Hotel Overview

Hotel Riu Playa Blanca is located on the shore of the Cocle beach in Panama.  Its exclusive service and complete facilities offer a variety of activities, sports and entertainment to all clients, making each stay a wonderful vacation with family and friends.

In the hotel you will find different buffet and thematic restaurants to taste delicious Panamanian gastronomy, a refreshing swimming-pool and one gym in order to maintain the rhythm during your vacation. Throughout the day you will be able to join different activities with our team. You will be able to dance, to sing, do some aqua gym, volleyball… and the children will find Riuland. At night you will enjoy the shows, live music, and the discotheque; or perhaps just enjoying a cocktail under the moonlight.  Come to Coclé Beach and enjoy relaxing days in Hotel Riu Playa Blanca.


Scarlett Martinez International Airport : 5 miles
Tocumen International Airport (PTY) : 93 miles

Property Information

Year Built: 2014
Floors: 7
Room: 573


Hotel Details


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Hotel Advisories

Advisory Student Groups/Spring Breakers (either groups or individuals, regardless of age) are not allowed at any time during the year. Guests disturbing or generating complaints from other guests or hotel may be removed from the property, at their own expense. Parties in rooms are not permitted.

General Policies & Fine Print

Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM
Minimum Check-In Age: 18
General Policies:
Check-in Policy - Deposits or credit/debit card hold authorizations are not requested at check-in. Minimum age of 18 is required for check-in, an ID/Passport will be requested upon arrival.

Convention Policy - Individuals attending a convention cannot book this property for their stay. If found attending a convention, guests may be subject to higher room rates upon arrival.

Hotel Spring Break Policy - Student Groups/Spring Breakers (either groups or individuals, regardless of age) are not allowed at any time during the year. Guests disturbing or generating complaints from other guests or hotel may be removed from the property, at their own expense. Parties in rooms are not permitted.

Transfer Policy - A price may display when children stay free, if your vacation includes transfer to your hotel.

General Information - Room taxes and service fees are included in vacation price.  Minimum night stay restrictions may apply.  Reservation changes may not be permitted unless authorized by the hotel.
Pet Policy Pets Not Allowed

Customer Ratings & Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.0 4692 reviews
  • 5.0 star tripadvisor rating
    Moore family vacation

    The setting at the resort was very magical, l will remember it for a very long time, my kids had fun. I will recommend Riu playa blanca to everyone l know!

    Apr 19, 2024
  • 2.0 star tripadvisor rating
    3 star hotel masquerading as a 5

    This was my second time in Panama but first at the Riu Playa Blanca. I did not use sunwing or tripadvisor to book my trip and instead booked directly via Riu and separate flights as we were travelling from Toronto and to Montreal. I read reviews here and elsewhere so knew what I was getting into in terms of the black sand beach and wavy ocean so this didn’t factor into my star rating. I was fine with the beach and ocean as I love to swim no matter what. Would I have wanted a white sandy beach with crystal clear water? Yes. Did I know I wasn’t gonna get that here? Also yes. Did I know the horse people would harass us? Also yes. Here is my review and why I still give it 2 stars. 1. Riu did not have any shuttles and will not help you book a taxi from the Rio Hato airport. They did send me an email to try and arrange my own shuttle but the company they recommended don’t do shuttle service (only tours) so I just left it up to chance and was lucky to get a taxi to Riu which is only a 10 minute drive from that airport. The tour company did give me a contact for a private shuttle and they responded to me but as I said, I left it up to chance! 2. Check-in was good and we got a partial ocean view instead of garden which is great because the garden view is a barren wasteland. Dead grass, dirt, and a few horse and cows running around. Nothing pretty, that’s for sure. 3. The room was basic with a balcony, safe, spacious bathroom, flatscreen, aircon. the coolest thing was the little mini bar and alcohol dispenser with four bottles, which was refilled every two days with two beer, two water, two coke, sprite/orange drink. One of the dispensers leaked everyday and made a little puddle at the minibar. We were worried about ants so cleaned it up daily ourselves in addition to the housekeeping service. The towels were pretty old looking and they only give you two plus two had towels. they don’t give you a floor mat towel so it gets slippery and you need to use a hand towel. They do NOT provide shampoo, conditioner or lotion. They have a soap dispenser attached to the shower but nothing else. I forgot my shampoo and assumed they just didn’t have any until the second last day when I saw it on a housekeeping cart so I asked for one to be provided, which they did. Housekeeping was nice. The TV didn’t have Netflix or anything so I don’t think it’s a smart tv. the air conditioner temperature also cannot be changed so you’re either super hot or super cold, no in between which caused us to get up a couple times in the night to switch it on and off. It’s very hot in Panama end of April (feels like 40 Celsius) so an AC is a must. Would’ve been nice to be able to control the temperature. The pillows (a total of 2) were not comfortable and they only give you a thin sheet to cover and a scratchy brown blanket. But overall, it was an ok room but probably a 3 star hotel - maybe 4 but that’s a stretch. 4. There’s a mini store at the resort which was good cause we needed Benadryl and they had it for a good price. They had sunscreen, red bull, chips, and other things. Nice people working there. 5. The food was pretty good. It was always a variety and plentiful in the buffet. The times for the buffet were a bit odd though as breakfast closed at 1030 and lunch opened at 1230 and there was NO FOOD available between those two hours. The sports bar did not have their usual little fruit cups and Sandwiches during this time. So if you woke up late, you’d need to wait for lunch. Or if you woke up early, you’d have to wait a while to eat lunch. We ran into the latter problem regularly. The sportbar food at late night was not good at all. All they had were sliced bread sandwich, little tiny fruit cup, stale tortillas, uncooked hotdogs, and cold chilli. No salsa, no guac. I kid you not the hotdogs were uncooked. I saw a burger one time. The lobby bar doesn’t serve anything until 10AM. Not even cappuccinos. There also isn’t anything near the beach or pool to eat so you have to do a little journey back to the buffet or sports bar. If you have mobility issues or are elderly, this could be a bit annoying. 6. The pools were good in size but the water was always p*ss warm. the swim up bar in the adults only pool was fun. 7. Mostly a Spanish speaking crowd in the resort when we went. A few Canadians but not many. That’s all fine but I think the Spanish crew got a bit better service than the anglo crowd at the bars. On the weekend, it’s much busier as Panamanians come for a weekend or night trip. just keep that in mind in terms of restaurants and lounger availability. 8. Overall, the staff were not the friendliest. The buffet staff were the kindest but it was clear they were very busy. The restaurant staff were ok. the food at the restaurant was just ok. Nothing to write home about but we enjoyed it enough! 9. The drinks were also good. I’d hope so cause it’s an all inclusive. 10. We did a tubing trip and that was fun. The staff again were not friendly but we enjoyed ourselves. 11. There was a foam party which seemed fun. We didn’t really partake much but we saw lots of people have a good time. I liked the infinity pool but didn’t spend much time as there’s no shade there. 12. It was easy enough to find a sunbed or lounger at the beach and the pools. We never had an issue. 13. Dont lose your room key or your towel or card. They will charge you $20 per towel card and $5 per room key. This isn’t very 5 star hotel like tbh. We had to bring our towels back every evening to get our card and then trade our card in the morning for a towel. We stayed late one day and the towel place was closed so we had to take our wet towels to our room which was kind of annoying because there is only one set of elevators and our room was very far from them. If you have mobility issues or anything, ask for a room closer to the elevators. We always had to walk for what seemed like an eternity to get to our room from the elevators. We also chose to do stairs as it was much closer to the pool that way. 14. We didn’t go to the club or see a show. It didn’t look appealing to us and also the timing of everything was odd. We would have dinner at 630 (as we didn’t want to have to line up for a la carte) but the show doesn’t start until 930. One day we went for a la carte at 830 and couldn’t get in so you either have to go early and do no show (or come back for show) or line up and then go to the show. the a la carte places close at 9. Kinda unusual. Overall, for the price we paid, it wasn’t a bad resort but it is most certainly not a 5 star. Maybe 3 or 3.5. I will never return and would never pay more than we did (1K CAD for 6 nights for two people without flights). The staff really make a place and this resort was a miss in most areas except food. We were ready and happy to leave (and had to pay for room key fee (we misplaced it while packing) and also towel fee cause we accidently left our towel in the room and they made us either bring it back down or pay the fee. Our shuttle to Panama tocumen airport was arranged via nexus tours and he was nice and safe. Just a side note, Panama is so so so hot and the sun is strong. Be careful. I have brown skin but am suffering from skin boils and peeling as I went in to the water for 30min x 2 without reapplying sunscreen and got burnt to a crisp.

    Apr 14, 2024
  • 4.0 star tripadvisor rating
    Riu Playa Blanca very nice vacation but beware of the heat

    Back now a couple of weeks from Riu Playa Blanca. Lovely resort. Staff very respectful and complimenting. Room was standard and we had no problem with it. In room liquor dispensor was not filled while we were there but didn't matter, we didn't use it anyway. Mini fridge was stocked with water, soda, beer regularly. Very Hot in Panama. Beach too hot to walk on without sandals which I didn't like because I do like to walk the beaches bare footed. Also, couldn't go into the ocean because of the stingray warning. Food was excellent. Usually dont eat much on trips but this time ate and ate. Great selection of dishes. Fruit was fresh, bread was fresh and many many choices of dishes. Entertainment was okay. Make sure you get up early to put your towel, books or anything else on a chair around the pools because they get taken before 8am. Bars were fine, no complaints. Probably wouldn't go back because of the flight being 6 hrs and the fact that we couldn't walk the beach without sandals or go into the pools without sandals wearing around the pool deck. Your feet with burn unless you wear sandals. Hotel itself was good.

    Apr 11, 2024
  • 4.0 star tripadvisor rating
    RIU One and Done... but not what you think

    Riu One and Done - April 1 - April 9 So I just got back from 1 week stay at the Riu Playa Blanca in Panama with Sunwing - landed in Rio Hato Airport - Rio Hato Panama So this airport was about 5 min drive to the resort Riu Playa Blanka. Really small no duty free or resturants nothing. so process is fast in and out. The airport is just for canadian?! - Pro Tip - When leaving go to the sports bar and grab sandwitches and fruit to "bring home" they are allowed on the airport also bottle water from your mini fridge Riu Playa Blanca - Hotel Check in When you arrive, Cold drinks upon arrival and a check in was very fast they had everything prepared for you already! *Do not lose your cards they are pricey to replace towel card ($25) room key $5 USD Rooms We were originally in 5068 far wing with only stairs closer to the pool area. The rooms were standard RIU Rooms but If you can request a room closer to the elevator. like we did save your knees the hike. S/O to the Front Desk for making that happen!! Amazing difference i dont remember her name but (she was short and looked like invisaline teeth) but she moved our rooms the day after to 5042 and it was a Vacation Changer. Sports Bar Smaller sports bar where you can get all your drinks and lounge in the air conditioning Late Night food basic bar food hamburgers and hotdogs. Pretty good TBH. They have TVs and pool tables which cost $5 US to use. Lobby Bar Wind Tunnel. Amazing spot to sit in the morning and just relax. I spent sometime here in the mornings having a coffee and looking at the view. Great Reflection Point. Buffet Large Buffet with lots to choose from, No compaints get the eggs well done and the Guacamole was amazing. Restaurants - Chinese, Italian, Steakhouse Chinese was the worst, Italian was amazing, Steakhouse gave my partner 3 day food poisoning. I do recommend going earlier as they do first come, first serve, and no reservations. ** Somedays they put tacos by the adult pool - 100 percent recommend eating at those the tacos and mix were the best food on resort. so ask what days those were. they did it twice Night life - shows at Night and night club The shows at night were not that great, pretty poor, to be honest. The night club was a typical night club. Mostly spanish music i would have to tip $ to get a song request and it goes back into spanish (Boring Vibes) 2 Pools Main pool Tons of kids running around and no bar Adult Pool Busy but not your typical party crowd, so if you enjoy lounging and talking with an older crowd this spot is for you. It has your typical style swim up bar. No kids are allowed, and they are strict on that. Beach Rocky, sharp, Ashes from the volcano and Public to everyone. As soon as you get on the beach its free reign anyone can be there. with that being said mans on the horses will come up to you and ask for a horse ride. $25-$50 kindly decline and go on with your day. The beach has jelly fish and very wavy. Entertainment Staff They gerneraly stayed on the kid pool other than the DJ on the adults pool (no foam party?) 1 time. so i didnt really see them until night time! Party at the beach must go really fun!! and 10th year anniversery was also really fun other than that entertainment is what you make it Overall this Riu is a One and Done for me. it was a majority families and older people and groups travelling with 10 or more people. so for the time being we will pass on this hotel until maybe we have a family or get older. The Staff were amazing from housekeeping to front desk. Just not the party vacation we were hoping for....

    Apr 11, 2024
  • 5.0 star tripadvisor rating
    Amazing vacation & resort

    From check in to check out, every part of our vacation was relaxing and fun! The resort is amazing - extremely clean; delicious food (we went to all restaurants other than the Asian as we always ate too late to get a table); and very friendly, hard-working staff! The entertainment staff are so energetic and enthusiastic, it made every nightly show fun to watch. The ocean is not the best for swimming in as the current can be strong and you have to aware of jellyfish at times. However the beach area has lots of sunbeds under palm trees and are close enough to the pool to cool down when needed. There are vendors set up on the beach each day (morning/early afternoon), who sell a good selection of clothing/hats/giftware at the best prices. The pool areas are very clean and water is tested by staff throughout the day. We spent most of our time in the adult only pool and, yes, the sunbeds get taken quickly, but it gave us a reason to get up early to choose where we wanted to lie, and make the most of our days in Panama. We had an oceanview room, which had an amazing view! The rooms are cleaned daily if needed and the minibar is refilled every second day. If you need anything refilling at other times, you can order it using the RIU app and it is delivered very quickly. There is a good choice of excursions to book to see more of this beautiful country. We chose to visit Gatun Lake and Anton Valley - we booked both trips through Sunwing on the flight over (it can work out a little cheaper than paying in US$$ at the resort). We enjoyed both and they didn't take up the full day so we got to enjoy late afternoon back at the resort. We will definitely go back to this resort - maybe with our adult children and grandchildren next time as it is a resort that caters to all age groups.

    Apr 04, 2024

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