Written by Julie Schafer.
I recently returned from escorting a successful group to Cancun. I visited all the Riu Hotels & Resorts in Cancun and a few others during my stay and I wanted to pass along my personal review on each property. Please contact me if you have any questions and to book your trip to Cancun!
RIU PALACE PENINSULA
This is where the group stayed. They loved it! The décor is that Riu purple trendy look and grows on you as you are there. The beach was fantastic at this property and the Riu Caribe is located right next door. The resort is very active and a lot of fun! The food and service were fantastic (no dinner reservations). For the rooms, I would definitely recommend the Junior Suite Ocean View category as the rooms are actually more like Ocean Front the way the property is laid out.
They also have the adults-only Villa area, which is where I was and in all honesty it was a garden view and I think the ocean view in the main building would have been better. In the Villa section, you have access to the adults-only pool and one restaurant that only guests of the Villa section have access to. So my advice is: if you want the Villa section, it is worth it if you go with the Villa OCEAN VIEW category.
For Groups: The Riu Palace Peninsula and Caribe would NOT be a good choice for groups that need a lot of events or meeting space as they cannot accommodate those needs.
Located next door to the Riu Palace Peninsula. This is their budget property and it is a bit dated, but the beach was beautiful at this property and they have a very nice pool area. We did eat at the buffet at the Caribe each morning because it was bigger and actually quieter than the buffet at the Peninsula. Reminder, you have exchange privileges with the Caribe if you are staying at the Peninsula, BUT if you are staying at the Caribe you do NOT have privileges at the Peninsula.
*Note: Both the Peninsula and the Caribe are located between the tip of the Cancun “7” and downtown Cancun. To walk to the other Riu properties (Las Americas and Cancun) it is approx. two miles and there is a very nice walking path along a golf course – I did the walk multiple times.
RIU PALACE LAS AMERICAS
Adults-only. This property was gorgeous and a great location! This one is the more traditional Palace look. It was really quiet, but beautiful, so it would be good for people looking for a quieter atmosphere (the Riu Palace Peninsula is definitely more for people looking for fun). The beach was very nice in front of this property as well. You have exchanged privileges at the neighboring Riu Cancun (and all of the Riu properties). They also have a conference room (so this is where you would want to book groups that need meeting space/events).
For Groups: The Riu Palace Las Americas and Cancun would be a good choice for groups that need meeting and event space as they have a conference room, but note that it can only accommodate up to 100 people, theater-style.
This resort is a good option for budget-minded people looking for a great location. I did really like this resort, however, note that the beach is very small. Everyone looked really crammed in on the beach. But, the pool areas more than made up for the small beach.
Some other properties I walked through and really like were the Hyatt properties (my new favorites!) and the Fiesta Americana properties.
HYATT ZILARA CANCUN
Adults-only. I loved everything about this property from just walking through. It is beautiful and on a great stretch of beach and walking distance to everything – nightlife, offsite restaurants, shopping. It also seems to have some quiet relaxing areas and some fun active pools. Seemed like it has something for everyone.
HYATT ZIVA CANCUN
This one is located on the tip of the Cancun “7”, so great location and walking distance to everything. I was impressed by their huge beach (three sides of the resorts have beach) and there is also a dolphin encounter onsite. Cool property!
FIESTA AMERICANA CONDESA CANCUN
I loved the layout and location of this resort as well. It seemed upscale and fun!
GRAND FIESTA AMERICANA CORAL BEACH CANCUN
I really liked the location of this resort as well, located on the point of the Cancun “7”. It’s right between the Riu Cancun and the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. This resort is not all-inclusive and it seemed very upscale. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t even let me into the lobby, but I did like what I could see of the property.
Julie started at Classic Travel as an intern 15 years ago and now specializes in group, leisure, and corporate travel and is highly regarded for her destination wedding planning expertise. Some of Julie’s favorite destinations include New Zealand, the Caribbean, Europe, and Hawaii. Email Julie: firstname.lastname@example.org