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“One of the best resorts in Cancun for a relaxed and lively stay”
Review of Hotel Riu Cancun

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Hotel Riu Cancun
Ranked #37 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 May 2010

Relaxed and lively at the same time? It's only possible at the Riu Cancun hotel. The hotel is one of the bigger ones on the strip with almost 1400 guests enjoying their stay when we were there (1500 max). But - the resort has so much to offer that you don't notice so many guests around. 4 pools, each with their own atmosphere and view. A recently expanded squeaky clean beach. 5 restaurants with just good food!

Before our stay, we checked out a dozen other popular hotels in Cancun. We choose the Riu Cancun because a cousin of ours stayed there and highly recommended it. And she was right! The beach has a incredibly stunning color but at the Riu Cancun, just a little more! The beach is big! The sand feels like sugar powder! The beach has a curve which makes the view even better. And most important: not many stones under water so jump in without any worries!

From all hotels we have seen, the Riu Cancun was one of the most busy ones. That's a compliment for the hotel and it's logical. The hotels that are cheaper offer a LOT less than this hotel - deteriorating hotels with lousy amenities and almost no guests are numerous. Or: fancier hotels such as Le Blanc offer better maybe amenities but the guests are more stiff and you won't feel as relaxed as you will feel at the Riu Cancun.

The staff at the hotel is just wonderful. Day in day out they offer you a warm smile and a small talk if you're open to it. Never saw a hotel in my life where they clean as much and as thorough as they do at the Riu Cancun. The cooks, waiters/waitresses, pool staff, maids and cleaners are great people. One guy worth mentioning above all is a guy named Ricardo - every day you can find him at the lobby wearing a black Hotel Beds shirt. If you need an excursion, perfectly honest piece of advice and a real positive attitude, Ricardo is the man to see.

Downsides? Of course! Humidity which makes everything damp and smelly. Reception and cashier staff: half of them are moody and are awkward in the way they treat you. I have the feeling some guests have given them experiences which made them so harsh and cool - but not a nice experience if you expect to be tampered and want to be completely relaxed. Be very sure that if you ask them for special arrangements, to double check on them because 3 times they promised me things which they later on couldn't deliver and they will tell you with a smile: "sorry but that's all we can do". Last downside: the hotel is too nice for 30% of the guests. Noisy Americans from New York City and Brits who think they own the whole world with 3 drinks in their hands and looking like prostitutes make you feel ashamed of the human race. It's awkward to see how they stumble in a reserved restaurant yelling: "Sorry but that seat is empty so we're having dinner hear RIGHT NOW." On a Gala evening, waiters will tell you quietly that years ago people used to wear suits - and yep, unfortunately the Gala evening in the RIu Cancun looks more like a camp site with shorts and bare feet than what it used to look like in the brochure. With a smile I nicknamed the Riu Cancun in the Riu Tattoo - I didn't check but if you told me that 90% of the guests have a tattoo, I wouldn't be surprised! :-D

Anyway, the humidity, moody staff at the reception and the tattoo fans who forgot to bring their tuxedos to the resort - the Hotel Riu Cancun is a great place to stay. You'll feel at home overnight and leave reluctantly...

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank hugoboss-78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 May 2010

My son and I stayed at the Riu Cancun from 11-18 May 2010. We arrived at the airport at 5:30pm and the driver from HotelBeds, the company the Riu chain uses, was waiting for us inside the terminal which surprised me as we usually have to exit the terminal to find our transportation. The driver asked us which way we wanted to go to reach the hotel, the fast way through town or the longer way through the hotel zone. I don't really think through town could have been faster but we opted for the hotel zone route. I asked the driver where the "mirador" or panoramic viewing point was and he said he'd stop when we got there. Not only did he stop but he gave us time to get out and admire the view; when asked about how the new beaches were working out he said there is already notable erosion but that that was to be expected. I asked how he thought the beaches would fare through hurricane season, he shrugged and said that it will all depend on the intensity but that it will definitely not help. I had put a 50 peso note in my pant pocket as a tip, but with this show of kindness in stopping at the mirador even though he had received a phone call prior to the stop that was definitely from his wife/partner that he would be there right away I put another 50 pesos in my pocket since both my son and I agreed he deserved the 100 p's. The drive took 25 minutes with the stop; the drive on the return at 8:00am took 17 minutes, so if traffic is light it is a very fast ride all the way to the Riu Cancun which is around the bend from the Forum by the Sea.

Gabriela received us at the reception desk, a very nice, pleasant young lady. I asked what room we had been assigned and when she said 323 i guess I made a face because she said that if I didn't like it to call her right away as a large group had just arrived from europe so she could change it for us and that if we didn't like it to please not touch anything in the frigobar :). Of course the first thing we did after entering the room was head to the balcony where we had a very diagonal view of cement pilings of what once had been a pier; a small, rectangular infinity pool which we learned later is at the property next door and below us a tarred roof and there were a couple of guests walking along there, I never did find out what that roof was. Needless to say I immediately called Gaby and asked that we please have a different room, she asked that we come down to exchange the keys that she had room 1527 available, so I sent my son and I waited by the elevators for the bellman. The bellman took me to 1527 and oh what a difference!! He called down to reception and informed them that I was very happy with this room and when my son arrived with the key he was blown away by the view. The room was identical to the first one with two double beds but this one was on the highest floor with a view of the entire grounds except for the quiet pool area which is around the corner actually toward the front of hotel as the street is visible from this area, but it is very secluded for those who are not into noise, there is also an elevated jacuzzi in this spot but it is not heated which did not bother me as it was hot enough temperaturewise without being in a boiling hotub. The jacuzzis in the swimup bar pool are not heated either which is a given since they are integrated into the pool which is not heated but again it was still pleasant to sit in them and relax with drink in hand and the jets are very strong. A couple of ladies got in and got out and one of them disgustingly looked over at me and spewed out, "they're not even hot". I just raised my eyebrows and smiled, hey I was on vacation and not in the mood for confrontations with unhappy types that seem to go looking for faults at every turn.

We ate for the most part at the buffet Don Juan and always found variety for all three meals. We ate seafood and fish almost every day twice a day and there were also some really nice vegetables like marinated zucchini and tomatoes broiled with salt and pepper to which i added a slice of cheese and also your usual mix of cauliflower, broccoli carrots and such. There is also a large variety of salads both greens and pasta. The usual Mexican additions of refried beans, chilaquiles, torilla chips and guacamole and a couple of the darnedest hot sauces I have ever eaten, did a world of good for my sinuses though. In the mornings they had freshly made papaya, orange, grapefruit and other juices as well as different flavored smoothies. The coldcuts and cheeses from the morning were served again at lunch and at dinner which is only right, there was nothing wrong with them and throwing them away would be sinful. I only left tips at the buffet when we were attended by a waiter, this area I did find a bit lacking as many times I got up for my own utensils, a napkin or a coffee cup and saucer and only a couple of times did a waiter or waitress intervene to provide service. We ate lunch only once at La Mision, the restaurant with a view of the ocean and next to one of the pools. The view was lovely but the variety was lacking IMO.

We did not participate in any of the activities but we did watch and the animation team is fabulous, so happy and hyper all of the time and really wanting to get guests to participate and they always said everything in English and Spanish which I guess left out a lot of nonspeaking English people but translating more than that would have made each activity take forever. The nightly shows in La Fiesta with the animation team were fun too, yes, a bit corny at times, but they put in a lot of work and they do make you laugh. As a matter of fact one night there was a team of dancers from outside the hotel and frankly they could not compete with the hotel's animation team, kudos to all of them.

I did use the sport bar internet to check email although it was expensive, 40 p's for 15 minutes at which time they pc went off or 110 p's for an hour. The first couple of days we walked over to the forum in the early evening to avoid the heat of the day to use the internet for 24 p's for 20 minutes, but I decided it was worth the 110 p's just not to have to walk every day just for that purpose and the hour lasted the rest of the trip, expensive yes more convenient definitely. The use of the pool tables was 30 p's and air hockey 20 p's and there were also a couple of arcade games one of which my son explained to me was 3D when I didn't understand why the guy with the helmet on his head was facing us at the bar instead of the arcade screen.

For the ladies and who knows maybe a few men out there, there are no makeup mirrors in the rooms. The best lighting is in the bathroom but being short I had to lean really far to put on eye makeup. You can get up close to the mirror between the bathroom and the bedroom but the lighting is dismal, so if this is important to you a magnified makeup mirror is a must when packing. Also, there is a door you can close between the bedroom and main entrance if noise is a factor which is wasn't for us, but as others have mentioned if your neighbors are loud or turn the tv up you can hear it in your room. The room has a/c and a ceiling fan, but if you leave the sliding glass door to the balcony open the a/c automatically shuts off. There has also been controversy on the hardness of the beds, of course it is a personal preference but both my son and I found them to be just right, different strokes for different folks. We had no problem with security in the room and did not even use the safe except once that I did not want to carry the camera with me. We left sunglasses and jewelry albeit not fine, expensive jewlery as we did not take any on the dresser with no problem. The cleaning crew left us a rose in a plastic water bottle one day and a little towel dog with a rolled kleenex stuck in his behind for a tail, just goes to show 20 p's a day makes someone happy.

The elevators - yea they're slow ( we made it into a game and bet on which one would arrive first) and on two separate days they were fixing two different ones, another day our elevator developed a mind of its own, took us from the 15th floor to the 3rd floor where a gentleman got on and instead of continuing to the lobby proceeded back to the 15th floor, all three of us looked at the panel and sure enough the L was no longer punched but 15 was and when we got there no one was waiting for the elevator!!. No there is no a/c which would be nice and one employee that rode with us once said there used to be and showed us the vent in ceiling, he had no idea why they no longer provided it. Also, two different elevators had the interior doors defaced, the doors have metal sheeting, two had been scratched up with names and drawings, the maintainance crew did their best to erase the defilement but scratches were still slightly visible. This was low seaon and not many young adults, I can only imagine during spring break.

We arrived and left on a Tuesday which made me a little sad as the Riu Cancun has a tour of the Riu Palace that day at 10:00am which I really would have liked to have seen, maybe next time. We did go one day to the Riu Caribe which I found to be a few steps down from the Riu Cancun, less activities and the animation team was not very animated. Also, much has been said about the Caribe beach being better than the Riu Cancun, in one aspect I agree, the ocean does not stir up as much sand the closer you get to shore, but the one spot I chose to enter the water had lots of pebbles which stunned and threw me off balance as I did not expect them but they only seemed to be at that spot other than that both beaches were very satisfactory. There are rocks and sandbags at both but it is not anything that hampers unless you choose to make it a big deal. There also seemed to be more waiters at the beach at Riu Cancun and they did not let you go thirsty, when one waiter, Santos, took forever to bring me two daiquiris, strawberry and mango when he saw me he said "ay, ahorita vengo", I'll be right back and he was with three drinks to make up for his unintentional blunder.

We only ate at one specialty restaurant, Kawachi, it was very good and even though I am not partial to sushi we ate it all, which I paid for the next morning, but the soup, main dish and dessert, fried ice cream of course were all delicious. I had made a reservation for Corazone for Monday night but we went to Isla Mujeres that day and ate at one of the restaurants near the pier as we momentarily forgot about the dinner reservation, Mocambos, good but too expensive, but it was raining at the time and we did not want to venture out in pursuit of restaurants so we just ate at the one closest to our pier. When we got back to the hotel it was after 5:00pm and the reservation table for the specialty restaurants was closed, they are only there until 3:00pm so I canceled at the reception desk.

I could go on and on but will end with my thoughts on pesos versus US dollars. Living in Mexico we of course had only pesos with us which is fine for public buses as prices are in pesos to begin with, if the locals did not use the bus system I guarantee you the prices would be in US dollars and then converted at an astronomical exchange rate into pesos. At the time we went the dollar was 12 to 1, since then the peso has plummeted but then it was 12 p's to the US dollar and the ferry from Playa Tortugas to Isla Mujeres was 15US round trip, we paid 190.00 pesos not much of an increase but more expensive than paying in dollars nonetheless. We purchased our tickets from the booth on the sidewalk as we emerged from the bus, as we neared the entrance to the pier there is another ticket sales booth, out of curiousity i asked the man there how much in pesos and he said 200.00 I said we got a better deal at the other booth and he said he would talk to to the guy as they should cost 200 to which I replied that both rates were more in pesos than in dollars regardless. Night clubs same deal, better to pay in dollars than pesos, not much of an increase but I felt we were getting ripped off 10 pesos or more each at every turn. Also, if you do not want to leave your video camera with the asinine security people at Coco Bongo's do not take it. They allow digital cameras but not HD video cameras that also take regular photos, an incongruent policy in itself as both take videos as You Tube clearly demonstrates. For little trinkets to bring back as gifts pesos were also fine, no calculator was whipped out to convert from US to pesos.

All in all, petty things aside, we had a great time, it was my son'ts first time staying in Cancun, he had been there on other occasions but only to eat and walk along the beach as we usually stay in Akumal so it was a nice treat for him.

Riu Cancun is fine for families and couples alike at an affordable price, you can find active areas or quiet ones and overall you will be treated with courtesy and always a smile by all the employees who obviously love what they do.

  • Stayed: May 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank CHAMUCO1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2010

This is my 3rd time to the Riu with the girls. We stayed in the Jr Suites as usual. I love the location of hotel but it just needs some updating to the rooms. The beach was great...sure there were some rocky spots but I managed to go in the water without hitting any rocks. Also if you are a pool person you def need to get up around 8 to get seats, or you could just put all your stuff one chair and jump in the pool to cool down. The fitness nothing special, half the machines did not work so plan on running on the beach. Overall, it is great for a getaway with the girls or guys but I would not recommend for couples or honeymooners. I think once they update the rooms I will def go back.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank MollyJ76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2010

I travelled to Mexico with my fiance in September last year (2009) and stayed at the Riu Cancun. Transfer from the airport was very fast and after a 12 hour flight thats exactly what you need! Check in was quick and efficient, while filling in a few forms we were given ice cold beers and then given our bands, room keys, safe keys and towel cards.
Our room was a junior suite in the annex building and was massive! Huge king size bed, separate lounge area, mini bar (filled with 7up, pepsi, bottled water and corona) optics (vodka, rum, tequila), large bathroom and a very big balcony with a view to die for, looking right over the activity pool. Yes the rooms are slightly dated and the tv doesnt always work correctly, but to be honest, your in the carribbean, who really spends all their time in the room?!
The beach is gorgeous and very big, these reviews that say there is no beach, im not sure they actually stayed at the Riu Cancun! (see photographs).
The resort itself is extremely clean, we were early risers and saw the pools being cleaned every single morning. There was always somebody cleaning or just generally tidying up around the Riu.
The food is amazing, we're not picky eaters at all but loved everything that the hotel had to offer. We didnt bother booking up at the speciality restaurants as we could find everything we wanted at the buffets. There is a different theme for every night, so one night you could be eating chinese and the next typical mexican food.
We did quite a few excursions, booked through Thomson once we had arrived. We did Captain Hook which was such a fun night for all ages. Really good fun and the food onboard the ship is amazing! We also swam with the dolphins over the water on a little island called Isle Mujeres. Before swimming with the dolphins, we snorkelled, zip wired, swam with sting ray and sharks, then had our hour experience with two beautiful dolphins :)
We also did the Chichen Itza excursion and even though it is a long, tiring day, definately worth it! Such an amazing and educational experience. We loved it.
if you get the chance, take a walk into the town centre where all the bars and restaurants are. We spent alot of time there as there is so much to do and see. We ate at the rainforest cafe a few times and the food was lovely. Coco Bongos is also a must! Completely and utterly amazing! We had a really really good night there. We did the bar crawl from the Riu with Thomson and visited 3 bars before heading onto Coco Bongos til about 3am.
The staff at the hotel are really very friendly, we had no problems at all but had the feeling that if we needed help, they would be there for us. They dont always expect a tip, but sometimes it is nice to give them one. And, if you do leave housekeeping small tips, they leave towel decorations on your bed for you :)
Overall, our holiday at the Riu Cancun was definately 5* We had the time of our lives, the best holiday we've ever had. We were going to book up again for this year (2010) but decided to try somewhere new, still staying at a Riu though! But, without a doubt, we'll certainly be back!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Vilchmoria86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2010

We got married in here last June and would go back there in an instant. We were with extended family of all ages and everybody felt the same. So heres what we thought.

Hotel and rooms

Lobby is really impressive. We were booked into our rooms quickly and made a fuss of. Although we thought that more lifts were needed as you usually have to wait quite a while for one.

We had a honeymoon suite which really was faultless and comprised of a living area and bedroom area on a higher level. As we were in a corner suite we also had a massive wrap around balcony with an incredible view.

The fridges were stocked with corona, water and soft drinks which were replenished every other day. However, we ran out a couple of times and just called the lobby, who sent someone up to replace them.

There are also optics in the room which comprised of rum tequila and vodka. However, we asked if we could exchange the rum for a bottle of Kalhua (mmm black russians) and they happily obliged.

Bathroom was huge with his and hers sinks and spotless with it.


There were three pools, the one at the furthest end, by the spa and steak restaurant was the quietest. They were all cleaned daily, I used to get up for an early morning swim so actually witnessed them thouroughly cleaning it everyday. We would not use the pool with the swim up bar as to be honest it looked like you could catch something, full of ciggerette butts etc and was really rowdy. But this was no fault of the hotel workers or owner.

Food and Drink

The main restaurant is amazing. As well as the usual buffet, which includes a carvery, there are seperate stations for differenct ethnic foods, a mexian station is there everynight and I think another one changed daily to things such as Italian and chinese.

The outside restaurant was a buffet during the day and included things like burger, perfect for when you just want to grab something to eat. But in the night it turned into a steak restaurant. My husband was in his element, you could choose your cut of meat and they would cook it to your liking. Overall we thought the food was faultless.

The drinks were faultless too. There was a cocktail menu, all delicious (Mojitos were a must try), but they would make anything you wanted. They also had international brands such as smirnoff but you had to ask for them by name. Oh, should also mention the kids cocktails and slushes. The children in our group were extremely happy with these and the barmen would go out of there way to make them fancy for them.


There was always games going on around and in the main pool and on the beach if you wanted to get involve, but no pressure to take part.

The entertainment in the night was brilliant, the animation team threw themselves into everything wholeheartedly, although you have to ensure you get down to the club early to get a seat.

Only thing we can fault is the nightclub onsite. It was basically a big dark room with a disco ball, no athmosphere or entertaiment. But I'm guessing that was because everybody who wanted to party headed into Cancun.

If anybody has any questions about this hotel, including the weddings etc then dont hesitate to get in touch.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank jaymc2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Cancun

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9 | Manzana 50, Lote 5, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#29 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#32 Family Hotel in Cancun
#32 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#33 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range: ₹ 16,067 - ₹ 30,013 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Cancun 3.5*
Number of rooms: 569
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Cancun opens all year round and is located right on the beautiful beach of Cancún, in the Corazone area which is the modern hotel zone with American-style shopping center, various restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The RIU Classic Hotels offer comfortable rooms and excellent facilities with great leisure and relaxation facilities, as well as international gastronomy. Enjoy a relaxing holiday - whether alone, with family, partner or friends! The location is ideal because of its proximity to Cancún Airport (20 km) and Cancún city (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 569 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa or get in shape at the fitness center. 4 outdoor pools. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer a live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Asian, Italian specialty restaurants, Steakhouse, and 5 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Cancun Hotel Cancun
Riu Cancun Mexico
Cancun Riu Hotel
Rui Cancun

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