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at the Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Dec 3rd, 2019
Late November we were at the RIU Palace Mexico for the first time. In short: wow, just wow. I don’t know where to start to describe the hotel, it’s pretty, well maintained, well cleaned – and the staff is just very friendly. Never have I encountered friendlier staff then here. We booked our trip through TUI.nl – which included the flight from Amsterdam and transfer from Cancun airport to the hotel. The buss ride takes an hour. Food; Most of the time we had breakfast at the hotel. Twice we left the hotel too early, so we had breakfast in the “24 Lounge” which offers some food and drinks 24/7. For dinner, we’ve only seen the buffet restaurant twice. It contained a lot of good food though. Mostly we visited the a-la-carte restaurants which are also included in the all-inclusive. Not that the buffet was not good, but we don’t eat that often in a-la-carte restaurants, so… It was quite an experience. The a-la-carte restaurants are not so big in size, but strangely enough, there was never a queue. Reservation is not required. Pools; They have multiple smaller pools with a good number of loungers. Some of them have an umbrella, others have some kind of a fabric roof. One pool has a pool bar. Next to the pools, they have quite some loungers on the beach as well. The beach is pretty wide and deep. So, lots of room. They offer free towels. You get a towel-card which can be exchanged for a towel. The towel-card has to be returned during checkout. We spent two days at the beach / pools, without seeing any loud guests. There was some entertainment at the pool sometimes, but that was to be expected and not disturbing. Room; We booked a normal room, which looks exactly like in the pictures. Two nice beds next to each other, a table with sofa, table with two chairs, a bathtub in the room, shower and toilet. They offer toiletries, etc. First surprise when entering our room, were the bottles of alcohol. Apparently, the liquor bottles and the fridge are restocked every day. We had planned so many trips and activities, I had almost no time to drink. Weather; I always found the pools to be cold at first, same for the sea. It took me a minute to get used to the cold water. But I guess that was because of the weather. End of November 2019, it was always 28 degrees, rarely a cloud, and no rain. But this is still the winter season, so in the mornings and evenings it goes down to 20 degrees (which is still very nice!). Which leaves the water with less time to heat? Playacar; The hotel is located in the Playacar complex, which is an enclosed area with normal houses and hotels. Security is good, you can’t enter the complex without telling security what you are coming to do. In the complex is a small shopping area where they sell tourist stuff. There’s a pharmacy, and a Starbucks. Money; There’s an ATM at the hotel, which only has a Spanish interface. I used my phone and the Google Translate App. But I could not get it to work with my Mastercard. The hotel lobby also exchanges Pesos for Euros (and I guess USD). Next to that, you can visit the banks at 10th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. All prices seem to be in either Pesos and/or USD, but as I was in Mexico, therefor paid with Pesos or with my Mastercard. Taxi; Playa del Carmen is about 40 minutes away, on foot. By car it’s more like 10 minutes. There’s a standard (one way) rate between Playa del Carmen and Playacar, which is 120 Pesos. After 10PM it is 150 Pesos. Advice is to have you drop off at 5th Avenue. Which is where the shops start/are at. We’ll be back! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
A lovely 5 star hotel in Playa Del Carman
Dec 1st, 2019
Arrived at Cancun airport 19th November around 4:30 pm. The airport was quite tedious with lengthy immigration queues. Baggage however was waiting for us on the carousel and then there is a small queue to have it X-rayed by security before leaving the airport. Airport. We then suffered a 1 hour coach transfer on this Thomson holiday to arrive at The RIU Palace Mexico around 7pm. No queue at check-in, and we were offered the customary cold drinks. As RIU class gold members we were given a small upgrade to a terrace view room which was available straight away. GENERAL This RIU Palace located on Playa del Carmen first opened in 1999 and was completely renovated in 2012. It lost its ageing colonial style in favour of something more bright which was quite well done. It is located near a cluster of other RIU properties, RIU Yucatan, RIU Playacar and the RIU Tequila hotels (Also RIU Palace Riviera Maya due to reopen in December). You have access to all. This RIU palace is huge property but a huge friendly team run it like clockwork. Nice grounds and choice of pools. Free Wi-fi is very good available everywhere with a login for four devices. Only works in your primary hotel however. You can see some funny little animals running around the grounds “The Central American Agouti” they come out at night or first thing in the morning AN ATM is available in reception that dispenses Pesos only a small charge. The sea is warm, with a beautiful long soft beach Locally you can walk around safely to the other hotels in the resort. The main road is well lit with good pavements and is not too busy. There is a little shopping centre about a 100m down the road with a good selection of local gift shops and you can buy excursions at prices that don't cost the earth. Taxis prices are reasonable. The downtown area of Playa del Carmen and ferry terminal to the island of Cozumel is about a 30 minute walk or 5 minutes in a taxi. Here you will find big name shops, malls and restaurants. 5th Avenue and Coco Bongo. In some parts you can receive relentless unwanted attention from vendors who spot your AI bracelet thinking you are an easy target for sales of anything from trips to cigars to massages. You can use USD or Pesos both accepted widely. Airport goods and excursions are priced in USD be aware of local exchange rate. Card is a better option RECEPTION LOBBY The Reception area\Lobby is huge and bright. Lots of places to sit quietly. There is the entrance to the 24 hour sports bar at one end and a shop at the other end. You can also find car hire desks and ATM. Moving. Out you will find Cubano" the lobby bar which is very nice. Very popular with an occasional pianist on a night. There is a patisserie & ice cream parlour located here too. ROOM Our standard suite room was located on the ground floor with a terrace view to the right. The room itself was clean and modern with a huge king bed, bath, shower, WC, mini bar fridge and optics, coffee machine, large screen TV and an effective A/C unit. Plenty of power outlets 110V North American style. The door locks have not been upgraded to RF technology so you have to be careful you don't place you door card too near your mobile phone. We had to get our cards reactivated once or twice. The free mini bar and optics in the room get restocked every day. If you run short at any time a quick call to reception will fix it. They provided me with a bottle of Gin when I asked d about an optic change POOLS There are 4 medium swimming pools all reasonably shallow, clean well maintained and bit on the cold side to be honest. One of the pools has a swim up bar. All have waiter service direct to your lounger from 10:00am when the bars open Sun loungers are plentiful no matter what time of day you visit the pool and towels are supplied free in exchange for your towel card. FOOD AND DRINK This is an all-inclusive hotel and of the normal high standard you can expect from the RIU chain. The main buffet restaurant Don Julian serves breakfast and dinner and has mainly indoor seating but there is terraced area. Fantastic choice to suit all palates and variety from day to day. Lobster is served weekly. There are also 5 specialist restaurants, Guacamole beach restaurant which serves lunch and is the steak house for Dinner. La Bodega Mexican restaurant which also serves Lunch. (A much quieter experience than Guacamole – takes most people a while to realise its open for lunch) Krystal, Japanese, and Italian. No booking required. In all cases the service and attention were excellent. There is also a 24-hour Sport A good selection of Cocktails on offer along with local ale and branded alcohol and liquors. The waiters will seek you out to offer you a drink within seconds of you entering anywhere within range of a bar ENTERTAINMENT Evening entertainment is very good. There is a pleasant terraced area with an outside stage. Some shows are shown in a covered area. Both well served by waiters. You can also visit the other properties and check out their entertainment. It generally cycles so if you miss a certain show you can usually see it another night at one of the other properties. It can be frustrating when you visit the neighbouring properties where your Wi-Fi login isn't valid that’s the only drawback. WEATHER Weather for this time of year is excellent Between 25 -30 during the day, a little cooler at night-time but no excessive humidity to deal with. It gets light around 7am and dark by 6pm EXCURSIONS There are numerous endless excursions available in Mexico. Avoid paying the extortionate prices from the Holiday companies. You can purchase the same tours from a fraction of the cost right outside the hotel. TUI, for example, need to wake up, in this respect. On this occasion, our third trip to Mexico we only did one trip to Sian Kaan. You can read my separate review on this CHECK OUT Quick and simple. Had to pay a small amount of Mexican Pesos tourist tax that we were told about at check-in. Less than 5 GBP for the week. A porter booked us a Taxi to the airport. 900 Peso (50 USD 38 GBP). We didn’t fancy suffering the return journey in the bus. A taxi does it in 50 minutes plus we got there at a reasonable time. The planned ETA for the bus wasn’t leaving you much time at the airport for shopping. AT THE AIRPORT We arrived 4 hours before departure. Getting a taxi was a good call to beat the queues. Even at that it took one hour before we cleared security. The duty free is very reasonably priced, much cheaper than TUI on-board prices. Better to pay by plastic or USD. We spent the final 2 and a half hours in the Business Lounge by Global Lounge Network. If you are a Priority Pass holder I would recommend it, its self-service and is right next to the gates. CONCLUSION We loved the RIU Palace Mexico A great hotel. It’s immaculately clean and very difficult to find anything to criticise when the positives outweigh the negatives so much. Such helpful staff who bend over backwards to help you. I’ll be back TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Amazing time in Mexico.
Nov 28th, 2019
Amazing amenities and food. Helpful and nice employees. Nice entertainment and things to do for everyone. Pools for toddlers, kids, teens, and grown ups. Will definitely come back again. Buy excursions from the little travel agency in the shopping alley. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Nov 28th, 2019
Just back from an 11 night stay as part of a Tui package. Hotel is well located near Playa and a convenient commercial centre with Exchange just across the road. We had a lovely room (1043) which housekeeping kept spotless and which looked out on the gardens but we were hardly in it apart to sleep. Our fourth visit to the area and had toured this hotel previously and were not disappointed at our choice. Well laid out grounds with selection of pools and loads of beds. Staff, service and food were excellent. The location is great on the fabulous beach with palm trees for shade and which stretches away in both directions for great walks. We enjoyed all the restaurants and bars and whist subject to personal taste the food and service were very good everywhere. Note the speciality restaurants are on a first come basis so you may be disappointed if busy. Only negative was the AC in the Miyagi on our visit was very chill! Bars were all good and service around the pool never failed. Special mention for Capuchino and the great coffees and cakes. Animation were very active both day and night and thanks to Ana for the excellent aerobic classes around the pool. Whilst weather was a little mixed on arrival it turned hot and sunny and we did not suffer much sea weed which is always a risqué. Final thank you to Reception who were always helpful. Great holiday in this lovely hotel. We will return. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Nov 26th, 2019
Overall had a fantastic time at the Rio Palace.. The location was excellent being right on the beach. The bedrooms were spacious with a fantastic comfy massive bed although the furnishing didn’t complement the grandness of the hotel. Food was brilliant and to a high standard. We preferred the buffet restaurant due to the choice. All the staff were friendly and helpful but wasn’t over the moon with Reception. When we arrived our room had a balcony looking over the fountain. If you were sat down you couldn’t see over the balcony wall so we asked for a move to one that had a glass balcony. Reception said that they would do what they could but never got back to us. Weren’t helpful when when I told them that we didn’t like any of the optic drinks in the room. They weren’t prepared to change even one bottle. Communication by reception was poor to say the least. They even gave us wrong advice regarding exchanging money outside of the hotel. Nonetheless this minor issue didn’t spoil our holiday at all. The location was fantastic and there was no red seaweed on the beach at all.. We will definitely be going back to this hotel in the future. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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