Old Reviews – RIU Palace Mexico

RIU Palace Mexico Rick ~ Windsor, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: March 2 – March 10
Arrival was quick and easy. Even though we arrived prior to check-in time our room was ready.

Rooms are large and well decorated. Bar was stocked with rum vodka brandy and tequila. The junior suite had 2 steps down to the tv area with a couch chair and tables. We had a beautiful view of the gardens. I noticed a slight musty odor but found that to be common with anywhere in the Caribbean. There was plenty of room to hang and stowe clothes. There was also a room safe which allowed you to set up your own combination so you didn’t need to carry a key. Loved that idea.

Restaurants and Bars
We only ate at two of the specialty restaurants and once at the dinner buffet. Krystal was the gourmet restaurant and is most often chosen. There are 2 sittings 1 at 6:30 and the other at 8:45. We chose the late sittings for both. I wasn’t knocked out at krystal but the Japanese was awesome. Thet bring sushi immediatly then whatever else you order. Was one of the best i’ve ever eaten. They also will bring a full bottle of wine to the table. They never stop pouring and always fuss over you. Breakfast had your usuals and 2 omelet chefs. Lunch always had a great variety of food, Italian, Mediterranean and Mexican. You will not go hungry unless you are thr fussiest person in the world!! The bars…. Great. After a day or two they will bring you your favorite drink without you asking. Try a mango daquiri. Very good. Dos equis on tap. The pool bar had excellent service. My only complaint is they could of had some Mexican music on to enhance the atmosphere. The Lobby bar was great as well. Elena was super. There is also a piano player depending on what time you get there. He was very good.

Beach was very clean and crowded. We stayed back near the palm trees. That stopped most of the wind and kept us out of the imediate sun. There are the whales to break the tide. Didn’t bother me, they had a job to do.

Other Comments I have travelled to other places on Mexico and this resort blows them away. Top notch service. With or without a tip, they still took care of you. Food was excellent, accomodations were great. People were super. Had a great time. Will definately do it again.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Den and Lynn

November 2007

We had a great time at the Palace. The hotel is beautiful and the staff is fantastic. We had no problems at all. Everyone was pleasant and helpful. They could not do enough for you and, in fact, Daisy, the hostess at the restaurant, stopped by our table several times to ask if there was anything we needed in our room or anything at all they could do to make our stay more pleasant! We couldn’t think of a thing!

Rooms were great, nice sitting area, lots of drawer space. Maids kept room very clean, turn down service at night. Beds were hard but we slept really well there.

Food was great. We preferred the buffet to the ala cartes, never felt that way at any other all-inclusive. You did have to make reservations in the morning but never had more than 8 or 10 people in line and it moved quickly. Five minutes in line tops. I think many ate at the buffet instead. Presentation was lovely, waiters were constantly filling your glass and removing plates.

Entertainment was as good as any resort we’ve been to, although we don’t care for the audience participations shows which were about twice a week. The animation team always stopped to say hi. The bands in the gazebo were very good, as was the piano player in the lobby bar.

Pool is very nice, never crowded, lots of loungers. Pool wait service was very good.

The beach unfortunately washed away before our eyes. I would say 10 feet of beach disappeared while we there and a huge 4 foot drop off appeared making access to the beach in front of the hotel difficult, we walked to the Yucatan where the drop was a little less. They brought trays of drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic to you.

Checked out the other Rius but kept coming back to the palace. The Yucatan was nice and had a nice pool.

There was quite a bit of topless on the beach if that concerns you (didn’t bother us).

We had no problem carrying keys to the room or safe, always have some little bag with us or you can put them in your pocket.

Top of Page

July 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico July 7 – 14th 2006 and this resort is GREAT, Fabulous, Muy Bien! One word of caution when you arrive at the airport; be careful who you talk too because the information desk’s in the Cancun airport have staff that will try to sign you up for a time share presentation. Unless you want to loose time and sign up for a very expensive time share, don’t take a time share tour for a gift.

The resort is spotless and huge! The staff is very friendly and very helpful! The room was extremely clean and spotless. The air conditioning in the room was great, very cold. The water pressure in the shower was strong and the hot water plentiful! Plenty of soda, Corona, bottled water, club soda, rum, vodka, etc. in the mini bar. Drinks at the various bars in the resort were top notch and plentiful! If you have a big insulated cup the bartenders will gladly fill your cup with your favorite beverage.

Mainly families and some children and teenagers at this resort. Very nice group of people from all over the world. The beach was huge and plenty of chairs. The ocean was calm most days however a couple of days some waves generated, but not too big. The hotel lobby was fabulous and air conditioned!

Plenty of chairs at the pool and the pool bar, swim up bar, is a great place to have a few drinks and a swim. Nothing like swimming up the the pool bar to have an ice cold Corona! The pool is the one negative spot for me as it is on the small size for a resort this huge and the water dept is only about just over 4 feet deep at its deepest point.

The food was good and the buffet offered plenty of choices with wine, Corona, or soda to drink. The Japanese restaurant was good and the french rstaurant, Sir Edwards was good. We frequented the buffet, Sir Edwards, and the Japanese restaurants for dinner. Reservations are needed between 8:30a.m. and 10:30a.m each morning for any restaurant other than the buttet. We had a 6:30p.m. reservation for the Japanese restaurant and 9:15 for Sir Edwards. The waiter at Sir Edwards made a special trip to the bar to provide me with a rum and coke. This warranted a tip in my book!

Overall, the Riu Palace Mexico is elegant and a first class hotel. We highly recommend this resort for a comfortable relaxing beach vacation. Everything is first class, the room was spotless, beach very nice, ocean nice, food good, drinks good, staff very polite and helpful, entertainment was good, so if you have a few extra dollars it’s well worth it! I would say we will be back to the Riu Palace Mexico! Adios

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Carol ~ Milwaukee, Wisconsin

January 2006

Our visit to this resort started our poorly. The man checking us in was very distracted. He kept going back and forth from working with us to answering the phone and various other tasks while the check-in process was completed for others. Finally he left us without notice and was replaced by someone else. Our room was beautiful but had a very strong disinfectant smell which never went away. We went to the reception desk to see about another room. The manager came from his office, didn’t introduce himself and never smiled. His body language was negative. We were shown two other rooms, but they smelled moldy, so we stayed in the original room with the very strong smell. Our plans were to work out first thing each morning before going to breakfast. The fitness center is very small and except for one treadmill, the other equipment in antiquated, so we opted for walking back and forth to the shopping district each day (1-1/2 miles). If you like to shop, the location is great. The Gourmet and Japenese restaurants were very good, but the food generally is just okay. Reservations need to be made for the specialty restaurants between 8:30a and 1045a, but if you don’t get there at 8:30a you probably won’t get a reservation. If you’re interested in spa services, the massages were great, but you can’t charge them to your room and need to pay each time. The only other resort that we’ve stayed at in this general area was the Iberostar Lindo and found it to be a much better choice. Also, the RIU is not a good choice for small children.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Martha ~ USA

June 2005

My husband and I just got back from a wonderful five night stay at the Riu Palace Mexico in Playa Del Carmen (May 29th – June 3rd 2005). We flew in on US Airways from Baltimore, MD and caught the Apple Vacations shuttle from the Cancun airport. We usually forego the shuttle transportation, but were glad we did it. It was included in the price of our trip, and it was very fast. The shuttle was air-conditioned, and the driver was very nice. A note on the Cancun airport – don’t make eye contact or talk to the many people who will call out to you as you walk through the terminal. They will pretend to be helpful, but only want to sell you time shares. If you are lost or need help go to the information desk or ask a security person. The time share people are very pushy and swarm like vultures on unsuspecting tourists who just want to know where to catch a cab or shuttle.

In short, the Riu Palace is FABULOUS! We had the time of our lives. The resort was beautiful and spotless. Check-in was a breeze and the front desk personnel were knowledgeable and charming. Our room was exactly as advertised – beautiful and spotless. In fact, the entire resort was gorgeous and would pass a white glove test. The cleaning people really take pride in their work. We saw floors being polished and the tiniest crevices of wrought iron railings being cleaned every day. It reminded us of Disney World because we didn’t even see bugs outside! One evening it rained while we were at dinner, and when we walked out the staff was drying the chairs, tables and brick pavers on the patio. The staff is extremely friendly as well. Everyone from the cleaning people to the doorman said “Hola” and “Buenos Dias” to us as we walked by. They seemed to have genuine concern as to whether or not we were having a nice time (and we were). There wasn’t the slightest hint of rudeness from anyone who was employed at the resort. Any time we called to ask for something for the mini bar or our room we had it within minutes. Even though tipping isn’t required, we took one-hundred one dollar bills for the shuttle drivers, baggage handlers and for those offering exceptional service at the resort. We found ourselves wanting to tip everyone because the service was absolutely impeccable everywhere.

The beach was perfect! We had no problem getting chairs in the sun or shade and even little plastic tables to put our things on between us. The sand didn’t get hot at all, and the ocean was beautiful. I am not an ocean swimmer, but my husband spent quite a bit of time in the ocean and said it was great. It is more rough than we are used to, but there was no under current. We didn’t try it, but we enjoyed watching all the people parasailing and riding wave runners. There is a large area blocked off for swimmers so you don’t have to worry about being over-run. I do recommend bringing a large insulated cup so your drinks will stay cold on the beach. The cups used at the outside bars are very small and made of thin plastic, but if you bring a big cup the bartenders will gladly fill it with the beverage of your choice. Don’t forget to ask for the brands of alcohol you want because they will use the cheap stuff if you don’t. My favorite beach drink was the “Dirty Monkey.” Roy, the beach bartender, made it for me when I asked for something yummy with chocolate in it. It is a frozen concoction made with Vodka, Kahlua, Crème De Cacao, chocolate milk and bananas. Once I forgot to ask for Absolut, and it wasn’t as good. We usually went out to the beach after breakfast every morning and stayed until lunch. After lunch we hit the pool.

The two pools are great! The water was the perfect temperature during our stay – not cold at all. The more shallow pool has a swim-up bar, with stools in the water. The outer edge of that pool has a ledge all the way around as well, so there is room for everyone to sit and relax in the water. The other pool – only steps away – is deeper and lots of people brought inflatable floating loungers to use to relax in that one. I think the official policy is that they are not allowed, but I saw many people using them and wished I had one! If you are in that pool waiters visit often to bring you drinks since there is no swim up bar. There is a volleyball net in the shallow pool, but it is over to the side and out of the way so others don’t get splashed. Don’t try to go down to the pool without some type of shoes on because the surface around the pool gets EXTREMELY hot.

The food was very good. The main buffet restaurant, Don Julian, has hundreds of things to choose from – something for every palate. I enjoyed eating real Mexican food and now prefer it to the more “Tex-Mex” versions of things here. I can’t vouch for the late seating, but everything was fresh and good at the 6:45 seating on the nights we ate there. The Japanese restaurant, Miyagi’s, was pretty good, but not great. I would stay away from their sushi, and they don’t serve plum wine (our favorite with Japanese food at home). The gourmet restaurant, Sir Edwards, had excellent food. My husband had a duck dish and said it was fabulous. My beef dish was excellent as well. La Bodega, the Brazilian restaurant, was our least favorite. We actually got up and left after the first course, opting for the buffet instead. The chicken was very good, but the other meats didn’t appeal to us. The two outdoor restaurants near the pool and beach were both very good. We had lunch at them both and enjoyed the food. With so much to choose from we were able to find good food for every meal, but the one complaint we had was that they don’t serve mixed drinks or good wine at the restaurants. They offer “red wine”, “white wine”, and a couple of different Mexican beer choices with meals (along with soda and water). We eventually got smart and stopped by the bar on the way to dinner, and often the waiters offered to go to the bar for us to refill our drinks as we ate.

In all it was a wonderful trip! It was elegant but relaxed, and after two weeks we are still talking about it nonstop. I’m sure we will be back.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Jeannette and Dan ~ Charlotte, NC

June 2005

My now husband and I decided to get married at the Riu Palace Mexico in Playa Del Carmen on May 30th 2005. We had over 30 guest fly in for our event and we stayed 10 days. We chose that resort because we had stayed at other Riu hotels and loved the last 3 trips to their hotels in the Dominican Republic. We did enjoy our stay but they had nowhere close to the great, friendly service as the Dominican Riu’s have!

The Hotel: We found the hotel to be very beautiful. Fountains and landscaping were gorgeous. The beach was the best we had seen in the area. It has a lot of palm trees for shade if you didn’t want to get too much sun. The rooms are very nice. We were not able to upgrade to a suite because they were sold out. But the standard rooms, which are called Junior Suites, are plenty big. They have a living room area. The rooms were a little musty smelling. But that has been in just about every tropical location.
Over all- 9 1/2

Service: This was the one area where we were not too pleased. Half the staff was nice and the other half was rude. My husband went to the bar to ask for limes for the beers in the room and the bartender gave him a hard time asking why he needed them and on and on. It is funny that you are at an All-Inclusive and you have to give a 5-minute explanation of why you want a lime. Then one day I went into the beach lunch area with no shoes. The head manager ran up to me and told me that I needed shoes so I asked if I could take my plate with me and bring it back since it was already full of food. He said no; so I said ok, let me flag my husband down so he can bring them. The manager at that point grabbed my plate out of my hands, spilling hot food all down my chest. I was so upset and told him don’t ever do something like that again….he was then very rude arguing with me. I walked out embarrassed and angry and went and got my husband. When we came back he apologized and said please, please forgive me. It was unbelievable. Then another manager in the Japanese restaurant was rude to a group of 10 of us when we were 10 minutes late all getting there for dinner. The staff just didn’t give you that feel like they were there to help you. They were the terrible at the lobby bar. They just ignored you and didn’t give good service. We would ask and ask for coffee at the buffet and they would take 20 minutes to come back with it. Other Riu’s had such wonderful, friendly service. We did not get that here in Mexico. And were very disappointed with that aspect of the trip. I was even in tears at one point with the staff for my rehearsal dinner. That was embarrassing and in front of 35 guests. Long story, but another bad service problem.
Over all- 5

Food: The food was very good. We ate at the Japanese restaurant, which I didn’t think I would like, but I actually loved it. The Brazilian restaurant and Sir Edward was great too. The stake house was always booked, so we never tried it but heard good things. I’d definitely recommend eating at them all, because they were excellent. The only thing we noticed was, there is some kind of politics going on with getting in some of the restaurants. If there is a wedding dinner, understandably, you couldn’t get in. But we had some family wait in line early in the morning and be 2nd in line and they would tell them that there were only 3 seats left for a specific restaurant. How could that be when you are second in line? We heard if you pay money, you were able to get “restaurant reservation favors”. That isn’t the way we wanted to do business so a couple nights we ate down town. We did have a few out of the group get very sick. We think it was raw vegetables/salad. All the other food seemed to be fine. Bring Imodium just in case. We did have to have the doctor come for 2 people. He gave a shot and prescriptions. All total costing $150. US
Over all-9

Entertainment: During the day the resort was way too quiet. We are use to music going on and activities. They had a few activities. But this is not the hotel that has a lot going on. If you like things very quiet you’ll love this hotel. The entertainment at night was fine. But the bars outside close way too early. The beach bar closes hours before the sun even goes down. And there are just small snacks for after hours. Nothing for the tons of starving folks that are up late night. There is only one bar to go after the entertainment and that is the bar off the lobby. I expected a late night outside bar for a hotel of this size.
Over all-6

Wedding: The wedding was actually better than expected. Being that we had a lack of good communication during the planning stages before we came to Mexico. So we thought we could be in for a big disappointment. But the wedding coordinator was very helpful when we got there. Everything came out beautiful. The photographer did a great job and our wedding DVD is fantastic. (we upgraded and got the $900 additional picture/DVD package) The coordinator actually set it up so that we could do a first dance by the pool. And they played a couple other songs so that family and friends could join in. The only thing they don’t do is a rehearsal dinner or a reception. So you have to plan something yourself. I did think the cost of the wedding packages was very high compared to what you got in the packages at other resorts. Other places the bride arrived by horse drawn carriage, dress and tux pressing, make up and hair done, you get an hour of music with appetizers and drinks for a reception. For the same price we paid here. We just were set on a timeframe and this was the only hotel that had the dates available. So as far as cost, I thought it was very high for what you got. But then again, we had a great time.
Over all-7

Things to do/ Excursions: Definitely go into the town of Playa Del Carmen. I had been to the area 8 years ago….and was shocked at how much it had grown. Go to 5th avenue. There is a lot of shopping and fantastic restaurants. We were leery about eating outside the resort but were told it was safe. We had fantastic lobster, steaks, shrimp, etc. The further down 5th Avenue you walk the nicer it becomes. (It is very long) Also, go to the Blue Parrot. It is a great bar and gorgeous inside. They do a fire show on the beach. There are all kind bars in the area that are so beautiful inside. Not what we expected.

We did go on a snorkeling trip. We did the one off of Cozumel and the reef was nothing spectacular at all. I heard there is a better reef right off of Playa Del Carmen. Cozumel is fun to shop. So it is worth taking the ferry over. A MUST DO is something called the Mayan Adventure. We booked through our Apple rep and it was the best excursion. You snorkel at 3 locations. The first is a crystal clear, fresh water lagoon that has some fish and gorgeous rocks. The second location is a fresh water cave. The water is the clearest I’ve ever seen. It is unbelievable. They feed you a good, tasty lunch after your swim. The third location is a bay area in the ocean. There are big rocks, lots of fish. You swim right along sea turtles. It was the most beautiful excursion.
Over all-10

Please email if you have any questions. jmpreston@mail.com

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Don ~ New York

April 2005

We have just spent a fantastic week at the RIU Palace in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I was traveling with my wife and 10 year old daughter. We are veterans of this area, having spent one week in the area the last 6 years. Prior to this year we have stayed at 5 different resorts( we went to Iberostar Toucan/ Quetzal twice.) I can say that without a doubt this was our best week. If you have never stayed at this property you are missing out on one of the finest resorts in Mexico. We arrived around 9 PM on a Saturday evening. The resort stipulates certain seating times, but was understanding of our arrival time and promptly directed us to the Don Julio buffet. It was Italian theme night and we thoroughly enjoyed the service and food, although tired from our daylong trek from Rochester, NY through Toronto. We found the guest room to be spacious and clean and called it a night. The next day began like the next seven at the breakfast buffet. The selection and quality were excellent. Service at breakfast was generally good, although for whatever reason it seemed more prompt on the outside patio than in the inside dining room. I have read negative comments regarding the coffee. I would describe it as inconsistent. At times excellent, while at other times it was probably just a few hours old. That could not be said of the food which was typically fresh and excellent. This would ring true of the luncheon and dinner buffet as well. We ate dinner at the buffet on 5 of our 7 nights, particularly enjoying the Mexican them night. There is a Mariachi band serenading tables during dinner, and they were great! We also ate ala carte at the Steakhouse and Brazilain restaurant. The Steakhouse was good, not great, but we Americans are a little spoiled when it comes to steak. The Brazilian was fantastic. The mulitple courses meat, and the grilled pineapple were just too good to be true. When finished a good walk was needed.

If you have never been in the Playacar area of Mexico it is a great experience. The resorts and the community are very clean and safe with a small shopping area within a short walk. The shopping is more expensive than in Playa Del Carmen, but when you factor in a $4 cab fare there is only a small difference. When at the RIU Palace you can also visit the RIU Playacar and RIU Tequila. The RIU Yucatan was closed for renovation, but is normally part of the package as well. The RIU Tequila is a lot of fun and many of the Palace guests frequented that resort as it was more lively than the palace bars. We had some friends at the Tequila who could not use the palace facilities, so we crossed over alot. In all the hotels they sell cigars in the lobby area every night. I bought them almost every night and they were very good, although Mexican and not the Cuban I had been looking for.

The pools were clean and you could always get excellent service at the swim up bar. There are ledges at the side of the pool to sit on and relax, although in the heat of the afternoon the sides of the pool can get hot enough to leave the paint on your swimwear! We also had the unforuntate experience of having a group decide to play football in the pool. This would not have been a big deal had they been more considerate, but on more than one occasion the ball hit people or knocked over drinks. The resort should probably make sure this is not allowed.

The beach area was fantastic and the dive shop was extremely helpful. I went on two dive and took my 10 year old on the snorkeling trip which was very good as well. We developed a friendship with Gabby from the dive shop during the course of the week. She gave us great info and I am hoping she is available to train my daughter to dive in future years. I also got in a couple of workouts and found the gym to be more than adequate for a resort of this type.

In summary I can only say it was a great week. For those who want to find fault, I will say the bed was hard. Other than this, which did not keep me from having a great rest each night, you could not find anything to complain about. We would certainly return to this resort again, it was " MUY BIEN"!

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Michael ~ USA

April 2005

We spent a wonderful 4 nights at RIU Palace Mexico April 9-13, 2005. We had visited there once before about a year and a half ago, but there is new management and it is even better! The morale of the staff is much better, service was great, and the room was kept very clean and nice. We never left the property the whole time we were there, except to shop for trinkets across the street.

Playa Del Carmen is experiencing significant beach erosion problems and the RIU Palace had the best beach area compared to hotels both north and south of it.

The food is really quite good. The buffet restaurant is spectacular with many, many choices. We had no problem getting al a carte restaurant reservations at 0830 – 0930 at the entrance to the breakfast buffet. The early risers get best pick though.

Everything about this place is well done. Young active types who need a lot of action would be bored here. This is a couples resort primarily. Lots of honeymoons, and couples having a good time. Mostly European guests. If you are looking for a place to chill-out, eat well, stay in a very nice room then this is the place. You have free reign of all the RIU hotels in the area when you stay at the Palace. There was lots of activity at the RIU Tequila across the street.

Only two small negatives. First the beds are very firm. Call the desk and they will send thick mattress pads. They came with ours within a few minutes. Second, the coffee at breakfast is not very good – seems kind of salty and watery – very out of sync with the rest of the high quality offerings. Hey, I drank it anyway.

We have traveled a lot, and have stayed in very nice jet-set places – and we love this place. Staying here is very cost-efficient considering the level of service and luxury. If the RIU corporate people are reading this, you have done well with the new manager. He has set the bar quite high for the new RIU Palace Mayan Riviera.

We will be going back every April!

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Tom ~ Buffalo, NY USA

February 2005

We just returned from our stay at the RIU Palace from Jan 22 to 29, 2005. We flew with Funjet via Ryan International Airlines directly from Buffalo to Cancun. We were extremely fortunate to get out on Saturday as the storm that hit the east also hit Buffalo. Our flight was delayed a little over an hour as we needed to get deiced before takeoff. Most of all the other flights were cancelled that day as the receiving airports on the east coast do not handle snow removal to the extent that the Buffalo airport does. Enough about snow!

The flight was uneventful, though we landed later than originally scheduled because of the delay. We were taken directly to the Palace by the Lomas tour agency in Cancun and check-in was handled with dispatch. I had requested a room by email on the lower level and with a view of the fountains. This is exactly what we received-Room 135. The staff was most responsive to our questions and filled us in on all the specifics we needed to know about our stay. We have stayed at the RIU Tequila on two other occasions and knew something about the RIU operations.

This is a remarkable property. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in all aspects. The weather was beautiful each day. We spent most of our time in the pool area even though the water was refreshing (brisk). It seems they lost some of the beach area as a result of previous storms this summer as it is not a large as we remembered on our previous stays. Further down the beach by the Royal Hideaway they employees were filling sandbags to stop the wave action from eroding their frontage further.

We were treated royally by all who worked here and felt as though they were genuinely concerned with our well being.

We discovered that RIU is building another Palace up the street towards Playa del Carmen. They have started to clear the land there and begin the process. I believe they will name the property RIU Palace Mayan. Being very please with RIU properties in the past, we will book a stay at the new Palace when it opens. I also understand the RIU Yucatan will be closed for renovations sometime in April.

We have traveled extensively in Mexico on both coasts and enjoy the RIU and Iberostar operations. We highly consider both operations for different reasons. We have stayed at the Iberostar Queztal in Playacar and will be at the Iberostar Paraiso-Maya at the end of March.

Do not hesitate for a moment to stay at the RIU Palace. It will be back on our itinary for future vacations.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Jim, Nancy, Charlie & Dottie

December 2004

Having already been to the RIU twice before, we knew we wouldn’t or couldn’t be disappointed by going again, only this time we brought our friends for the first time with us. These were friends we met on a previous trip to Aruba & have been close friends ever since. As always, the place was immaculate, the front desk service was good & the staff friendly & extremely helpful. Our friends couldn’t get over the grounds!! This even after showing them pictures from our previous trips. Guess you have to go there to really appreciate the beauty of this “palace”. And it really is a palace! Having been here in late July, & early April, we did not know what to expect weather-wise in October. Although, it was warm to hot some days, it rained every day but usually in the early morning. Then the rest of the day was great. I can say that the day before we were to come home was probably the worst day. It rained early but was just very gray all day but, hey, that’s ok, 6 days out of 7 isn’t too shabby…..There were a few changes from the other times we were there but we adapted. As a matter of fact, one of the waitstaff we became friendly w/before got a promotion to maitre’d and he took GREAT care of us as far as reservations were concerned. The food was very good but of course it’s not your usual American Cuisine no matter how hard they try. The rooms, well, what can I say about these accommodations except they were once again exceptional. Although, we had requested rooms side by side, for some reason that didn’t happen. We were 4 rooms apart but we had an excellent location. Our friends were so wowed by this. We were on the 3rd floor over looking the garden right smack dab in the middle. Spectacular!!! Refrigerator, well, always stocked..And w/my favorite choice of beer, Corona. They didn’t have Corona the previous times. All in all, fun was had by all and all had fun!! This is a must see and stay resort so book your trip now!!

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Jamie and Marnie — Canada

September 2004

We just returned from our 1week honeymoon (Aug. 23-30th) at the RIU Palace in the Mayan Riviera. We went with Sunquest Vacations and flew Skyservice. We were impressed as soon as we arrived. The lobby was gorgeous with several enormous chandeliers. Our check in was quick and unlike regular check ins. It was not done at the main desk but instead all the people that arrived on the bus got taken to a lounge area and given a formal introduction to the hotel, drinks, a map, and our keys.

Our room was on the top floor (the 3rd) and it overlooked the hotel courtyard with all the lovely fountains. As a honeymoon welcome there was a fruit basket and a bottle of tequila awaiting us. Through the course of the week the maids continually left flowers all over the room and made creative animals out of the towels. One day we also received RIU Palace honeymooner face clothes. The room was great always clean. They do also have an evening bed turn down service which is nice as the 2 double beds which are pushed together are tucked in quite tight. The rooms all have a safe, a mini fridge that is regularly stocked with water, pop, and Corona. There was also something I have never seen before….a liquor dispensor in the closet. All of which is free.

All the employees at the resort are wonderful. They are all so hard working and friendly. They wait on you hand and foot. We witnessed one bartender refuse a tip saying “Its all inclusive”.

We spent most of our time at the beach which was amazing. Very long and very wide. You did not have to worry about getting a seat whether you wanted sun or shade there was plenty. In some areas there are hammocks draped between hammocks. The ocean was very rough the first few days that we were there but that was fun and they had boogie boards you could take out. The water in the ocean off the beach gets deep quickly and was nice and warm. It was very hot while we were there and we did witness 2 women faint from the hot sun, so be sure to stay hydrated! There was also many topless women we had never seen so many before at other resorts.

Apart from staying at the resort we did go parasailing one day. We went as a tandem and it was $70 US. It was a lot of fun and not scary at all like I thought it was going to be. We also did a day trip to Tulum and Xel-Ha. It was very hot at Tulum but at least there was a breeze coming off the water as Tulum is sort of on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There is a beautiful view here. After spending about 3 hours at Tulum we went to Xel-Ha which is an ecological water park where a fresh water lagoon meets the salt water ocean. We have never had such a good snorkeling experience before. There were many fish…some of which were very big! We originally had been thinking of going to Cozumel to snorkel but we were glad that we did not in the end as we met another couple who did not like there experience and had seen no fish. We did a little bit of shopping in the evenings. We went to the little shopping area in Playa Del Carmen which is just a 3 minute walk down the road and we also went further into town to 5th Avenue. The shopping areas were much nicer than I was expecting and we felt perfectly safe wandering around.

My new husband and I throughally enjoyed our trip. We met so many other young honeymooning couples. It seems to be a popular spot. We have both been to Cuba, and the Dominican and this trip has beat them all. We would highly recommend it and would not hesitate to return!

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Karen & Rob

August 2004

My husband and I just returned from 8 days at Riu Palace (8/21 through 28). It was our best vacation to date. We visited Mexico 5 years ago at another resort, and this far surpassed that visit in every respect. The resort was more than I expected. It is beautiful and kept spotless. The staff is incredibly friendly and respectful, and it is sometimes amazing how many languages they can speak. The food is wonderful (I gained 3 1/2 pounds) — we mainly ate in the main dining room, although we did visit Sir Edward restaurant once. I was pleased with every meal, including all lunches in the main dining area. The beach is superb and the water warm and electric blue. We are not big drinkers, but we did enjoy some of the fruity specialty drinks and some of the champagne that was abundant throughout the resort. From the greeting from the doorman as we walked into the resort to our checking out, we were very welcomed and catered to. We have been to several other all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and Punta Cana, but this was by far the best. I do not have one negative thing to say about the resort. I had always been of the opinion that I would never return to a place twice since there is so much to see in the world. However, both my husband and I agreed that we are visiting Riu Palace again next year.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Christian — Belgium

June 2004

My wife and I spend two weeks in the Palace. This was our second stay in a RIU Palace resort after spending two weeks in April 2003 in the RIU Palace Macao resort in the Dominican Republic. We are used to A.I. resorts since years (several times in different 4*-5* resorts from the Austrian Magic Life Chain at differnt places in Turkey and Greece, SOL Hoteles chain in Spain, the Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic). Usually I try to inform me as much as possible on the hotels and places to stay. Reading, comparing and analysing revieuws from other travellers can mostly prevent for making the wrong choice.

This time too, we are happy having staid at this RIU resort. The hotel accomodation was almost exactly what we had expected. Since there are many other resent trip revieuws on this website with more ore less detailed information on the Palace, I only want to pinpoint some remarks I previously read and add some additional information.

We had a room with view to the RIU Yucatan. Notting special to see, but it was very quiet and relaxing. A fountain view room would have been nicer but wasn’t foreseen for our Belgian touroperator ( JETAIR). The room itself was spacious and well kept. If you are some of those who want to use the (newly) installed clock radio, don’t turn off the main electricity switch at the entrance door otherwise the clock will keep blinking. We had never a problem with the water pressure in the bathroom. Beds are as written by others two separated ones pushed together. They are indeed somewhat hard but we had good night sleep anyway (even being used to a waterbed at home).

Walls are not very well isolated but if you close the door between the hall and the bedroom noise isn’t so a big problem. We only were wakened up one night by a few "guests" whom "mis"used some of the resorts A.I. facilities.

About the dinner seating at the main dining room: We asked for the 9 PM seating. Table is assigned for the total period of your stay, but can be changed on your request. The second evening one staff-member even asked us if we were happy with the assigned table (so no need to tip the waiters to have a specific table ore seating as some wrote previously). Tip: with the high temperature and humidity this time of year, ask to be seated in the air-conditioned part and not on the terras if you want to avoid sweating. Take in mind that most palace guest are couples (like ourselves) who like some privacy when dining, so please avoid asking staff to pull tables together. If you really want to sit with more people just ask for tables on one row (you will even have more sitting space for yourselves). We made reservation for the speciality restaurants on four occasions. I always made our reservation when going to breakfast (9-10 AM) and never had any problem to obtain them. The reservation for Sir Edwards was made on a day we took an excursion at 8AM.

Staff was always friendly, helpful and often tried to make a little conversation (what’s your name, where you come from, is everything to your liking? And so on. Swimming pool: One of the negative part of the resort for myself. The pool is nice, clean and warm (even very warm the afternoons in this time of year), lots of chairs and space available. So what is wrong (my opinion)? Why is there a pool with swim-up bar if some "guests" need to spend all day drinking and shouting in the "relax" pool? Why pulling two dozen of chairs together, installing a 100W disco- station at the relax pool? Why is there a separated Jacuzzi-pool in the garden if some "guests" put chairs around it and spend all day in it drinking?

Maybe the hotel staff could make some "behaviour rules" and supervise these like they do for example in the RIU Palace Macao in the Dom. Rep (no drinking in the pool, no exaggerated disturbing noise around it). Interesting things to see or do, Tips (I think not have read these previously): Just take the opportunity to take a walk in the next-door Riu Yucatan. Very nice garden with walkways, apes in the trees and little strange animals (forgot the Spanish name). Visit the new RIU Palace Las Americas in Cancun. With your palace bracelet you can use the facilities (bars, restaurants, etc.) in this new luxury RIU resort (just check with the reception if these options are not changed). To get there just take a walk or taxi (40 pesos) to the Playa Del Carmen Bus station (5th avenue), take a bus-ticket to Cancun (32 pesos/one way). About 50 minutes drive with an air-conditioned bus. Upon arrival in Cancun take a local city bus (6 pesos) to the hotel zone (plan available at the hotel reception). Opportunity exists to use a wireless laptop to use Internet from the desk in the main lobby. Price 10$US an hour (can be split over several days during your stay).

Try to pay most expenses in Mexican pesos. Examples: International pre-paid telephone card cost 10$US or 100 pesos, taxi to Playa 4$US or 40 pesos. During our stay 1$US could be changed in Playa for 11.20 to 11.60 pesos. Final remarks: The RIU Palace Mexico resort is a very nice and luxury hotel. Compared to the RIU Palace Macao in the Dom. Republic we would slightly prefer the Mexican one, wasn’t it for the inconvenience that -regrettably- some of the "guests" just don’t have the right behaviour for a Palace-class resort like this. Indeed some people, who like beach party style accommodations, should better read more attentively the resort descriptions and book a more Club-style, active vacation. Like we say in Europe, there is Marbella and there is Ibiza.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Fran — Boston

June 2004

Two years ago my husband and I stayed at the Riu Palace in Playacar and we were so taken with it that we decided to vacation there again this year. We arrived in mid-April for a one week stay. Just as we remembered, the rooms were clean, the resort was spotless and beautifully manicured, and the help were wonderful. All who work there are efficient, friendly, and helpful. A special tip of the cap to Elsy and Jesus.

The beach is paradise with plenty of chaises, and ample room for lounging about in the sun or in the shade of palm trees. There is even a beach bar where you can get just about any kind of drink you can think of. They have even added an area on the beach with hammocks. Very nice. My favorite time there was when there was music and dancing on the beach. Lots of fun! If you enjoy poolside, that is lovely as well though some might find the water to be a bit cool.

Unfortunately, I can’t say much more on the positive side. We were disappointed with the Palace for a number of reasons this year. One small thing about the rooms: the shower is rather dark.Once you draw the shower curtain, it is very dim! And if you don’t like to shampoo your hair with shower gel, be sure to bring along your own shampoo. But to address a problem mentioned earlier by another reviewer, they have added clock radios in the rooms.

Next, the food in the Don Julian buffet was often the same. The bill of fare was similar on most nights. Very little variety. The desserts seemed to be mass produced at some nearby factory; always the same thing each night. On our first visit we didn’t even bother to try to get reservations at the restaurants because we were never disappointed with the buffet. This year was different. We finally got a reservation at the Bodega and it was fine; not exciting, but okay.

Our biggest gripe might seem a bit Scrooge-like, but we got tired of having to avoid weddings. There were wedding guests and participants in the main lobby, in the Cubana bar, on the patio, the gazebo, and on the beach. There wasn’t a day that went by without our having to skitter around a bride and groom, the photographer, anxious parents, and the wedding planner. As was mentioned in an earlier review, the Patio restaurant was often off-limits to regular guests because of wedding receptions there.

The last time we visited the Riu, we enjoyed the fact that it was an older crowd. We are in our fifties and we enjoy a quiet ambience. Unfortunately, the number of weddings meant crowds of young singles who attended the nuptials and then made sure that they got their money’s worth at the bars. We were kept awake with the sound of breaking glass and loud voices until 4:00 AM one morning. The management eventually had to call the police.

Since the Riu has chosen to be a "destination wedding" resort we will now have to search for another hotel that pays attention to "ordinary guests.

Top of Page

April 2004

We spent a week at this resort, in March. I found the reviews here to be helpful in setting our expectations. We found the resort to be better then average. The service was very friendly and they were helpful with any requests that we made. Our first room was a big disappointment. It was very noisy due to the main building A/C nearby, and a sewer smell in the toilet area. We requested a switch of rooms immediately. We arrived at 10:30 pm and they weren’t able to accommodate a switch that night, but they did move us by 10:00am the following day. Other then this we were very pleased with the property. Any request were handled immediately and with a smile.

We found the reservation system a problem. I went to reserve at Sir Edward at 7:00 am one morning, and it was already full. There were large groups of people who were going down and booking for parties of 12 and 10. I felt this system unfair, and we gave up trying that again. However, the following morning as we came into breakfast, the manager remembered me and still had a table available for Sir Edwards that night, which we took. The food was okay, but not better then the buffet. Being served is a pleasure because we find the buffet novelty wears thin by the end of the week.

The beach is wonderful. We appreciated the depth of the beach as it gave us lots of choices for finding shady spots. It was well maintained, and clean. DH wanted music, but I appreciated the quiet.

Overall a very positive experience.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Carm and Carmen – Toronto

April 2004

We just got back from the Mayan Riviera on Friday. We were there for one week .The weather was good. Cloudy one day and it rained buckets two evenings. We can not say enough about this resort and the location. Anyone who is disappointed in this resort are needless to say not very well travelled. We are in our mid forties and are well travelled. We were not one of the oldest there as reported by others. In fact there were m.any young adults there because some students from the U.S. were still on March break with their parents.There was a nice melting pot of ages and nationalitys. I will give you a brief overview of our week without going into too much details.

The resort itself is outstanding. The grounds are groomed beautifully and are immaculate.The entrance alone tells you this is the place to be. One of the best out of all the surrounding hotels. The pool area is very well maintained and very well done. It is a walk to the beach but you do not seem to mind because walking threw the fountain area and pool area are lovely. One of the best beaches we have seen and we have been throughout the caribbean. We have stayed at the Riu Palace in Punta Cana and this is at least one step better. The price also does reflect this.The only complaint is that the pool area and beach should have some music.

The rooms are vey well kept. You just have to ask and you will receive it in a "mexican minute" of course. We did ask for room 2151-2155 and did receive it.I emailed one week earlier. This view gives you the fountain area. There are no rooms other than the two storey suites where you will see the ocean.The rooms itself is a small suite with a small sunken sitting area and our balcony was large. It did have a solid wall so if you sat down you could have all the privacy you wanted.There are no clocks which I found annoying. Bar was a nice touch. Plenty of bottled water! Neither one of us got ill.

The restaurants were all very good. We did not try "The Botega". We were told we were not be missing much. This focuses on all kinds of griiled meats. It is a chore to reserve a reservation. As mentioned by others if you are not there to book by 7 a.m. you will not get in that night. The hotel should change this and I will email them. I do not want to get up at the crack of dawn to get a dinner reservation and that is why we only went to "Sir Edwards" once. It was OK but nothing special other than the fact it was al a carte and it had a very nice cozy ambiance. The buffet at "Don Julian" was good so we did not bother anymore. There is something for everyone there. It is not what I consider fine dining but all in all it was above average as far as a buffet goes .Again there is no background music though. Such a small expence for a little more atmosphere. We have had dinner at the best restaurants in Toronto and anyone complaining of their cuisine is not in touch with reality. We had lunch at El Paio and La Traviata most days. It is close to the beach and pool. They are both buffets too.

The entertainment needs some improvements. We felt most of the shows were "Micky Mouse". We did not expect Las Vegas but were disappointed in their efforts. It was a nice setting to have drinks after dinner. Staff for the most part were very attentive and freindly. Tipping helps!

We went to Tulum for a half day trip with Sunquest. It was not worth 100.00 . The ruins were interesting but by the time you got to the beach you were all hot and sweaty. We went for a swim which was the best part of the trip , a very beautiful location. A very expensive swim too I might add.

We also went into Playa del Carmen one morning and one evening. It gets very lively at night with all the different bands playing. It is very charming. Be careful in the shops and make sure you negotiate. It is a little aggravating with all the merchants wanting you to come into their shops but no one will bother you if you decline. It is a 5.00 U.S.cab ride from the hotel. The fare is standard. You could walk it but save yourself. We also took the ferry over to Cozumel . It cost 18.00 U.S. We enjoyed it there and they had some great shopping ladies. I was so skeptical of buying silver I decided to go to Tiffanys’ and bought some pieces there. IAt least I knew the quality of the goods.

I would recommend this resort to anyone who was planning on going to the Mayan area. You are paying more but remember you get what you pay for in life. We do not generally go to the same resort or area twice but this time may be different.

Top of Page

March 2004

We just returned from the Palace and we weren’t overly impressed. We are in our mid 40’s and I’d say we would have been considered the youngsters at the resort. The grounds are beautiful, the beach was fantastic and the staff was great. Other than that we weren’t blown away like a lot of other reviews implied.

Other reviews have stated that the beds are hard, that’s an understatement, it was like sleeping on bricks and the pillows were not much better. I was shocked considering this is supposed to be one of the top of the line resorts. Our room itself was fine but the balcony had a 4 ft. concrete wall so if you sit down you can’t see anything.

The restaurants: There is a buffet restaurant with assigned times for dinner, the food was O.K. but after awhile all buffet food tastes the same. There are 3 ala carte restaurants that you have to make reservations for. We ate at two of them, one … Sir Edwards, food was good but it is very small and very formal. Hardly anyone was talking, there was no music, I felt like we were in a library. The other one we ate at was El Patio, that food was excellent. Problem with this restaurant is that they will close it out to weddings or big parties. So 4 of our 7 nights we couldn’t eat there which I think is absoultly wrong since this is supposed to be one of the dining options and you’re paying like everyone else to stay at this resort. We complained at the front desk but got nowhere. We have traveled to varies places even the Dominican Republic and have never had stomach (Montezuma’s revenge) problems. However I did this trip for 4 days and we met 3 other people who got food poisoning, one women was considering taking her husband to the hospital. It wasn’t from the water, we drank bottled water and no drinks with ice.

Our best time was going into downtown Play del Carmen, cool little town. It was a $4 taxi ride one way from the hotel. All in all we had a nice trip but I would definately not choose to stay at the Riu Palace again, I don’t feel it’s worth the extra money.

Top of Page

March 2004

We just arrived home from a week long vacation at the Riu Palace Playacar. March 13th thru the 20th 2004. The resort is extremely clean, maintained with well manicured grounds. The staff is well dressed, spoken, very friendly as well as helpful. If you’re interested in staying at an all inclusive resort that is a bit highbrow in comparison to most other Latin American and or Caribbean hotels then you should strongly consider this place.

No shorts at diner time here. I personally enjoy getting dressed up at diner time and didn’t feel out of place with a pressed shirt and dress slacks on at the Riu. It is located in a large upscale community that is gated. Walking down the street one could get confused with the medium priced neighborhoods of Palm Beach, Fla.

The food was very good at all of the restaurants on the complex and the drinks were well prepared. There was nightly entertainment which was actually very good. All of the amentias are right up there, pools, gym, beach, rooms the works.

When checking in don’t forget the get a key for the room safe. Use it for all of valuables and documents and do not hide the key anyway in the room no matter how slick you think you are. If you’re afraid you will lose the key then use the main hotel safe. Things change ownership in Mexico often.

The only disappointment we had was with the diner reservations. There are basically two seating per evening. As soon as you arrive you should make reservations for a few nights in advance in each of the places. You can also make a standing reservation at the buffet for the complete week for the same table either outside or in. If you decide to eat at one of the other places they cancel the buffet one for that night with no problem. We didn’t really know what seating 6:30 or 8:45 or what place we wanted to eat at that far in advance so it was a bit frustrating. I solved the issue by finding the head person for seating and tipped him in advance for the week. Get over it, that’s they way it works in life.

If you’re one of the folks that try to get a handle on a hotel or restaurant by checking out the type of cars that are in the parking lot then this place would have a nice mix or BMW’s and Mercedes if one were to drive there as opposed to flying. Do plan on knowing that you are at the nicest resort in that area but please keep in mind that this isn’t the Waldorf so don’t set your bar quite that high. All in all I think this is a wonderful resort .

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Michael

January 2004

We just returned from Riu Palace Jan. 15-18. Although this is a nice place, there are better values for the money in the "luxury" category. Compared to other AI’s in Playa Del Carmen area the Riu Palace is average and some ways not as nice as other more affordable resorts.

The food is average and does not distinguish itself from other resorts in the area – especially since the Riu Palace is a premium resort. You have to be in line by 7am to make a reservation at the a la carte restaurants – on a vacation day… The staff seemed stuffy, and indifferent to the American guests. The staff in general did not seem happy, but stressed.

The rooms are nice, as long as you do not have one above the showroom as we did. Request for a 2 hour late check-out was denied as a matter of course.

The pool area is nice and quiet. The beach area is very nice with plenty of shade and chaise longue.

This hotel is quiet with many seniors and honeymoon couples – and many nice guests from Europe. It is not a great choice for families with school age kids.

Do your research carefully. For the money (and even less) there are better places than Riu Palace.

Top of Page

January 2004

My wife and I returned from the Riu Palace Playacar. It was our second time there. The first was 2 years ago for our honeymoon. Here are my thoughts:

Atmosphere: Playacar is a great resort area. It is clean, safe, has good roads and sidewalks, reliable infrastructure, great access to transportation. It is also presents a good area for walking.

Accommodations: We stayed in the basic Riu Palace room. It has two full beds pushed together, a comfortable couch, a small TV with cable access (both Spanish and English stations that includes CNN International, a BBC-like news station, Boomerang (old school cartoons for kids), ESPN and another sports channel, and CBS International). The bathroom is large with a single sink, large mirror, hair dryer, tub with shower, and a separate door going to a small room with a toilet and bidet. A clothes iron is available upon request.

Service: The service was still the best we’ve ever received in either of our travels. The staff is incredibly accommodating not only in the restaurants, but also in the bars, at the pool, maid service, and front desk. My wife was pregnant and our flight got in early, Teresa at the front desk was extremely accommodating and got us a room much sooner than promised.

Food: The main buffet area is still good, although the food quality in this area was down a bit from our honeymoon. During the honeymoon, it seemed like everything was almost cooked to order because of the number of cooking staff. The other 2 buffet style lunch-focused restaurants still had the same food quality. All the deserts were still great. Riu has expanded the reservation-required, limited seating, dinner restaurants. La Bodega, the Brazillian-style steakhouse, is still phenomenal – if you like meat. Sir Edward’s was a new gourmet restaurant that requires a very early riser to get a reservation for the earlier seating (6:30 or 45). All items are ordered a la carte. It was also phenomenal. La Traviata(?) was also great. You can choose from one of two meal flights (e.g., Steakhouse or Mediterranean). Garcia, a restaurant manager, helped us out a ton and took care of us. Both were excellent. If you are an eater, who likes variety, you will be in heaven. I have read some complaints on other sites about not having a choice for food. This is ridiculous! There is something for everyone.

Drink: There is a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages, bottled water is provided, and there are many options for tropical "virgin" drinks. The alcoholic beverages are good. There are some upper-shelf liquors available for shots or to be put in drinks upon request, otherwise well-liquors are used. The beer is Corona. The mini-bar in the room is stocked with bottled water, soda pops (Pepsi, Sprite, Pepsi-lite (diet), orange), soda water, and Corona. There are 4 liquor fifths in the room for mixers. Tipping definitely gets you a stronger drink, although you can request doubles. It also gets some great service.

Pool: The pool area is large with a quiet side (no bar on that side) and a louder side where activities and a swim up and sit-at bar resides. People get up really early and "reserve" some of the best spots, so do this as well if you want it.

Beachfront: The beachfront is immaculate. There is ample shade and sunny areas available. Choose your spot carefully and early as spots are reserved and you need to accommodate for the moving sun (consider the trees). For those going with Children or who may be offended by nudity or small bathing suits, please note that there are many women who opt for topless/thongs. I wouldn’t recommend setting up near the volleyball court as they play at 10a and 3p and the ball can get into the sun bathers.

Other Hotel Activities: The hotel publishes a calendar of entertainment and activities. These are good and present some mingling opportunities for couples. Note that Wi-Fi networking service with Apple or Dell Wintel laptops is available. Spa services are available as are beachfront massages.

Tours: We’ve gone on the Coba, Tulum/Xel-Ha, and swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery. All were booked through Apple Vacations and were excellent values. We tried to go to Cozumel for snorkeling this time on our own and it didn’t pan out. The Apple tour sell is a little strong.

Shopping in the Area: In Playacar there is a small shopping area, you can usually get better values in Playa Del Carmen, and the best in Cozumel. The area in Playacar gives a good opportunity for last minute items or a place to walk.

Recommendations for Improvement at Riu: The hot water pressure was a bit disappointing this time for showers. We were on the North side of the resort and one of the nights a neighboring resort had a late and very loud show that kept us up for a long time. I also think some of the entertainment should begin earlier. The posting of weather information on the Riu TV channel would be helpful. Trying to catch weather for Cancun and Cozumel and extrapolating can be difficult. Also posting of daily activities and entertainment at the other resorts would be nice.

Playa Del Carmen: It has grown in the 2 years. I read about some safety issues on the fringes of the beach and shopping areas. We stayed in the main areas and felt comfortable. The shopping, people watching, and restaurants is great. There are also many money changing spots. Also a Catholic Church is available with Saturday night, and 4 Sunday services.

It is a great vacation value with great service. I highly recommend it. If you want, you can opt to catch a cab from Cancun and skip the tour-provided transportation and get there sooner.

Top of Page

RIU Palace Mexico Michael & Melanie — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

January 2004

Hello, my wife and I have just come back from a wonderful vacation at the RIU Palace in playa del Carmen. We have been to three other all inclusive’s before (in the Bahamas, Barbados and Cuba) but this one blows them all away! This is truly a five star resort. We would definitely return!

GOOD/GREAT – the food was high quality and there were plenty of choices (fish, pasta, pork, beef, cold cuts, salad, fruit, some mexican, etc) – a very large buffet – we tried out all of the restaurants, and Sir Edwards and Bodega were great – the service was excellent, from the maid service to the bar to the dining room! – the grounds are immaculate! – the beach was clean, with lots of white sand and plenty of chairs available – in room liquor dispenser was a nice touch – in room bar fridge stocked every two days with Pepsi, 7up and Corona was nice – check in was a breeze and they had the key to the room safe ready at once, no need for a return trip (why can’t every hotel do that?) – entertainment was interesting, and while not Las Vegas quality, they tried hard. – if you want a different type of entertainment, you have access to other RIU resorts

– drying rack on the balcony to dry off swimsuits – great idea!

BAD/DIFFERENT/NOTES – TV kept losing reception, very annoying – no clock radio in room? – we agree with a previous poster that it was a challenge to get reservations for some of the restaurants, as they filled up early, but a little flexibility and persistance paid off – you have two choices of seating for dinner, early(6:30PM) or late. – this resort has an older crowd, if you’re looking for a party atmosphere, check out another hotel – seemed to be mostly European guests – snorkelling was a bit of a dissappointment, if you’re into that, try somewhere off the resort. – be sure to request a specific liquor if you want it, for example, if you like Canadian Club, say you want Canadian Club, otherwise you get Canadian Mist. – at the Airport some of the stores only appeared to take $US. – we had no trouble with the time share sellers – in fact, no one was there…

Top of Page

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *