Fodor's Expert Review Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Av. Xaman-Ha, Mza. 9 y 10, Lote 1, Playacar, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710, Mexico See on Map

The Riu Palace Riviera Maya is a glamorous resort located in Playacar, the most exclusive gated community in Playa del Carmen. With direct access to a great beach and a pool for the ages, this hotel offers one of the best combos to swim and sunbath in the whole Riviera Maya.

room

Decorated in a classic style reminiscent of the grand European hotels of the first decades of the 20th century, the suites offer a sober elegance that contrasts with the colorful outdoor public areas. All rooms come have their own balcony or terrace and a hydromassage bathtub just besides the bed. The Suite Jacuzzi offers outstanding ocean views from the rooftop terrace with (you guessed it!) a gorgeous Jacuzzi on it.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Not all rooms enjoy ocean or at least pool views. Some suites’ balconies have tennis court views, and frankly Playa del Carmen is no Wimbledon. If that’s important for you, ask about the view of your suite before making a reservation.

bathroom

Following with the European style, the bathrooms at Riu Palace Riviera Maya are fully equipped with toilet and bidet. Some include a combo of shower and bathtub, plus the extra jetted tub located in the room. Italian Lavarino Cosso toiletries are a nice touch.

lobby

A lobby full of glitz and grandiosity transports arriving guests to a different age and continent. Huge spectacular chandeliers compete for attention with large paintings hanging on the walls. The complex designs of the sparkling granite floor, the large wide spaces and a classic piano in the middle of it all, make you feel like in a Central European grand salon of yesteryear.

pool

Located next to the beach, a massive swimming pool takes center stage during the hottest hour of the day. Divided in different sections this pool includes swim-up bar, underwater stools and tables set inside the pool so you don’t have to go out to enjoy your drink. There is also a kid’s pool with special activities for the children.

spa

Outdoor massage huts and fish pedicure treatments are among the highlights of the stylish Renova Spa. A mango and passion fruit body wrap sounds like something you’d like to do on your next visit to Mexico?

gym

A large room with low ceiling and a look of anything but a gym, is the fitness center of Riu Palace Riviera Maya. There are more than enough machines, but they are a bit old. In general, this gym is a washout, you’d be better off running in the beach and swimming in the pool for the length of your vacations.

dining

There are 6 restaurants (one buffet, five a la carte) in the hotel and, of course, everything is included as part of the all-inclusive program. Botafogo serves Brazilian cuisine in an innovative way. On the other hand, Don Manolo offers themed dinners three nights a week.

Guests of Riu Palace Riviera Maya enjoy access to any restaurant of the four other Riu resorts in the Playacar community. That’s a stunning diversity of restaurants to choose from.

drinking

The lobby bar is a work of art in itself, a delightful place to relax before an elegant dinner. On the other hand, the indoor sports bar is perfect to watch football matches while enjoying a cold beer and playing some pool.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is located in a very privileged zone in Playa del Carmen. Playacar is a gated community that enjoys private beaches and proximity to the center of Playa del Carmen. It is also one of the safest areas in town, so you may walk around freely at any hour. Cancun International Airport is just 50 minutes away by car, and all parks and ruins worth visiting are easily accessible.

Restaurants

Playa del Carmen is well known for its restaurants and bars, so go out of your hotel and enjoy. Looking for something elegant but different? Oh Lala (13-minute drive) offers personalized experience at a very high level. Craving something sweet but posh? Chez Céline (16-minute drive) will be your best option for a dessert. And you can combine it with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine according to your mood.

Bars

Señor Frog’s Playa del Carmen (20-minute walk) is one of the best bars in town to have an ongoing party and on top of it, directly on the beach. Fun staff, beer, micheladas, cocktails, music and the ocean. The Public Place (15-minute walk) is a pub where you’ll find more locals than tourists as it’s hidden from typical vacationers’ routes. The pub has gained its reputation for really cold beer and interesting ambience with jazz and rock.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Because it’s big, grandiose and glamorous. It has a design of a forgotten era and that nostalgic touch gets to us. We love the energy around that huge swimming pool and the wide array of dining options.

QUICK FACTS

Resort
Sophisticated
On the beach
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 984-877–2280
Website: www.riu.com

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