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“Third Time Not Always a Charm”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Third Time Not Always a Charm”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

Visited Riu Riviera Maya for the third consecutive summer from May 31 to June 6, 2014. We love the area and the staff are always excellent for the most part. Many of the staff recognized our family from previous visits and even remembered our drink preferences which is amazing considering how many people they see!! The younger staff not quite as engaging or as quick to offer service. The food was what we have come to expect in this area, which means good and plenty, although not necessarily cutting edge. We did experience several days of heavy rain again in 2014 and there were plenty of leaks and flooding around the sidewalks, but it stayed pretty warm. The structure is starting to show some age and could benefit from some renovation. While my wife and I love the quiet setting, our 24 and 22 year old sons and friends would have preferred to be at the high energy Tequila. Or better yet, the modern Mexico across the street from the interior property. I consider to recommend these properties to all our friends, but we will probably try a new location for the next vacation. Special thanks to Fernanda at the front desk for helping get us a great room. Also GREAT service and attention from David in the lobby lounge and patio area. If we don't return, he will be the most missed.

Room Tip: If you like enjoying coffee or drinks on your balcony, request an ocean or interior property view. U...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Terry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 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
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

I've stayed at this property twice - May 2012 and November 2013. The stay in November 2013 was actually for my wedding and we had around 70 guests staying as well. I'll leave the wedding out of the review and just speak to the property as a guest.

No all-inclusive will be perfect, but this one is the most well rounded of the bunch. I know because in searching for a wedding venue, we visited over a dozen of the top hotels in the area. For the price range, it cannot be beat. If you're willing to pay double the price, you may do marginally better.

Atmosphere - Refined and elegant but not stuffy. This place isn't for kids - which I personally preferred.
Rooms - Decent. They could use an update but they are clean and nice enough. The balconies are nice. They do smell musty, but it's not a deal breaker.
Beach - It's awesome. This is one of the nicest beaches you will find in Playa area for an all-inclusive. We were shocked that many of the hotels we visited had eroded beaches or murky waters. The beach and water here are perfect - out of a fantasy!
Pool - Really nice and fun. They play music, but it's not overwhelming. Sometimes they do games to keep you entertained, but it's not all day long.
Drinks - Not bad or too watered down. They serve champagne and decent wine.
Food - Better than most all-inclusives. There are some things that are really good and some that aren't. At least you have the potential to get a good meal. Breakfast is awesome.
Staff - Friendly and helpful
Location - great. It's in a nice gated community in easy walking or taxi distance to PDC.

Overall, what I'd recommend if you decide to stay at this hotel is to plan to have one or two lunches / dinners in PDC to get a little variety. If you do that and also leave once or twice for a tour, you will have an awesome trip.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank TravelGirlBlogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ogunquit, Maine
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

3rd time staying at a Riu Palace, Jamaica and Aruba previously. Picked this Riu Palace based upon outstanding previous experiences. The food was poor quality. One night at the buffet, they were slicing (trying to anyway) Sirloin Steak. Was so tough, they couldn't even slice it, more or less my being able to eat it. While waiting to make dinner reservations, met a couple that raved about the Brazilian Restaurant which they went to the night before. We made reservations and they in fact made reservations to go back. Sat right next to them. By the time we got to the Ribeye steak, we were so dissatisfied with the food that we got up and left - so did they stating this was a total opposite of their previous experience. This implies that there is no consistency. Told the front desk about our experience, their response was we will pass it on to the chefs.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Gary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
houston
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014 via mobile

Brought a group of 21 for a fun getaway. Third time to bring group to PDC and thought we would upgrade to someplace new. Out of 10 rooms, only 2 have properly cooling A/C and those are closest to lobby. I have the most expensive room on property and I literally laying on top of covers and sweating. I was just told there are no more fans available. This would be a nice enough resort but sweating all night just makes for a miserable hotel stay. One couple have even pulled mattress on to balcony so they can sleep. As I write this, it is my third night here with 2 more to go. I've posted several times on TripAdvisor and I'm always positive and fair. Upside to resort- buffet is plentiful and drinks are too shelf when requested. Beautiful beach and a nicely sized resort. Downside- this just sucks: up all night sweating tends to suck ALOT of the fun out of vacation. This hotel is definitely of the group trip list.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chips&salsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

This was our second trip to Riu Palace Riviera Maya (first was 2009), out of the Riu Palaces we've stayed at in Cancun and Cabo - this Riu Palace is TOP NOTCH! The court yards, entertainment crew, beach, and food are amazing in comparison to others that we had to return.

LOVE LOVE: free wi-fi throughout the hotel (wish all Rius had this); beautiful court yards; amazing palm trees; beach chairs; beach hammocks; AMAZING swimmable beach; great HARD WORKING wait staff; yummy food

We made reservations at the Oriental restaurant and really enjoyed the food. There was a sushi platter that was pretty tasty. We left full! We wanted to check out the other restaurants but time got away from us.

This vacation was pretty chill for us, we'd start out at the POOL BAR everyday (they begin serving at 10am) we'd grab a FRESH FRUIT smoothie (set up by the bar) and stake out our chairs. We found a poolside chair easily every day. Our favorite waiters/waitresses: VICTOR and SUME! They really made sure we were taken care of and we took care of them $$! SUME knew the four of us by name and even had a drink ready for us, that is SERVICE!! :) Mr. VICTOR worked breakfast, pool side, and DINNER unsure when Victor has a day off?!?! By 3ish we would head down to the beach to hang out and RIDE the waves. Gosh that was SOOO much fun! LOVED that!!! Dinner by 7ish and then entertainment in the courtyard. They had an amazing band while we were there that did classic rock-big hair bands oh and a little Michael J!! They were TOP NOTCH!! We enjoyed the entertainment shows beginning at 945pm: GREASE and the Music overview.

We definitely plan on returning! Great job!!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Superior - you'll receive a view of the beautiful courtyard and/or view of the ocea...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brkhousekitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tennessee
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Palace after being terribly disappointed with the Tequila and Yucatan. Our first impression of the Tequila and Yucatan was during a feeding frenzy in their outdoor buffets. We tried the Tequila first then walked to the Yucatan in hopes of an improvement (not). There was trash everywhere with birds and animals picking at it and defecating on the floor near our table. Between the warm humid air, flies, birds, cats, melted ice ream, etc. we totally lost our appetite. On top of that, the "chefs"/food preparers were speaking rudely under their breath and gesturing to the guests. We did eat at one of the indoor buffets for dinner and it was much better, cleaner, better service, etc.

The pools are small compared to most other Riviera Maya resorts we have stayed at. Much of the clientele were a bunch of rough looking, smoking individuals.

Now for the Palace (specifically Riviera Maya), it was great! The place is very beautiful with excellent service. The food was very good and again, the service in the restaurants was superior. The buffets were very good and the Rodizio (Brazilian) was also.

The night time entertainment was good and we enjoyed the shows and Vegas Night.

The pool was slightly smaller than other large Riviera Maya resorts but still nice.

The beach was the best we have ever experienced. It was larger with soft sand, nice swimming area, plenty of lounge chairs and palm trees. The beach barbeque was delicious (chick, steak, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc.) and quite convenient. The pool bar was situated between the pool and beach and was able to serve guests from both.

Rooms were moist and smelled of dampness (bed sheets a little moist).

The place was pretty close to Playa del Carmen which allowed us to walk to shopping and restaurants there.

We would definitely stay again and are planning to in the near future.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank IronTalon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frisco
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

We recently returned from a long week-end in Playa at the Riu Palace! We were greeted by amazing front desk personnel (Gabi) who started our trip off on the perfect note. The pool and beach areas were amazing. Great entry and such clear water on the beach...and LOVED the chairs under the palm trees. The pool was perfect, complete with the swim up bar, in-water lounges, and fun activities. The kids were happy and so were the parents! :-) The breakfast buffet in the morning is incredible and the kids were always happy with their omelets, waffles, and other yummy treats. Lunch, poolside, was good and our dinner at the on-site Mexican restaurant was incredible. The only thing keeping this from being a 5 star review was the selection of room service items and late night dining. Our family loves to order burgers and/or snacks late at night on vacation and the room service menu only offers a few (VERY LIMITED) items...that honestly, weren't that great. You can get a microwave hot dog in the sports bar (which was pretty good), but just not a lot of selection. Overall, this was a GREAT vacation with memories to last a lifetime. The one thing our family kept commenting on the entire trip was has NICE EVERYONE was. Seriously, I don't think we've ever had such service, where EVERYONE seemed to truly care and helped ensure we had a worry-free, relaxing vacation!!! Would definitely recommend to family and friends!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Stephanie M
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury 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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