Recommend March 2014 - (Page 17)

mexico Krystal restaurant at RIU Palace Mexico. riu palace mexico onsitereview lane nieset Access to six hotels, 10 onsite restaurants and bars, an endless array of activities and a white-sand stretch of Caribbean coastline are just a few of the perks your clients will experience when staying at the recently renovated RIU Palace Mexico in Riviera Maya's Playa del Carmen. The 24-hour complimentary room service and hand-delivered beachside cocktails don't hurt, either. all-inclusive, 24/7 Half of RIU Hotels & Resorts' North American properties are in Mexico, so it's no surprise that Mexico properties are getting the royal treatment with a $20 million renovation at the RIU Palace Mexico and a $27 million renovation at the RIU Yucatan-all part of a $520 million worldwide project over the past two years. We experienced the changes first-hand at the 434-room RIU Palace Mexico, part of the company's exclusive Palace hotel line, where the hotel switched up its dining offerings with new restaurants and a modern take on its colonial exterior. "We kept the building from the outside as it was before, but we redid all of the common areas with a fresh, modern style that we are going to implement on all of our renovations in Mexico and the Caribbean," says Timo Wittkopf, sales manager, Riviera Maya, RIU Hotels & Resorts. "We redid the pool area, which was a major change because we actually changed the location of the pool. And we made sure we still had a variety of restaurants and bars available for our guests, to have the all-inclusive concept for guests to be able to enjoy every aspect," he adds. The new pool area is now closer to the beach, with green space filling in the old location, making that area the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony. On the culinary front, the renovations touched the buffet restaurant, Don Julian; the Palace-specific fusion eatery, Krystal; and the Japanese restaurant, Miyagi. Newcomers include the Mexican restaurant, La Bodega; the Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita; and Guacamole Steakhouse. The a la carte restaurants offer two nightly seating times and require reservations, so recommend your clients reserve a time when they arrive at the hotel. "The feedback that we have gotten so far on the renovations is completely positive," Wittkopf says. "People are very happy with the changes that we've made and with the modern style. What they like about this property here is the food we offer, not only at the a la carte restaurants, but also at the main restaurant. We did a major S E P T E M B E R 2 0 13 effort after the renovation to enhance this concept at the buffet and people are happy about that." A common perk at all-inclusive resorts like the RIU Palace Mexico is the unlimited access guests have to the hotel's dining options, as well as the bars inside and by the pool, which offer snacks and drinks. Another perk here is the complimentary WiFi running throughout the property (which works best in common areas) and the 24-hour room service for those craving a late-night snack. suite stay Guests have four room categories to choose from: guestroom, suite, jr. suite, and jacuzzi suite. While none of the rooms offer beach views (the beach is farther down), they do feature a balcony or terrace, and the eight "creme de la creme" jacuzzi suites offer a jacuzzi on their upper terrace with plenty of room to spread out in privacy within a covered area with lounge chairs. We spent our week in a jr. suite that featured a split-level lounge area with a sofa and work table, a large hydromassage bathtub and separate shower, and the standard all-inclusive amenities-liquor dispensers offering shots of Jose Cuervo and Bacardi, and a minifridge packed with bottled water, soft drinks and beer, refilled daily. We had more than enough room to get cozy in our suite, with tons of closet space for families (and the ladies who may have packed too many pairs of shoes), and we enjoyed sitting on the balcony facing the courtyard, with prime views of the evening entertainment below. all-access pass Guests staying at the RIU Palace Mexico and RIU Palace Riviera Maya, which is within walking distance, have access to the other four classic-level RIU hotels located in the Playacar resort area in Playa del Carmen-RIU Yucatan, RIU Playacar, ClubHotel RIU Tequila and RIU Lupita-although guests staying at the classiclevel hotels only have access to the other classic-level hotels. The perks of being a Palace guest include hotel hopping at the other RIU properties and indulging in their facilities, like the La Piñata nightclub at the RIU Tequila, across the street from the RIU Palace Mexico. So with six hotels set so close together, how do guests choose which one to stay at? We asked Wittkopf what differentiated the two Palace-line hotels, for example. march 2014 17 17-35 MX RIUWhatsNew.indd 17 2/19/14 2:38 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2014

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: ME by Melia
Tour Talk: MLT Vacations
The All-Inclusive Rundown
Iberostar's Rose Hall Resorts, Jamaica
RIU Palace Mexico
What's New in Cancun & Riviera Maya
Great Britain Travel Planner
Turkish Delights
Cosmopolitan South Africa
Riveting Rhode Island
Okinawa: To Visit is to Love It
Un-Cruise Adventures' S.S. Legacy

Recommend March 2014