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Last week my wife and I spent six days in a true Yucatán tropical paradise at a Playa del Carmen all inclusive resort formally known as RIU Palace Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is a beach resort destination community located about an hour south of Cancún Mexico and is a tranquil alternative to the hustle and bustle of one of Mexico’s most highly visited tourist hot spots.
However those looking to dance the night away at a discoteca or antro, 5th Street downtown Playa del Carmen’s vibrant night life can provide enough music and drinks to satisfy any animal spirit.
The RIU Playa del Carmen group offer vacationers a beach front community containing a collection of 6 five-star all inclusive resort hotels surrounded by shopping centers, a golf course, restaurants, condos, homes, jungle, and of course some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
We stayed at the RIU Palace Rivera Maya, but you have access to hangout, wine and dine at the other hotels which looked just as nice and are listed as follows…
- RIU Palace México
- RIU Yucatán
- RIU Playacar
- RIU Lupita
- ClubHotel RIU Tequila (Dance club located on premises but if you want to party, go to downtown Playa del Carmen which is just a 5 min taxi ride away).
Being my first time lodging at an all inclusive resort hotel, I had my doubts as to how “all inclusive” was actually defined. Well there was nothing to doubt because once those hotel bracelets were securely strapped on our wrists, we were able to eat, drink, lounge, and relax to our hearts content.
Of course you can lay out on the beach all day drinking beer or colorful tropical drinks like we did, but there are a variety of other activities offered like snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, parasailing, jet skiing, and fishing just to name a few.
However these activities are not included in the package and will cost extra at fairly reasonable prices. Expect to be solicited to partake in these recreations but don’t worry, their sales tactics are not aggressive and you won’t feel bothered.
The food was plentiful, varied, and excellent. I was expecting more of a mass prepared food taste like that of cafeteria food, but everything was fresh, prepared on location, varied, and delicious. I was amazed by the range of food that was offered. From lobster tail and gourmet pastas all the way to pizza (made and baked on location), french fries, and fried mozzarella sticks. Hats off to the chefs, servers, and food department!
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served as buffets daily but RIU Palace Rivera Maya also hosts five different restaurants that are only open for dinner. You have to make a reservation for these a few hours before but the service is great and the food just as exceptional. You’ll have your choice of Mexican, Japanese, or a French-style restaurant. There is also a Brazilian steak house and another regular steak house down by the beach to choose from as well.
Drinks is where they may appear to be saving a few bucks but you can drink as much as you want and the selection is pretty good. When ordering vodka, tequila, or whiskey, be sure to tell them to use the top shelve alcohol or else they’ll serve you up some of the cheaper brands.
I hope you like Dos Equis beer because that’s all they have. Both the lager and the ambar. And you will “stay thirsty my friends” because they serve it to you, including all the other drinks, in small plastic cups that don’t last long and don’t keep your beverage cold long either.
Don’t worry, you can always ask for more than one drink (as much as you want I guess) or you can bring your own cup of any size, avoiding frequent trips to the bar. However if you’re hanging out around the pool anyway, the pool bar is not a bad place to throw back a few.
RIU Playa del Carmen is a great place to vacation and for the more adventurous, the area offers much more to do than lounging around the beach eating, drinking, and relaxing. That’s what we came for and six nights of tropical Caribbean beach views lounging, eating, drinking, and relaxing, the $1,713 we paid for the both of us was well worth every penny.