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15 41426 Wed September 5, 2012
Recommended By Ave price per week Average Rating
100% of reviewers $2,450.00 9.4

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Description: Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Av Xaman-Ha, Manzana 9 y 10, Lote 1, Condominio Playacar
77710 Playa del Carmen
Q. Roo Mexico
Tel. +529848772280 Fax. +52 984 877 2285

Location/General information

This luxurious resort, the latest addition to the Riu family in Playa del Carmen, is the ultimate in pampered first-class service.
Rising along a spectacular stretch of white sandy beach and framed by tropical palm trees, this spectacular hotel boasts 400 elegant junior suites with hydro-massage bathtubs and all of Riu's distinctive amenities, such as a mini-bar and liquor dispenser. Enjoy the exquisite selection of à la carte restaurants and bars, along with continental breakfast room service, 24-hour All Inclusive (snacks and beverages) and the exchange privileges programme with all sister properties within the Riu Resort complex.
The brand-new Riu Palace Riviera Maya: creating unforgettable memories of Mexican paradise.

* Opened February 2006
* Located in the Yucatan peninsula, 2.8 km / 1.8 miles from Playa del Carmen
* Within the Playacar resort area, along with the Riu Yucatan, Riu Playacar, ClubHotel Riu Tequila and the Riu Palace Mexico hotels
* 3-storey building
* Surrounded by 35,000 m2 /42,000 sq. yards of lush gardens

* Located on the beach
* Complimentary sun loungers on the beach
* 500 m / 1650 feet from a shopping centre
* 55 km /34 miles from Cancun Int’l. Airport
* Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners

More Riu Palace Riveria Maya Information


Registered: June 2006
Posts: 15
Review Date: Mon July 17, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Cons: NONE

Ok, where do I start, so much to tell you guys and gals.

Arrived at RPRM around 3 pm last Monday. When the bus pulled up I was in awe of the magnitude of this place. Over heard numerous people on the bus say " wish we would have booked this place". The lobby was even more impressive than the front. e, beautiful chandelier’s with stain glass behind them that was also lighted. Beautiful paintings on the walls, huge windows looking out over the court yard and fountains. (have pics of all this and more that I will post later) Check in was fast and Miranda was very thoughtful and friendly. She explained all the hotels features and amenities, restaurants, pools, etc. With in ten minutes of arriving we were in our room.

The room was absolutely breathtaking. King size bed, huge mirror, beautiful paintings on the walls, large closet with safe, which was a little small but it worked for us. Not big enough for a laptop. The sitting area was perfect and the large patio was very nice. The bathrooms were also very nice, marble and tile and the hydro tub was very relaxing. Water pressure was very strong and we never ran out of hot water. The room and bathroom was spotless. The liquor dispenser and fridge were stocked well. The maid service was wonderful, they even folder our dirty close and stacked them neatly for us. We are bad to strip down and throw on our bathing suits and run to the pool and leave our clothes laying in the floor. Only got a towel animal one day, a swan which was very cool. The fridge and liquor dispenser were always replenished every day. The turn down service was nice and always got a chocolate or flowers on the bed which my wife loved.

Ok enough about the room. The court yard was where we spent our evenings, listening to the band which was great or watching the shows which were very entertaining. The shows are held at the lirica bar which has a two story stage. The band is on top and the shows are on the bottom. More about the entertainment later. The courtyard has several large fountains and benches, a large gazebo with attached bar. Look for Anna in the court yard in the evenings, passing out the drink of the day(Electric Lemonade was great). She was probably our favorite staff member but all were great, she also served drinks during the shows at Lirica. One night the local merchants sat up in the court yard. One in particular was very entertaining, he was painting tiles using only his fingers, we purchased several different sizes and he painted one of them right in front of us.

The pool was huge and almost to warm by the end of the day but still refreshing. We only had trouble finding a chair by the pool one day so we went to the beach which was just as good, had plenty of shade and not as loud as the pool area. The swim up bar was nice and the drinks were served very quickly and “HBK” the bar tender was great, he did not skimp on the good stuff. We took our mugs but only used them once since the drinks came so quickly. There was always something going on around the pool area, darts, bingo, volleyball, and much more. The beach party was a blast and the animation staff was very good, especially Claudia….waiting for the wife to smack me on the head. Did not participate in the water aerobics but did enjoys watching Claudia and the others jumping around, very entertaining for the guys.

The beach was nice, been on bigger beaches with less rocks, cut my big toe pretty bad the second day on a large rock that was buried in the sand. Use water shoes, not sexy looking but trust me worth it. Plenty of chairs, waiters were pretty quick to bring you a drink. There is a good bit of topless sunbathing on the beach but only saw one by the pool. The sun burnt right through our SPF 30 sun block, luckily neither of us have a light complexion. Took some beautiful photos of the blue water through the palm trees. We did not get a chance to use any of the free water craft but did enjoy watching others on the sail boats.

The first two nights we were there we ate in the buffet. The buffet was pretty good with a large selection of various kinds of food. Stephanie the manager came to our table and chatted for a while. She is German and her accent was cool and she was very nice. The desserts all seemed to have to much gelatin in them but they were still good. Breakfast at the buffet was awesome. The Mimosa’s were great and the juice bar was nice.

The third night we ate at the Mexican restaurant, which was pretty good. At the door we were given margaritas which were very strong but very tasty. The appetizer and salad buffet rocked. Our waiter for the evening was Wilber, who was very amusing. The main course was good and the desserts were good.

Fourth night we ate at the steak house. We were given a glass of red wine on the way to our table. This is an outside restaurant so it was a little hot but the food was good.

Fifth night we ate at the gourmet restaurant which was fabulous. We both had salad, filet mignon, and for desert I had crepe suzette, and they wife had the fruit cup. We were given champagne at the door and it was all first class from there. By far our favorite place to eat.

Lunch was at Chillis which was buffet. The burgers, hotdogs, pizza were all good. We had lunch on the beach during the beach party and it was right off the grill, the steak sandwich was awesome.

As I mentioned earlier the entertainment was at the Lirica bar at night. The drinks were very good, I had several of each, the Mojitos were really good along with the Margaritas and Pena Colada’s. Look for Anna here, you can see her smile across the whole resort.

The show the first night was Grease. It was very funny and the animation staff work very hard.

Second night was Vegas show, also entertaining with beautiful outfits and beautiful dancers.

Third night was Circus night. Funny and with some good juggling. I was pulled on stage for the tight rope walking.

Fourth night Folklore night, consisting of dancing in authentic Mexican outfits.

Fifth night Dancing in the now, the wife liked it more than I did.

I have to say that I only saw top shelf liquor and the drinks were not weak and after a tip they got very strong. I estimate that we spent around $100.00 American in tips to the bar tenders, waiters and waitress’s, maids, mini bar stockers, etc. Every tip we gave was well worth it.

We walked to the Playacar Plaza several times, which was a nice place with no pushy salesmen. We went into 5th Ave. twice. Town was nice, many shops, but many timeshare people also. Never encountered any timeshare people at the RPRM. The Staff would always smile and say hola and offer to take our picture.

We took one excursion during our trip. We went to a Cenote and snorkeled, then to the reef and saw turtles and stingrays, then lunch, then to the lagoon which was as advertised a living aquarium. We booked through Royal tours and our guides, Leo and Fred were great and very knowledge able. There was one couple with us and we picked them up at the Playacar Palace, they were breath taken by the RPRM when we were dropped off first.

All in all this was a wonderful vacation, we have stayed in several all inclusive before but not a RIU. All I can say is I will never stay anywhere but an RIU from now on. Everything was just perfect. One bad thing though they said this stay will not go on our RIU class card. I guess nothing is perfect but the RPRM is very close.

PS. May take a while to post photo’s they are about 4 mb apiece and I will need to shrink em so it may be a day or two.


Registered: January 2006
Posts: 10
Review Date: Wed July 19, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful!!!
Cons: none

From the moment we got off the bus in front of the resort and was greeted by Alex, I knew it was going to be a great vacation!. The front desk staff was fantastic. Our room was ready and before we could even down our drink our luggage was in the room. The entertainment staff go out of their way to make sure you have fun. Freddie and Claudia are great, but so are the rest. I can't possibly think of one bad thing the entire time we were there, which was 5 days...just not long enough:(


Registered: June 2006
Posts: 11
Review Date: Sat July 29, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 


I, my husband, and 2 daughters (ages 16 & 19) had a wonderful time at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya July 20-28, 2006.

This was our 3rd trip to a Riu Palace in 3 years (RP Las Americas Cancun 2004, RP Macao Punta Cana 2005). We absolutely loved both of our previous trips and are now hooked on Riu. For the first time, I booked our rooms directly through the Riu website and didn’t go through a travel agent or travel site. We had frequent flyer miles so decided just to book through Transfers were included in the price of the room. I paid for the basic Junior suite ROH. I emailed the hotel a week before our trip to confirm transfers and to request that our 2 rooms be close together and with a courtyard view. I got a confirmation of our transfers with HOTELBEDS and they said they would try to upgrade our rooms based on availability.

I was a little concerned about the rates because they said it would be charged in Pesos on the day of check-in based on the exchange rate at the time. No problem – I checked my credit card statement online and it is correct.

We took off on Delta from Augusta, Georgia at 6 AM and arrived at the Cancun airport before noon. Walking through the airport was kind of crazy. We’ve been to Cancun twice before, so we knew to avoid the “official” looking people who attack you and go straight outside to our HOTELBEDS reps for our transfer. Once we got outside we found our ride and were quickly on our way to the Riu. They had our names down and we rode with some others that were staying at our resort and one from The Riu Palace Mexico.

The ride was easy and quick. Playacar is actually a gated community within Playa del Carmen and is very nice. When we pulled up to the brand new beautiful Riu Palace we were impressed and excited. The hotel is amazing and check-in went smoothly. They gave us drinks and even though we arrived 2 hours before check-in time, they had one of our rooms ready and we were able to go right to the room and change.

About rooms– I didn’t ask about upgrades when we checked in. I decided to see what room we got before asking. We got rooms 1035 and 1036. They are the same level as the lobby on the outside of the building but because of their location, toward the beach-end of the building, you do have a partial ocean view. We were facing the hotel next door and overlooked the walkway to the Riu Lupita beach club. I knew that we would not spend a lot of time in the room so I didn’t even bother to request a room change. I did meet some people who did ask for an upgrade and they got it, but our rooms were perfect for us. They were very quiet and because of the access points to the courtyard/pool area and the way the building is laid out, we were able to get from our room to the pool, restaurants, etc. very easily. This hotel is very well designed. Even though it is very large, they have several stairways/ramps that lead to the courtyard area. If you are on the main level (rooms starting with 10) you only have to go down one flight of stairs and there is a ramp that leads to the courtyard/pool area. All of the restaurants and the theater open to the courtyard, so you don’t have to go through the main lobby to get anywhere you want to go.

After changing and leaving our stuff in our girls’ room, we went to eat lunch at the buffet. Our waiter was Luis. He told us to come back in the morning for breakfast and told us where his tables would be. He was adorable and we ended up eating breakfast at one of his tables every morning. We fell in love with him! He taught us some Spanish, made us laugh, and was a great waiter. When we would get there in the morning, he would fix my coffee for me with “la leche” (cream) and bring me a Mimosa. He was great!

After lunch, we got into our other room, unpacked and went to the beach.

The beach is beautiful. There is a wall and fence, but I thought it was lovely. It separated the “beach” area from the sandy/palm tree/hammock/soccer/volleyball area. When you walk on the beach or look at the resorts from the ocean, the RPRM is so much more beautiful than any other resort in the area. It is a Palace and all the other resorts in the area pale in comparison. The fence actually sets it apart and makes it seem more exclusive. Also, any vendors who are selling goods on the beach are not allowed to cross the fence line. By the way, they will approach you to buy jewelry, cigars, parasailing, etc. If you aren’t interested, politely say “no thank you” and they will leave you alone.
There are some rocks on the left side of the beach (facing the ocean). If you stay on the right side, no problem.

We found the service to be excellent. Once they forgot to leave washcloths. When we called, within a few minutes, we heard someone RUNNING, not walking, to our room with our washcloths. I left a 20 Peso tip (about 2 USD) every day for our housekeepers. We never got towel animals (our housekeepers were male, so maybe they weren’t into the creative stuff), but we always had plenty of towels (the bath towels are the size of beach towels) and did get turn down service with chocolates and the rooms were cleaned very well. Once I went back to the room when they were there, and they had the bed pulled out away from the wall and were sweeping and mopping under it.
One day, our air conditioner didn’t seem to be cooling as well (normally, my husband had it turned down and it was COLD). We called and they were up in minutes replacing a part.

This was our 3rd Riu Palace and we thought the food was great as always. The buffets were always different in some way. Caribbean night was great. We went to Japanese (excellent), Steak House (very good) and Mexican (great). We had no trouble getting reservations. You go between 12 and 4. My husband would go. You can make 2 reservations each day. We weren’t interested in Brazilian and waited too late to try for gourmet. We ate lunch every day at Chillis by the pool. The chips, pico de gallo and guacamole are amazing. If you want food other than at meal times you can order room service (limited menu of snacks, sandwiches, salads and deserts and it arrives in minutes!) or go to the Sports Bar. Also, they have chips and cheese sauce at the pool.

Animacion Staff:
After going to 2 other Riu Palaces and absolutely falling in love with and wanting to adopt every member of the Animacion staffs, we were a little skeptical about this aspect of our trip. How could it be as good? We found once again that the Riu Animacion staffs are outstanding. We grew to love Pepe (Yes, Pepe, Yes!), Freddy, Frankie, Jack, Claudia, brand-new Jeannette, and their manager Fernando. We participated in water aerobics, pool volleyball, stretch class, meringue lessons, etc. All were fun and well done. They also dance with you in the evenings and participated in the Grease show.

Even though tips are included, we always tried to tip if the service was above and beyond. For 20.00 USD we got 10 – 20 Peso bills (2 USD). These made great tips. If you can afford to go to this hotel, you can afford to tip these kind, hardworking, friendly people.

Our family used the catamarans, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. We never had any trouble getting them. Right next door to the left (looking at the beach) we rented a Wave Runner – fun!

We did not go on any excursions, tours, etc.

Pool Chairs:
People would put their towels out very early on the pool chairs. We are early risers, so if you can’t beat ‘em, join’em, right. My husband would usually go get us coffee around 7:30 or 8 AM and put towels on chairs then. We would actually use our chairs right after breakfast. Some chairs were reserved all day and we never saw people in them. There were plenty of chairs all day long. The only ones that went early were the first row around the pool.

The pool was beautiful. Very large with built-in lounge chairs, tables, pool bar, infinity pool.

Drinks were good. If you don’t ask, they will pour the cheaper stuff, but if you specify, they are happy to give you better liquor. I like Margaritas, but the tequila they used was not very good. I would order a “Cuervo Margarita on the rocks, no salt” and they fixed it perfectly every time. The stuff in the rooms is better brands and the fridge has Corona, water and soft drinks. The wine is Chilean, and is very good. They will bring wine to your room for your fridge. Dominago (spelling?), one of the bartenders at the pool bar, was great.

I’ve heard people complain that there aren’t enough Americans at the Rius. We enjoyed the “melting pot” of people. We met people from Spain, Holland, England, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Mexico, and yes, the US. We loved meeting and communicating (sometimes not very well) with people from different cultures. My teenage daughters made friends with people from all over the world.
We saw a few topless ladies, but they were discreet.
The only people we saw really behaving badly were the young Americans at the pool bar. After "body shots", a little flashing, and throwing up on the pool deck, the bartenders cut them off, and mysteriously, we never saw them again.

The shows were fun and very entertaining. We particularly enjoyed the Mayan show (don’t miss the “hip soccer”!), Grease, and Cirque.

Other Rius:
We went to the Riu Playacar and the Riu Palace Mexico.
The Riu Playacar was very cute. The buildings were all different colors and the pool was very tropical.
The Riu Palace Mexico was beautiful. I would say the main buildings and grounds were almost right up there with the RPRM. However, the pool area was not nearly as good. The bathrooms at the pool area were old and shabby. It also seemed really loud and the beach and pool area were extremely crowded. The beach seemed to have a zillion chairs right on top of each other. I think the way the beach is laid out at the RPRM on two levels makes is seem roomier even if it is a little smaller. That’s just my opinion.

The only bad thing about the Riu Palace Riviera Maya was leaving

Daniel Camacho

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 82
Review Date: Wed September 20, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great service, Great food, Great drink, need I say more?
Cons: Not any shade on the beach, time share salesmen on the beach

Our vacation to Riu Palace Riviera Maya was as great as last year in Cancún. I will not go into the flight stuff as we are domestic flyers and would probably be much different than most your experiences. However, I will say, the transportation to the airport and the flight were uneventful. We booked our travel through MagniCharters; they have always done a great job with having everything planed out to the tee. They had a nice van waiting for us and two other young ladies, ready to take us to the Playacar area. The van was very comfortable and clean. While we were enjoying the scenery on our way to Playacar we also noticed that there were still remnants of damage to trees done by Wilma the year before. We saw a lot of new construction of homes in Playacar. A very nice golf course, supposed to be the nicest in Playa del Carmen. The others were dropped off first, at a Non-Riu resort. The lobby was an open concept type and looked as if there was no air conditioning.

Finally, we arrived and the Riu Palace Riviera Maya it was absolutely beautiful and enormous. The porter met us at the van and carried in our luggage. We were immediately met at the front desk by Karla, who promptly gave us two non-alcoholic welcome drinks and a red rose for my wife. It was about 12:30 pm when we arrived, I was waiting for her to say that we would be welcome to wait in the bar while our room was being prepared, but she never said a word just explained the Riu system and gave us our door cards to the room. When we got to the room the first thing we did was draw the drapes to see the view, my wife’s face had a look of shock. We were staring directly at a very large and loud air conditioner unit, just like the view she has outside her office window. I made a call to Karla and explained that this was going to be a view that would remind my wife of work, ha-ha, I was tactful. She explained that the courtyard view was about fifty five dollars more per day, but she would speak to her manager and call me right back. In the meantime I was telling my wife not to worry that they will get us a better room tomorrow. The phone rang in about five minutes, it was Karla, and she said that her manager would give us a room on the courtyard without charge if we would just wait one day. Just one look out the window and my wife was already nodding YES.

We decided not to unpack just yet and headed straight to the beach and then we explored the hotel to get our bearings. We went to make reservations for dinner the next night, but we were surprised that he had an opening for this night as well at the Steak House (Chilis). He also explained why Riu uses the reservation system, which was nice to understand. First he said, if they allowed people to reserve restaurants more than one day in advance they would fill up the first day and leave nothing for the new arrivals and sometimes people make reservation several days in advance and don’t show.

The first restaurant was the Chilis Steak House the atmosphere was great, clean and excellent service. We gad rib-eyes this night, both cooked medium well and were delicious, the only complaint I had was the steaks were about a half inch thick, the manager told me that the meat distributor sometimes is not always consistent with his cuts and he apologized. The next night we ate at Sir Oliver Gourmet it was a very nice meal and we had no complaints. We also ate at the Botafogo Brazilian restaurant and were very stuffed after trying all six types of meats served on the plates from a sword. We really liked the Agave Mexican restaurant it has a very authentic Mexican flavor, the only complaint for me was that the food was not too spicy but very tasty. We did have several dinners at the buffet as well and we really enjoyed the seafood night, very delicious food. Even our breakfasts at Don Manolo were very nice, practically anything you wanted if it was not out on the buffet they would prepare it for us. The food in general I would give 9.5 (-5% Chilis, for the lunch buffet and can not eat early breakfast with a view of the ocean, they open at 10 am)

The Animation team was a wonderful group of young adults Yak, Nehai, Aline, and Yuri. They always had something going on for the people to keep them busy. They really took a lot of time with the children to get them on the stage and sing a little and dance. I would give these guys, and of course their boss Fernando, a big 10.

Then the live music before the shows was good music for dancing and very well done. The shows really kept our attention, we never felt bored, except for the last show “Dancing in the time” left a little to be desired. All in all I give the shows a 9.

The pool area was really nice and, because of the time of year, not too packed. We had no problem finding a good place to put our stuff and sit under an umbrella no matter what time of day. The drink glasses and trash always seemed to get picked up very quickly. We have no children, but it was nice to see that the children or adults for that matter could bring their floatable rafts and things with them into the pools. The only negative we had were children splashing and diving into the water next to the bar, this bothered several people, because there are many open areas the kids could play in. Pool area I give a 9.

The Daiquiri Pool Bar is about the only bar we really spent much time at, was very nice and great service. The only negative was the bees, they love slurping up the spilled juices and mixers. Carlos was the boss of the bar and he was very good about letting the bartenders relax and have fun with the customer, I think this is a big plus. Choco, Juan, Marco, Miguel, Victor and Cecilia definitely deserve a raise. The service was over and above. The pool bar is a 10 in my opinion.

The beach was so beautiful, it is hard to explain. Here in Mexico they say that you should visit all the other beaches first before you go to Cancún or Playa del Carmen, because once you go there you won’t want to go anywhere else. I thought last year at Riu Palace Las Americas the beach and water were breath taking; I have to say that the water seemed to be much clearer and prettier colors at Playa de Carmen. The negative, is that on the beach there is NO shade, so if you don’t want to burn you need a good sun block or do like us and bring a couple of beach umbrellas. I would give the beach and ocean a 10.

Finally, our room, we were moved the next day just as promised. We were told to just have our entire luggage packed and left in our room before 12 pm and then to come by the reception desk to exchange our keys about 2:30. As we were told everything was moved for us and we were so excited to see our new room. The room was in the last section closest to the beach on the top floor, when we opened the drapes we were so very pleased that we actually could see the ocean. It was such a beautiful room that we went straight to the reception and asked to speak with Karla again. We started by saying that we needed to talk to her about our new room (without smiles), she looked very worried, and then we both smiled very big and told her that we love the new room to calm her down. Ha-ha. Our room had no defects at all, some say the beds are too hard but we like that after a long day on the beach, in the pool, and drinking. I give the room a 10; thank you Karla.

Hope this gives some of you an idea of what to expect when its your turn to go and relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Thanks for taking the time to read our experience.
Dan & Betty
Monterrey, Mexico


Registered: May 2006
Posts: 45
Review Date: Fri September 29, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Gorgeous beach and go proximity to Playa del Carmen
Cons: Cigarette smoke smell in the lobby

Riu Palace Riviera Maya – September 9th-16th, 2006

This vacation was with my two sisters, Louree and C-C. Louree has never been on a tropical vacation and C-C had just been to Secrets Capri in June. My past Riviera Maya vacations have included Secrets Capri (2 times), Secrets Excellence, Palladium and the Iberostar Lindo. Our mother, Gloria, passed away in February and we wanted to get away, just the three of us—we left our husbands at home. I wanted to pick a resort that was not too far from Playa del Carmen (we ate dinner in town one night) and one that wasn’t too geared to couples only and one that wasn’t too focused on families either. Riu Palace Riviera Maya was the perfect choice. The only concern I had booking this time of year was the chance of hurricanes, so we made sure we purchased insurance. We booked through Apple Vacations flying out of Philadelphia and our trip had come down in price twice since we originally booked it, so because we had insurance we were able to get credit towards our final balance. We ended up paying about $1300/person and that included airfare, insurance, taxes and non-stop transfers to and from the resort.

The morning we arrived, everything went like clockwork. We landed and went through immigrations relatively fast, got our luggage, press the “green” light and kept walking until we saw our Apple representatives in their flowered shirts. People keep calling out “Apple”, “Apple”, but I told my sisters to keep walking. You see, they see your tags on your luggage that of course are Apple tags and people think they have to stop and answer them, just keep walking; they are timeshare sales people.

We each bought a Corona while the Apple guides took us to our van. We shared it with 2 other couples, but because we purchased non-stop transfers for only $20 round trip, we were dropped off first.

We were greeted by Alex, the doorman, with a great big hug. We were lead directly to the front desk; it was 11:45 am. We expected to have to wait until check-in time of 3:00, but to our surprise our room was ready. Our TA (thanks TAMI) had sent my room request of 3rd floor, fountain/courtyard view, 2 beds with roll-away. I had also sent a follow up request. My e-mail response was to ask for the head of reservations at check in and they would try to fill our request. I told the reservation staff just that and at the same time we were checking in, a gentleman named, Oswald, was coming out of the back office and over heard my request. He started speaking to the staff person in Spanish and then turned to me and said that instead of a roll-away bed, he was giving us an extra room at no extra charge. WOW, we could not believe it. Our rooms were side-by-side and my sisters’ room had a huge balcony, too. This was too good to be true. When you walk down the hallways, no room doors open directly onto the hallway. There are little off-shoot hallways with 2 room doors facing each other. This setup was absolutely perfect for us. I later found out that Oswald was the manager of the whole hotel. Oh, by the way, Oswald told me not to tell anyone he did this for us, so I hope my secret is safe with you all. Unfortunately, I did hear other guests complain that when they wanted to go from garden view to courtyard/fountain view, that some got their requests and some got a run around or they had to wait a day or two, I guess timing is everything. The rooms are very comfortable and very clean. The mini refrigerator was filled with Corona, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Club soda, water and orange soda and everything was ice cold. No other resort I ever stayed at was ever this cold; so cold it had little ice forming in the bottles, oh yeah, and they had mini ice cubes in the little freezer--nice touch.

Food – in general it was average to good. Our favorite was Sir Oliver (gourmet) and our least favorite was Botafogo (Brazilian). The Japanese was average and the Mexican was pretty good. I enjoyed Chilis lunch buffet, but did not enjoy it as much when it was a steakhouse in the evening. There is a beach club next door, Riu Lupita, which had a beach party one day and they served great Paella. They also had a pasta station which I really enjoyed. When you hear the music playing, you should go over, we had a blast.

Pool – the pool is great with plenty of umbrellas. The pool bar is great, the only problem was the bees, but the same thing happens here at home this time of year with the bees. I did get stung, but I was the only one. I set my hand on a bee. They are swarming around all the sugary drinks. We did take insulated mugs with lids, which worked out great. It was really, really hot and drinks melted in minutes. With our mugs, my frozen margarita remained frozen the whole entire drink.

Beach - absolutely beautiful. One day we took the canoes out into the ocean and it looked like pool water, crystal clear. Parasailing was the best I ever experienced, too. gorgeous views. We walked the beach south and we realized we had the best beach in the whole stretch of beach. My husband and our friends had a tour of Royal Hideaway this past April and I remember thinking I didn’t care for the property compared to Secrets Capri (we were staying there). Well walking by it, I was thoroughly convinced of this. There is not much beach and then it drops off in to the ocean. Riu Palace RM had a huge beach. The section nearest the water is wide and then behind the beach fence, it is huge. Once the palm trees mature, there is going to be plenty of shade. I could not stop starring at the beauty of the beach and the ocean.

Weather – we did not have a drop of rain all week until Friday at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. During the day we were in the pool or ocean all day, because the temperatures were very hot. When guests would ask me what kind of tours they should do, I would recommend only those tours that included water. I could not imagine walking around in the ruins in the heat.

Service – outstanding, everyone was so helpful. If someone saw us struggling trying to open an umbrella, they would rush over to help. The bartenders were excellent, too. The animacion team got us so involved.

Internet – you can purchase time 15 minutes for $4 or $8 for an hour. The internet is located in the sports bar. You can also get coffee early in the morning in this bar or you can order room service, too. We ordered room service 3 times, and it arrived on a timely manner.

We were told that when we were there the hotel was at 30% occupancy, which we absolutely loved. The Riu Tequila and Riu Lupita both were at 100% occupancy, or so they say.

I did get sick our last day there. I ate the same things my sisters did and I was the only one to get sick. Thank goodness I did not need to travel until the next day. I felt like I had the 24 hour flu.

I would highly recommend Riu Palace Riviera Maya, it is a great bang for the buck. My sisters and I had a great week together, one that we will never forget. I made a slideshow – the first half of it is dedicated to my sisters and the second half shows the resort. I hope you all enjoy it. I will also try to post some of the videos I took of the resort and rooms in the next week or so. Just contact me if you have any questions.

Site Admin

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 14705
Review Date: Sun December 24, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: laid back - shorts at dinner - Palace service

Riu Palace Riviera Maya
27th November – 11th December 2006


We handed over our RiuClass Gold card as we checked in – this was taken to the back office by the clerk (he was new and hadn’t seen one before). We were then given our keys and told where the room was.

Check-in I’d rate at about 5/10 – really poor for a Riu Palace
No alcohol free soft drink was offered
No Bellboy / Porter service was offered – it was assumed wed manage our own luggage

We were assigned room 2087 – this was a standard junior suite that looked out onto the part of the building that is the ‘La Habana’ bar (I thought the better views were the fountain views, the lesser buildings overlooked the adjoining properties – this was worse).

virtual tour

We went straight back to reception and requested another room.

They told us they would give us a different room the following day, and they were sorry – they were not expecting any RiuClass Gold customers in that day (it means they lost the email I sent them a week beforehand).

The following day we were moved to room 0043 – that the ground floor corner suite nearest the Renova Spar and Gym.

The suite is a huge room apx 8m x 8m comprising
Hallway with minibar – leads to a lockable door. beyond the door
A walk in wardrobe with approximate 50 hangers on three rails, a standard room safe with removable lock, an iron and ironing board.
A ‘sitting’ area with an arm chair and two seater settee / love seat, two corner ‘lamp’ tables, one low coffee table (on a rug) and a sideboard

Beyond the seating area you came to the sliding door to the large ‘L’ shaped balcony (wrapped around the corner of the building)

From the seating area you could rise two steps – past a central drawers unit holing a 25” TV on a 360 degree swivel – to the bed area – a kingsize.

To the side of the sleep area there was the whirlpool bathtub and beyond that the twin wash basin bathroom.

Beyond the bathroom was the toilet (with bidet) and the walk in shower room (with a glass door)

virtual tour

– we were well pleased with the new room

Meeting Bob & Jo
At the time our room was being changed – we were due to go down to the Riu Palace Mexico to meet up with Bob & Jo Wilkins (Jobob) … to say hello and to collect ‘The Package’ of goodies rusty had sent to be given to bambuers at the fiest on 29th November. As we were leaving – we ran across the path of Stephanie Weffer – Sub Director for customer care (she loves her job it really shows). We made introductions and got a booking for the Mexican Restaurant for the evening (for both us and Jobob). Then off to meet Jobob at the RPM and for lunch.

After lunch – we went back to the RPRM to check out the new room, to unpack and to check the place out.

The pool looked nice – but was chilly – and there was no swim off beach – four weeks of waves from the NE had washed the beach away and were now starting to work at undermining the retaining wall Riu had built for their man made raised beach. Plenty of sun loungers around the pool and on the raised beach.

We found the Mexican restaurant a disappointment – you get more variation on the buffet on Mexican night.

Food was up to the normal excellent Riu standard – the difference with the Palace being that there were usually two ‘special’ dishes on in the buffet each evening. Note. We didn’t make much use of the speciality restaurants since the buffet is so good anyway.

If you want most variation at lunchtime – the place to go is ‘Chillies’, the pool restaurant – though it can get so busy that there are no seats free. The main buffet is open at lunchtime – but (unless it’s raining) it is not well used and offers less choice.

Room Numbers

Have a look at this chart (f it appears blocky, click it to expand zoom a bit closer)

RiuBambu – Fiestas

We went to two:
The one I hosted at the Riu Lupita Beach bar (next to the RPRM beach) – where we met Danny, Jeana (from Northeast Missouri), Marim & Marleen (todebusch – from Belguim), Bob & Jo (Jobob – from BC, Canada) & Peter & Angela from England. The Lupita bar was used so that people from the non-palaces could attend – but we only had palace guests there, so we could have gone to a bar with waiter service the served spirits.

We also went to The Big Bambu’s fiesta on December 5th – BB’ll write about that.

Comparing the Palace Riviera Maya to the Palace Mexico

Riviera Maya:

More laid back, allows you into meals without long trousers etc.
Much larger reception bar
Beach area has large ‘un-treed’ section good for beach sports, soccer etc.
Has a man made beach – retained by a wall (while we were there the wall was being undermined by the sea – it was moving … was it saved?)
Most of the clientele is from the USA & Canada
Only the interior floor tiles are treacherous when wet (so use a bath mat and don’t fall & break your arm getting out the tub/shower) – most of the exterior walkways are safe even when wet.

More old style charm
You must ‘dress’ for dinner
More space for courtyard entertainment (includes a ‘dance’ area)
Has a more conventional beach
Most of the clientele is from Europe
All the tiles are treacherous when wet (so use a bath mat and don’t fall & break your arm getting out the tub/shower) – the exterior pathways are also really dangerous when wet (I walk on the grass!)

[i]If you are part of a younger crowd, where you find it an unnecessary bother to change for your meals the RPRM is for you.

If you are happy to change for your meals and you like the Spanish style and European grace – then the Riu Palace Mexico is the place to go.[ii]

Which is best for kids: Neither – small kids will have more fun at the Tequila, bigger kids at the Yucatan (and in turn you’ll have a better vacation and for less money)

As a side note: I’m really impressed by refurbishments made to the Yucatan late spring 2005 – one comment there though. They shouldn’t have joined the pools – having two pools would have meant they could have kept one open should the other need maintenance. Later edit - the pools are not actually joined - the bridge is a fake - there is a wall under it separating the two pools

Will we go back to the RPRM? – No, we will go back to the RPM though … probably in late 2008, early 2009

Senior Riu Ambassador

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 6032
Review Date: Tue May 1, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 



Topics included are: shoes
air conditioning
We arrived in 3 hours 12 min. got our luggage and through customs and outside to a van.
Dropped off a 3 couples and we were at the Riviera Palace, rooms were ready we got
room 2114 with a magnificent view of the ocean. Only drawback here was the 40 stairs
to be done twice a day.
Room was spacious and of course new. Note TV is only cable no satellite so NO HOCKEY
and someone was cranky.
Changed and headed for the pool and maybe something to eat.
We walked to the beach and it was worse than the pictures, one gent had fallen on the
slippery sand bags. Never saw anyone go into the water at our resort but one day the
Riu Lupita beach had some folks in the water.
The pool area was full of people in varied ages and a handful of children (I would not bring
my child to this resort not enough for them or others to play with) and some played the games
with he animation team I found the atmosphere around the pool very much the same as the
Riu Playacar but larger.
Food was good in the pool restaurant for lunch it was the same as the Riu Playacar, I had
expected maybe a bit better as it was at the Riu Palace Mexico. The buffet also the same.
The specialty restaurants were fabulous. My hubby's new favourite is the Sir Oliver's
gourmet dining. We went twice. Chilies (steak) was great as was the Japanese and yes my
hubby tried it and his favourite was dessert "fried ice cream". The Mexican was also good
we had a spicy beef and again dessert to die for. The Brazilian we have had several times
and use to be my hubby's favourite it was good and the service in these restaurants was
above and beyond.
We tipped the room cleaners everyday (10 days) we got towel art the first day and one
other day, no big deal just thought I would mention it.
The grounds are very big and lots of walking as we are use to the smaller Playacar. Everything is immaculate except I found the pool could have used and extra few hands in a few areas and I
was not the only one that noticed.
Although they do not encourage topless around the pool there was one lady who did this but
was discreet about but............!!!!!! then there was the silicone queen, she strutted and swaggered
and slithered as she entered the pool, the show of show ladies and gentlemen, her boyfriend
obviously enjoying every second and trailing her around like a lap dog. She proceed to make
sure he bottoms were pulled up to the thong stage and sashed over to the pool bar area were
she performed for the semi inebriated men and then some guy started taking pictures lots and lots of pictures and she did her pose for them.. Enough is enough along comes Sandra the PR girl and got her out of the pool an she was sent off to the beach.
Then the next day two girls started making out in the infinity pool. I didn't see it but everyone else
did, staff said they have rooms to do that in they should not do it in the pool. Had they not
left the next day they were going to be asked to leave so they said.
Met some nice people and especially the girl from Michigan who brought 15 pair of shoes and
get this ladies she wore ALL OF THEM.
We went to the Riu Playacar for the day and it looked beautiful the foliage was thick and again the
buildings have been painted. We met up with everyone and got he latest gossip. We had lunch
there met up with a couple from our city did some shopping across the street and then walked
back to our resort. (beach has at least a 2 1/5 foot drop off but people were in the water)
The drinks at the Palace were top shelve and they are NOT stingy. Always a perfect drink. The waiter had a portable bar and he walked around the pool with it serving from it.
The entertainment was Mexican folk, Caribbean dance, etc I think about 4 nights of it then Michael
Jackson and that's starting to bore me so we sat through only one whole show. We were usually in bed at 11 and up at 7. We had 10 good weather days the short sprinkle last Thursday was late in the day and it was over in 15 min.
Air conditioning in the rooms was fine and in the some specialty restaurants but the washroom
closest to the four specialty restaurants is not air conditioned and they want your to be dressed
properly and men in long pants but when you use the washroom and by the time you finish in there
you are all sweaty and uncomfortable yet the washroom by the pool and lunch restaurant is
air conditioned really good. Go figure.
Yes I overpacked, you can where an outfit a couple of times at night it doesn't get dirty and after
a few days you look for something comfortable and plus get this my husband called the desk
and asked if he could wear dress short to the Steak restaurant and they said as long as it
was not bathing suit shorts and there were nice dress shorts. So he did and while we complied
others men came in in parachute shorts huge pockets on the side and running shoes.
At Sir Oliver's a women came in with a pair of denim short shorts and what looked like a
bathing suit top then her husband followed her in denim shorts, scruffy dirty T-shirt and running shoes untied and no socks and they sit down to their gourmet meal.
Coming home we had to leave at 7:00 am and the restaurant does not open we needed something
beside coffee they told us to go to the sports bar whoopydoo hamburger or hotdogs for breakfast
no thank you. At the Playacar they opened the door for the few of us that were leaving early to
get something!! Not at the Palace, I grabbed 2 bananas from the sports bar and about five after seven the let my husband go in and he got a couple of sweet rolls and put in a plastic bag I gave him.
Glad he did when we got to the airport hotdogs were $6.00 U.S. and a can of pop was
Would I stay there again, no I don't think so, maybe the Riu Palace Mexico but I think I would
prefer something along the size and atmosphere of the Riu Playacar.
So that's it, all that anticipation and it's over.All in all we had a great vacation and the 10 days
was nice, we haven't done that for awhile. Stephanie and Sandra were very nice to us and
we had a lot of fun and laughs.
I may speak of things that are not perfect but I dare anyone to find a resort without kinks.
I still maintain that the Riu's give that extra touch to make your stay a memorable one.
They are eager to please and rectify anything they can immediately.
If it wasn't for the two incidents in the pool I would not have had something funny to tell you.
Yes I had a chuckle along with everyone else, no harm done hopefully the children handled
it ok.


Registered: July 2006
Posts: 20
Review Date: Tue July 17, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $3,300.00 | Rating: 10 


We started out our stay at the Riu Playacar and after 1 day we were suprised to have been offered a free move to the Palace.
We arrived at the Palace and the PAMERING began. From the time we stepped out of the taxi, to the time we left we were treated like Royalty.

Rooms: The are all suites and have a large sleeping area and a small step down to a small living area which was large enough for a roll away bed. The balconey was also large. The mini bar at this hotel is re-stock every day and if you need more, just call and they are right there with it. The bathroom has 2 double sinks, jacuzzi tub. We were very suprised to have maid service 2 times per day and the last time they even pulled the bed covers down for you.

Resort. The resort itself was laid out very nice. To be setting on a lounge chair at the poll it was up high enough that it overlooked the ocean. The pool area filled up around 10am so you never had trouble getting a lounge chair or 2. At the pool there is a pool bar with table and chairs around and it was never very busy. If you had to wait, you could always get out and go to the top part of the bar. One things different about this resort is that they had waiter service around the pool whuch I though was great. It made me even more lazy than I thought I would be. I few dollars goes a long way. I know you do not have to tip, but it seemed theye were always checking on me. Just a small price to pay to have a laid back relaxing vacation with great service. The walkways were kept very nice. The area around the stage was large enough to move around with out being on top of people. The lobby area was air conditioned and there was a piano bar where you could just relax if you did not want to see the show. It seemed to be much quitier there. The sports bar is open 24 hours and you could get food drink there. It was great to walk in and get a bottle of water any time and sit and watch the 11 or so TV"S with sports. It also had internet service and I think it was $4.00 for 15 minutes.

Food/entertainment: I though the food was the best we have had. This is our 8th year in a row at a Riu resort and it was by far the best we have had. They had different theme nights at the buffett and 1 seemed better than the next. The service was great, my wife never had they chair pulled out and pused in for her as much as the waiters did it at the buffet/sit downs. We had waiter Elmer most nights and he was great. A $3.00 tip per night he was very happy to have. I know it is not a lot, but he appreciated it and I did not see a lot of people doing it. At breakfast they had mamosa (sp?) every morning and it was they same eggs, bacon, pancakes etc. Lunch you could have in the same place more of a sit down type buffett or go to Chilis which was near the pool and have hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, fish, ice cream etc. Dinner like I said was buffet or 5 sit downs places. You can book 2 days at a time foe these at noon each day. We did the Brazilian and it was the best food I had all week. You start out with salad, then they bring sausage, then bacon wrapped turkey, then pork roast, then chciken, then steak, then another kind of steak. It just kept coming and the quality was second to none. If you are going it is a MUST stop. we could not get into the staek house and did not try again. It s the only 1 of the 5 that was outside. The Mexican/Gormet,Japanese we did not try. They have menus out in front of all of them foe you to look at. Men can wear shorts at the buffett but need long pants at the sit downs. After dinner which started at 6:30, we went to the stage area. Again I did not have to get up to get a drink. The waiters were all around and your glass was never empty. The entertainment started around 8pm was just OK, but that can be overlooked the way the rest of the vacation went. They did have a live band a few nights which was nice and also 2 nights they had crafters around for you to buy things. The guy who paints with spray paint is unbelieveable you will see what I mean after you see him.

Extras. we did do the Mayan tour, it was $232.00 for 3 people and lasted from 8:15am until 3pm with lunch/drinks included. They start at a fresh water inlet where you can cliff dive if you want. You then go to the ocean and the reef. You start out in fresh water and end up over the reef in salt water about 1.5 miles very cool. Lastly they take you way back in to a underground cave, which is UNREAL. the water is cold (they say refreshing), but is something you will talk about for a long time. They you have a Mayana themed luch with chicken/soda, then the trip back. Well worth the money/tip.

All in all in was a great vacation that was made better with the upgrade. It will be tough not going to a Palace resort again, I guess that is why they give you the free upgrade. It worked, I'm Hooked. There is so much more I could talk about, feel free to e-mail with any other questions


Registered: August 2007
Posts: 3
Review Date: Thu August 16, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Staff and Service
Cons: Beach eroded

From start to finish probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in and the best of the RIUs in my humble opinion so far.

The room was large and clean, with a seperate lounge area with sofa leading to the balcony.

The staff bend over backwards to ensure you have a good time, I tipped Bazone about $5 every night and he treated the two of us like a King.

The lobby bar was our favorite place with our favorite Barman Islas providing better entertainment than the entertainment team!!

Entertainment was as always is and they do the best with what they are given. I don't know where all the energy comes from with the animation team! Always smiling even when working 15+ hour days!

Food, excellent, plenty of choice. You will only get bored if you have something of everything all the time. Stick to a different meal every night and you will be fine. The steakhouse was very good, I had ribeye and my wife a sirloin, cooked exactly how we asked. The Mexican restuarant was laso very nice, greeted at the door with a quite potent margerita.

Two great pools and a nice beach area with plenty of beds and shade.

Would so recommend to anyone who wants to go.

I have some pictures here on my website to bore you of my trip to Mexico.


Registered: June 2008
Posts: 9
Review Date: Fri October 24, 2008 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beach/Staff
Cons: Ala Carte Restaurants

Our direct flight out of JFK went smoothly with no unexpected delays. I still find it difficult to accept that you can fly during a meal time, we left at 11:00 AM, and still not receive as much as a snack. Knowing this ahead of time we purchased a great sandwich from Au Bon Pain which was by our departure gate. We inquired about upgrading to 1st class using F/F miles at check-in, but it would have cost $500 per/person plus 30k miles per/person. It just didn't seem worth it.
Our arrival was quick with the baggage being unloaded by the time we got to the baggage claim area. Unfortunately foe us and twelve other people one container of luggage was left behind in New York. We then spent over an hour in filling out a lost luggage report. With only our carry-on bag we proceeded to find our Apple Rep. for the transfer to RPRM. Having been thru the Cancun airport before we knew enough to by-pass the timeshare guys inside the terminal and find our Apple Rep. outside. The transfer took about 1 hour with a stop at two other resorts before ours. One couple was very upset to find out upon arrival that Dreams Talum was closed for some reason and they had been transferred to a new Secrets resort. Another couple in the van tried to calm them by telling them it was actually an upgrade from Dreams.
The arrival at RPRM is fantastic as the front of the resort is awesome. Check-in was funny as they aren't used to guests arriving with no luggage. We were at first given a room on the second floor of the South wing. Since we had booked a Garden View room we weren't expecting a perticularly good view, but the pipes and tanks on the roof of the resort next door was totally unacceptable. Back down to the front desk where the guy who checked us in was of no help whatever. Luckily, one of the women at the front desk overheard our conversation and decided to intercede. She gave us a key to a 3rd floor room in the North wing so we could see if we liked that room. The room was very nice with a view of the fountain in the interior courtyard and had an encloed balcony that we liked. Back to the front desk and we ended up in room# 3090 which was good for us. They also honored the request that our friends form Boston who were checking in the next day be located by us. As soon as we were officially up in the room we requested the mattress topper that made all the difference from the hard mattress that is standard.
Since we arrived late with no change of clothes, the first night we ate at the buffet, which we thought was great. Our first destination on our second day was to go buy some clothes and other essentials since we didn't know if or when our luggae may arrive. Since our friends from Boston were arriving on this day we decided to go make reservations at the Japanese restaurant and hope our luggage arrived in time. Unfortunately, our luggage didn't arrive until after dinner and since I only had shorts and a three button shirt, they wouldn't at first allow us to dine in the restaurant. The head of food services offered the solution of lending me a pair of long pants that the waiters wear, which I accepted so we could all dine there. It was nice of him to come up with a solution to the problem. I'm glad it worked out since out of the three Ala Carte restaurants that we tried, Japanese, Mexican and Gourmet it was the only one we really liked. All four of us thought the food at the Buffet was superior to the Ala Carte places. The buffet is unlike what you would expect with items like Beef Wellington, Lamb,Frog Legs, mussels, whole roasted Turkeys and fish as well as numerous other upscale food. We heard from others that they felt the buffet offered better choices as well. It also offered outside seating if you desire. Most of the Ala Carte places were basically empty when you looked in, no wonder getting reservations was no problem. We usually had lunch at Chili's by the pool/beach area and it was very good with many choices. We had lunch at the buffet one day but there is only inside seating at lunch and it is somewhat more formal than Chili's.
The beach and pool area are both very nice with the plenty of lounges. The pool may be a little small for a resort with 400 rooms.
The gym is connected to the Spa and has a minimum of equipment, 2 treadmills, 1 eliptical trainer, 1 rowing machine,1 stair stepper and a few resistance machines. After getting a topical infection from dirty equipment in the Dominican Republic I'm focused on cleaning equip. before I use it. It was like pulling teeth trying to get a disinfectant spray and towels. I finally got the spray but usually had to bring a room towel. I was told that the gym/Spa is run by a different company and the hotel doesn't give them towels for gym use. You woud think the Riu would address this issue as it reflects on them as well.
Overall we loved the RPRM and would certainly return. The location being so close to Playa del Carmen was a plus for us. If you so chose, it could easily be walked to at under 2 miles. The entire resort is spotless and the staff first rate.


Registered: December 2008
Posts: 101
Review Date: Wed April 1, 2009 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: staff, beach, pool, service, everything!
Cons: hallways a bit noisy

Wednesday: We wake up around 3:30am and get the last of our things packed for our first trip to PDC and the RPRM. We are on the road around 4:30 and to the Omaha airport by 5am. We check in and get our boarding passes then go straight through security. We are waiting at our gate by 5:30 and our plane takes off on time at 6:30. Our first leg takes us to Memphis where we will pick up more people to go to Cancun. Neither flight offers food, but we do get water or soda. We grab a quick bite to eat in Memphis before our final leg.
We get to the Cancun airport around 11:45am and we go through immigration with no problems. Baggage claim went just as easily and then we were off to customs. Of course I get the red light so my luggage is searched quickly and we get out the door quickly. We find our correct transfer and we get on the road by 12:45pm. We have one drop-off along the way at the NH Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos, which takes a bit to get to, but it is gorgeous! We then stop at a 7-11 for drinks and we’re on our way to PDC and Playacar.
We arrive at the RPRM at 2pm and are greeted with drinks and are given an upgrade to a courtyard view room. We ended up with room 3170, which is in the short part of the U facing the ocean. The room is beautiful and has a towel elephant waiting. There was no balcony, only a terrace, but we felt that it was already an upgrade and didn’t feel like getting a new room because of no balcony. We were pleased to see that our room had a true king size bed and also a laptop sized electronic safe.
After getting our luggage situated in the room, we quickly change into our swimming suits and head down to the beach. We grab a margarita and dos equis along the way and also stop to reserve the specialty restaurants for dinner. We ended up taking the Japanese restaurant and Krystal. After sitting on the beach for awhile (the red flags were up) and exploring the pool area, I walk over to the spa and make a pedicure reservation for the next morning. After that we get changed and head to Don Manolo for dinner. The food there was amazing, we couldn’t have asked for anything more! When dinner is done, we sit out in the plaza for a bit and have a few more drinks. The evening show starts and it happens to be the Michael Jackson show! It was so good, it was like being at a live concert! We enjoyed ourselves so much. After the show we headed to our room and got a good nights sleep.

Thursday: We wake up early and head down to breakfast. The choices are endless! My favorite were the homemade doughnuts. I head over to my pedicure appointment at 9 and my boyfriend goes to work out in the gym. I had a really great experience with Elena and my toes turned out wonderfully. I will definitely use the spa again! I grab my boyfriend from the gym and he isn’t feeling well so he goes back up to our room for a quick nap while I head to the beach to catch some sun and read my book. I got to the beach around 10 and there were plenty of loungers left still! The red flags were up again, but I didn’t mind too much. The breeze feels amazing when it’s that warm outside! Around noon my boyfriend rejoins me and we decide to take a walk up the beach and check out the other Riu’s in PDC. We first walk through the Playacar, then check out the Yucatan. Both are cozy and have a great outdoors feel to them. We stop by the Palace Mexico for lunch at El Patio and decide that we would definitely stay at any of the Riu’s on a return visit.
Lunch is over and we walk back to the RPRM and lounge in the pool for a bit. We think that we would like to visit Xel-Ha on Friday so we get changed and walk a little ways up the road from our resort to the Playacar shopping plaza and book an all day all inclusive trip to Xel-Ha. We looked around for a bit at the plaza and decided that we would go into PDC to 5th ave. that evening. We head back to the resort for a quick nap and dinner, then take a 20 minute walk into PDC admiring the houses and ruins along the way. After shopping we take a cab ride back to the RPRM and arrive just in time for the evening Karaoke show. We have a few more drinks after the show and head off to bed.

Friday: We wake up rather early and get some quick breakfast before walking to Playacar Plaza to meet our transfer to Xel-Ha. We get to the eco-park around 9 and spend all morning walking around and jumping off cliffs. We get a quick lunch and then get our snorkel gear and spend the rest of the day snorkeling. We get back to our resort by 6pm and take a quick nap before getting ready for our dinner reservations at Yashima that evening. We arrive at 8:45 for our dinner and are seated promptly. Everything here was amazing! The sushi rolls especially. I even had fried ice cream for dessert. When dinner was finished we once again watched the evening show (tropical theme) and proceed to have even more drinks. We took an evening stroll to the beach and then went back up to our rooms for the evening.

Saturday: We sleep in a little this morning and get to breakfast around 10am. After that we get changed and head to the beach yet again. Again we find red flags out but we decide to brave the waves for a little bit and enjoy the water. After lounging until 1 we decide to grab some lunch at Chilli’s. It ended up being really good and pretty similar to El Patio at the RPM. After lunch we again walked down the beach past Sandos to the open area with no whales. We went shell hunting and even braved the waves there for awhile. It was so peaceful and quiet there, we almost didn’t want to go back! We spent most of the afternoon at that beach and then headed back to our room for another quick nap before dinner. We get to Krystal at 8:45 and again are seated right away. I was looking forward to getting the pumpkin soup and I wasn’t disappointed! The entire meal was delicious and we enjoyed it very much. After dinner we caught the Mayan show at the theatre and then headed back to our rooms to pack for home.

Sunday: We wake up on time and head down for our last breakfast in paradise. We both reflect on the good times we had while eating and when we are finished we head up to get our luggage and wait for our transfer. He arrives on time at 8 and we pick up two other couples along the way to Cancun. We get to the airport at 9:30 and get through duty-free by 11. We catch our flight to Detroit on time and say goodbye to paradise. In Detroit we go to pick up our bags to get through customs then recheck them so we can catch our flight to Omaha. It starts to snow quite heavily and we are worried our flight won’t be on time. We get a quick dinner at the airport and then find out our flight has been cancelled due to mechanical difficulty. We end up getting a free hotel in Detroit at the Best Western. We realize that we have no coats and prepare for the cold! Northwest airlines took care of everything for us and they got us a flight the next morning to Minneapolis and then on to Omaha. We get home about 3pm on Monday, 18 hours later than expected, but we are in good spirits and are already planning our next trip back!


Registered: May 2006
Posts: 85
Review Date: Tue June 23, 2009 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: staff, proximity to downtown
Cons: proximity to other RIU's

Let me start by saying I never thought this vacation would happen, thanks mainly to the swine flu scare. United canceled our flights 2 weeks after we booked. Then when Sam's Travel re-booked us with Frontier (thanks Frontier) they accidentally canceled our hotel reservation. We finally got our hotel back....but, we were originally supposed to stay at the RPM, and got transferred last minute to RPRM because of lack of visitors. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. All along people said RPM is for beach people and RPRM is for pool people. After this trip we realized we are pool people and out of the 2 palaces RPRM was the best option for us. We are an active mid 30's couple.

That being said...we made it to Cancun safely and were shortly on our way to the resort on a Best Day shuttle, which I would recommend. Check in was easy. We told them this was our 5th RIU and we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary, so they upgraded us to a top floor fountain view room free. We hit the pool bar 5 minutes after we were there. Then we decided to walk the beach down to the other RIU resorts. That took about 15 minutes.
We decided if you're on a budget...the Yucatan or Tequila would be great. Fun and tropical...but apples and oranges when comparing to a palace. They're more tropical....a palace is a palace.

We were treated like royalty. It had been awhile since we had been to a palace. But, you definitely notice the service. We had turn down service, excellent dining staff and pool bartenders. The staff decorated our room the night of anniversary with petals, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. They even lined up our shoes when they cleaned the room.

For those of you wondering... here's my comparison of RPRM to the RPM. RPM opened 2 days after we were there. We did check it and its rooms out so I could have an educated opinion for future trips.
*RPRM is newer and has a better pool, especially if you like pool volleyball. It's about a 15-20 minute walk to downtown Playa...which we loved. Men can wear shorts to dinner at the buffet. I think the beach is plenty big.
*RPM is older and has more character. I also like the layout of the rooms better. The bathrooms have separate commodes with bidets and a hallway separating the bathroom from the bed. The gym is better at this weights and air conditioning that works. Men must wear pants at matter what. The beach is about twice as big and has a beach bar. But, if you want to walk to Playa it's going to a be a hike...I'd say almost a half hour. It is right next door to RIU Yucatan and Tequila...which are fun to visit especially at night because they have outdoor bars. Their pools are also fabulous and you can use them.
*So, if I went back which would I choose? Probably RPRM again. RPM needs to update its pool and we spent a lot of time at the pool. Plus we enjoyed the walks at night to the other resorts. It gave me another reason to eat dessert because I knew I'd walk it off. If we stayed at RPM we would have taken a cab to downtown. I enjoyed walking.
(FYI-RIU Palace Las Americas in Cancun is the nicest RIU we've been to)

OK Back to RPRM
*ROOM- everyone gets a Jr. Suite unless you upgrade. Flat-screen tv, living room, pretty hard bed, but you're usually too exhausted to care. I brought a LED taplight for the shower which I heard was dark. It did help light it up a bit. We did see one of those Jacuzzi Suites on the corner and they are fabulous if you can afford the upgrade. Jacuzzi in your room and outside up a spiral staircase.
*POOL-fabulous! We played pool volleyball almost every afternoon. It's a great way to meet people and cool off. We never had a problem finding a chair to throw our stuff.
*BEACH-great...sand is super soft and won't burn your feet. They also have hammocks.
*FOOD- We have been to other Rius and did the sit down restaurants. They are good. But, we decided we didn't want to be on a schedule and since the buffets had so much to offer..we stuck with them. Caribbean night was the best..lots of shrimp. Every night there is a special station with a chef. I had a create your own pasta several times that rivaled the Cheesecake Factory. We also had fresh crepes and fried bananas. We had French toast and pancakes every morning. It depends on who's making them, because some days they were out of this world...other days they were just good. We took a time share tour to another all-inclusive. We had lunch and the food was a little better...but, just barely. We are not picky and we are always happy with RIU food. I say it's always good, sometimes great...but, never bad. If you don't like something...get something else. We got room service and were pleasantly surprised. It arrived within 5 minutes and he even brought me a rose. We got the chicken toasties, a sandwich and fruit..mmmm. You can also grab fruit or sandwiches 24/7 at the sports bar for a late night snack.
*ENTERTAINMENT-We watched Grease (a little cheesy) and Michael Jackson (great). But, we spent the rest of our evenings walking downtown. RPRM didn't have any audience participation entertainment while we were there. That's my favorite..."the Newlywed Game, Miss Riu, or Mr. Riu" It's a hoot. Maybe they did it the following week or at one of the other resorts?????
*EXCURSIONS...I got a tip from the trip advisor forums to go to Akumal and snorkel. Best thing we did! We took a cab to the downtown collectivo station. ($5) Then we took the collectivo, a van, to Akumal ($5 roundtrip). A cab to Akumal would cost $50 it's well worth taking the collectivo. It dropped us off on the highway, but we just started walking toward the water which took about 10 minutes. We waded in and found turtles 5 minutes after we started snorkeling. We have our own gear. But, I understand you can rent it at the dive shop there.
We also took the ferry to Cozumel and went on a glass bottom boat/snorkel ling trip. It was ok. But, I thought they would take us further out on the reefs. We were very close to shore for each of the 3 reefs we visited. You could probably do that by yourself as well. Just look where the tour boats are.
We rented a scooter and rode around the island. WOW..that's a long ride...probably 2 hours. I recommend a jeep or dune buggy instead of a scooter. We only spent $20, though.
We also decided to rent bicycles at RIU Tequila. But, as we were walking to the resort we saw bikes at the Playacar Shopping Plaza halfway there. Get this....the Mexican Government is encouraging "going green" so it supplied bicycles free of charge. You just need to leave a deposit. We rode around Playacar. But, if we did it again....we would take the bikes on the Cozumel ferry and ride around Cozumel.
We loved walking to 5th Ave. I wish we would have had dinner down there one night. It's like a flea market that turns into NYC's Greenwich Village.

*What I would change.....**very minor**
Pool bar needs to be open longer. They start closing around 5pm. We got back from Cozumel around 5:45 and were dying to hit the pool with a drink. We were a little disappointed. I can't believe I'm saying this...but, I wish they served breakfast earlier, too. It's at 7am and I like to get up early on vacation so I can get in more activities for the day. I wish RIU's had coke products instead of Pepsi. The gym could use free weights. (but you can always walk down to RPM and use its gym) Neither palace has an outdoor bar. Every other RIU we've been to has one and it's great in the evening. We are not heavy drinkers, but we enjoy the social aspect. But, again.... that's another reason to take a walk and check out Yucatan or Tequila which have them.

Overall...this was one of our best vacations! We love RIU's and we would definitely go back to RPRM. The staff couldn't have been nicer


Registered: May 2009
Posts: 104
Review Date: Wed July 29, 2009 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $1,600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Larger pool,right on the beach,room service,Krystal,air conditioned lobby and sports bar;plenty of beach shade (palms)
Cons: Crowded pool bar (might be a plus for some :-));not as nice beach,rocks ect..

Just back from the resort and enjoyed ourselves..
We did have mixed feelings about the resort since our past three stays have been at the Riu Palace Mexico.
The Lobby is beautiful and lavish! Friendly front desk staff.
We had emailed the hotel one and half weeks before with my Riu number and had requested three rooms together since we were traveling with friends. When we arrived, two were together as the adjoining rooms but our room was about 5 doors down. Guess this was the best they could do. Our room only had the king bed, which my husband didn't care for. We like the two queens but together. This bed also had some type of plastic sheeting on it which made noise every time we moved.. Strange...
So, I asked that evening if we could move. Front desk said there were no rooms closer but maybe check the next day. I asked if they had any courtyard rooms since all of our rooms were facing outside. The next day we waited for a couple of check out and got upgraded to a very nice courtyard room overlooking the main courtyard above the main dining room. Very nice room and we were happy. No plastic sheet on this bed, or our friends rooms either.. Bathroom had better lighting than the Riu Palace Mexico, of course, newer is always better, so it was nice. Flat screen TV, enough English channels for us and our teens to enjoy.
I don't know what is the difference, but we noticed that the rooms at the Riviera aren't as sound proof as the Palace. We walked to the Palace one day to eat breakfast and was looking at the rooms doors . Those doors open right into the hall vs. the RM rooms go into a small hall , then open, yet we could hear everyone walk by. Maybe because there is no hall inside the room like the Riu Palace, where there is a small hall that leads to the beds.
At the Palace, we always had towel animals with stickers, fresh flowers ect.. just beautiful ( I noticed they didn't have too many flowering bushes on the property as the Palace which had the hibiscus, ect.).. we had none the first day , but had them when we switched rooms. Our friends who had a small girl and two teen boys had nothing until I had to ask the room attendant one day if he could make some up. He did when I tipped him once but not again . I gave mine to them everyday and they were alittle dissapointed in that. I also noticed that they advertised turn down service. This was never done. We had our room cleaned very good once a day and that was it. I noticed that the room attendants were gone in the evenings. I guess the hotel has to bounce back from all the money lost from the past few months so maybe they had to cut down on staffing hours in the evening. No big deal but just noticed.
My husband couldn't help comparing the two for the first two days. Finally we began to appreciate the RPRM and what it has to offer. The food was good, pool was larger ( but too warm) and more fun for the kids. The sports bar was fun for teens but you had to have $3.00 to play pool, air hockey, or fooshball, it would have been nice if it was included or at least be able to buy a few days worth at a discount. Not too many people were there during the days , but at night after the show, the teens would be hanging out in there. The food in the fridge was sandwiches, cold hotdogs, and hamburgers which you would warm up in the microwave.
They did have room service , which we never used since we ate continuously all week already. My friends used it once and thought it was nice.
The beach wasn't as big and nice as the RP. I think that was my biggest shock of the trip, the beach. Those hurricanes really did a number on the clarity of the beaches. Those whales are there to help but really keep the water cloudier near the shore. Take out the paddle boats and kayaks past and the water was clear and beautiful! Beach is also more rocky so have to be careful walking down not to stub your toe on a rock. The beach at the Riu Palace was longer and clearer waters near the shore. There is plenty of shade under the huge amount of palm tree's along the beach. That's one the best parts of the Riu resorts in my opinion , are the palms on the beach..
One or two carefree topless on the beach as well as next to the pool.. not too noticeable though, I don't think our boys even noticed them.. but then again, I'm mom..

Food was very good at the buffet. Not as much as I'd remember from the past trip to the Palace though. The highlight of the trip was our dinner at Krystal.... the food just melted in your mouth.. the steak was delicious and the ravioli appetizer was out of this world! Skip the Japanese.. it wasn't very good.. maybe that's because we're from California and have great Sushi and Japanese here.

On our trip to the Palace that morning, I did notice that it's starting to get it's share of wear and tear over the years. If they would just replace a worn sign here and there or a weather beaten door here and there, it would do wonders. Riu Palace Mexico is more intimate while the Riu Palace Riviera Maya is more spread out and younger crowd. The Palace was empty while we were there. At our hotel, the towel on the chair thing started early. There were lots of empty pool front chairs available at the Palace. That could also be why the breakfast buffet seems alittle less than before.

We took the kitchen tour which was fun.. Jimmy, who I remember from the Palace animation team led the way. We sampled a fresh made screwdriver and this delicious fried shrimp appetizer and dipping sauce that we would have killed for to get at the buffet. It was very interesting to go behind the scenes of the kitchen. Seeing how hard and how much food is prepared was great to learn about.

Be warned, they are pretty tough about the long pants at the ala carte restaurants. Our boys wore very nice buttoned down shirts but had long nice shorts on, My son is tall and had to go change. We got some very , I mean very dirty looks from a couple of the maitre d's... It's funny how in America, collared shirts are viewed more important in dress vs. a t-shirt. Our boys looked great in their buttoned down shirts and shorts, while others came in with torn jeans and messy t-shirts for fine dining , or a woman can come in with daisy dukes and a tank top and flip flops for fine dining and that was ok....I just didn't get it. But anyways,, fella's just bring one pair of khaki's.

Mosquitoes were in full force last week. I did fairly well, maybe because I was using Avon skin so soft sun screen with repellent. I didn't get bit as much as my friends. I also had a small bottle of skin so soft bug spray that I used. One girl I saw at the Playacar plaza had bites all over her back. Poor thing.. just be prepared. They were bad at the beach front restaurant but could hardly see them.

Animation was fun as usual,, water polo, sexy bingo, ect.. their comedy show that they put on was hilarious. They do work hard and do a great job.
I did notice that they don't have the hair braiding or tatoo's on the beach anymore. We had to take our little girl with us to the salon to do it and cost $30.00 for partial front braid..
Things have definetly gone up in price there. Prices in the shops in the plaza were much higher than I remembered. I did get a beautiful piece of jewelry from an art shop in the plaza. One shop facing the front of the plaza sold art and jewelry. Luis gave me an honest great price without all the going back and forth like the other sellers and was truly and nice person. Go in and tell him the Chinese girl from California sent you. Very nice jewelry.

One more thing that was the highlight of our trip this time. We finally made it to Xel-ha.. we were always too cheap to go and afraid of the food, heat , water ect..
let me tell you, that place was awesome! Had I known it was like that, I would have gone the first time.. Food was outstanding, and the service at the restaurants was even better than our resort.. fast , courteous, super clean! They made everyone who enter the restaurants get their hand squirted with anti-bacterial gel ( this should be a great idea for us in the US to adopt, especially at buffets)..The lockers, bar, ect.. towels,, all included was so nice and I"m glad we did the all-inclusive. Just relaxing all the way. Plenty of places to cool down and the water was cool and nice. If you've never been , go,,, you will love it.. skip the combo Tulum/xel-ha tour.. you will wish you stayed all day!

All in all,, Playa was relaxing as usual ~but might be time to try a Riu in Spain!
Hopefully the beach recovers in a few years and I will definitly be on the next plane!
Rolling Eyes Clapping laugh
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Site Admin

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 14705
Review Date: Mon January 4, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


This is a review written by member Gavilan1

We just got back from RPRM on Dec. 31, and we really enjoyed the Rodizio in PDC more than the Rodizio at RPLA. Portions were slightly smaller (more reasonable IMO), and the service was unmatched (thanks to Capitan Juan and staff). The Japanese restaurant in RPRM was fine, but on our night, they allowed a large (20+ pax) family group to book in, and they were so loud that we had to walk out due to the noise (10 times louder than the buffet at Don Manolo's with the band playing outside) before the entree (sorry to Capitan Rene and staff). We received XLNT service at the Chilis steak house, and at the Agave Mexican restaurant (thanks to Capitanes Rosario and Alberto and their excellent staff). We never did do the Krystal, as our schedule kept getting us back to the hotel late.

On a side note, the animacion guys at RPRM are sorry, and don't compare to the animacion staff in RPLA. The RM guys even blew through the RIU song at the end on a couple of nights, telling the audience "what they really didn't want" - to hear the RIU song again. If it were up to me, they'd be working anywhere but at a RIU hotel.

NOTE - After re-reading this comment, I feel that it was a bit harsh - the only person that I truly feel shouldn't be on the property due to attitude is the heavy-set, shaved head member of the animacion crew, wearing the white, pin-striped suit, who played presenter/announcer, made the negative comment about the rhumba RIU song, and then rushed his team through the closing rhumba RIU number to get it over with, as it was obvious that he didn't enjoy performing it, and did so with disdain. The other team members were only following his lead. Maybe he was having a bad night, but any guest in the theater that night would must left with a bad impression of the performers because of him (not exactly what XMAS week guests want to experience).

On an "up" note, the most memorable staff person in my opinion was Islas, the bartender at the Bar La Habana, in the lobby area. He is one of the most entertaining, friendly, and pleasant persons working on the grounds, IMO. He is truly the perfect person for that position and this location. This comment was not colored in any way by his excellent mixed drinks.

Touching on a few points made in the previous posting, the hotel needs to do something (like foam weather stripping or the like in door jambs) to reduce the noise from the corridors that enters the suites at all hours of the day and night. One or two inconsiderate noisy customers at 2AM can wake up 10 or 20 guests as they stumble to their rooms. There should be some type of fix, as the acoustics of tile in the halls work against the facility. Wear and tear is visible, but in small doses, and after Wilma, it's amazing that everything looks so good anywhere on the coast. Room service is good, but no turn-down service, and all of the towel animals must have escaped during the H1N1 closure and lay-offs. The only towel animals that we ever saw were on the RIU channel promos on Ch. 24, much to my wife's disappointment. The beach was nice, as dredging must have been done recently, but we could have done without the several large 15' x 8' sandbag mounds acting as small breakwaters in the shallows (probably for the kids and to keep sand in its place). We had lunch one day at the Chilis beach-side buffet, and so did the mosquitoes (on us). I still sport bites as I write this from L.A. The only other time that we dined outdoors was at Chilis (in it's night-time steakhouse configuration). No mosquitoes at night - just a family of cats with kitten.

If RPRM installed the cupolas with heated jacuzzis by the beach, just like at RPLA in Cancun, I'd give this facility a "10" instead of a "9". The two jacuzzis in the spa (one heated, one cold) just don't cut it, and the 24/7 accessibility of the jacuzzi at RPLA was a neat feature that was missing at RPRM.

Final comment - RIU should invest in providing dry cleaning services and/or spare uniforms for their reception staff. I don't know how the Capitan dressed in white at the front entrance does it, but he is always pressed and impeccable. Kudos to him. Some of the reception folks look like they slept in their gold blazers (take a hint, Edgar). That lack of attention to detail detracts from whatever excellent service that the reception personnel offer the guests. Also, someone tell the resident mandamas Espanol that he needs to learn to smile and to acknowledge/respond to guests when they greet him with a "Good morning" or "Good evening" and a smile. I understand that his role does not include looking accessible or pleased when dealing with the staff, but he should be pleasant to guests that are pleasant and friendly to him. Or he should go back to the Mother Country, where he might be happier".

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