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“Fantastic Holiday”
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 2012

Just returned from The Riu Yuccatan, where do I start? Well we travelled as a party of 6 people, ages ranging from 21 to 48. Arrived after a rather longer than planned flight, to a delightful reception area and a very speedy check-in, checked in and bags received in room within 30 minutes. I must agree with previous reviews that the rooms are not 5 star, but very clean, bed linen changed every day, excellent shower, so what else could you ask for when you get 5 star service. There's a minibar (free) in your room too, plus optics containg vodka, whiskey, tequilla and rum great to have a vodka and coke before dinner on your balcony.

Nothing is too much for these guys, service with a smile and I mean everyone from the bar staff, waiters, reception, cleaners, maintenance and gardeners they all acknowledge you with a smile and an Ola!!

The entertainment staff are awesome and work very hard, the evening entertainement was very good, some evenings better than others and 2 really stood out and were excellent - The Grease Show and The Micheal Jackson Show were 1st class.

The food - well it's all inclusive, but one of the best for food that I have been to with a large variety of food available, also 3 other restaurants from the Buffett, the Steakhouse was excellent. Plus you can go as often as you want, not limited at all, just that you have to book from 7am and they fill up pretty fast.

Pool area - great. Beach - fantastic, one of the best I've ever seen. Beds do fill up rather quickely around the pool and early too!!!!! But the beach there were loads of free beds. Oh and the odd monkey may appear in the trees it really adds to this place

Finally this was a fantastic holiday, relaxed and fun, no stuffy regulations about what to wear and what not to wear, except men must wear a t-shirt in the restaurants, shorts etc accepted. Oh and if you are of a dearing nature, try the 'Mexican Flag' tequilla shot, it'll hit the spot!!!!!!

Room Tip: No rooms have pool views, but are surrounded by gardens
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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11  Thank MrsFidge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 May 2012

A bit about us and our perspective: We are an American couple in our young 30's, traveling without our children, intent on relaxation. We do drink alcohol but are far from the "party" crowd. We chose the first week of May to avoid crowding, specifically lots of school age children.

CHECK-IN
We were greeted upon check-in by Helene, a nice French intern and sent to our room in Building 9. Building 9 is west of the lobby and just about as far away as you can get from everything. We asked for a room more centrally located and were promptly moved to Room 4102. Thank you Helene!

Upon arriving in our room, we discovered the toilet was broken and would not flush. Within 3 minutes of calling, maintenance was on scene and had it fixed in less than 5 minutes. We had to call maintenance on one other occasion when a breaker tripped and again, he responded within minutes. A++++++ for these guys!

The room was nicely decorated and very clean. House keeping did a terrific job each day! The beds are not the softest around, but are not AS BAD as people make them out to be. The safe box in the closet is decent size and capable of storing most valuables. Even though the mini-bar and fridge is stocked every two days, if you ask for additional Pepsi, Water, Etc, they will oblige.

THE GROUNDS:
You will find a consensus among reviews here about how well kept the grounds are and the diligence/courteousness of the staff. They're all accurate, lets move on...

This is a relatively large resort, frequented by travelers from all over the globe. As Americans, we were in a solid minority. There were numerous German and French guests, with a handful of English, Spanish and Russians. We did not mind at all mingling with other cultures, but my wife could have done without all of the cigarette smoke. Ironically, just about the only other Americans present, were the ones making fools of themselves in the pool bar, carrying on loudly and stupidly.

FOOD:
The Hacienda (buffet) featured a large variety of dishes, many of which are designed to cater to the palates of the European guests. Breakfast was the only meal we found to be a bit repetitive, but was tasty nonetheless. The Hacienda is indoors, air conditioned, with fans. You may also elect to sit on the patio if you'd like. We sat at the same table just about every time and Lazaro was very gracious and friendly.

The Margarita (poolside cafe) was decent. It is an open air dining room with a buffet featuring a limited number of items. It is a convenient place to enjoy a slice of pizza, a burger or soft serve ice cream cone. The guacamole is phenomenal!!

Ala carte...Reservations are made daily, at breakfast, in the Hacienda. Arrive a little early and you will have no problems getting them. I much preferred this method to those of other all-inclusives which book a week in advance. The Asian fills first, rightfully so, as it is the best.

The Shanghai while technically reserved as one of the ala cartes, is simply a buffet. The cuisine was nothing short of spectacular and our server Alex was THE nicest and most efficient employee we encountered. Ask for the Fried Ice Cream for dessert!!

The Steak House was pretty good, but nothing to get really excited about. It is in the Margarita cafe during evening hours and has a great view of the ocean.

DRINKS:
There are plenty of bars around the property, including two swim-up/pool bars. The drinks are served in miniscule plastic cups. There are two solutions 1) buy or bring a large cup of your own, which they will happily fill or 2) just ask for extras. I usually asked for 4 margaritas instead of 2. All you have to do to get the better/premium booze is ASK. There are no servers on the beach, you will have to get up and walk to the bar, the nearest of which is 50-100 meters.

BEACH:
Having been to Playacar, we knew the beach was going to be amazing! We were fortunate to have mostly calm surf, only a few periods of red flag conditions. Being a somewhat larger property, the beach area gets kinda crowded. I'm not certain, but I think some of the Riu properties that are inland, share this beach. Finding chairs for 2 was never a problem, we just occasionally had to drag them down closer to the water.

POOL:
We only got into the pool twice and only briefly then. The towel game is played here and the best poolside spots go quickly, as guests drape their towels over them around sunrise.

ENTERTAINMENT:
We were in bed by about 8 or 9 each night and never watched the shows. Fransisco from the dive shop was very friendly and pitched the complimentary beach activities as well as the others excursions on our first day. We used the free snorkel gear one day to feed the fish out on the beach. (take a piece of bread from the breakfast buffet to feed the fish)

OVERALL:
A tremendously positive experience! The only drawback for me was the size/number of guests; which has more to do with my tastes and is in no way the resort's fault. This is an excellent resort if you are looking for a relaxing get away. The staff is top notch, the food is sensational and the beach is exquisite.

Room Tip: We were in Building 4, which was near the pool and halfway between the beach and the lobby/buffet...
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Kyle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Got back yesterday from another fantastic holiday in Mexico.....we have previously stayed at Riu Caribe, Cancun and more recently, Riu Tequila, just across the road from Riu Yucatan. We chose Yucatan this time purely because of a slightly cheaper price and beachfront location......as expected, we had an amazing time!

The airport is a nightmare....expect to queue, queue and queue again....then expect to have your case searched....they pick on every other traveller....not sure what they are looking for, but they didn't confiscate our PG Tips or HP Sauce so RESULT!!!

On the coach you will doubtless be offered a nice cold beer at the inflated price of twenty pesos (one English pound).....our advice, TAKE THE BEER, it is the nicest beer you will taste all fortnight, on account of it being ice cold and you being hot, sweaty and very tired after your long flight!

At the hotel you will be greeted by a deskful of envelopes with names on, containing keys, safe keys, towel cards and information. Find the envelope with your name on, check your room number, write your room number on labels provided, attach labels to your suitcases, collect wristband and VAMOS (let's go)....you trundle off to your room and the bell boys will fetch your cases in about 10 minutes.

When you get to your room, get another beer from the fridge....maybe a vodka, rum, gin or tequila from the optics.....if not, water, pepsi, 7up or fizzy orange are also there for you to enjoy.

If your bed is a little uncomfortable.....don't bother with all this "ask for a matress topper" nonsense....we did ask for one.....it is simply the blue Riu blanket from your wardrobe folded neatly under your sheet.....you can sort it yourself if you put your mind to it!

Thnk that covers the boring stuff.....food is AMAZING you will NEVER go hungry....the staff in the bars and restaurants are all fantastic and can't do enough for you....ask for the branded drinks, Smirnoff, Johnny Walker etc. nobody minds! We did give tips, plenty don't, it is appreciated but not necessary....these people work extremely hard don't forget!

If you want to book one of the a la carte restaurants, you do need to be there at 7am, particularly if you fancy the steakhouse (which is the best one).....we ate there three times and it was faultless....we also tried the Asian, only average and no better than your local Chinese takeaway probably.

We have been to a lot of places and this beach is OUT OF THIS WORLD....amazing white sand, clear blue sea.....perfect! Sunbeds are limited though so don't trundle down at 11am expecting a bed to be free....disappointment will be yours!

The entertainment is the only thing that prevents our review from being a five star one. The main evening show only lasts for about 40 minutes and it seems that everything is just getting going at around 11pm but then everything stops. The only thing to do is go across to the Riu Tequila to the "nightclub".....dance and drink the night away til 2am...very tacky and cheesy but great fun!

Alternatively, you can make a short walk or taxi trip into Playa Del Carmen....loads of shops and bars.....we would recommend "Fusion" right on the beach, live music, cheap drinks....also "Tequila Barrel" on fifth avenue....well worth a vsit and to spend a few pesos out of the Riu comfort zone!

Amusing to see everyone in the lobby area on their ipads and laptops and phones, checking facebook, chatting on Skype......free wifi for 90 minutes a day via simple login, more than adequate!

Overall another FANTASTIC holiday....the rooms are in need of a little updating but how much time do you spend in your room....? Can't wait to go back....go ahead and ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!!!

Hope you like our review, we are two English girls in our late thirties....any questions or comments, we look forward to hearing from you!

Room Tip: want peace and quiet? stay away from block six, unless you are prepared to take earplugs!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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28  Thank ShazandLisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2012

WOW what a holiday! just got back this morning after a 2 week stay here......the fun never stops from start to finish, there's always something going on morning to night, the entertainment team work very hard to make sure everyone has a good time, the bar staff too and they always have a smile on their faces.
The food is very good too plenty of choice, our personal favourite was the Asian restaurant, less the Mexican we thought the food was a bit bland in there.
The wildlife is amazing always something running around or swinging in the trees to look at, my fave was the little guinea pig type animal with the what looks like high heels on, so cute.
The downside is the amount of mosquito's, with the hotel being in the jungle there in abundance & no amount of repellant deter's them, we also had a plug in which did nothing so most people get bitten.
The beach is to die for, very clean and the sea is beautiful & clean-there is seaweed on a morning but this is quickly cleaned up.
The experience upon arrival at Cancun airport was manic, with the majority of people pushing in to get out quickly, there is no proper queuing system so its more or less a free for all, it took about an hour & a half for us to get out, not something to look foreward to after an 11 hour flight!! the experience getting out was a lot more pleasant & efficient compared to 8 years ago when we were there......they don't search every single case now like they did then!
SO all in all a great time was had by all and I would definately reccomend this hotel

Room Tip: block 5, close to everything, we were in room 5124
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank minky1602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2012

We have just returned from spending 2 wonderful weeks at RIU Yucatan, I don't see how some people can complain about the hotel. Our holiday started flawless from the moment we stepped on the plane to arriving at the resort. We went for our daughters' 21st birthday and took her friend. I requested that we could have a top floor room and that we could be next to each other, this was honoured. We were in block 1 which was very quiet, away from the theatre and restaurants. The shows at the theatre finish around 11pm so there is little noise after that time anyway. These people who complain about the noise must be the ones who go to bed too early! Our rooms were kept clean by the staff, they work very hard, we left a tip for our cleaner everyday and the minibar was restocked every 2 days. The food at the hotel was very good, offering different themed nights each night, most of the meals were cooked fresh in front of you. The drinks are locally produced but if you want named brands then just ask for it.
The beach at Yucatan is beautiful, even though the RIU Tequilla uses the same beach there were still plenty of sunloungers available on the beach, around the pool there are lots of sunbeds however these tend to get 'reserved' with towels quite early even though there are signs around the pool area asking that they are not reserved.
We went for a few trips while we were there, Dolphin swim, Speedboat jungle tour, Columbus sunset boat, Captain Hook, Koba, Bar crawl, Coco Bongos. All these trips are great but a tip for anyone wishing to go to Coco Bongos - go VIP, we went VIP for our daughters 21st and we had a brilliant time, you have your own waiter who keeps you topped up with whatever drinks you want. The reason I say go VIP is because the second time we went was on the bar crawl which ends up at Coco Bongo, however as that is for ordinary area in the club we were that crammed in that we couldnt get a drink, not even room to stand so we ended up going straight out through the emergency exit.
We all had a fantastic time at RIU Yucatan and would definately recommend it. Cant wait to go back there.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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6  Thank jeanetteray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

We had never before stayed in an all-inclusive resort, so we didn't know what to expect. The buffet food, while not gourmet, had lots of choices and most of it was pretty tasty. We went to the Japanese Restaurant, which really was just another buffet and wasn't very good, so we stuck with the buffet. We opted for the suite, which we really didn't need and was immense. The bedroom was huge, there was a large separate sitting room, large bathroom, and foyer as you entered the suite. The decor was nothing special, however, and the beds were very hard. The grounds were well maintained. There was a lively atmosphere in the reception area, with guests and staff very friendly. The entertainment was very good and professionally done, with carribean dancers and an excellent Michael Jackson show. We liked the location because it was close to town, a short cab ride or a long walk. After this experience we decided to go to another all-inclusive a few months later.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MER1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

Stayed at the Riu Yucatan from April 18-25 and I loved every moment! The best part was definitely the beach; clean beautiful sand, plentiful seating, symmetrically placed palm trees and clear warm turquoise waters...what more could you possibly ask for?! Also, the hotel is located fairly close to Playa del Carmen and a jaunty 20 minute walk along the beach will get you there...plus you can stroll in the water! The food was alright and quite good for Mexico. We tried the steakhouse and the Asian which were both okay but I could've honestly eaten at the buffet every night. There was enough variety and the line cooks are always super friendly and efficient - there were usually no more than 2-3 ppls in line for them. We did 1 excursion to the nearby dolphinarium that set us back $100-ish but was definitely worth it. There are manatees which you don't get to see everywhere. The hotel seems a little dated (actual keys instead of cards) but it has a nice old-timey feel. And yes, the beds are hard, there is no getting around that. The staff here are wonderful - always helpful, smiling and make sure there's always something going on to keep guests entertained. The week we were there, there were vendors, singers and interactive games in the lobby as well as an auction and a showcase of towel art. The grounds are meticulously kept and there is an abundance of wildlife including monkeys, iguanas, coatis and agoutis (at least i think they're agoutis). Riu Yucatan, you've captured my heart and I would return in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: we stayed in block 7 and it was perfect! close to the lobby (and to the food) but also pretty close...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank thrillhouse v
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: $271 - $612 (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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