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Riu Dunamar-Opinions on This Resort

Central Alberta...
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Riu Dunamar-Opinions on This Resort
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We are thinking of booking this Riu Dunamar for a last minute trip in mid October. Not familiar with this area or the hotel, can anyone enlighten us? They apparently do the PCR tests directly at the hotel (we’re from Canada), it’s listed as a five star hotel. We love the pool areas, and this hotel fits the bill. Would appreciate any insight before we book, thanks. (looks like it would be a long cab ride back to Cancun for sightseeing etc).

30 replies to this topic
Westlock, Canada
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1 review
3 helpful votes
1. Re: Riu Dunamar-Opinions on This Resort
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Ti's a solid 4 star property. The Riu Palace next door would be a 5. Good beach. I like the Riu properties as they offfer good value for what they are. I've stayed at many and have been happy. Not luxury, but solid properties. They do onsite testing for Canadians and it's $130US/person plus tax.

Central Alberta...
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Yes, we like the Riu properties as well. We were looking for a last minute vacation with the PCR tests onsite. It’s actually listed five star, and it’s a newer property. Seems to fit the bill, although it’s a long way out from Cancun.

Westlock, Canada
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1 review
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I know they list it as a 5, but it really isn't. I love the Rius, but they aren't 5 stars unless they are Palace properties. Not much to see in Cancun but everything south of Cancun is much, much further. Staying Playa Mujeres, I would choose a ferry ride over to Isla Mujeres and explore over there for the day. Very fun.

Central Alberta...
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483 posts
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Have you actually stayed at this resort recently? I emailed the hotel directly, but who knows if they will respond. Is this area similar to Maya Rivera?

Blaine, Minnesota
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10 reviews
120 helpful votes
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I stayed next door at the RIU Palace Costa Mujeres. I'd recommend that, unless you are traveling with children. (Most people don't want to pay the higher price for kids, and there will be more kids at the Dunamar, anyway) There is a small waterpark between the two resorts that both resorts can use. There are a couple of slides suitable for older kids and adults, in addition to the stuff for younger kids.

The area is remote. If you want to leave your resort more than once, I wouldn't stay at either of these. We only left once on an excursion, where they provided transportation. (Boat/snorkel/lunch tour) We really liked RPCM - I'd stay there again. Love the pools, and the way the theater is open air. All the night time entertainment options and bars/restaurants are front facing/ocean view. I'm not sure how the Dunamar is set up. I'm sure it's nice too - they were built around the same time, I think. The beach is pretty nice (not sure about ocean swimming - it could be pretty wild and wavy there, we just lounged on the beach, swam in the pools, or stood and drank in the pools, whatever.) There won't be many vendors or people beyond these two resort's guests, these two resorts are a bit of a way north of most of the other resorts on Playa or Costa Mujeres --- and yes, quite a way from Cancun. I agree with the above poster - not much to do in Cancun anyway, and if I did anything, it would be a trip to Isla, or an excursion where they are going to provide the transportation anyway. (Although it depends on where the excursion is -- ours was a marina that was actually not too far from the resort)

Oh - and as far as 5 star -- that's Mexican 5 star, LOL. In other words, most - if not all - resorts say that, in certain places - but it's not true. The price will usually give you a good indication - or the chain or brand name. I don't really think even the RIU Palace is a 5. If 5 is the best, you would have to save 5-star for places like Le Blanc, and maybe Secrets and Excellence, maybe El Dorado -- places like that. I would say it would be very difficult for a resort that wasn't adult only to be a 5 star. I would call RIU Palace Costa Mujeres a 4.5 star, and the Dunamar a 4 star. (even though I haven't stayed there, I have stayed in several RIU's - both Palaces and standard)

I wouldn't be too worried about it not being a 5-star -- the RIU's are a good, solid choice. A lot of value for the price. You can get more upscale food, booze and service elsewhere - but the price will be more, quite a bit more in most cases. We really liked RIU Palace Costa Mujeres and RIU Palace Las Americas almost as much as we liked a couple of the adult only places we paid more for - almost. We'd go back to RPCM, for sure. A lot of our decision each time just kind of depends on what we want to spend. The extra for Excellence or Valentin or other places is all in things that are nice, all the little fancy extras, but if you just want a nice beach vacation with decent food and drinks, RIU is a great choice.

I hope this helps!

Oakville, Canada
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I think that people misunderstand a star system. It is based on a check list. If you check x number of boxes, you are a 5* in travel brochures. There are some not great properties listed as 5 *. If it's based on ratings from people, I'd read the reviews carefully. Always better to ask on here although there are folk that are cheerleaders for a particular resort but I find that they are quite upfront about shortfalls if asked.

Central Alberta...
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483 posts
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Thank you so much for the replies. I wasn’t really concerned about the 5 star as opposed to 4 star. Just meant it must be a quality hotel regardless. Rius tend to have two hotels right next to each other, one higher quality than the other with opportunity to use amenities from both if you book the higher price resort. We experienced this in Puerto Vallarta, Riu Jalisco and Vallarta I believe it was. Just hope this beach is swimmable, would like to enjoy the non motorized water sports.

Minneapolis, MN
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58 reviews
31 helpful votes
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There’s a difference between a 5star rating from Expedia or Sunwing Vacations and those from Forbes or Diamond ratings from AAA.

Expedia and other travel sites are simply assessing whether or not a property has a specific list of amenities to reach each star level. Less stars mean less amenities. More stars mean more amenities. With AAA/CAA and Forbes ratings, there are actual stays, inspections, and standards that must be met to achieve a rating. Having valet parking isn’t enough to achieve 5 stars…the valet must get your vehicle within a set time limit from when requested. There are specific service requirements that must be met for each amenity required for a 5 star/Diamond rating.

RIU palaces are listed as 4.5-5 star resorts, but really they are solid 3-4 star properties. Standard RIUs (like Dunamar) are a step lower…in the 2.5-3.5 star rating. A 3 star rating isn’t necessarily a bad thing either…it’s just less luxurious and less service oriented than a 5 star. If you want no frills, clean, comfortable rooms and are happy with basic buffets for food, RIUs are fantastic!! They offer excellent value for their price points.

If you expect true luxury and a 5 star experience, you’ll be disappointed by every RIU.

Central Alberta...
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483 posts
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Not sure how this became a referendum on the hotel star system. I’m just looking for information and opinions on the Riu Dunamar before potentially booking it this weekend, thanks. Earlier responses were very helpful.

Minneapolis, MN
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58 reviews
31 helpful votes
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You asked for insight and said it was listed as a 5 star. That’s how we got to where we are. Are there other specific questions you have or are you just looking to criticize answers?

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