A Review, Riu Cancun. Cancun, Mexico.

When I envisioned Mexico I saw turquoise waves crashing onto perfect white sands, Palm trees and blistering sunshine… And when I came across the Riu Cancun in the brochure it looked as I imagined.

Now I know Cancun isn’t the nicest part of Mexico, but for the trip I wanted travelling with a girlfriend I wanted somewhere with beach access, All Inclusive and on top of the nightlife… Which is exactly what I got from the holiday.

Arriving at the hotel I was a little put off by its presence, being a massive 10 storey highbbuilding but once I was checked into my room I couldn’t complain about the beautiful view out onto the ocean it gave me!

As I mentioned, we chose this hotel due to its close location to the nightlife a 10 minute walk away but it also was close to the local flea market, had 2 shopping malls across the road and a local travel agents outside the door. I always used to book my trips through my own agency, but I started to find if I booked locally the prices were cheaper, and it also means your are putting your money into the local community rather than an international brand (although they do now employ local employees than the UK rep they used to provide)

Now onto the best part… The food! There are four restaurants in total at the hotel, the main buffet restaurant serving American style breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The poolside restaurant for lunchtime snacks and buffet lunch, which come evening turns into an À La Carte steakhouse. Then there are the two À La Carte’s only open for your evening meal, An Asian and an Italian restaurant.

I love food and when it’s a help yourself affair I have a tendency to over eat 😉 Breakfast at the hotel was my favourite meal of the day with freshly made juices and smoothies, pancakes and syrup, and the making for a full English breakfast with unlimited tea and coffee sometimes it was hard to stop going back for more.

Lunch was always a little more chilled choosing to have frozen mocktails by the pool bar, still being full from lunch. But if we did dine there was always plenty of choice… From your predictable burgers, pizza and chips to Mexican chilli, pastas and salads.

Dinner was the same with plenty of choice, lots of fresh vegetables, joints of meat, salads but I found unless it was their themed evening there wasn’t much choice of a local cuisine. I did however enjoy what was on offer for my full 14 nights and rarely got bored but we did eat out twice a week to sample some local restaurants and have some real mexican spice! 

There’s plenty happening at the hotel activity wise, the Riu reps are always trying to get people involved in whatever they’ve got going on, be it water pollo, beavh volley ball or inviting you on the reps night out. We did end up joining them twice as we found the value was better and you had table service with bottles and mixer rather than having to queue. Think it worked out to be £40 a person a night.

The hotel has evening entertainment every night with some form of show in the theatre, but they also have a Pacha nightclub onsight which is part of your all inclusive. There’s a gym with exercise classes each day, and use of free 90 minutes wifi everyday. 

The hotel has 4 pools, one which has its own pool bar, and two infinity pools however I found because of the height of the hotel the main pool area lost sun very early into the afternoon meaning you had to move down to the beach or to the quieter side pool on the right of the hotel facing the beach.

Our room was an outward facing on to the beach and was perfect size. We had two double beds and still had plenty of space to leave our suitcases out. As the hotel is classed as 24 hour all inclusive it gives you optics in your room with a minibar which is all yours to use, meaning you never had to leave your room while getting ready in the evening should you need another drink and our mini fridge was restocked daily with soft drinks and water.

All in all it was as I expected and had a lovely time. I would highly recommend staying at the Riu, but if you were looking for something a little further away from the main club scene try the Riu Palace Peninsular further up hotel zone which would give you that much more distance you wouldn’t walk but would still be accessible. 


My Top Recommendations To See And Do While In Cancun, Mexico

Maybe having read through other posts you’ll know when it comes to holidaying with certain friends I have a rule, for everyday I spend sunbathing with them, they have to accompany me on a day trip sightseeing! I hate the idea of visiting these amazing places and not seeing what there all about, Travelling to countries with a complete different culture to my own fascinates me and I love to immerse myself in as much of it as I can! Luckily I was travelling with a friend who wanted to see as much I as did which meant we spent many a day exploring the regions amazing sights.

Here’s how I spent my 14 days in Cancun and what I recommend doing while there!…

Isla Mujeres

Located just eight miles off the mainland cost from Cancun the tranquil Island once a small fishing village is a new day trip hot spot for travellers to see a little more of where the Caribbean laid back reputation came from. Only taking 40 minutes from Cancun by fast ferry, You’ll arrive onto the welcoming white sands of the beach. We’d read about hiring a golf buggy for the day and like the idea of getting around the island as much as we could, which was a reasonable price and came with all the maps we might need. We drove around the island taking in the views and stopping at the most southernly point Punta Sur and visited the remains of the temple dedicated to Lxchel the Mayan goddess of the moon and fertility with the most beautiful views of Cancun in the distance.

Travelling during the months of June, July and August they have swimming with Whale shark trips, So gutted I travelled out of the season as this has been on my bucket list for years!!



The natural aquarium park, Xel-Ha interested me as i’d never heard/visited anything like it before. After a 2 hour transfer from hotel zone to 9km north of Tulum, we arrived at the park. I have to admit I didnt know what to expect before we got there, but the place was massive. Again keeping with the all inclusive theme  the Caribbean coast of Mexico seem to have the park entry includes all food and drink and snorkelling you could wish for, only needing to pay extra for any of the animal swims with the Dolphins or Dugongs.  I loved my day here as its so different, and so big! There are so many places to get to and sometimes walking through the park took so long its unbelievable!


Chichen Itza

Think this ended up being one of my main reasons for wanting to visit Cancun as it is close enough to the site of Chichen Itza for a day trip. I love learning about a cultures history and the Mayans are so interesting and as it was Oct 2012 when I was there we were told a lot about the calendar ending on the 21,12.12 which was described to the world as the day the world would end. The most recongiseable structure here is known as the El Castillo, The temple has 365 steps—one for each day of the year and each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, and the top platform makes the 365th devising a calender, which is where the prediction came from. Even if you aren’t a history buff there was some quite remarkable stories told by the tour guides and the intelligence of the Mayans simply had me in awe.


Cenote Swimming

A very popular excursion choice, to swim in an Cenote. Collapsing limestone bedrock has revealed a secret world of underwater pools. Generally most of the Cenote’s you’ll come across will be fresh water which was been filtered to the clearest water you’ll see! Where else in the world could you swim in an open air sunken cave?



One of the only remaining pyramids to be able to climb… If your feeling fit enough! The Nohoch Mul pyramid is the tallest in the Yucatan at 42 meters high with 120 steps to the top and located the in ruins of the city Coba, which once would of been home to 50,000 people a 1,000 years ago. Marvel at the haunting ruins which include temples and pillars before arriving at the Nohoch Mul for more sightseeing.

Cozumel Diving/Snorkelling

This was something I unfortunately missed out on due to lack of time and funds, but having booked the destination for years now I know from repeat customers how fantastic the reefs really are. Being voted as one of the best spots in the world and only coming second to Belize in the Central Americans region. If you have been I’d love to hear about your experience!

Captain Hook Pirate Dinner Show

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve booked onto this over the years! I never understood the big fuss, even after hearing good things from my customers. When I booked to go to Cancun I knew it was a trip I was going to have to take! Having the option of a New York Steak or Lobster dinner with all the trimmings, you set sail to cruise the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres where calmer waters await. The open bar (see i told you all inclusive trips are the done thing) commences where the pirate antics begin and the games start, getting everyone in fancy dress and getting everyone involved! This isn’t a non participating event and those pesky pirates will grab everyone they can! Once you’ve sat and eaten your meal you’ll be call up stair for the real entertainment, the sword fight! Having two boats the company plan and excellently stage a ‘real’ pirate fight and everyone up on deck cheering their own boats success. A great laugh, and actually one of the best nights I’d had on the holiday!