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“Great service; terrible rooms.”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #30 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed 10 April 2014

The Mexican staff at this resort are superb - friendly, hard-working, and accommodating. You will receive good service whether you tip or not. Although, if you do tip you will receive excellent attention. Despite the positive work ethic of the local staff, the employees at the front desk are condescending and inflexible. A number of special circumstances surfaced over our stay, and the front desk staff were unwilling to provide the slightest of accommodations

The rooms are disgusting - damp, musty, and falling apart. The musty smell in our room was so strong that upon entering one morning the smell almost made me sick. Both the sink and the shower did not drain properly, the hair dryer repeatedly fell off the wall, water leaked from the shower onto the floor, the fans in the room did not work properly, and we had light bulbs that were burnt out in the room for our entire stay despite notifying the front desk. There are rust stains on the furniture, mold on the curtains, and yellow stains on the white walls. The mini-bar was rarely stocked, and we did not receive any extras from house keeping like chocolates or towel animals despite tipping daily.

While the grounds are beautiful, the beach is nice and the food selection immense, I feel that the cost of this resort warrants individualized attention when problems arise. I was also extremely surprised that the resort expects their customers to stay in rooms that are in such blatant disrepair. I would not return.

Room Tip: Unless you have an accessibility need, do not stay in a room on the first floor.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Katie300600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 April 2014

My wife and I and 7 other couple stayed six nights at the Riu Palace. It was beautiful, clean, rooms were spacious and the staff was wonderful. The evening Buffet was the best dinning choice. It included Lobster and Steak and just about anything you could ask for. They had most premium liquers and the activities at the beach and the pool were great! The bands at night were very good and the shows were ok. Joe, Judy and Salvadore of the staff took care of us. Would definetly go back again. Steve $ Kelley, Kentucky, USA

Room Tip: Ask for a matress pad. The beds are very FIRM. Be careful getting in and out of the shower.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank K W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

So I just got back from a 4 night stay at this hotel. Overall I was very happy with my choice. There were a few things that kept me from giving it a 5 star rating. The first thing that I found extremely annoying is that you have to get up super early to reserve the Steakhouse or the Fusion (Krystal) restaurants. I am on vacation! I shouldn't have to get up at 7:30 to be in line to reserve these. They need a better system. For many people at this resort that is not an issue because they all seem to go to bed by 10:30! That is probably due to the fact that there is very limited entertainment in the evening. We went in to Playa each night. It was a 90 peso taxi ride. Usually we started at Mandala and then worked our way down to Blue Parrot. Which was probably why we could not get up so early. :)
Now for the good parts. The beach is gorgeous!!!! The palm trees and the blue water are amazing. We never had a problem fining beach chairs. I can see if you had a big party it might be tricky but for the 2 of us it was fine. Loved having drinks brought out as well. The pool area is very nice too. We usually hung out at the pool bar or the pool with a volleyball net. In the morning they would have music and do water aerobics. I wish they left the music playing all day but it was usually gone by noon. There were two other pools that seemed more for children. There were plenty of chairs and they had umbrellas or shades you could use.
The buffets were good but not great. You will not go hungry. Many choices but I would stay away from the wine. I think the heat must make it almost impossible for it to be any good. I think a nice improvement to the buffet would be to add some cooking stations. I have been to buffets in Vegas and Atlantis that have the Mongolian Grill stations which are fun.
The room was very nice and I loved having the stocked mini fridge. You will always have water and drinks. I brushed my teeth with tap water and was fine. We had a room on the outside so we just overlooked vegetation. We opted not to pay extra for the Courtyard view room because we knew we would hardly be in the room. I can see for a couple it would be nice to have that view though. We had a privacy curtain for the bathroom which was nice. There was also a safe int he room which we used every day.
We used the gym which is in the spa building near the pool. It was very nice. It had a few treadmills, elliptical and stationary bike. There were also a few machines and some free weights. Enough to help burn some of the calories you will surely consume. :)
We walked to the other Riu properties and looked at their pools. The Rivera Maya was nice but I still preferred our hotel. I felt they were all nice but just liked the layout of our hotel the best and my friend agreed.
So overall this is a great resort. Very friendly staff. The Animation staff is great. Christian, Al, Ivan, and Alex were all very energetic and friendly.

Room Tip: We had a room on top floor. No view but never a musty smell and always well air conditioned. If you...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank rene20874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Currently in resort, just visited the hospital for fluids because of Gastroentinitus, I don't know which hurts the most, the stomach pain or the $600 I had to pay at the hospital, Ill save money though, because I won't be going on any trips!

Visitors should be made to use the sterile stations.

Hotel smells musty but so did the hospital!!

Don't expect to get any sleep before 11pm because the noise from the Disco, or the occasional corridor idiot.

Staff are attentive; food...when I could eat was lovely.

Adios, back to the WC.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the Disco!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathryn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Hotel and staff are wonderful. Yes, the musty damp smell in our rooms is noticeable, not sure if that is universal, but traveled home with us, washed clothes upon return with no issue. The evening dinners were OK, would say the dinner at Krystal was !! a dinner to remember, food was fabulous and the staff as well. Entertainment in the evening was nothing special, but nice to have back ground music as you sat in the beautiful courtyard. All of the staff were very up beat and always willing to provide you with what ever you were missing. The pools were warm, and bartenders were attentive with pool guys always keeping the drinks flowing. Day and evening buffets were endless and tasty. Nice to be able to have a Starbucks and small shopping area within walking distance. Downtown was just a little to far, would require a cab ride for most. We planned 2 day excursions, one to Tulum and one to Dolphin Adventure. Dolphin Adventure was awesome, be prepared to get pressure to buy a CD. Tulum was worth the trip, EXCEPT once back on the bus, our guide now told us we were headed to Paridisio beach then snorkeling, nothing we were told about by the Lomas staff at the hotel, did not have swimming suits or towels. We decided to go anyway, not worth it. Snorkeling was in a lagoon, the beach was a beach. Then again a CD? OK we gave in 30.00 for pics of all 6 of us. Guess what it doesn't work. Live and learn, just ask questions.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the courtyard
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

I just returned from a week long stay at the Riu Palace Mexico. This hotel delivered in all form and fashion. I had an incredible stay at this property two years ago prior to the renovation. I really liked the prior decor, dark mahogany wood just felt Caribbean. I was a bit concerned with the new modern decor. However, the quality of the remodeling was extremely high and did not deter from the experience.

The rooms were great, cold AC. The layout of the bathroom is open, but heck, all the Riu's have the same layout so I was OK with that.

The food was good. Buffet was great. The Italian and Steak restaurants were the best. Wine in restaurants were marginal. I felt the wine should have been better to match the quality of the food and drinks.

Drinks and bar service excelled. All high end liquor. Omar and Noellia were fantastic.

The pool was OK. Never had a problem finding chairs. There were three pools. One for the swim up bar, one for general lounging and one for pool volleyball.

The beach was fantastic as usual.

A couple of improvement ideas. There was seldom any music playing at the pool. I would not have minded a little background music. They could have spiced up the lunch barbecue at the beach. Every day they had hamburgers, hot dogs and occasional Chorizo or pork chop. Two years ago they had shrimp taco's one day, Paella another. A little more creative barbecue options would have added to the weeks experience.

The activities were OK. I was traveling with 14 year olds and the staff did not want non-adults to participate in the activities. Eventually they were able to play beach volleyball, but that was well into the vacation before they allowed them to participate.

Overall a great vacation and great location. I would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Gary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

My wife and I travel a lot and have been to Mexico quite a few times and always enjoyed the weather and hotels. I must say that this was the best experience that I have ever had, after arriving to the hotel at 11:00am we saw a sign that read check in time is 3:00 o'clock, I always tip the check in person immediately $5.00 as it helps with your check in. We were checked in right away and were on the beach by 11:33am no questions of time ever asked. That was great! The food was excellent as was beach and decor of the rooms. Well stocked fridge and mini bar with full bottles of adult beverages, water soda etc. Safe was nice as well as full jacuzzi bath and rainhead shower and private toilet. Flat screen 32" TV and balcony were also standard, Ralphael was our server and head waiter and he went out of his way to make sure we were having a great time. Everyone of the staff was wonderful! We will be going back!

Room Tip: We were in room 2042 closest to the beach and quiet.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dan F
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
#25 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £218 - £435 (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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