Scouse Bird Problems – Mexico: Which Riu is right for you? Cancun

Posted On: 07/11/2014

By: Scouse Bird

There are four Riu hotels in Cancun and I’ve stayed in them all. The first time I went to Cancun I was on an extreme budget (got flights and all inclusive hotel for 2 weeks for £750) and I stayed in Imperial Las Perlas. It was boss but basic – think a 4 star in Greece or Spain.

The next year I had a bit more money and tried a Riu and I never looked back. The hotels over there are geared towards Americans who demand a higher standard of service in general but what makes the Riu stand out to me is that 1. They have optics as part of the mini bar service in your room (as in they’ll trust you with a full bottle of vodka, white rum, tequila and dark rum unlimited to yourself, seriously) and 2. All inclusive means all inclusive. If you can see it in the hotel (all cocktails, food and branded spirits) it’s yours. They also have a good variety of food on the buffet (essential if you’re eating in the same place for 2 weeks) and  each property has at least five restaurants to choose from. There’s a boss entertainment programme too. So which Riu should you stay in?

Riu Caribe

This is situated quite far away from the nightclubs and isn’t a ‘palace’ so this tends to be the cheapest out of the four. The pool is massive and it’s really lively during the day and it has a 24 hour bar where you can get snacks any time. It’s had a full refurb in 2012 so it’s modern and pristine. They give you free wi-fi in the lobby/reception but only for 90 minutes a day and connectivity is a bit ropey. In summary, the location and wifi aren’t great but the atmosphere and the price are fab.

Riu Cancun

Now this is the party hotel. You get a lot of English people here and a younger crowd. It’s within walking distance to the clubs so you’ll save a fortune in taxis. It was looking a bit tired when I stayed here but it’s just been fully refurbed, I assume in 2013 or early 2014 so it’s looking amazing now. As it’s not a ‘palace’ it’s still really good value for money but you still only get that ropey 90 minutes wifi. You’ve got the 24 hour bar there too. In summary the wifi is shit but the location, price and atmosphere is amazing. This is definitely the best one if you want a party holiday –  and let’s face it, that’s what you go to Cancun for really isn’t it?

Riu Palace Las Americas

All of the Riu’s are officially classed as five star hotels but there’s five star and then there’s five star. The two ‘palaces’ are just a cut above the other two. The Palace Las Americas is right next to the Riu Cancun and therefore is in a great location for the clubs but it’s the only one which doesn’t have a 24 hour bar. The latest bar shuts at 1am so you tend to get a much older crowd but on the plus side virtually no children. This hotel is looking dated now and it really, really needs a makeover so that it’s in line with the other three properties. As it’s a ‘palace’ you get free wifi throughout and wait for it… free champagne – whenever you want, by the glass, by the bottle, by the bubba keg even. In summary the location and wifi is boss but it’s expensive and the atmosphere and the actual hotel itself aren’t up to scratch.

Riu Palace Peninsula

This is a virtually brand new hotel (opened in 2012) and is right next to the Riu Caribe so it’s a bit of a hike to the clubs. The pool area is massive though and pretty lively in peak season (especially by the swim up bar) and it has a 24 hour bar too so you can stay up drinking way past your bedtime. There’s free wifi everywhere and the free champagne on tap. This is the best hotel by far if you want a relaxing holiday but still want the option to party. My personal favourite overall. If you could lift this hotel up and swap it with the Riu Palace Las Americas then it would be perfect. Perhaps when the other one gets refurbed I’ll change my mind…


Scouse Bird

Check out the rest of Cancun:

Cancun Tips

The Cancun Nightlife

What to do when you’re there


Scouse Bird 

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