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“Loved the RPRM”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #50 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 March 2010

We visited the property the last week in January and really liked it. This was our 4th RIU Palace experience (Cabo, Aruba, Cancun) so we knew what to expect. We were very happy with our resort selection-it was close to Playa, same great restaurants we've been spoiled with and impeccable service. We love, love, LOVE the Mexican hospitality!

The resort and beach are absolutely perfect.

We visited all of the other RIU properties this time around, which I would highly reccommend. They are all just a bit different and offer their own charm, but, we were really happy we chose the RPRM and will definately go back!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Gottatravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,193 - 3,199 of 5,633 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2010

just got back 7 days with my wife/and parents (68-70)....excellent resort 1st class all the way from the pools,beach ,resort grounds all real nice....try to request top floor for better views espically closer to the ocean(ex rm.2114)geat view ....as far as beer all they have is dossequis ----but anykind of mix drink they will make it...service and the people are amazing (romone-islas-marvin all like family..)restaurants are a hassle trying to book because all the good ones are taken---the buffet is awesome but it would have been nice to try some restaurants....playa del carmen shopping is a waste too many people haggling you/not very nice either- go to playacar shopping alot nicer and cheaper...and you can walk their...good tip bring a big insulated mug for drinks because they give you a plastic 6oz. cup when you are at the pool or beach and your drink gets warm quick alot of people had mugs...good bands at night in courtyard and a show to follow everynight in theatre.....
the one major dissapointment was the amount of springbreakers that came in the last 3 days of our vacation(march 8-15)our agent told us this wiould not happen but it did....most of the groups had chaperones but they were noisey,getting sick,yelling shot-shot-shot all the time,,,all night...not the right place- go to cancun do not impose on families and older peolple trying to relax .......
overall outstanding place --bring plug ins for the musty smell..not that bad...enjoy

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2010

As the flagship, newest and most expensive Riu property in Playa del Carmen, our family, traveling with 2 young children, expected more. Other than the property itself and the large beach, which has been immaculately restored, there is simply nothing special about this Riu. It gives a typical cookie cutter all-inclusive experience. Don't get me wrong, the experience was good but when you figure that you pay a premium for this Riu over the other Rius and in comparison to other similarly priced properties in the area, it was underwhelming.
To give some background, this is my 4th time to this area. Our party consisted of 2 young children, 3 and 1 y.o, my wife, and the kids' grandparents.

To highlight some of the positives first:
Great location in Playacar- secluded but close to tourist area of 5th ave. Only a $5 dollar cab ride or 20 min walk.
Fantastic beach- easy to get a spot and quite large. Nice touch of having hammocks.
Property is remarkably clean.
Food is good. Nothing gourmet or great but for an AI- good. Decent variety at the buffet.
Pool is ok. Tough to get a good spot so wake up early but many AI are like this.

Some negatives:
Service is uneven. At times service was quick and attentive, other times expect to ask 4 times for a glass of water. Maid service uneven as well. At times, you got all the towels you needed, other times you were left without any hand towels and only 2 bath towels for 4 people. In general, staff here is hardworking but understaffed.
Room was a junior suite, but felt cramped. Again nothing nice about it. Asked for 2 double beds, so got a room with 2 doubles pushed together. They actually give the same room if you ask for a king bed as well. Again not the type of stuff you expect from a premium resort. Also no shampoo in the rooms- weird.
Food choices- here's one the major problem of the resort. Not much of variety of restaurant choices. For breakfast you get 1 place to eat. For lunch 1 place to eat. Dinner you get whatever rest. you can get or the buffet, and it has some ridiculous system for reservations.
Bars are ho-hum. Nothing nice here either. Yes they perform the basic service of dispensing drinks, but all bars are relatively small, nothing too special.
Not a family friendly resort. Kids club- yes they have one, is only open 10:30 to noon, and then 3-5 pm. Basically all they do is color and watch cartoons in spanish. Rest. have no kids' menus.
Entertainment is ok. If you have seen one of these shows, you have seen them all. Neither a positive nor negative.

Now I am being picky here. When you pay a premium over other resorts, you expect a higher level of service and amenities that are missing here. If you have family with young children- STAY AT THE IBEROSTAR PARAISO MAYA. For the same price, this resort blows the RPRM away.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank drelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2010

My husband and I were at the RPRM the week of March 5 - 12 and had a wonderful time. I don't know how all these people who write about how horrible this place is can even say that about this place. Everything was excellent from the service to the food. The buffet's had a ton of variety on them. Everyone who worked there was so willing to accomodate you. The location to Playa Del Carmen is a nice 15 - 20 walk or a $5 cab ride into town. It is in a perfect location. Then if you go the opposite way there are more shops to the left in Playacar. Everyone is constantly cleaning and so friendly.
The only complaint I have,and it"s not even a complaint, is the shower temperature changes to really hot all of a sudden for a few seconds and then goes back. The hallways can get a little loud sometimes too. All in all we had an excellent time and loved the resort. We would definitely go back again. In fact I loved it so much I am taking my daughter there in August.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank stuckintoled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2010

My wife and I got married at Riu Palace Riviera Maya on February 20, 2010 and I must say everything was perfect!! We were married at the gazebo, which is by far the best location on the property, and we had our reception at Chili's. The weather was 85 degrees and sunny, the beautiful scenery was great for photos. Our wedding coordinator, Ael, was excellent; her laid back approach put us at ease from the beginning. The entire staff was very professional and organized, they know exactly how to create a memorable experience. They also have no problem throwing in perks like our reception dinner which they made completely private, although we didn't pay for the "private" option.

We had over thirty people fly in for our wedding, so we were a little nervous never having had stayed at the resort before. Overall everyone was very pleased with the service, the rooms, the location (being so close to Playa Del Carmen and so many attractions nearby was definitely a plus), the cleanliness, the food, the activities at the resort- we had no complaints. The service was phenominal (this needs to be mentioned twice)!!

I could go on and on about the details of each restaurant, the bars, etc. but others have already done so in their reviews. Instead I will just say this: we had very high expectations for our wedding & vacation and Riu Palace Riviera Maya far exceeded them!!

  • Stayed: February 2010
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4  Thank robpiotrowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2010

We stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya during the 2nd week of March and have the following feedback to share:

LOCATION - the resort is in a great location. Very safe as you have to pass through a security gate to get into the Playa area. The resort is 5 minutes from a shopping area and Starbucks, 10 minutes the other way from 5th avenue (which is a tourist trap BTW).

ROOMS - the rooms are nice, pretty much what we expected. Make sure to ask for a mattress pad - it makes a huge difference. I like a firm mattress, but the mattresses were way too firm for my liking. Also, be careful with showering before dinner. Lots of people are showering at the same time, so you may experience bursts of really hot water during your shower. Make sure to leave some room in the shower to jump out of the stream of water if that happens. Other than those 2 issues, the room was great. The staff kept our fridge stocked and we didn't really have any issues with the musty smell while we were there. We did notice that our clothes were a tad musty when we got back, but 1 washing got rid of the smell completely.

POOL - the other reviews are correct when they say that people reserve chairs. Be prepared to put your towels (and a book or other personal item since everyone has the same towels) out at around 7 a.m. to get the best spots at the pool. We put our towels out at around 7:30-8:00 every morning and got the spot that we wanted nearly every day. Also, bring a beach towel per person. The hotel towels are fairly large, but they don't fully cover the chair.

BEACH - the beach is beautiful. They did a great job with restoring it. No more sand whales! Yay!!

DRINKS - the staff by the pool was very attentive when it came to drink service throughout the day. Several times, we had 2-3 drinks per person because the staff knew what we liked and brought it without asking. The drinks were good and were well made 99% of the time. In the evenings, the lobby bar is the best place to get a drink. The bartender, Islas, is the best bartender in the entire resort. Make sure to try a vodka lemon or watermelon martini - they are fantastic when Islas makes them! You can also get drinks in the courtyard area, but while the ambience is nicer, the drinks are not as well made. We found that it was better to order a beer or champagne when in the courtyard.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH - the buffet for both of these meals was very good. Great selection and variety of items to choose from.

ROOM SERVICE - the service was very prompt & 100% accurate. The selection is minimal, but sufficient considering all of the other options in the resort.

DINNER - we visited every restaurant during our stay. Here is a quick breakdown:
Japanese - don't bother going here if you eat sushi/sashimi on a regular basis. The quality and selection of items is sub-par and lacks imagination completely. The only thing we liked at this restaurant was the sesame noodle appetizer.
Mexican - very good options on the salad/appetizer bar, entrees were a little boring. Great guacamole.
Brazilian - this was our 2nd favorite place. The bean soup at the appetizer bar was amazing. And, the herb sauce for the meat was outstanding as well.
Krystal - this was our favorite restaurant. Every course was outstanding and was something we would seek out back home. The pumpkin soup and sea bass were so amazing that we ordered them again on our 2nd night at this restaurant.
Steakhouse - saved the worst for last. This was by far the worst meal we have had in years. 1 of our steaks was the consistency of ham - it was sent back and brought right back out with assurances that it was "OK". The bad steak combined with a bad mussel in the appetizer resulted in a day and a half of sickness and nausea afterwards. If you do go to this restaurant, be very careful about what you eat and make sure to pack immodium.

ENTERTAINMENT - the nightly shows were much better than expected. The dancers/performers did a great job each night. We have been to shows in NYC and Vegas and found the shows to be very entertaining. It's not broadway, but they do a great job. Make sure to check them out each night. The prime seats in the theater fill up fairly quickly (starting at around 9:30), so get there early to grab a good seat if you want a good view of the show. During the daytime, the entertainment staff did a great job of making things fun by the pool and on the beach. The music by the pool was a little loud at times, but the staff worked hard to ensure that everyone was having fun.

IN GENERAL - this is not an adults only resort, so there were a few kids there when we were there. My only complaint was that the parents didn't pay attention to their kids very much. Several kids were very rude and thought that splashing adults was a fun game. If you are averse to these types of antics, I wouldn't stay here. Also, we left right as the big spring break crowds started to hit. This isn't the hotel's fault, but the sheer number of high school kids running around would have made this a very different trip for us if we would have come a week later (lower drinking age in Mexico = lots of drunk high school & college kids = noisy resort).

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank DSMS2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2010

I am going to start with the negative aspects of this hotel, because that is why people usually read reviews.

Everything in our hotel room was completely damp: the bedding, towels, couch, and eventually, our clothing and luggage. Spending a week sleeping in a damp, dank hotel bed was horrible. If you read the other reviews you will see that this was mentioned by many reviewers -- I should have listened to them and I regretted not having done so. What goes along with this dampness is a moldy smell that persists laundering. I just finished my first load of laundry and it still stinks! I don't know how to explain it other than a dank, pungent odor. The depth of this odor was not really apparent to me until we left the place but now everything we brought with us, from our clothing to our scuba gear to my purse, etc., reeks. I know this dampness is not caused by the mere fact that the hotel is in the tropics, because I've stayed in PDC many times before and never had this problem with utterly damp sheets and a moldy stink.

Secondly, this place is run down and the decor is dated. It just seems worn out and used. It doesn't feel like you're in Mexico, but rather some stuffy French hotel. There are way to many fluorescent lights and the ambiance is totally lacking. If you are hoping for modern, contemporary, funky, edgy, cool or trendy decor this place is definitely not for you.

Thirdly, the demographic was not what we were looking for. I am a 27 year old female and my boyfriend is 36. This place seemed to have a lot of people aged 50+ and families. Maybe we were just used to the two previous adults-only places in PDC that we've stayed, where there are mostly honeymooners. But anyway, it just seemed to have a much older crowd that places we've stayed before. Not a big deal but just noticeable.

Fourthly, the restaurant reservation process is totally bogus. It is a complete pain the butt to leave whatever you're doing on afternoon of your vacation to go stand in line to make a reservation for an over-rated restaurant. Seriously, leaving the beach from 12-3 pm to head all the way to the front of the hotel to fight with other guests for a spot in line ruined the experience of vacation. I have stayed at other all inclusive places on the Riviera Maya where you are allowed to walk into the restaurant of choice at the time of your leisure, not at the two set times like at Riu Palace (6:30 and 8:45). What if you don't want to dine at the designated time or your don't want to leave your vacation activities to stand in line for a reservation? Well then its buffet time for you, in the flourescently lit dining room with boring decor. Also, they only let you make two reservations at once so you're guaranteed to stand in line for reservations at least a few times on your vacation if you don't want to go to the buffet. They also allow smoking in the restaurants which is gross.

On the positive side, the food in the buffet was decent for a buffet, with good selection. Not much variety day to day. The service at the restaurants was good. The sit down restaurants were good and the waiters were prompt and friendly. It wasn't anything to write home about but definitely edible.

The beach at this hotel is beautiful, better than each place I've stayed before. It is probably this place's only redeeming quality. Lots of spots to sit (many chair-grabbers early in the morning which is unfortunate) and beautiful sand and palm trees. However, again, the pool area is a bit run down and the lounge chair cushions seem to be have lived past their day. The drink service on the beach is nonexistent, which is really poor compared to other places I've stayed in PDC.

The accessibility of this hotel to downtown PDC is convenient. It is only a short 10 minute walk and a cheap 50 peso cab ride.

Overall, this place is a 3 star hotel, tops. If you have stayed at truly nice places you will think this place is a dump. I regret staying here. We had a wonderful vacation nonetheless but I wished we had gone back to Secrets Capri Riviera or tried a more high-end hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sanshi
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

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:
#20 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £213 - £419 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* The hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya is located directly on the white, sandy beach of the Playacar residential estate, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Playacar, Riu Yucatan and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels. The 400 spacious and elegant junior suites are set in the 3-storey main building, with its delightful architectural style and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens. * Next Village / Location Playa del Carmen 2.0 km approx. * Next City Cancún 60.0 km approx. * Airport Cancún International Airport (CUN) 55.0 km approx. * Main Building 3 floors 400 rooms * Accepted Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa ... more   less 
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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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