Two outdoor pools, one with separate kids' section
Large gardens with plenty of loungers and lawn space
Some guest rooms feature sea-view balconies
Simple kid-friendly summer activities program
Decent buffet dining with live cooking stations
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Set in noisy, party-heavy area away from the beach
Guest rooms have dated decor and amenities, with no AC
Limited on-site leisure facilities
Some units are prone to street noise
The Hotel Riu Playa Park is a run-of-the-mill three-pearl all-inclusive, situated in the lively and popular resort of El Arenal. Its location is far from ideal at about a 10-minute walk to the beach, though younger guests here to party appreciate proximity to the strip. The 385 guest rooms are simple and tidy but they have a dated look and lack air-conditioning, and some lower-level units are prone to noise. Other than two outdoor pools, leisure and kid-friendly amenities are limited, though buffet dining is decent enough. Overall, it's not up to the Riu chain's usual standards, and will appeal to few beyond those looking for pretty basic digs close to nightlife. For a quieter option that offers better value, check out Hotel Oleander, which is also closer to the beach.
Dated chain hotel with all-inclusive plan popular with younger revelers
Built at the end of the sixties, the nine-story Hotel Riu Playa Park has all the charm you might expect of a mid-range property geared largely toward the more hedonistic end of the vacation market. While generally clean and adequately maintained, interiors feel dated and lackluster, with decor and furnishings sporting a distinctively last-millennium look that's functional and underwhelming. The property's three acres is comprised of terra-cotta tile sun terrace and rolling shady lawns dotted with pine and palm trees. A mix of all-inclusive drinking and high-spirited clientele means it's not a particularly family-friendly environment—or even ideal for couples looking to relax.
Next to El Arenal's nightlife strip and 10-minute stroll to beach
The Hotel Riu Playa Park is located between the relatively peaceful residential neighborhood of Les Meravelles and the big, boisterous resort of El Arenal. Just around the corner from the hotel is the area's main drag, lined with noisy bar, clubs, and strip joints. It's also set away from the beachfront promenade and Playa de Palma beach, at up to 10 minutes away on foot. The golden sandy beach is long and wide, with calm shallow water, but can still feel overcrowded at high season. The location does mean easy access to the capital of Palma, just a 10-minute drive away, and Palma de Mallorca Airport can be reached in about five minutes by car.
Simple but dated decor and amenities, though some have sea-view balconies
Guest rooms have basic, functional decor and they're well-maintained, but the overall look is dated, with older tile flooring, varnished wood furniture, and lumpy textured walls. Standard doubles measure a modest 195 square feet (18 square meters), though larger family rooms are available that sleep up to four guests. All open to terraces or balconies, but no AC is a drawback. Cooling is providing by ceiling fans, and some guests find beds on the hard side. In-room amenities are generally poor, with small tube-style TVs (with very limited English channels), old-fashioned key-operated safes, and telephones. In-room Wi-Fi is available free of charge, and it works well in most areas of the hotel. Bathrooms come with shower/tub combos and minimal toiletries, but no hairdryers. Some higher-up units offer partial sea views, though they also overlook the airport. Lower-level rooms are prone to some street noise.
Two outdoor swimming pools, otherwise limited kid-friendly and leisure facilities
It's fair to say that Hotel Riu Playa Park covers the basics for a mid-range property, plus a little more. There are two outdoor swimming pools, both large enough for a swim, and one has a separate kids' section; loungers are generally plentiful, though noisy groups can limit relaxation opportunities around the pool. An animation program for children runs during the summer months, though activities are not daily and kid-friendly facilities are limited to a small playground. A heated indoor pool opens in cooler weather. On-site sports facilities offer little beyond volleyball, ping-ping, and pool.
Food is standard all-inclusive fare, with most meals taking place in the main buffet restaurant, which looks slightly dated, but it's bright and clean. Breakfast is a highlight, with freshly cooked eggs and pancakes, while lunch and dinner also offer some live cooking and the occasional themed buffet. There are no a la carte options, though snacks are served between mealtimes, usually from the poolside bar, which also has self-service drink machines. An indoor bar opens in the evening, plus there's (mostly underwhelming) entertainment in the lounge on most nights. Wi-Fi is free throughout.
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