Note: Riu Hotels provided my stay, however all words and photos are mine.
I was lucky enough to add a day at the beginning and end of my recent trip to Tulum to visit Cancun for the first time – and two Riu resorts: The Riu Palace Peninsula and the Riu Palace Las Americas, which I will cover in another post.
I know – it’s crazy that we often visit Mexico and I have never been to this hub, right? What I discovered is how EASY it is from Denver. I got early morning direct flights to Cancun, a quick shuttle ride and I was on the beach by mid-afternoon.
I’ll be honest, Cancun has always intimidated me because of its “party” reputation. We, of course, like to have fun and go out a lot … but we aren’t interested in an insanely wild location (usually, ha). Maybe during Spring Break Cancun is a bit different, but I found the Riu hotels we visited to be exactly what I was looking for. Luxury for adults-only, on the beach, with good food and amenities – plus a nice, friendly atmosphere.
I loved my room. Very modern and funky, but still comfortable with a great view of the ocean. Riu Palace Peninsula has 350 rooms, so it’s a fairly large resort – but the way the building is constructed makes it feel very airy and light.
Food and Restaurants
I know food is of utmost importance to many people as they look for resorts, and I admit I am not as discerning (meaning I am happy with some quick fruit and deli slices before hitting the beach). Having said that, Riu Peninsula had a wide variety of options at their main buffet – scrumptiousness that went well beyond standard fare. They also have five sit-down restaurants to choose from. Since I was only there one night, I only had one meal in there – but I lingered for a long time to enjoy the atmosphere and multiple courses.
Bars and Alcohol
Before I left, a few friends asked me about the stories of tainted alcohol from resorts in the Cancun and Riviera Maya area. I watched the news about seizures and travel advisories, and of course – whenever anyone travels by themselves – you should be extra careful. To be clear, no Riu resort has had any issues – but no matter where you travel, it’s good practice to watch what is being poured in your drinks. For me personally, I prefer beer – but I saw bartenders at Riu only serve well-known brands. The Riu Palace Peninsula also has several bars to cater to different tastes. From my favorite – the pool bar – to the most glitzy lobby bars – to a sports bar where you can catch a game.
Beach and Pools
This area of Mexico has the prettiest beaches and ocean in the whole world (in my opinion). I love the white sands and clear, warm water. Riu Palace Peninsula doesn’t have a huge stretch of beach, but it has an interesting one. There are small rock formations that curve around the beach that allow for easy climbing and walking to get an elevated view or a quiet nook to nestle your beach chair in. These rocks don’t interfere with the swimming section of the beach, and if you need a more structured place to have fun in the sun – there are multiple pools close by. Bonus! I don’t know if they use heated water, but I didn’t ever get cold in the pools, even after a late day shower.
Riu is quickly become a trusted hotel brand for me – one I know will have good service and high quality accommodations. They have locations all over the world, so I look forward to seeing where we can go next.
I definitely know we will be back to Cancun soon – I have booked a short trip there in January already. Can’t wait to get back to the beach!