riu resorts
Riu has a broad portfolio of resorts in the Caribbean.
All-Inclusive

A Guide to Riu Resorts in the Caribbean, From Montego Bay to Aruba

By: Bob Curley - March 8, 2024

RIU Resorts are located on some of the best beaches of the Caribbean, and the Spanish hotel chain shines with its spacious suites, standard features like in-room drink dispensers, and bright and modern resorts with amenities like spacious pools, spa and fitness centers, and 24-hour room service. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive stay at one of the top resort brands in the Caribbean, here are your Riu choices from the Bahamas to Mexico, plus plenty of paradisiacal places in between.

Riu Aruba Palm Beach

The palatial Riu Aruba Palm Beach rises in the center of the action on Aruba’s Palm Beach, close to attractions like DePalm Pier with its extensive tour options and the shopping and entertainment at the Paseo Herencia Mall. The Riu Palm Beach has a separate children’s pool and kids clubs, while the adjacent Hotel Riu Palace Antillas is an adults-only enclave offering extensive nightlife including casino action.

Riu Bahamas Paradise Island

A stay at this Riu resort in the Bahamas has the advantage of making you close neighbors with the Atlantis resort with all of its casino, activity, and nightlife options. That’s not to say that the Riu itself lacks for things to do: the only adults-only hotel on Paradise Island has its own reserved stretch of Cabbage Beach as well as included activities like beach volleyball, windsurfing, scuba diving, and kayaking.

Riu Resorts in the Dominican Republic

Whether you’re looking for a family friendly stay, a romantic couples-only vacation, or a five-star resort experience, Riu has you covered with its quintet of all-inclusive east coast Dominican Republic resorts. Four of the resorts — the Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana, Hotel Riu Palace Macao, Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro, and Hotel Riu Bambu, inhabit the same resort complex on Arena Gorda Beach, sharing amenities like restaurants, spas, and the Splash Water World water park.

The 600-room Hotel Riu Palace, with its RiuLand Kids Club,  is the four-star family friendly option, while the Hotel Riu Bambu combines family amenities with five-star service. The Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro welcomes children but also has a dozen villas offering extra privacy.The 360-room Hotel Riu Palace Macao is a four-star resort that only permits guests ages 18 and older; if you want the high-end amenities minus the kids, pick the five-star Riu Republica, the only Riu resort here that’s on a separate piece of Arena Gorda beachfront (but still close enough to enjoy the water park and other attractions).

Riu Falmouth, Jamaica

The charming port city of Falmouth is at your doorstep with a stay at the 700-room Hotel Riu Palace Aquarelle, Riu’s newest Jamaica hotel. Set on White Bay Beach, this all-inclusive, five-star resort boasts four swimming pools, a children’s pool with water slides, and a Splash Water World water park that welcomes kids of all ages. Multiple dining options, a kids club, and spa are among the amenities here.

Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica

Riu pairs its flagship  — with just 200 rooms, modestly sized by Riu standards — with a pair of five-star hotels: the 800-room, adults-only Hotel Riu Montego Bay and the newer Hotel Riu Reggae, a 400-room resort that’s also for guests ages 18 and older. All three properties share access to the Splash World Water Park.

The Riu Negril.

Riu Negril, Jamaica

The Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay has 400 rooms on Bloody Bay and welcomes families, singles, couples and groups to the north end of Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach. The adjacent, 400-room Hotel Riu Negril offers its five-star amenities, including five restaurants and three pools with a swim-up bar and hot tub, to adults only.

Hotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica

There’s room for everyone at this 900-key resort on Ocho Rios’ Mammee Beach, which appeals to adults and children alike with its beachfront location, Splash Water World water park, five pools, multiple themed dining options, and wide range of daily and nightly entertainment programming. The wide sandy beach here is a welcome alternative to some of Ocho Rios’ busier resort areas.

riu cancun
The Riu Caribe in Cancun.

Riu Cancun, Mexico

The Riu brand boasts eight resorts in and around Cancun. Closest to Cancun International Airport is the Hotel Riu Caribe, a high-rise 500-room, five-star hotel that welcomes guests of all ages but has adults-only rooms and an exclusive Riu Party area for guests ages 18 and older. The neighboring Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula with its unmistakable keyhole tower similarly carves out special spaces for adults as well as younger guests — adults-only villas and a Riu Party area for the former, and a RiuLand kids club for the latter.

Cancun travelers who want to be more in the heart of the Hotel Zone will gravitate to the Hotel Riu Cancun, which has 569 rooms within walking distance of attractions like the MesoArte museum and shopping at Plaza La Fiesta and the Plaza Caracol mall. The 350-room Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas next door shares the central location but is for adults only. The Hotel Riu Palace Kukulkan, opened in 2022, is a newer adults-only choice with 400 rooms, the option of staying in one of Riu’s Elite Club suites, which have their own private check-in, pool, and restaurant.

cancun
The Riu Kukulkan in Cancun.

Costa Mujeres has emerged in recent years as Cancun’s hottest resort destination, and Riu has three resorts set along the Playa Mujeres beach. The Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres is a 600-room resort with five pools and a private beach area, kids club, and spa. Guests can walk next door to the Hotel Riu Dunamar to access both the Splash Water World waterpark and — for adults only — the Pacha disco. Like its neighbor, this 700-room hotel welcomes families. Opened in 2022 in the exclusive Condominio Costa Mujeres district, the Hotel Riu Latino is an adults-only property with 550 guest rooms.

Riu Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Four Riu hotels are scattered along the coast of Playa del Carmen, the attractive port city south of Cancun on Mexica’s Riviera Maya. Located in the Playacar area just south of downtown (and within walking distance of shops, restaurants, nightlife, and the ferry to Isla Mujeres), the Riu family of Playa del Carmen includes the AAA Four Diamond Hotel Riu Palace Mexico; the beachfront Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya; the five-star (but off the beach) Hotel Riu Tequila with its 600 rooms, kids club, and Riu Party nightlife; the Hotel Riu Playacar with its four themed restaurants 

The Hotel Riu Lupita is more than two miles from the beach, so guests are limited to views of the pools or gardens, but a free shuttle to the hotel’s beach club and oceanfront Cozumel restaurant is available. The resort does offer an expanded list of on-site amenities, including tennis; it’s a smaller, more-laid back alternative to Riu’s Playacar resorts, but still has access to everything in the main resort complex. The Hotel Riu Yucatan is on the beach but south of the Playacar district and about a 20-minute walk to the Riu “village” (and perhaps twice that to 5th Avenue in downtown Playa del Carmen. This family friendly resort has 507 rooms and a kids’ club.

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