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“a-MAZING stay”
Review of Hotel Riu Lupita

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Hotel Riu Lupita
Ranked #79 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 April 2012

I don't like the negative feedback to this place, anyone that rates this place under a four star should go back to their little playpens! What made them write bad reviews is probably something minor happened and they just over exaggerated things. I had the most amazing time at this place it was un real! The staff every single one of them are amazing! And by the end of my trip I knew every single one of them, 90% of them spoke very good English the other 10% was difficult to understand but didn't bother me! Aldo, Vladimir, and ivana are the best three people I've met in my life! So helpful and what not. Entertainment during the day and night was incredible for most ages. I would have had fun at any age staying at the lupita, there was a poor review talking about the bus, it doesn't have the nice big comfortable rolls ryce seats! But gets the job done. The food A++ different varieties every night and enough to satisfy anyone's taste buds. Everyone there is having a good time which is great entertainment staff are hilarious and great! My next vacation is to this very spot, it was worth every penny I paid!!
The beach is also great with a buffet on site!!!

PS.. Don't listen to the little cry baby reviews like I said at the top

Room Tip: Anywhere is great! The father away from the lobby the further away from the noise at night!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Brad17_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 March 2012

We found the Riu Lupita to be a quiet clean and pleasant hotel. It is a little outdated but we could find no real fault with it. The buffet food was good with plenty of variety but the Mexican a la carte restaurant was nothing special with a set menu with very limited choice and do give the red wine a miss!! The shows were average although the entertainment team worked very hard. The main pool was very noisy. We spent most days at the other Riu hotels and felt the shuttle bus should run more frequently and later into the evening. All in all though a very pleasant stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a mattress topper as the beds are extremely hard.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank freckly52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We are a couple from Europe, mid 30s, living in Canada and visited Riu Lupita March 20-26.This was our first trip to Mexico and we wanted to see and experience as much as possible of everything that Riviera Maya can offer. We read most of the reviewes for this hotel and were prepared to stay in a 3 star property, away from the beach, but with convenient transportation.

What made us book it: the price - less than $1700 for both of us for 6 nights, all inclusive plan, the feedback that food was very good, the beach - not crouded and with plenty of sunbeds, the location, close to Playa del Carmen with convenient transportation to 5th Ave.

This hotel is not good for people who expect to be in a luxury 5* resort and spend lots of lazy time, doing nothing but eat and sleep in the room or on the sunbed. I would rate this hotel 3*+ If you book this hotel, be ready to be active, visit different beaches, play games and get amuzed by the hotel animators, meet lots of people from Europe - Spain, France and UK. You can have quiet time at the beach and will be happy that there are enough sunbeds and space around you and you don't need to wake up at 6am to reserve a sunbed.

Similar, 4* rating have the Riu Playacar, Riu Tequila and Riu Yucatan - they are all 4 star hotels (not 5*). The only 5* Riu-s in the Playacar area are the 2 Riu Palaces. Guests of Riu Lupita can use the facilities of all the other Riu Tequila, Playacar and Yucatan, but cannot use the Palaces - understandable.

PROs:
Very clean and friendly resort, in the heart of Playacar. I am an animal lover and was very excited to see coatis, agouties, iguanas and birds.

The hotel room - furniture in Mexican style, always clean, housekeeping staff did an outstanding job - every day we were greeted by a different animal, made of towels, and hibiscus flowers in the bathroom. There is a mini bar with tequila, rum, vodka and gin in the room and a mini fridge - always full with bottles of water (big ones), pepsi, sprite and Canadian Club soda. Remember to leave $2-3 tip every day for the housekeeping.

The hotel -consists of 22 small buildings - 1 to 3 floors, lots of open areas, buildings 1110 to 1400 are facing a golf course, buildings 2200 to 3100 are in a park style environment. Do not expect to have a great view. We were in 1110 building - I would recommend 1300 and 1400 buildings, 2 or 3rd floor - golf course view. Main dinning area, the bar and the pool are in the middle. Pool is good size, water is always pleasant, you can have your drinks in the pool until late in the evening. There are playgrounds for kids, 2nd small pool. There is only one restaurant where you can make reservations - not a fancy one, the same casual environment, Mexican style.
There is free internet in the lobby, at the bar, near the pool.
There is a tennis court, small shopping area.
Each evening there are latin dancing lessons - before the evening shows, you can drink at the bar and have fun with the animators.

The staff - outstanding customer service, always ready to help and satisfy your needs to the best possible effort. I miss them already - especially the entertainers who made me laugh all the time. Thank you, guys! Jose, Oscar, Tadeo, Sergio...we miss you. Aldo, Adelita and Vladimir are really good Front Desk Managers.
At the BAR - our favourite bartender was Artemio, you will see him in the pics, he is great. The bartenders do different tricks and amazing cocktails.

The BEACH: The hotel offers free transportation to its own beach area. There is a shuttle running every 30 min from the hotel to the beach and back, with 2 stops - 1st at the Playa Del Carmen center, close to 5th Ave (the main street) and 2nd - the beach.The location of the beach is right next to Riu Palace. Very quiet, white soft sand, very clean, just what you need for a good rest. There is palm trees area, where you can sleep under the palm trees shadow, or read a book listening to the Carribean Sea. No reefs nearby, just sand. For people who love snorkeling, I would recommend to go to a different hotel - in the Akumel area, closer to Tulum. Playacar beachs are sandy and good for water sports like wind surf or water jet ski.

On the way to the beach you will see beautiful posh Mexican houses with blooming tropical flowers, impressive.

FOOD: very tasty, big variety, Mexican, buffet style.

CONs:
Not good quality of sleep. I was right next to the gate and could hear the buses coming in with new tourists. I was in building 1110 - would recommend buildings 1400-1500 or the buildings 2200 -2500 or away from the bar and Pacha disco club.

Hotel is not at the beach front, but has a much better beach area than Riu Playacar and Yucatan.

Have to walk to the other Riu-s to have lunch - 3/4 mile or return to the hotel. The shuttle has lunch breaks and doesn't run for 1hr during lunch time. But, you can go directly to Playacar or Yucatan from the porning and spend the entire day at any one these facilities, eat and drink there and come back with the last shuttle, which is at 18:45h.

For people who mind having animals and birds around, book Riu Palace or any of the 5* properties.

All the rest was great, for a 4 start hotel.

WHAT to VISIT:
Akumel Beach - if you want to snorkel and see turtles and plenty of fish - take the "collectivo" transportation from Playa Del Carmen. From Riu Lupita take the shuttle and get off at the 1st stop - Playa Del Carmen, walk to the "collectivo" bus stop - 20min walk - need to ask. The mini van is with red sign in the from to Tulum. Costs $2.5 or 30 pesos one way. The stop is near 2nd Ave. Walk down 5th ave and then you will make a left on 20th str or ask "Collectivo to Akumel Beach".

Chichen-Itza and one of the Cenotes - book a 1 day tour. We booked with Easy Tour - $50 per person. Very good trip.

Maroma Paradise - I used Riu Lupita's Water Sports shop - Mathias recommended this trip and it was well worthed the money !!! Snorkeling and spending time on catamaran. I saw stingray, corals, tons of fish surrounding you, turtle and the most amazing huge eagle ray.

We stayed only 6 days and ran out of time. If you have another week - you can rent a car and visit the "cenotes", Tulum and Coba, Puerto Morales, Xcaret. Xel Ha is like Disney land - good if you have kids. Yal Ku Lagoon if you like natural, eco environment - fresh water lagoon. I will definitely go back to Riviera Maya. I would stay in Akumel Area as I love snorkeling, but I was very satisfied with my first visit to Mexico at Riu Lupita.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank Ilona Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2012

This resort is quaint, clean, nicely landscaped and small enough to quickly make a person feel comfortable. Staff is well organized, friendly and work hard to make everyone's stay a good one.The food is abundant, if you cant find something to eat then you're very picky..Yes, buffets get tiring after awhile but the selection is fair and appealing.Contrary to another review there are washrooms by the main pool, washrooms by the quiet pool and also in the lobby. The bus will come every half hour to pick up for the beach club or you can also get dropped off close to 10th ave for shopping ect. I enjoy taking the bus..its very convenient and a great service. I am leaving for this resort again in 2 weeks and cant wait. I do use the facilities at the Yucatan and Playacar also for a change thruout my stay. Im sure i will continue to book the Lupita, the price is right and im welcomed with smiles and hugs. If you like a casual, laid back holiday then this is the place for you...i high recommend the Lupita and im a very well travelled 50 's female.

Room Tip: I request the building closest to main buffet....its a great location with the quiet pool in behind.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Penny D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2012

We recently returned from the Riu Lupita and were very disappointed with the resort :( We spent a lot of time before we booked our vacation researching and reading the reviews on trip advisor about this resort and were so let down with our time there. One of the biggest things that no one mentions in the reviews is the fact that this resort is totally geared towards French Canadians. The 2 main languages spoken at the Lupita are Spanish & French. English is the 3rd one. It was hard to talk to others if you didn't speak their language.This makes it very difficult to meet people which we look forward to doing when on holidays. Our 1st night there - the room was very musty and moldy smelling and I had an asthma attack which I have rarely had. We asked to be moved in the morning but the girl at the front desk did nothing for us. When our Sunwing rep finally showed up in the afternoon she spoke to the management and had them give us a new room - which was not musty and we were ok with it. We had asked to be moved to one of the other Riu's but the rep would not help us out. We would have spent $1000.00 more to move to a different hotel if we could have.The Lupita is very small, there is only one public bathroom with 3 stalls for the entire resort. I waited in a line up more times than I care to remember, whether we were at the bar in the evening or the buffet or at the pool in the day time. There are 3 small pools and they are small - 1 very small children's pool, 1 sort of adult only pool and one main pool that has blaring music and screaming entertainers at it all day long. We did read about this in the reviews but had no idea how ridiculously loud it would be. There were never enough loungers at the pools, only 1 day we're we able to find 2 together but then it was so loud that we didn't stay. We eventually just went to the other Riu's instead and they were much better. A lot of people on trip advisor said they didn't mind taking the shuttle to the private beach.....they failed to mention that the shuttle is a rickety old bus - at least 30 years old and it does not have air conditioning. It is not a 5 minute drive to the beach - it is closer to 15 minutes and we always had to fight to get on it as other guest were extremely pushy and rude. Twice we didn't make it on because it was so over crowded and had to wait a 1/2 hour for the next ride and would still have to fight to get on. The beach was very beautiful and we did always find loungers there. We spent most of our time at the Riu Playacar - we found it was the best of the 4 we visited. It was a nice walk down the beach to go to 2 of the Riu's. So grateful we could do that for sure. The rooms at the Lupita are ok but they are old - the staff were pleasant but the language barrier was a problem. A fellow came to our room and was speaking to us in Spanish and we couldn't understand him - he just kept pointing over and over again and we eventually just let him in our room - he had wanted to look at our air conditioner? Very awkward as we had no idea what he was there for. The buffet was fine but when we went to the other Riu's the food there was much better with way more selections and much newer decors. We would recommend to others who are thinking of staying at this resort to really ask themselves what they want from a resort. We don't consider ourselves very picky travellers and have been to Mexico a few times before and loved our stays at 3 & 4 star resorts - this hotel is a 3 star in our opinion. We thought we had done our research well but we were not very impressed with our stay at the Lupita. We paid close to $1500.00 each and had expected more for that much money. Also - we booked with Sunwing Vacations and our flights both ways were delayed - over 3 hours one way and 40 minutes the other way - they didn't offer any kind of rebate or voucher for another trip. We got to Mexico almost 5 hours late and all they gave all of us on the flight was breakfast and a small snack. Everyone was very hungry by the time they got to the hotel at 8 pm that night....we were at the airport at 3 am for that departing flight. My husband is 6' 2" and the seats are so small his legs were crammed up against the back of the seat in front of him for over 7 hours. We definitely won't fly with them again. West jet or Air Canada are much better. We stayed at the Lupita from February 25th - March 3rd. Can't say there was honestly much we liked about the hotel...We would not go back to this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank SugarThom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Just arrived back from a fantastic 2 weeks at the Riu Lupita.
The hotel should recieve a lot more credit than what it does. The staff are lovely and really go out of their way to help you, Aldo and Vladimir on reception could not have been more helpful & made regular calls to the room to make sure everything is O.K.

Food was absolutely fantastic, could honestly say we enjoyed every meal we had there which is unusual for all inclusive. There was always a wide choice of freshly cooked meats, salads, fruit, ice cream. One of our party had allergies but the head chef was fantastic and went out of his way to walk her around every evening to show what she was allowed to eat.

Entertainment got a lot better as the holiday went on. The guys Oscar, Juan, Gabriel, Enrico work hard at getting everyone envolved in various activities throughout the day and like to get you up for a dance in the evenings too. We went to watch some evening shows in some of the other Riu hotels which tends to be a bit more professional - Grease at the Riu Tequila was brilliant!

As the hotel is not on the beach there is a shuttle bus that takes you down to the beach club and also stops at 5th Avenue on the way, this runs every 30mins throughout the day. You can also use the Riu Tequila, Playacar and Yucatan hotels and their all inclusive facilities for everything apart from dinner. We enjoyed using all these different hotels and beaches but we actually preferred the atmosphere in the Lupita which was more chilled out and relaxing after a busy day. A taxi during the evenings to these hotels is only 70 pesos which is about £3.50, set priced no haggling needed and taxi drivers will not rip you off like in other countries!

We did the trip to Chichen Itza which was amazing. Our guide Alfonso was brilliant, so passionate and informative, we booked it through Thomson. A nice touch is the beer they bring round on the bus! :-)
Also did the dolphin training day which was a fantastic experience not to be missed, just be aware that the photos at the end are an absolute rip off, $25usd for 1 photo on a dvd or $89usd pp for all the photos on a dvd!!! A lot of money when you've already paid £120 each for the day.
We also went to Coco Bongo's on the Bar Crawl, Coco Bongos was really good the show was impressive but it was way too busy, you couldn't stand up without being pushed over or squashed it was very dangerous really when you think if there had been a fire noone would have got out! We are glad we saw it though.

All in all we had a fantastic time and would definately return without hesitation, the hotel is very well managed and address and solve all problems immediately without having to wait until the rep is in next. Would definately recommend.

Room Tip: We had a room facing the golf course which is lovely and quiet and away from the disco
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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16  Thank Claire R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I will keep this relatively short, (famous last words) as I believe 003MGS, has almost perfectly summed up my take on the Lupita. I've only recently returned from a two week stay at the Lupita and was extremely impressed with the service that we received during our time out there. (6th-20th February)

We travelled with Thomson, from Gatwick.

We'd initially planned to stay at a beach-front hotel but were actually swayed into staying at the Lupita, after reading some of the reviews - most likely, because of the untypical location of the hotel and the abundance of local wildlife. We arrived at the Lupita a tad later than initially expected, due to a delayed flight and found the reception staff that dealt with us, (Aldo and David) to be most welcoming, helpful and informative. An initial minor problem with our room, was quickly resolved (within 5 minutes) - this in turn, prompted a call the following night, to ensure all was well with our stay. (Aldo, as well as being a very helpful chap, was also something of a linguist - in the space of 5 minutes, I overheard him conversing in Spanish, English and German) Staff with these skills, are to my mind - like gold dust. I hope the managers at RIU realise this?

The staff, in general, it has to be said, were very attentive (more so - if a small tip (propina) was given) It may only have cost you pennies but it was always gratefully received and ensured that you were more likely to receive regular 'top ups' - especially when in the restaurant. The bar staff - were extremely efficient and few people waited any length of time.

The local wildlife that frequented the hotel grounds - namely, the friendly coatis and the slightly nervous agoutis - were an added bonus during our stay. We spent lengthy periods of time watching their cheeky antics and despite being discouraged by hotel staff to feed them - we DID. (Shame!) To be honest - it was extremely hard not to feed them - after all - they're cute little critters!

The regular, free 5-10 minute bus trip, to both 5th Ave and the beach club, as has already been mentioned - ran with military precision - leaving on the hour and half hour from the Lupita. Despite this precision - one of the drivers still had the courtesy to wait for an elderly couple, who had forgotten an item and had to 'sprint' back to their nearby room to collect it. I personally, did not always utilise this service. The hotel's surrounding neighbourhood - including the golf course - is very pleasant indeed and on a number of occasions, I chose to walk back to the hotel. (It IS, after all - incredibly easy to become overly sedentary on an all inclusive holiday) Quite frankly - I didn't want to return home to the UK, a stone overweight. I probably still did. Haven't had the nerve to weigh myself yet.

Anyway - THE RIU LUPITA

Great (hard working & proud) staff
Great service
Plenty of great food - something for everyone
Great ambiance (Very friendly - intimate hotel)
Courteous and punctual shuttle-bus drivers
Lovely location (away from all the trenchermen/women and heavy drinkers, that seemed to proliferate the other beach-front hotels)

If I had any gripes at all about the Lupita - they are as follows and not in any particular order :-

The Pool-side music, could have been more relaxing and varied. Occasionally, It WAS but all too soon - music you could march to, had replaced it. There's some fantastic mellow Mexican music out there. It should be sought after and played by the pool-side. When you've travelled half way around the world - it's nice to be able to put your feet up and relax. You can't do that with Mariachi band music, trumpeting into your ear-hole. I'm all for that kind of Mexican music . . . but in the evening. : )

There WERE occasions, (daily) when, (as 003MGS pointed out), it appeared as though a Eurovision 18-30 It's A Knock-Out, was about to commence, pool-side. This was usually, after a rendition of the Lupita Hotel song - "Uno, Dos,Tres . . Lupita", had been sung. As above - some folk just wanted to chill mid-afternoon and not be dragged screaming from their sun-lounger, to perform belly-flops into the pool. Refreshing, though, it must have been. ; ) I do have to admit, however - that some of the arranged antics, on the odd occasion - were quite amusing. : )

Final gripe - Despite us double locking our hotel rooms - invariably, we later found our room door only pulled to, after the cleaners had been in. (NOT always) But . . . I would have thought that they would have left the security of the room, as they had found it? NO complaints, whatsoever, about the cleaning though. The room didn't really require attention everyday but they always made a tidy job of it - and were duly left a daily propina,.

All in all though - and despite my seemingly whingeing gripes at the end. I LOVED this place.

Leaving it - I have to admit - WAS painful

I loved the friendly, intimate nature of the Lupita. (We visited all of the other (non-palace) RIU's and didn't find anything remotely, resembling the same ambiance)

Within days of arriving home, I found myself scouring the internet - looking for another great deal, that would take me back to the Lupita.

Don't be put off by any seemingly, unbelievable deals - this place, is a little gem.

Snap up any deals. You WON'T be disappointed.

And IF you are - you've been incredibly unlucky.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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7  Thank Travelade28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Lupita

Address: Avda. Xaman-Ha, Manzana 20, 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 Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#81 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $176 - $357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Lupita 3.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the Yucatan peninsula, 2 km / 1.2 Miles from Playa del Carmen * Main building and 1 and 3-story bungalows * Surrounded by 25,000 m2 / 29,900 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 3.5 Km / 2.1 Miles from the beach (complimentary transportation) * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 2.5 Km / 1.5 Miles from various shops * 50 km / 31 miles from Cancun Intl. Airport * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Lupita Resort
Riu Lupita Mayan Riviera
Riu Lupita Mexico
Hotel Riu Lupita Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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