Monday, April 18, 2011

Riu Palace Las Americanas-Cancun Review

Recently I made a trip to Cancun and stayed at the Riu Palace in Cancun. I spent a lot of time reading trip advisor before my trip to get advice so I decided to write my own review in the hopes that it may help someone.

We arrived around 3pm. We had to wait a few minutes to check in, but not more than 10. We went during Spring Break so we expected it to be a busy season. The staff was helpful and enthusiastic about the trip. I do wish they handed out a daily schedule of events (ie pool activities), but the schedule is listed by the "party pool" if you are interested.

We had a gorgeous room on the sixth floor with a wrap around beach view. It was tucked into the corner of the hallway so we had no noise at night (except for the lulling of the waves outside). The bed was a true king size (not two beds pushed together). Each day the room was cleaned and the fridge was restocked. The room does have brandy, tequila, rum, and vodka dispensers on the wall. The fridge is stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Beer. We did leave a tip each day for the service. The bathroom counter was very large and had enough room to put all of my products. We had read about thefts so we were very careful to leave expensive electronics in the safe. It is a pretty small safe and won't fit a full size laptop. My husband had asked the front desk if they had a safe he could keep his computer in and they said "no." I found this a little strange as most hotels have a safe at the main desk that guests can use.

Room Service
We did room service a few times and I will tell you that one time we had asked for a fruit plate delivered and left on the table even though we weren't going to be in the room. They had agreed, but when we arrived it was not there. When we called them back, they said they didn't deliver it because we weren't there. So, my advice is to make sure and order something when you are in the room. Also, we had read that you can order champagne to the room. We ran into a bit of trouble with this. We tried to do this as a special treat for our last night, but they said they couldn't do it on such short notice. So if you want champagne delivered to your room, make sure you do it a day or two in advance.

There are two main pools to use. One is the infinity pool and the other one has the pool bar. The pool with the bar is much louder and more lively. There are activities throughout the day at the pool including yoga, water aerobics, volleyball, and dancing. The entertainment staff was fun and friendly.  By noon the pools are very busy. Most people put towels down on chairs by about 10am. There are lots of pool servers who come around and get you drinks, so you can just sit back and relax.

We tried all of the different restaurants at the resort rather than eat at the buffet each night. You do need to make advance reservations for the restaurants so I would suggest emailing before your trip to get your first night taken care of. Below are the different types of restaurants:

Los Arcos-Brazilian Steakhouse
El Romero-Seafood and Steak
Tio Pepe-Mexican
Krystal-Fusion French Meditreranean

Each of these restaurants does have a dress code for adult males, which is long pants and a shirt with sleeves. There is no dress code for women, but most ladies wore sun dresses or nice pants.
The restaurants each greeted you with a signature drink which I found a nice touch. My favorites were Los Arcos and Krystal. The service at each was very good. I recommend bringing one's to tip them. Bringing about $150 in ones will be helpful in all of your tipping throughout your visit. The staff works hard to deliver excellent service and they deserve the recognition.

Other Activities
While it would be possible to stay at the hotel the whole week and lounge by the pool, we decided to do a bit of exploring. First, I will say it is very easy to use the local bus system. It comes right in front of the Riu Cancun hotel that is next door to the Riu Palace. It is much cheaper than taking taxi's everywhere. One activity we did was take the ferry over to Isla Mujeres. We took the bus over to Playa Tortuga and then took the 10:30am ferry over to the island. The island is small and can easily be explored in a day. We rented a golf cart and drove around on our own exploring, rather than sign up for a tour. I also went to Dolphin Discovery to swim with the dolphins. The experience was great! I did the Royal swim which was a little more, but offered 2 dolphins for the group instead of one and also had more time in the water.  We only had 5 people in our group so we had lots of play time with the dolphins. The ticket price even included the buffet with drinks and food.

We also spent part of day going to El Rey which is also a short bus trip away from the hotel (maybe 20 minutes). It is the site of old Mayan Ruins. Now the ruins were pretty small compared to Chicken Itza or Tulum, but if you don't want to spend 4 hours of travel time to see ruins, this might be a great alternative. The best thing about El Rey is that it has tons of iguanas. If you bring fruit with you, you can feed them and they run up to you like begging dogs. It was one of the best experiences of my life! There was no guided tour when we went, but there were plaques to read about the ruins. The price is super cheap and I found it to be amazing with the iguanas!

One night we ventured into town for Dinner and chose Puerto Madero. It is an Argentinian steakhouse. We had Karina at the concierge desk set up reservations for us. We had read that it is known for having very beautiful sunsets, so we requested a spot on the dock where we could watch the sun go down. It was so pretty. The food was very good, but it is expensive. I had the surf and turf and my husband had a fish special which he enjoyed. We also ordered the Caesar salad which was made fresh at the table and was fun to watch and great to eat.

If you do go to Cancun, have a great trip! There is so much to do and see. If you have any other specific questions about the Riu Palace, leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you.


  1. Expedia says "from $551/night" seriously?

  2. We used frequent flyer points so I am unsure of the exact cost, but I have seen several others say they had paid lower amounts than that. I'm sure it has to do with the season you choose. Right now it is busy.

  3. I just booked this hotel (and thank you for this review!) using and we got 5 nights in this hotel, direct flights from NYC and transfers to/from the hotel for about $2200 total. There are good deals if you look around a bit :)

  4. Hi, 2200 seems like a really great price! I'm paying 2500 for 7 days 6 nights in June.. What time of year are going?

    And hibmom you said to make sure we email the hotel about reservations.. If I email them can I make a reservation for all of them at one time?
    I am excited to be going with my husband but i've heard alot of reviews in terms of sun, and food, and theft in the hotel. I want to be able to leave my bags in my lounge chair while i go for a swim you know? i hope I don't have any problems. Thank you for ur help. (the problem with the sun was that there really wasn't any sun)

  5. Also do you know their email address?

  6. Leaving your bags around the pool with lotion and books shouldn't be a problem, but I wouldn't leave cash or electronics out. That would be my advice anywhere, not just at this hotel. The sun wasn't a problem when we were there. It was easy to find a sunny spot by the pool. I guess it did go down around 4:30pm, but we were done by that time anyway. If you do want to stay in the sun, just move to the beach.

    You can't make reservations for more than your 1st night (maybe 2nd night, if you are lucky). You will have to make the rest of the reservations when you arrive.

    You can use the email:
    You can address the email to Karina.

  7. Thank You very much hun! your review is appreciated!!

  8. Thank you so much for your review! What kind of room did you have? Also, we haven't been to Cancun before, is it very safe to walk around?

    We just booked our trip last night and will be there in two weeks. We fly out of a small airport in the Panhandle of Florida and are staying 6 nights. Our total package price was $2552.10, including airport transfers. Found this deal on

    Thanks again!!!

  9. Candace-

    We had a Jr. ocean view suite. It was very nice with a step down to the lower part of the room. I am pretty sheltered and I felt it was safe to walk around, especially in the day. We didn't go out much after 9pm, so I can't speak to that, but up to that point we felt safe. There is always a lot of people on the streets by the hotels.

  10. Hi What was the hair dryer like in the room - we are travelling from England in June and I don't want to have to buy a new one if the room one is adequate - also my hubby will have his birthday there - do you know if they will upgrade our room for free? - Do you recommend American dollars or Pesos? Thanks for your help.

  11. The Hairdryer was very small and not powerful so I would not have worked well for my thick hair. With regard to the room upgrade, I really have no experience with this. We had the room we booked.
    For money, I would recommend bringing American dollars for almost everything.

  12. We are traveling and staying at this resort in June. We are worried about the stories you hear as concerns to safety in Mexico. Did you have any safety concerns while on your trip?

  13. We didn't have any safety concerns in Mexico. The hotel is in a very safe area and we didn't go anywhere that wasn't "touristy". I think it depends where you are planning to go.

  14. Thanks for taking the time to help. I have a few questions:
    how's the beach?
    Did you use the ATM machine?
    Does it have decent internet connection?


  15. The beach was small, but nice. I walked along it a few times, but mostly sat by the pool to read. There are lots of chairs available on the beach to sit and the view of the ocean is incredible.

    Did not use the ATM.

    Internet connection seemed fine, but didn't use it a lot. Only took Ipad to check email. The little I did surf the net, the connection seemed good.

  16. Which riu palace did you stay in exactly. I am seeing at least 4 different ones. What is the difference. There is riu palace las americas, riu palace mexico, riu palace del carmen, riu palace rivera maya. Please help

  17. hello, I will be staying at the riu palace las americas in october 2011,
    I picked the jacuzzi suite, do you have any idea of what this room looks like? is it better to plan day trips using the hotel lobby? or vendors? thanks...

  18. I don't have experience with the jacuzzi suite, but I can imagine it is very nice! Also, the pricing in the hotel is quite a bit higher than using the vendors right across the street. A lot of it has to do with your comfort level.

  19. My eight month old baby will be traveling with us, do they have umbrellas on the beach? Do you have any other suggestions for a young traveling family?

  20. Not sure about umbrellas on the beach. Did not see any, but I wasn't really looking. I can't really speak about traveling with children because we didn't travel with ours, it was a Mom and Dad trip only.

  21. I curious to find out what brand of beer the RPLA carries? Can anyone help me???

    1. Dos equis, Medelo & Del Sol. All in cans.

  22. One of the most popular holiday destinations in the winterseason, is located on the south side of is called Golf Las Americas.