Agents' Choice 2020
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Feb 24, 2020
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Playa del Carmen Riu is all about style

IAN STALKER

The Riu Palace Riviera Maya has a beautiful display of Caribbean Sea on its front doorstep and dramatic reminders of early area inhabitants in its backyard.

And so the 520-guest unit, upscale all-inclusive, found in Playa del Carmen’s Playacar district, has a setting that easily accommodates those who simply want to soak up sun in a tropical location and those wishing both enjoying tropical sun and delving into the region’s past as well, with tours available to such dramatic Maya archeological sites as Chichen Itza and Coba.

The property, one of several Rius in Playacar, is one of Riu’s top-of-the-line Palace resorts but resort general manager Xavier Saez says Riu hasn’t been resting on the resort’s laurels, having last year renovated a resort that opened in 2006.

“The work carried out has consisted of an absolute redesign of outdoor areas and common areas and rooms,” Saez says of the “intensive renovations. You can see the new style that Riu is introducing, while the hotel continues to show the majesty that has characterized it since its opening.

“We kept the majesty of it.”

That “majesty” includes large chandeliers, pillars and often eye-catching artwork throughout a lobby that provides views of the famed sea that Playa del Carmen fronts.

The architecture of the white, colonial-style structure that in part flanks pools that are lined by palm trees.

Repeat visitors will notice new color schemes throughout the hotel’s décor and among other changes are enhancements to the RiuLand children’s club.

Among Riu Palace Riviera Maya amenities are are a choice of restaurants, some buffet, some à la carte. Choices include Italian and Japanese dining and a poolside eatery.

Bar options include a swim-up bar in one of the resort’s swimming pools and guests will find a 24-hour lounge.

The hotel also fronts a long and wide expanse of the white-sand beach the area is known for.

Resort guests are also welcome to use the restaurants and bars in the other Rius in Playacar. Friday nights also see a lively “White Party” – complete with dancers and other performers – at the nearby Riu Tequila that Riu Palace Riviera Maya guests are invited to attend.

Nightly entertainment – such as karaoke and circus-style performers – is offered.

The Riu Palace Riviera Maya also features a solarium terrace and a spa.

The property can host weddings.

Junior suites and suites are available, with super king-size beds, satellite TV, air conditioning and hydromassage bathtubs awaiting guests.

But Saez notes that the hotel also has easily visible Mexican features, which are appreciated by guests. “In some hotels (in the area), you feel like you’re in Miami or the Dominican Republic. It’s not like that here.”

Saez also notes that it’s easy for guests to walk into downtown Playa del Carmen, an area known for its fun and trendy bars, restaurants and stores.

“This is probably the best place to be in the Caribbean,” Saez says. “You’re surrounded by things to do. It’s not only a beach destination.”

Among options for visitors are excursions that showcase the area’s many natural and cultural attractions.

Saez says the Riu brand is well known in this country and its following will continue to grow. The Canadian market remains “one of the most important for Riu in Mexico,” he says.

Meanwhile, Marissa Maheu-Mendes of Sunwing praised the Riu Palace Riviera Maya as a “top-rated family resort.” The property “is a popular choice and recently underwent an extensive renovation to offer modernized facilities and enhanced amenities. Guests can now soak up the sun by the revamped pool area, dine at brand-new restaurants and keep up with their fitness regime at the updated RiuFit area,” she notes.

Sunwing offers vacation packages to Riu Palace Riviera Maya with flights to Cancun from 22 gateways across Canada. All Sunwing vacation packages include round-trip flights on board Sunwing Airlines, round-trip transfers from the airport to the resort and the assistance of Sunwing Experiences representatives in destination.

Maheu-Mendes notes Cancun – close to Playa del Carmen – has been a long-time favourite destination for Canadian travellers with its “beautiful beaches, gorgeous weather and range of resorts for all travel styles.”

Sunwing is the exclusive vacation provider of RIU Hotels & Resorts in this country and has enjoyed a close relationship with RIU for many years. Customers who book their RIU getaway with Sunwing can enjoy a host of exclusive amenities and extras with RIU-topia perks such as in-room liquor dispensers, reservation-free specialty dining, and more; while those that upgrade to a RIU Palace resort can also look forward to additional inclusions such as daily champagne breakfasts, 24-hour room service and poolside waiter service.

 

 

 

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