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“I'd go back!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #25 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“I'd go back!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2012

We loved the Riu Palace! I would say it was the most beautiful, in terms of physical appearance and meticulous grounds-keeping, of the various all-inclusives we've been to. The food was slightly disappointing, but only because SO many online reviewers said it was the best food they'd ever had at an AI. So I was expecting to be blown away, but found most of it to be like other AI's food. Fine, but few dishes that were truly amazing. The pumpkin-scallop soup at the Krystal restaurant was my favorite food of the week--very special!! Our first floor room was nice, and spacious enough with a HUGE bed and separate sitting area. Our patio had a fabulous view of the beautiful grounds, yet was very private as it was not a walking area. The interior of some of the buildings were a bit outdated---well-maintained, but kind of "old-fashioned grandeur" like the red velvet tufted chairs in the lobby, and the seafoam green paint. I look forward to returning after they do some renovations in summer of 2012. I was VERY saddened our first day there to read that no pool rafts were allowed!!! Pool floaties are my reason for going on vacation, so I was seriously considering trying to find another resort initially! (I was genuinely devastated!) But then the next day I saw some other people bring floaties to the pool, and no pool-nazi chased them out. So I got my inflatable pool raft out too (I had packed it, because an online reviewer said the Riu doesn't provide floaties), and it was never a problem. So I happily floated around the pool and was a happy vacationer. Actually many people told me they wish they had thought to pack one. The shows were good, although more variety would have been nice. They were all singing and dancing on a theme (music of Broadway, music through the decades, music from movies, etc). Service was very impressive everywhere we went. I don't remember telling anyone this was an anniversary trip, but on the evening of our anniversary, there were rose petals spread across our dinner table. Lovely touch. Overall, very nice!

Room Tip: We enjoyed our first floor room. I don't think there are elevators. Our room was on the "...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,112 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (878)
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English first
Oak Brook, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2012

Me, my wife, 7 y/o son and 12 y/o daughter spent a week at the Riu Place Mexico during spring break. This is our first all-inclusive Caribbean vacation, so it is difficult to compare the Riu to other competing hotels. We had a good time and would recommend the Riu. Reading the many reviews on TripAdvisor provides an accurate picture of the resort (ignoring the really good and bad ones), but I will address a few areas that could be better clarified.

1) The Food – is not excellent as described in some other reviews. The food is very good and I enjoyed eating it, but there were too many weak areas for the quality of the meals to be rated excellent. The breakfast pastries were below average, the crescents were bready (not light and flaky), and I had to request fresh squeezed orange juice (which was provided at the fruit bar) rather drink the below average juice they were serving. The fresh breads were average at best. With a few exceptions, the deserts were not very good. The children would not eat the tasteless cookies, avoided the below average cakes and pies, but enjoyed the ice cream selections.

The main buffet restaurant had 2 huge salad bars (if you were willing to take your chances and eat salad in Mexico) and a third area with a very nice selection of hot foods. You could almost always find a few items that would make an excellent lunch or dinner. Usually there was a cook making pasta dishes to your specifications. Carved meats were available, but lower quality cuts of beef (not prime rib or tenderloin) were served. There are 4 specialty restaurants and we visited 3 of them. The “gourmet” restaurant was very good to excellent and the only one better than the buffet. The “steak” restaurant was good, but the quality of the beef was not up to American standards. The “Brazilian” restaurant was only fair and you would do better eating at the buffet. Even with the hotel full, reservations at the specialty restaurants were not hard to get if you showed up between 8:00 to 8:30 AM. There are always no shows – so if you really want to eat at one you can just show up and be seated after a 15 minutes wait.

Do not believe the other reviews trying to compare the food at the 6 different Riu resorts located here in Playacar. The Riu’s with Palace in their names have a significantly better selection and the quality of their food is slightly higher than the 4 non-palace Rui’s. The food itself is very similar and much of it comes out of the same kitchens with the same recipes (especially deserts and breads).

2) Children – there were surprisingly few younger children here despite this being a prime week of spring break. When we left our son at the kids club to go scuba diving, he was one of only 3 children being cared for at the time. Maybe the resort is too expensive for families with younger children? Overall, the children had a great time, but they would have liked to have more kids to play with.

3) Scuba Diving – my 12 y/o daughter got her open water certification here. She did the PADI eLearning course at home and did the pool and open water dives here. The scuba team was great to work with and my daughter had one-on-one teaching the whole time. We could not have hoped for better service. The local diving is below average (not unexpected) with fair coral, lots of sand, and not that many fish. The dive boats are small and you board them by wading through the surf from the beach wearing your equipment (except for the tank).

4) Rooms – very much as shown in the photos and described in other reviews. The halls were tile and sound carried too well. Our rooms (0002 and 0003) were near where room service (which is free) comes out and there were often noisy carts full of food bouncing down the hallway until midnight. The shower is dark (needs a light) and the water is difficult to reach to turn on. The rooms do not lend themselves to having kids stay with the parents (like an Embassy Suite), but the cost of 2 rooms was not much higher than all 4 of us sharing one room. There are no connecting rooms. There are 2 comfortable double beds per room with no king or queen bed options. If you like a nice pillow – bring your own.

5) Trip to Chichen Itza – was one of the highlights of our vacation. The company that brings you from the airport to the hotel (for a reasonable $9/person) feels like they own your business for the rest of the trip. For a much better price, we booked through the front desk with VIP tours ($63/adult, $55/adult). It’s a 12 hour trip with 6 hours of it on a nice bus (vans are less conformable, but visit fewer hotels and the trip is shorter). You start with a visit to a cenote (natural sinkhole that forms when the roof of a cavern from an underwater river collapses) which is very worthwhile. Buffet lunch is included (except for $3 drinks, no free drinks from the bus allowed), but not very good. A guided tour of Chichen Itza is provided and the ruins are spectacular. Finally, on the way home a brief visit to a Mexican town. Our guide was great, but the constant selling of "extras" was annoying.

6) Money’s Worth – we enjoyed our 6 days and felt we probably got enough for our $4100. Our family does not like laying around at the pool or beach all day. Although the resort is truly all-inclusive, there are too many things to spend money on to expect you will leave without spending more. Diving, a great trip to Chichen Itza ($63/adult, $55/child), parasailing ($55/person), and sailing lessons quickly add up. If you drink a lot, then you will get more for your money. Premium liquors are included and 4 bottles of hard liquor, beer and soft drinks are provided in each room at no charge. Since we only consumed an occasional glass of wine with dinner, we did not get our money’s worth out of the all-inclusive liquor policy.

Room Tip: Avoid 0002 and 0003 --- too noisy at night.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank david g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northallerton
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

We did not book to go the Palace, but due to a mix up we were transferred there, by Thomson. We spent a wonderful week at the Riu Cancun beforehand and was looking forward to moving to Playa Del Carmen.
What I believe is that the Riu Palace is a premier hotel although personally I thought there was little different between the two hotels. The only extras we got were a turn down service, a coffee filter machine, Smirnoff vodka in the room and a living area. The bathroom was smaller than the Cancun and we had a view of the hotel next door instead of the ocean. Staffs were just as good in both hotels giving quick, friendly service.
In all restaurant long trousers have to be worn by men, I have to say what a farce this is as there were men wearing pyjamas and joggers surely they would be better in smart shorts?
We spent most of our time by the pool as there was not much shade on the beach and the sun beds are very close together. The beach was beautiful but so many people on it, rows and rows of sun beds. We didn't like that people smoked in the pool and flicked ash into it.
The evening entertainment was not to our taste children’s club followed by a band, certificates for activities during the day and then the entertainment from the animation team usually dancing finishing at eleven. Some evenings we took a taxi into Playa and had a good evening.
The hotel is looking tired but I understand that it is to be closed in August and refurbished. The grounds are beautiful I hope they keep them just the way they are.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Northerners91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

We have stayed at many all-inclusives and we thought this had the prettiest beach we have ever been to in any island. The food in the buffet changed every night which is where we chose to eat all but one night when we went to the Steakhouse. I suggest you forego the Steakhouse or other restuarants and stick to the buffet. There was more of a variety of food. Those in our group who did not do the buffet were disappointed. There is a show each night, and then there is a sister property across the street with a dance club. You can attend shows at either place. The rooms were great, if you upgrade to an inside room or oceanfront view. This is one of my most favorite all-inclusives and I would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: spend the extra $60 a night when you get there to upgarde to fountain view rooms. Othewise you are l...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KathyO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

We booked this holiday as it was my husbands 60th birthday we didnt tell anyone at the hotel but on his birthday they dressed up our room with ballons and in the evening at dinner the waiters brought out this cake with a candle on and sang happy birthday to him it was quite a surprise for us both. The hotel was fabulous, great food and drink there were optics in our room and the fridge was filled every day with beer,water etc. We couldn't complain about anything the staff were friendly and couldn't do enough for you.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank holidays75
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 Mexico

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 4 | Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): ₹ 21,008 - ₹ 37,242
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Mexico 4*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int???L. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Riu Mexico
Rui Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen

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