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“It's not Cancun central, but spring break is here!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“It's not Cancun central, but spring break is here!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2010

We chose this hotel for a few reasons: location outside of central Cancun to avoid the spring break craziness, because it was all-inclusive, and because it seemed family friendly (we have three kids, ages 12, 13, and 15). The reviews here were generally positive, and I think that if we had gone outside of spring break week it might be that I would be writing a glowing review as well.

Here is what we encountered: large groups of kids, travelling with parental supervision, going completely wild. The 12 year old had a bucket of ice dropped on his head from a second story landing. We found a used condom in the middle of one of the main walkways. The two boys next door to us got into a drunken screaming fight with either each other or other guests three nights in a row (yes, we called security and no, no one ever showed up. Once they did not ever answer the "emergency" phone line). Parents shouting at their children from balconies at midnight. Drunk teens sitting with their equally drunk parents.

The point is - I would recommend this hotel, but not during spring break. It seems it has been discovered and that the rules regarding check in age have been circumvented by well meaning but not practical parents.

If you wish a connecting room, good luck. They don't exist. The service staff was spotty at best - some went well out of their way to make your trip a pleasant one, others just didn't care at all. Overall, the level of service was far below what we have experienced in other RM hotels, with and without children.

It took us three days to get a rollaway bed for one of our rooms. Each day I was told it was on the way to the room. When it didn't show up for a couple of hours, I would go back to the front desk only to be told they didn't have one. One of our children slept on the tiny couch in the room for three days. This is not world class hotel service.

If you stay here, make sure you turn OFF the alarm on the clock in the room as soon as you arrive. They seem to all be set to go off at midnight. Up and down the hallway, you heard the buzz of alarms at midnight. And on the time front, if you are there over a time change (ahead or back and hour), they will not tell you. We almost missed our flight home due to such a change. It was an hour later than we thought it was, as the clocks changed on Sunday night and we were leaving Monday morning. Not one staff member told us about this.

There are activities but they are fairly free form and this place did not put out a daily activity schedule as most do.

Restaurants are okay - buffet is actually quite good, and the Japanese restaurant was our favorite hands down. Brazilian is disgustingly bad. Steakhouse okay. You may reserve three nights ahead between 12 -3 in the lobby. Go early and get in line. We were shut out for two nights even with planning for this as soon as we arrived.

So go - with caution.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank gogecko
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
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Milwaukee
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2010

Just arrived back today from 6 nights. Traveled with 3 kids (age 9, 6 and 4). The good - the hotel was beautiful - almost like a high end Vegas hotel. The staff was great and very friendly. The hotel has 2 pools, one which overlooks the other larger pool. Kids loved jumping out of the higher pool to the lower pool. The big pool has a swim up bar, volleyball net and several in water lounge chairs. There were plenty of chairs. Right next to the pool was a great beach with 2 levels. The top level was shaded by palm trees and had a volleyball net and ping pong table. Then down 3 steps was more beach with chairs right up to the ocean. It was a great beach (a few topless bathers) with lots of activities (waverunners, snorkeling, parasailing, sailing etc). The hotel is a 3 minute $5 cab ride to downtown Playa del Carmen which is a great town especially at night. The buffet restaurants at the hotel had plenty of options for all people. (Omlette stations for breakfast, sometimes pasta station for dinner, different themes for lunch & dinner). They also had a Vegas night with Roulette and Blackjack tables after dinner one night. They have a kids show at 8:30 each night. About 15 kids were there each night. Then a main show around 9:30 or so.

We did a few activities. We took a waverunner out for 30 minutes for $60 (I did this twice). We went snorkeling (which was about a 20 minute boat ride away near a small reef). My 6 and 9 year old had never snorkeled before and it was a great intro (we were right in front of 2 sea turtles). I also went with my 9 year old to Discovery Jungle Park which was great (although I didn't feel like the safety standards were there). It was a 10 mile 50 minute ATV which started on a main street, then side street then dirt road then bumpy road. Then 3 zip lines (small compared to Costa Rica) and then a swim in an underground water hole (basically a cave). Then the 50 minute ride back.



The bad - no connecting rooms. They do have rooms with a small joint hallway with doors 4 feet away from each other. The non-buffet restaurants and their reservation system. I was told that it was hard to get reservations so my travel agent made 2 in advance. They allow you to reserve 2 reservations at the non buffet a few days in advance at noon in the lobby. They fill up fast. The day we got there most things were booked. Plus the reservations they confirmed via e-mail didn't exist in their book. We ate at the Japanese restaurant one night (no hibachi) - the food was so/so. We also at at the Mexican restaurant which was good (not great). We heard from several people the steak restaurant was terrible. My kids preferred the buffet (and I think I did too). Even though it was all inclusive we ate in downtown Playa a few times. It was nice to break up the monotony of the resort. The hotel was nearly overrun with teens. There were lots of younger kids but a lot of 16-22. The drinking age is 18. I didn't notice a lot of drunk teens, but others did. The worst part of the hotel was the noise levels in the rooms. Lots of other people posted how bad it was and they are dead on. They have a door to the halls where the rooms are. People seems to come in at all hours and their conversations come right into the rooms. We asked them to put Quiet signs on the doors that everyone must enter and they said just call. Almost every night several times a night you heard people. Most of it was over by 10:30pm, but I was awoken by drunk kids at 4am last night. They really need more security to police the noise or better doors, walls, etc. Putting a towel under the door didn't help. Finally while the staff was attentive - there were about 3-4 times I ordered a drink that didn't arrive. Usually wasn't a big deal, but nontheless it was a basic mistake that was repeated. There is no internet in the rooms but free wi-fi in the lobby (not a great signal). They have a sports bar that is overrun with teens and usually an overbearing cigarette smell. Finally they promote room service, but the room service menu is small and not kid friendly. They do allow you to bring food from the buffet back to the room. The king size beds are two full or queen size beds together. You can get a free cot which was put by the step down part of the room instead of the couch (which is not a fold out)

We stayed at the Iberostar Pariaso Maya in Riveria Maya (about 20 minutes North) 2 years ago and it was very similar (not necessarily as fancy). They had more pools (Wave Pool, etc) and little kid activities (10 and under). If I had to recommend a hotel to a family with kids 12-22 I'd recommend Riu Palace (if you can deal with the middle of the night noise) and for a family with kids 0-12 I'd recommend the Iberostar Maya.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank smjjjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2010

Really love the hotel and the staff were fantastic. Our first trip to Mexico and would go back no problem. Not normally a beach couple but the sand here was fantasic and the sea was beautiful. All in all a great holiday and came home very relaxed. One downside is the Yanks who like the Russians in Europe seem to think they own the place and the poor Mexicans. They are very rude & loud espically the teenagers who are drinking for the first time.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PaulRomford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2010

We stayed at this hotel from Jan.16-23 and were very satisfied with everything the hotel had to offer. It is about a 20 minute walk away from Playa del Carmen, which is far enough to avoid the drunken crowds and close enough to walk there any time you want. The beach was beautiful. We took long walks every day. The food was great! The specialty restaurants, however, are not worth the wait - but that's always the case. The hotel offers a variety of free activities that one typically has to pay for in other hotels. It was a fantastic vacation and we would go back any time!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank toniafirer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yorkshire
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2010

My wife and I visited this hotel for 14 nights, having previously stayed in the Dominican Republic, we decided to try Mexico and we were not disappointed.
The Hotel was wonderful and the staff were first class,they could not do enough for us.
The food was not all to our taste, but I am sure it would have appealed to many. Our taste is for more plain food..We are pensioners and used to old fashioned English food.
However I would not hold this against the Hotel as everyone has differing tastes and I would not lower my rating of this Hotel on this matter.
Whatever we asked for was done immediately and we were constantly asked by the staff if everything was alright and if there was anything else they could do for us.
Beddng and towels were changed daily and the rooms were always spotless.
I cannot praise this Hotel highly enough.
The location was also excellent as we could take a 15 minute walk ,either along the beach or by road and be in 5th avenue shops at Playa Del Carmen. Younger and more agile people could get there even quicker, or you could pay $5 (£3) and go by Taxi..
The locals are also very friendly and obliging and there was no fear of the neighbourhood and shopping in the WAL MART Playa Del Carmen is much cheaper than the tourist shops.
The Beach is excellent with wide sands stretching for miles in either direction, however the sea was a little rough whilst we were there, no good for children but ok for good swmmers.
You are also in easy walking distance of 4 other RIU Hotels ,all of them available for you to use,
We had a ground floor suite overlooking the pool and courtyard, and found this excellent.
Before I finsh I will mention only one bad experience, the 2nd and 3rd night after our arrival we were awoken in the early hours by drunken revellers, we happened to mention this to one of the staff , who said dont worry it will not happen again and I can honestly say it never did. I have no idea how he managed it unless he placed a guard on our corridor!!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank malmag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2010

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at this hotel and after reading some reviews -was pleasantly suprised with how clean, the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff and the overall atmosphere of the hotel. Our room was cleaned daily and we were left with cute towel animals each evening after spending the day at the beach. The food was delicious and varied enough to satisfy everyone's tastes. Our favorite restaurants were the Steak House - absolutely delicious - and the Argentinan restaurant.
The staff was so awesome -especially the entertainment crew! We loved the shows at night and the bands on the -plaza for the most part were great! We would go again in a heartbeat - wishing I was there now!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank betseyc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ar
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2010

The RIU is a beautful hotel. Everything is kept clean and cared for. The staff is top-notch. You will enjoy the fine dining and wide choice of foods. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the sun and surf.
The only thing that was below par (in my book) was the entertainment. It was fair but not the type of music that you would want to dance to.
The location was perfect for us. We walked to the 5th Avenue shops and to the fairy to visit Cozumel.
This hotel was a great choice.

Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank bhfsar
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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