MOST POPULAR HOTEL IN PLAYACAR
The most popular resort/hotel in Playacar is the RUI conglomerate and Royal Hideaway.
Another option would be to try the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal if you like Iberostars.
The Quetzal is similar to the Paraiso, but smaller. Many feel the food is a little better at the Paraiso. Everything else is about the same: rooms, service, drinks.
The thing that most people prefer with the Quetzal vs. Paraiso is the location. The beach is much nicer, and it is great being so close to Playa del Carmen. You can walk, or take a taxi and be in Playa in a very short amount of time. No waiting for shuttles!
Either way, you can’t go wrong with any Iberostar.
There is the RUI Playacar, Palace, Yucatan and Tequila.
RUI Palace is the flagship hotel/resort. Booking here gives you access to all RUI restaurants and amenities.
Riu Playacar is the smallest of the RIUs but the same high standards. It is a compact resort so everything is easy to get to and it is a little more casual than the other RIUs.
The Riu Playacar and Riu Yucatan are both on the same beach. While the Yucatan is livelier and larger, the beach can also get crowed as the guests from the Riu Tequila use the beach as well.
The only advantage the Playacar has over the Tequila is that it’s closer to the beach, but the Tequila has a better pool, as well as an on-site disco and lobby bar.
If you like more action and more people, the Yucatan might be better for you. If you like something more laid back and a bit more intimate you might like the Playacar better. The food is the same at both resorts.
You have to wear long pants to the buffet at the RIU for dinner, and only at the “reservation only restaurants” can you wear shorts.
Also in Playacar are the Viva Maya and its sister Azteka, which are more laid back and not as fancy as the RIUs. They are smaller but well kept resorts.
The Gala is located at the end of the stretch of hotels affording it more privacy as it only has a hotel on one side. It is comparable to Viva Maya.