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“Wonderful staff, good food, and awesome location!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #29 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed 13 December 2011

My husband and I stayed at RIU Palace Mexico for 4 nights (Dec 8th-Dec 12th), and had a great experience. We were celebrating our 1st anniversary and were looking for a perfect place on the beach to the relax, and this RIU is just that!! When we arrived to the hotel we were greeted by the front desk with welcome drinks and a free room upgrade! The rooms were nice, and the bed was HUGE! We had a nice view of the courtyard, which I enjoyed. The food and service was great. Our favorite restaurant was the Japanese and then Fusion. Wasn’t a huge fan of the Steakhouse; it wasn’t terrible (just not as nice as the other specialty restaurants). The grounds of the hotel were clean, and the landscaping in the courtyard was very impressive. We both enjoyed the location of the hotel, and felt very safe. My favorite part was the location on the beach. It was only a 20 minute walk to the downtown area where you could take the ferry to Cozumel. The only negative comments we had, were the entertainment in the evening was pretty cheesy and we wish they had some nicer house wines.

Overall, the RIU Palace Mexico is a great location for a winter getaway. We can’t wait to go back!!

Room Tip: Try and get a view of the courtyard!!!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Samantha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,412 - 2,418 of 5,646 reviews

Reviewed 13 December 2011

Spent December 3rd to December 8th at the resort with my wife and had a great time.

The room was always clean and many days had flowers petals on the bed. The fridge was filled daily with beer and Pepsi. Showers were fine, with great water pressure and plenty of hot water. I also really liked the "massage" soap bars.

Food at the resort was good. We ate at the Steak House on the first night and the Surf and Turf was great while my wife's steak was not so great. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet and always managed to find something to eat. While it sounds crazy the pizza is really good with some of the best crust I have ever had. Sure it is not "real" pizza but it is very good. Drinks were always good no matter which bar you went to.

Service was for the most part excellent. Some hit or miss personnel at the front desk but almost everyone else was always nice and helpful.

The grounds, beach and condition of the resort were not bad. It shows some age but overall I was impressed. The beach was clean, the sidewalks always swept, no trash and everything looked nice. The pool was not great, but we are not "get in the water" type people. For lounging it was great but if you like to float or swim it would probably be a let down.

Room Tip: I think having a courtyard view is a strong plus!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chuckreis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

We stayed there Nov 29-Dec 6, and agree with almost all of the positive reviews, so won't repeat them. Especially noteworthy are the expansive beach, many lounges, great buffets, and beautiful grounds. We still consider Secrets Maroma the best in the area, so let's compare the Palace with it.

First, overall appearance goes to the Riu. It has very attractive buildings and beautifully manicured grounds, whereas the first impression of Secrets is fort-like.

Pools--goes to Secrets. We're not pool people but noticed at the RIU few people were actually in the pool. They lounged around but, perhaps, the water was too cool. We rarely saw anyone in a pool (except a few at the pool bar). The Riu pools could have been in any inland hotel--they were removed from the beach and far from the beachfront. Secrets' pools were more conducive and more occupied, even equipped with rafts. The pools looked out at the beach and sea in a beautiful setting. Plus, Secrets had a poolside snack area, grilling up burgers, steaks, and other goodies. Also, Secrets offers wandering food carts brewing up fajitas, tacos, and the like. Both resorts have restaurants near the pools--Riu has two buffets and Secrets a table service steak grill.

Beaches--Two very different beaches. Secrets' beach is smaller, more intimate, and more closely integrated with the resort. The water was clearer, the sand was fine, and there were ample lounges and palapas. Bar service was frequent. The Riu beach is amazing in its expansiveness--you walk through the sand for about a block or so to the waterfront, where you are confronted with a vast array of lounges and several rows of palm trees--no palapas. The beach and palms are very impressive and beautiful, but the beach abuts that of the Riu next door, which adds another 500 roomsful of people competing for space and lounges. We always found a lounge near a tree (for some shade), but people coming down around 11 had trouble. We found, and may others commented on, how cloudy the water was, not at all like we've found over the past 15 years in the area--maybe it was the weather, which was sunny, but had a couple of days of wind and rough water.

Rooms--both resorts kept the rooms spotlessly clean, but Secrets offers a much more luxurious setting--with four-poster bed, jacuzzi tub, and elaborate detail. Riu rooms are older and suffer from a few problems--poor lighting, especially in the bathroom; a tv set in fixed position that couldn't be rotated toward the bed; few amenities; and having two beds pushed together instead of a king-size. The refrigerator was well stocked and the Riu does have a wall bar of bottles of rum, tequila, brandy and vodka--nice idea! Overall the Riu room was quite nice, but lacked a WOW factor.

Front desk--easily goes to Riu. We arrived early and the receptionist--Ildiko--at Riu was very helpful, showing us 4 rooms from which to choose and setting us up in one better than we expected. Front desk at Secrets was professional but not pleasant.

Restaurants--you've already read reviews of the food. The specialty restaurants at Secrets offered higher quality food and you do not have to reserve in advance (a plus!). At Riu, one must arrange reservations each morning for that evening-for 6:30 or 8:30 only. Worth noting is the main buffet at Riu, which was almost always very good but especially on Monday night's Asian theme--where they had large woks filled with lobster tails, stone crab claws, roast duck, and lots of other goodies--not to be missed! We ate more meals in the Riu buffet than usual because it gave us better control of our time--and the food was so good.

Overall, both resorts are very nice and we had a great time in both. Secrets is adults only and will cost you more and you can decide if it is worth it--you won;t go wrong at the Riu, either!

Room Tip: The rooms either face the courtyard or the adjoining hotel. For the courtyard rooms, you get aftern...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank DJNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

Travelled here for 4 days in December 2011
1. The bus ride in from the airport took 2 hours because we stopped at four other resorts first.
2. The decor is dated, yet lovely and well maintained.
3. The food is NOT 5 star, more like 2.
4. Service is amazing, changed rooms with no problems.
5. The beach is stunning and lasts for miles, great walks and people watching and quiet relaxation - except when they yelled for "volleyball!!!!"
6. The pool was wild with lots of music and action.
7. No night life, but a quick walk across the street to Riu Tequila was all it took for that.
8. Drinks and room service well done

All in all a positive trip, but the food was exceptionally disappointing

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank J C K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

My wife & I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary over Thanksgiving week.This was our second time staying at the Riu Palace Mexico. Both times the level of service throught out resort was outstanding. From the bartenders and wait staff to the houskeeping crew, the level of profesionalism was top notch. Upon out arrival we recieved our welcome drink and was told our room was not ready. At 3 p.m we returned and then we were escorted to our room. To our suprise, and even though the resort was at full capacity, we were up-graded for free to a courtyard mini-suite. The room was well appointed and very clean. The mini bar was stocked with an array of sodas, beer and bottled water. The liquor dispensor carried 4 different types of liquor, mostly top shelf. The resort and grounds are kept in an immaculate condition. The grounds crew works very hard and it shows. We have tried all the specialty resturants and the steak house is the best followed by the Asian resturant. The buffet is amazing. There are so many choices and the ones we tried were very tasty. The pool is very nice with a swim up bar and wait service around the pool area. But the best part is the beach. Tons of beach chairs, white sand and azure waters, a perfect recipe for relaxation. We spent all of our day time kicking back and enjoying the beach and ocean. On a side note, if you stay at one of the palace resorts in Playacar you can use all of the Riu resorts in the complex. On Thanksgiving day we went to the Riu Palace Riveria Maya to watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions in the sports bar. I wish I could remember the bartenders name but she made killer mojitos and her service with a smile made the afternoon all the more enjoyable. The Riu Palace Mexico is a beautiful resort, with good food and drink and occupying an awsome stretch of beach. A perfect recipe for a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank garyash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

I stayed there with my wife for 9 days from Nov 26th to Dec 4th, 2011 and we were amazed on the excellent service received. All the staff were in extreme friendly and helpful, specially the front desk employees.
Food was very good in all restaurants, with many different choices everyday and good quality in every meal.
The room was pretty big and always neat and tidy.
The only issue we had is some candies and coins stolen from our room (?). I would suggest not leaving any important thing at the room out of the safety box just in case (Not that candies are important, but very displeassed with this issue).
Anyways, I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank PatricioT-Argentina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2011

I went on this trip with a friend from work as a prize won from work. It was recommended to us by a travel agent and we are so glad we listened to him! This is not my first all inclusive, but it was certainly the best one. Besides the property being so immaculate at all times, even though it is on the older side, the staff was incredible. You never sat down at a table without someone coming and making sure you were all set for drinks, your water glass was never under half full and they even opened your soda bottle and poured it for you! All with giant smiles on their faces. The food was your general buffet mix, but they had theme nights to switch things up - always so much to choose from.
I think the best part of the trip (besides the sunshine and beach, of course) was the entertainment staff. There are activities almost every hour during the day, and many to choose from. Then, at night, there is a live band and dancing with that same staff which is followed by a show in the theater (i.e. Mamma Mia, Grease, Michael Jackson and others!). The staff, mostly Cindy, Fredy and Carlos made each day a blast! By the end I was just as sad to leave the people as the beach.
For entertainment after 11pm (which pretty much ended at the RPM) you could go across the street to Riu Tequila where they have a club and the bars are always full until late (definitely a younger crowd over there). The resort is in a gated community and we always felt safe walking around there. You can also go into Playa Del Carmen - we went to the CocoBongo one night and Mandala another - they are both great, but you cannot miss out on the CocoBongo! If you want to go, ask some of the entertainment staff about getting there - they know what to do and they will help you have the best experience possible!

One thing that I wish I knew before packing was how the amount of nicer (not formal, just dressy) clothes I should have brought. Also, it was "winter" and got a little nippy during some evenings (a brisk 68* F), so I recommend light dressy sweaters for the ladies.

I can't say enough good things about the Resort, the staff and the whole area - if you're less of the party type, but still like the option to be - definitely stay at Riu Palace Mexico!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank travelobsessed03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 4 | 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £198 - £458 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Mexico 4*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Riu Mexico
Rui Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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