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“Did not want to leave!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #25 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Did not want to leave!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

We stayed here from March 2nd to March 7th.

I read reviews on here for months before our trip to ensure we were making the right choice so I will attempt to give a detailed review.

Trave/Airport - We travelled with Delta Vacations which is Trafic Tours in Mexico. If it weren't for our miles, I would have used apple vacations; mainly because we got a very old van with hardly any A/C to transport us to the hotel while other tour groups with Apple and Sunwing, had beautiful large, luxury buses. Anyway it was almost an hour drive to the hotel, not because of drop offs but because RIU is located in Playacar, which is a gated community of several hotels and residences (which I loved). We felt very safe!!! but it does take a minute from the gates to the actual hotel.

Check-in - We arrived around 1pm and our room was already available; however I wanted a room off of the first floor so we had to wait till 3pm which was not an issue because we just went to have lunch and walk around and it was already 3pm. We were greeted with a fruit punch that my boyfriend got tequila in his. It is MExican law that they cannot change USD to Pesos and vice versa. They however can make change in pesos only. Wifi is free throughout the whole resort :) although it is spotty by the beach. Best service is in the lobby though.

Gift shop - Very small; had the essentials like sun tan lotion, female products and some mugs, souvenirs and dresses. I will say make sure you get your sun tan lotion in your home country because it 3 times the price there. One lotion which is $7USD was $20 there.

Room - from the pictures you can see for yourself. My boyfriend thought the color was a bit much but we were not in there for long anyway. The bed we got sucked; it was 2 twin beds pushed together which did not make for comfortable snuggling at night time. We had room 2095 which was very close to the main buffet and half way to the beach and pool; We were on the other side that did not have the gorgeous view but it was $60 USD per night to upgrade to the fountain side rooms; we saw this is as unnecessary and stuck with out room; we hardly looked out the balcony anyway. It was a view of the hotel next door with some trees; not terrible. Also, you get 2 keys; Use one to place in the key holder by the door, it keeps the lights and A/C on. They do not tell you this.

Food - next to the service and beach... the best part! :) If you cannot find anything to eat you are terribly picky! There was everything from Mexican to burgers and hot dogs, salad bar with great choices like potato salads, pasta salad and the plain old vegetable salads. Sunday and Thursday night there was grilled Lobster which you could take as many as you want (at RIU ClubHotel Ocho Rios, they served you Lobster), Monday they had steamed, cold lobster by the salad bar, Tuesday they had a sautee station with Shrimp, clams, octopus, calamari and scallops, Wednesday they had a seafood taco station and sauteed shrimp as well. There is always a carving station, italian station, american food station and mexican station. They always have a seafood station with salmon, some white fish of the day, calalmari, fries and rice. The wine was so-so. If you have had wine form Italy, don't compare the 2. The servers were amazing and always saw to our needs. Make sure to tip them!!! For lunch we had the grilled food on the beach which included ribs, burgers, hot dogs, pork chops and steak. The lunch buffet that was there was great. Again, an amazing selection of foods including sushi, chinese, italian and desserts. We did not eat at any of the reservation restaurants because we were not going to get up early to do so. We loved the buffet anyway.

Bar - their drinks were more than strong enough especially if you asked! We loved mojitos, margaritas and pina coladas!!! :)

Beach/Pool - We did not go to the pool; why got to the pool that you have at your disposal where you are from? The beach was simply amazing. I would not say there was always a beach chair. By mid day there were no seats and people did reserve with their towels. So I would say to do the same if you are not going out early. We were there after breakfast around 9 so there were chairs. We would walk about 2 miles in each direction and it was an amazing walk. 15 mins to the right had less resorts so you got to see more natural beach.the water is beautiful!!!

Beach activities - Parasailing was $65 per person, Jet skiing, $65 for 30 mins for one jet ski. Kayaking and sailing were free.

Bottom line, you won't regret staying here!! We will definitely come back many times over.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dankat91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
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  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (911)
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

This was our first time at a RIU resort. There will be more for sure.
We were there from Feb.14-24, 2014.
We picked this one particularly because it had been renovated at the end of 2012.
Very modern (not your typical Mexican look and feel) with opulent lobby and lots of marble, bling and purple decor (I think it's the RIU trademark colour)
We were warmly welcomed at the front desk by courteous and bilingual personnel. Octavio upgraded us (free of charge) to a suite on night one since they didn't have a room away from the noisy area (per our earlier request made through our travel agent). Our second room was located on the 3rd floor (per our earlier request to our travel agent) didn't have the same great view but was nonetheless perfectly appointed with the same great furniture and all the amenities we needed and the room was super clean too. I loved the various animal shaped towels one of the cleaning lady left for us and appreciated the turn down on many nights with the chocolates or rose petals. We had a living room area with a computer table that gave us a bit more space and that we could have used to invite friends for a drink. We had four complimentary bottles of alcohol in the room and a fridge full of water, pop and beer. The air conditioning was quiet and automatically stopped when the patio door got opened (there was a sensor system), the black out curtains worked well and we each enjoyed two kinds of pillows and a king bed (per our earlier request to our travel agent), the patio was nice to read outside and had good working furniture (nothing was broken or wobbly) and a hanging rack to dry up clothes etc. We had a big walk-in shower and there was plenty of hot water and fresh towels.
The food at both buffet restaurants was so good, freshly made on the spot, of great quality and great variety…that we didn't feel the need to go to any a la carte restaurant. If you wanted to go to one of the A la carte restaurant, you had to line up early between 8 and 10 am at the theatre to make a reservation for either the 6:30 pm or the 8:45 pm service on that same evening. These hours didn't work for us as 6:30 was too early and 8:45 too late. There were so many different food options every day and night that we didn't eat the same thing for the whole 10 days we were there. Between the lobsters on the grill, sushi bar, Prime rib roast, many fish options, the Mediterranean section, the Mexican section, the pasta bar, the salad bar and all the special theme nights, the options were countless. The deserts were pretty amazing too, especially the thin crepes with apples and cinnamon sauce along with the fresh cut fruits that you could dip in the chocolate fountain! There was a BBQ grill for burgers and hot dogs on the beach ever day for lunch as well. Loved watching and trying the special drinks offered by the bartender before dinner time while people waited for the dinning room / restaurants to open. For a craving or afternoon coffee, one could go to the Cappuccino coffee bar near the main lobby. Certain evenings there was a show at the theatre and other nights we enjoyed a great band by the outside lounge area by the restaurants.
The many pools' areas were always very clean as was the beach and well serviced by the bar personnel. Loved the non-alchool fruit smoothies in the morning. Beach/pool lounge chairs in very good shape and we didn't need to rush early to reserve a spot - whether at the pool or the beach. The towel service was a nice convenience. The beach was kept cleaned, has tall palm trees that offered a lot of shaded areas. That said, full sun exposure spots were easy to find too. The water was amazingly clear and warm. We had 2 minutes of rain in 10 days. The sport activities team was young and had lots of energy and the activities were fun and varied. All the personnel we encountered was very professional, friendly and did their very best to provide an outstanding customer experience.
I didn't use the spa so I can't comment on it.
The one annoying thing was the para-sailing and jet ski vendors roaming the beach. They didn't bother us but day after day they kept going around advertising their offer. Their shack was quite visible on the bean at our resort and if I wanted to try one or the other I knew where to find them. That said, once you said no, they were leaving you alone.
The free wi-fi internet access hot spots were great in the lobby and at the outside bar near the dining room but rather slow in the rooms.
The gym was clean and had great equipment.
Lastly, the town of Playacar has some nice shops and a Starbuck and is located at a walking distance to Playa Del Carmen where more shopping, dining on the patio and dancing can be done and where one can take the ferry to Cozumel. We highly recommend this resort. Playacar is near the airport as well.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the theatre and on the East side of the resort are quieter. On the west side the pa...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Francine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

I have stayed at many Riu resorts through out Mexico and Dominican and you can alway expect great food and large variaty, really great service,beautiful resort,clean rooms and resorts wonderful staff. They are there to help with anything you could need.I can say that over the years there prices are getting a little expensive. I couldn't afford to stay at a Riu this year and went to another resort and there was a big difference.I hope in the future there prices get a better. Many of my family and friends had to go to different resorts. It's too bad. I would go back in a heart beat.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nanci J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

The worst thing I could possible say about this resort was their service was too good to be true! There was not a time or place we, meaning the group of six of us, honeymooners, that we did not have a drink in hand without a second being offered. We have stayed among many Riu Palaces throughout Mexico, and this Palace will remain number one for years to come!

Staff: Extremely friendly and welcoming staff (probably due to generously tipping, which was well deserved). Noella was always on her game bringing us the best customer service possible, at the pool bar to the lobby bar - she was on fire! Working endless hours making sure we were happy and had drinks or coffee whenever needed. Omar - The pool bar bartender took good care of our husbands on a daily basis, his coffee frapaccinos outstanding! He always welcomed all of us with a huge smile on his face! Throw him a couple 20pesos every few rounds and he will treat you gold! Angel - Beach Bar and evening entertainment zone, he would constantly be there to make sure you needed anything, and even grab a rose for the wives. I cannot name everyone but they were all amazing, the front desk crew always had welcoming words and very helpful. Do not believe other comments deeming the front desk rude and unhelpful - so untruthful, we went there every single day and got nothing but smiles and great advice.

Food: We were there for 14 days and hands down the best, was the stuffed chicken breast at the Italian restaurant and the Surf and Turf dish at the Steakhouse. Please do not get me wrong the other la a carte were also amazing, but my husband and his best friend are die hard foodies and loved these dishes. We went back to both twice, plus the other three la a cartes twice! We could not get enough. The buffet for breakfast and lunch seemed repeated after 14 days, but what do you expect? There is only so much breakfast food - the juice in the mornings, freshly blended were our favorites.

Accommodations: The newly renovated rooms were stunning - the white, purple and pinks made you feel how clean the rooms were. The bath tub in the middle of the room was an interesting and the bathroom was in a small room. Other than that we loved the rooms! tons of space and seating room for people to have couples over to hang out listening to music.

Pool & Beach - The pools were nice, not over crowded, not over overwhelming though - the atmosphere could have been more upbeat with music. So we brought our own speaker and played music and no one seemed to mind around us for the change in upbeat music. If you have a problem with white cookie dough like sand, do not go here! The sand was glorious - no shells, no garbage...it was amazing. You could tell when you walked into a different resorts sand area because you immediately felt the roughness in the sand.

We cannot say enough about how amazing this resort was, prior to going to the resort we read some comments on TripAdvisor and got worried. Holy...they were all wrong! We have been to several Riu Palaces and this one is one of the best out there! Especially the Riu Palace Rivera Maya was a dump compared to this place, which is older and run down, which we were informed will be torn down soon and rebuilt. We visited the surrounding resorts, Riu Tequila, Yucutan, Playacar and Lupita, spend the extra money and stay at Riu Palace Mexico! You get to visit all six resorts but go back to the peace and sensual Palace at the end of the night, but if you are party animal, those resorts are your calling!

Room Tip: Closer to the pool, and beach, and highest floor possible.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank bhulme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enola, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

I have been to several all inclusives, but this one was the best overall. Extremely clean and very well maintained. The service was great - constant attention. Restaurants were good - Mexican was my favorite. The alcohol service in the room with mixers in the fridge was a nice touch for those times when you just wanted to sit on the balony in your room. Decor was nice and fresh looking. I enjoyed the signature drinks in the evening outside the restaurants while you waited as well as butlered hordorves which were excellent. The buffet dining for breakfast was good including the mimosa and bloody Mary " make your own" stations. A great bar in the lobby with a martini menu. Beach was clean and of course water was beautiful. The pool area was very well maintained, clean with easy access to the beach and areas where you could sit by the pool and also see the ocean.
We were there on Valentines day and they left a bottle of champagne in our room with chocolate covered strawberries - nice! We did not take advantage of the spa, although it looked very nice with massages out on the beach if you wanted. We took a trip into town one day and it was safe and a great atmosphere for shopping and dining. Overall, great trip and thanks to Cathy @ Bayside Travel for arranging the whole thing for us!

Room Tip: I would probably ask for an inside room on the second floor for good views and more sunlight during...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014 via mobile

This was our 2nd trip to the Riu Palace Mexico and it was just as lovely this time as it was the 1st. Playa Del Carmen is about a 20 minute walk from the hotel. My husband and I walked to and took a taxi back to the hotel, the cost was $7.00 + tip. The resort is a typical all inclusive with 2 buffet restaurants, lounges, bars, entertainment and specialty restaurants. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants, they fill up fast and after going over twice to try to make a reservation for the steak house we didn't bother to try again. You are required to go daily to make a reservation which is different than other resorts; I would prefer to only have to wait in line once and see what is available for the week. If the specialty restaurants are important to you be prepared to get up early to schedule. My husband and I love the buffet, there is a great selection of food and it is good. The waitstaff is very respectful, attentive and friendly. Santoyo who I believe is their manager always makes you feel special and works very hard keeping things running smoothly and efficiently. A waiter named Abraham is a character, has a great personality, speaks very good English and took very good care of us during our stay. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of all the staff at the resort. The rooms are nicely decorated and meticulously maintained, we did have a problem with our shower that couldn't be fixed during our stay. The floor of the shower slants downward toward the door so the water would run past the drain and build up. I am glad I was paying attention and noticed it the 1st time I showered because it came very close to spilling over the lip. I called and maintenance came right over, they cleaned the drain and it did help but not enough to resolve the problem. I didn't ask to move to another room, it was easier just to take a quick shower and push the water upward with my foot towards the drain so it wouldn't spill over. The beach and pools are nice with plenty of chairs available for everyone; there is no need to have to go down early to save chairs. We like this hotel and will return the next time we go to Playa Del Carmen.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Debra T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

Trip from Feb 22 2014 to March 1 2014
First the bad points
There was no privacy for the bath room if someone had kids or someone they shared a room with that need privacy there was none this needs to be corrected.
There where some bugs in the room
that should not have been there
The air could have been better but was acceptable
Drain in the shower was slow and over flowed into the bath room called to have it checked but was sill the same after they left
Good Points
Room was spotless
Grounds spotless
Staff very friendly and took care of all my needs as best as they could
Service at all of the bars was excellent
And last but not least the food at every place I ate was great you could not ask for any better if you go hungry its your fault
All in all this place was GREAT

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Roger G
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

Property: 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:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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???L. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... 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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