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“lovely grounds but no way is the accommodation 5 star”
Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #63 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 May 2011

Just returned from the Riu Yucatan on May 7th. First the good points. The hotel lobby is very grand and creates a very good first impression, lots of big armchairs and a nice bar area. The grounds are the best i have ever seen at a hotel, lush vegatation with palm trees that really give a jungle feeling and it is very clean. The food is also very good , plenty of choice and regularly replenished so its always fresh, you really would have to be unbelievably fussy not to find something to like. The beach is incredible,beautiful white sand leading down to warm turquoise water and again it is very clean with plenty of sunbeds. The pool area is also very nice but we did find the pool too warm with too many loud Americans so only spent one hour there but that was ok because the beach is so great. The wildlife on the grounds is great, too much to list. The staff at the hotel are mostly fantastic, so happy, friendly and helpful.
Now the BAD points. There is no way that the Yucatan can be classed as a 5 star in my opinion, not even a 4 star in my opinion. It is a nice 3 star in lovely grounds. If when i booked our trip it had been sold as a 3 star i would have been very happy but it is sold as a 4/5 star so you are soon dissappointed. As an example, the room is so dated that when we turned a light switch on we got electric shocks, the shower curtain was hanging off the rail, the bedclothes were stained, plaster was falling from the ceiling, the tv had no reception (didn't want to watch tv but it's mean't to be 5 star!!), there's mould in the shower and then theres the doors , they are on a spring so whenever anybody in the neighbouring rooms enters or leaves the doors bang shut. These are all small things but not when you are supposedly paying for 5 star. The Hotel is All Inclusive but be sure to take plenty of money for your nightly tipple as the drink at the bars are awful, the Lager like all the soft drinks is flat,warm and so watered down its a joke, if you like Vodka ask for Smirnoff as they hide it under the bar and give out cheap gross vodka instead. The hotel entertainment (i use the word entertainment very loosely) consists of the 'Entertainment Crew' dancing and miming to CDs. I recommend getting a taxi to 5th Avenue and enjoying great drinks and live bands etc instead of the hotel torture but then doesn't that defeat the object of All Inclusive ?
In concluding, i would say if you can get a good deal and don't expect luxury, you will have a great time. We did have a great time here and if we could get a really cheap deal then we would return here for the beach alone.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CiderandBeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 May 2011

I recently visited the Riu Yucatan for my step-daughters wedding. There were 31 in our party and I think its fair to say that we all had a fantastic time. This hotel was fantastic. The staff were brilliant. Whether in the many restaurants, the housekeeping staff, bar staff, reception or entertainment staff they all went out of their way to ensure we had a wonderful time. The food was fantastic in all of the restaurants, especially the breakfasts which I personally loved. The bar staff were quick and friendly and made some marvellous cocktails, I would highly reccomend the Pina Coladas. The entertainment staff were excellent, some of the games played at poolside were great fun and the evening entertainments were very good. As with all great holidays the poolside and beach were an absolute joy. I think I can safely say that I have never enjoyed a beach and the sea quite as much as I did here, not too crowded, lovely soft white sand and the sea temperature and colour were just about perfect. I am pretty confident that almost every member of our party will visit Riu Yucatan again, an oustanding hotel in a fantastic resort. I am hooked, Playa del Carmen, Mexico is now officially my favourite holiday destination. I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank donald1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2011

flight delay meant we had to stay a day here. everything was alright but after having had a week at the riu palace it just all felt a bit frantic. the main restaurant is very busy and feels like a school dining room. there can be a bit of a scrum to get food. there is no table service anywhere even for drinks. there are not enough bar staff leading to long waits for drinks. the pool area feels very cramped. rooms are OK - shower only with a slightly peculiar open plan bathroom (though the toilet has its own room)

so just OK and not really relaxing enough.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank BirminghamNetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2011

This was our first trip to Mexico and we were not disappointed. The hotel is wonderful. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Yeah sure the beds were a little hard, but had no problem sleeping on it. Mini fridge in the room was a big plus. The hotel grounds are so clean, and they are constantly cleaning. The beach is gorgeous! really big with lots of chairs. No problem finding one at any time of the day. Pool and pool bar are great also. Food was ok, there is so much to choose from. If you cant find anything that you like then you are too picky. The staff........can't say enough about them. So friendly,helpful and fun!! Lots of stuff going on at all times of the day to keep everyone occupied. There was people there of every age. We had a great time and will be back!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank SOS68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2011

All in all this hotel offers excellent value for your dollar, and is a relaxing place to stay.

LOCATION
One of the last hotels on the stretch, we were the 2nd to last being dropped off the bus. About a 15 min walk to the center of town. Super safe, gated area of hotels.

BEACH
Huge, pristine shoreline. Lots and lots of loungers, usually wasn't a problem to snag one even if you didn't get up early. No bar service on the beach though and no lights at night. Some fish right off the hotel if you feel like snorkeling.

POOL
Two large connected pools and a hot tub. Two swim up bars. We found the water a bit chilly, so we spent most of the time on the beach. All kept very clean though. Lots of shaded loungers around the pool area, more difficult to claim seats here. The pool closest to the stage area (where you get your towel) does have an unfortunate septic smell though, so steer clear!

ROOM
This is the area that was most in need of an upgrade. Just a bit run down. Not the best set up for the bathroom. We also had some crazy electrical problems where the light switch would spark and give you a shock and once the power went out completely, but they did send someone up right away to fix it. There is a liquor dispenser in the bathroom if you're too lazy to walk down to the bars.

FOOD
The food was some of the best I've ever had at an all-inclusive. Only 1 restaurant for breakfast (buffet), 2 for lunch (buffet) and 3 for dinner (buffet, mexican, and asian). It was all top notch except for the asian one. That one was a waste of a reservation! With the Riu properties you can visit the other locations for breakfast and lunch as well. The buffet was changing day to day so there is no way you could tire of the options. (Best guac and desserts ever btw)

STAFF & SERVICE
Just fabulous. Loved all of the staff... esp the entertainment guys and the bartenders. Went above and beyond anything you would expect. We were there for my friends birthday and not only did they make her a birthday card and cake towel arrangement, they took us out on the town and showed us where the locals go. Special shout out to Florencio the best bartender ever (try the boomboom) and JC & Sergio on the entertainment staff.
Every night they put on a different show, pretty entertaining. After that was over the hotel was pretty quiet at night. For something a little more lively head into town, or visit the sister Riu across the street they have a disco that was pretty fun (and free with your wristband!)

Any questions I'm happy to answer! Highly recommend the sailing daytrip to the ruins with a snokel stop too.

Room Tip: Rooms by stage get woken up early by set up noise
  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Danielle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2011

Just got back from a week at the Yucatan and want to be back there! We booked it fairly last-minute as we managed to get a good deal, recommended by an independent travel agent, and we agreed that it should be good as it's a RIU hotel. I'd read the odd bad review here (as with all hotels) and I'm glad I ignored them and went for it.
THE STAFF - were excellent. This was my third trip to the Caribbean, and the staff here were the best, in particular the most friendly. The Mayans always seem to be smiling, especially the bar staff, and even the maid! They cannot do enough for you, honestly. Even though we varied our drinks at the swim-up bar, and the guy there was non-stop busy he made our drinks up even before we asked for them, and we didn't have to tip to get this service! At all bars the staff were very quick to serve us, it was great.
THE FOOD - was very good. A bit better than other buffet restaurants I've eaten in, and beautifully presented, with fruit sculptures ets, and constantly restocked, serving spoons renewed etc.
Breakfast there was not only Continental style meats & cheeses, cooked bacon, sausage and eggs in all styles, pancakes/waffles etc, pastries, a huge range of breads to toast if you liked, cereals, fresh fruits, porridge, but also salads and mexican dishes like nachos and hot sauces!
Lunch we only ate in the pool-side restaurant,(the Steak-House a-la-carte) and again a great choice of soup, stews, hot meats and fish, some chinese-style, vegetables, rice and pasta, fantastic salads, pizzas (not great) fries and fresh fruits and desserts. There were also burgers and hot-dogs in the one next door (the Mexican a-la-carte).
Dinner we only ate in the main buffet once and it was a similar range to the lunch menu but more extensive. We had no problem at all booking the a-la-carte restaurants, though we did it between 7.00 and 7.30 as that was when we were having breakfast. The Mexican we tried first and were disappointed. The starters are done buffet-style, and you have a choice of three main-course and two desserts I think. The main-course was average (mine was luke-warm, probably as they seem to wait to serve everyone's at the same time) and the dessert was nice. I just felt it lacked atmosphere, it was quiet and there was no music, but that's just me being fussy. Try it, if you don't like it you can still go to the buffet restaurant after to eat! The Steak-House was also just so-so, with limited choice. The Asian was nice, I somehow persuaded my husband to try it as they had sushi/sashimi on the menu, which I love but he hates! As it is all buffet-style here though he had lots of starters and main meals to choose from, and he loved these so much we went again the following night!
THE DRINKS - Again very good, some named drinks like Bacardi, Jim Beam etc (which I discovered is a good alternative to my normal Jack Daniels!), and all served with a smile. The beer is weak and watery, my husband felt, though he likes stronger beers. The cocktails we drank mostly at the swim-up bars in the day were lovely but usually full of ice and weak, though it wasn't our intention to get drunk in the day, and we spent a lot of time here!
The hotel did seem quite full, and one or two days one swim-up bar got quite full and a bit rowdy for a while, but that was the worst thing all holiday, so not much to complain about.
THE ROOM - I'd emailed prior and asked for a ground-floor, centrally located room, and that was what I was given! We were in block 5, very close to the pool and beach access, and not far at all from the main restaurant/reception. Yes, the decor is a little tired, but the bed is huge, the room and bathroom is very clean, and the shower is brilliant, great pressure and as hot as you like! The mini-bar is great, as are the spirits on optics. The maid came every day to change towels, make-up the beds etc, and gave us great towel-art daily, even without being tipped!
THE BEACH- One of the best beaches in The Caribbean I'd say, which is why we chose to go here. The first couple of days were very windy so the sea was choppy, but that couldn't be helped. There were plenty of sunbeds here, though not that much shade, so if you need shade (If you have young children for example) , get down there fairly early and reserve one under the palm trees near the back. It was clean and pretty litter free, except for cigarette ends! Why can't you smokers dispose of them properly ?!?!
THE POOLS- Again, kept very clean, tested regularly. My only niggle is that they could do with another one maybe, and it would be good if they kept one pool just for children (or at least restrict them just to one of the pools). I have children myself, but they are older now and we take these holidays to totally relax, and having them running and jumping in etc all the time can be a bit annoying. Having one pool child-free would be nice, that's'all.
SUNBEDS - There are simply not enough of them. On the first day we frowned at people having reserved them with towels by 8am, but when we tried to get one to lie on in the afternoon and there weren't any left we realised that we had to do the same! Please get some more sunbeds Riu Yucatan!
THE ENTERTAINMENT - There always seemed to be something going on all day and night. The daytime centred around the pool from about 10am til 5pm, and the music was LOUD! If you don't like loud music best lie on the beach, or maybe find a quieter hotel? The night-time entertainment seemed geared mainly towards the children but was varied and good quality, with great dancing, costumes etc, though not for me.

All in all we had a great holiday. The Riu Yucatan is a well-run Hotel where the staff seem to value and enjoy their jobs. The food and drink is great, the pool is great, the beach is amazing. What more do you want?

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Thenewmrsbowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

My four friends and I spent a week at the Riu Yucatan and loved it. We arrived at the hotel around 8:30pm on a Friday and one of the members of our group's bag did not arrive with us on the bus. The Yucatan staff and Sunwing employees were very helpful and assured us that the bag would be found. Within one hour of arrival the missing bag showed up which was a weight off our shoulders.
The resort grounds are beautiful, they are spotless and have plenty of wildlife roaming around, yes including cockraoches, but it is Mexico, what do you expect?
The buildings are dated but they are still very nice and there is no reason to complain. The rooms are comfortable, they aren't huge but you aren't there to spend all day in your room. The beds are hard but it really isn't so uncomfortable that you cannot sleep. There is limited privacy when it comes to the bathrooms but it was really quite charming and I really didn't mind it.
The pools and beach area are absolutely incredible. The pools are clean and there are plenty of lounging chairs and shade to find. The beach is huge with nice white sand and a limitless amount chairs and palm trees for shade.
The food at the buffet is good. There is a lot to choose from including foods from various different countries. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies as well.
The Asian a la carte was a little bit disappointing as it was also a buffet, the food was good but it would have been nice tho have had a meal that was made for you. We went back to the main buffet the following evening and they had the same foods there as they had at the Asian buffet.
Overall the trip was very relaxing and I would definitely return to the Riu Yacatan.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank akirezra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Yucatan

Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 1 | Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $272 - $614 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Yucatan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 507
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km/ 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * In Playacar's resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 2-storey buildings * Mexican "Hacienda" style architecture * Surrounded by 40,000 m2/44,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Next to the Mexican Street * 800 m/2,650 ft. From various shops * 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 Yucatan Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Playa Del Carmen
Riu Yucatan Mexico
Rui Yucatan
Hotel Riu Yucatan Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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