Part of a massive six-resort complex on an excellent stretch of beach in the upscale Playacar neighborhood just south of Playa del Carmen, the family-friendly Riu Playacar is the third-best section of the complex, after the two Palace-level properties; it still falls within the same Overall Beach Resort Rating bucket as the Riu Palace Mexico, however (Baa1). The three other sections of the complex that are directly on the beach are the Riu Palace Riviera Maya (A2), the Riu Palace Mexico (Baa1), and the Riu Yucatan (Baa2). The Riu Palace Mexico and the Riu Palace Riviera Maya are the most upscale and have the best drinks, but rates among these four beachfront sections are usually very comparable. The Lupita (B2) and Tequila (Ba2) sections aren’t directly on the beach, which is predominantly why they have lower Overall Beach Resort Ratings; logically, they’re also the two most economical of the six sections. The food at the Riu Playacar is just so-so, which is the case at all six sections, and the main pool is below average for a Riu resort; but the property offers an impeccable, very wide white-sand beach, an 18-hole golf course right across the street, a shopping mall right across the street, a bright fitness center, a kids club with a small pool and waterslides, modern rooms (recently renovated) with tasteful décor, and a nice swim-up bar. Activities at the greater complex include excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, sailing, kayaking, tennis, jet skiing, and more.
Guests returning to the U.S. can take the COVID-19 antigen test on-site. There is no additional cost for all adults and children. This service is available at all Riu resorts in Mexico (except Riu Plaza Guadalajara), Jamaica, Aruba, and Punta Cana and is provided by an accredited medical testing lab that complies with the requirements of the CDC. Test results are received within 72 hours prior to departure, as required by the CDC. In the event of a positive test, Riu Hotels will provide an extension of up to 10 days at no cost.