Just got back from our 2nd visit to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. First off, I have to disagree with other reviewers: this resort does have the WOW factor. The hotel is a palace and has beautiful grounds and beach. The staff members are top notch and work so hard to keep everything clean and tidy. In all our 7 days there, there was not one staff member who didn't say "Hola" or greet you with a smile as you walked by. (they are never idle!) The food and drink waiters were all top notch, making sure you had everything you needed and making you feel special. One person thanked us for working hard, saving money and coming to their resort! The entertainment staff were also top notch, working hard to make sure you had fun. You can tell they enjoy their jobs because they look like they are having fun too. They are so funny too: one time one of them knew it was about to rain and he ran through the beach and yelled "run for your lives" and 30 seconds later it down poured. We all ran for cover while others jumped in the pool-hey your wet anyways! To make the review easier to read I will list subjects and make comments after...
Weather: last week we had 2 days pouring rain(shopped those days), a few days partial rain (beach/ inside bars) and a few pure sunshine(100% beach time).
Food: ate buffets each meal, themed each night, many of the same foods with a few new items added each night, something for everyone.....didn't eat at the restaurants this time(seating times 6:30 and 8:45)...if you take a late seating you will miss some of the show
Shows: Mariachi (my favorite) Michael Jackson (excellent), Grease(my husband favorite), Broadway(Good), Mayan(cool outfits and history-didn't like the fake human sacrifice)Audience Game participation (wasn't a fan-staff tried hard) Movie tunes (missed that-both of us were not feeling well)
Live music: most evenings a live band performed for about two 45 min sessions, some people danced (would have liked more of that!) on the rainy nights the band played indoors
Room: 122-excellent, no elevator, few steps to pool and Chilis restaurant, musty smell but you're going to have that in a humid climate, 6th day our key didn't work-only took 10 minutes for staff to fix it, one morning cold shower, beds are very hard, roomy room and nice balcony, be careful of fresh paint-got paint on my jacket that was hanging in closet-staff touches up scuff marks with paint when they clean-(did come out in the wash), left $5 tip on bed each day, left $2 tip in refrigerator a few time-was well stocked, be careful the toilets only take a little toilet paper(not like USA), being the ground floor-only heard heels walking above during day and early evening-first night heard cans being crushed-close to restaurant-otherwise quiet, all room doors close hard and loud
Climate: again-this is a humid climate so there will be musty smells-you will bring that smell home-just air out your suitcases, we brought travel packs of laundry soap to wash a few clothes but the clothes never dried! only very lightweight clothing will dry-they do have laundry services available but it takes up to 48 hours to get it back, if you do any kind of walking be sure to bring water and wear sunscreen, feels like you need a shower after a 30 min walk
Beach: nice-few shells and palm twigs, never a problem finding lounger(in November), can sit under palms or close to water, some days the waves were big and fun other days-calmer, you can parasail, sail, kayak,scuba dive, jet ski, hover rocket boots, volleyball, ping pong, darts, and many more activities each day-
Pools: one large pool with an adjoining infinity pool (warm), this is were the action is-all ages, pool bar with seating areas and Jacuzzis, loungers in water and loungers and umbrellas all around pool
Sports bar: watch a game, Claudia the bartender-top notch, snacks in cooler, open 24 hours, games like pool and air hockey
Weddings: saw a few wedding parties-taking pictures on the beach-very windy, felt bad for a few couples-their day was pouring rain, nice for wedding- but not real intimate
Photos: they offer packages for couples, families and weddings-they will take pictures of you all over the resort, also canvas print packages...be sure to get up early one day to take sunrise pictures! (5:59am n Nov) the beach is close to deserted and you'll get postcard pictures...they look like sunset pictures(no sunsets in RM)
Location: $7 taxi ride or 15 min walk to Play del Carmen, short walk to Playacar shops, walk or taxi to other RIus, short walk to beach-unlike other resorts that take forever to get to the beach
$: this trip ordered Pesos from our bank before we left-worked out great to pay for gifts and things with Pesos, also gave Pesos for tips and taxis, did bring some USD because we weren't sure if we need it-only used for room tip and airports, an atm in lobby if you need cash-comes out in Pesos, used up Pesos before we left so we didn't need to exchange
Playa del Carmen: a fun place to walk around and shop, many shops sell the same things-you need to look for the unique ones, has built up in the last 5 years, can walk to beach area, lots of restaurants, Congo Bongo really being pushed, be aware that the vendors will try any way to get you into their shops-just politely say no...they recognize Riu arm bands and say "hey remember me-I was your waiter at the Riu Palace"--no they weren't---Just enjoy the Mexican charm
Other Rius: we walked to Riu Palace Mexico-I think you either love it or hate it...we are not fans of the décor-very modern and Vegas...doesn't seem very warm or grand-just my opinion--others love it....on the forums they say all the Rius may eventually have this décor, if it does happen to the RPRM I will be very sad......also visited the Yucatan..it was pouring rain so no one looked happy there--need umbrellas to get to room...that's not the case at RPRM
To sum it up this is a beautiful resort with beautiful people and we would definitely come again for a 3rd time!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Riu Riviera Maya
- Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya Mexico - Playa Del Carmen