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Review of Hotel Riu Cancun

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Hotel Riu Cancun
Ranked #37 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2007

18-12-2006 - 01-01-2007
From England
Fantasic christmas and new year at the hotel riu cancun. The service was by far excellent and the staff cointributed to our family's memories of a wonderful holiday.

The rooms were spaciuos and clean. The food was fabulous and the weather was too.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank cocoworcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,777 - 5,781 of 10,410 reviews

Reviewed 30 December 2006

My husband and myself + 3 other couples vacationed at the Riu from 11-9-06 to 11-16-06. And what a wonderful time we had! My husband and I have traveled to Mexico twice as well as Jamaica and all over the US of A so I feel we have a moderate amount to compare our stay at the RIU to. I really have very few negatives at all to say about this resort. I read a lot of the reviews before we booked and now that we have experienced it ourselves, I am very surprised at what people complain about. I think people have certain expectations and when those are not met (for whatever reason--sometimes not even at the fault of the hotel) then people rate their whole trip/stay as a negative one. If you know what to expect from the RIU Cancun AS WELL AS Cancun, Mexico itself then I feel you will be completely pleased with choosing the Riu Cancun. I have divided my review into different catergories as follows:

ARRIVAL AND CHECK IN: If anyone has flown into the Cancun airport before then you know it can be quite hectic but obviously this has nothing to do with where you stayed! If several flights come in at once--you tend to have to wait in line to get through customs a lot longer. Our arrival this time was fairly smooth with some wait time but that is expected. Of course we were bombarded by the guys wanting to sell you timeshares and carry your luggage for a tip but if you aren't interested in either..just completely ignore them and head to the outside. We found our transportation very easily and were soon at the Riu Cancun. The front desk staff was very friendly and check in was easy and very speedy! I have a slight fear of crowded elevators and had read about the Riu Cancun elevators getting stuck so when we were originally put on one of the higher floors, I politely explained my fear and asked if we could be moved to a lower floor which they gladly obliged. TIP-Ask for a room ending in 20 or higher for a better view of the ocean and avoid floor 13 as there is a ledge that blocks your view.

THE ROOM: Very spacious and very clean. Completely pleased with the room. We had a standard room on the 3rd floor. The annex building has suites which are bigger that have a step down into a sitting area and I believe a slightly larger patio. My husband and I did not feel it worth to spend the extra money as you aren't in your room that much and also the annex building elevators are away from the main part of the hotel so access can be a bit of an inconvenience. I had read some reviews complaining of the air conditioning and depending on how cold you like your air--you may find it lacking. Myself, I totally freeze in air conditioned places half the time so it was fine with me but I do understand if people want it cooler. But again, how long are you in your room? TIP-The air does automatically shut off when the sliding door is open so keep it shut to keep it as cool as possible. The beds aren't as hard as people say. After being tired and/or drunk! I always fell right asleep. The fridge is stocked with water, beer and pop. If you want more of a specific thing-we left a few dollars in the fridge with a note of what you wanted and we always got what we asked for. If you are tipping the maids they will make towel animals that are pretty cute. The water is NOT purified in the rooms and there is a small sign on the bottom left of the mirror advising of such. I always brushed my teeth with bottled water and the shower water sometimes smelled--but again, nothing that made my vacation bad.

THE FOOD-All inclusives never really have 5* cuisine and I'm not a fan of the food in Mexico to begin with but I definetely think the RIU Cancun does great in this area. For breakfast, the main buffet area has a great variety. Eggs, omeletes, pancakes, french toast, hash browns, potatoes, donuts, cereal, fruit, vegetables, juice, milk, bacon, sausage, toast, and much more. Yes, it is pretty much the same lay-out everyday but I don't get how people can think that is repetitive? Are you eating one of everything each morning? Seriously--have bacon and eggs one morning and then cereal the next. And then pancakes the next or whatever....plenty to choose from. There is a buffet for lunch again in the main buffet area and then also a second buffet type restaurant to choose from as well. The main dining area's lunch is a little "nicer" (for lack of a better word,) with more hot foods while the second area off the pool overlooking the beach has more "quick" foods such as pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, cold sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and more. For dinner, again the main buffet area is open and the theme changes each night from Mexican to Italian, etc. There are other restaurants available for reservations which you have to make in the morning. They state that you have to make them at 7am or something like that but if they are not booked up, they will let you make reservations later. We made ours at about 9am that morning for the Brazilian restaurant. Our entire party liked the food but there is ALOT of meat. I am a carb person all the way so it was not my cup of tea but everyone seemed to enjoy the food. Lastly, the sports bar which is open 24 hours has snacks available at all times of the day and night. Nachos and cold sandwiches and hamburgers you can microwave. While I will say these aren't the best tasting, if you come back late from the bars--sometimes anything tastes good! All in all, there is always variety and the food tastes great.

THE BARS: There are bars everywhere! And access to alcohol all the time---24 hours a day. The lobby bar is around the corner from the check in area. LOTS of tables and chairs, never could we not find one. The beer served at the Riu Cancun is Corona however they do have Negra Modelo if you ask for it.(and the keg hasn't went dry yet)....which is much better than Corona. Off the lobby bar is an outside patio bar with limited seating out there. We always started our night out there since it was outside. The pool bar has a swimup bar and a regular bar. There is a 24 hour sports bar (kind of hidden up some stairs so don't forget to check it out) There is a bar in the auditorium-entertainment area. There is a dance bar. Then there is also a bar at the second buffet area overlooking the beach and by the pools. Never very crowded there at night and my husband and I liked to grab drink there to get away from it all every once it awhile. There is waiter/waitress service everywhere except for the beach. So even if you just want to chill on the many couches/chairs in the huge lobby--a waitress will be by to ask you if you want a drink. Its wonderful.

THE POOLS-There are 3 pools. The 2 main pools in the center of the hotel area are the active, "loud" activities pools. One has the swimup bar attached to it so there is always activites there and the other is where the event staff plays games and talks on the microphones so there is always stuff going on. But never fear! If that is not your thing--the quite pool on the otherside of the hotel has no music and less people--perfect for a afternoon siesta! Don't forget to have your picture taken at the end of the infinity pool. Its absolutely gorgeous and the water of the pool is the same as the ocean so its a great photo opp. I will say that the reviews talking about the pools losing sun by 1 or 2 in the afternoon is accurate. The RIU Cancun is such a tall hotel that the sun falls behind it very quickly. To have sun for the longest during the day--grab a chair as far away from the hotel and as close to the beach as possible. But again, the sun will be gone by about 2pm. TIP-If you are a total sun freak then the top of the second buffet area and the top of the annex building have loungers on a sun deck and since they are on TOP of the building you never lose the sun...but its HOT up there so be careful!

THE BEACH-Beautiful and HUGE! Plenty of chairs and sunshine! Here is where you can bask in it all day. The sand in soft and white, the water is calm enough to swim but rough enough so you feel like your in the ocean. Its great. There are beach vendors walking up and down trying to sell you stuff but just ignore them. There is a volleyball net, a craft table and plenty of huts for shade on the beach as well. Coco the Chimpanzee is also a regular visitor of the Riu Beach. You can get your picture taken with her for $10 I think...? But do go meet her...its hysterical!

SERVICE-This is where the Riu really shines. The staff always has a smile on their face and always ready to help or assist you with whatever you need. We tipped quite frequently to show our appreciation as they all work so hard. The resort is spotless as well. There is always someone cleaning something. We couldn't have been more pleased with the service.

MISC-The elevators are really slow and even though they say they can hold more--really shouldn't be more than 8 people full. Although we didn't actually see of anyone getting stuck, we did hear of it happening which is why I asked to be on a lower floor so we could take the stairs. Plus, we at least got SOME exercise working off the beer and nachoes we ate everyday!

The RIU Cancun has people come in everyday with animals that you can get your picture taken with. (This is different then Coco on the beach--she is owned by some guy who brings her there on his own) TIP: You can completely negotiate with them on a price. There is a different animal everyday (the schedule is in the lobby) so if you are just interested in one animal...still get your picture taken with them all and then you can buy a CD with all the pictures on it for a much cheaper price then paying for one picture. I think they want $15 for one picture we ended up getting our picture taken with all of them and then paying $10 for a CD (still expensive I know) But we got all 10 poses or however many rather than paying $15 for each one printed out. The animals are parrots, a little monkey named Maki, a HUGE iguana and I guess there are different people too dressed up but I couldn't tell you what they were dressed as. ANOTHER TIP-Don't try to sneak a picture with your own camera. They get very upset at that as the only way they make their money is if you pay for a picture so they will tell you to leave and go away (I saw this happen to a couple people) very loudly and its kinda embarassing! It never happened to us because I knew better.

There is no need to bring your own beach towel-the RIU has very large towels that work on a card system--when you hand in the towel, you get your card back.

Don't rent jetskis from the people right on the beach at the RIU. Walk towards the bottom of the "7" and there are guys standing down there (which is the same place the riu uses) but they will rent them to you directly rather than going thru the hotel $10-$15 cheaper.

There is a mall right across the street from the Riu and vendors that come in to the Riu as well and ENDLESS other shopping opportunities everywhere in Cancun. Never pay full price for anything. The rule of thumb is that you should be getting at LEAST, I repeat, at LEAST a 30% discount if not more...... Negotiating and bargaining is part of the fun in shopping in Cancun. Its hard to do initially but then it becomes so fun that that ends up being part of the experience as well! Just be nice to them and don't insult them but you can end up getting some really good deals.

This is a funny one but a good tip--don't flush too much toilet paper in the toilets there. They don't have the water system like we do to be able to take the amounts we are used to using. The toilets can clog easy so be careful!

I know I have probably forgot something and I know this was a long review but I feel like I have covered a lot of pertinent information about the resort. If you are having reservations about vacationing at the RIU Cancun--stop them now. I really feel that anyone would be happy at the RIu Cancun. We loved the Riu so much that we are going to the Riu Negril in Jamaica in Feb 07. We are confindent in this chain of hotels to stay again but in a different place. I enjoy traveling and research quite a bit about places so if ANYONE has any questions...you can e-mail me at lboat@mchsi.com and I'd be happy to answer.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
52  Thank lboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2006

We had a blast at the Riu Cancun! It started with a swift check in and a room with a great view of the beautiful ocean. No bad views here! Food was excellent and very tasty in all the buffets and restaurants. No problem making reservations if you don't mind being up early, it's worth it! Bars are wonderful and the staff throughout the hotel are attentive and friendly. Room cleanliness was outstanding! Beach was very nice, although some people complained it was crowded. I didn't mind, closer to my hubby and lots of people to watch!

We previously stayed in February 2005 at the Riu Caribe in Cancun and thought it was also quite decent. The Riu Cancun is in a much better location, close to shopping and fun night life at the clubs.

The people of Cancun are absolutely wonderful people who take great pride in their tourist industry. There is a lot to see and do and I am sure there is something for everyone there! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Dayzeelou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2006

We returned on December 24 from a 7 night stay. This was our third stay at this resort since 2004.

Our room was good, we had a king bed--not two others pushed together as some rooms have.

Pools were clean but somewhat cold. The main pool became shaded very early, but the quiet pool had sun much longer.

The beach is somewhat smaller that it was on our trip pre-Wilma, but still was nice.

The staff was friendly and helpful. They were always cleaning. We were even served drinks on the beach.

Very good. The Japanese resturant was excellent, but had to get up very early to make a reservation.

This was our first trip to Cancun this time of the year. The weather was excellent, lows in mid 70's -- highs mid 80's. Mostly sunny every day.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank mgampp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2006

We just returned from our "Christmas in Mexico" trip (December 22-26th) and we had a blast! We had never traveled A) over the holidays, and B) with our children before this year. My wife and I are fans of all-inclusive hotels in warm climes and have gone to one every winter for the last 6 years. The Riu Cancun was a fun resort and I would recommend it to anyone, especially families over the holidays! Here's a synopsis of our vacation...

We arrived at the hotel a little before noon and check-in was at 3... the front desk gave us our bands and told us where we could change to get out and enjoy the beach. When we came back to put our clothes in our bags, the desk helpers hollered to us that a room just had been cleaned and we could go right up! It only got better from there...

The kid's club crew was wonderful with all the children. Some kids spent a lot of time there (at the mini-club) and mine just wanted to take part in some of the activities (my daughter is 5, my son is 7). They had a charter to Senor Frogs for kids night from the hotel and there were lots of kids there from hotels all over Cancun. They all got prizes, played games and had fun. On Christmas day it was drizzly and dreary, but the kids had a blast as a crew from the Riu Palace next door came over and they had a children's olympics (along with the kids from Riu Cancun) on the beach (tug-o-war and relays). Then Santa rode up on a waverunner and all the kids followed him into the theater and each got a gift of a santa hat and candy in a knapsack while getting to sit with Santa.

We stayed in a junior suite (in the 440's) and the room was nice and big. The beds are REALLY hard... I have slept on some hard beds but these are the worst I have ever seen. We were only there for four nights but my back was killing me by the fourth night... even my kids complained. That was the only drawback during the entire stay. Spent very little time in the room but it was very nice. The frig in the room was great... had sodas, water and beer and they restocked it every other day.

The food was up to par with other all-inclusives I have stayed at. The Brazilian restaurant was fun and the meat was very tasty. The sirloin was a little overdone but if you want Ruth's Chris, go down the street. The last night there we went to the "steakhouse", which is the beach grill by day. The grilled items out there were excellent and a nice change from the buffet in Dan Juan's. The waitstaff were all very friendly and did an excellent job... a tip was always greatly appreciated. If you like REAL chocolate, bring some along with you... Mexican chocolate is not sweet and doesn't do it if you are having a sweet fit!

The beach and the pools were very nice. There are some areas of rock outcrops in the water that are easily avoidable... the rest of the beach, although quite narrow, is beautiful sugar sand. The waves were great for small kids (fun to play in) and even got pretty big one of the days that it was very windy... being around the north side of Cancun gives it some shelter from the open Caribbean. If you like big waves for action, not much of that here. The main pool area houses three pools; the large activity pool, the small pool with the pool bar, and a third large pool that is heated (great for the kids and wimpy wife!) with a great view of the Caribbean. There is also a multi-level pool on the east end of the hotel that is used little and a whirlpool tub there too. The sun hides behind the hotel by 3 which isn't too bad for those of us with fair skin! There is also a tiny pool by the kids club for the real little ones. They kept the pools nice and clean for the most part... we noticed some straws and balloon remants in each of the pools the day we left. Plenty of chairs... if you are not fussy about where you sit, you can get chairs without setting the alarm.

Overall had a great first Christmas away from home!!! Won't be back only because we go somewhere different every year (maybe at Christmas every year from now on!) I would recommend the Riu to anyone, especially families over the holidays! Might not be the most exciting place for singles or newlyweds... close to all the action in Cancun.

Stayed: December 2006
12  Thank teamrcjj
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: ₹ 16,054 - ₹ 30,174 (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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