Reopened August 2014 following a $30 million renovation, the Riu Cancun has one of the best resort locations in the Hotel Zone–only a five-minute walk to Plaza Forum, just across the street from Plaza Caracol shopping mall, and a 20 min. walk or five min. bus ride to Isla Mujeres ferry. Although the Riu Cancun advertises itself as a family-friendly resort, it is better suited to the young at heart; it is a high-energy resort which emanates a perpetual spring break atmosphere and, as a result, it is very popular with the 18-30 yr. old crowd.
There are few areas of the resort which have not been recently renovated or redesigned. Guest rooms, restaurants, bars, pools, gardens, the lobby, and the façade have all been re-done–here is a list of the 2014 renovations:
- Non-suite guest rooms now have walk-in tiled showers only, while suites have tub and showers. There are dual sinks as well as a frosted glass panel between the bathroom and the bedroom area.
- Guest rooms have new contemporary furniture, new beds, digital safes, flat screen TV’s, WiFi capability, gray tile floors, white walls, and pink and purple accent colors. Balconies have solid half-walls which partially block exterior views when seated, a drying rack, and new table and two chairs.
- Two of the three pools are infinity pools
- The swim-up bar area has been redesigned and enlarged; there are lengthy in-pool tables to hold drinks along with an in-pool ledge for seating.
- Re-done poolside bar.
- Lots of in-pool loungers.
- Poolside canvas sun covers provide shade on sundecks.
- There is a new Italian a la carte restaurant, “La Toscana”.
- The buffet restaurant buffet stations are separate from seating areas.
- Poolside restaurant now has two sections–“Coral” which is indoors, and “Turquesa” which is out on a terrace with a wonderful sea view (this turns into the a la carte steakhouse in the evenings).
- New sports bar now located on the ground floor.
- New lobby area and entrance with lots of metal and glass.
- New lobby bar.
- Theater stage is now outdoors.
- Palm trees have been planted on the beach; beach loungers have been replaced.
- Change of location for the spa and fitness center.
- Building exterior has been repainted.
Prior Riu Cancun guests know that this renovation has created a brand new resort. Those familiar with the Riu resort chain will recognize the new look following a recent renovation–contemporary design and style with a Vegas touch.
The resort’s beach is still one of the best in this area of the Hotel Zone with its calmer waters making it ideal for swimming and water sports. There are some smaller rocky areas near the north part of the shoreline, but beach lovers will enjoy this resort location for the most part. Although there are plenty of loungers, there are only a handful of shade palapas and no Bali beds/cabanas.
In case guests don’t want to walk over to Plaza Forum for nighttime fun, there is an onsite disco as well as nightly stage performances; activity staff will also be more than happy to escort guests to popular bars and clubs for an extra fee–this typically includes VIP seating and bottle service.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Newly renovated, location to Plaza Forum/nightlife
Con: WiFi $ (complimentary WiFi for 90 consecutive minutes per day in the lobby only; room WiFi is extra).
Best Suited For: Singles and couples, ages 18-30, who like to party when at a resort.
No. of Rooms: 569
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, new A/C, balcony/terrace, ceiling fan, mini-bar, liquor dispensers, digital safe, flat screen TV, telephone, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, dbl sinks, shower, and toiletries. There is no room service; room WiFi is an extra charge. Here is a brief rundown of room categories:
- Double: King or two dbl beds. Most have ocean view.
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, sunken living room with sofa bed, table and two chairs, and coffee table.
- Suite: King bed, in-room Jacuzzi, living room with sofa and coffee table. Ocean view.
- NOTE: Rooms below the fourth floor may have partially obscured views, while some rooms on the 13th floor have limited views.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Three pools (two infinity pools–one with swim-up bar), Jacuzzi, sauna (age 18+), spa and fitness center (age 18+), rooftop terrace and solarium on the annex building, non-motorized water sports, tennis court, sports bar, disco, theater, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), small playground, 90 consecutive minutes of free WiFi in the lobby, gift shop, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant, three a la cartes offering Italian (La Toscana), Japanese (Kawachi–no teppanyaki), and steakhouse fare, a poolside grill, the sports bar which offers sandwiches and snacks 24-hrs. a day, and a BBQ lunch offered poolside. Reservations are required at the a la cartes and should be made two days in advance. There are six bars–a swim-up bar, two pool bars, lobby bar, sports bar, and disco bar.
Entertainment: The theater offers nightly entertainment either by hotel staff or additional performers, and the disco “Pacha” which is open until 2 a.m. six nights per week. Staff will also escort guests to local nightclubs for an additional fee which typically includes VIP seating and bottle service.