We have stayed at both resorts and woud never go back to the Riu Playacar the AC didn't work good and there was mold/mildew problems in our room
. We are going back to the Barcelo for the 3rd time Feb. 2008 and staying at the Palace . We love the Barcelo Maya and never leave the resort once we are there
. If you like to travel around and do tours the Barcelo is not very close to anything . Good luck .