More about Riu Palace Riviera Maya All Inclusive
Riu Palace Riviera Maya Vacation
Have just returned from the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. I have vacationed many times in the Caribbean and in Mexico, so my standards are kind of on the high side. My review is long, but here goes:
The hotel and grounds are pretty and it is a very fair value for what you get. The arrival procedure at the airport is pretty smooth if you don't get "caught" by one of the people tryiong to sell you a time-share.
Checking in was a minor issue. Our reservation said "run of house", which to me always has meant "best room available at the time". Not here. The place was not full, but they refused to give us any room other than an outside one overlooking the next-door hotel. When I complained that I didn't want to be on the first floor, and I was sure they could do better, the desk clerk said he'd try, and disappeared into the back. 5 minutes later, a young lady came out and said that she was told that there were no other rooms. (He was aftraid to face us, I guess). When I said we'd like an ocean view room, I was told that this hotel has no ocean view rooms (which is an out-and-out lie - you can see the ocean view rooms when walking around, and we met many people who said that they could see the ocean from their room). She said we could have a courtyard view room if we wanted to pay an additional $70 per night. I pressured her a bit, and she did give us an "upgrade" to the 2nd floor and a little further toward the ocean- but still on the "outside" facing another hotel. She said we'd have a partial ocean view. We did - if you leaned out over the balcony, you could see water between a couple of buildings. This was not the end of the world, but annoying and bad business on their part. If there is space and you upgrade a guest, they will be happy and probably return (and tell their friends what a great deal they got).
There is a printed list of daily activities which you can get at the front desk. This should be given out at check-in, but is not. Be sure to ask for it. We didn't find out about it until our 4th day and there were things we would have done had we known about them.
The rooms - clean, spacious, but very somber. I guess since this is a Spanish chain, they decided to make the hotel look like you were in Spain. The furnishings are dark, heavy wood, the pictures in the rooms are of old urns and antiquities. It really should have been done with a Mexican or Caribbean decor. It never felt cheery in the room, but, again, not really important. Their decorator didn't do her/his homework!
There is a safe in the closet, but I haven't seen anything other than an electronic hotel safe in 10 years! We were given a heavy lock and a key on a long rope. You have to put the lock in the safe every time you want to use it, and then carry the key/rope with you. There is a $40 charge if you lose the key. What a pain in the neck to always be carrying that thing around!
There are computers to use - however.... they are $4 for 15 minutes are are located in the back of the Sports Bar which is SO smoky, you can see the "fog" from the hall outside. I hated going in there, but needed to once.
Mornings - a little before 7 every morning, very, very noisy, heavy-wheeled maid's carts go rolling down the tile halls and the racket they make wakes you up. Rubber wheels would have made a LOT more sense and left guests a little less grumpy! The good news is, you're up nice and early to start the day.
Bathrooms - great hair-dryers! Nice double sinks. BUT... a very high sided tub needs to be climbed into and out of in order to take a shower. I would have been happier with a stall shower, but that's me. There's plenty of hot water and nice pressure.
Food - plentyful and good. There are two buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch. - lots of choices to please everyone. An amusing thing here is that most of the food is marked with a sign, telling what it is, but not always. And sometimes, the sign is wrong. Chicken and fish (baked and fried) are often impossible to distinguish. It was interresting sometimes to see what you got after you took a bite! Dinner can be at the buffet restaurant or at any of 5 "specialty" restaurants. We had been warned to stay away from the Mexican and Brazilian restaurants and did. The Steak house is good, the Japanese restaurant is quite good and the French is very good. We ate in each of these twice. The only complaint I have in the food department is that there is no brewed decaffinated coffee - only instant. I asked the manager at the buffet and was told that no-one requests decaffinated coffee, that's why they don't have it. Hard to believe! There's an ice-cream bar at lunch and dinner - very, very dangerous! (+5 lbs!)
Spa - Wonderful massage! Many services offered at fair prices.
Beach - it is mostly washed away. There is a sandy area beyond the pool and before the ocean. There are many baby palm trees, which don't make shade yet (they will some day). There are hundreds of lounge chairs, mostly empty, here. To get to the water, you have to walk down some steps through the sea-wall. While we were there, the surf was pretty rough, so swimming really wasn't an option. It was also too windy to take out the kayaks, but they are available. There are also a few catamarans.
My biggest complaint has to do with the SCUBA diving, run by Scuba Caribe. The staff is excellent - they are well trained, helpful, pleasant, and great. The operation needs a lot of work. In order to go diving, I had to suit up on shore, wear my weights, carry all my gear (except the tanks) and wade into the wavy water which was to my neck so I could climb onto a boat. At the end of the dive, the reverse happened - we had to jump in off the side of the boat and wade to shore in rough water, then walk across the (beach?) sandy area to the dive shop. Two days, I had to wade out and then climb onto a jet-ski so I could be driven to another hotel to jump into the water, wade to shore, then wade back in to get on a different boat. I cannot begin to tell you how time consuming, uncomfortable, and aggrevating this is. One day I was told to be at the dive shop before 8. Between all the above-mentioned wading and then waiting for the dive boat (which was late) we didn't get going until 9:30. On vacation, you don't want this.
All in all, we had a nice time. The weather was so-so (which can happen anywhere) - we had lots of sun and several rainstorms, but it was good to be away from NY weather. The help at the hotel is delightful - always a hola as you walk by - always helpful if you have a question. I was able to relax, read, dive and eat too much. Would I go back there? I'd try another place
Enjoyed our trip at the new Riu Palace Riviera Maya, in Playa del Carmen
The hotel is brand new, clean and beautiful. They imported the furnishings and decorations from Spain . The head waiter also said they had the craftsman flown in from Spain doing the work as well.
Fair to average . This is a new hotel so hopefully it will get better. We tipped all the time, sometimes it helped, others not.
Very nice pool, there is a bar in the pool and there is an infinity pool. They didn't have enough chairs around the pool. People would get up early and reserve the chairs. This really angered many people because some of the people never came back to use the chairs they saved, leaving people at the pool no place to lounge.
There is a man made beach several steps up from the actual water. See attached pictures.
Reservations were needed for all specialty restaurants. When I was there the reservations were taken between 4:45 and 5:45 for the next day. By the last day of the trip, they were taking reservations in the lobby bar, which made it more convenient. This process changed on a daily basis, so check with the hotel as of the status.
The food was fair to average , the buffets offered a variety of foods . The specialty restaurants were a step up . It depends on individual tastes as to which restaurant is the best. They are still working on the level of customer service, tipping does help. Feel free to email me with any questions.
We had a wonderful time. The hotel was clean, we enjoyed the wonderful weather and hotel grounds. We were there with a teenager who really had to look for things to do, but did meet others her age which helped.. I would like to extend a special thanks to Sergio who is one of the head waiters in the morning at breakfast and in the evening at the Japanese restaurant. Also to Enrique the bartender at the Sports bar who always made sure we were well taken care of . We enjoyed the trip and will return.
Resort was very nice with pools that were out of this world. Beach not huge and rocky in the water.
Loved Playa Del Carmens quaint shopping. Didn't like the traffic. My Fav restaurant was in a town to the north. Fresh seafood. I had to go more than once. We were the only ones there both times.
~ Fantastic hotel in a beautiful location ~
I stayed at the Catalonia for 7 nights. It is a very impressive hotel on the beach with beautiful well kept gardens, swimming pools and a stunning lobby area. Rooms are big and spacious with comfortable beds, a fab shower and air con which is needed, although the rooms are abit basic i still think they were fabulous and deserve the 4 star rating. Rooms were cleaned daily & the maids always left us some towel art which was a nice touch.
All the staff are amazing and all have a genuine friendliness rather than just after a tip unlikesome holidays ive been on. The A-Team staff are fantastic, Adrian, Martin, JoJo, Alonzo and Heather work hard all day and night to keep you entertained. There is always something going on throughout the day & they have theatre shows at 9.45 every night. We took part in dance lessons, cooking lessons, bingo, quizzes, aqua aerobics, football and snorkeling which is a must and it is free to use the equipment everyday, the sea is so clear and beautiful with lots of interesting fish to look at.
All in all I highly recommend the Catalonia. It was a fantastic holiday and well worth the money spent. I normally dread all inclusive as I get bored of the food and cheesy entertainment but there was so much choice for everyone. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice hotel in a beautiful location close to shops, bars and restaurants plus the Dolphin Discovery which is a nice day out. We enjoyed the Catalonia so much that we have already booked to go back next year. Buffet is excellent with plenty of choice during the day and in the evenings, you can watch fresh steak, fish and spaghetti bolognese being cooked in front of you while you wait. We visited all 3 a la carte restaurants during our stay which was a nice change from the buffet.
Waiter service is excellent during the day and night, they never let you go thirsty. We were waited on the whole 7 nights by a friendly man called Domingo by the pool and didn't have to lift a finger. Also the lobby bar is very good, Misael and Elias the cheerful bartenders gave us many different cocktails to try.
We also went out cycling for free for the day down to the local marina, it was beautiful, there were lots of expensive yachts and boats and you can watch the dolphins, sea lions and manatees at Dolphin Discovery there and enjoy ice creams, drinks and some shopping. A very nice day out for all the family and it a nice safe area, we liked it too as no one hassled you to come into the shops or bars etc.
Just got back from the RIU Palace Riviera Maya on Saturday, March 4th. My husband and I had a wonderful time.
I will start with the very small complaints just to get them out of the way. It was a problem getting face towels in our room a couple of days. One day we didn't get any towels at all. We called the front desk and they said they would send some up and we never got them. My husband just went into the stock room at the end of the hall and grabbed a few. However the rooms were cleaned and stocked at least twice a day.
My second complaint is that there are electricity alarms that go off in the hallways at periodic times. This woke us up early a few mornings but goes off after a couple of times. The front desk was not very apologetic about this. The carts in the hallways tend to echo as well.
Besides the two above complaints I can't say enough good things about this hotel.
The service was outstanding. The bartendars and waiters all work their butts off to serve you with a smile. In particular, Martin who works nights at the lobby bar is excellent. His drinks are amazing and you can tell he really likes to make people happy. Rodrigo is an excellent waiter. Very friendly and speaks pretty good english. Everyone else was great. Never any attitute and you could tell they valued their jobs.
The food was great in our books. We especially liked the Japanese and Sir Oliver restaurants. Note that you can never go wrong ordering the seafood at any of these restaurants. The scallops and snapper were delicous at Sir Oliver's. The Brazillian was not our favorite but worth trying. We like variety to our foods so we tried everything at least once. Breakfast and lunch buffets were great with good variety. We stuck to beer at lunch and mostly mimosa's for breakfast. Although they do have a good juice bar at breakfast.
As for the reservations, they are still working on this part. The first day we got there we had to stand in line at 4:30 but we were allowed to make two reservations for the week. The following day they changed it so that you could make reservations in the lobby from 12-5 at the restaurants for the entire week. So you could book any nights for the week but you could only make two reservations at a time. This seemed to help. This seemed to help and we always got to eat at the place we wanted. I was stressed out at first about having to make reservations but I think they are really making an effort to make it as accomodating as possible for everyone. The restaurants don't hold that many people but it didn't seem to be a problem to get a reservation.
The entertainment was great. The social staff at Riu are peppy and really enjoy their jobs. The shows at night were very entertaining. We throughly enjoyed the nightly shows. A lot of resorts don't have this amenity.
The pool was great. The temp. of the pool was perfect. Actually refreshing but not too cold. The beach has plenty of chairs and the water is only steps away. I have heard people complain about the beach but I don't really find it a problem. If you just walk 10 feet or so there is plenty of beach or surf to play in.
We walked to the other RIU's while we were there. Let me just say that we were very happy that we stayed at the new RIU Palace and not one of the others. This new RIU is beautifully done and again was a great experience. No you can't walk along the beach to the other RIU's but that didn't really bother me. There were too many good things about this hotel that I wouldn't have wanted to stay anywhere else!!
The walk to downtown is only about fifteen minutes. We walked downtown twice and its really quite an enjoyable walk. Its worth going to check it out.
Again I would recommend this resort to anyone who wants a relaxing enjoyable vacation. We did meet quite a few people our age (25-35) and they found that there were mostly older people (40-60). I would say there was a good age range of people. We aren't big partier's so it was perfect for us!
Brand new with only minor issues....
We just returned from a wonderful week (Feb.19-25)at the RIU Riviera Maya. Since this resort is brand new, we were only able to read a couple of reviews before we went. I found it very interesting to read the reviews of the resort AFTER our stay (there were a few more). Nice to see that others had some of the same opinions/experiences.
Let me start by saying that this IS a beautiful, very elegant resort. The grounds and the rooms are impeccable. (We did find it strange that the bathroom doors open up into the toilet though??)We found only minor issues and feel that some of them were just the "newness" and those issues will probably work themselves out in time and with added staff. That being said....
*We had a somewhat difficult time getting towels and washcloths in our room--After receiving no towels or just one bath towel and no washcloths and requesting them by calling the front desk, we drew a picture of towels/washcloths with the quantities we wanted and left it along with a monetary tip, but upon returning we found the tip scarfed up, note gone, and no towels?!? ...Learn how to say towels and washcloths in Spanish before you go. :)
*The ala carte dinner reservation system definitely needs to be revised~heard many people complaining about this. The system is silly~you're on vacation... who wants to take time out in the middle of their day (4:45-5:45) to go stand in line for dinner reservations?? We DID wait in line and lucked out a couple of times by being the last two people to make the cut!whew! We tried Chili's, Sir Oliver's, and the Brazilian restaurant and we enjoyed them all. The buffet was also very good.
*The beach is not what we expected; assuming this is from hurricane erosion. It would have really been nice to be able to walk the beach to get to the next RIU, rather than the street.
*We booked a Superior Junior Suite, which we understood to be a Courtyard view. They tried to give us a Garden view room and offered an upgrade for $50US per person per day. After asking twice, one of the front desk personnel re-checked our records, apologized, and gave us a really nice room. First building, overlooking the pool. Don't expect to go here and have Oceanview UNLESS you want to spend $$$mucho dinero!!
We believe in giving credit where credit is due so we wanted to mention what an awesome job the bartenders and the wait staff did! You MUST visit JORGE in the LiRico Bar (by the show place)! He's fun, friendly, makes great drinks and conversation. We really enjoyed his company! Jesus in the buffet was nice, as well as were many other wait staff(ala carte included). And finally, Judith, one of the Public Relations Managers, made every effort to help with all issues that we tried to constuctively criticize.
Please remember that these folks work awfully hard for you to enjoy your vacation and they rarely get one themselves.
We also visited all of the other RIU resorts in the Playa area and enjoyed them all.
We made awesome memories at the RIU and would go back.
We loved this place! It is very beautiful and clean. The staff is exceptional, very accommodating. Language is somewhat of an issue, but gracias and por favor go a long way. Most speak at least minimal english and we found everyone tried very hard to understand. Daniel and Enrique in the sports bar are great! We arrived late so I can't comment on the check in. Our room was ready when we arrived. It was cleaned and restocked everyday and we never needed anything. We had a king bed and an inside room, viewing the courtyard. The bed was firm but very comfortable and the view was great. There are open archways along the hallways that lead out to the courtyard.(see pic) I loved this, you can go anywhere outside and never have to go through the lobby. The food is fantastic, anyone who complained of the food must be a picky eater. The reservations for dinner are a problem. We only ate one night at the Brazillian restuarant, which was wonderful. Other than that, we were out or used the buffet, which was equally wonderful. The pools were great and they had activities everyday. The beach is NOT what is advertised! Allot of rocks and coral, but if you go to the right, it's fine and great for swimming. We had a blast riding the waves. Walking on the beach was fine once we got past the retaining wall.(see picture)I found this to be a fun challange. If you don't like rock climbing, this is not for you. There is still damage from the hurricane, allot of erosion, but we enjoyed the beach anyway. This is more of a couples place, not allot to do for small kids. But we plan on comming back and bring our teenagers. There is plenty of swimming, snorkling, parasailing and shopping to keep older teenagers happy. And cave snorkling at Xcaret is a must! Fantastic park! All in all, this is an excellent hotel. We plan on comming back with family and will definetly try other Riu hotels.
Although Cancun looks more like an exclusive US resort rather than Mexico, it has its charm. You will not be misled by the color of the water on postcards or albums. It is really breathtaking. There are historic Mayan ruins in the area and fantastic conditions for divers. Don't miss any of nature parks like Xcaret or Xel-ha. Xcaret has an amazing night show.
"Watch your steps !"
Indeed, this is attraction number one in Chitzen Itza, one of the biggest Mayan piramids. You can walk on the top of it, however walking down seems a bit more drastic as the piramid is quite steep.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
~ The beautiful beach in Riviera Maya ~
The best way to travel on the Riviera Maya!
Secrets Excellence Resort - Riviera Maya
I see nothing about the Riviera Maya on this site. I have used this site for a LONG time to research and find it very hard to believe that no one has posted anything. Am I looking in the wrong place?
Re: Riviera Maya
you just need to look for individual towns instead of 'riviera maya'...;o) You'll find tons of stuff...
Re: Riviera Maya
Check out the Quintana Roo page with lots of locations listed
Here are just a couple of examples.
Here's playa del carmen
Re: Riviera Maya
Also check out Yucatan. It's the next state to Quintana Roo, so inland BUT is littered by the Mayan civilisation & can be easily got to from Quintana Roo.
Re: Riviera Maya
Saludos. The RM is great. We like it even better than Can Cun. Stay in Playa del Carmen. There are lots of Hotels in all price ranges. 5th ave. is the main drag where all or most of the restaurants, club, etc. are at. This is also where you catch the ferry to go to Cozumel. Dont miss going, its a 40 min. ferry ride. You can go early in the morning and return late. Go to CHANCANAB PARK it has the most clear water anywhere. you can scuba with an instructer even if you have never done it. Back on the main land, go to ACHTUNCHEN close to PDCarmen its a cave experience. go to xcaret or xelja for the day. go to TULUM and swim next to the beach pyramid. go to Chichenitza (7th wonder) etc.etc. etc. there is much to do. go to COBA
Re: Riviera Maya
Do you have a specific question?