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“Total Relaxation at the Riu”

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ClubHotel Riu Tequila
Ranked #54 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 February 2009

We just got back from a two week stay at the Riu (Jan 30th to Feb 13th) and must say that we cannot complain about anything. We arrived late in the evening but our check-in went smoothly and we were in our room by about 12:45. The snack bar is open 24 hours, so we found our way there for a snack and a couple drinks.

Our first impression the following morning was "Yes, we can spend 2 weeks here easily" The front lobby is very rich looking and spacious, lots of plants, seating areas, and the reception staff are courteous and most helpful. The grounds are impeccably manicured, gardens are beautifully kept. All staff from the reception to the gardeners are friendly, always offering a smile with their greeting.

Our room was a good size with a large closet with lots of hangers!! There is an in-room safe in the closet. The resort has been renovated recently, so everything was fresh. Our housekeeper, Eddy, did an amazing job, always suppling fresh towels, toiletries, etc. We also got a new towel art animal just about everyday!! We did leave him a tip each day (about 20 pecos) and the beverage guys came around each day, late in the afternoon, to see if you wanted any extra beer for your fridge (they fill the fridge with assorted beverages every other day). There is also an in-room liquor dispenser for your convenience with tequila, vodka, rum and gin.

The food was wonderful. The main buffet was excellent, both breakfast and dinner. So many choices, from the salad bar to the hot foods. Perhaps not as much seafood as we would have liked, but their roasted and barbecued meats were fabulous. The steak house meal was also very good, our steak being cooked perfectly (melted in our mouths). The light breakfast and lunches at the pool house restaurant were always good, lots of choices. The coffee from the espresso machine was really good. We had it most mornings at the pool house. The ice cream from the machine was so good - really cold and refreshing.

We enjoyed our walk to the beach along a shaded path, often spotting a few monkeys on the way. You could also take the shuttle if you so desired. The beach was beautiful, lots of chairs to choose from, either in the sun or under the shade of the palms. The surf was quite rough the first part of our visit, but the most enjoyable walks, in either direction. The "sand whales" along the beach offered some protection for the shoreline against the rough surf, but DO NOT walk on these as they are extremely slippery when wet. Several people were hurt on these while we were there.

The pool was always spotless inside and out. Lots of chairs to choose from, again in the sun or in the shade. The night air was cool so the water temperature was very refreshing during the day. The lounges in the pool are a lovely way to relax and take in the sunshine, while cooling off at the same time! The entertainment staff were so friendly and entertaining. They have programs running from late morning until about 5pm, if you wish to participate.

The service was excellent at the pool bar. Our bartender, Feliciano, would see us coming and have our drinks on the way. Always friendly, laughing, playing around with their patrons (rolling a lime under a knapkin toward unsuspecting people). The mohitos were good and the beer always cold. We do suggest taking insulated mugs for your drinks as it doesn't take them long to warm up!!

There is a little shopping plaza just a 5 minute walk from the resort which has everything from souvenirs to jewellery and clothing. We also made our way in to Playa Del Carmen along 5th Avenue. A taxi ride is about 5 minutes, 50 pecos.

This was a wonderful vacation away with that someone special. The service and surroundings truly couldn't have been better. We would certainly recommend this resort and wouldn't hesitate going back. We met some really nice people with whom we shared some time together (Kris and Don, and the "Cracker Kids' family from Richmond Hill). This is an amazing area to vacation in, so much to see and do. So much history and culture to explore.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank RenFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 February 2009

2 adults & 2 kids stayed 1 week in February. The hotel grounds are wonderful. The rooms are simple but clean. The staff are nice and work hard. The walk to the beach is a blessing after all that food. The buffet becomes a bit repetitive, and they obviously recycle a lot of stuff (cold sausage salad, made with yesterdays' sausages) but that is the norm in all inclusive resorts. Plenty of choice to suit every taste, if anything a bit short on fish for my own liking but if you are a meat person then plenty of beef, pork, chicken, etc. having said that there was fish at every meal (but it was nearly always the same type). Loads of salads and vegetables for the health conscious as well as chips, potatoes, rice, etc., and choice of pizzas and pasta at every meal.

As this hotel is a bit away from the beach it means that the during the day is a lot less crowded than the others, as many people go off to the beach. Also you eat a lot better at lunchtime in the pool restaurant than in the beach (less people and more choices). Bad points: the cocktails are made with sirop type liquids, not fresh juice, so they are very sweet (and probably not good for you or your teeth). The wine is awfull for anyone who understands a bit. On the other hand the beer is drinkable (unless you are a beer connosieur).

My advice is as follows:
1 - If you hesitate between which Riu to choose in Playa del Carmen, then choose this one (unless you are alergic to walking).
2 - If you like coffee don't bother with the thermos they offer you for breakfast, but find the expresso machine in the buffet area which makes excellent coffee.
3 - Try at least once the oriental restaurant.
4 - At mealtimes drink the red wine (rosé & white are far too sweet). If the wine is not cold try and add an ice and it will be more drinkable.
5 - In the bars stick to european brands (martini, porto, etc).
6 - Don't go to Xel-Ha as it is very expensive. Do instead the simple snorkling trip you can book in the hotel booth by the pool. You will save a fortune and we have enjoyed it just as much.
7- But if you do go to Xel-Ha don't bother doing the descent in the river if you have young kids as it is very very hard (you go down but the current pushes you upwards) otherwise you'll spend 2 hours struggling against the current helping the kids and you'll be tired for the rest of the day (an them too).
8 - Take loads of high factor water resistant suncream: The 4 of us went through nearly 3 tubes and still managed to burn.
9 - Take some deet based mosquito repellent and you'll be fine (4 of us had 5 mosquito bites in total)

The flight (with Thomson) was OK although you should take your own drinks or be prepared to pay (even for water). The meal and on board entertainment are fair.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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8  Thank MapiMat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

Not much to say really, only great great great
hotel was the best, food was the best and the staff well deserved a medel.
rooms very clean, everything you needed plus more (your own opptics).
there were 42 of us went to this hotel for our daughters wedding what a place to get married, the wedding took place in the tequila gardens which were a little more private then the beach with an evening meal in the steack restarant where we were treated very special. one complaint, watch the price of your photo package $800 for a dvd but got it down to $300 after along debate, this was a little upsetting for the bride.
Please take protection for bites they attact in the dozens and the only other thing that bites is the thomsons flight take extra food with you all they want is your money ........ book this hotel you sure will have a great time something wrong if not

  • Stayed: February 2009
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5  Thank MandieJayneHatton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2009

Great resort! The food was great, the service was great, and the grounds were just amazing!

  • Stayed: February 2009
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5  Thank merjaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

We stayed at the Tequila from January 21st till February 4th 2009. This was a fairly last-minute holiday as we just walked into the travel agents to see what was on offer. There was a Caribbean cruise and the Tequila - so Mexico it was and we are so glad we did. It was great.

We flew with Thomson and the flight was fine if a bit long due to bad weather over the Atlantic. I would recommend taking some extra food and snacks on board as the in-flight meal left a bit to be desired. We were starving when we got there! By the time we cleared immigration and travelled to the hotel, it was 6pm and in time to wash, change and get dinner. The check-in procedure is very well planned and the quickest we have encountered. Everything is in a large envelope on a table at the entrance. You just give your name and everything is explained. In the envelope are 2 stickers with your room number to put on your cases. These are then delivered to your room within 20 minutes. Brilliant!

First impressions were good. Large, airy and lively reception area with bars, buffet restaurant and entertainment stage leading off.
As it was now dark, it was a bit tricky finding our room but we managed ok as it is well signed with a map on the other side of reception. We were located in block 26. This is on the left side of the complex opposite the children's play area and the pool and was lovely and peaceful. Our room faced onto the golf course.

The room was lovely with beautiful dark wood furniture and two double beds pushed together. There is a large tv, 2 chairs, table and an iron and ironing board in the wardrobe. There is a huge wardrobe with loads of hanging space and a shelf above. There is plenty of storage and drawers for everything. In the bathroom there are lots of toiletries (which are topped up daily), face cloths, hand towels and bath towels. However, for the ladies who like to wrap their hair in a towel after washing then I suggest you take one with you because there isn't one the right size.

The mini bar contains Tequila, Vodka, Gin and Rum and in the fridge there is water, Pepsi, 7up, orangeade, tonic, club soda and Corona beer. These are topped up every 2 days.


The main buffet restaurant is a vast cavernous room packed with tables set very close together. It gets very busy and sometimes the staff had trouble finding us a table and if they did, it hadn't been cleared yet. This wasn't a big issue but we soon learnt to ask for a table outside on the patio area. As the restaurant is so large, its also very noisy. The queues for the popular hot buffet sections were sometimes very long but there was always something else to have if we didnt want to queue. There is lots to chose from and the salad bar is excellent. Desserts were more limited but ample and there was always fresh fruit and ice-cream and a cheese board.
My only grumble would be that fish and seafood was in very limited supply. We ate out in PDC a couple of times to get some seafood!
Breakfast is excellent. So much to chose from and they cater for every possible taste.

Breakfast ends at 10.30 but over at the pool bar, snacks begin with a small selection of fruit, cereal, ham, cheese and bread for those who have overslept. Lunch is served here all afternoon. Lunch was a little repetative with the same offerings on a regular basis, but as most guests are at the beach and eating at the Yucatan, it is a smaller set-up here. However, we found it pretty similar at the Yucatan and possibly slightly improved at the Playacar - more people therefore more choice.

The pool bar becomes the Steak House at night. All the a la cartes have to be booked in the morning on the day you want to eat. You cant book up for the whole week. This was our favourite as it is totally waiter service and no buffet. It feels like you are eating out and not part of a cattle market pushing and shoving in a queue. It is a 5-course set meal consisting of Caesar Salad; Sharing Platter; Soup (delicious); either Sirloin or Rib-eye Steak, BBQ Ribs, 1/2 Spit Roast Chicken or Surf & Turf Kebab; Meringue Cake (which they cover in alcohol and light). Very good.

The Asian restaurant was OK. The tables are placed very close together and you feel a little squashed up. This is self-service with a lovely hot and cold starter section with sushi and chinese snacks. The mains are also self service with a large selection to chose from however I would recommend opting for the 7pm sitting rather that the 9pm one. At 7pm you will know that it is all freshly cooked and just put on display. At 9 it wasn't as warm or tasty and it could've been there for two hours already. The fried ice-cream dessert is worth a try though!

The Mexican is located at the beach restaurant over at the Yucatan. This was also nice and we only tried it once but it wasn't the kind of Mexican food we were expecting. This is modern contemporary Mexican food not burritos, fajitas and chilli con carne. It was very tasty but we preferred to use the steak house.


There are five bars to chose from but they are all open at different times. Two are located off the lobby area by the entertainment stage. The Sports Bar (also just off the stage area), La Pinata disco (also near the stage) and the pool bar (swim-up bar here too of course!). The pool bar is nice for quiet pre-dinner drinks and if you want to get away from the entertainment. This is open from 10.30am - 11pm. The staff here are lovely especially Cruz who is beautiful and friendly.
The main bar is open 10.30am - midnight; 'Cocktail' bar (as I called it) 5 - midnight; disco 11pm - 2am and the Sports bar is open 24 hours. Plenty to choose from.
Located in the Sports Bar are games tables, lots of tv screens, computers and snacks. Fridges are filled daily with burgers in buns, hotdogs, sandwiches, fruits, popcorn and nachos. There are microwaves to heat up the burgers and hotdogs too.


The entertainment team are the hardest working crew I have encountered on any of our AI holidays. They work from morning to night (literally) keeping the games and fun going all day to producing some of the best shows we have seen. These are properly trained dancers with excellently produced shows and dances. Great imagination and choreography, good choice of music and superb dancing. Every night for 2 weeks it was a different show. One night it was Karaoke night, 'Special Couple' night and a beauty contest another night, so a wide variety to suit different people.


The pool is lovely and separated into two different sections either side of the bar/restaurant. One side is quieter and more relaxed, the other has music and games etc. so you can choose what you want. People do get up early and put their towels on the sunbeds but you can usually find a bed somewhere. However, when we were there the water was freezing and we only went in the once. I was gutted as it looked so lovely and I had wanted a pool with a swim-up bar. I'm sure it must get warmer as the weather gets hotter.


The beach is accessed along a path across the road and a shuttle runs all day to save your legs. Its only 5 mins to walk there. It is a very busy beach with lots and lots of sunloungers but no palapas or umbrellas. There are some trees if you want some shade but otherwise you are in the full force of the sun.
The 'whales' are a bit of an eye-sore but they are there for a reason. However, they can create bigger waves and it is very dangerous to swim past them.
You wont get pestered by anyone trying to sell you anything just occasional guys trying to get you up parasailing.
There is no bar service so you will have to keep going to the bar so an insulated mug is a good idea.
The downside to the beach is the constant noise of jet-skis and light aircraft flying overhead trailing advertising for bars and clubs in PDC. Further along the past the hotels is unspoilt beach and this is a nice walk away from the crowds. There are no 'whales' here either.


We never used our Thomson rep as the trips were too expensive. At the shopping plaza there are tour operators who offer the same trips (and a lot more) for less money. We used them and the service was excellent as were the trips. For example Chichen Itza with Thomson $99; Local operator $55.
If they give you a price list they will put their name at the bottom. Be sure to ask for that person when you book as they work on a commission basis. They will help you and have more local knowledge than the rep will ever have.


There is a shopping plaza 5 minute walk away with a large selection of shops and stalls. Mostly selling tourist stuff, its close by and handy. Located here is a Santander bank and cash machines. You will get a better exchange rate here than at the hotel.


The town is a 30-40 minute walk and is perfectly safe during the day. If you prefer to take a taxi it is only 50 pesos each way and takes 5 mins. The main street 5th Avenue is rammed with bars, restaurants and shops. Everything you could want is here. It is lively, colourful and fascinating.
There is an excellent bar/restaurant on the beach called 'Fusion'. The food is excellent and reasonably priced and they have live music in the afternoons and the evenings.
We sat under the stars listening to chilled reggae music and was then entertained by bongo drummers and fire dancers! Fantastic.
PDC is so accessible and makes a change from being at the hotel all the time.


The transfer to the airport was easy and the rep guided us straight to our check-in desk. You need to be ready with your departure tax - they collect this at a small desk in the zig-zag of tape leading to the check-in. They take pesos, dollars or UK pounds. We were then checked-in with great speed and on our way. Very efficient.
Cancun airport has lots of shops, food outlets and a couple of bars for last minute spending so don't worry if you haven't got all your souvenirs.
The flight home was better and the in-flight meal much improved. It is worth up-grading the flight entertainment as the movies are not very good and the TV programmes were the same as outbound and on a long flight it can get boring.

Overall this holiday destination was great. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it and I would certainly go again. There is so much to see and do and you should never be bored. Playacar is an excellent base to explore this area rich in history and culture.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank Karen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

honestly cant find fault with the riu apart from small beds if thats a fault absolutely fantastic thats it im affraid just had best holiday ever

  • Stayed: February 2009
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5  Thank j0nnyuk2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2009

We just got back from a week at the Riu Tequila. We were there for a week, Feb. 6-13, 2009.
Overall it was just great.
I hate overly negative reviews, so I will get my complaints out of the way first and keep in mind they may not apply to everyone.
1. Mosquito's were a HUGE HUGE problem. They seemed to congregate outside our door and then each day when the maid would clean the room she would prop the door open allowing in thousands more. UGH. I am currently covered in mosquito bites. So take bug spray. Especially if mosquito's tend to really like you, I have hundreds of bites and my husband didn't get one single bite.
2. The coffee... don't drink it, it's like motor oil. And the cream tastes very sour milk. ugh. Stick to tea is my advice.
3. The soap they give you, is very strange, it doesn't seem to lather. My advice, take your own soap.

Those are my only complaints.
On to the good stuff...
We got there on a Friday night, and check in was a breeze, we got a drink and found our room right away.
The grounds are amazing, and it is obvious that they have taken much care in the maintenance of it.
The room was very large, and very very clean, I never noticed a moldy smell. The patio we had was also very nice. The bathroom was nice as well. And ample room in the closet, I was impressed we had enough hangers to hang up all our clothes. Also, each room has an umbrella, in case of rain. It was clear to me that the housekeeper was doing a great job. We got a towel animal each day. I was very impressed at how clean it was and how hard they worked to maintain it.

The food, was good. My husband and I for some reason, both ended up a little sick, but we don't know why, but again, we both feel it was the fact that there was something in the food that set us both off. The days we were not feeling sick, the food was great, we really enjoyed the steak, and the Mexican offerings. The pasta bar was excellent. The breakfast was good also, we really enjoyed the eggs, cooked any way you liked. The snack bar by the pool was also very good. The hamburgers were excellent.
The drinks were good as well, this was our second visit to the Mayan Rivera and the drinks at the Riu Tequia were so much better than the place we stayed at a couple of years ago. Even the red wine we really enjoyed. The margaritas were excellent.
The Steak House we also really enjoyed, that one was well worth it. The waiters did such a good job. The baked Alaska dessert was impressive.

The beach snack bar was also good. They had pretty much the same offerings at each snack bar.

We went on this trip to relax and get away. The Riu Tequila fulfilled that.

The beach was awesome, the large sand bags they have out to prevent the erosion you don't notice after the first glance. The water was great, it was like a bathtub.

We only left the resort one day to go on a trip to Xel-Ha, which was great, very relaxing day trip.
Also the shops down the road from the Riu Tequila were nice, it eliminated the need to go to Playa Del Carmen to buy souvenirs for the kids.

Everyone was very nice there, there were people there from all over the world, which was very nice to see.

The evening shows were good, the first night, was good, it was probably not something I would want my kids to take in though. The Michael Jackson show was good, but we didn't stay for the entire thing. We saw the Grease show, and that was a lot of fun. One night we went over to the Riu Yucatan and watched the Perfect Couple show, that was also a lot of fun, and lots of laughs.

All in all (despite the mosquito's, bad coffee, and soap) it was a great holiday and good time away. I would go back, but armed with bug spray and good soap! And don't forget the Imodium!

If you have any questions... feel free to ask me! :-)

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank hockeymom1370
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

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
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:
#18 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £142 - £266 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Tequila 3.5*
Number of rooms: 584
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The All Inclusive ClubHotel Riu Tequila, is located approx. 800 m from the long, beautiful Playa del Carmen beach of the Playacar residential estate, along with the Hotel Riu Palace Mexico, Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Hotel Riu Yucatan and Hotel Riu Playacar hotels. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Playa del Carmen (3km) and Cancún International Airport (CUN) is approx. 55 km away. The hotel has 584 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities, set in 48,000 sq.m. of lush gardens. A luxurious golf resort is located nearby. There is a complimentary hotel shuttle to the beach. 2 outdoor pools, 1 children’s pool. For the youngest guests, there is the RiuLand Kids Club (for children from 4 to 7 years & 8 to 12 years old) and for adults, day and evening entertainment, discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet as well as Asian, Mexican cuisine, Steakhouse, 4 bars situated in various areas of the hotel. ... 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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