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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2013

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!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Lucie777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
59 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

It is a good quality all inclusive resort. Perfect place for a family-friendly winter escape, short break with friends but, in my opinion, it is NOT a place for wedding, honey moon or main, annual holidays. It is not a place even close to really top hotels or destinations - nothing to compare with Maldives or Seychelles resorts - it is different league.
Hotel grounds - nice looking, very well kept but without wow-factor.
Rooms - just ok., with dump smell and minor problems - as a family of 7 we had 3 rooms and in every one something was broken or didn't work properly - one leaking a/c, one blocked washbasin, one broken window. Worse problem was with service - we called reception several times - all defects remains untouched till end of our stay..
housemaids - generally ok, but you never know when they came to make your room - sometimes in the morning, sometime in the late afternoon. Evening turnover - sometimes made at 8pm, sometime at 10pm, sometimes they just don't come. They forgot about towels 3 or 4 times. We had to call and wait for 1 hour to take a shower.
Beach towels - in the rainy days they run out of clean towels - you just can't change them. You are allowed to change the towels once a day - annoying when it's raining and the towels are wet.
Food - just ok. You can find something every evening, but after 10 days it starts to be boring - the food is the same every day, they just change the "decorations". Breakfasts are good. A la carte restaurants are just joke in my opinion. We visited all of them - once. We never missed even one. Again - buffet food in different dishes and decorations. Ugly desserts.
Beach and sea - great, sandy, prefect for swimming.
Drinks - ok. Coffee - awful.

Room Tip: Go for inside room, close to the beach and pool - we had ground floor inside and the view was great.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zawsze-w-drodze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

Just returned from another fabulous holiday at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. This is our second visit and it was as good as the first. The weather was beautiful with just a little rain in the first week.
The food in all of the restaurants is of a good standard with lots of choice, we particularly enjoyed the Fusion restaurant.
It was great to see Schwemee again, who is now located in the cocktail bar and she did a great job looking after us and serving us our favourite drinks.
The entertainment was good however we did miss the Michael Jackson show which was quite disappointing, this was on the Wednesday as we arrived, we were very tired due to a 3 hour delay so it was an early night for us, and then back on again the Wednesday as we left.
We also visited the RIU Palace which was a short walk away and were very impressed with the refurbishment that took place last year, we think we will give this hotel a try when we go back in 2015.

Room Tip: Try the Fusion restaurant but book early it gets very busy.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank MandyBro21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

This hotel was awesome! The white sandy beach and clear water was a highlight, if you're a beach a person this is the place to be. Adrianna at the swim up bar made my day everyday, she was attentive and entertaining. The buffet had a wide variety and a great taco bar, never had a bad experience; we ate there for breakfast and dinner and were never disappointed... the service was 5 star, a big thank you to Julio! We tried two of the restaurants on site, Botofogo the Brazilian and Agave the Mexican place. Highly recommend Agave, but you must be a big meat eater to go to the Brazilian place... the entire meal was meat. Overall great experience, staff goes above and beyond. We can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Beach and Garden view rooms were amazing! Avoid rooms above the entertainment disco area as it'...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kandace M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Billerica, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

Just returned from a week-long stay at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya.

Pros:
- The resort is beautiful. The appearance, groundskeeping, cleanliness were all top notch. There is no shortage of staff working all the time to keep the areas of the resort clean.
- The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. My fiancee had an issue with our room (more below) that the staff handled very well. The folks that comprised the "Other Services" team (mainly in charge of the activities on the resort) were awesome as well. They got to know us by name within a couple of days, and we enjoyed the array of activities.
- The food was excellent. Breakfast buffet was great, a wonderful choice of themed restaurants to choose from for dinner. Local Mexican cuisine, as well as more familiar dishes.
- The beach and pools. Two huge pools (plus swim up bar) and almost 100 yards of white-sand beach. Lots of sun (and adequate shade for guys like me!), and the water temp was super comfortable.

Cons:
- Mold/mildew in the rooms. This is a biggie, especially for us (my fiancee has a very strong allergy to mold). Due to the climate/proximity to the ocean, it is very difficult (if not damn near impossible) to eliminate mildew/mold in the rooms. However, the first room we were in was brutal. She literally broke out in hives within about 30 minutes of us being in there. It got bad enough that we had to ask to switch rooms (which the staff was very gracious in accommodating). Be aware you WILL have to wash literally everything you bring with you to get the musty smell off of your clothes.
- Weather. Clearly, there is literally nothing the hotel can do to control this. I mention this only for people looking to travel during this time of the year. Apparently, November is the end of the rainy season in the area, and when it rains...yikes, does it rain. We were there for seven days (including the day we flew in) and I would categorize them as so: 3 days were "meh" (clouds, some sun, little to no rain), 2 were beautiful (like you see on the postcards), and 2 were washouts (like gather-two-of-every-animal-and-run-for-the-hills type of rain).

As you can tell, the Pros of the resort definitely outweigh the Cons. If the mold/mildew issue could be taken care of, we would have absolutely no hesitation in returning to this area (and particularly this resort) again next year.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Billerica, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

This was our first vacation in over 10 years so I was excited when I first walked into the Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen! Big, clean, beautiful hotel with a warm and inviting staff. We were checked in quickly and given all of the information needed to enjoy ourselves! Here's an honest review of the facility and staff.

Staff: Coming from the restaurant business, you can become jaded and have very high expectations. The staff was wonderful! Out of the 100's of people visiting the resort, they always found the time to make us feel special. They went out of their way to make sure you had everything that you needed. The entertainment staff were also very fun! My fiance, who in the past hasn't cared for much sun, took part in many of their beach and pool activities and had a great time! The whole staff was outstanding and because of this, I would come back!

Rooms: Our 1st room had a very musty oder which is a big sign of mold. Very clean but very damp and musty. This troubled me right away because I am allergic to mold. Maybe I should have done my research ahead of time, but with all of the excitement of booking our first trip, I didn't think much of it. The room was very musty and it hit you in the face upon walking in. After a few ours, I began to see black mold on the charis and couches and then the ceiling crown molding. I couldn't take it and asked to be moved. I explained to the front desk attendant that I was allergic to mold and smelt and saw it in the room. They quickly apologized and then moved us to the other side but didn't seem to concerned whe I asked them if this has been an issue. They looked at me as if I was the only person bringing this to their attention. The new room smelt also, but wasn't visible. After talking to some people, this wasn't something we were going to escape from. It was clearly an issue of the whole resort. We kept the balcony doors open to air out the room as much as we could and spent most of our time outside. I broke out in hives and had a lot of congestion. As soon as we got home, my symptons cleared. For this reason and this reason alone, I would not go back to the Riu, unless they do something to improve their facility.

Food: Excellent! Something for everyone! I was skeptical because you always here the stories of people becoming sick. From everything I saw and tasted, everything was fresh and prepared for with care. The food was delicious. There were many options for those wanting to eat lighter, the buffets were fresh and the dining restaurants were fantastic. There is plenty of bottled water in the resort, they stocked your room daily and also always used bottled water in dining.

The beaches were beautiful and pools were great! Clean and well kept. Staff was great, always there to keep you hydrated! Overall our vacation expercience was fantastic and ejoyable. I would have given this place 5 stars on everything, except for the mold issue and the lack of concern about it from the front desk staff. The warm humid climate is perfect breeding ground for mold, which is why as a business you need to stay on top of it and not turn a blind eye to the issue.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Nicole P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2013

This is our first trip to Playa Del Carmen. We are leaving to go home tomorrow. The weather this week hasnt been the best, alot of rain in the past week... but still hasn't ruined our vacation. The service here is top notch, all the staff that we have interacted with have been friendly and can speak English. The RUI Palace is a beautiful resort, the hotel is exceptionally clean, lovely grounds, beach is breath taking and beautiful! Lots of chairs on the beach and getting a chair by the pool was no problem with the resort being at full capacity. They actually frown on people reserving chairs and disappearing for hours. Although the resort was at full capacity this week, we never felt it was crowded nor did we have to wait for anything including our drinks! Make sure you line up in the front lobby a little before noon to reserve your dinner in one of the speciality restaurants. Dinner reservations for speciality restaurants can be booked three days in advance. We really liked The Brazilian Restaurant "Botafogo", tons of food and so yummy....they even went out of their way with a nice chocolate cake and all the waiters sang Happy Anniversary to us in Spanish. Service is really great here, tipping is not a "given" however, we tipped our favourite waiters/waitresses who went out of there way.
Town is a quick 20 minute walk or you can take a cab, lots of places to buy silver, souveneirs...be prepared to be asked many, many times...."come see what I have", "got a good price for you lady".LOL A no thank you worked well.
The only negative thing if I had to think of something because this resort is AWESOME, is the way the resort is laid out...there are two rooms off a little hallway whereby doors are directly across from each other. If you are a light sleeper, bring ear plugs as you can hear people slamming their doors and workers talking in the hallway early in the morning.
You can also take a ferry to Cozumel, ferry dock is in town - $14.00 per person one way, dont buy the return ticket as there are two ferries that operate on different schedules. A return ticket can be bought in Cozumel. If you rent a car in Cozumel, be aware of the "games" that they may play with you upon returning the vehicle - trying to charge extra money - we prepaid for our rental in Playa Del Carmen and they told us we owed another $10.00 U.S. for taxes when we got to the Cozumel side. They also demanded another $20.00 upon returning the car as they said the car wasnt at 1/2 way full mark and it was! We took pictures of any visible damage, dents, marks etc to car prior to leaving as we didnt want to be blamed for doing something we didnt. We had a great time touring the island in a Jeep Liberty, we got to see some beautiful coast line and stop whenever we wanted to. Would we return to Cozumel again in the future? Definitely, rent a car again, NO!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank traveldownsouth
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 Riviera Maya

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Address: Av Xaman-Ha Mza 9 y 10 Lote 1 Int.Fracc. | Fase II Solidaridad, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Reservation Options:
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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

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