My husband and I and another couple, close friends of ours, just returned from a week at the Palace. Jan 14-21. I read the trip advisor reviews for months before our trip, so I thought I would return the favor.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. The food: If you leave this resort feeling hungry, there is something wrong with you. We ate most nights at Don Julian, the buffet style resturant. Everything, every night was wonderful. They have different themes each night, but also have some "American" food. Each morning the breakfasts were great. Whatever you could think of for breakfast, it was there. The melon and fruit were fresh and the juice was great. I tried a different one each morning. We did eat at several of the other resturants at night and found that our best meal was at El Patio. I had Tuna and my husband had a steak, both of which were excellent. You will not go hungry at the Palace.
2. Our room was very nice. We had room 2049 which overlooked the courtyard. Our friends had room 2046 which had a view of the pool and the ocean. Both were layed out the same. These rooms were on the end by the pool, so it was quite a walk each morning and evening to the dinning rooms. Also, if you are not on the ground floor, be prepared to do stairs! There is one elevator but it is on the lobby level and about a football fields length away from our room. The beds are very hard and by the end of the week we were stiff and sore. We did stop at the desk one night after dinner and asked for additional pillows. They were in our room when we returned that night. No matter what you ask for, you will receive it within minutes.
3. The resort and the grounds are kept immaculate. The staff is continuously cleaning and scrubbing. It is hard to put into words how clean everything is. The staff, from the cleaning crew to the dinning staff were always friendly and pleasant. We did tip through out the day as these people work 12 hour days for very little pay. They deserve to be tipped. We took $100.00 in ones and used most of them during the week.
4. We booked our trip through Apple Vacations. The Apple representatives, were both very nice and helpful. We took the ATV tour through the jungle and went to Xcaret. Both were a lot of fun. If you go to Xcaret, plan on a lot of walking.
5. The weather was very nice and sunny during the day, but it got chilly at night. Several nights we had to close the balcony doors and put a blanket on the bed. However, it is Winter there now, so it should be a little cooler.
6. The beach is wonderful. It is amazing how clean they keep it. The water was actually pretty warm for January. There are a lot of activities you can do at the beach. We went parasailing on our last day. It was great and I would do it again. It cost $35.00 per person for a 15 minute ride. There were a lot women who were topless, so if this makes you uncomfortable, this is not the place for you.
Some of the things that we didnt like or things that could be improved:
If you are looking for a resort "right on the beach" this is not the one for you. It is a long walk from the pool area to the actual beach. The beach area, both with and without palm trees, is wonderful, but it is a long walk to the bathrooms, dinning area or pool. We stayed at the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun last April. If we go back, we would pick the Palace in Cancun over the Palace in Playa, for a couple of reasons: 1. you are right on the water in Cancun. 2. The entertainment at the Palace in Cancun was great. They had activities throughout the day and the shows at night were awesome. The "entertainment" at the Palace in Playa was non-existent. They did have a band play outside the dinning area from 8-10 each night as dinner was being served. The band was really good and the resort should have had them play each night for the "entertainment". However, then the "real" entertainment which was to start at 10 was horrible. There were no "shows" but instead they played stupid games with the audience. Most nights we left as soon as they started this. 3. The water in the pool was ice water. The water in the ocean was actually warmer.
If you do not get up and reserve a chair by the pool or the beach by 7:30 AM, you will not get one. I suggest that you get clean beach towls at the end of each day and put them on a chair in the morning. Also, to get a reservation at one of the resturants, other than Don Julian, you need to be in line by 7:00 AM. I am an early riser and was up each morning to do both of these for our group. So it was no big deal to me, however I heard a lot of complaints while standing in line to make reservations. This is a vacation and you shouldnt have to worry about getting up early to make your dinner reservation or getting a chair by the pool or beach.
All in all, our week was great and the time flew by. We enjoyed ourselves and had a relaxing time.
- 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