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“Almost as good as I thought.”

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Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Ranked #28 of 210 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
COTTAGE GROVE MN
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Almost as good as I thought.”
Reviewed 18 February 2012

We stayed here from Feb 11th til Feb 17th 2012. Without re-writing too much of the previous reviews maybe we can at least validate some or debunk others.

Safety- Extremely safe, like a gated community inside another gated community.

Hotel Staff- They are the most friendly and approachable we have met.
This is our 13th time to Mexico, so that is saying something.

Food- We are not much for "scheduling our dinner" so we bypassed the specialty restaurants. However we did take full advantage of the nightly dinner buffet and just to give you a quick idea, on one plate I had Roasted duck, pork loin hand carved or course, 6 different types of sushi and I think there were at least 10. Ahi tuna, peel and eat shrimp about the size of roll of nickles. This was all on an average night. The food during the day was hit and miss. You could eat at the Tequila or the Yucatan for breakfast or lunch, but not dinner, however we had friends at the Tequila and got permission to have dinner with them there. It was good, but not nearly as good as the Palace.

Rooms- We had room 2127 and thought it was pretty nice
Beach- There is a lot of it. It is very nice and yes you do have to get up and stake your claim if you have a particular spot in mind, but you will find a spot if not.

Drinks- It is what it is. Never the same from one day to another or one bar to another bar, ya just gotta put in a bit of trial and error to find your favorite.

Grounds- Beautiful, will be interesting to see how it is remodeled. The Yucatan and Tequila are older and in much more need of the remodel.

Would we go back? That one is tough. Would have to see how the remodel goes,and the packages that are offered.

Room Tip: The higher the better, but there are NO Ocean views.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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4 Thank OXROXS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

A party of ten of us stayed at the RIU PALACE MEXICO in January , we went over to renew our wedding vows.
The majority of the guests are American and Canadian.
The hotel is lovely,ok , it's dated but that wasn't a problem, even for a fussy person like me, and its due to be refurbished later this year. The grounds are beautiful and make you feel so relaxed.

We didn't try the pool, just went to the beach, (it did tend to cloud over about 2-4pm maybe it's just the time of year) and it was a little warmer by the pool when the sun went in.
,
you could always get a drink on the beach they used to bring a selection around through out the day.

Spa: You can get a massage on the beach, expensive, but worth it. I went to the hairdressers in the Spa and I came out with what I wanted perfect even with the language barrier, that never happens at home ! !

We tried the Japanese, Krystel and the Steak house restaurants, all nice inside but the food and the service were not as good as the buffet, that's just a personal point of view.

Rooms kept clean and tidy by the room boy's, the bar staff always quick to serve with a smile.

Entertainment: good, not brilliant but the staff work so hard, and you can always go over the road to the Tequila for a dance.

The staff at this hotel are a real credit to it,from the catering staff,bar staff,waiters, room boys.. they all made our stay so good.
The only let down , are the Reception Staff,(it would depend who was on duty) they weren't interested or helpful. We did have a medical emergency one night,the man on reception was so slow to react and unhelpful that if we didn't have a nurse and a paramedic with our party who eventually got the lady to hospital I don't know what would have happened!

Trips: We went on the bar crawl, it cost for two people £90 UK pounds, you go to two bars and get watered down drinks then much later on in the evening to Coco Bongos,the 20year olds in our party liked it, but we thought it was a total Rip Off.
If you want to do any trips dolphin,catamaran etc come out of the hotel, turn right walk a few yards down the road, you will see some shops and kiosks you can book the Same trips at the kiosks for much less.

Finally, we renewed our wedding vows on the beach, Marco the Wedding co-ordinator made our day so special it was everything we wanted and more, the hotel staff also went that extra mile to make our day perfect.'
If anyone would like information on weddings please e.mail me.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the lovely gardens are the best.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank jasmine078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winkler, Manitoba, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2012

Been to RIU Palace Mexico 2 times now. Both times were excellent! Great service, friendly staff, felt spoiled and catered too! The only down side is the beds and pillows could use up grading to something softer and more comfortable. The pillows in the rooms are hard, but you can request softer ones. The softer ones were better, but need replacing as they were getting lumpy. That would be our only complaint. Everything is amazing!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Sherry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sainte Genevieve
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

We had stayed at the Riu Jalisco in Puerto Vallerta several years ago and did not
have a very good experience as far as the food - in the next years we always stayed at the Iberostar's and was extremely happly with their resorts.. We decided to give the Riu chain another chance this year and stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico .... we loved it
The food- was great so good I came home weighing a lot more than when I left - We ate at the Specialty restaurants - Steak and La Bodega - Our steaks were great and they give you so much food - it is impossible to eat it all -- The La Bodega is a lot of different meats ... chicken, steak, sausage, turkey.... Most of the time we ate dinner in the Don Julian - and found the variety overwhelming - a word to the men though bring a pair of long pants to wear at dinner even if you are eating in the buffet... LONG pants are required - they do enforce as we saw several gentlemen turned away because they had dress shorts on -
the El Patio and La Traviata are 2 restaurants on the beach and serve lunch daily - good salad bar and one has Italian food and the other is more mexican and american .. We did go over to the Riu Yucatan next door for lunch one day --- don"t waste your time - it was horrible
The Room - We stayed in the rooms on bottom floor behind the Don Julian restaurant- rooms 83-94 - Okay these rooms never see sunshine so they are damp ... when we go back again we are requesting rooms on the 2nd or 3rd floor... so we get some air circulating and some light ... The rooms were fine always clean and refrig stocked but just never dryed out. The hotel is closing down Aug 1st for a renovation of the rooms and if you go to room 001 you can see what the new rooms will look like ... quite interesting - anyway just a tip to let you know ask for upper level room
The Beach - Big and Long - have a beach bar so don't have to walk too far and a couple of days thay had a young man that came around with trays of drinks all different kinds - their cups are small - maybe 6oz - so bring a larger container to put several drinks in
the bathrooms are up in the 2 beach restaurants ... Pool bar they have an upper and lower bar - together - swimup bar is on the lower and walk up bar on top - bathrooms are next to the pool bar .... if you don't get down to the pool by 9 forget about getting a chair... never had a problem at the beach lots of seating ....they have towel cards - the towel place only opens at 8 so we always exchanged our towels at 5 so we would have fresh towels in the morning as we were early risers...
The Animation entertainers were excellent - Aida was the best - always coming around and talking to us -- play bingo and bocci ball -- that's about all we did but they have at lot of other things to do ....
The lobby bar - great drinks - Hiram and his crew always kept our glasses full

Would we go to this Riu agan - definitely

the only downside to our trip was when we checked in - it was a short gentleman- commented that we were early -- heh funjet dropped us off at 11am and ... the gentleman told us our room would not be ready til 3pm and this is how he said it - It's 11 that's 11 to 12 to 1 to 2 to 3pm - 4 hours come back then -- he was really rude... we got our rooms at 3:15pm I wish I would have got his name ......

Room Tip: Ask for 2nd or 3rd floor rooms
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bettyboop919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
upstate,NY
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

January 2012. Stayed at the RIU Palace Mexico. An all inclusive in Playa Del Carmen. We also had the RIU, Yucatan, Tequila, & Palace close by to be able to use as well, Except for dinner. Be sure to get a room overlooking the fountains, Pretty views but be closer to the pool as every night some entertainment would go on till 11:00 PM so if you want quiet stay closer to the pool. No ocean view as the building is a distance from it for hurricane protection.
The room was very clean but the couch was so old it was sagging to much to sit on. We enjoyed our balcony & a comfy bed that had a topper on it. Be sure to get one. The room also had a bar & fridge with micers & plenty of water to use for drinking or brushing your teeth to making coffee. My husband likes Scotch so we asked them to switch a bottle & they just left a full sealead bottle of J&B in the room.
Plenty of hot water for showers. The lobby/ lobby bar always had inscents burning. A bit overpowering for me but mus be used to help with the musty smell. The buffet was always plentful, fresh & something for everyone.Out of the specialty restaurants that you would make reservations for The Brazilian Steakhouse was the best. Fusion was awful & we were 10 minutes late and we were scolded like children and almost turned away. They would have done us a favor as the buffet was better. I am a wine drinker & use to be in the business. The wine is swill.. Just awful. That was a huge disapointment. I would have been happy to purchase a better wine but not available. All inclusive means plenty of drinking But be sure to ask for the rum in your pina colada or else you may not notice any.. We brought plenty of US single dollars for tipping & they sure remembered you & took care of you.
We were about a week early for the warmer beach/pool weather but still enjoyed our stay.
Overall I would go back, find a liquor store for my wine or buy it at the airport duty free & bring it with me. for less than $10.00 US. You can take a cab "Downtown" get away from the inital drop off and walk further away into the nicer section withthe better shops & restaurants. The shop people are constantly barking at you to go into their shops it is annoying.
Across the street from the hotel entrance and just a few yards away is a small shopping area. It is clean & safe & a starbucks is there if you feel the need. Playa Del Carmen is a great location. We liked the securtity felt good. The beach is large & pretty w/ plenty of chairs. I will try a RIU property again. The staff was Wonderful, except tfor the one guy at Fusion. Everyone was friendly. You get your moneys worth. Maybe we will go back after the renovations. I would go again as we really enjoyed our trip.
Avoid room service for food.. this was surprisingly bad.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ny_mt_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Just returned from a quick 3 night stay. I want to echo the comments about the great service and beautiful beach area. Every person we dealt with was happy and eager to help. The beach setting is perfect. Palm trees and plenty of chairs. The buffet was perfect for us since we are not big eaters and tend to want variety, but we would suggest you not bother with the specialty restaurants. The food is not "better" and you can get stuck next to people you would prefer not to get stuck next to at dinner. The pool area is way too small for the size of the resort. If you are the kind of visitor that prefers poolside versus beach, this place is not for you at all. I also would do away with the cheesy shows and instead have a DJ and a fun happy hour down on the beach from 5-6pm. If I was to do it all over again, I would probably find a villa that had beach access, buy a few provisions for the day and eat in Playacar every night. But if you are looking for good service at an all-inclusive, this place will not disappoint.

Room Tip: Stay as close to the beach as you can.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Timothy53202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We arrived Feb 3 thru the 9th, with a group of 60 for our 2nd visit to the Riu Palace Mexico after being there last year. We usually go to different resorts so I was worried that I would be "let down" by going to the same place twice but that didn't happen!

As before, we found the resort in excellent shape even though it is planning on a complete reno this spring. Heard many comments "why?". I asked the receptionist about the plans & he said, the rooms will completely be re-done, the alacartes will be changed & upgraded, a 24 sports bar will be added and the pool will be re-done. Am sure there are other upgrades planned along with those.

The beach is the same - long, wide, sandy, sunny, shady and the water a crystal blue. Service was exceptional as before. Rooms were clean, orderly & very function-able. There was some construction going on which resulted in some room changes. A few hair dryers were ""weak" but unless someone tells them - how are they to know? And what a weak complaint! lol

We had reservations at 3 of the ala-cartes. Personally, we enjoyed the Steakhouse the most. As Nebraskans, we think we know "beef" & we can say our steaks were very tender & tasty. Plus they present a sea-food platter as an h'orderve with clams, crab leg cuts, etc.... Salmon was also on the menu. Service was exceptional.

The Krystal restaurant was our least favorite. I had the Sea Bass which was wonderful but it is a very light fish so was glad my hubby had the filet & shared it with me. Their h'orderves are very unusual but all was fun. Again, can't ask for better service.

The Brazilian Restaurant was truly a different experience with all the different meats. From ribs, beef, chicken etc... you are ready to bust! It all is prepared on rotisseries & shaved off at your table. Our Olympus Travel representative arranged for our group to take the 8:30 seating so it was a treat to be able to dine together our last night. Again, the service was unsurpassed.

The buffet is the best - I don't care what anyone says! If you can't find anything good to eat at that for either breakfast or dinner, something is wrong! Service is excellent. Contrary to another review - plenty of fresh fruit is available!! Yes, they do have wine and/or beer or non-alcohol drinks or any other cocktail anyone wants. Service & smiles are the norm.

The beach restaurant was also very good for lunch but how can we eat soo much! The carrot cake was so good, we were tempted to take the whole cake to our table. lol

This year was the first to find a shortage of beach loungers but it happened just one day after a couple days of over-cast skies & showers so everyone hit the beach. We found beach service only one day out of the 7 but we figured out that if the pool isn't busy, it gives them a chance to serve the beach.

Lots of volleyball was played in the pool by our group. A friendly game between the Germans & USA! Both teams had their own cheerleaders and both sides knew it was "in fun". Actually, most of us are all Germans by ancestory!

Free water sports are available. They punch your arm band & then you have usage rights for a 1/2 hour or hour depending on how busy they are.

I was disappointed in the live band in the plaza. It just wasn't as good in my opinion as last year. But, evening rain showers put a damper on the plaza's activities. I was also a bit disappointed on the Superbowl game reception. Last year, they held it in the theatre. This year, the time frame did not interfere with the evening theatre hours but they held it in a conference room & of course, the tallest, biggest guy was sitting in the front row, blocking the view for us "shorties". Oh well, wasn't really a big Superbowl fan this year!

Overall, nightly entertainment was lacking but the other Riu's are available for other options. Two nights, they had guest interactive games. The Las Vegas night was a good show.

Overall, we just can't find much to complain about. The Riu Palace Mexico is well run, a resort with lots of class, exceptional food & service, the best beach & nice functional rooms. Just as it was last year!

Room Tip: Basic design is the same. The best view is the courtyard.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank dmfalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Mexico

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 4 | 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Mexico 4*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 3 km / 1.9 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Within the Playacar resort, along with the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar and the ClubHotel Riu Tequila hotels * 2-storey building * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 / 24,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 200 m / 650 feet from Mexican Street * 55 km / 34 miles from Cancun Int. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Mexico Hotel
Riu Palace Mexico Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Mayan Riviera
Riu Playa Del Carmen
Mexico Palace Riu
Riu Mexico
Rui Palace Mexico
Hotel Riu Palace Mexico Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen

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