This hotel plays an ace with its beachfront setting. Plus, there are luxury touches wherever you go...
This deluxe beachfront hotel is about a 5-minute drive from Playa del Carmen’s stylish 5thAvenue. Talking of style, the pool scene gets extra points on this front, thanks to a swim-up bar, a whirlpool and in-water sunloungers.
Inside, the Riu Palace Riviera Maya goes all out to impress. You get a Junior Suite as standard, with free Wi-Fi. And when it comes to dining, there are 5 speciality restaurants to choose from.
Spend your day relaxing in the huge pool, or lie back on a sunbed. There are parasols to give you a bit of shade, and pool towels are provided. The pool has whirlpool baths and pool loungers, for that extra bit of comfort and relaxation.
Start your day at Don Manolo with a full American breakfast buffet, or opt for the lighter Continental option. For lunch you can expect a hot and cold buffet, with pizza, pasta and salads. There's a show cooking station where your meal will be freshly cooked for your order. And there's also a themed dinner buffet 3 times a week.
Junior suite sleeps up to 4, with a ceiling fan and turndown service. Rooms are simple in style, teaming neutral tones with dark-wood furnishings. You'll have a liquor dispenser, coffee-maker and iron with ironing board. There's also a hydro-massage bath and toiletries.
Suite with Jacuzzi® sleeps up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children, under 12. You'll have a liquor dispenser, coffee-maker and iron with ironing board. There's also a hydro-massage bath, toiletries, turndown service and ceiling fan.
Average monthly temperature and rainfall for the Playacar location.
TEMPERATURE (°C)RAINFALL (mm)
Travelife Gold is awarded to hotels that demonstrate industry-leading sustainability practice. In other words, properties that are both greener and fairer to the environment, their employees and local communities.
Riu Palace has some issues that need to be improved upon. Check-in 3pm, however myself and the two other couples I was traveling with didn't get our rooms until closer to 4pm. My room had dirty sheets and stained towels and left over heart shaped balloons from the couple staying in the room prior to us. Another couples toilet didnt work the entire week. The only resolution offered to our room issues was to have our room rooms cleaned again.
The security is an issue! we witnessed a horrific case of domestic abuse and hotel security arrived 30 minutes later and left the women with the abuser in the room. I understand it was the female guest choice to stay in the room, but when you have 20 other guest that witnessed the incident something else should have been done.
The pool and beaches were nice with plenty of lounge chairs to accommodate the guests.
The restuarants were okay. Most had poor service with decent food. The entertainment was okay. There was an hour long show every night, but after the show there was NOTHING to do at the resort. The only bar that was open late was the sports bar. It was small and was equipped with an air hockey table (we were not allowed to play it because it was too noisy), pool table and foosball table all of which cost money. The tiles surrounding the pool get extremely hot- tip is to bring flip-flops next to pool so you dont burn your feet.More
Ashley S, New Castle, Delaware
Great resort, just what we needed in the middle of winter.
Before you read this review (if you do haha) please understand that we give this resort a very high review. Our "complaints" are just general things that we noted in our opinions that would take it to the 5 star level. We loved every aspect of our vacation! But I like to share the little things with everyone.
The rooms were great. Nice tiled flooring, comfortable bed, and plenty of space. We just had a courtyard view. We weren't in the room that much, but it was a nice place to come back too. There was a liquor dispenser in the room with rum, tequila, brandy, and vodka.
Before the trip I was super excited about this, but truthfully I just drank water when in the room to rehydrate from the sun and the booze on the beach all day ;)
The bathrooms were very clean and was happy with the selection of bathroom supplies offered. The 2 sinks were great for getting ready in the morning or in the evening. The bathroom offered little privacy. All bathroom sounds of any kind could be heard in the first part of the room. The doors offer no sound protection and the tiling absorbs no sound. Additionally the hot water pressure in the evening before dinner was so low that the water
wouldn't even stay on to operate the shower head. In the mornings the showers had tons of fresh blasting pressure and felt great.
The breakfast buffet had a great selection of food from hot to cold. Our only complaint about breakfast was the "allowed" seating area. There is a nice roofed patio with chairs/tables immediately outside the dining area, just outside that is the courtyard with more tables/chairs. On the first morning we wanted to sit in the sun, the tables were set so
carried our dishes just to the next section not under the roof. We figured there would be no service right there but did not care, we just came from -20Â° and major snow storms and wanted to sit in the sun. The staff came and told us there was no service right there, we said ok and that was fine we will sit there and even carry my dishes up. They said no and picked our plates up and made us follow them to a different table. We saw the same thing happen throughout the week to others. Obviously people want to sit in this area just 3 FEET away from the other area. It should be opened up.
Lunch had pretty much the same selection every day, with only one place available to eat at. Sure you can walk way down the beach to a different Riu for lunch (which we did) but it is still more that same. Almost everything available for lunch was hot food. There were more coldcuts available for breakfast than there were for lunch. Honestly the first meal when I got home was a sandwhich/chips. I was glad to not have a hot lunch.
If we had to complain about anything it would be the snack situation. There was one 24hr bar that had "snacks" available. But that was like hotdogs from a cooler, nachos, and a maybe a few other things. The last resort we had stayed at we had small bags of chips in our room daily, 2 candy bars, or bags of m&ms. This resort offered little in the way of snacking. Just a little bit of something to make it through the afternoon would be awesome!!
Dinner (Buffet): 5/5
Great selection available for dinner. The staff always very friendly and most helpful at this meal time in my opinion. The desert selection was great too. No complaints about the dinner buffet.
What is this, 1990? Can you take dinner reservations any worse way? They tell you to be at the main lobby at a certain time window to make your reservations. Make sure you arrive at the first available moment!! Dinner reservations for that day are nearly impossible. You have to book a day in advance. You cant book further than 2 nights in advance so make sure on the first day to book the next night, and the night after. Then return daily to book the next spot available. They record your info down and give you a dinner ticket. The time slots are very spread out so there is a chance you wont be eating until very late. Also they take very few reservations.
All of the onsite restaurants were excellent. Don't be afraid to ask for more than one thing if you see 2 items on the menu you want to try. My only complaint about the restaurants is that they were more than half empty! I don't know if they were short staffed or if this is normal. Many more could be seated if they wanted.
Overall I liked the look of the resort, everything was well kept and clean. We had walked to Riu Palace Mexico and were so glad we did not go there. The "modern" style there was too much to handle. The style and appearance of the Riu Riviera Maya was perfect to our liking.
The beach was great. There were very low amounts of seaweed. The last resort we were at in the same area had terrible seaweed wash-up. The weather was about the same and it was the exact same time of year. This beach was a clear winner for us. The only problem at the beach is INCONSIDERATE PEOPLE. So many people would "reserve" the lounge chairs with a towel or a sandal and then not even go to the beach until the
afternoon. This was very annoying. No marks against the resort for this though. Additionally just make sure to keep your lounge chair behind the flags :) They will make you move them back. Not a big deal, I understand it is to leave walking space, playing space, etc before the water. I also liked that there is a sand bar a little ways out. Before
the water gets too deep it then gets really shallow again. This allows you to be out in the water always but not be over your head. It was a great spot to be at the ocean.
I don't where else to insert this comment but between beach and pool. A lot of people complain about the towel cards, you need a card to get a towel and then you get the card back when you turn the towel in. No hassle, no need to complain, it makes sense! It helps keep the towel situation under control so they don't disappear or get scattered all over the resort.
I didn't think this pool offered any "privacy". It is just right in the middle with lots of chairs around it. The last resort we were at had long winding pools so that you could just relax on a floaty bed or swim without everyone facing you. But lets face it, you're on vacation! Get out of the pool and down to the Ocean! Same issue here like the beach with people "reserving" seats and then not showing up for hours and hours. The bar in the pool was full service, but like I said, we spent most of our time at the beach.
Entertainment was alright. I'm sure it is hard to design a program to reach across multiple citizenships/languages. I felt like the entertainment staff was always bright and cheerful and loved what they were doing. The shows did seem to drag on some nights, like they were trying to extend longer into the night. We never stayed for a full show.
We did use the Cancun Shuttle to get to our resort. We booked it as a private car, which I highly recommend. There was no stopping at any other resorts and we just went straight there. It is a 30-40 ride from the airport and we just wanted to get there asap. The pick up was easy to get back to the airport too. Highly recommended in my opinion.
Overall a solid 4/5 for us. Like I said at the start, our complaints weren't real complaints but more suggestions that would take it to the next level.More
R M, Milton, Vermont
Vacation of no's
Never again. Arrived and was placed in room that is next to lobby, requested room change due to nose, no not possible. Next day requested again after many many conversations with staff. Finally a room change. I should have dealt with the nose. The next room had baby roaches. They were on the bed, in bathroom and every time I came into the room and turned on lights I would see them run away. Not only was this an issue with my room, but with a friends room. I was told they would spray....disgusting. I am from Florida, I understand palmetto bugs. Baby roaches are not from outside visiting, the are a bigger issue. I arrived to late first night to make there reservations window. Told no, can't help you. Went to pool bar and was told no drinks were closing. All i heard was no. More
DINAGator, Boca Raton
Nice Hotel, but some issues
We stayed at this hotel from March 31- April 7. We have been to Mexico for the past 7 years, but this was our first Riu experience. We were traveling with another family. We took the advice of others and emailed ahead asking management to please put us next to each other on a high floor facing the fountains. When we arrived, we were disappointed that was not possible. Our friends ended up staying in a first floor suite with musty smelling room and a broken air conditioner (which was fixed on day 2). Their wi fi didn't work the entire stay. Our room was high up, but facing the back of the hotel. We had a family of 4 and were assigned a king bed (which 3 of us slept in ) and they brought in a rollaway bed. Our wi fi and AC were fine.
The good: Food, bar service (Sumay) and evening entertainment was better than other places. Also the entertainment team was not pushy and left you a long if you were not interested. Santos, the bar manager, was stellar - ask for the Santos margarita - wow! The pool was nice. We did get up at 6:30 to save chairs. Was nice to have a sports bar to watch the basketball finals. The beach waves are great to play in and it isn't rocky anywhere. Burgers not the beach was great. Chips and gauc/pico available all day - my favorite. We took an evening dinner into Play del Carmen - which was awesome. We also did a couple of snorkel tours which were great - impossible to snorkel anywhere on the hotel property due to waves, which was a bummer.
What wasn't great: The Spring Breakers - loud, drunk and rude 18 year olds took over the pool by 3:00 each day, every day we were there. We had younger kids (13, 12, 10 and 9) and sent them to their rooms to "get out of the sun for a while" to avoid them having to witness the shenanigans.
Also, at other places we have stayed there was more for the "tween-age" kids to do - ping pong, water basketball hoops, ceramic painting, people walking around with animals like iguanas and monkeys for the kids to see - etc. There was none of that.
Also this year was the year of seaweed. I was told every 6 years it is bad. I've never seen it like this before - not the hotels fault.
The rooms were fine other than the aforementioned, but needed updating.
We can have a great time anywhere, and we did here as well. But, when we paid to stay at a nicer resort and had to battle the challenges with our rooms and the spring breakers, it's just disappointing. Which is why we gave this stay a 3. I am sure after the remodel takes place this summer, things will improve.
Thank you Santos and Sumay for your graciousness.More
StephToe, Shakopee, Minnesota
My son (13) and I have just returned and were very sad to leave. We had no problems with our room or hot water in fact the room was lovely. I think the hotel was great as it was and should avoid modernising it's look. We also liked the Mexico down the road and visited a couple of times for a change -I would not want them similar. The buffet food was amazing and we tried and enjoyed all speciality restaurants. The staff were all so helpful and friendly and the entertainment was good.
The main down side was the drunken teenagers and in some case the adults who seemef to be with them. The swearing ( f word etc) was not suitable for a family hotel. The behaviour was amongst themselves but alcohol made them loud. They were also very noisy and inconsiderate at night. I was glad we had 2 weeks so that we could see what the hotel was really like. As we have to come in the school Easter holidays, I would not come back until my son is older to avoid the impact of the spring breakers but will definately return.More