First time to Cancun airport, when you exit plane look for sign that say "Immigration" folllow signs and go downstairs to customs. Most airports only let you off in the downstairs, not Mexico. After you pass through customs go all the way outside without talking to anyone. They are selling trips, your taxi and transportation services are on the outside of building. Signs were easy to spot for transportation. We waited 20 mins to fill van to leave. I recommend priviate trans, quicker trip. Travel time to Rivera Maya was 50 mins plus we had 2 stops making our trip hour and a half. need private ride. Greeted great at the front desk. Went to room and made a drink right away. Clean room, great size. I brought my own large cup with lid. Does make the drinks feel like home and its a bigger glass by far. The beach was huge, with lots of chairs under palm trees and out in the open. Waves were easy and water was warm. The pool was large with a great swim up bar. Lots more chairs at pool with sun and shade. The first thing you need to do is get your reservations for all dinner places you want to eat at. Only one place doesn't require reservations for dinner. These places only hold 30-40 people and fill very fast. The Krystal is the nicest place, so don't waste time. Lady in lobby to help with that. Next, get towels for pool with your cards, you will need to put towel on chairs by 7am in morning to have good seating at pool. Believe me by 7am most chairs will already be taken. Worth getting the nice areas close to bar and mostly sun. Food was good not 5 star but don't be too worried, the dinners are great and you can drink till you pass out. The night adult shows start at around 9:30pm. Shows every night, the best show was the Vegas Night. See that one and forget the rest. The views are great everywhere. Shopping is easy. You can walk the beach all the the way to "Senior Frogs" and the 5th Ave. shopping area. The walk takes only 20 mins along the water and there is a wash off area for feet down at pier. The Taxi is $7 and a 3 min drive for those that hate the walk. Lots of shops on that street and places to eat and drink. Be aware, you get a bracelet to wear at hotel, the locals know what each bracelet means so they may trick you to come into their stores by saying "they work at that hotel on off days" etc. In the hotel are many trip planners, no need to plan too far ahead on packages like swim with fish and pet turtles. They will be able to get you to any place and activity. Overall, this Riu was great. I stayed at Riu Palace in Cabo, that one had a bad beach but great food and activiies on campus. This Riu was lacking on food but the beach and pool are awsome. You will enjoy this one. we had a 4 night stay 85-89 temp everyday, 70's at night with lots of humidity.
Our 6th wedding anniversary brought us to our first trip to Mexico together. This was the best vacation of our life, hands down. All of the à la carte restaurants were wonderful, and Chili's - the night time steak restaurant - offered the best meal anyone could ask for. If you aren't happy with the entertainment options at this resort, Riu offers full use and access to any of its nearby resorts activities and events. There are about 4 others within walking distance. Do yourself a favor and take a moonlit walk on the beach to reach them... WOW! After reading dozens of reviews, I was reluctant to pick this hotel. But I'm sure many of the reviews aren't even for the same resort. There are several similar named resorts in the area. We were on the top floor in a standard room right behind the theater and noise was not a problem, there is no 24-hour night club or sports bar. We saw no unusual insects or rodents... one ant and one fly in 5 days, that was it... and there was no musty smell - nothing unexpected for the climate. If you're worried about things being stolen in the room, well, use common sense and lock your stuff up in the safe. Also- keep in mind the people who work there depend on TIPS. We left a $5 USD per night. I would think that if we didn't, we'd have a higher chance of getting things stolen. We both locked up our stuff and left a nice tip, and we didn't have any problems. The ONLY deficiency were the toilets. Not only in our room, but in public areas throughout the hotel... and the city. It seems everything uses the water-saving toilets, but they don't seem to flush. Sometimes it took 3 or 4 flushes to work, sometimes they wouldn't work at all. But I'd think this has more to do with toilet design and local regulations than the hotel. This resort is rated a 5-star, but always consider you get what you pay for... we booked this vacation through cheapcaribbean.com and after discounting the cost of airfare, paid about $90 per night per person. For that $90, wow, we certainly got our moneys worth!!! If you want a $500 per night experience, then go book a $500 per night resort. There is no free lunch in this life. Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple.
i am anything but 'tech savvy' but one afternoon while my husband was busy on his computer, I clicked on an e-mail from CheapCarribean.com. I browsed their site and I couldn't believe the resorts and the pricing for a trip for two!! And the biggest surprise was that I actually took a risk and booked online for a trip. It was so easy and even when I had a question or two and called the 800 number, the customer service agent was very helpful and very patient, explaining to me how this all works. In some ways I had my fingers crossed that Riu Palace would be everything the site promised and it was BEYOND our expectations!! Everything worked just like all the paperwork described. Our resort was amazing...even with 400 junior suites there was an intimate feel to the resort. We LOVED the infinity pool, the all-inclusive feature, and the kindness of all who worked at Riu Palace. The staff exhibited such a pride in their work and their resort. My husband and I had 5 wonderful nights here and since our return, my husband has thanked me several times for finding us such a terrific vacation spot!! He is so proud of me for taking a chance in an online company. We can't wait to use CheapCarribean.com again and we've told all our friends to check them out...you, too, you won't be disappointed!!
Stayed at Riu Palace Riviera Maya in Feb of 2013. Was there with wife and 4 kids. Overall the resort was really good. Very clean, rooms were spacious and comfortable. We requested adjoining rooms and they provided them for us. We read dozens and dozens of reviews on all sorts of different proprties before choosing this one. Ultimately we realized that most of the negative reviews that people had were a result of unrealistic expectations and/or lack of willingness to be the slightest bit flexible. Our attitude was that we knew everything would not be perfect, we would need to go with the flow to some degree. No resort or vacation experience is going to work exactly like you would like so set expectations appropriately and you will have a great time. The pool area was outstanding and the service around there was great. The staff could not do enough for you to make you happy. The kids had lots of fun in the main pool and the infinity pool. Make sure you get up real early to reserve spots to sit around the pool. They get taken very early! I was getting up around 5:30 in the morning to reserve good pool seats and many of the best ones were already taken. Only real drawback to the pool area was there was no easy access to any food throughout the day (more on that later). Food choices at the resort were plentiful and buffets had plenty of variety each day. You do have to make reservations for dinner at any of the non-buffet restaurants. This involved standing in long lines starting at noon each day - that was probably the worst part about this resort - it would take an hour or more of standing in line and then hoping to get a reservations to a place you wanted. Sometimes they would be full up and you would get nothing. Each of the non-buffet restaurants had two evening sittings which was inconvenient, especially with kids and the various excursions off property we did. Stay away from Botofogo - the Brazillian restaurant. It is a really weak attempt at that type of cuisine / dining experience. The meat was overcooked and dry, by far the worst meal we had during our stay. However, the other restaurants are all pretty good given it is an all inclusive resort. Outside of regular meal times there is very little access to any snacks, we wish we had more of that (the nachos by the pool are gross, stay away from them). We worked with Olympus Travel to book everything and their on-site representative helped us with excursions. He did a great job and kids loved all the excursions. Riu Palace Riviera Maya was expensive but it delivered what my wife and I expected. It was a great vacation, we loved it, kids loved it. Nothing too negative to report. Go for it!
I stayed here during the 4th of July weekend for a friend's wedding. The resort was clean and very classy. The staff was very helpful and spoke English which helped my limited Spanish skills. The wait staff at the restaurants were terrific and very attentive. The room was great and had a great view along with a terrace. On the terrace there is even a rack to dry out your swimsuit or towel. The dining options were descent. The buffet was sufficient to meet our needs. The other options needed advance reservations. Overall it was a great experience and I would love to go again. The one advantage that isn't mentioned is that if you stay at this hotel, you get access to the other 4 resorts run by the Riu group in the same area. The other resorts don't have that option.
We have been here 5 times. We enjoy Playa del Carmen very much. The Riu is nice but it seems the quality has gone downhill a bit. The food wasn't as good and the entertainment was not good at all. We will probably try somewhere else next year.
My husband and I have used CheapCaribbean twice now and both trips have been just wonderful. This was our first trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico and my husband and I couldn't have had a better time. The resort is just fantastic!! Not only is the hotel amazing - immaculate, beautifully furnished and completely comfortable - the staff in all areas of the hotel were awesome. Everyone that we encountered was super friendly, very helpful and truly made me believe that they were happy to be there. The rooms are very comfortable. We booked a room facing into the courtyard and we were VERY happy with it. The housekeeping staff were very quick EVERY day in getting our room neat and orderly, the refrig well stocked and the bathroom super clean. We couldn't have been happier. The food was AMAZING! We ate at a couple of the reservation restaurants but the rest of the time we ate at the buffet and we loved EVERYTHING. There were plenty of choices for everybody's tastes. If you were hungry then it was completely your own fault. The pool, bar and beach areas were wonderful and the staff manning these areas did a super job keeping everyone happy. The entertainment crew were really friendly and funny and we enjoyed the evening shows and sitting out in the night air in the lovely patio area. We went on a couple of excursions that were arranged by Amstar and everything went off like clockwork. We never had a single issue to deal with. The transfers to the hotel and back to the airport were through Amstar as well and they were just great. I would give this resort a solid 10. We left completely relaxed and will definitely return again.
I have visited this resort 6 times and will be going this week taking 8 of our friends. This resort has the best food ever...we don't even go to the special resturants because the buffet is excellent. Plus, we can go when we want to. You will never find better staff and/or service. Victor at the sports bar, Santos and Charlie at the pool bar. Rooms have always been kept spotless. We have visited many resorts and this resort is our favorite. The beach is absolutley the best ever. Huge beach area and 100's of Plam trees to get under just in case the sun gets too hot. We have booked all our trips to RIU Palace resorts in Jamaica, Punta Canta, and Cancun and RIU Palace Riveria Maya is our favorite. We have also visited the HUGE resorts like Adventura Spa Palace. Nothing compares to this resort ...just the right size, most helpful and friendly staff. Remember always...DRINK the BOTTLED WATER IN YOUR ROOM. Keep your mouth closed in the shower. Helpful hint...just sit a bottle of water in the bathroom sinks and you will never have to turn on the faucet! Drinking the water in the resturants is fine. If you drink the water in your bathroom expect to be sick!!! Even if people tell you that you can drink the water....DON'T!!!..Enjoy your vacations and drink bottled water only no matter where you go! That means don't rinse your toothbrush at the sink...bottled water for everything. Take extra toothbrushes just in case you forget and throw it away if it contacts sink water. (If you take children you need to watch them in bathroom tub and sink area or you will spend your vacation sitting in the room with very sick children!) Book this resort and you will be happy...if your not happy with this resort then you are too picky and you need to stay home. Be nice to the RIU staff and employees and they will be nice to you year after year after year! They work hard to please the guests. This resort has the best mashed potaoes you will ever eat...best coconut ice cream, pizza, pasta, chicken, steak, breakfast omlets..green beans, shrimp and tortilla chips and salsa....best food of any resort we have ever visited. Cheap Carribean is the best and we have used them for many years. I also reccommend direct private shuttle service...don't waste your vacation delivering others to their resorts ...it COSTS more but your vacation needs to start immediately upon arrival. Take 6-8 friends and the taxi van is all yours! Enjoy this Fabulous Resort!! 1956Chick
Just back from the Riu Palace Riviera Maya - what a great place! From the resatarnts to the beach - everything was great! Room was comfortable and clean - frig stocked with water, beer and soda each day - while tipping is not necessary, we left a few bucks each day, the staff work so hard. Pretty towel animal on your bed each day and chocolate covered strawberries and champagne one night - nice touch! Restaurants were great! We dined three nights in the specialty restaurants. The Brazilian was my least favorite only because there is so much meat. The Japanese and steak house were excellent! If you feel you need more food, just ask! There were many people asking for seconds. The beach was excellent! Storm one night, so one day was a little sea-weedy - otherwise no seaweed! Beautiful Caribbean blue sea! Refreshing! The pool was nice - a little too warm for me. Same temp as the air. I am a beach bum, so no loss for me. Took a few dips in the pool after beach bathing and to visit the pool swim up bar. I'm not a pool person, but it was nice. Town is a quick $7USD tax ride or a 15 minute walk - totally safe. When you get into town there are a few obnoxious vendors, just say no thanks and keep walking. Restaurants are great and shopping is fun. We took the ferry to Cozumel $13 USD each - great day. Don't go on a Sunday - No cruise ships are allowed and most of the shops and restaurants are closed. However we rented a scooter on a Sunday $25 USD for the entire day and had the best time hanging with the locals on the other side of the island. Also lots of great sites without the crowds. Whatever is best for you. Great place to stay - service is superb, grounds are amazing, food great, beach great! Nothing bad to say about it. If you're on the fence, choose this resort and have fun! Brush your teeth with bottled water - you won't get sick - my motto for what its worth
Took the family on a week vacation to Playa Del Carmen at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. The resort is located in a gated community so you will feel safe there. The resort is beautiful! From the moment we arrived to the minute we left everyone was extremely polite and happy to assist you in any way. Adriana, at the pool bar, was our favorite!! The food was good - the buffet is open for all meals and gives a great variety. The restaurants are very small so reservations fill up fast. Agave was our favorite. The rooms are a little dated but you spend so little time in there it really doesn't matter too much. The room was a little warm but one phone call to the front desk and someone was there within 5 minutes to adjust the temp for us. The beach is stunning with plenty of chairs for tanning or relaxing under the palms. The pool is beautiful and huge. Our only complaints were that the water gets warm by 2:00pm (But that is beyond anyone's control) and the pool closes at 7:00pm. Swim up bar and seating areas with tables inside the pool were awesome! We requested to be near the pool which is also closest to the beach - it was perfect. The rooms closest to the restaurants/main building have to put up with the loud music coming from the nightly shows which start at 9:45pm. The staff was friendly, accommodating and extremely hard working. I was amazed at how many people didn't tip!!! A few dollars here and there are well deserved and will also help you be remembered by staff members who will be sure to take very good care of you ;-) We loved our stay and definitely plan to go back. We thought it was a great value, great fun, plenty of things to do and close to 5th Ave (shopping district). So many shops (way overpriced but you can negotiate to half) Bring PLENTY of sunscreen because mark-up is 300% everywhere!! Overall fantastic trip. (Just wanted to give a few pointers in the review) Highly recommend this resort