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Reviewed 14 October 2017

Hotel is 4 years old. Large Hotel but only one set of elevator at the center. Long walk if staying at the ends of the building. No washrooms in pool area. Have to walk to the hotel for washrooms. Washrooms just built but not open when we were there. Good food but some of the meats were over cooked or very salty. Lack of communication between maids and maintenance. One light burnt out in washroom at the beginning of vacation. Maid should have notified maintenance but nothing was done. Water pressure and temperature varied in higher floors. Both would fluctuate from hardly any water to medium pressure. Temperature fluctuates from cool to hot while taking a shower.

Room Tip: If travelling with children or handicapped, ask for rooms near the elevator.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank armchi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2017 via mobile

Hi everyone
I would like to say that I’m pretty fare when it comes to writing a review.
My husband and another couple stayed here the week of September 29/October 6
First time in Panamá weather was perfect.
Hotel not so much we travel every 6months and would never go back here. No service at all if you wanted a drink you got up to get it yourself
Maid service terrible basically made bed
Fridge was to be restocked every other day happens only once in 7days so many locals took over resort pools full of kids could not get near swim up bar at all.
Food was ok
Seen cockroaches in Italian restaurant never went back!!
This resort is Smoke free
So if you smoke must go to the beach and they have no table or chairs for you to sit was a little upsetting no English speaking staff. Truly waste of money and my week vacation. Only washrooms are in main building so if you need to go it’s a nice walk from beach to lobby so can’t really drink on beach lol. Ocean was disappointing very rough and sand dirty it could be better if they raked it I guess
For this resort to be a Riu it’s just not up to par would not recommend.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank launa n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2017

Dear guest,

Many thanks for sharing your experience with us. We appreciate the opportunity to respond.

We are committed to providing excellent quality of our products and services to our guests. We regret to read that you have left our hotel with an opposite idea in your mind. We have sent your comments to the respective heads of departments involved and actions would be taken to address all your concerns.

We sincerely hope you will give us another chance to demonstrate the high standards of service and quality that are typical of our hotels.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Online Reputation Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2017

This is not the only hotel in Playa Blanca however we chose this one because... it is relatively new, it was recommended by a friend and had good off season rates. We booked on the Riu site. The site was easy to use and the room options are easy to understand. Some hotels have really confusing room options/ upgrades. The price on the site was same as the other online travel agencies. I made a few room requests on the booking form and they were all met. I also had mentioned on the form that it was our anniversary > they even decorated the room with balloons and delivered a courtesy fruit plate!
We were on the left side. I had requested closest to the ocean, I enjoyed watching the people in the swim up bar pool from the balcony and if the door was closed the room was very quiet. We were not close to an elevator. I didn't mind taking a few extra steps (with all the eating) and the views from the open air hallways were a plus. The rooms have clean, simple, minimalist, chic decor. Towels and linens are nice they only provide bar hand/ body soap and shower gel/shampoo dispenser in the shower. You might want to bring some other items.
The check-in and out was quick and easy even though this hotel is big, over 500 rooms. We came from David, Panama by bus $12. TDP busline was great ... movies, wifi, bathroom. You have to grab a $5 taxi from the bus stop. If you are driving it is just a short ways off the Panamerican Hwy close to Rio Hato.
We did not bring children but the children there really enjoyed the kids pool. There are 4 pools... kids pool, volleyball/ sun lounger pool, swim-up bar pool and a relaxed pool. There are also lots lounge chairs on the beach in the shade.
Food: With a few exceptions all food is buffet. This is not a luxury all inclusive the main buffet dining hall has a cafeteria feel, there is lots of tasty, food variety, changing each day and the buffet is divided into 5 big sections. There are also 3 specialty restaurants for dinner and a second buffet option for lunch.
Bars: Our favorite was Burbuja (Bubble Bar) it has a view of the night's show. Second favorite was Limon bar, closest to the beach and open during the day. All the bars have name brand liquors we mostly drank the Panamanian Abuelo Anejo Rum. There is 24 hour coffee, snacks and drinks in the Sports bar.
There is a fridge/ mini-bar (with a big variety of sodas, 2 bottles of water and 2 beers) and a bar with liquor bottles in the room (all included no charge). Our rum liquor bottle was not new or full. They only refill every 2 days and we only stayed 2 nights. I would suggest that if you have strong beverage or drink preferences then maybe request that they fill the fridge with these items before your arrival. We wish we had done this and will next time.
Housekeeping does a great job our room was beautiful when we arrived and cleaned each day.
The wifi works great in the bars and restaurants. We did not get the wifi upgrade for in-room use ($12/ day $30/ 3 days) for us, it was not needed.
We really enjoyed ourselves and will return another time.

Room Tip: We paid for an ocean view upgrade. They also offer garden view, side ocean view, or suites.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank pavones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2017

All Riu Hotels offer similar services, such as great rooms, buffets with a myriad of food for all tastes, great entertainment and it's all-inclusive package made this a stressfree vacation. This hotel was no different, however, the beach was disappointing; depending on the days, the waves were strong, severe undertow and the red flags were frequently up. Thus, no swimming. We took a jet ski ride to the neighboring village and I capsized off the jet ski. Not pleasant. The previous winter we spent two weeks at the Riu Hotel in Costa Rica and enjoyed this one much better. The staff was friendlier in Costa Rica, plus the beach was an extra bonus. We had a variety of restaurants in Costa Rica and felt this was a major setback as there are no other restaurants in walking distance from the resort. We visited the Old Panama City and were impressed with its history and the development of the Panama Canel. Enjoyed the Panama Canal Wildlife Boat Tour and Jungle Walk, this was a day well spent. With a private guide, we visited El Valle de Anton, which was an amazing tour. Our hotel was in the vicinity of several golf courses, thus I would recommend this hotel for any golf fanatics. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, however, I would stay at another Riu Hotel or return to the one in Costa Rica.

Stayed: March 2017
3  Thank Lindabird23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017

loved the hotel took many side trips to the mountains take the coffee tour if you have time it is worth it, Pacific Ocean is warm and water is clear enough to not need a mask, unless salt water bothers your eyes, food is what is expected from a buffet style dining room, lots of good drinks pools were clean but people who sit at the pool bar never get off their stools...wonder where they pee??? rooms were clean and lots of stuff in the mini fridge nice view of the ocean as well upper rooms are best I think

Stayed: November 2016
4  Thank Randy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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