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Reviewed 17 October 2017

Rui should remove their name off this hotel. The hotel is full of locals and children. The drinks are watered down. Children are allowed in the bars and bar areas. The beach was dirty and so was the pool. This was a girls trip from hell due to this hotel. The food was not good. Nothing about this hotel says resort or welcome. The spa is outside, the steak house is outside and the mosquitoes are unreal and unbearable. Also the staff is cleaning all day but the hotel still stinks! My girls and I were ready to go as soon as we got there but had to spend 5 more nights in this horrible hotel. The only reason I'm giving this hotel one start is because of Emanuel that works at the front desk and the bartender Ulyssess (sp) that works in the lobby bar. We had to leave the resort to get some real food at a place called COCO BLUE. If you go ask for Orlando he is awesome and everything is made fresh.
If anyone is planning a trip to Panama please skip over this hotel. My money was not well spent with this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank magicpowers05
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 23 October 2017

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and for expressing your concerns.

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 appreciate our guests’ comments since they help us improve our services. We will share your impressions with the corresponding department in order to make adjustments.

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2017 via mobile

Great weather, great food, great accommodation and great family fun. We have 2 young children 5 and 8 years of age. The splash pool and water slides are such a big bonus. The recreational staff are out of this world. I would say they made our trip! Beach is long and great for walks. We didn't go in past our ankles do to waves but the resort has plenty of pools. The other bonus is the new airport is only a 10 drive away. Loved Panama!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank Rowerboy15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2017

We were among the many thousands bumped not once but twice due to the unfortunate hurricanes. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary and we started in Cuba, then moved to Punta Cana, but five days before leaving moved to Panama- Riu Playa Blanca. I can't tell you how happy we were to find this property and location. My husband and I have travelled to Europe, UK, all over the USA and to Cuba and Dominican, Hawaii, so we have reasonable expectations and also we are fair in our reviews. I thought it would easiest to make a pros and cons list and believe me the PROS far out way any minor cons....

Pros:
1. Ease of location-10 minute ride fro Rio Hato airport-nice to land and get right to your vacation.
2. Sunwing check in-they had their own separate check in and greeted us with a large refreshing glass of rum punch. Took less than 10 minutes.
3. Asked for a top level ocean view-received exactly what I asked.
4. Clean, bright, modern rooms.
5. Housekeeping was spot on and our room was spotless.
6. Refreshed liquor dispenser and beer fridge with brand name soda-without asking.
7. All the restaurants are located around each other-no long walks.
8. Sunwing orientation in the morning well worth attending if you've never been to Panama-very helpful information from Estelle.
9. Variety of drinks and the lobby bar and sports bar served top end liquor-not watered down.
10. No reservations so you can attend the specialty restaurants anytime-3 nights in a row of bacon wrapped filet mignon and shrimp/snapper skewer....mmmmm.
11. Huge buffet with more variety than I have seen before. Not lacking for variety and well cooked or cooled.
12. Lots of chairs around the pool and beach no trouble finding one.
13. The steakhouse opens as a lunch grill from 12-5 and you could get pizzas, burgers, chicken, pastas, nachos-or local items like curried squid and coconut rice.
14. I felt safe and comfortable anywhere in the grounds.
15. Wifi is great at any location and free-except in your room. We had no trouble getting a strong signal.
16. Lobby bar makes the best Spanish coffees....
17. Bright, clean airy location with a modern vibe.
18. Grounds immaculate and the landscaping team works hard all day.
19. Beautiful palms on the dark sand beach, nice to take a walk down the beaches.
20. Slept like a log every night, no noise.

Ok a few cons: (Keep in mind this made no DIFFERENCE or negative impact at all) but just things I noticed:

1.The pool bar was full of bees and my husband is allergic so sitting at the pool bar was a no go.
2. The staff overall are not as engaging as they are in the Caribbean islands, they tend to do their job but don't go out of their way.
3. The beach is public so you will see stray dogs, don't engage them.
4. There is no shopping or duty free at airport, so you must buy before leaving. You need to take a taxi to get anywhere near a place to shop.

What made our entire trip was taking the Jungle Tour from Sunwing. We booked it at the resort (they provide coupons) and it was from 7:30-6. You get to take a drive to outside Panama City in a nicely air conditioned van with Lenny who was a wonderful tour guide and so passionate about Panama. You then board a small covered boat and actually go on the Panama Canal and learn the history as you go right by huge cargo ships. Then you take inlets off the canal into the jungle where you look for wild life in their natural setting...not staged. We saw howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, Tamarin Monkeys, cranes, iguanas, sloths, toucans and numerous other birds. Then you dock at a floating house in the middle of the jungle and eat a locally prepared Panamanian meal steamed in palm leaves, they also have beer and drinks for you. You can relax there as you decide to kayak and go to a small waterfall or fish in the jungle. Then you take a nice ride back on the canal. I can't tell you how great this tour was, we highly recommend it and did I mention we interacted with monkeys and fed them? They even held my hand.....thank you Riu Playa Blanca, Sunwing and Panama for such a memorable trip.
Be positive and think of the culture and the fact you are on holidays...don't let little insignificant things ruin your vacation. We will be back and we have already recommended this location to others.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank har8cin5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2017

We got what we expected. Hot sun, good rum and black sand beach. What we did not expect was how loud it is everywhere. It didn't depend on the language or nationality, there wasn't a quiet spot. Even on the beach everyone had their own music on top of the hotels.

The other thing is that the ocean is brown. There's a river that empties on the side of the hotel, so when is rains the ocean side of the hotel is brown. If you are a bit adventurous, pack your beach bag, bring something to drink and go over the other side of the rocks. There the water is bluer and quiet, almost like a deserted beach.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank dewdaz
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,

Thank you for choosing our hotel and for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are delighted to read that the weather was as pleasant as you had expected during your stay.

On the other hand, we would like to apologize that you felt disturbed by some of our other guests and the noise at our hotel. As you might already know the main priority at our resorts is to give our best to make all of our guests feel comfortable. We will share your impressions with the corresponding department in order to make adjustments.

We hope to get the chance to welcome you again at one of our RIU hotels in order to deliver the high standards of guest service and quality which are typical at our resorts.

With our best wishes we remain,

Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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