Fresh off a $40M renovation in 2019 that completely redesigned the rooms, expanded the swimming pool area, and added a new swim-up bar, among other enhancements, the much-improved Riu Palace Riviera Maya is now the best overall section of the massive six-resort Riu complex in the upscale Playacar neighborhood just south of Playa del Carmen. The three other sections of the greater resort complex that are directly on the beach are the Riu Palace Mexico (Baa1), the Riu Playacar (Baa1), and the Riu Yucatan (Baa2). The Riu Palace Mexico and the Riu Palace Riviera Maya are the most upscale and have the best drinks, but rates among these four beachfront sections are usually very comparable. The Lupita (B2) and Tequila (Ba2) sections aren’t directly on the beach, which is predominantly why they have lower Overall Beach Resort Ratings; logically, they’re also the two most economical of the six sections. The food is just so-so, which is the case at all six sections; but the property offers an impeccable, very wide white-sand beach, jacuzzis and liquor dispensers in the rooms, 24-hour room service, a modern fitness center, an 18-hole golf course right across the street, and a very large and interactive swimming pool area with a lively swim-up bar. Palace Riviera Maya guests have full access to all five surrounding sister properties. Activities at the greater complex include excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, sailing, kayaking, tennis, jet skiing, and more.
Guests returning to the U.S. can take the COVID-19 antigen test on-site. There is no additional cost for all adults and children. This service is available at all Riu resorts in Mexico (except Riu Plaza Guadalajara), Jamaica, Aruba, and Punta Cana and is provided by an accredited medical testing lab that complies with the requirements of the CDC. Test results are received within 72 hours prior to departure, as required by the CDC. In the event of a positive test, Riu Hotels will provide an extension of up to 10 days at no cost.