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“Nice, clean beach resort - you get what you pay for”
Review of Hotel Riu Yucatan

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Hotel Riu Yucatan
Ranked #61 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Nottinghamshire
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Nice, clean beach resort - you get what you pay for”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

Having read a number of reviews about the Riu Yucatan after booking it, I managed my expectations accordingly. Travelling with my husband and one teenager, we found the resort as follows:-

Our view only..........

Welcome – We arrived in the middle of the afternoon, welcomed with a refreshing drink and gathered with other arriving families for an explanation of check-in procedure and were given pre-prepared envelopes, one for each party, containing resort map, room key, safe lock and key, beach towel cards, and suitcase stickers with room number. Having been asked to place the suitcase stickers on our cases, they were sorted and duly delivered to our room minutes after we had located it. Very swift service.

Room – we had a room in Block 9, it was nicely decorated with 2 double beds, dressing area and en-suite. When the porter brought our cases to the room, he asked if we’d like a 3rd bed and 3rd chair for balcony area. He also provided additional towels, all within 1 hour of our arrival and no fuss. Our room was thoroughly cleaned every day, with fresh towels (bath, hand and face), fresh bedding at least 3 times during our 10 night stay and towel art/flowers/ruffles on a couple of occasions. We had a TV (American channels, BBC World News, films and sport), and the fridge (pop, beers, water) and optics (vodka, Rum, Gin and Tequila) were replenished regularly. The room had a safe (no additional cost), ironing board and iron, hairdryer, plenty of wardrobe spaces and hangers. Block 9 is one of the furthest away from the ‘action’ and therefore nice and quiet.

Gardens – The gardens around the resort are beautiful, extremely well maintained, with footpaths being swept almost constantly.

Wildlife – lots of agouti (look like big guinea pigs in high heels – cute but timid), we saw a couple of Coatis (racoon like creature), howler monkeys, Iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds, other tropical birds, geckos and a few cockroaches! WARNING: This resort is heavy with mosquito. Garden staff do spray the grounds on a regular if not daily basis, to try to ease the situation, but we were still bitten numerous times (quite possibly the worst place we’ve been for mosi attacks). A good quality repellent goes work.

Restaurants – choice of 4 - steakhouse, Asian or Mexican all to be booked from 07.00am (early risers will always get a booking) no restriction on number of visits to each venue. Steakhouse was good, buffet salad and breads, service main course and pudding. Lots of choice on menu – good ribs. Asian, all buffet with limited main courses but lots of good starters type dishes and soups – great fried ice-cream pudding. Mexican – buffet salads, breads and soups. Served main course and pudding. For all three restaurants, my tip would be if you want to sit and chat/relax after dinner, book the second sitting. (staff looking to move you on from first sitting if you out stay your welcome!) 4th venue is the international buffet – loads of choice, salads, veg, fish, pasta, meat (hot/cold), pizza, the list is endless, all buffet with drinks served. Breakfast in the restaurant – everything you can imagine – fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs, meat, cheese, pancakes etc. No-one will go hungry at this resort. It is great fun watching other people pile their plates mountainously high with some very strange food combinations. Staff very efficient with plate clearance. For basic ‘quick snack’ at lunch time, the pool side restaurant was perfect, with burgers, chips, paella, salads etc. After 10 days of this ‘variety’, which was a little school refractory in terms of mass catering we were ready for a food holiday!

Bars – plenty of choice, day or night, efficient, friendly service. Lobby bar quiet most of the time, more lively at entertainment area and during day at pool bars.

Entertainment – good variety day and night, we were not pestered to join in at all, but made welcome it we did, best bit was band and dancing on the beach it was great fun. Team work really hard to provide something for everyone.

Staff – All the staff were very friendly, polite and efficient, manager addressed welcome meeting and we saw him around the resort regularly. The cleaners worked especially hard, constantly sweeping, mopping and cleaning public area in particular, the place is spotless – even the seaweed is sweep from the beach! There are no glasses or crockery items left lying around as someone is always collecting.

Pool/Beach – The Pool area was busy, not at all quiet - but it was the Easter Holidays. Take a bed away from the swim up bars for a slightly less noisy experience. The beach is lovely, very clean, clear and slightly wavy ocean. We walked to Playa del Carmen (destination Senor Frogs!) in 30 mins along beach. It is a public beach so you do get a few beach vendors, selling hats, cigars and bracelets, but they are polite and leave you in peace if you say ‘no thanks’. Lots of beds from Yucatan, both in shade of palm trees and on open beach. Volleyball pitch and football plus sailing etc through hotel Team. The beach is a much more relaxing and tranquil environment to that of the pool area.

Sunbeds/Towels – There were plenty of sunbeds both around the pool and on the beach, however early risers get the best spots for all day sun worship. Towel exchange by pool is a quick service.

Internet – Free connection for 90 minutes each 24 hour period, lobby area users could be found on laptops, ipad, iphones etc pretty much at any time of the day or night.

Other parts of resort – Hotel Tequila, open for Yucatan guests, we were made welcome, and we thought this was busier than Yucatan. Good entertainment with nightclub from 11pm. A short cab ride to 5th Avenue (70 pesos/£3.50 per cab not each) to shops, restaurants, street entertainment etc and ferry terminal to Cozumel. Gym facilities at Yucatan are ok, although if you run get outdoors on pathways around Playacar, see the resort.

Tips –
1. If you like a quiet resort don’t visit this one during American/Canadian Spring Break.
2. Buy good quality mosquito repellent and use it!
3. No ‘best’ clothes required at Resort, don’t over pack (Airport check- in very strict on weight at Cancun on return journey, you will be charged at least £17 per kilo over your allowance – no negotiation)

Overall view of Riu Yucatan = good, nothing to dislike and staff work very hard for you to ensure your holiday is the best it can be. Playacar resort is a great beach holiday location, Mexicans are warm people and we’ll be going back but maybe not to Yucatan. We visited Riu Palace Mexico next door which looked lovely.

Other people have commented about its ‘star’ rating, Riu state 5*, First Choice state 4* I would agree that it’s not 5* (not for want of trying by the staff) and 4* is a more realistic if not generous rating by tour operators. You get what you pay for and the clientele matches.

Room Tip: Ask for room furthest from 'action' (pool and entertainment) for a good nights sleep.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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18 Thank Holidaysrus2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Washington State
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012

The Riu Yucatan resort was excellent and we had a great time during our week there March 31-April 7, 2012. We especially liked the greenery and "jungle-sounds" at this property - they have done a very nice job with landscaping and giving it a tropical, lush feel. The friendly staff works very hard keeping the place clean and catering to the many tourists and their needs.

Our room was nice. We stayed in a junior suite in block 1, 3rd floor. I am not sure if we really needed all that extra space in the other half of the suite - would probably rent a smaller room next time and save some money. We found block 1 to be very quiet, and central to everything.

The buffet had excellent food. There is a Mexican food area in the buffet which always had interesting dishes and great salsas. There is no end to the variety and sheer amount of food available at the buffet. Plan to gain some weight.

Best part: The beach. Playa's beach is one of the best I've ever seen. Perfect sand, turquoise water, just the right amount of waves. We didn't even go into the pool once. Although the pool was beautiful and kept very clean, the beach was more fun.

Final thoughts: Our family enjoyed staying at the Riu Yucatan and felt it was a good value for the money. We would probably stay there again. However, it was a bit large and crowded for my tastes. if you're looking for a smaller all inclusive resort, less populated, with a more laid-back vibe you may want to check out other places like Akumal.

Additional tips/note on things to do: I would highly recommend getting out and taking some day trips. We took 3 different day trips while staying at Riu Yucatan.

Day trip #1 (our favorite): Rented a car thru the Thrifty representative in the hotel lobby (1,200 peses or about $100 for 24 hours). Very convenient and price was right. Drove a half hour south and visited Dos Ojos cenote to snorkel and see the pet monkey (snorkeling Dos Ojos was highlight of our trip). You may need to ask where the pet monkey is because he's across the parking lot from the cenote. Also drove down to Tulum (the town & beach, not the ruins) - highly recommend driving along the Tulum beachfront and lunch at Zamas restaurant right on the beach (south end of the beach zone). We then drove about 30 minutes inland to Coba ruins where we rented bikes, and then climbed the 12 story high Nohoch Mul Pyramid (another highlight of our trip). Finally, on our drive back to Playa we stopped in Akumal where we walked along the beach and revisited our favorite restaurant in the area, La Buena Vida. We would have liked to visit X'cacel beach (it is just before Akumal when driving North on 307) - an amazing state park beach and turtle nesting preserve. But we did not have time. I would recommend getting a very early start on your day if you are going to try to do all these things :)

Day trip #2: Xel Ha. Beautiful, natural setting with large lagoon and ocean inlet. Snorkeling was nice. Overall, expensive, but it is worth it to see Xel-Ha at least once. The $99 per person ticket price (purchased from the hotel lobby) included transportation and all inclusive ticket (snorkel gear, food and drinks included). Ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at Xel Ha and it was very good food (the Mexican buffet at La Cocina del Pueblo was our favorite - amazing regional cuisine).

Day trip #3: Cozumel - We used Hire a Driver for a Day. I would recommend hiring a driver or renting a car so you can see the whole island. The beaches on the eastern side such as Chen Rio looked amazing, but we did not have time to stop at them to enjoy. Also, next time, we'll definitely take a glass-bottom boat snorkeling tour. Snorkeling off the beaches from the shore was not very good - you need to get out to the reefs.

Room Tip: Block 1 was great - central to everything and quiet. We asked for mattress toppers (learned this fro...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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8 Thank MexicoStillRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maine
Level Contributor
44 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

we vacationed here 10 years ago.....decided to try it again.....was as beautiful as the first time...staff is so friendly and helpful....food was fantastic everyday......Sara that checked us in was so personable and helpful anytime you needed info.....Penelope of the entertainers talked with us during the morning workouts in the pool.....very nice and so was all of her entertainment staff.....they put on fantastic shows at night.
will definitely vacation there again

Room Tip: we took the basic room package and asked foe some extras when we got there.....they did all they cou...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank bill31Maine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

just returned from a weeks vacation march 26th to april 2nd. Travelled with two of my daughters during spring break. We expected the resort to be busy and it was,but not unpleasant. People very friendly,food very good.There was a good selection of food and we tried all the a la cartes.The rooms were not as modern as other hotels but it was very clean. We had a room on 3rd floor and had a vaulted ceiling which made it feel spacious. The beach was great,wide white sand and no rocks in the ocean. We walked to Playa del Carmen, took about 25 minutes,took a cab back only cost 7 dollars. The dolpin trip was awesome my girls aged 21 and 15 loved swimming with them. I would return just for the beach. Lots to do, if you want to or just relax.

other

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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4 Thank annlew7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We have now stayed at all inclusives in Sri lanka, Cuba and Akumel Mexico, and wow we loved them all, felt spoiled and really enjoyed ourselves. This one, we picked it because it did read well and was on the beach. The staff generally were friendly and welcoming. However The Riu Yukatan, whilst generally clean seems to be showing its age and was a bit tired and tatty. The Riu Yukatan was more like a holiday camp. very busy and noisy all the time, No escape from pool side bingo, dancing preening reps, water aerobics, and blaring club musac with the constant whoop-whoop on the tannoy. In addition to this what we didn't know was this time, Easter, is known as Spring Break in America, which means American teens who can't drink until 21 in the U.S. pour into Mexico and take full advantage of the difference in the drinking age laws. The complex became an 18-30's club site with hoards of American teens getting drunk in the pool bars, swearing and being generally very loud and obnoxious and intimidating. then clattering back from Playa in the early hours. There is nowhere comfortable on the complex to sit outside and have a quiet drink as the four bars are all pool side( two in, two out) and there is constant holiday club musac going on which rolls into the evening entertainment. There is some seating in the entrance area which is very formal, and waiting roomish!
What we found infuriating ( as if I haven't said enough, I apologise), to book the evening meal in the restaurants - Steak, Mexican and Asian - you have to get up at 7AM, and queue to reserve, not for your weeks choices but every morning for the evening! WHY?, no one could say. The food in the Riu Yukatan felt mass produced as in a canteen rather than a restaurant with the guests piling plates high with gross amounts of food. We did look into the Riu Tequila and the whole feel was so much more sedate and well mannered. the food looked beautiful and fresh and inviting and FRESH ( yup! said it twice!)and the ambience matched. these guests were dressed up for dinner and were dining out.
if you like a club on the beach then go for it. Like things a bit more sophisticated quieter, then go for the Tequila, the beach is a two minute shaded walk away.

Room Tip: All much of a muchness, if your near the pool and sea you are also near the all night bar and entert...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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11 Thank gabimarshall1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minneapolis
Level Contributor
75 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

A group of moms and our daughters stayed at the Riu Yucatan for Spring Break. Check-in was a breeze for my daughter and me when we arrived in the early evening. This was not the case for some in our group who said that the management was rude when their larger group got there earlier. We were not able to stay in the same building with the rest of our group until the next day, but management made the transition smooth. We had issues with our keys and opening the door to the room. Had to push very hard while turning the key. Figuring out the myriad of switches for lights, A/C and the ceiling fan was challenging. Other then that, the accommodations were clean and comfortable.

The food at the main buffet (Hacienda) and buffet near the pool was quite good. There was a wide selection of healthy options in addition to all the fattening alternatives. You have to be willing to share space with the big ugly birds that fly around. There are three sit-down restaurants as well, and we sampled them all. An early riser in our entourage would get to the Hacienda promptly at 7 a.m. to make reservations for our group of 18. They have two evening seating times: around 6:30-6:45 and 8:30 ish. She got some reaction from the guy taking the reservations, but we got great service at each place. My favorite was the Asian restaurant, which was a buffet. The Mexican place was pretty good and they made a special cake for one of our girls who was celebrating her 18th birthday. The steak place was O.K. Fried food for appetizers was not my favorite.

The pool was nice, but tended to look kind of gross at the larger swim-up bar later in the day. It is not open in the evening, probably because it needs to be shocked with lots of chlorine. There were ample activities both on the beach and by the pool. The beach was gorgeous and we never had a problem finding chairs, though shaded areas tended to be scarfed up quickly. It's an easy 25 minute walk into town with some great people-watching.

Our girls enjoyed the evening shows and had fun with the activity staff. They met some young people from Scotland, Bulgaria and Argentina. There were lots of folks from Europe and it was refreshing to not be inundated with people from our neck-of-the-woods. We checked out the Riu Tequila for the Sports Bar and Disco for our girls. Those places don't get hopping until after 11 p.m. The Riu Playacar is smaller with a mellower vibe. Our girls would have been bored there.

The only negative was being awakened one night by the fire alarm on three occasions. Staff said some guests were smoking in their room and/or were pulling the handle as a joke.

I'd stay here again. The staff are great. Especially the bartenders like J. Cruz. He was hilarious!

Room Tip: Do not stay in rooms in building 7 facing the stage.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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4 Thank minniegirl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Just returned from a 7 day stay at Riu Yucatan. This was our first stay with the Yucatan but certainly not our first visit to the area. Last year we stayed at Riu Palace Mexico, just next door to the Yucatan and in comparison Yucatan is a smaller and simpler hotel, but you get what you pay for. Never the less, we had a pleasant stay. The grounds of the hotel were spotless, the rooms were small but clean, very basic but had everything you needed. The staff at the hotel was very friendly and helpful. We called the front desk when we ran out of bottled water in our fridge and more bottles were delivered within 10 min. time. The day we arrived the air conditioner wasn’t working in our room, again, we called the front desk and a gentleman from maintenance showed up within 15 min. and took care of the problem. The evening shows were OK, the regular All-Inclusive type. All in all this was another great trip to Playa del Carmen. I would’ve given the Yucatan a 5 star but the only thing we were dissatisfied with was food, not the quality of it, it just lacked variety, but maybe we got spoiled by Riu Palace experience last year. I recommend going to the town, 5th avenue is a great place to shop, meet new people and just browse around, it’s a very safe area. The most amazing feature of this hotel is the beach, absolutely beautiful, very wide. Even with the guests from Riu Tequila across the street sharing the same beach, there was always enough room for everyone. The ocean was absolutely amazing, deep in some spots and shallow in others, perfect for all levels of swimmers. I would recommend this hotel to my friends and family but probably won’t be coming back to this hotel next year….will probably try the Iberostar chain next time.

Room Tip: Stayed in building 3 first floor, facing Iberostar Tucan. Very quite rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank ikolomiyets
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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