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Reviewed 6 March 2005

Just returned from Riu Cancun. Read alot of reviews before booking and feel compelled to post this review. Went with 3 other couples and had a great time, but would not go back to this hotel. Had a room on 11th floor, but at the very far end of building, so our view overlooked the annex building, not a great view. Beds were extremely hard as I had read about, but they are really hard! Left our room each morning by 8;30 and many times our room still had not been made up until 4 or 5 pm. We would go back to room to get showers and would have no clean towels ,or a maid coming in while we were resting on unmade beds. There is no excuse for that. Food at buffets were okay. Do not waste your time getting up at 7am to make a reservation at the Brazillan as we did. It was awful and a cafeteria type atmosphere. If you dont like Corona, you are in trouble. I drink Stoli and tonic, of course I didnt expect Stoli, but whatever the vodka was was bad and the tonic worse. I tried all week to find a drink that I could enjoy, but never did. The blender drinks are okay, but you can only drink so many of them. The bartenders, wait staff, activities people and staff in general were all wonderful, pleasant people who waited on you always with a smile, no complaints there. If you are going on an Apple tour be prepared for a long bus ride to this hotel, both going and coming back. When I originally booked this trip thru Apple, the departure time was 4;00, but 3 weeks prior to trip, it was changed to 11am, which meant getting up on last day at 6 am for a 1 hour trip to airport picking up other hotel guests along the way and then sitting in airport for 2 more hours. There are no coffee machines in bedroom, and restaurants dont open till 7, so forget about coffee if you are on this departure time. It was a beautiful hotel, but we stayed at others that were much better ( Cancun Palace) By the way, if you are over 40, dont do the bar crawl, you cant get a seat and the alcahol is awful if they see that band on your wrist, not to mention you cant hear each other speak. Margaritaville was fun, go there on your own. Hope this helps anyone considering this hotel. Cancun is beautiful and we had a great time despite the hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank dona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2005

My wife and I (28F, 31M) stayed Feb 17-24 and had a great time. We have stayed at Aventura Palace (Puerto Aventuras), Viva Wyndam Azteca (Playcar), Royal Solaris (twice) and Riu Caribe (Gran Caribe Real) before this trip. Riu Cancun was the best overall of the five Cancun resorts we have visited.

FOOD: Available at all hours. Quality (8/10). The food they had wasn't top notch, but very good for the most part.
The Japanese restaurant is non-smoking and has 4 courses (you can choose from 3-4 options for each). The salmon main course was excellent, the sushi was average, the shrimp main course was something between teriyaki and sweet/sour and was pretty lame. The desert was awesome at the Japanese place. Ask for forks if you want them. Limited selection of beverages. Be on time, other guests are counting on it.
The Brazilian place was OK. They have 2 seating times to choose from and the menu is fixed (except for the soup & salad bar). They bring out 4-5 grilled meats (chicken, steak, pork, sausage and ribs) and a couple of dipping sauces. The chicken, pork and beef meat was pretty good - the ribs weren't especially good. Limited selection of beverages.
The Buffets were huge! A Dinner theme everyday and 3-4 hot food prep stations (pasta, Mexican, seafood, etc.). For example they had a giant seafood paella (rice, crab legs, shrimp, mussels) one night and a standing rib roast another. They have brie, smoked salmon, feta cheese and all kinds of good cold stuff too. Some people complain about the lunch hot dogs and hamburgers, but they were better than you would get most places, and there was so much else to eat. I only ate hamburgers late at night because they were available 24/7 along with crappy nachos. On that note, make double cheeseburgers from 2 hamburgers, as the patties are small. The breakfast (Buffet) was great and my favorite meal there. They have coffee carafes available to take back to your room starting at 7:30 am in the Don Juan. Otherwise, coffee is available in the sports bar 24/7.
Selection (9/10). They had to provide food for people from around the world, so there was a lot to choose from. I tried to go Mexican only, but after 4 days I ended up with indigestion. I tasted everything from suckling pig to goose pate and it was all pretty good.

ROOM: Pretty Standard amenities (8/10). Very Clean (9/10). They are all smoking rooms I believe. Mini bar (corona, 7-up, seltzer, water, rum, whisky, tequila and vodka) is stocked every two days, but they will stock anytime with a phone call. A/C worked fine. They are all ocean view with a balcony (2 chairs). The shower had serious water pressure, but it was kind of dark in the shower (this may have been unique to our room). Bed was very firm, which I liked. They supply you with extra blankets in the closet. Room safe is free. TV had a variety of American/European and Spanish programming. However the channels assigned to each station changed throughout the day. This meant I was changed from TNT to ABC at the very end of a movie one night.

POOLS: Clean. A couple of topless women/day. Sun does disappear, but you can chase it with relative ease until about 3 pm. The sun is pretty strong by 9:30 am. The Eastern pool is pretty cold and the western pool is pretty warm. The Easterm pool was not crouded, the western one was) Checkout riubambu.com for tons of pictures.

BARS: Selection (8/10) THEY HAVE 2 TYPES OF BEER ON TAP. Corona and Negra Modelo. Negra Modelo is only available by request. The default is corona. They also have Bacardi Rum, El Jimador, Cuervo and Sauza Tequila, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels etc. on request. Access (9/10): There is always a bar close by, the sports bar is open 24/7. BRING AN INSULATED COFFFEE MUG. As usual, the drink cups are small and the drinks get warm quickly. Pepsi Light is the only diet beverage offered, but there are some good ones at the OXXO just across the street. Service (9/10) very friendly staff. Less tipping than I have seen at other resorts.

HOTEL: Appearance (9/10). It is a beautiful Hotel. Tons of beautiful tile work and freshly painted walls. Landscaping is nice. The gift shop is small. There is also a silver shop that will discount about 30% if you try hard enough. They are competitive with the malls. I would buy silver at Isla Muheres, Cancun has gotten relatively expensive for silver. My wife shoots for 10 peso/ gm when bartering. Friendly (9/10). The staff is very nice and everybody speaks English where you need to communicate. Got a deep tissue massage from Enrique at the spa. It was worth $40 for 30 min. The gym is small and has limited machines (no free weights).
The location is right in the middle of cancun. You can easily walk outside the hotel and be in the center of everything in 3-5 minutes. The Plaza Caracol Mall is 100 feet from the front door.

I guess that is it.

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
55  Thank Daydream5036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2005

My husband and I stayed at RIU Cancun 25 FEB-02 MAR 05. The hotel is very pretty and immaculate. We stayed on the 15th (top) floor. The room was of average size. The view was amazing. The bathroom was spacious and had lots of nice granite and a double sink. All the rooms appear to have a balcony. We requested a non-smoking room when we made reservations, but were assigned a smoking room. We didn't smell cigarettes when we went to our room, so we didn't think it would be a problem and did not request a change. On occasion, smoke from our neighbors' room came under the door between the rooms. We could hear our neighbors on both sides very well, particularly when they were in the bathroom. It actually sounded like someone was in our bathroom. The balconies also have only a partial wall separating them so you hear your neighbors quite well out there as well. We wore earplugs to bed and put the radio on between stations to drown out the noise. There are no coffee makers in the rooms and we could only borrow an ironing board and iron for an hour. The mini fridge was nice and well stocked. We had no hot water in our room for a while on 01 MAR and no water at all for a while on the morning of 02 MAR.

The pool areas and beach were overcrowded and the pool with the swimup bar in it was dirty. The pool at the east end of the property was clean and relatively quiet but the water was cold. Most of the pool and beach areas were shady by early afternoon, but you could find a few sunny places if you looked around. The pools close at 6PM.

The bar service was good. The blender drinks were made with good liquor. The only beer I saw was Corona and they only had 2 kinds of wine. I had some red and it was bad.

The buffet claimed to have theme nights (Italian, TexMex, Spanish) but the food was the same every day. My husband got up early a couple of days to secure reservations for the Brazilian and Japanese restaurants. Reservations were gone by 7:30 AM. I was hoping for a nice romantic dinner at these places but it was loud and bright like a school cafeteria.

My biggest issue with the RIU Cancun and the main reason we won't be back is the lack of privacy and peace and quiet. I realize this is not a priority for everyone and some people like a boisterous atmosphere. If you are planning a honeymoon or romantic getaway or see yourself snoozing in a hammock under a palm tree, DO NOT go to RIU Cancun. You are never alone, unless you lock yourselves in your room, and believe me, your neighbors can hear you!

Jill O, Chicago

  • Stayed: February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank Climber32688
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2005

My 13 year old daughter and I just returned from a mini-vaca at the Riu Cancun (2/25-3/1). As other reviewers pointed out, it was really beautiful and clean and the staff very accomodating. I am surprised by the complaints. We never had a problem finding a lounge chair and we moved from pool to pool to beach, etc. There was plenty of sun as far as I was concerned. I thought the food was fine also. This is not a gourmet experience, but there was a good variety and it was tasty. We really liked the Japanese restaurant.

In short, it was beautiful and relaxing. I would recommend it!

12  Thank Relax35846
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2005

Just got back from the Riu Cancun from a 6 day vacation with my wife, 9 and 10 year old sons and mother in law. All in all it was an excellent vacation and I highly recommend this hotel. The hotel is beautiful and does compare well with ANY hotel in any class. The staff was very helpful and attentive. The kids programs were above average and the amount of activities was great. The food and drink were plentiful, lots of choices and I think reasonably good to very good - when compared to other all inclusives.

This is a very nice hotel. The lobby, all the public spaces and the rooms are well designed, nice looking and luxurious. We stayed in a junior suite which had 2 double beds, a pull-out couch and lots of closet space. Lots of space overall and very comfortable. The hotel was full capacity but the space and staff handled the volume of people very, very well and it never really felt crowded.

One of the best features for us was the kid activities and the safety of the hotel. The hotel grounds felt very safe and enclosed. We basically saw our children briefly during the day as they were off either doing supervised activities or playing with the friends they met at the hotel either in the pool or at the beach or ping pong tables. We only required them to tell us where they would be and that we were able to check on them periodically. It worked great for them and us!

I rate it as excellent as an all inclusive and you should think of it as such. You should compare the food and drinks to a cruise or another all-inclusive or a good buffet restaurant. The food is not Excellent - if you compare it to the best 5-star restaurants. This is only the second all-inclusive we've stayed at - but the other was Beaches Turks & Caicos - which is always rated one of the highest family vacation spots. Riu Cancun compares very favorably. I felt that hotel itself, rooms, grounds, beach were all nicer at the Riu Cancun. I also personally like Cancun better than Turks & Caicos - at least as a destination for a family vacation (more on Cancun later). The food was better at Turks & Caicos - but I thought the drinks, bar options and mini-bar were better at the Riu Cancun.

We booked this trip 6 months ago after reading and researching on the internet - primarily on this site. 5 1/1 months later (just before the trip) as we continued to read reviews on this site I started to get worried. My wife started saying maybe we were bleary eyed and worn out (of research) and booked this hotel out of desperation and possibly made a mistake. I want to address some of the issues we read about and my take on them.

Pool - sun: It is true that the sun sets and more than 50% of the pool chairs are out of the sun by about 2 pm. But half the chairs have sun to 3 or 3:30 or 4. And most of the beach has sun to 4 pm or later. If you get up and out early that is plenty of sun. For people who are up until 3am and don't get to the pool until noon this is an issue. For us - and my wife and I are major sun worshipers - we did not have a major issue with this.

Hard beds: they are hard. but actually very comfortable. Non-issue.

Food: I already talked about this in general. My personal recommendation is stick with the buffets and go out to dinner once or twice. The two reservation restaurants really aren't worth it. The Brazilian steak house - other than having them bring the food to your table - doesn't really offer much. You still don't get to order - just choose from what they bring around. And the food is just OK. The Japenese restaurant is a little better - you do get to order choices and table service - but the food isn't that great. The breakfast buffets are very good. The lunch buffets and dinner buffets are good to very good - depending on what happens to be the featured choices.

I like Cancun. Obviously known as a spring-break party place, but I think also a good family destination. There is a lot of shopping and nice shopping. Our favorite is the mall La Isla. It has a nice, small aquarium which you can take the kids too and good shopping. Plaza Caracol is literally right across the street from the hotel and also nice.

If you want to go out there are a large number of choices for restaurants and bars. Two of our favorite restaurants are: Casa Rolandi - very good italian food in Plaza Caracol right across the street and La Habicuela - mexican food in downtown Cancun. We did a day trip to Chichen Itza on a previous trip to Cancun and this trip went to Tulum. I highly recommend doing one or the other. Chichen Itza is a bigger mayan site - but also a lot further (about 2 1/2 hours each way). Tulum is about 1:45 minutes. Also on a previous trip we did Xel-Ha which is a eco-park, tourist trap - but very nice and I recommend it. We've heard good things about Xcaret but haven't gone there. This trip we went to Wet 'n Wild water park - it was just OK. I'd skip it unless you really had a burning desire to do a water park.

All in all I highly recommend Cancun and this hotel.

31  Thank philjct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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