We are a couple from Europe, mid 30s, living in Canada and visited Riu Lupita March 20-26.This was our first trip to Mexico and we wanted to see and experience as much as possible of everything that Riviera Maya can offer. We read most of the reviewes for this hotel and were prepared to stay in a 3 star property, away from the beach, but with convenient transportation.
What made us book it: the price - less than $1700 for both of us for 6 nights, all inclusive plan, the feedback that food was very good, the beach - not crouded and with plenty of sunbeds, the location, close to Playa del Carmen with convenient transportation to 5th Ave.
This hotel is not good for people who expect to be in a luxury 5* resort and spend lots of lazy time, doing nothing but eat and sleep in the room or on the sunbed. I would rate this hotel 3*+ If you book this hotel, be ready to be active, visit different beaches, play games and get amuzed by the hotel animators, meet lots of people from Europe - Spain, France and UK. You can have quiet time at the beach and will be happy that there are enough sunbeds and space around you and you don't need to wake up at 6am to reserve a sunbed.
Similar, 4* rating have the Riu Playacar, Riu Tequila and Riu Yucatan - they are all 4 star hotels (not 5*). The only 5* Riu-s in the Playacar area are the 2 Riu Palaces. Guests of Riu Lupita can use the facilities of all the other Riu Tequila, Playacar and Yucatan, but cannot use the Palaces - understandable.
Very clean and friendly resort, in the heart of Playacar. I am an animal lover and was very excited to see coatis, agouties, iguanas and birds.
The hotel room - furniture in Mexican style, always clean, housekeeping staff did an outstanding job - every day we were greeted by a different animal, made of towels, and hibiscus flowers in the bathroom. There is a mini bar with tequila, rum, vodka and gin in the room and a mini fridge - always full with bottles of water (big ones), pepsi, sprite and Canadian Club soda. Remember to leave $2-3 tip every day for the housekeeping.
The hotel -consists of 22 small buildings - 1 to 3 floors, lots of open areas, buildings 1110 to 1400 are facing a golf course, buildings 2200 to 3100 are in a park style environment. Do not expect to have a great view. We were in 1110 building - I would recommend 1300 and 1400 buildings, 2 or 3rd floor - golf course view. Main dinning area, the bar and the pool are in the middle. Pool is good size, water is always pleasant, you can have your drinks in the pool until late in the evening. There are playgrounds for kids, 2nd small pool. There is only one restaurant where you can make reservations - not a fancy one, the same casual environment, Mexican style.
There is free internet in the lobby, at the bar, near the pool.
There is a tennis court, small shopping area.
Each evening there are latin dancing lessons - before the evening shows, you can drink at the bar and have fun with the animators.
The staff - outstanding customer service, always ready to help and satisfy your needs to the best possible effort. I miss them already - especially the entertainers who made me laugh all the time. Thank you, guys! Jose, Oscar, Tadeo, Sergio...we miss you. Aldo, Adelita and Vladimir are really good Front Desk Managers.
At the BAR - our favourite bartender was Artemio, you will see him in the pics, he is great. The bartenders do different tricks and amazing cocktails.
The BEACH: The hotel offers free transportation to its own beach area. There is a shuttle running every 30 min from the hotel to the beach and back, with 2 stops - 1st at the Playa Del Carmen center, close to 5th Ave (the main street) and 2nd - the beach.The location of the beach is right next to Riu Palace. Very quiet, white soft sand, very clean, just what you need for a good rest. There is palm trees area, where you can sleep under the palm trees shadow, or read a book listening to the Carribean Sea. No reefs nearby, just sand. For people who love snorkeling, I would recommend to go to a different hotel - in the Akumel area, closer to Tulum. Playacar beachs are sandy and good for water sports like wind surf or water jet ski.
On the way to the beach you will see beautiful posh Mexican houses with blooming tropical flowers, impressive.
FOOD: very tasty, big variety, Mexican, buffet style.
Not good quality of sleep. I was right next to the gate and could hear the buses coming in with new tourists. I was in building 1110 - would recommend buildings 1400-1500 or the buildings 2200 -2500 or away from the bar and Pacha disco club.
Hotel is not at the beach front, but has a much better beach area than Riu Playacar and Yucatan.
Have to walk to the other Riu-s to have lunch - 3/4 mile or return to the hotel. The shuttle has lunch breaks and doesn't run for 1hr during lunch time. But, you can go directly to Playacar or Yucatan from the porning and spend the entire day at any one these facilities, eat and drink there and come back with the last shuttle, which is at 18:45h.
For people who mind having animals and birds around, book Riu Palace or any of the 5* properties.
All the rest was great, for a 4 start hotel.
WHAT to VISIT:
Akumel Beach - if you want to snorkel and see turtles and plenty of fish - take the "collectivo" transportation from Playa Del Carmen. From Riu Lupita take the shuttle and get off at the 1st stop - Playa Del Carmen, walk to the "collectivo" bus stop - 20min walk - need to ask. The mini van is with red sign in the from to Tulum. Costs $2.5 or 30 pesos one way. The stop is near 2nd Ave. Walk down 5th ave and then you will make a left on 20th str or ask "Collectivo to Akumel Beach".
Chichen-Itza and one of the Cenotes - book a 1 day tour. We booked with Easy Tour - $50 per person. Very good trip.
Maroma Paradise - I used Riu Lupita's Water Sports shop - Mathias recommended this trip and it was well worthed the money !!! Snorkeling and spending time on catamaran. I saw stingray, corals, tons of fish surrounding you, turtle and the most amazing huge eagle ray.
We stayed only 6 days and ran out of time. If you have another week - you can rent a car and visit the "cenotes", Tulum and Coba, Puerto Morales, Xcaret. Xel Ha is like Disney land - good if you have kids. Yal Ku Lagoon if you like natural, eco environment - fresh water lagoon. I will definitely go back to Riviera Maya. I would stay in Akumel Area as I love snorkeling, but I was very satisfied with my first visit to Mexico at Riu Lupita.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Lupita
- Riu Lupita Resort
- Riu Lupita Mayan Riviera
- Riu Lupita Mexico
- Hotel Riu Lupita Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 2 km / 1.2 miles from Playa del Carmen * Main building and 1 and 3-story bungalows * Surrounded by 25,000 m2 / 29,900 sq. yards of lush gardens * 3.5 km / 2.1 miles from the beach (complimentary transportation) * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 2.5 km / 1.5 miles from various shops * 50 km / 31 miles from Cancun Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more less
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