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“The negative reviews here scared us! Thumbs UP for Riu Playa Blanca”

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Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“The negative reviews here scared us! Thumbs UP for Riu Playa Blanca”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

We were extremely nervous several days before departing for our trip to this resort after reading all of the negative reviews here! We were pleasantly surprised upon arriving to Panama to be greeted at the airport where we were transported to the resort and quickly checked in. The lobby was funky, modern, clean and welcoming. My wife and I have fairly high standards when traveling, so while it didn't meet our criteria for a five star hotel, it was certainly a step up from four star hotels that we have stayed at in cuba. There is lots to do for families with children (3 water slides, table tennis, foozeball etc) as well as babysitting services. The buffet meals had lots of selection and were significantly better than other buffet's that we have been to at resorts. The staff were friendly, alcohol was re-stocked in rooms on a daily basis. Overall our experience was a great one! The ocean was beautiful to swim in (don't be fooled by the sections of black sand! It is not dirty, it's volcanic sand!).
The only critique that we had:
Booking a la carte meals was a pain. It seems that they have changed the system. Now you make your reservations between 7am and 10am. There are no line ups, but if you like to sleep in while on vacation like we do, it's unlikely that they will have any tables left if you arrive past 8:30am. They often close down 2 of the a la cart restaurants if the resort is not at full occupancy. That being said, after just finishing our second a la carte meal, you are not missing out on much if you just eat at the buffet the whole time!
Otherwise, the pools seemed clean (there are tiles falling off in the pools, hopefully a glitch they will fix), the resort is 2hrs from Panama City (and the airport) so plan on connecting with a tour company when you arrive if you are interested in tours of the canal, rainforest tours etc.
If you are looking for a "Trump Hotel" experience, this is not the resort for you. If you are looking for a relaxing getaway where you can enjoy a beautiful beach, some fun day trips and a disco tech at night, or a family getaway with lots of activities for the children, this is the vacation destination for you!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank 1979Abby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,908 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (322)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Mount Hope, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Hotel was new,clean and beautiful. A little isolated but good if you just want time to unwind. Biggest issue is thefts, our group of 18 had an itouch, ipod shuffle, iphone and ds games all stolen from rooms. If its not in the safe or bolted down they will steal it!!!...Riu did nothing to rectify our losses do not expect a sense of security from your rooms itself.

Calvin B.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank calvin b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014 via mobile

I do not understand the negative reviews!! The rooms are modern and nice. The food is good in the buffet the Italian restaurant was excellent. The steakhouse was good as well. The only thing that keeps this from 5 star status are a few inconsequential items such as few English language TV channels. The staff is friendly and helpful. The grounds although immature are tasteful but would not be a good place for those who have trouble walking. It is a long way to the elevators. Rest rooms closer to the pools would also be helpful but these are minor compared to the many positives.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

If looks were all, staying at this resort is a million dollar experience! It is contemporary chic with clean lines, an open lobby, spacious room floor plans and modern artwork. I was able to see 3 room floor plans. I particularly liked looking out over the pools and ocean on our oversized balcony with a Jacuzzi (be VERY leery of the biting bugs while outside though).

The food and distance to Panama City were minuses for my friends and me. The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets were marginally good with the exception of last night's leftover dessert appearing at the lunch buffet. But our experiences dining at the specialty restaurants were mostly bad. The menu options and the food preparation left a lot to be desired. I also was very disappointed by the late night menu at the sports bar. As far as location be prepared to pay $$$ for the 2-hour each way transportation to Panama City. We booked our Panama City excursions outside of the resort, and the resort wasn't very helpful with transportation information.

This resort was not ideal for a single group of friends or teenagers. However if I were on my honeymoon, staying at this RIU would be GREAT! I almost didn't want to leave my room. Other things to expect are the pool hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the local restaurants are mosyly a miss with the food, but they have charm.

Room Tip: Although my travel agent got me a really great room with a view, the other rooms were nice as well...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rhonda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodstock Ontario
Level Contributor
75 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

We had a Group of 41 here. May 9th-16th. The Wedding co-ordinator Alejandra did an excellent job. Beach is nice with Vocanic sand.Brand new resort only had been open a month when we arrived. Their staff are couteous and friendly.Front desk people go out of their way to serve you. There were a couple of smaller issues. A washroom is needed by the lap pool and the swim up pool bar area. Long walk to eiither inside the main building or over to the steakhouse restaurant on the beach. Nice pool area in seperate location for the children with slides and water games. Room security was an issue and they are trying to deal with this problem. I phones, chargers, and I pods were a target. When new airport opens in 2014 only a 20 minute trip to resort instead of over 2 hours.

Room Tip: Room 3075 On corner with Jacuzzi tub in room as well as balcony, 2 bedrooms one with 2 twins and one...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Draughttap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

We stayed here May 23 - 30.

Resort

It was a great resort we were very scared because of the bad reviews but it turned out great! Beautiful views of the ocean

Food

It was ok you can always find something you want to eat so no problems with the food. The al carts were great you can book them in the morning and there was no line up to book if you sleep in late the reservations might be full but not a big deal you can book the next day.

Rooms

They were clean and nice and i would love to challenge anyone who says there are not! There was soap in the rooms which i read in one review there was not.


Entertainment

This does need a little TLC but they are new and trying for sure! The day time entertainment was the best and we always participated in the games!

We did a few days trip Anton Valley was great deal for the price you pay you should definately book it you go four places for 49 dollars!

Beach

It is a different beach but was fine to me! there are umbrellas on the beach now so you dont have to worry about getting some shade!

Overall was a great trip and anyone that goes is sure to have a good time with good people!

Room Tip: Choose a ocean view room and avoid the room over the disco!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

I got back from riu playa blanca on the 30th of May. We got in late on the 23rd, but they kept the italian restaurant open for our group to eat something which was very nice. Overall the food was good, the property was beautiful, I loved the rooms, just gorgeous. I loved the pool bar bartenders, Milton, Anel & Michael, wonderful people. I felt very welcomed by all and will definitely return one day, maybe even next year.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank ummplz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Playa Blanca

Property: Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Address: Finca 43.668 | Playa Blanca - Provincia de Cocle, Rio Hato 0213, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Playa Blanca 3.5*
Number of rooms: 573
Reservation Options:
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