Letter from Carmen and Luis Riu to RIU Hotels & Resorts workers

date_range 6 April, 2020 label question_answer 34 Comments
Luis Riu and Carmen Riu, owners of the RIU hotel group

Luis Riu and Carmen Riu, owners of the RIU hotel group.

I’ve been thinking for days about how to talk on my blog about the extremely difficult situation we are facing now. When my sister Carmen and I wrote this letter, I decided that the best thing to do would be to share with everyone the same message we have just sent to our employees. So, here it goes, intact, just like our collaborators have received it:

Dear collaborators:


Today we closed the last hotel that was still open. Never, not even four weeks ago, did we ever imagine that this was going to happen.But here we are, with all 99 hotels closed.


Perhaps in the early days we hoped that this crisis would not prove to be so serious. But today we know it is the greatest emergency we have ever had to face. We have never experienced anything like this before. Never before has a depression, recession or crisis situation affected the entire world, at the same time, totally paralysing our activities in all 19 countries where we have hotels and in all the markets that our customers come from.


We have been through hard times over the many years that RIU can look back on: a total of 67. In some crisis situations, our grandparents and parents were at the helm, but in others, we were the ones making the decisions. All experience is valuable, but the fact is that nothing had prepared us for this onslaught. Never before had we been forced to take the decision to close all our hotels. Every one. All 99 of them. One after another, over a short three-week period. That is why we made some communication mistakes that caused anxiety and uncertainty. We want to apologise to you for that.


But we can assure you that we, the CEOs and all the company directors, are working tirelessly to make swift decisions that reflect the gravity of the situation. And we are working with a single aim in mind: to ensure RIU’s viability. All our efforts are focused on resisting these highly-charged times, without revenue, to stay in a position that will allow us to reopen the hotels as soon as possible. We do not know with any certainty how long this situation is going to last, and we have to work as hard as we can today to make sure we can open tomorrow.


We want to thank all the collaborators in central services who are still working now to maintain the company. And those who are in the hotels, keeping our assets up to scratch so that we can restart operations when it is possible. And, above all, we want to thank all the workers who are staying at home. Thank you for your understanding.


Our aim is to get back to work. Open our hotels. Bring our workforce back in. Get back to the position we were in before. That is our aim, but today we want you to know that it is also our promise to the whole RIU team. We feel responsible for directing this company well so that the 31,000 families that depend on this work can come back to it.


Hotels without staff are just buildings. You are the ones that give meaning to RIU, through your professionalism, enthusiasm and good service. That is why, as we said, we are working to be able to count on your support again. We do not know when, exactly, we will be able to start reopening the hotels, and it will probably take place gradually. We hope that, little by little, we can once again become the big family that we have been up to now.


With our heartfelt thanks, take care of yourselves and we hope that you and the people you love the most stay healthy.


Carmen and Luis Riu

Fdo. Luis Riu


  • Simone McFarlane Gardener

    Just want to say thanks Mr and Mrs Riu for having me on your team at the Riu Reggae in Jamaica…. I pray and I know that this virus too shall pass and Riu will come back stronger than ever… keep safe now….

    • Michael Fitzpatrick

      My wife and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Reggae as soon as possible. The staff there is absolutely AMAZING!!!

  • Tamera

    Thanks for your concern I understand what you are saying everything is well said. you guys stay safe has well. Hope this virus thing get over has soon has possible. I enjoy working with the company have learn a lot once more stay safe.

  • Javon brown

    Good evening Mr & Mrs riu I greatly appreciate the time and effort you people take to write this letter to let us know how caring you are, no one know this would have happen but inspire of the situation I just want to say to you keep strong take care of yourself and your love ones stay safe, the day will come when we’re gonna open back for business that great riu family will meet again. Thank you again for looking out for your riu staff!!! One love one family

  • Kadian Johnson.

    Kadian Johnson..Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica, Mr and Mrs Riu,thank you also for your consideration and I am happy to be apart of the Riu family. Please keep safe you and your family also.
    Thanks again, much love.

  • Jaouad fakhir

    Good morning Mr and Mrs riu I wish that you are in good condition I am glad to be part of riu tikida taghazout in Morocco I wish all this will end soon, I wish evreay part of riu team be safe

  • Brian Lees

    To Luis and Carmen
    Well done for the swift action which you took in closing down your hotels ,we were in Mexico at PRM till the 16/03/2020 at which time we returned to the UK so we had a fantastic holiday ,however this virus which will attack anyone has no gender or age preference .l think you have done the best for all of your employees in the circumstances .
    So hopefully we will holiday with you in August in Tenerife
    Keep up your support #stayathome and #staysafe for the future
    Thank you

  • Anwar Hussain

    Forcing staffs to sign and send email to request for no pay is not acceptable, we have families to look after and we gave our best to give the best service for your company and when tough time comes leaving us without support is so inhumanity. RIU management pls show some mercy.

  • Hannah Russell

    How are your staff being treated during this time? I would like to no if staff are still being paid? Also have you had to let staff go? I visit riu several times a year around the world, and am interested how you are treating your staff during this crisis?

    • Riu Hotels

      Hi Hannah!

      Thanks for writing us! We’ve had to make the painful decision to temporarily close our hotels. We have adapted to the legislation in force in each country always thinking about the welfare of all workers. Our priority is to overcome this crisis situation, resume the operation and recover all our employees.

      Kind Regards,
      RIU Hotels & Resorts

  • Bianca Henderson

    Thanks for all you are doing.

  • Krista Barr

    What you are doing is so important for the safety of your staff and guests. We travel Mexico to stay at your RIU hotels and tried the new Baja California last October. We booked again for 2 weeks in October for my 50th birthday but have been told the resort will not open until November now. I understand why and am not upset. I would rather see everyone healthy and get through this. I love Mexico and the kind staff at your resorts who give 100% to the guests. Please take care of your family and know we will always be RIU guests.

  • Peter Ashworth

    Carmen and Luis please keep doing what you do so well – in the RIU family we have faith!

  • Rob

    Hi to everyone @ Riu. My wife & I are devoted fans of the Riu family. This is not because of the beautiful hotels or even locations, it is you, the Riu family who makes all our dreams come true. We were hoping to join the families in Morocco and Madeira this summer but Covid had put paid to that. But we will be back with you soon so keep up the good work. We do so appreciate everything you do for us. So keep safe, keep healthy, keep focused and soon, very soon we can all be back together
    Love zrob & Tracey from UK

  • Judith Dalton

    Hi from the U.K. in lockdown. I read your heartfelt letter to your staff and customers. It was really heartwarming to see how much you care for all of your staff and your hotels. As regular visitors to Riu hotels, especially our favourite The Riu Palace Tres Islas I emulate your thoughts and good wishes to the staff there who welcome us every visit like a family member. We hope to return soon but in the meantime we close our eyes in the warmth of our garden and imagine we are by the pool, taking lunch overlooking the beach and a drink at the pool bar at the end of the afternoon. Take care, stay safe and we wish all our friends in Fuerteventura good health until we meet again.

  • Anne Davies

    28th April 2020
    Dear Mr & Mrs Riu,
    We regularly visit your RIU Monica hotel in lovely Nerja. We are sad that we will have to wait a while to return due to this horrid situation the world is in.
    We cannot wait to be able to go back to your amazing hotel again & see all the wonderful caring , friendly staff again, who look after us so well. Each and every member of staff at RIU Monica are a credit to your company & make this place so special.
    Cannot wait to be back as we left a day before Spain’s lockdown.
    Couldn’t help but cry when the plane took off!
    Sending you love and best wishes
    From my mum Marion, & myself Anne xx

  • Tracy

    When do you think or will be trying to reopen riu in Cabo? Trip planned for 2 week in June, wondering if we should try to change dates

  • Karen

    Take care and staying safe is paramount, we are due at Rui palace costa Mujeres in July, it’s a case of waiting and crossing fingers we will be able to travel, if not we will get to you at some point.Stay safe everyone love from Scotland in lockdown xx❤️

    • Tammie Cooper

      Luis and Carmen, you have done an outstanding job under the circumstances. I will be back to Mexico in July. It’s my way of supporting the Riu Family that has taken such good care of me through the years. I have read the protocols for reopening and plan to make the best of it while remaining safe and keeping others safe.
      Thank you both. We are all in this together.

  • Michael Fitzpatrick

    My wife and I have only visited three Different Riu resorts, we’ve visited the Palace Las America’s, Palace Montego Bay, and Riu Reggae in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Though, only those three, we’ve stayed at the Reggae twice and the Palace once. We had booked the Reggae for next week, for the third time, only to have our hearts crushed with the devastating news that we could not go. We still chat with our two favorite people there regularly, and are saddened at their plight to survive. We sincerely hope That you’ll be opening in Jamaica very soon and have at least MOST of the original staff return. So many things just wouldn’t be the same without them. We love and miss Latoya and Shantan very much.

  • Alicia Boisvert

    We are part of Riu for life and it is because we feel at home away from home, it is because your service is beyond five stars. We go to Riu Republica every time we go on vacations, we made friends with staff and talk to them often. Please be safe! We will be back when this is over. I was looking forward the 29th of May to land in my favorite place but faith is telling us to wait. See you soon my friends!!!

  • Temistocles Mozart Faria

    Estimados luis e Carmen Riu Guell,, tínhamos estadia compradas para 06 pessoas em 03 suítes no Hotel Riu Caribe – Cancun – México de 03 a 11 de Maio de 2020. Entendemos que a vossa preocupações é para manter o bem estar de todos nós hospedes e os funcionários e
    agradecemos o privilegio de ter recebido a vossa carta. Estamos com dificuldade em conseguir alterar as datas para uma nova reserva junto as agencias de viagem, gostaríamos muito de estar novamente no Hotel Riu Caribe-Cancun no período de 22 a 30 de Novembro de 2.020, mas esperamos poder conseguir para usufruir de todas as maravilhas do vosso Hotel Riu Caribe que tem a nos oferecer novamente em Novembro 2020 contamos vossa colaboração.Somos todos membros do Riu Class

  • Bally

    Luis and Carmen, you have done an outstanding job under the circumstances. I will be back in Dominican Republic in October 2020. It’s my way of supporting the Riu Family that has taken such good care of me through the years. Just wondering whether you have any dates in opening any off the hotels in Punta Cana.
    Thank you both. We are all in this together.

  • Sara Badillo

    We have reservation at RIU JALISCO . We were supposed to go in April 2020. We changed travel plans for July 1, 2020. Do you know if things may be back up and running by July 1, 2020 ? I read other comments that say maybe not te opening until November ? What is the truth ?

  • Paul

    Hi, my wife and I are booked for two weeks from 5th July for our anniversary do we think you will be back open? We miss you all.

  • Heather

    Due to the current circumstances, the hotel we have booked (RIU Palace Santa Maria) will not now be open for the dates we booked. Will the current RIU Palace be maintained until the opening of the new Palace, as it was to be downgraded to ‘adults only’ in November this year?
    I would also like to add that this hotel has the best staff if the world, and we are looking forward to seeing them all again.

    • Riu Hotels

      Hi Heather!

      Thank you very much for your nice comment about the fantastic staff! If you have any questions about the hotel, please contact [email protected]. They will be happy to help you!

      Kind Regards,
      RIU Hotels & Resorts

  • Ronald F. Quarles

    Luis and Carmen, Thank you for the update on the Riu Hotels.
    We are regular Riu Hotel customers, having stayed 12 times, Once at Riu Cancun, once at Riu Playacar and 10 times at Riu Palace Mexico, in Playa del Carmen.
    Your staff make these Hotels the great places that they are, to stay at. We’re hoping to be going back this year again and we hope that all of your same employees are back with you there. They are all like family to us.
    When your Hotels open back up and we are able to go back again, I’m hoping that everyone shows appreciation to the workers, who have been laid off for months, by tipping them generously. They work hard and really appreciate our tips. Help them out please. If we can afford to go on vacation, we can afford to tip these wonderful workers. Thank you.

  • Suzanne Sotnick

    Stay strong Carmen, Luis and the greater Riu family. It will all come good again. Yes you’re right the hotels are just buildings without the bustle of clients and staff.

  • Suzanne Sotnick

    It is a worrying time for you all. Carmen and Luis stay strong. Things will come good again. I look forward to seeing your hotels bustling with guests and the Riu teams. Suzanne

  • Corinne James

    The RIU Resorts are by fare my favorite and first choice when traveling. I am greatly saddened to read this. When you re-open I will be one of the first to book a vacation at one of your resorts in Mexico. Being from Canada I usually come to one of your resorts at least twice a year and I know I will see you and your amazing staff soon.

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