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Riu Resorts Leads Big-Box All-Inclusives Into the 21st Century

November 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM | by | ()

The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo

In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resortsone of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.

After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.

Except now, RIU is.

You can stay in an adults-only wing at the Riu Palace Macao in the D.R.

Our favorites of these new offerings:

Women-Only Floors
Branded ‘W’ Double-U in some snazzy Spanish-to-English wordplay styling, this accommodation type will be available in select Riu Plaza hotels, starting in Riu Plaza Guadalajara. These female-only floors will feature same-sex staff, special beauty products at reception, in-room yoga and stretching kits, free premium mini-bar and other extras. Double-U rooms carry an additional charge.

Adults-Only Hotels
The company's first adults-only property in the Americas is RIU Palace Macao in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. It's located inside the Riu Resorts complex together with the Riu Palace Punta Cana, ClubHotel Riu Bambu, and Hotel Riu Naiboa, so this is a a haven, in a sprawling resort complex. For this renovation, the loud-and-splashy Kid Zone is being replaced with a new pool and swim-up bar; suites with hydromassage baths will be available; there will be a patisserie-café in the lobby; and (cha-ching!) a casino. There are also adults-only properties in Europe, plus “Adults-Only Zones” in other properties such as the new RIU Touareg in Cape Verde on the western coast of Africa.

In-Room WiFi.
It'll be available in all 13 RIU Palace resorts across the Americas (and by that, we mean Latin America and the Caribbean). Seriously, on behalf of all Facebook-addicted people in the world: Thanks, RIU, and welcome to the modern age. Now, just make it free like in the communal areas, and we’ll really be friends.

Mini-Portioned Plates at Buffets
RIU, we’ve been your guests at lunchtime, lugging plates full of French fries and chicken tenders to the table. We’ve washed them down with strawberry daiquiris, and felt the heartburn that follows. So, seeing you introduce small-plate gourmet selections like roast beef and artichoke salad, we’re thinking, “Now that’s more civilized.” Pricier, all-inclusive brands have been offering tinier portions for a long time, and it has never to our knowledge led to a guest starving, but it does make them feel less piggish. That’s a good thing. The culinary program launched at Riu Palace Bavaro, and is projected to be available at 13 RIU Palace locations across the Americas (including Caribbean and Mexico) by April, 2013.

[Photos: Riu Hotels & Resorts]

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