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Riu Caribe Hotel

13 of 29 hotels in Cancun

4 out of 5 from 17 reviews
4 stars
Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 5.5, Lote 6-C, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Situated in Cancún’s bustling hotel zone with stunning views of the Caribbean sea, this impressive 24 hour All Inclusive Premier Choice hotel is perfect for couples and families. It is set on a white sandy beach and boasts a fantastic range of facilities.

17 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    9
  • Very Good
    6
  • Good
    2
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
    0

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
8 years 9 months ago
Having holidayed in the Caribbean a number of times we decided to give Mexico a try as we do get a bit "buffet'ed out" into the second week of our stay and Cancun offered a good selection of restaurants outside of the hotels.

We booked with First Choice and as the flight was early on the friday morning we decided to stay overnight at the Sofitel at the Gatwick north terminal. This too allowed us to make use of the day before check-in and baggage drop. We were a bit surprised on checking in at five pm that we could not get a window seat as they were all reserved??? The girl at the check in was very unhelpful and rude when we queered this.

The flight was fine , we were First choice customers on a Thomson staff/crewed flight but on a First choice plane operated by Thompson Airways? not a problem but this whole banding together by TUI only seems see undermine the customer service side of things. Anyway we left on time and landed ahead of schedule.

On arrival Cancun airport turned out to have the most intensive arrivals procedure we have ever experienced in our fairly intensive world travels, all not a problem but time consuming.
First is the immigration counter here they take your form you are given during the flight,next you face the doctors who were waiting to cart you off if you ticked yes to any of the questions on the health form you filled in mid flight, After a quick passport check you reclaim your luggage from the conveyor .
Then you have to pass ALL your luggage "hold and hand" through a large x ray machine, much the same as the hand luggage machines on the way through to the lounge at Gatwick.
This is where we had our "Midnight Express moment", just as we loaded our bags on the conveyor we saw the prohibited goods sign! In a cold sweat we looked nervous as the young guard suggested we press the red declare button? the scan had revealed our contraband goods, we were walked to the search table and had our cases searched. I could see the headlines "Brits in pork scratching and peanut smuggling seizure " but no all was ok and after a quick check we moved on.

As we headed out to find the coach we managed to avoid the trip sellers at the official looking counters, they look at your baggage tickets first and say" First choice?" then lead you to the counter to try and sell you trips.
Outside we were met by Mexican "Hotel Beds" staff in black uniform(no sign of any First Choice or Thompson staff) and directed to our coach.

Ok on to the hotel, Check in was painless and we were asked to sit in the lobby bar area where we were given a short guide to the hotel and issued with wristbands and safe key/lock.
The room was good not as big as some in the caribbean/USA but big enough. we had twin queen size beds , TV , mini bar , optics etc. The view from the balcony was lovely . So we decided to crack open a couple of beers from the fridge and take it all in, well we would if there was a bottle opener!!! o well the wooden chair base and a slap did the trick. It was funny to see throughout our stay the new arrivals trying desperately to gain access to that first beer on the balcony. So readers have your fun and watch them in comfort as you now know the bottle opener is on the wall in the bathroom between the bath and the sink!

The mini bar is topped up every two days , but if you put a dollar bill in fridge every now and then you will be replenished everyday ;-}

There are 4 bars Lobby, sports , pool ,and one by the outdoor stage/pizza place. As we visited in November the lobby bar was fine to sit in all evening but I would think the lack of air con would make it far to humid in hotter seasons, We had a great time with the barmen in the lobby bar , all really friendly and up for a bit of banter. Also these lads and lasses are a great source of local info. Try the snake tequila! Hmmm Lovely.....

Food wise we found the hotel very good, The Buffet has a different theme every night and breakfast was good, standard fare for this type of hotel but better in quality and choice than at hotels in the caribbean islands we have visited. The 3 restaurants can be booked at breakfast time for the following 2 nights.

We liked the Mexican and Steakhouse best, the oriental was ok but a bit hit or miss as to dishes on offer.
The steakhouse in next to the pool overlooking the beach, It does a great lunchtime buffet with lots of fresh cooked stuff for the daytime ans is a very romantic spot at night time, until an army squad in full kit and armed with AK47 snuck past on the beach on patrol!! Still it is central America I suppose.

The Beach was great, not quite your typical caribbean palm scattered affair but then none are in Cancun, there are plenty of beds and shades, The pool is fine if not a bit odd in that there is a ledge most of the way round so you can lay on a sunbed in the water, all good but it does not allow the most gracious of exits from the water!! Its very clean and nice and warm tho. There are no sun shades around the pool so if it gets to hot you need to shelter under the trees.
In November the sun disappears behind the hotel around 3pm but still gets through at the end of the beach till about 4.30.


We are not really the type for hotel entertainment so cant really comment but the staff looked very professional and were not pushy if you did not want to join in, Besides it gave more room for the Americans who joined in everything ,"Whooping" all the way...

We did two trips through first choice , The first the Pirate ship was an excellent night out!!! all inc food and drink , a night time sail in the bay, much Aharrggg 'ing and general buccaneer antics followed by a battle with an enemy ship!!! a great night and very good value for money. One tip, you make your own way there its a 10/15 min walk, get there early and get in the Que for the best seats around the edge of the boat otherwise you crouch on low stools.

The second "trip"??? the Bar Crawl was the biggest waste of money we have ever experienced!! $55 each to be pushed round 3 poor venues , given very weak iced fruit water with added weak watered down vodka. It ends up in COCO Bongo but we never made it that far and bailed out in the 3rd bar unable to handle the icy water drink and unwilling to pay $3 for a shot of tequila on an all inc bar crawl???!!
People we spoke to who made it to the club at the end said it got no better, to many bodies crammed into a small area and not allowed access to the tables and main bar area, drinking ... yes you guessed it more iced water vodka.. Sorry First Choice but you really did take the P*ss there. We complained to the rep but he was useless, he told us you got gin on the crawl in Egypt, very helpful Dan your a real credit to your so called profession...........not.

Cancun was great and we used the local buses allot, 7 pesos a time you cant go wrong. Downtown there is a big Wal-Mart where you can stock up on snacks etc much cheaper than in the hotel zone. In the Hotel zone there are various shopping plazas offering lots of designer stuff at good prices off season. We ate out at Hard Rock Cafe a couple of times and the quality was very good, same really as in the USA.

In general we really did like this hotel,The same as any foreign hotel or bar a few dollars in tips will go a long way with these people. Its not the Idyllic caribbean setting you will get on the island of Jamaica, Cuba , Dom Rep etc but that's not to say its lacking , But if you do like to get out and about under your own steam and would like the option to eat same more "everyday" type meals on a few occasions during your caribbean holiday then maybe this is the place for you.

One last thing is that you can use the 5* Rui Cancun hotel situated nearer to the shops restaurants etc,
We found this great for a change of scene and gave the option to have a drink in the bar there and then walking round the corner to eat out, Personally we thought the Caribe the better of the two hotels facility wise but whatever floats your boat I suppose.

Overall we would definitely visit the hotel again ..


PS....... Don't forget the bottle opener in the bathroom!!!!!!!!!!






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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
8 years 11 months ago


my wife @ i stayed at the hotel riu caribe and this was our first visit to mexico. we had read many reviews but were unsure what to expect as we normally holiday in europe. this was a new experience for us. where do we begin. the entrance to this hotel was stunning to say the least. we were very tired after a long delayed flight but this was soon forgotten. the reception staff made the check in fast and easy. the porter took our cases to the room on the seventh floor.( we requested a high floor). the room was spacious with 2 double beds and passed my wifes 'cleanliness inspection' there was a hairdyer, ironing board and drinks
cabinet in the room (this had local spirits). The fridge which had water, soft drinks and beer (xx ) was stocked every other day.on one occasion we ran out of water which we reported to the reception who sent more water within a half hour. The view from the balcony was stunning, overlooking the pool area and the beautiful caribbean sea. we intended to have a nap first but could not wait to have a look around.
the pool area and surrounding grounds were large and very well maintained. the pool snack bar was opened from breakfast and we were able to get something to eat at anytime. there was also a pizza
bar if you preferred this. on the first week we had waiter service at the pool but this seemed to be withdrawn the second week probably because the hotel was quieter. there are 3 themed resturants we visited the msteak house but were not overly impressed .we tended to eat in the main buffet resturant. the food and the service were second to none. the staff throughout the hotel are hardworking and very helpful.the evening entertainment was not to our taste but there was an excellent and cheap bus service outside the hotel (across the busy road) and we used this most nights for the short journey into punta cancun. the lobby bar was very warm at night as there was no air conditioning in the lobby area making it quite uncomfortable to sit at the bar for any length of time. there was another sports bar in the hotel which was air conditioned which we tended to use for a late drink (opened 24 hours) when we returned from our nightly bar crawls! this bar also had football on the flat screen tvs but sadly no scottish games! There were a lot of very noisy americans in this hotel. we were entertained listening to them while we had a drink in the bar! but after a while it did begin to get on our nerves a bit. Also some of them were quite noisy late at night and early mornings when they had long loud conversations outside in the corridors. hard to think of many negatives in his hotel. The main one was the lobby bar having no air conditioning. the rooms although very clean were in need of a bit of tlc,the pool tended to become cloudy and a bit grimy in the afternoon probably due to spillages at the pool bar but we just went down to the beach later in the day to avoid this. there was plenty of sunbeds although there were no umbrellas for shade. Dont want to go on too much about negatives as there were many positives at this hotel.All in all we would rate this a 4star plus hotel. We would like to thank all the staff who made our holiday a great experience ( special thanks to natalia the hotel rep (hotel beds) who was very informative and helpful) we have never had such a great holiday experience so much so that we have decided to come back next year but probably will try another riu hotel only because we prefer to be nearer the night life. ( 50 but still going strong!)a couple points, have plenty of change for tipping the staff they really work very hard and if you use ghd hair straighteners like my wife , be warned they do not work as the voltage in mexico is not strong enough.. ( She had to go to the la isla shopping centre to buy another set which were compatible to the mexican voltage
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Travel operator: first choice

Recommended
9 years 11 months ago

Arrived at the hotel where we left our cases outside with the hotel porters and taken to a meeting room with a nice cold fruit cocktail where the PR manager talked us through the things we needed to know whilst other staff put on our all inclusive bands and gave us stickers for our cases which we put on them so the porters could take them to our room,we also got a safe key and lock along with 2 door cards and 2 towel cards,be sure not to lose these as there is a $50 charge if you do

We went to the welcome meeting the following morning and unlike most ive been to there was no hard sell,eric our rep told us about the trips they do and told us if we needed anymore help or a price list to contact him which we did.

drinks and bars:could not fault any of the staff and they have international brands ie smirnoff and bacardi etc,the bar sdtaff and waiters are all very attentive and nothing is too much trouble for them

meals and food:buffet restaurant is without a doubt the best out of the lot in my honest opinion,to be honest the speciality restaurants were the only things i wasnt keen on overall but this is only my taste ,we spoke to many people who loved them so maybe it was my tastebuds

entertainment staff:without a shadow of a doubt these are the nicest and hardest working people i have ever had the pleasure to meet,the pool is split into 3 sections,if you pick the middle section where nearly all the ativitities take place they will ask you to join in,but not like the last person said,and to call these parasites is an absolute liberty,they dont earn any commision to take people to the clubs its just their job,so if you dont want to join in pick either end of the pool where you will get peace and quiet the nightly entertainment is also done by the entertainment staff and is of an ok standard,please dont forget these are not pros so dont expect west end show quality




all in all a superb holiday and first choice was a very good choice for us ,we were looked after very well,also note this is not a 5 star hotel ,its of a good standard ,if you want luxury and 5 star dining this is not the hotel for you,if you want a great all round holiday with nice friendly staff and guests this must be the choice for you
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Travel operator: first choice

Recommended
10 years 7 months ago
Hope I can be of some help.

I have just returned from a 2 week holiday with my family (ages 42, 41, 21, 17).

To summarize .....

Hotel is great.

Food is ok but they have real trouble keeping it warm. Most of my meals in the main "albatross" restaurant were luke warm.

Mexican restaurant - went once and wish I hadn't bothered. Food was cooked in the main "albatross" restaurant and walked through. Also the menu is the same every night. Once again luke warm.

Asian restaurant - they portray as an al a carte but when was the last time you went to one of these and had to help yourself from bowls of luke warm offerings that were probably cooked over an hour ago.

Pizza bar in the daytime is absolutely A1! - see, I
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Travel operator: First Choice

10 years 11 months ago
We stayed in this hotel September 07 for my husbands 30th birthday. We were with his parents so varied ages in the party of 27, 30, 60 and 67.

We absolutely loved the hotel. It was superb. I don't have anything bad to say about it. From the minute we checked in to the minute we left the staff were very helpful and friendly and could not do enough for you.

The food was lovely. It got a bit repetitive in the main buffet restaurant after 2 weeks but this is to be expected anywhere. The salad bar was the best for me. We dined in the Mexican, Asian and Steakouse restaurants twice during our sta. Had great meals in each of them. The Asian, as other people have said, is claimed to be al a carte but it's actually a buffet restaurant.

The staff were lovely and special thanks go to Luis, Bebe and Betty. They take a genuine interest in your life and make you feel most welcome. They bent over backwards to make our stay even more enjoyable. For example, the drinks optic in the rooms - I didn't much like the vodka and I dont drink tequila, rum or whisky. They asked what I liked, I told them gin, by the time I got back to my room there was a full bottle of gordons gin in the room along with 6 bottles of tonic water! I was very impressed.

The hotel is a bit far out from the main "strip" but it was like 30p on the bus (which was an experience in itself). We prefered being father out as there wasn't so much noise and loud music etc.

We were not bothered at all by the entertainment staff, when we said no, they left us alone but still remained friendly. I've given the score a 4 as we were there for a nice relaxing holiday and not into clubbing etc.

All in all, this was a brilliant holiday and we would ONLY stay in this hotel if we revisit Cancun.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
Michelle Irvine
11 years 3 months ago
We stayed in the Riu Caribe for 3 weeks on our honeymoon, we found the hotel to be the best we have stayed in yet, the only thing I would have to be negative about is the food. There is a good variety but after 2 weeks it gets a bit repetitive.

The staff are brilliant and as long as you tip them well you will be well looked after, myself and my husband never had to stand long at the bar, we were always served straight away. The cleaning staff never stop, the hotel is immaculately clean and the cleaners are very friendly, never pass without a smile.

Loved the entertainment staff, especially Michael and Ren
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Travel operator: first choice

Recommended
Emma Allen
11 years 8 months ago
Just got back from our honeymoon at the Riu Caribe, What can I say but FANTASTIC.

If your planning a holiday in Cancun I would strongly recommend you stay at the Caribe. From the minute you walk into the fabulous lobby you treated like royalty. The staff cannot do enough for you.

The hotel is very clean and there is always someone cleaning and polishing no matter what time of day. The food was excellent, always loads of choice and the main restaurant (Albatross) had themed nights throughout the fortnight we were there.

The hotel is situated in the middle of the hotel zone about 10 minutes by bus from the "La Isla" shopping centre and aquarium. The buses run approx every 2-3 minutes and is about 30p each. Do be warned that the buses are very rickety and are full most of the time so you probably will have to stand for most of the journey.

The staff at the Caribe are very helpful and friendly so please do tip them as they work very hard and they rely on tips (20 pesos is about
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Travel operator: cosmos

Recommended
Amanda Plain
11 years 9 months ago
Hotel was fantastic, very good location, with its own beach. the hotel staff would even bring drinks to you on the beach as well as the pool areas.

The breakfasts were just fab so much choice and always hot. Lunch could be taken in 3 different areas with 4 restaurants to choice from in the evening. The Asian restaurant was our favourite.

There is a problem during the night if your room is around the lobby area as the sound echo's. We asked to be moved and were relocated after the first night to a much quieter location but did not affect the views from the room.

There are bus stops right outside the hotel which are a fun to use and very cheap.

The entertainment staff never seem to stop and put on excellent shows at night.

This hotel is slightly away from the night life but as the buses run 24 hours this was not a problem.

All staff were very polite and courteous.

We will be visiting this hotel again very soon.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
12 years 1 month ago
We chose this hotel for our honeymoon, our initial impressions were very good, the presentation of the hotel is lovely, the rooms are air conditioned, of a good size and are very clean.

The rooms were cleaned every day. My husband found the food to be very good, although I suffered with stomach pains and diahorrea every day of the holiday, so by the end of our stay was only eating crackers I felt the food was awful with a very limited variety, there was better variety when a new intake of guests arrived, where a drinks reception was also provided.

Our holiday was spoilt by being burgurled, my Husband's wallet was taken from the safe, when informing the manager she refused to believe this, but my husband proved her wrong and we were upgraded to a junior suite.Other guests also had items of money and clothing go missing.

There was a large amount of single sex groups of American youths in this hotel making lots of noise in the corridors as they returned from the clubs, one 2 occassions I has to inform security as it was unbearable. The staff were great as was the location, great if you want to party for 2 weeks. I would not return to this hotel.
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Travel operator: First Choice

Recommended
Chris Hughes &viv Marshall
12 years 4 months ago
We stayed in the Riu Caribe from April 30th to May 14th 06. The hotel is in an exellent location. The hotel food is good but not great.

The hotel staff are an absolute joy, they can't do enough for you. Your are treat like royalty.

There is entertainment on every night, in the lobby bar there is a duo(not great)but the entertainment team put on a show every night in the theatre.

They work very hard and give 100%.

I would definately visit Riu Caribe again.
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Travel operator: first choice

Recommended

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