Hotel Review: RIU Palace Peninsula

The RIU Palace Peninsula, located in Cancun’s Zona Hotelera on Blvd. Kukulcan, is just a 30 minute drive from Cancun International Airport. This resort opened up in May 2012, and is equipped with 562 guest rooms, an adults only section, and a collection of amenities perfect for guests of any age.

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Photo by Tali Barr

Checking in

When arriving at a resort with a group of over a hundred people, you would expect check-in to take forever… Miraculously, the staff at the RIU Palace Peninsula ensured that this was not the case. Everyone completed the check-in process within twenty minutes. Check-in took place at 12:30pm, but most rooms were not ready until 3 or 4pm. The hotel staff ensured everyone had access to courtesy rooms for changing, and provided secure storage of belongings until rooms were ready.

Image by Trip Advisor

Image by Trip Advisor

Hotel Rooms

RIU resorts all feature very similar rooms in newly built or remodeled hotels. There are several types of rooms available:

  • Jr. Suites- which is a room with either two full size beds or one king sized bed, located on floor 10 or below.
    • These can come with an ocean view or without. However, if your room does not have an ocean view, you still get a beautiful view of the lagoon on the other side of Blvd. Kukulcan.
  • Jr. Superior Suite- a Jr. Suite but on rooms 11 and higher.
  • Villa Jr. Suite (with or without jacuzzi)- located in the adults only section.
  • Villa Suite- which comes with a jacuzzi, in the adults only section
  • Suite Jacuzzi OV- non-adults only suite, with a jacuzzi, and living room type area. This room comes with one king size bed or two full sized beds.
Image by Trip Advisor

Image by Trip Advisor

Food, Food, Food

RIU resort’s are very big on ensuring there guests do not starve… The buffet at the RIU Palace Peninsula is incomparable to most other RIU resorts.

My family travels extensively to RIU resorts, and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a hotel’s buffet as much as I did this one. Maybe this was due to my favorite server, Marlene, always having a smile on her face and making jokes with me… or maybe it was the delicious food.  I have never ever had such delicious and fresh fruit, particularly strawberries and raspberries, in my life… During lunch hours, grilled items are served in a pool-side buffet.

And in case the hotel’s buffets is not enough for you, there are also three a la carte restaurants, Japanese, Mexican, and  Fusion, that require reservations, and one, Italian restaurant, that does not.

Additionally, the hotel provides a 24-hour room service menu and 24-hour snacks are available in the hotel’s Sports Bar. Pastries and ice cream are served in the hotels Coffee Bar, Capuchino.

Beach/Pool

The RIU Palace Peninsula spreads out four pools across their property, not including the adult’s only infinity pool.

Image by Trip Advisor

Image by Trip Advisor

One pool houses the swim-up bar and tables with whirlpool jet seats. Another pool is specifically designed for the RIU Fun entertainment team activities, including water-volleyball, aqua aerobics, and other fun pool games for kids and adults. A zero-depth entry pool and infinity pool round out the child-friendly section of the resort.

Photo by Val Langer

Photo by Val Langer

Compared to other RIU resorts, the RIU Palace Peninsula beach was quite small. With large waves and reefs on one side, swimming space is very limited. However, guests have access to RIU Caribe’s beach which has much calmer water and no reefs. Walking on this beach is impossible, but many people in my group took walks along the Blvd. Kukulcan.

IMG_1652

Photo by Tali Barr

Amenities

  • Health and Fitness center– RIU’s small gym features all types of equipment. If you aren’t into running on a treadmill, Boulevard Kukulcan also is a great, and mostly safe, place to go for a run (just be mindful of crocodiles!).
  • RIU Renova Spa– For an additional fee, any spa service can be enjoyed here. Some travel agents provide you with a coupon for a discounted rate massage. Thanks to Millennium Tours, I enjoy a massage each time I visit a RIU Resort.
  • RIU Art- This is an art studio for additional price… I did not make use of this during this trip, but during our trip for New Year’s of 2014, we experienced lots of rain. RIU Art was a great activity to keep me and my younger brother busy on a rainy day.
  • On site water sports- Non-motorized water sports are available right on RIU’s beach and are included in your resort package. We rented a catamaran this year and had a blast riding it through the waves. Motorized water sports are also available, for a fee.

Free Wi-Fi

RIU provides some type of Wi-Fi in all resorts, however most times it is limited. In most of their RIU Palaces, Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the resort. Wi-fi seemed to be an issue for some people… however in my room on the 4th floor and near the lobby, I was able to connect to Wi-Fi 90% of the time. I found the best Wi-fi connections to be in the lobby (near the router, I presume) and on the beach.

Adults Only Villa Suites

Let me start out by saying that I personally did not stay in these suites. I went inside the rooms, which are identical to the non-villa suites. Residents of the villas are allowed access to a private restaurant, Kulinarium and access to the adult’s only infinity pool. There are only some rooms that come with ocean views in the villas.

Six members of our party were upgraded to the villas. After one night, one couple returned to the front desk and asked to be moved into the main building (out of the villas). Due to noise from the highway (Blvd. Kukulcan), sleeping was difficult. The interesting part of this section is that the rooms allow you to order an additional rollaway or crib moved into the room, therefor allowing children under 2 into the adults only section.

 

My travel package to the RIU Palace Peninsula was provided by the awesome travel agents at Millennium Tours USA. Please contact them for any questions you may have about this, or any other, RIU resort.