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“Looking forward to returning!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Playacar

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Ranked #53 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago area
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Looking forward to returning!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

My wife, two friends and I stayed at the RIU Playacar from 3/15 – 3/19 in a first floor Jr. Suite in building #6. It was very nice, can’t really say it looked run down, maybe more out dated? Upon check-in we asked for mattress toppers and an extra bed, which the hotel provided with a smile and in a timely fashion. When we entered the room, it was a little warm and had a faint musty smell. Called about the A/C and asked for some extra pillows and towels. We received the towels, but not the pillows, which took an another call in the AM to receive. We still had A/C issues through the night and had to open the windows in the middle of the night to cool things off. The next morning, we had an issue with a leaky toilet and got building maintenance in to fix both. The A/C relies on a switch on the door wall and deactivates if the switch is not making a connection. Once this was determined, we made sure the door wall was closed and the switch was properly engaged. From here on out, we had a trouble free stay and the only worry we had was whether to sit by the pool or at the beach.

The food at the buffets was good. Always plenty of choices that should keep everyone happy. My wife being Celiac usually has issues when eating out, but found a good variety of things to eat and was never left wanting more. We ate at the Mexican and Steak House ala carts, both were very good! We had two different experiences with the ala carts though. My wife notified the wait staff of her condition and the wait staff on the Mexican side and chef made sure to prepare her food so she would have no issues. The Steak House was a little different and to be fair, we had a good rain storm during dinner and the wait staff fell behind and were dealing with a leaky roof and wind blowing rain in. They didn’t seem to be as responsive to her, but were able to provide her with a salad without croutons, just no appetizer.

The pool always seemed to be busy, but getting drinks was never really an issue. The cups were somewhat small, but that was fine, as the beer was getting warm by the time we needed a refill. We never really had an issue finding chairs, just had to move some around to be in the sun. Everyone seemed friendly and there was always some kind of activity going on if you chose to participate.

Overall our stay was very pleasant and we would definitely stay there again. If you are looking for a true 5 star, try one of the Palaces. If you are looking for a nice place to stay with good accommodations, good food and nice people, this is it.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zatman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (544)
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2012

my husband and i went with another married couple for a little vacation and it was perfect, we are a middle class family and did not expect anything major fancy.the resort was beautiful, wonderful sandy beach,always enough chairs.Bars never disappointed,drinks were not watered down by anymeans.beds a little hard but got a mattress pad and was all better.after dinner the entertainment for the night was always hilarious! we prefered the buffett as they always had many choices.we did wonder off the resort to a flea market which i did not like so much,we were offered drugs and were really haggled to buy things.very pushy.i would not go off the resort,thats my opinion. we did do snorkling which was amazing just the boat ride alone was worth the $55 a person.i would return to this resort!we had a great time and always felt safe,left our money and passports in the safe they provided and never had a issue,also we tipped a dollar or two each meal and to the housekeepers to be polite and they were very grateful.Tina from st.louis

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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?
12 Thank tina p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wareham, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2012

Thank you so much to Karla, Maria, Barbara, Felix, Oscar, and the rest of the great team of
entertainers. My husband and I laughed so hard at the contests and skits you had with the audience. Your enthusiasm kept us at the resort as much as possible. You get a fantastic beach with no rocks, a great pool, a room that is plenty big for 2 people, and a huge variety of food including barbecues at the pool and beach. The employees go out of their way to help you and are always polite. The bartenders do whatever
they can to keep you quenched.
Love the place.
See you next year!!

Room Tip: No elevators so you decide.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 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?
5 Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2012

My wife and I with two friends vacationed March 3 to March 10. We are middle age and have travelled to Cancun/Maya Riviera 6 times, Puerto Vallarta 3 times, Huatulco once, Dominican 5 times and have travelled the U.S. and Canada extensively. We've stayed at all inclusive 3 star to Palaces.

In our opinion the RIU Playacar is at least a 4 star property.

We stayed in building 3 on the 3rd floor. There was a full king size bed. The bathroom had a full bathtub/shower. The bathroom was separated by a door not the curtains you see in some pictures. Closet was huge and included the safe box, mini fridge and liquor dispensor. The balcony was secluded by a 3.5 foot wall, very quiet! The room was updated, clean and spacious.

The king bed was firm. We asked for a foam pad which was installed within an hour. It made a very nice difference. Building 3 was super quiet and smack dab in the middle of the property.

The main buffet is adjacent to the lobby. This buffet is one of, if not the best we've ever attended. There is a huge variety of food for breakfast and supper. There is a theme supper but does not diminsh the amount or variety. This buffet closes at 10:30.

The buffet (Turquesa) near the pools opens for continental breakfast at 10:30 then serves as a lunch buffet. Again, a wide selection of food. Not as big as the lobby buffet. The Turquesa turns into the al a cartes for supper. 1/2 is the Mexican, 1/2 is the steakhouse. The Japanese is a separate restaurent in the lobby. We ate at all 3. The Japanese is buffet style. Lots of food and specific to Japanese cooking. The steakhouse and Mexican were served at your table. All 3 were very good. Making reservations was easy. At 7am in the main buffet, in the middle of the buffet a gentlemen took your room number, number of guests and what time you want service: 6:45 or 8:45. No mad rush for this, lots of spots available.

There are 3 bars. Lobby, pool and theater. Lobby abd pool open at 10am, Pool closes at 5:30. Theater opens at noon til midnight.

The pool area fills up in the mornings, however there was not a mad rush for loungers. The beach area is huge! There were so many loungers available at all times of the day. The animation team works very hard at the pool area. Lots of music and activities. There is a second pool adjacent without a bar and is a little more secluded and quiet. The beach was very quiet, just your normal volleyball and people watching. Water is magnificent to swim in. The best spot to go in is directly in front of the life guard tower.

We went to the RIU Yucatan beach. Wow, a lot more people and crowded. The folks from RIU Tequila use this beach. The RIU Lupita has an area at the RIU Palace. So the Playacar did not have any additional pressure.

You can visit the Yucatan and Tequila. So we did just that. The pools are nice but busy. In the evening it was fun to entertain at both bars. The Tequila's bar is at the theater. It's a blast. There is a sports bar there too with snacks in a fridge. Pool will cost you 30 pesos.

We can tell you this is an amazing hotel with access to 2 others. The hotel staff are so nice, firiendly and attentive. Their English language was very good.

We will return to this property, soon!

Room Tip: Bulding 3, third floor, 3301 or 3303. Kings beds, secluded balcony, very quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank Mark_Ref
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester Hills, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

Vactioned at this resort with family on Christmas, 2011. Patrons of this hotel should be alerted to the selling of counterfeit Cuban cigars by vendor stationed by the front desk. Called this matter to the attention of management after situation was discovered. Totally disappointed by their response.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank kerry p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mason, Michigan
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

First of all, this is a 3.5 star resort. The only reason for the 5 points it receives is for the amount of amenities it offers. It has everything. Food/Drinks/Sports/Entertainment. So, again, it’s not a 5 star resort, so I won’t review it in that light. Once you realize you’re paying for a 3.5 star resort, you’ll be happier with your stay. Also knowing you didn’t pay for a 5 star resort, you won’t be disappointed.

The Room:
I had e-mailed the resort to request that we be put in a quiet junior suite, which we had booked. Upon check-in, which we were a little earlier for, we were told we could get a room or wait. Also, we were told they couldn’t guarantee anything in the e-mail to me beforehand. We didn’t wait, and we ended up getting one of the loudest rooms, as it was right next to the nighttime entertainment, Building 5, which wouldn’t have been bad if we could have stayed up later. The fun in the sun always had us turning in earlier than the more mature folks, which this resort had a lot of. The major demographic, I would say, was 50 and older.

We were given one old fashioned key and a safe lock. The junior suite was large with a very large balcony (2nd floor, 5th Building, Room 5213) and walk-in closet. The musty odor was prominent as soon as you opened the door. I had brought some room freshener, but this didn’t take out the smell. You just get used to it. The room and bathroom was clean. The small refrigerator was stocked with four Dos Equis a day, miscellaneous beverages, and water. There is a liquor dispenser also in the room.

Two double (not queens) beds were pushed together, so since there were myself, my husband, and two adult kids, we separated the two beds and had a cot brought it. The couches do not fold out and they are not long enough to sleep on.

The beds are small for two relatively small adults to share, uncomfortably hard, and loud when trying to flip over. The cot was actually the most comfortable bed to sleep on. We did not ask for mattress pads, which I’m sure would have been better.

The Food:
I like good food. I’m not above having a good salad at Applebees, but would prefer Craftsteak in Vegas, of course not every night, but just to give a perspective on my tastes. This food, again keeping in mind this is a 3.5 star resort, not a 5 star resort was good. There was always something good available. The guacamole and pico de gallo were excellent. At breakfast you can have a made-to-order omelet. The coffee in the vending machine….not good. The coffee at Le Porche was good. The ala carte restaurants, which provide you with just, like, one or two choices to choose from were really good except for the Asian one as that just had the same stuff you could get in the buffets. The steakhouse’s artichoke and tomato soup was awesome and I would love to get the recipe if anyone can find it. The sangria they served before dinner was also excellent.

The Drinks:
They are not watered down in my opinion. They were strong. The bloody marys are really good. I also tried an Iceberg which is frozen margarita on top of a beer. It’s my new favorite drink, which I’ll be making at home. The waiters worked their butts off at the bars and I never had to wait very long for a drink.

The Grounds:
The beach is beautiful and beautifully maintained. We walked from Riu Playacar to Playa Del Carmen and saw some beaches with plenty of seaweed (turtle grass) washed up on the beach. Maintenance crews keep the beach outside the resort seaweed free. There were plenty of loungers on the beach and palm trees for shade. Worst thing is not having a bar or food right on the beach, but the walk is not long to go to the bar at the pool.

I thought the grounds were nice and maintained well. The pool was refreshing. If you want a good spot at the pool, you will have to get up early (by 7 a.m.) as people “reserved” seats with their towels. There were less desirable chairs available all during the day. We were there March 5 through the 10th, and the place did not feel crowded even though it was fully booked.

Vendors come in on certain nights to the different Riu’s. The prices were better with these vendors than they were in town, at least as far as the jewelry goes, I found. The plaza across the street also had good prices.

The Riu Tequila looked nice and the Palaces looked very, very nice. You aren’t allowed to use the facilities at the Palace, just Tequila, Yucatan, and Lupita.

Entertainment or Animation:
There was always something to do here. The staff was extremely friendly and fun but didn’t force you to participate if you didn’t want to. The shows were entertaining. Sometimes I got tired watching how hard all the employees worked around the resort, but they all had smiles on their faces.

So it is what you make it. As a 3.5 star resort, I’d give it a B. They need to update the furnishings in the rooms and try, however they can, to get the musty smell out of there. A bar/snack shop at the beach would also be a great improvement. This was a fine resort for the price and since we were paying for all four of us, it fit our family well. If it were just my husband and I, we will be staying at the Riu Palace or some nicer/pricier resort, but we will definitely return to the same area of Playacar or maybe Tulum.

Room Tip: Building 5 & 6 are close to the pool and beach but also nighttime entertainment. Rollaway cots...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank igo2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seba Beach, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

The service at Riu Playa Car is fantastic. The staff is very helpful and fun! The buffets were very disappointing. I would give them a 3/5. The ala cart meals were very disappointing. Out of the 3 to choice from the Jade, which is a sushi experience, so to say,was the best. The rooms are cozy. Beds are hard. Unfortunately when the "partiers" come back to thier rooms at all hours, you can hear them clear as day. The beach is gorgeous. The pools are nice, but close by 7pm, which is a bummer. The nightly entertainment starts at 9:45pm which is kind a late if you have children. The shows were nothing special.
Basically book lots of tours! And you wont be disappointed like us.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Connie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Playacar

Property: Hotel Riu Playacar
Address: Avenida Xamen-Ha | Manzana 6, Lote 6, Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Playacar 4*
Number of rooms: 396
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In the Playacar resort area, along with the Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * Main building and 8 annexed buildings * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Surrounded by 21,000 m2/25,000 sq. Yards of tropical gardens * Mexican Street, next to Riu Yucatan * 100 m/325 ft. From various shops * 55 km/34 miles from Cancun Int'l. Airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Playa Del Carmen
Riu Playacar Reviews
Playacar Hotels
Riu Playacar Mexico
Rui Playacar
Hotel Riu Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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