Riu Palace - Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riu Palace Riviera Maya: Chandeliers By The Beach

Note: A portion of our trip was provided by Riu Hotels. However, all words and photos are mine.

It’s been ten years since we visited the Riviera Maya area of Mexico. And the last time we were there, I broke my ankle! Lucky for me, this trip – and our time at Riu Palace Riviera Maya – were totally incident-free. In fact, everything was exactly what you want from a beach vacation. Well, the weather was maybe a touch cool (75 F) for Mexico, but I will let Riu off the hook for that.

As in 2006, our best friends Danielle, Jeff and their son joined us. We consider each other “framily” in that we spend holidays and vacations together. This time was extra, extra special because we watched the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl while drinking cervezas on the beach. WOOT!

Riu Palace Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Hotel

Riu has several different styles of hotel, and in Mexico they sit walking distance down the beach from each other. The “Palace” series are their most luxurious, and we could feel it the minute we arrived.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Chandelier in Lobby

Riu Palace really *is* a palace. Every detail is lovely and ornate.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Entrance

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Entrance

Our room was all colonial wood and granite. Somehow I missed a photo of the mini-bar, but trust me. There were sodas, beers and three bottles of alcohol who also became close friends of ours.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Room

It was the perfect size for the three of us, although the two beds pushed together made for some funny head bumps during the night.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Room

We had a patio with views to the stunning courtyard fountains, the main plaza and the ocean.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Courtyard

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Courtyard

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Courtyard

Perhaps my only negative comment would be how loud the entertainment was – seeing how our room was right above it. But they ended at midnight, and truly did put on a great show in a beautiful theater.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Theater

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Fountain

Riu Palace Riviera Maya is all-inclusive, which we loved. The service was impeccable all over the resort, and the buffet food was great quality. There are five restaurants that require reservations: Brazilian Rodizio, Agave Mexican, Grill Steakhouse, Krystal Fusion and Yashima Japanese. We enjoyed those, but for our “framily” of diverse tastes, our favorite meals were when we could just pick and choose from all those vast selections at the buffets.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Buffet Food

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Buffet Food

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Buffet Food

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Buffet Food

I don’t think there is anything cuter than watching our kids play together. Especially when your son is actually getting a little too big for the see-saw.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Kid's Play Area

As wonderful as the accommodations are, we were really there for the pool and beach, which are close together – so it was easy to go back and forth all day long.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Pool

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Pool

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

The Riviera Maya area really has my favorite beaches in the world. Don’t get me wrong – any beach is awesome. But in this area, the sand is soft. The waters are not just clear – they sparkle. You can walk straight out into the warm ocean and there are rarely rocks. It’s all about playing in the waves and building sandcastles… Heaven.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach

I mean, seriously… any place that can get me to do zumba on the beach has got it goin’ on.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Beach Zumba

We were sad to say goodbye to Mexico.

Looking At Ocean

Riu Palace Riviera Maya - Plaza

Playacar Sunset

We obviously had a very relaxing time.

Row of Chairs - Riviera Maya Beach

And lots of fun with friends.

Friends By The Pool in Mexico

Thank you for having us, Riu Hotels!

Our Family on the Beach in Mexico

We’ll definitely be back soon.

Riviera Maya Beach - Mexico

This article has 20 comments

  1. JoNell

    It looks fabulous! I’m definitely adding it to my list to consider for our next Mexico vacation. Congrats on getting away!

    • Aimee

      It was so nice to get down there during winter. Going to have to plan for that every February!

  2. Julie

    That picture on the beach chairs is the best.

    You’d think that being swimmers, my kids would’ve had enough of pools. But they love pools, AND they love the beach. This place looks like heaven.

    • Aimee

      Yeah Julie – you think they would want something else – but then… why wouldn’t anyone want to go to a pool? 😉

  3. Ruthie

    What a gorgeous place!! Looks like you had a blast! And we were just talking about our next vacation. Hmmm… Maybe Mexico will be our next vacation stop!

  4. Marabeth

    That looks absolutely beautiful! I bet I could even talk Jim into this one!!

  5. Rachel White

    Wow…..starting to rethink my “lets-try-and-see-everything-and-do-everything” vacation philosophy!! That looks like paradise!

  6. Marianne Stowell

    Looks like paradise!! I love Mexico and will definitely consider this as an option when we go back!! Glad you had a great time, totally jealous!!

    • Aimee

      Let me know if you have any questions, Marianne!

  7. Christina

    I look forward to your travel posts every time, as it helps build my wishlist for future spring break and summer vacation trips. We ARE going to head west this year, this looks like a great spot.

  8. Nancy Johnson Horn

    Stunning! I was in Cancun three years ago and I long to go back to Mexico. I’d love to visit Rivera Maya.

  9. Ben

    I Jane heard of Riu Hotels but never stayed in one. Love your posts because I feel like we are there with you.

  10. Karen

    Such great photos, as always! We love this area of Mexico too – it’s the best.

  11. Zipper

    I can’t believe all the places you go. This place looks amazing – a true palace.

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