My wife & I enjoyed a 5-day stay at Riu Caribe in mid-December 2012, arranged through Cheap Caribbean (CC). It was a most relaxing and enjoyable vacation. First, I have to commend CC's thoroughness as well as Olympus Tours, the company CC makes available for transfers between the airport and the hotel. Everything was as advertised. Although not a swank hotel (if that's what one wants), the Riu Caribe is a very attractive, well kept and well run facility with friendly and very accomodating staff. We rarely had to wait more than a few minutes at the front desk, and the concierge provided us with useful information about local sites and locations. Riu Caribe's location is on the north end of the offshore island that forms the resort area of Cancun. As such, it has calmer waters than found along the main length of the island strand, a disadvantage if one likes to body surf but an advantage if one likes to swim &/or snorkel. Being calmer, there is more weed growth. However, at least while we were there, weeds were not a problem within the large roped off swimming area (going out to about 12' in depth). On unexpected and unadvertised delight for me is that there is an artificial reef that essentially is a long underwater extension of a jetty comprised of large (c.10'x20') sandbags that must have had some cement mixed in with them (since they're rock hard). While definitely not as pretty as coral, this artificial reef attracts thousands of fish of at least a dozen and a half varieties. My last time snorkeling along it, I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a 6'-long baracuda just 10' ahead of me - biggest one I've ever seen in the wild. There also were a couple 2'-long rainbow parrot fish, which were fun to watch (and listen to) as they chomped at the reef, trying to dislodge algae or other food. The rooms at the Riu Caribe all are ocean view, although probably an obstructed view from some of the lower-level rooms. Currently, the lot to the west of the hotel is vacant. Thus, the land part of the view for the rooms on the west side of the west wing of the hotel would not be as good as it is for the other rooms. Our room had a king bed and a small table with a couple table chairs. While the rooms are not huge, they certainly are adequate. The balconies also were of modest size but again adequate. The bathroom was spacious and had double sinks. Our room seemed very clean, and there were no strange or musty odors. Riu Caribe is an "all-inclusive" hotel and has 4 restaurants at which guests can get their meals. The Albatros is a buffet with multiple options and does not require a reservation. The three that do require reservations are Mexican, Asian, and steak house restaurants respectively. If one wants more variety, he can go to the Riu Cancun (about a mile away); however, making reservations at its restaurants requires that one be there between 7 & 11 a.m. At the same time, one is able to reserve both for that day's evening as well as for the next evening. Also, the Riu Cancun is near the flea market area as well as other attractions, which might make it more appealing to go over there during the morning to make reservations. The rooms include a mini-bar as part of the all inclusive. Staff keep these stocked with Dos XX (beer), several types of soda, and two brands of rum and two of tequilla. There is no wine - and don't request any (as we did) since it's highly unlikely that it will taste good (may even be watered down). The wine served at the restaurants, however, did seem to be reasonably OK house wines (but only "red" and "white" wines are available). Regarding Cancun overall, it's a large enough area to have a number of interesting attractions right there, not requiring expensive half- or full-day excursions. Two examples are the brand new Museum of the Maya (with interesting outside ruins, including a 30' tall pyramid and fascinating artifacts inside) and a small but interesting aquarium in La Isla shopping center. These local attractions are easily accessible via Cancun's subperb bus system. Fares are just 9 pesos (about 75 cents) or $1 if one doesn't have local currency (bills only - no American coins). Buses run every 5 minutes and even offer free wifi!
When we arrived check-in was a little slow but I was partially to blame because check-in time was 3:00 and we arrived at 10:30am. But our room wasnt ready until @ 4:00. That was the only lslightly negative part of our trip. We were very pleased with our room 692 large balcony as described. Very clean. The resort had so many activites going from morning to night that there was never time to be bored. There was also a part of the resort that was reserved for quiet peaceful time. Our family is very active so we chose to stay busy with all the activities. The staff was all top notch. The entertainment crew was amazing. Food choice was very good- never went hungary and even my daughter who is very picky found a lot of food to keep her happy. I did not find the logic behind 4 restaurants but 3 having to have reservations for dinner. The buffet had a ton of choices and seemed to have the same as the restaurants that needed reservations. Free wifi in lobby was nice. Location was perfect bus stops right outside of hotel. they had a great choice of free rentals- snorkles, hobie cats, paddle boats, kayaks, wind surfers.
Having stayed at a Riu Resort previously we were very surprised when we walked into the Riu Caribe. We expected to see the luxurious decor with comfortable sitting areas both throughout the resort as well as in the room. Instead we walked into what appeared to be a 70's style decor with the rooms looking like a sterile hospital room. There was no comfortable seating anywhere in the resort, the beds were like sleeping on the marble floors and the room decor looked like something a college student would "put together" for the dorm. We visited another Riu just up the roadway and it was absolutely beautiful......wish we had stayed there. It was more of what we expected of a Riu property. The food was....ok....but the specialty dining areas laked personality. There was no dinner music. Just .....quiet....! All the above aside.....we must say that the service there was very good.. The front desk staff went out of their way to help in any way they could. The wait staff was good as well as those in charge of both the indoor and poolside entertainment. If you are looking for an elegant resort where you can go to relax and be pampered.......this is not the one for you. We will not return to the Riu Caribe, but look forward to visiting other Riu properties that we know make the grade.
The Rui Caribe was a wonderful oasis. Check-in was a little slow and some things were explained too quickly but the Welcome Punch was a nice consolation. There were plenty of poolside beach chairs and the staff was very pleasant and accommodated every need almost before you could think of what you needed! The beach was small but clean and tidy each morning. The rooms were clean and comfortable and for those who felt the need, the mini bar was well stocked. The Mexican restaurant was a disappointment. The Mexican restaurant could have been the crown jewel of the resort with ample seating, beautiful decor and an appropriate theme. However, both the food and service were lukewarm and unexciting. The steak house was by far the best of the 3 restaurant offerings. The buffet and snack bar were terrific with lots of fresh food choices. The whole restaurant reservation system may need to be tweaked. Reservations were to be made by 10:30 AM that day and oftentimes people were told that there was no more seating available for that day, however numerous tables were empty every night. Also, there was much confusion and anxiety over whether reservations had to be made the same day or could be made several days in advance. The Rui Caribe's entertainment staff aimed to please. They were friendly, engaging and worked hard to keep the vacationers entertained. Nightly shows were fun and varied. Live music in the lobby and vendors provided a nice atmosphere for mingling. There was not much to do after 10:30 PM. The management may consider adding a dance floor or small disco in the 24 hour lounge. I would definitely visit the Rui Caribe again due to the value, great staff, nice accommodations and distance from the airport. I will also consider visiting other Riu resorts.
Very pleased with this hotel/resort. Beautiful pool area, clean beach, excellent food service and upgraded room was great. The first room we had for our 1st night was over the kitchen vents and only a partial view of the ocean. When asked to switch rooms to a center view room, we got upgraded to a junior suite with a very large balconey. That was very nice. Same comments as previous reviewers here and at trip advisor regarding reservation issues with the specialty resturants. Didn't read about the time-share people at the airport so spent just a couple of minutes with one agent before realizing this wasn't an official greeter but a time-share spiel. Day trip to Chichen itza was very informative too. Spirit Airlines is definitely a No-Frills carrier. Would not recomment them. By the time you pay for all the basics like checked bags and fees for carry-on bags, you'll be at the same price as a Name Brand airline. Plus the seat are extremely tightly packed together. The only thing they don't charge for is use of the lavatories. That may change in the future too.
It doesn’t get much better than waking up to the sound of the ocean right outside your room. Riu Caribe had everything and more in what I expected from an all-inclusive resort. With the pools, beach and bars all within a 1000 ft walk from your beautifully-decorated room; it’s hard not to enjoy your time spent at Riu Caribe. From the moment we arrived until we departed, the staff was extremely helpful, thoughtful and always accommodating. I actually spent my birthday at Riu Caribe and was delighted to find a souvenir gift and personalized happy birthday note from the management and staff when I returned to my room that night. The food at Riu Caribe exceeded my expectations as well. The buffet lunches and dinners were great with a variety of food choices and new options each day. My boyfriend and I made a reservation one night at their all-inclusive sit-down restaurant, Maria Margarita. With the buffet’s being so great, I expected the restaurant to be even better. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the food and service and wished we had spent our time in the buffet dining room that evening. Other than the one restaurant we tried we had no complaints and the service and food was superb! Riu Carbie’s drink / bar service were also excellent. They had multiple bars to choose from (indoor and outdoor) and anytime I finished a drink whether I was sitting in the lobby or lounging on the beach, a server would come up to me almost immediately to refill my drink. Riu Caribe is also in a prime location. Located at the center of Kukulcan blvd., Riu Caribe is a quick walk to excursion / activity centers and a five minute bus ride to all of the clubs and bars. My boyfriend and I felt very safe walking around outside late at night. I would definitely recommend Riu Caribe if you are looking to either party or relax and just to enjoy the tropical atmosphere that Cancun has to offer.
Best vacation we've ever had. I heard of cheapcaribbean through a web search and saw the big O endorsement, but didn't let that sway me! Was booking fairly last minute, and they made everything so easy to do! What an amazing deal, and what a surprise on checkin! I decided to pay for the "upgraded" room, and to our shock, we had THE BEST ROOM IN THE HOTEL! Seriously, this room was a full suite double the size of normal suites, and one of only 2 rooms in the entire hotel with a pool on the balcony! There was even a wedding AT the hotel and they didn't have a room as good as ours! The entire stay was fantastic, the resort staff was WONDERFUL to say the least! From morning until night, there's always something to do, to eat, to drink, to laugh, and to enjoy! I can't wait to book our next trip!
The Riu was ok. The hotel was nothing to right home about but it was clean. The beaches were awesome! the Food marginal at best. It was the same thing over and over and the al a carte resturants were not great at all. Just stick to the mundane buffet. They have a problem with keeping everything hot. The people were not all that nice either. If you want to use the business center they charge you for every page you print even if its something they want from you and the computer guy if you could call him that is the most unfriendly, unhelpful person on the perhaps the planet. I wouldnt go back unless it was dirt cheap. I would go to the same place with a nicer staff.
We spent too short a time at this resort. The entire trip was perfect. Air travel and transportation from the airport to the resort (and back again) was on time and painless. The five days there were perfect. The only complaint was the smoking on the beach. I expected it, but it's still nasty. Other than that, there's nothing else to complain about. The food was awesome, in all five restaurants in the resort. The service was impeccable. I couldn't count the number of bars... and at least one swim-up bar. The beach was very clean (except for cig butts..yuk), The ocean was crystal clear, like you see in the movies...a bright blue, almost light up. The pool water was clean and warm. Ok... maybe one more complaint: they close all the pools at 7pm to treat the water. I really like night time swimming, so that was kind of a drag. But the entertainment in the theater(s) made up for it. They had something different every night. Elvis impersonator, Grease musical, “Crazy Night” was the best. Even shows for kids. Suggestion if you visit this resort: bring a bunch of 1 dollar bills to tip the staff with. Not a lot of ppl do this because it's an all inclusive resort, and because a lot of ppl are cheap. However, give the guy bringing drinks down to the beach for you, a dollar every other visit, and he will be your best friend. A dollar goes pretty far down there. They will go way out of their way to keep you happy. Anyway, this was a great trip. We will def be doing it again.