms, so I can not say whether it was just my room or is the problem of the hotel/area. Except that, the rooms are ok - big, the bed is very good and the alcohol-hanger on the wall funny.

Food - Plenty of food variety, though not the best quality. Still, decent. A plus for the Asian restaurant!

Drinks - colorful. Not the best quality, but no limit to the quantity. Again, decent. The friendly staff, though, made the drinking even better.

Pool - nice and with fun activities by the entertainment team.

Beach - very nice. 7 minutes away - walking distance.

People - the best thing about this trip! Smiling, willing to help you feel good on your holiday.

Activities - do go out to visit Yucatan Peninsula! And Xel-Ha! The average price for a one day trip is 120 USD per person.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rox14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frome, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2012

We visited this holiday complex in May 2012, the location is perfect just off the white sand beaches with a clear blue sea, Perfect.

As before the staff were all very helpful and polite, the entertainment was brilliant catering for all ages.

If you do the all inclusive holiday you can basically eat and drink all day and most of the night, when the bars do close you could hit the optics in your room.

The only bad point if shedding the weight once you get home.

Room Tip: All the rooms are Excellent.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Russ L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
City in Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

I have been in several hotels in the Riviera Maya, but this one is a shame. They claim to be a 5 stars hotel, but their services and far from it. I strongly recommend the Barcelo Hotels which are great in all aspects. Just to mention a few things that disappointed me were: the rudeness of the employees, the poor choices for the buffet at lunch time, the 10 minute walking distance to the beach, no having crabs in the menu, no having a queen or king bed, etc. I have been in other Riu's Hotels in Mexico, but this one is far the worse. Don’t waste your time and money in a vacation that is going to be a pain.

Room Tip: the only have single bed rooms
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Private N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bathgate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

There was not too much wrong with the Riu Teqilla. We had a nice holiday but for the money spent we could have been in Spain. The hotel is in a secure complex of many hotels and holiday homes with some nice little local shops. The reason I mention this is because you have to leave the complex to see Mexico.

The food was excellent and all the staff were pleasant and helpfull. We tried all the restaurants and they were all very good. When we went to the beach restaurant my wife got a nasty bite so make sure you are covered in the evenings if you go near the beach.

I highly reccomend the Mayan coffee at the bars, the staff make a show of preparing it and my wife loved it. A mixed bag with the bar staff, all good, some just better than others.

There was an issue a couple of times with noisy groups of lads, I don't know if the were Spanish, Mexican, Portugese or where ever, They were just noisy and took over the pool at times. Unfortunately the staff did nothing about the loud behaviour. I know other couples complaned to the Thomsons rep as did I, but if this was passed to the hotel management nothing was done to curb it.

Not much shade on the beach so if you want to hide from the hot sun but stay outside then get to the pool early and hope the rowdy crowd are not there.

A nice enough hotel but for the money and time invested I would reccomend somewhere else.

Room Tip: Pot luck, quite rooms are further from the amenities so either or.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank gusngazesdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Tequila

Property: ClubHotel Riu Tequila
Address: Avenida Xaman-ha | Manzana 3, Lote 19, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Tequila 3.5*
Number of rooms: 664
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Within the resort area Playacar along with the hotels Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan and Riu Playacar * Main building and 1-story buildings * Surrounded by 48,000 m2 / 57,600 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 800 m / 2,650 ft. From the beach (complimentary shuttle) * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 300 m / 990 ft. From Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int'l Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Clubhotel Tequila Hotel
Riu Tequila Mexico
Hotel Riu Tequila
Riu Tequila Playa Del Carmen
Rui Tequila
ClubHotel Riu Tequila Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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