Riu Playa Blanca

Riu Playa Blanca
4.014.014.014.014.01
4.01 based on 358 reviews
#1 of 5 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Playa Blanca
Rated 5 stars
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Dec 2023 stay at RIU Playa Blanca, Panama

, Lyndhusrt, ON
2023-12-31
This was a wonderful resort. Everything was within easy distance. All the staff were amazingly friendly, food was great, pools and beach were exceptional. The 10 minute ride from the airport was a bonus. [Details]
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The strong points
Pools, beach all close to rooms not miles away. Food was great. My favorite was the Asian restaurant
The weak points
Coffee and beer should be replenished in the rooms every day. Mixed drinks in the bars were sometimes very weak and often so much ice that they were too thick to drink. Internet was unreliable. The noise the kids pool carried to the adult pool at times
Sanitary measures
All very good.
Certified

Week in Panama

, Sudbury, ON
2023-04-26
The hotel was beautiful, clean and inviting. My boyfriend and I had a wonderful stay. The staff was always very polite and helpful and we had a great experience. The only downside is that we did contract COVID-19 while staying at the resort so the latter half of our stay was less enjoyable. [Details]
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The strong points
Cleanliness, beautiful
The weak points
Contracted COVID-19
Certified

Great time at RIU

, St Catharines, ON
2023-03-08
Everything from the staff to the food Everything was excellent. The only thing I wasn't happy with was the disco when it let out the drunks coming out was brutal. Loud screams foul language was disgusting. I was woken up every night by this. Maybe security could be put in place to keep the people quiet. Other than that everything was awesome. Keep up the great work !! [Details]
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The strong points
Everything but the disco
The weak points
Drunks out at 2,3,4 in the morning being loud
Certified

Riu Playa Blanca Panama

, Woodstock, ON
2023-02-28
We had a terrific vacation at the Riu Playa Blanca. The food was good, the service great. When we had an issue they were addressed in a timely manner. The staff are friendly and continually working to keep grounds looking beautiful. I would definitely recommend this resort [Details]
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Riu playa Blanca

, Mount Albert, ON
2023-02-05
We've been to the hotel several times we love it we always have a good time. When we booked this time we were able to get an ocean front room on the fifth floor on the corner unit which was kind of nice. [Details]
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The strong points
Good food good weather clean rooms always have a good time when we go friendly staff
The weak points
Sometimes missing some towels in the room other times no coffee or they forgot to stock the beer and water in fridge
Certified

Riu Playa Blanca

, Brampton, ON
2023-02-03
The food, drink and absolute cleanliness of the facility were outstanding. However, what truly made the hotel into my wife's and my hom, for our stay, were the superb front line people working there.
Highly recommend!! [Details]
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The strong points
The employees.
The weak points
None.
Certified

Beautiful and very clean

, Timmins, ON
2022-12-21
Pizza was awesome Pasta really good ,Buffet, food, was, never hot , mini bar only refilled every two days that's including coffee one pouch every two days beer only to every two days,.. for smokers there are absolutely nowhere on the resort or property for smoking. You have to go to the beach where it is far enough if you're not at the entrance near the walkway… it was a very long walk to our room as there was one elevator and our room was way at the other end. I didn't find the staff at the bars, friendly they also let the locals in the resort at a lower price so they take over the pools the bars and the beach.big families… overall we enjoyed our time away but won't return here [Details]
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The strong points
Very large resort , very clean , whether iwas absolutely beautiful very very humid 38 most of the time .. ocean was very warm
The weak points
Mini bar only refilled every 2 days,2 beers 1,coffee 2 days.. they do not own the beach so there are locals with their horses sometimes up to 11 of them where they poop and pee all over the beach so it's like a maze to get to the ocea
Certified

Riu

, Lachine, QC
2022-12-06
Hotel was nicer than expected [Details]
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Certified

Beautiful

, Aylmer, ON
2022-10-06
I went with a friend. I was blown away by the beauty of the resort, and the surrounding area. We did not know this until we got there, but they were going through a large COVID wave, so we were told there may be some staff shortages. There was, however the staff who were there always made sure everything was taken care of, and that everyone was enjoying themselves. The a la cartes were amazing, especially the steakhouse. However one of the buffets was not as great. Thankfully, there were more options. The beach is beautiful, with a beautiful shaded area to lounge under the palm trees. Unfortunately, we could not go in the water, as there was a red flag all week. I would definitely come back. [Details]
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The strong points
The views, a la cartes, shaded beach, helpful front desk, friendly staff, beautiful rooms
The weak points
sometimes cold buffet food, not enough staff.
Sanitary measures
Everything was always cleaned and sanitized
Pro

Experience

, Markham, ON
2022-05-16
It was a great resort/Hotel
People were extremely helpful and very polite. Food was great, Service was great and hygiene was top notch. Mask was mandatory when going for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. Rooms were cleaned everyday.
Overall I would rate this experience 8/10 [Details]
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Riu

, Burlington, ON
2022-02-02
in general was excellent [Details]
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The weak points
food needs to be wormed most of were cold lake fries ...
Certified

Great Stay

, London, ON
2020-02-26
One of our best stays. Food was excellent. No real complaints whatever. Friendly staff,clean . Would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to get away for a week or more. [Details]
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The strong points
Great food Clean rooms Good entertainment Hotel is clean throughout. Friendly staff
The weak points
None

Riu Playa Blanca

, Glencoe, ON
2020-02-19
Great stay. The staff were friendly and attentive. Rooms were good and clean. [Details]
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The strong points
Good food. Clean rooms. Well kept grounds. Very clean. Sun shades to sit under. Palm trees on the beach
The weak points
The shows at night were not very good and started at 9:30 which seemed late.
Certified

Riu Panama

, Mississauga, ON
2020-02-05
Reception at check in counter was not very helpful. They were not approachable and were reluctant to offer different options although guest is aware there were options to offer.
Other service staff in the hotel were helpful around the pool areas. Alacarte restaurants just ok. No table service offered at the lobby bar or the theater area. Room 4062 was almost excellent. Sports Bar excellent service and good drinks. [Details]
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The strong points
Buffet has excellent choice for vegetarian.
The weak points
Fish dishes were under cooked. Food not hot enough.
Certified

Great resort!!

, Toronto, ON
2020-01-19
I had a great stay at Riu Playa Blanca. We stayed in an oceanfront room. The bed was standard king size. I slept pretty good. Resort was super clean. The food was good, the buffet had a great selection and some different themes on different nights. The steak at the steakhouse was delicious and the Asian restaurant was a buffet as well and had a selection of sushi and tempura items as well as some different Asian dishes. There were 4 pools, a kids pool with slides, a party pool, a swim up bar pool, and another pool ppl just laid around. Beach towels are big compared to another local resort. The beach has tons of chairs with shade areas. The beach is very large and has tons of space. There are jetskis and horses to ride but there's a cost. The sand is a mix of volcanic minerals and white sand WEAR YOUR SANDALS THE SAND IS SO HOT! There is a minimarket where you can find Gatorade, beer, juice, snacks, sunscreen, lotion, Benedryl, deodorant, playing cards, and phone chargers and there is also a gift shop for souvenirs, beach bags, swimsuits, teeshirts, in the resort. There are shops on the beach too where everything is $10.There is also a grocery store 3 km down the road and cost about $10 in a taxi. The taxi will wait for you and bring you back. They have beer, liquor, wine, shampoo deodorant, diapers EVERYTHING!! [Details]
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The strong points
I'd definitely go back to this resort it was great!
The weak points
I like live music at resorts in the evening. It would be nice to have that. In the upstairs lounge maybe
Certified

RIU Playa Blanca

, Toronto, ON
2019-12-15
Could be a better experience. Hotel is more like a 3 stars; not the same standards as other RIUs we have been to. 6 storey complex with 573 rooms. Dark lobby; limited and old looking decors and furnitures. Has total of 4 elevators(run-down; no light inside). Room has stained furniture, curtains and bed sheets. First room we checked-in had very strong smell of insecticide. Hotel is catered to mostly Panamanians. Almost all entertainments were in Spanish. Many group games were not available as posted. Included non-motorized water activities equipments were broken. Paddle boats were not available due to “broken” per staff. All paddle boards don't have the center stabilizer. We made the most of what was available and had a good time. [Details]
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The strong points
Amazing strong wifi throughout. Pools for adults and kids are nice. Theme nights food are good. Bar and restaurant staff are nice. Resort is very closed to the airport.
The weak points
Entertainments need improvement. Non Spanish tourists felt “left out”.
Certified

Playa Blanca

, Brantford, ON
2019-12-08
The hotel is very nice. it needs more attention to upkeep and cleaning. The food was excellent [Details]
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The strong points
The food
The weak points
Too much Spanish. Been to other Spanish countries and did not like that they don't cater to tourists but pay attention to locals that pay almost nothing to stay
Certified

Riu Playa Blanca

, Montréal, QC
2019-09-24
Vacation on Sept 12/2019 1 week.
Check in was great. Well organized and fast!. Hats off to Sunflight.
Hotel room was very good. Spacious and clean, Bed was comfortable. The ocean view was as advertised. The a la carte restaurants were easily accessible but so so in terms of food quality. My preferred one was the Chiriqui by the beach. Good steak! On the thin side but a good piece of meat. Buffets were also good but very repetitive. But at least you ate well. Hotel grounds were clean. I don't do pools but they ( 4 pools in all) appeared to be clean. Pool bar was so-so as they were always busy. Maybe more bartenders would help? Lobby bar and sports bar were very good with all kinds of drinks available for consumption, not just the ones listed on the menu. They also made a great cappuccino and Spanish coffee. The beach? well the beaches of Panama are definitely NOT Carribean, different water. but we had been there before so no surprise. The entertainment was OK I guess if you like that stuff. All in all, very good value for what we paid as we wanted to avoid the hurricanes, the sea weeds, the contraband booze and the dangers of some islands!
Julio from Montreal. [Details]
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The strong points
Clean hotel and rooms. good bars in lobby bar and sports bar. Easy access to a la carte restaurants. Food was good at the buffets, not Riu Palace type but good. We didn't lose weight! Friendly staff all around.
The weak points
The main lobby was plain. It lacked something. But I guess it served its purpose. No currency exchange at hotel. Too may stray dogs and cats around the hotel.
Certified

Mid feburary 2019

, Toronto, ON
2019-02-27
very nice hotel, very clean (always someone cleaning), food was very good, lots of choice, rooms clean and well done, lots of room at pools and beach, very warm and lots of sun.... staff is very nice. will go back again. [Details]
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The strong points
very clean, nice people
The weak points
if you have ocean front rooms, long walk, but view worth it
Certified

Riu does not live up to its name in this hotel

, Toronto, ON
2019-02-13
When I booked a 5star, I expected better from this hotel reasons 1)beach is dark 2) food quality and the same food everyday sucks. 3) everything you do in this hotel you have to pay even to play pool. 4) the stores inside the hotel has nothing. [Details]
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Certified

Great stay at the Riu

, Melita, MB
2019-02-08
It is hard to find a negative at this resort. Staff is friendly and they are always cleaning and repairing. The 4 separate pools let you choose whether to be with the kids, taking part in the various water activities, being by the swim up bar or just to take a swim. Most rooms offer at least a partial ocean view. If you like your sleep and are not a night owl, best to stay on the side away from the disco. Beach is public but vendors don't harass the guests. Food was very good, we enjoyed the buffet restaurant the most. Overall a great stay. [Details]
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The strong points
Free wifi throughout resort, not just in lobby. Wonderful food and clean, comfortable rooms. Lots of chairs by pools and at beach.
The weak points
No drink service offered. Only one bathroom area out by beach, pool area.
Certified

Don't listen to negative reviews

, Barrie, ON
2019-01-11
this hotel was was fantastic for its price , the rooms are very nice and modern , if there was a problem in the room the service would quickly come and fix it , the maids whet above and beyond everyday. the food was amazing every single day , watermelon was my favourite part and the chicken , check in and check out was very simple and fast , there is always someone cleaning at the pool , lobby , bar, everywhere , the people who worked at the hotel were so friendly , the beaches were nicer then i expected since we are on the pacific side of the ocean. The pool and beach volleyball was so much fun ! shows at night we're very entertaining! loved all of the music that they played during the day ! the steak house is very good and the italian is also very good but the asian a la carte had to be my least favourite. drinks were also very good at the bar , my personal favourites were the tropical pick me up and the dirty monkey ! if you want to get a chair by the pool in the shade , i suggest you go to the pool around 8:30 before breakfast and just put your towel down because they fill up super quick! the resort is very safe. do not ride the horses on the beach because they get abused every single day. they say there are jellyfish and stingrays in the ocean so i would sudjest you don't go to far into the ocean. In conclusion, i will be coming back to the riu playa blanca , it met all of my standards. my goal was to realax on vacation and that is what i exactly did ! [Details]
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The strong points
food bar pools rooms service wifi beach
The weak points
no weak points all amazing

Has improved since i last visited

, Scarborough, ON
2018-02-13
I last visited this hotel in october and since i have seen a lot of improvement. My favorite part of this resort is that smoking is not permitted anywhere in the property besides the beach! Thanks Riu for that! i cant stand sitting by the pool and inhaling someone else second hand smoke.
The food was good, specially at the steakhouse, buffet was a lot better since i went in october. This time in feb they cater more to the north american clientele and it shows in the food and services.
Entertainment was awesome, the dancers were great and i even got to participate in one of their gameshows.
The drinks are plentiful, margaritas by the theater were delicious!
My room was spacious and i had a courtyard view with partial ocean view and luckily i had a big palm tree right in front so it felt very private. My room did have a coffee machine so i am not sure what people are talking about on here. Im not a coffee drinker so it didnt make a difference.
4 pools to choose from, so if you dont like noise stay away from the kids pool or activities pool. We hung out by the wet bar and had a fab time everyday! plenty beach and pool chairs but keep in mind this is a large resort so get up early and secure your spot.
Wifi is free mostly everwhere, except your room. i was even ale to get some wifi by the beach and do a live on instagram so the speed was decent.
Overall amazing experience, and i will DEF return.Thanks Riu Playa Blanca! [Details]
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The strong points
Beachfront property. Very close to the airport. Modern style. Spacious rooms
The weak points
Staff could use a little English lesson but they try really hard.

Lovely resort

, Toronto, ON
2018-02-11
The hotel had all the amenities, staff were helpful and easy to connect with. The rooms were spacious, the hotel practices savings where possible ie AC turns off when patio door open, reuse towels, glassware for drinks. It was a little plain in decorating, all white walls gave a stark feel. [Details]
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The strong points
Good food, and drinks. Four great pools, children's area was fantastic. Lots of shaded options. Located right on the beach, lots of beach chairs, and when the palm trees grow in, will be very shaded as it was hot, hot, hot.
The weak points
If you are looking for crystal clean water in the ocean, February was not the month to visit, red flag days due to surf. The water was warm but constantly churning, hip deep you could not see your feet.
Certified

Great vacation overall

, Montréal, QC
2018-02-04
Overall, we would consider this hotel as very good. Being a new hotel helps for the quality of the structure, accommodation and other facilities. The proximity, length and cleanliness of the beach make it more appealing then any other resort. Good food, quick and good service from staff. Not perfect....but close enough. [Details]
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The strong points
Quality of the food, staff service, beach and site cleanliness
The weak points
Restaurents (including cafeteria) are extremely noisy due to the way the rooms are designed: high sealing and no noise absorption. Pools not big enough for hotel capacity. Only one bar at a pool. No snack bar for quick appetizers.
Certified

Not a 5 Star

, Barrie, ON
2018-01-22
Overall, the experience was good. When we arrived, they were very organized and check in was very efficient. Staff are friendly here. The décor is very nice and modern however it can feel cold in comparison to other traditional style Caribbean places we visited. The first thing that annoyed me was there was no coffee maker in the room. I found out the next morning that I had to go to the basement level to the buffet or sports bar to get some. I was on the 6th floor so that meant I had to get dressed up to do this.

As a smoker, you cannot smoke anywhere on the property, except for the beach. This is tough but some smoked on their balconies anyway....

The food was very good and lots of choice. The drinks were good. I stayed before at the Riu Palace before and they had coffee machines, room service as well. There is no room service here.
As well, there were 3 restaurants instead of 6 but it was fine. The steakhouse is the best, great sirloin steak.

Lets talk about plumbing. Water pressure was poor, one morning we had no water in the room. It seemed to be a resort issue. Then a couple of days the water was not working where you rinsed the beach sand off to go to the pool. This is not so pleasant but I survived.

They served bottled wine at the a la carte restaurants and if you wanted wine for breakfast and lunch it was available in the keg! I tried it but not great but if you are going to drink all day then I don't think it really matters.

The resort was very crowded, lots of families with kids. All the chairs where taken up with the peach towels and no one around sitting on them.

I found it too noisy everywhere I went.

My room was fine, everthing was clean, maid service was consistent early after breakfast and cleaned up before lunch.

The Theatre shows were ok, they have a disco open from 11pm to 3pm which we went to a couple of times however found the music was geared towards the younger generation. DJ said he did not even have Bob Marley to play.....what!!!!!???????

The big benefit is the heat. Its hot so you won't have to wear pants or even a sweater at night. The sand is very hot to walk on so where flip flops all the time. The beach was ok, could not figure out when the tide was low or high.

I don't think i would come back to this resort, you cannot change the layout, looking at others across the balconies. I want some privacy so villa style would suit me better. [Details]
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The strong points
Weather Décor Food cleanliness
The weak points
lack of water lack of coffee machine not enough space at the pool
Certified

Good but could Improve

, Scarborough, ON
2017-11-28
Hello everybody! I just came back from the Riu Playa Blanca, where i stayed 3 days to check out the amenities and i can honestly tell you i was happy with what i saw and could recommend it if you are looking for a relaxed stay. Now if you are the kind of person who will always look for something to complain, then you might as well stay home and never leave!
What else can you ask for? transfer for Rio Hato Airport ( make sure this is where you are flying to) 10 mins, beachfront property, bright and clean rooms with working AC, 4 pools, free drinks and food, I mean!
I have traveled extensively, in fact i am a travel agent and came to this hotel for the first time, and not my last for sure.
The hotel has 3 elevators that worked everyday, its a 6 story building with a U shape you can get a courtyard room and have a guaranteed partial ocean view. Mine was incredible! If you get a garden view you might have a noisy room as some of them are very close to the Air Condition units so be mindful.
The hotel has 4 pools, 1 for kids with a few water slides and games for them, it is always supervised but as a responsible parent you should NOT leave your kids unattended. The is also a small kiddy pool by the kids club which i found pretty neat. There is a main pool right across from the water slides, this is where they play water polo and run most of the activities. The other pool is supposed to be an adults only pool as it has a wet bar but unfortunately i saw LOTS of kids there, this should be corrected by the staff. And right in front of that there is a quite pool.
The property is beachfront and my favorite part is that they planted a good amount of small palm trees in front of it so you can put a chair under them and relax all day if thats what you want. If you have never been to a beach in the Pacific ocean you might be disappointed by the sand and color of the water. Please do some research and understand this is a completely different ocean all together and the sand tends to be a little bit darker but it is STILL a great strecht of beach if you like long walks or runs by the beach like i do. I went for a good 1hr run everyday.
The mini bar is included and so is the alcohol in the dispenser. I made sure i had water and beer everyday :) being nice to the house keeping staff goes a long way
The food was average unfortunately, I did go during low season so i think they were catering more to the local clientele. The sushi was a big disappointment for me, i am a sushi lover and was very excited to see the Asian restaurant, but it let me down. The buffet has lots of options for everybody but be mindful if you have any allergies as they dont really describe the dishes and its ingredients very well.
I was very surprised that the hotel is so modern and grand but it is so quite at the same time. There was no music at the lobby and i found the hotel to be a little too slow I also got the same comment from many guests who were staying there. Management should try to make the most out of their common areas. For example the bar right off reception passing the elevators and overlooking the beach is such a great spot for socializing but it was always quite and empty. I would definitely look into hiring a local band or a piano player to do some sing alongs at least. It would be a huge improvement.
The gardens were well kept and i did see people cleaning everyday. My room was tidy and i had plenty towels for everyone, including pool towels. If your biggest complain is that the hotel did not provide face towels then you should probably NEVER leave home.
The theater is beautiful. I really enjoyed the shows and musical reviews. Not to mention the margaritas yumm! The entertainment was mostly in Spanish, probably 90%, i would make an effort to use more english as it is an international hotel and there were lots of Canadians staying there.

Overall a good vacation. But not my favorite. Cant wait to go back in Feb during high season to see if there are any improvements [Details]
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The strong points
Great location, 5 mins from airport Beach has lots of palm trees big and bright rooms very clean and nice grounds there is a big grocery store within a 15 min walk
The weak points
hotel needs more music and animation drinks were weak. ask for double shots asian restaurant was disappointing, no real sushi

Quality of resorts

, Markham, ON
2017-08-26
Staff very present and rooms very clean but management if have any issue they never take care what ever the complains and each staff not communicating every I had a issue when we was sleep in the room one day about 5 am the person numbing in my room by back door oppen my eyes looking my phone I can't find I saw a person in my room then I made sound he jumped and exit luckily he did not get anything he took my phone from bed when I made sound he put away my phone, ride away I call front desk they will send security after 10 minutes got call we found the person he downstairs come make complain send him to police same person went some ofnebours room that day then they tall me management come talk us never and I ask evening the front desk about the complain they say they don't that happen. And foods are not neetly Poole bar is closed at before 6pm if we are in the Poole they kicked out Totaly thes resord is qualify only 4 **** [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
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  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants

July 2017

, Brampton, ON
2017-07-31
The hotel was well kept and the staff was very professional. They should just have more English speaking staff. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Very clean. Food was good.
The weak points
Not enough English speaking staff. Hard to understand each other if you do not speak Spanish.
Certified

Ottawa traveller

, Embrun, ON
2017-04-30
First off, it's not a typical 5 star resort. We were very disappointed of this RIU, being a frequent RIU customer, the food was just OK, the nightly entertainment was a 3 star at most, the rooms and the resort was very clean and customer service was excellent. The beach was dangerous, not because of the water, we knew from previous visits the beach condition. The reason it is very dangerous is the wild dogs who bit 2 travellers on the leg and no security on the beach. Also what we were very disappointed is the smoking around the swimming pool. The signs are posted everywhere, but the security does not enforce it. You cannot even take a walk on the road because of the wild dogs that are all around the property.
Those are the reasons why we would not go back and not recommend it to any of our friends. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Cleanliness
The weak points
Security on the premises and the beach.
Certified
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