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“Great Way to Start a Marriage!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #25 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Way to Start a Marriage!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2004

My wife and I spent our 1 week honeymoon at the Palace from Oct 25th to Nov 1st. We flew Skyservice from Toronto Ontario through Sunquest Vacations. Going through a travel company representative is definitely the way to go. Once you arrive at the Cancun airport, you simply look for your representative holding a sign and they take your luggage to the bus that is designated at dropping you off at your resort. Upon departure, your representative will be waiting for you in the lobby and they take you back to the airport. During the bus ride to the Palace, they will inform you of the things to do and what to stay away from while drinking on some Corona's. I think this is much better than flagging down and paying for a taxi.
The resort itself is amazing. Take lots of pictures because this is a place that you will surely want to visit again in your lifetime. The grounds and beach are immaculate and the food was much better than I expected. We preferred to eat at Don Julians (the main buffet) for most of the trip because they have a great variety and it is good! We also tried Sir Edwards one night and that was nice break from the buffet. Be prepared to eat alot at this place. The rooms are nice and the maids visit each room twice a day. Once in the morning and then again at night for turn-down service. We tipped the maid everyday and got a fancy animal or person made from towels on our bed. Although there are many trips or excursions offered, my wife and I preferred to stay on the resort and relax! Most days were spent on the beach or around the pool suntanning and we did go to Playa Del Carman one day for some shopping. It is a $4 taxi ride to the city. We also took the ferry over to Cozumel one day. All staff, including maids, bartenders, waiters and front desk were excellent and very accomodating. They treat you very good at this resort. If you are looking for a beautiful resort and a relaxing time, the Riu Palace is #1 on our list so far. Have fun!

  • Stayed October 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank yackee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,341 reviews from our community

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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Houston, TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2004

My wife and I returned this week from our second 4 night stay at the Riu Palace. Our first stay at the Palace was, in a word; “Excellent”. We decided back then (May '03) we would return to celebrate our 25th anniversary. This return trip met the high expectations created by our first trip. Again, I’d like to say “Thanks” to all of you who have posted before. It’s has greatly helped me to make informed choices and also to stay excited about the trip back to PDC.

We flew Continental non-stop from Houston, courtesy of frequent flier miles. The hotel and transfers were booked through Apple Vacations. It all went flawlessly. On the trip from the airport, one of the other passengers suggested some Corona’s. The driver stopped at a 7-Eleven store and bought some beers for those who wanted. All were appreciative & he got a pretty good tip!

Check-in was smooth, and we were offered our glass of juice as we waited. We arrived at 1:00pm, our room was ready, and the bellman took our bags there directly. It started raining a bit when we were unpacking. When the rain slowed, we went to La Traviata and ate lunch. The food and service were very good and this time, we didn’t have any birds flying into the restaurant as we ate. This was very, very good! That first afternoon was the only time we had any rain while in PDC.

I’d written a couple emails to the Palace to again request a room with a solid wall balcony. We’d requested and received one on our first trip, and loved it. It definitely provides extra privacy for sitting as well as sunning if one chooses. On the first trip, we were in Rm. 1147 which is on the north side of the resort and faces south into the courtyard. This trip, we had Rm. 1020 which also has the solid wall balcony. This room / balcony is on the south of the resort and faces south into the trees. The outside rooms are even more private than those facing the courtyard. We really enjoyed the quietness. I definitely recommend using room service each morning for coffee and juice out on the balcony. It’s a great way to start your day!!

The Sir Edwards restaurant opened just a few weeks after we went to the Palace the first time. Based on reviews read here, we tried it. It was a very pleasant dining experience. My wife’s red snapper was great. My beef was very flavorful, but maybe just a bit tougher than it should have been. The service was excellent and the wine seemed to be a bit better than before.

We were very pleased with the food at the Don Julian buffet. There was excellent variety and flavor in the food we tried. There was a “pasta guy” who cooked pasta to order, similar to the custom omelets in the mornings. We really enjoyed those pasta combos. On the “down” side, it seemed like the service had slipped just a bit in Don Julians. On our first visit, we had the same waiter every night, and he was constantly refilling our glasses and tending to our needs. This trip, we had a different waiter / waitress every night and it seemed like they were serving a lot more tables. We often had to flag the waiters down to get a drink refill. Not a real big deal but it just seemed like a little less attention to detail.

We again spent virtually all of each day at the beach. It was as beautiful as before, though the waves were a lot bigger this trip. We’d get to the beach around 9 am and never had a problem getting lounge chairs under the palm tree of our choice. Beware, even in November, the sun is still strong! It seemed like more of the crowd at the Palace was from the USA this trip as opposed to May ’03 when there seemed to be more Europeans. Unfortunately, the really loud obnoxious folks on the beach were Americans. Not sure why that was, nor why some folks thought they needed to be so loud, nor why they seemed to always find us.

We walked south down the beach past the last resort. It is amazing how much that stretch of beach had changed in a year and a half. Enormous amounts of sand have washed in, creating additional beach. On our last trip, my wife took a picture of me on a big rock I had swum out to. After the picture, I dove off into 5-6 feet of water and swam back to shore. This trip, that rock (and the one a few feet from it) were ON the beach. We often hear of beach erosion. That stretch of Mexico has experienced beach expansion!

We were looking forward to hearing David play the piano again in the bar off the main lobby. I’d traded a couple emails with him because on our first trip after he had asked me to send the words to a song. After confirming our reservation a few months ago, I sent David a note and asked if he could learn to play “Remember When” by Alan Jackson. When we were there Friday night, I went and re-introduced myself. When he returned from his break, he played the song (which is my wife’s favorite). It was a surprise for her, and nearly brought a tear to her eyes. David plays Mon-Fri nights until 9pm. He is excellent! If you’re at the Palace, you owe it to yourself to spend an hour or so listening to him play.

With a couple teens still at home, I’m not sure when we’ll be able to schedule more time away, but we will definitely return the Palace again. We have fallen in love with the place!!

12 Thank K R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2004

my husband and i recently ,october 17 thru the 24 ,2004 vacationed at the riu palace. our room number was 1024 good central location on second floor.
the staff were all very friendly. benny [maitre de] at the don julian is a great guy. the food was excellent at all restaurants. especially nice this time were the plentiful addition of mussels at all the restaurants.
if you are in the market for silver bracelets and chains buy from the guys on the beach. their prices and quality are by far better than the vendors that set up in the riu courtyard or in the little plaza down the street. definately bargain with them and you can use american dollars.
don 't forget to have a massage on the beach from hector. it was fantastic
this was our second visit here and would reccomend it to everyone. in march 2005 we are going to the new riu palace in cabo san lucas.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank sheshe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2004

My wife and I were at the Riu Palace from 10/24 thru 10/28. It's a very attractive property, both inside and out. We had room #1149 which was a second floor room overlooking the fountain/courtyard. Room was nicely appointed, very clean and well maintained with no musty smell at all. Bed was on the hard side but we slept well. We tried both La Bodiga and Sir Edwards which are the restaurants that require reservations. We preferred Sir Edwards. The buffet restaurant, Don Julians, was very good and offered an amazing selection of food. We had great weather everyday with only one 15 minute shower the entire stay.

This was our first visit to Playa and first visit to a Riu resort. While we did not go to any of the other Riu properties, we were very satisfied with the Palace. Riu does an exceptional job of maintaining this property- the hotel looks as though it was just built when it's actually several years old. The fountains and grounds are immaculate with no trash to be found anywhere. My wife and I have traveled extensively in the Caribbean and I think you get more bang for your buck here than just about anywhere. We have been to other all inclusives, including Sandals and Grand Lido and the Palace is about half the price and much, much nicer and the staff is exceptional. If your thinking about going to the RIU Palace Mexico, go ahead and book it and have a good time. You won't be disappointed.

One other mention. We took the Riviera bus ($7 per person) from the Cancun airport to Playa. It was exceptionally clean and comfortable. The trip took about an hour to the bus station in downtown Playa Del Carmen. When you get off the bus, you will see taxi's parked across the street. They will take you to the Palace for $4 so total cost for 2 was $18. We had an early morning flight when we left so we had to take a taxi which costs $40. Departure tax is about $40 per person.

3 Thank Tarheel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2004

We just returned from our Honeymoon...and I was blown away. What an incredible deal for the level of perfection. From check in to check out, cleaning service to gourmet food. Everything was exquisite. It has to be the best resort in Riviera Maya. If you want to be pampered and gorge on indulgence...this is the place for you! I will stay at any Riu if this is their level of commitment to the vacation service industry.

1 Thank LauraMP76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2004

WOW! Another great vacation at the RIU Palace from Oct. 16-23, 2004.. This was our second time and definitely won't be our last. As a matter of fact, I do no think we can stay anywhere else in Playa Del Carmen. The RIU staff is exceptional, going out of their way to ensure you have a wonderful, relaxing vacation. The grounds are amazing, the food outstanding, and the rooms well appointed. I read a previous review about inadequate air conditioning and I am not quite sure if the person wanted it to be below the freezing point or what. We found our a.c. worked really, really well - we actually had to turn it down! If you are considering another RIU in the area, consider upgrading, you will be really glad you did! Have a great trip to PDC and maybe we will see you there!

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2004

We have stayed at the Riu Palace twice now and hope to return in 2006. It really is a great place and all the staff work really hard to ensure you have a good time. In case anyone is wondering, the guinea pig type creatures roaming around the grounds are Agouti. They really appreciate a few bits of dried fruit, grapes and nuts from the breakfast buffet. We asked George who looks after the main restaurant what the Mexicans call them and he said something sounding like "Sericos" and added that they taste like chicken !!

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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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