All inclusive Riviera Maya hotels: ClubHotel Riu Tequila

For families looking for all inclusive Riviera Maya hotels, yet want to stay away from the beach hotel zone vibe, ClubHotel Riu Tequila fits the bill at a value price point. Located adjacent to Playa del Carmen and within a few kilometers of cenote excursions and eco theme parks, this family-friendly all inclusive is situated directly across the street from white sand beaches (with beach access), with a tucked-away jungle feel.

The open-air lobby’s decor suggests a Spanish hacienda, and the winding, lush walkways between the buildings and pool and restaurant areas house squirrels, birds, and even the raccoon or lemur-like coatis that dart about, looking for handouts (don’t feed them!) While not located directly on the beach, Tequila has access to the additional Riu hotels located beachside via a short walkway, and sports two large pools with pool bar and a nice outdoor recreation center with sand volleyball, water basketball and polo, ping pong, and a full kids’ club called RiuLand. The beach is wide and perfect for sunbathing, and the waves are usually small and fun to play in. Free boogie board and kayak rentals are available at the Scuba Caribe desk on the beach (just show them your Riu wristband and sign out for them).

Riu Tequila

Dining:

The dining options at Tequila are standard for an all-inclusive Mexican resort: primarily buffet offerings with menu-service restaurants available by reservation. We ate the majority of our meals at Jalisco, the main buffet restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Lunch buffet options are available at pool-side Lupita (which also offers a continental breakfast mid-morning after Jalisco closes) and Beach Club, located at the end of the beach walkway on the white sand beach. Jalisto offered a big variety of foods, but it’s large size definitely called to mind a ‘cattle call’ mentality. That said, for families with kids who want variety and to eat fairly quickly to get back to the fun, it serves its purpose well. Alcoholic offerings at the buffets are not highest quality, but there are several resort bars to fill that void, plus the pool bar during the day. Our favorite meal at Tequila was at Beach Club, where we could get a higher quality buffet meal before hopping into the warm ocean. Because these offerings are all-inclusive, it’s easy to say yes to kids wanting an ice cream cone while swimming or a smoothie at the rec area.

Riu Tequila dining

Because we filled our days in Riviera Maya with excursions away from the resort, we never experienced the by-reservation restaurants, but definitely loved the convenience of returning to the resort and being able to dip into Jalisto for a quick snack or dessert.

Room amenities:

Our family of five stayed in a junior suite, which included two double beds and one roll-away (brought by request). Cribs are also available for families needing one. While we had plenty of space, including a living area with couch, we did wish the couch converted to another bed, as the doubles were hard to share. Rooms include a mini-fridge that’s filled with water and sodas, plus liquor dispensers. We never used the dispensers, so cannot speak to the liquor quality, but as the tap water is not potable in this area, it was very convenient to have large bottles of water delivered daily. Our room included a nice patio with seating, and space to hang wet swim suits. Our view was of jungle, which suited us. The buildings are no more than three stories in Riviera Maya, so the resort didn’t have a big hotel feel. We wouldn’t describe it as a ‘bungalow’ feel either, but the low buildings did aid to the hotel not feeling too huge and impersonal.

Riu tequila rooms

Rates and value:

Our rate at Tequila reflected that of a quality all-inclusive, without too many frills. (At the time of our visit, a night’s all-inclusive stay for a family of four was approximately $600, or $300 less than that at a boutique or luxury all-inclusive). This is not an exact rate, as it will change depending on your family’s ages and number, but is a good number for a point of comparison. For a family on a budget, it’s a good value, as you have access to food, a good location, comfortable rooms, and fun pools, but note that what is sacrificed by the lower price point (at least in our experience) is personalized attention and service. For example, for the entirety of our three night stay, our mini-fridge was not working properly. Despite several requests that it be fixed, it was not taken care of. Because we were off-site often on excursions, the lack of cold drinks was bearable, but had we spent the majority of our time on-site, we would have greatly missed this amenity.

Location:

Tequila is located in Playacar, an exclusive community adjacent to Playa del Carmen. Cab fare is only about $10 to nearby Xcaret eco-park or Playa del Carmen’s lively 5th Avenue. A ride to the ruins at Tulum won’t cost you much more, though this excursion is best done through a guide service. Families have easy access to the beach, and could easily spend full days on resort grounds. The drive from Cancun airport is approximately 45 minutes. The location cannot be beat!

As I disclose whenever applicable, my family and I experienced Tequila as guests of the resort, for the purpose of review. While appreciated, this hospitality came with no expectation of a positive review.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. Oh this sounds like a great spot to check out. I love reading about new hot spots for family friendly vacations and Mexico is always on my list of favorites.

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