My husband, Shaun, and I recently took a vacation to Cancun, Mexico. It was part working trip for him since he had some meetings to attend during our 5-day stay, but it was all relaxation for me.
We stayed at the RIU Palace Peninsula all-inclusive resort. It’s a 16-story hotel that has 562 guestrooms, lined with palm trees and tropical vegetation. They have beach front property, 4 pools, a spa/gym, large buffets, 5 specialty restaurants for dinner, and much more. There are planned activities all day, lead by energetic RIU Fit staff members.
During our visit, I wanted to stay active since I knew I wouldn’t be holding back during any meals, so each morning I did yoga with Daniel, a RIU Fit staffer, followed by a cardio class and then water aerobics. The afternoons were filled with pool lounging, snacks at the pool grille, socializing with other guests who I got to know by the places they were from (shout out to Iowa, Pennsylvania and Vancouver), and other games the staff had planned. On our first day, there was a festive foam pool party with music, drinks, balloons and lots of foam that filled the pool. I thought the water was a bit chilly that day but Shaun joined the fun.
There were other ocean activities offered such as intro to diving, snorkeling, catamaran and parasailing, but with it being so windy we gladly stayed on land, mostly near the pool bar.
Our room was a junior suite that had bright colors, a Jacuzzi tub, large shower and a balcony. Our original accommodations had two full beds, so we asked for a room change because I did not go on vacation to Mexico to NOT sleep in the same bed as my husband. Plus our view from room 101 was quite frankly … awful. After 2 nights we relocated to a room with a king bed, double balcony and a much improved view of the resort overlooking the ocean and pools.
The buffets were filled with beautiful looking choices to appeal to guests from different countries that always contained fresh fruit and decadent looking desserts (I have a serious sweet tooth). The food overall was good, but I can’t give it an excellent rating because it can’t be possible to make perfect dishes for the high volume of people staying at the resort. It was more like the food was prepared for the masses.
My favorite food item available was the avocado. I made sure to incorporate it into every meal. And while I did sample plenty of desserts, none seemed to be as sweet as we make them in the States, except one. The chocolate pyramid that I ate at the specialty mexican restaurant. It was too rich for one of our travel companions, so I ate his too!
The service staff at meals were friendly, always making sure we had what we needed and removing dishes quickly when we finished, sometimes even when we weren’t quite finished! We learned to be careful not to put our silverware down or walk away from a plate or it would be gone when we returned. Seriously though, the staff was awesome.
We also found it humorous at the placards describing buffets dishes. We came across one that said, “Chicken to the casserole”, and another, “fingers of fish!”
The resort had nightly entertainment that started with a band and then some sort of theme such as Michael Jackson, Mayan, Vegas, and a Mister show. What is a Mister show, you ask? I wondered the same thing. My curiosity peaked, so Shaun and I attended while our friends all went to bed. Boy did they miss out! Four men were pulled from the audience to compete in a MISTER RIU show.
My husband, naturally, was picked. They competed in 3 events. First, they needed to see who could drink a beer fastest while in a push-up position. Shaun won. Next, they had to do as many push-up as possible with their wives on their back. The man from Brazil won. Finally, they had to show their dance moves to the wives and audience in outfits the RIU staff supplied. Shaun is not easily embarrassed and likes the spotlight so after his piece de resistance, the worm across the stage, he overwhelmingly beat the other men and was crowned King RIU for the week.
During the rest of our stay, when someone recognized him, they would congratulate him and bow down in respect! He won various gifts including a complimentary massage at the resort spa. Graciously, the King allowed his Queen to redeem the massage for herself the next day. Shaun just enjoys his people’s adoration!
Although we had some minor hiccups, I would definitely return and recommend the RIU Palace Peninsula for vacation.
Just remember to sign your passport and take plenty of single bills for tipping.