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Riu Playacar

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Our Opinion

This is an amazing resort that is situated perfectly close to the beach. With body boards and kayaks available free of charge, there is plenty to do at the beach. The resort grounds are also decorated and well-maintained. Nightly entertainment is held very late at night near the beach, so make sure that you book a suite away from this area, if you're wanting to wind down early at night.


Enjoy the stunning Caribbean Sea views on an unforgettable beach at the 5-star RIU Playacar. On the Yucatan peninsula in Playa del Carmen, you will discover an exceptional resort with an oasis of comfort, and service immersed in luxury. As part of an elegant development, which includes a modern 18-hole golf course right nearby for guests to enjoy.

Location: Directly on the beach in Playacar, 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, 60 minutes to Cancun, 45 minutes from the airport.

  • Great beachfront location with gorgeous white sand
  • 3 Beachfront pools offer swim-up bar and tables, pool loungers and kids' splash pool 
  • Spacious modern rooms with private balconies
  • Lots of activities and water sports
  • Located close to downtown Playa del Carmen

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • SunBeachPro : Canada
Disappointing - only a 3 Star

As an experienced traveller, including at least 20 trips to Mexico, here is an accurate review based on my extensive travel experience and realistic expectations.We stayed at the Riu Playacaar for 1 week over Christmas from Dec 20 - 27, 2016.Overall I was disappointed with this hotel. This hotel is not a 5 star hotel (as advertised). It is equivalent to a 3 star Cuban hotel. Very disappointing for Mexican standards and the price.The resort is very small and quiet. The property has a very small footprint of land. There is only 1 walking path which connects the lobby, restaurants, rooms, pool and beach. This hotel is suitable for families with small kids. There are no big trees or foliage. Therefore, there are fewer mosquitos at the Riu Playacaar, as it is very sparse. The other sister hotels (Riu Yucatan & Riu Tequila) have more mosquitos as they have many trees and lush foliage. Here’s a breakdown of my review for the Riu Playacaar:Rooms: PoorBEWARE: Most of the rooms do not have a door on the bathroom vanity area. There is a separate toilet room and a separate shower stall. But, when you come in and out of the shower, there is no privacy to dry off or change your clothes. The new buildings #7 and #8 have larger rooms and have separate bathrooms with doors… However, none of these rooms have 2 beds. If you are a couple and only require 1 bed, then insist on a room in buildings 7 or 8.The only room available with 2 beds and a separate bathroom is considered a suite. Sunwing/Signature display a picture of this room on their website as a standard room. This was the only suitable room for myself and my 24 year old son. They had initially checked us into a room with only 1 bed. They then moved us to a room with an open bathroom. We endured that for the 1st night, but it was impossible to have any privacy with my grown son. Out of desperation, I moved us to the room they called a suite. They charged me an extra $300 for the remaining 6 nights of my trip for this room. I would like Sunwing to reimburse me for this charge. The rooms were damp and everything felt wet at night if you turned the a/c down (which we did as it was cool at night). Everything in the room became wet, including the bedding and the pillows. We had to sleep in cold wet beds.The room also had an occasional smell of sewage that would waft into the room every now and then. We were on the ground floor, so perhaps our room was close to the sewer.Staff: PoorUnfortunately, the staff at this hotel seemed to be at a lower caliber than what is expected from a 5 star hotel. Most did not speak english and the customer service was terrible. From our initial check-in, to bar and restaurant service, there was a clear breakdown in communication, resulting in very inferior service, bad attitudes and borderline rude behaviour from the staff. I always tip very well when I travel… it didn’t help here. They simply didn’t speak or understand any english. Drinks: PoorThis was a huge problem. Cheap cheap cheap! The alcohol was watered down cheap! Even when you ask for a premium brand, it tastes watered down. Even their beer on tap tasted watered down.The bottles of alcohol in the rooms were cheap… not worth drinking. They do not have straws for any of the cocktails by the pool bar.Food: PoorThe so called 24 hr snack bar was a self serve refrigerator filled with pre-cooked cold hamburgers and hot dogs in plastic packages that you had to microwave yourself. It was disgusting.The breakfast buffet closed its omelette station early…. 1.5 hours before breakfast was over. The fresh juice tasted like water thickened with corn starch. The beer and wine at the lunch buffet were self serve. There are no servers to offer you a drink. They have bottles of wine and beer taps next to the soda fountain which is all help yourself…with only plastic cups.The Asian themed restaurant is just another small buffet. The Italian restaurant is partial buffet with very small a la carte entree. The Steak House and Mexican restaurants share the same space as the lunch buffet restaurant. The Mexican restaurant had the best food. The Christmas Eve dinner buffet was very good. It’s clear this hotel has the ability to perform better. They need to step it up a notch and improve on their food and customer service on a daily basis.Pools: AverageThere are 2 basic square pools that are separated from each other. They are rather boring and don’t have much going on. There were tons of kids in the pools…too many! The children’s pool is really small and only for tiny kids (1yr or 2yr olds). All the other kids (3yrs +) were playing in the adult pools. The pool bar is a separate bar in the water and frankly not very enticing. It’s not really a swim up bar… it’s a sit-in-the-water-and-drink bar. Lounge chairs were always available and easy to find.Beach: ExcellentPlayacaar is a beautiful beach! The water is shallow and very safe to swim. The sand is perfect soft white sand with no rocks or shells. There are no people to hassle you on the beach. This hotel is situated on a very nice wide section of the beach. It is not as congested as the other hotels and there is plenty of room to throw a ball or frisbee.Location: ExcellentPlayacaar is a gated and safe community. It is an easy and safe 20mins walk to Playa Del Carmen. Playa Del Carmen is a fun town and has great restaurants, patios for drinks and fun nightlife… If you want to buy sunglasses, this is where it’s at! Beware, the beaches in Playa Del Carmen are eroded and crap. It’s better to stay in Playacaar with the beautiful beach and venture into Playa Del Carmen when you want some shopping and restaurant/bar action outside of the hotel.Riu Yucatan and Riu TequilaWe visited both sister hotels during our stay. The Riu Yucatan had a much larger pool area. It was very lively and had lots going on. However, it was too busy and noisy by the pool and somewhat difficult to find lounge chairs. The Riu Yucatan had great wildlife… lots of monkeys which were really fun to see! There were lots of mosquitos due to the jungle like environment.Riu Tequila is a hotel across the street from the Riu Yucatan. It is not on the beach, but a short walk to the beach. it had the best food. The pool area was small, quiet and chill. It was easy to find lounge chairs by the pool. It seemed to have a very nice relaxing atmosphere going on. Lot’s of play balls, ping pong tables, dance lessons.. It would be more fun for bigger kids. There were lots of kids at this hotel. There were lots of Mexican racoons running around the pool area which was fun to see. The hotel is very dated and looks too old. Overall, I would not recommend any of these 3 Riu hotels…. Out of these 3 hotels, the Riu Playacaar was the best, only for it’s renovated modern lobby and choice spot on the beach. But, it is not a 5 star… it’s only a 3 star and they should reduce their price accordingly…. Or, improve on their staff, food, drinks and service….And, place doors on their bathrooms!

  • amyshocket :
Great Family Vacation

We just spent a week at this beautiful resort. We had incredible ocean view rooms with balconies from which we had a bird's eye view of the pools and the ocean. Rooms were modern and clean. Food and drinks were plentiful. The staff was very friendly. Enjoyed this all inclusive and not being bothered to pay for every meal and cocktail. We would definitely go back.

  • sunnies_21 : London, United Kingdom
3 star

This is our first time at a RIU, and having been to all-inclusives 8 times prior, this is the poorest of them all. The hotel has given itself a 5 star rating, and Thomson has given it a 4. The reason we feel it's 3:The rooms are very basic, no kettle to make coffee/tea, no low lights for relaxing (all very bright clinical lights), no comfy chair for an added area to chill out in besides the bed, and no room service. When we arrived the floor was filthy, sandy and hairs everywhere, I cleaned it myself. Cleaning the rest of time was fine, but waters were rarely replenished so we got these at reception ourselves every other day. The frosted glass between the bathroom and bedroom is such a silly idea! You turn the light on in the bathroom and the bedroom lights up. If someone is sleeping this is just inconvenient. All the reviews rave about the staff, they are friendly enough, but I felt a lot of them didn't speak English, especially in the restaurants. So we didn't interact with them as much as we would have and the hotel guests were predominantly Spanish speaking. Sometimes in the evenings the entertainment presenter didn't even translate what they were saying and just continued on in Spanish. There were times the servers would just look at you without saying anything and expect you to order, without even a customary Hola. It did make me wonder if it was just a language issue, but this is something I've never had at other all-inclusive's before and got a bit uncomfortable at times. You only get greeted at the Mexican/steak place, all other places you seat yourself. This might be hard for large groups to find tables themselves. We rarely received any service at breakfast and lunch, so you go and get drinks yourself and someone comes to collect your plates. Food was bland, poor food choices. Sometimes there were three types of aubergine, three potato dishes. Considering the buffet was small, I don't understand why they repeated the same stuff at one meal. Asian restaurant is a buffet (the food was repeated in the main buffet restaurant on their themed night-pointless) and the food was not replenished at 8pm and not very nice. Italian (part buffet part al la carte) and steakhouse were so-so. I did get tummy trouble here and was poorly for two days. We went out to eat in Playa Del Carmen, it was a welcomed relief.Pool area is a small area, and there is no escape for peace except on the beach. As it was very windy at times this wasn't always an option and you had to suffer Marc Antony overload. A man carrying a massive tray of drinks comes around and offers you something rather than asking what you would like. This must be hard for them as the tray is massive and heavy! To be served in order at the bar near the pools was hit and miss. We tipped a lot when we arrived and it made no difference. Even when it wasn't busy I would see someone get served before me that they recognised. The good points are that the food service period is longer than any other hotel I've been too. Ie breakfast til 1130 and lunch starts at 1130. Snack period lasts until 6pm so there isn't a lot of time where you may not get food. However, the late evening snacks are hamburgers and nachos that you have to put in a microwave to heat up yourself, plus fruits and salads. Drinks aren't watered down, although the drinks at RIU tequila are nicer than they are here. The various ways in which an Irish coffee can be made boggles the mind! It's interesting they have three kinds of red wines to serve, but only one person ever mentioned this option, and they have a load of bottles opened at a time. Some of them tasted corked. Beach is lovely, but the loungers are confined to a certain space, making everywhere you turn a person or a lounger next to you. I generally am never ready to leave a holiday like this, but was ready to leave after ten days. For couples, this place just isn't good enough. Entertainment isn't that great, and we preferred going to the Tequila. This hotel lacked the Caribbean charm and atmosphere that I so love, and for the price that was paid, it was disappointing on many levels. If you've already booked this hotel, do not worry, you'll make your own fun and we had a nice time. It was just different to what we've experienced in the past.

  • Katie H : Hinckley, United Kingdom

Me and my husband went to Mexico for our Honeymoon and stayed in Riu hotel. We loved it that much, we are hoping to go back this year in May again! Hotel treated us to some strawberries with chocolate, champagne and a card with congratulations which was really nice and unexpected! I can't think of anything negative to be honest; the level of service hotel staff provided was outstanding! The food was great, plenty of choice each day (people who say there wasn't much choice, probably haven't stayed in Riu hotel lol); perfect location, around 10 min taxi ride to 5th avenue! We done some trips like swimming with dolphins and went to Chitzen Itza and if anyone does choose to do those trips; book it across the road from the hotel! Is cheaper :) if you want to go to Cozumel, don't book the trip, but go to town and get a ferry over; cost maybe a fiver per person and whilst you get there you can get a taxi from one side of the island to another for around a tenner which is so worth it! Beach is stunning and whilst you there the staff brings drinks to you which was great! The only thing that maybe could improve was the evening show; even thought it was good and entertaining enough, it can be better! Overall we have had a fantastic time and I cannot wait to go back and stay at Riu hotel again! Choose this hotel and you won't regret it!

  • Jeff M : Rochester, New York
Riu anice place

We stayed for 7 nights after christmas. Was a nice resort and we had no issues with accommodations or facilities. We did have lunch at the other two RIU resorts and that was very good. Took a snorkel trip to cave etc. and we would recommend. Was about a 5 hour trip so not all day. Destination Travels Dimi was our guide. Be sure to visit 5th street as well. Our only complaint, if you could call it that because it is somewhat petty, is the entertainment. They list entertainment to start at 9:45pm but each night they pull guest up on stage to do skit stuff. The one night it was 10:30 pm and they were still messing with the guests instead of the show. After a day in the sun on the beach would have liked to see the entertainment a bit earlier. Jesus was one of the best employees getting zumba etc. going.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, with made-to-your-taste cooking stations
  • Beach Club restaurant for Continental breakfast and lunch
  • 24 hr Snacks
  • A la carte dining  without reservations 
  • Unlimited Domestic and select International drinks 
  • In-room mini-bar & liquor dispensers, replenished regularly
  • Lounge chair and towels (pool/beach)
  • Windsurfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Body boarding
  • Catamaran
  • Introductory scuba diving lesson at pool/person/stay
  • Day & night tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Use of gym 
  • RiuFit, group fitness activities
  • Ping-pong
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Free admission to the Discos at RIU Tequila and RIU Yucatan, drinks included until 2am

RIU®-topia Inclusions

  • Welcome cocktail
  • Unlimited International drinks
  • In-room liquor dispenser
  • Unlimited dining at a specialty restaurants
  • In-room mini bar re-stocked regularly
  • In-room safe
  • 20% discount on select excursions booked with Signature
  • Signature Hour from 4 - 5 p.m.
  • Spa credit available (applies to selected treatments, may vary per hotel) 
  • 396 rooms in six 3-storey buildings
  • Main buffet restaurant with on-order live cooking stations
  • 4 a la carte restaurants 
  • Snack bar
  • 4 Bars including swim-up pool bar
  • 3 pools and children's pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Renova Spa
  • Fitness facilities
  • 2 lit tennis courts
  • Small children's playground
  • 'Mexican Street' at RIU Yucatan with gym, great shopping, Internet shop, photo shop & lab, medical services, and Spa with hair salon, beauty treatments & massage services
  • Laundry service (fee)
  • Doctor on call (fee)
  • Car and bicycle rental
  • 18-hole golf course nearby
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas

Hotel Room

  • Maximum Number of Adults 3
  • Maximum Number of Children 2
  • Maximum Occupancy 4
  • 1 King or 2 Double beds
  • Hair dryer
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Air-conditioned
  • Ceiling fan 
  • Regularly replenished mini-bar and liquor dispenser
  • Satellite TV
  • Amenities kit
  • Safety deposit box
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Bathroom with shower

Junior Suite

  • Maximum Number of Adults 4
  • Maximum Number of Children 2
  • Maximum Occupancy 4
  • 2 Double beds
  • Hair dryer
  • Bidet
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Air-conditioned
  • Ceiling fan 
  • Regularly replenished mini-bar and liquor dispenser
  • Walk-in closet
  • Satellite TV
  • Safety deposit box
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Bathroom equipped with bathtub and shower
  • Living area with sofa
  • Amenities kit



  • Buffet
  • International/Steakhouse in the evening
  • Evening dress code


  • a la carte for dinner
  • Asian
  • Dress code

The Palms

  • Buffet
  • International


  • a la carte
  • Italian
  • Dress code

Mexican Restaurant

  • a la carte
  • Dress code


  • La Cumbia Lounge 
  • Las Olas Swim-up bar
  • Anana Lobby bar
  • La Plaza

Child Policy

0-1 years free when sharing room with 2 adults in existing bedding.
2-12 years pay special rate when sharing room with 2 adults in existing bedding.

Limited number of Kids Free rooms are available. Up to 2 kids can travel free with 2 full paying adults.

For the Kids

  • Kids pool
  • Playground
  • RiuLand program for ages 4-7
  • RiuLand program for ages 8-12

Spa Treatments

  • Massage
  • Hot stones
  • Aromatherapy
  • Shiatsu
  • Couples massage
  • Body oil essences
  • After-sun treatment
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Body wrap
  • Body exfoliation

Other Services

  • Hair styling
  • Coloring
  • Facials
  • Waxing
  • Manicure Pedicure
  • Makeup and Hair styling for brides

Stay at 1, Play at 3! - Guests staying at the RIU Playacar, receive unlimited access to all facilities at both RIU Tequila and RIU Yucatan (dinner restaurant excluded). Transfers not included, hotels are 5-10 minute walk away.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map

  • Riu Playacar
    Riviera Maya,Mexico

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Hotel Riu Playacar
Avenida Xamen-Ha Manzana 6, Lote 6, Playacar, Playa del Carmen 77710 Mexico

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules. makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.