Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Located on the beautiful, pristine beaches of the Playacar resort community, 10 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen
Riu Playacar is part of the Riu group and shares its location with four other Riu properties. It's in a gated community, but right across the street is a shopping mall with a Starbucks -- a convenience to many guests.
Named for Our Lady of Mount Carmel (the patron saint of Cancun), Playa del Carmen is a beautiful, charming resort town and the third largest city in Quintana Roo. Located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula about 70 km south of Cancun and 20 km west of Cozumel, it's right in the center of the Mayan Riviera and is quickly becoming one of the most hip vacation spots in the area (though it’s said to be quieter than Cancun). It used to be the home of the Mayans and after that a small fishing village, but now Playa del Carmen -- or "Playa" as the locals call it -- is full of exciting nightclubs, popular restaurants, cute boutiques, and resort hotels that sit lovely white sandy beaches. Because many of the businesses are European-run, the rest of the town retains a hint of European flair. The main tourist thoroughfare of Playa is the cobblestone-lined, pedestrian street Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), but there are plenty of fun outdoor activities for visitors, too, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and sailing. The offshore reef is part of the second largest reef system in the world, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Riu Playacar sits on the soft, white, beautiful Playacar beaches. The 386-room accommodation isn't the most impressive all-inclusive in town. The rooms are outdated to say the least, with unattractive furniture and tube TVs. But the property is charming and quaint, inspired by traditional Mexican architecture and painted with popping blues, yellows, and reds. And lush lawns, tall palm trees, and crystal clear lagoons make up the lovely landscaping. The main pool is fantastic -- very large and lagoon style. As far as food goes, guests can choose from a number of options (inclusive and a la carte, casual and upscale), such as Jade, which serves Asian dishes and El Porche, which offers Mexican cuisine. There are tons of activities here, but guests looking for something not available on-site can probably find it at one of the other Riu properties in the area -- which they are entitled to enjoy too.