Situated at the northeastern end of the Hotel Zone is Riu Palace Las Americas, a very popular Riu resort which is within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, and nightclubs like Coco Bongo, The City, and Mandala.
This resort underwent a series of renovations in 2015 and 2016 which resulted in several significant changes including the following:
- restaurant renovations (buffet food serving areas are now in a separate room; in order for the buffet terrace to be expanded the steakhouse was relocated across the hallway from the buffet and renamed “Black and White”; the Japanese restaurant was relocated near the buffet to expand the theater; most restaurant interiors were redone)
- theater renovations (the entire theater was redone making it all open-air along with expanding the existing outdoor bar and moving it into the theater seating area
- room renovations included getting rid of the tubs in Jr. Suites and making these bathrooms shower-only along with new balcony sliding doors and putting more plexiglass panels in the balconies
- in-room robes
- addition of a 24-hr. lounge near the check-in desk which offers self-serve food and drinks along with computer access
- addition of a lobby coffee shop and snack bar (Capuchino) which serves coffee, pastries, and ice cream
- new lobby furniture
- new outdoor sofa cushions
- elimination of the separate garden Jacuzzi on the west side and installing a small infinity pool
- other more minor pool and garden renovations such as adding shade canopy sliders over some of the lounger areas instead of having shade umbrellas
- no more a la carte dinner reservations necessary
- free WiFi throughout the resort
- rebranding of the resort to adults-only
Repeat Riu guests worried about the resort losing its gorgeous lobby stained glass ceiling panel, crystal chandeliers, gigantic columns, and gold leaf designs can relax because this Riu was left carefully intact despite an expensive and thorough “redo”. Unlike several other recent Riu renovations, this Riu Palace resort is still completely recognizable and will feel like home to the repeat visitor.
Like most other Cancun resorts, the Riu Palace Las Americas is very compact with all amenities within several minutes’ walk from one another. Pool lovers will enjoy the two large infinity pool areas–the quiet pool with its Grecian-like statues and double lounger beds, and the more rowdy heated pool with its very busy swim-up bar, built-in tiled pool loungers, and built-in Jacuzzi. The double lounger beds at the quiet pool are first-come first-served, while this pool area in general becomes very shaded by late afternoon (particularly true during the winter months). The pool with the swim-up bar offers periodic activities during the morning and afternoon, while the resort hosts an extensive poolside BBQ several times a week. There is a third infinity pool which is quite new; it is located where the garden Jacuzzi used to be on the west side of the resort. It is small but offers a stunning ocean view, as do all pools.
While the beach is on the smaller side, it has soft white sand, loungers, and shade umbrellas (prior to the renovations there were no beach umbrellas). The ocean is swimmable with a gradual entry; water shoes aren’t necessary unless guests want to wade or swim over to the Riu Cancun next door which has a rockier ocean entry in certain areas. There is beach wait service, while water sports are available between the Riu Palace Las Americas and Riu Cancun (both motorized and non-motorized water sports have a fee involved in their use). Long ocean walks aren’t really possible at this location, however.
The Riu Palace Las Americas offers many dining choices for a resort with less than 400 rooms. There is one large buffet with live cooking stations, flowing chocolate fountains, and the addition of lobster tails on Thursday evenings, while five a la cartes round out evening dining options. Late night snacks can be found at Lounge 24, the new 24-hr. self-serve food and bar area, while room service is also available 24-7. There are four bars throughout the resort in addition to the Riu trademark in-room liquor dispensers and beers in the mini-bar.
Guest rooms include more than just the liquor dispensers. Jr. Suite bathrooms have been remodeled with large showers, while a separate door offers bathroom privacy. Most rooms offer stunning ocean views, while all have a sitting room or larger living room area depending on the size of one’s suite. The standards are all included–digital safe, iron, coffee maker, bureau drawers for storage, hair dryer, and a flat screen TV help to make one’s vacation enjoyable and stress-free.
Just in case a need for variety occurs, resort guests are free to explore the neighboring resort, Riu Cancun, which is a five-minute walk via the beach or along the winding pathway by the street. Riu Palace Las Americas guests can enjoy Riu Cancun pools, bars, restaurants, and can even visit its onsite disco, Pacha, with complimentary admission and drinks. Riu Palace Las Americas guests are also free to visit Riu Palace Peninsula and Riu Caribe, both of which are located several miles west of the resort. Shoppers will want to go across the street to Plaza Caracol to find souvenirs, while partiers can walk across the street to Plaza Forum for their nighttime club fix.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Three infinity pools, most rooms have an ocean view, free WiFi, walking distance to clubs
Con: Very busy swim-up bar, needs more beach shade, house wine, not all rooms have a balcony
Best Suited For: Couples, adults ages 35-55
No. of Rooms: 372
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds pushed together, A/C, sofa, coffee table, bureau, ceiling fan, mini-bar, liquor dispenser, digital safe, flat screen TV, coffee maker, telephone, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, dbl sinks, shower, toiletries, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, sunken sitting room with small sofa. Some rooms in this category do not have a balcony or much of a view.
- Jr. Suite Ocean View: King or two dbl beds, sunken sitting room with small sofa. Some rooms in this category have an obstructed ocean view while sitting on the balcony.
- Suite Ocean View: Separate bedroom with king bed, radio alarm clock, flat screen TV, bureau, living room with small sofa, armchair, coffee table, a second flat screen TV, table and two chairs, walk-in closet, bathroom with separate tub and shower, balcony with ocean view.
- Suite Ocean View with Jacuzzi: Separate bedroom with king bed, radio alarm clock, flat screen TV, small bureau, living room with small sofa, armchair, coffee table, table and two chairs, bureau, a second flat screen TV, entrance foyer with luggage table, balcony with small Jacuzzi, two chairs and a small table, bathroom with separate tub and shower, bidet.
- NOTE: Floors 1, 3,and 7 still have balcony spindles which partially obstruct ocean views while seated.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Three infinity pools (there is only one swim-up bar), spa, beauty salon, fitness center, non-motorized and motorized water sports, disco at Riu Cancun next door, theater, pool and beach wait service, 24-hr. food and drink lounge, coffee shop, small gift and sundries shop, photo stand, concierge, tour desk, car rental, ATM, and medical services. Guests also have access to Riu Cancun, Riu Caribe, and Riu Palace Peninsula but must eat dinner at the Riu Palace Las Americas.
Pool Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet and five a la carte restaurants including Japanese (Sakura–no teppanyaki show tables), Italian (Los Arcos), steakhouse (Black and White), Mexican (Fiesta Mexicana), and a fusion restaurant (Krystal). Reservations are no longer necessary at the a la cartes. Additional snacks can be found at the lobby coffee shop or Lounge 24 which is open 24-7; there is also an extensive poolside BBQ several times a week with grilled meat, paella, and side dishes. Four bars are scattered throughout the property including a lobby bar, swim-up bar, poolside bar, and theater bar, while Lounge 24 has self-serve wine and liquor options as well.
Entertainment: There are nightly shows in the theater, dancing at the disco at Riu Cancun, and beach parties with bar set-up. Activities staff members are also available to escort guests over to the clubs following the theater show.