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Reviewed 6 April 2018

This is a large hotel, part of the Playacar development, a massive complex of hotels and private residences in a gated community. We travelled with Tui who allow people staying in other hotels to use the facilities and beach area and this did make the restaurant and beach/pool areas very busy. For example guests from Riu Tequila which does not have its own beach used the Yucatan beach and often ate lunch there which made the lunch buffet very full and pretty chaotic. Check in was quick and efficient with us being allocated a central room on a low floor as requested due to my husband’s mobility problems. Although we arrived before the stated check in time we were allowed to go for lunch in the Italian buffet adjacent to reception and got our room a little early.

The hotel is situated right next to the beach and is only a short taxi ride into the 5th Avenue at the centre of Playa del Carmen (120 pesos). Here there is an abundance of shops, stalls, restaurants, malls and the ferry to Cozumel.

We stayed in a double standard room on the ground floor of block 5 which was central and provided all that was needed although the room was slightly tired and not really luxurious – more 3 star than 4. However we spent very little time in the room as there was lots to see and do. The room had a safe, ironing board, a/c, minibar, optics, satellite TV etc. We did feel that a kettle would have been useful and we would have also liked a better selection of soft drinks in the minibar eg juices as we don’t drink sodas. However it wasn’t too far to walk to the bars but it just would have been better for us. The room was cleaned by Daniel who did a great job everyday including finding time to make us a variety of animal towels!

There are 5 main restaurants in the hotel and with the buffet providing a massive selection at breakfast and dinner. As I am coeliac requiring a strict gluten free diet, I found the hotel went out of their way to help me even to the extent of having a gluten free section on the breakfast buffet each morning. We chose to sit in the same area to make it easier for them bringing me specially cooked food when required. We would especially like to thank Vaii, Mex, Henry and Rigo for all their help and support in this matter. Also Gloria who cooked me omelettes each morning making sure they were cooked in a gluten free area.

We ate most meals in the buffet but had one meal in the steak house which we found to be very pleasant. Again, gluten free was not a problem and they even managed to make me a special gluten free appetizer without even asking!

We liked the early evening entertainment up at the main bar by the reception and found it added to the atmosphere of the place. We were less impressed with the late evening entertainment, some of which were not up to the same standard as our previous experience of all inclusive resorts although the entertainment team definitely worked very hard.

The main pool area next to the beach was well used although finding suitable sun loungers was often a problem due to so many people “booking” loungers with towels hours before they used them, something we don’t think should be allowed. Day entertainment was good and lively and the size of the hotel allowed the more lively guests to coexist well with the more sedentary sunbathers. One afternoon there was a pool party which was absolutely mad with them pumping loads of foam into the pool but I guess was interesting to see!

We arrived just after some bad weather and the beach had lots of seaweed on it but the staff quickly set about raking it up and then burying it although we were slightly surprised to see them doing it by hand in the heat when an excavator was nearby.

Whilst at the hotel we booked two trips through Tui at vast expense. The first was to the island of Holbox which was a whole day leaving at 7 am before the buffet was open but we were able to get coffee and toast. This enable us to go to an island that is still developing as far as tourists are concerned and whilst it is very beautiful the tour didn’t offer the snorkelling we were told would be offered and it would have been good to have had longer to enjoy the incredible beaches instead of keep moving on. Our second trip was a morning visit to the turtle beach at Aquamel. This involved a minibus again for about half an hour where we were told we would swim out to turtles. We actually swam in a huge U shape from the beach and back again and eventually saw one turtle and very few fish. After that we were taken to a closed cenote where we were able to descend into the clear, cool, fresh water which we found very interesting.

Overall we found the hotel to be very large and busy and perhaps would have preferred a slightly smaller one but it did tick all the boxes with regard to pool, beach, sunbathing, food, drinks and location.

Hotel tips – you cannot book the steakhouse so it pays to go there as soon as it opens if you want a full steak meal.

Room Tip: Ask for a central location as some of the blocks are a long way out overlooking the car park.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Maggie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Yucatan, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us a valued feedback following your recent stay at our hotel.

We are proud that you have rated our staff very well and since for RIU gastronomy is a very important part of the guest experience, we were pleased to read that you were satisfied with the food served in our restaurants, which is prepared daily with the utmost care and using fresh ingredients.

As a general information, we would like to say that normally, RIU hotels offer products suitable for celiacs that our staff can point out as you described in your review, but complete menus are not always available due not all destinations have easy access to products who suits dietary needs. Therefore, we always encourage our guests with special dietary needs (gluten free, lactose free, vegan…) to inform when making the reservation and also beforehand the hotel reception, so that, on the day of your arrival, we have food with the right characteristics.

Furthermore, we are pleased that you enjoyed the location of our hotel, because at RIU, we carefully select the spots for our hotels.

Since our utmost priority is to make our customers feel comfortable, we can understand that our hotel size might be not easy for guests who come to stay with us for the first time. At the same time, our staff around the hotel are happy to assist you.

On the other hand, we are sorry read that you were not satisfied at all with your guest room. At RIU, we work hard to satisfy the needs of our guests; making our customers happy and comfortable in our hotels is our mission. Please be assured that we never stop renovating the hotels of our worldwide portfolio, so we can offer you the most up-to-date facilities. Certainly, we will share your impressions with the corresponding department in order to make adjustments, where necessary or take them into consideration for future refurbishments.

We sincerely hope to welcome you back to one of our worldwide available RIU Hotels & Resorts in the near future and to have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Yucatan
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

If you are expecting a four-star room don't book the RIU YUCATAN.

I've stayed at several RIU properties in Puerto Vallarta and Cabos. I've come to accept the RIU brand as an average mostly 4-star resort chain. Properties are always spotless, service is good, rooms are hit and miss...Palace properties are usually a safe bet but lower end RIU's can have tired, outdated rooms and food is average to poor. RIU Yucatan was no exception. I read reviews, looked at countless pictures of travelers rooms and decided that for the price, the RIU Yucatan would be a safe choice. I was very wrong. :( Check in was fine and the lobby was beautiful. Very modern and almost Vegas style glamourous with the purple and silver decor. After leaving the lobby to our room we were shocked at the difference in style as the hotel buildings looked more a like a "motel" and from the outside looked very outdated, chipped paint and tired. We bravely approached our room hoping the interior would be better than the exterior and sadly it wasn't. The rooms are have been repainted but that doesn't cover up the old, outdated feel. Bathrooms are very old and tired and offer zero privacy for showering. I had heard that the showers were glass doors with no privacy to the bedroom so i had emailed ahead to find a solution as I was traveling with my two teenage boys. The "solution" from the resort was to throw an old dirty, stained shower curtain or plastic tablecloth over the glass door. It was pathetic. The bottles of cheap alcohol were in the bathroom which was VERY odd to us. The little bar fridge was old and completely full of frost, so badly that the drinks inside barely fit. The towels were old, tattered thin faded brown and no shampoo amenities. The air conditioning wasn't working. The whole feel of the room was like a sketchy 2-star hotel, including the bedding, window coverings and just the general feel of the room was not welcoming or inviting on any level.

I immediately went to the front desk to voice my concerns and asked if there was any upgraded rooms available. I was told that all of the rooms would be the same set up and decor and the "suites" were sold out.

I'm a travel agent and will admit my standards are maybe a little high as I've come to expect certain things at Mexican 4* resorts, but honestly, the Yucatan shocked me! My boys and I couldn't imagine spending a week in the room we were in so I asked the front desk manager if we could switch resorts. Luckily there was availability at the RIU Palace Mexico right beside the Yucatan and although we did have to pay an extra $600 USD to upgrade for the week it was worth every single penny.

If you are on a budget and have low expectations for your room, you might be ok at the Yucatan but my advice would be to spend a little extra and book the RIU Palace Mexico! It was a 5-star resort all the way and our new room was amazing! Also, we found out that WIFI at the Yucatan is limited to two devices only (tricky when you have more than 2 guests in your party!) and there is no room service or bar service at the beach. The bar is self-serve and you will be standing in lineups for each and every drink you want at the beach or pool. RIU Palace has unlimited free wifi, room service, beautiful amenities and decor, and amazing drink service to your lounger!

Bottom line is that I would NEVER recommend the RIU Yucatan to any of my clients or friends/family until they have done a complete renovation of the hotel rooms. The rooms are unacceptable for a resort that is rated 4 stars. Your vacations are precious....spend a little more and book the RIU Palace Mexico.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank AmberAbbotsford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Yucatan, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for your loyalty to RIU Hotels & Resorts and for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns. As a global brand, we strive to maintain consistent levels of quality in all our hotels.

As a repeating cliente you might know that our Palace brand hotels, belong to our more sophisticated collection of hotels.However, we are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests and for this reason we are sorry to learn that this time your experience did not live up to what you usually expect from us and that you have left our hotel thinking otherwise.

Please be assured that we have sent your comments and suggestions to the respective heads of departments involved.

We sincerely hope that we will one day be able to welcome you back to our hotel and have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Yucatan
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Well I decided to return 'Home' to the Riu Yucatan and bring my parents with me this time. I absolutely love this hotel and nothing has changed much in 2 years since we last visited.

I am not going to leave a too detailed review as I think I've said it all in my previous reviews of this Hotel.

Everything you need is here. The staff are absolutely amazing and so friendly and cannot do enough to make your stay the best. The food is great and yes it gets repetitive after 14 days but we went out a couple go times to try something different. Bars are brilliant.

Ignore the moaners and groaners and if you can see past the odd niggle, you'll have a fantastic time. I'm still trying to find this 'musty' smell i keep reading about in the rooms??? Maybe the smell is from the guests??? LOL

My only bit of feedback for the Hotel is that when we returned the 2nd time we were really looked after with a Letter welcoming us back, a small gift and bottle of wine and there was nothing this time around........... Hasn't put us off coming again though!!!

Room Tip: Close to pool on the ground floor
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

This review is hard to write as we wanted this holiday to be as amazing as our one last year at the Rui Tequila. The only reason we chose the Yucatan was because the tequila was due to close the day we left.

Upon arrival the reception is outstanding, lovely reception staff and fast efficient check in, so we expected the rest of the hotel to be of the same standard,this is definitely not the case.

The grounds are well kept, wildlife is exceptional and a joy to see and hear all day.

The room blocks do not have lifts but are only 3 story so it's just 36 stairs to climb if you are lucky enough to get the top floor rooms. The blocks don't have the best views but some are better than others. We could see the sea from our balcony if we stretched over and looked to the side.
Once entering the room it was ok, the furniture had just been painted white.
The air con did not work correctly as it stayed at 27 degrees, we could not lower this at all? We had used the same one in the Tequila so we knew how to use the control system. Our daughters rooms aircon was working normally and we set this for her,
The glass shower door had to be lifted to close a tiny bit. We informed reception who said they would send up a technician to do both jobs. We got back in later that night to the air con bring exactly the same. My husband called reception who advised it was too late and no one was available until the next day. That next day obviously never came as it remained at the same temp all holiday, the shower door however was looked at but a bit of white stuff on the hinge did absolutely jack ****, but left a glue type smell. The glass doors are extremely heavy and we were worried about the glass shattering as it would not close due to scraping the tiles on the bottom. My husband did advise reception we would not close this door as it was dangerous and would not be responsible for any damage. Still no improvement for the rest of the stay.
They do have blackout curtains as well as the blue cotton ones, however ours seemed be be moth eaten as it had holes in it which let light through. (I will add a photo.) We laughed at it really, it's so poor in what is advertised as a 5 star resort.
The size of the room was really good and the well stocked fridge was excellent.

Our maid Consuelo was excellent and we could not fault her one bit, or any of the room cleaning staff.

The pools near the beach look lovely and inviting, lots of sun beds, umbrellas and clean.
We are very early risers and are at the pool from around 7am as we like to read etc when it's quiet and peaceful. This hotel allows people to put towels down for large groups who then do not come to the pool until after lunch. This affects other guests who come to the pool around 9am and no sun beds are left just rows of closed sun beds with towels or inflatables on them. So poor RIU. This needs sorting out.
The pool has loads of missing tiles, not just one or two, the jacuzzi hardly works and this is now more like a kiddi plunge pool.
The chill out pool is lovely until you get out of the water and your feet are dirty from the floor, obviously needs more attention.

The Margarita restaurant at lunch is ok but just warm, never hot. The birds however will never go hungry as the are allowed to fly in and eat off plates when your back is turned.
The main buffet is okay at night and breakfast, but not a patch on the hotel tequila across the road.
The Italian was the best food we feel ate at this hotel.
The lunchtime BBQ was ok but staff allow wet people just out of the pool to get food this then causes the tiled floor to be wet and in 10 minutes 2 men has fallen and dropped food and drinks everywhere. What a claim waiting to be had !!!!!!!!!This needs to be addressed by the two Riu people who checked the food areas each day. A lady and a man but did not see their names.

The bar in reception at night was great, excellent staff and good quality drinks.

Entertainment is very old fashioned and was not to our taste but others enjoyed it, (they did large scale jenga, lift the bottle, truth or forfeit or something like that, throw a ping pong ball in a bucket of ice, card games (pretend casino).)

Even with all the above we enjoyed our time in Mexico but would never return to this hotel

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank Sammi-Tom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Yucatan, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for your loyalty to RIU Hotels & Resorts and for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns. As a global brand, we strive to maintain consistent levels of quality in all our hotels.

We are committed to provide excellent quality of our products and services to our guests and for this reason we are sorry to learn that this time your experience did not live up to what you usually expect from us and that you have left not satisfied at all.

We would have liked to have been informed about all your inconveniences during your stay so we could have helped you to enjoy your time at our hotel.

Please be assured that we have sent your comments and suggestions to the respective heads of departments involved and actions would be taken to address all your concerns.

To end on a positive note, we are glad to see that you appreciated the friendliness of our staff and the service provided.

We sincerely hope that we will one day be able to welcome you back to our hotel and have a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Yucatan
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Airport experience very poor but putting that to one side we were welcomed wonderfully to the hotel with a cocktail and quick checkin experience. Our room was lovely in block 5 with wildlife popping along to say hello and the howler monkeys all around us and entertainingly noisy! Pool, beach and bars all great; entertainment team very enthusiastic with Pepe even joining us for lunch and a chat, which was sweet. Restaurants have an excellent choice with lovely waiting staff as are the room refreshers; all very customer service friendly. One negative though sadly; when the barbecue was on at lunch time this was fantastic: but when no barbecue there are just too many other Rui hotels using the only canteen restaurant and we didn’t enjoy this at all as too many people, we found it chaotic and fairly poor... sorry, but honest. Overall, we really enjoyed our two weeks with grateful thanks. Great hotel with great beach, pool, wildlife, entertainment and staff.

Room Tip: Block 5 by the pool and beach; however, loud as near to the entertainment which we enjoyed! Block 2 and 3 are by the howler monkeys!
Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Clare M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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