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“Wonderful vacation!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Valentin Imperial Maya

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Valentin Imperial Maya
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 311 +500, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ponoka, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Wonderful vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Valentin March 7th to 14th. We were extremely happy with our vacation, despite a few hitches which were almost expected in a resort this new.

I agree with many of the other positive reviews and do not want to repeat what almost everybody else has said. I am going to try to come up with a few different points that haven't really been brought up...

Check In: We arrived at 10 am. Our room was not ready until 4 pm, which is the check out time they have posted in the lobby (as opposed to 3 pm which seems to be the opinion on Trip Advisor) Although I know there has been some lucky people that got into their rooms early, we just weren't one of them. Come prepared with full beach gear easily accessible and enjoy the day! Don't try walking around the resort for 6 hours dressed in anything heavier than a swim suit/cover up!

Beach: there is actually 3 seperate areas of palapas along the Valentin beach. The main beach has its own bar and
is right in front of the Mar & Tierra restaurant. It has quite a few palapas (sorry, I didn't count how many) and were usually reserved quite early in the morning (got there at 9 am and had to walk almost to the end). The next beach/palapa area is in front of the ocean front rooms and also has a bar. This was our favorite place for reading/relaxing and much easier to find an empty palapa. Unfortunately we did not discover this area until halfway through our trip. There is also another area, further along the beach to the south, in front of the far south ocean fronts. It was basically deserted, no bar, but if you are looking to be pretty much alone, this would be the place to be. There are rocky places in between each area that makes it a little harder to walk but the sand at each area is beautiful. Definately if you are wanting to enjoy the water, you would want to be at the main area.

Restaurants/Dress Code
We went to the Mar (seafood), Tierra (steak), Lobster Pot (lobster ONLY) Mexican, and Italian restaurants. All food was very good. The seafood was generally overcooked but still very tasty. The buffet for breakfast and dinner at Le Marche was consistently very good. Because we tend to eat early we never had to wait. The pager system they have in place for those that eat at rush hour seems to work well. One word of caution, however, at the Lobster/Mar/Tierra if you are having to wait for a half hour or so, you would have to walk all the way back to the main lobby area for a drink, there is no bar open at that time of day where you could have a relaxing drink close by. Not a huge issue, but if you walking isn't your bag, go to these restaurants early and avoid the rush.

If I could sum up the dress code that I would use as a guide to feel like I wasn't over/under dressed, it would be: no running shoes anywhere after dark, no jeans unless they were new and dark denim, jean skirts looked pretty iffy girls (sorry!), dressy sandals were great for women, closed toes casual shoes for men (think topsiders). Capris, absolutely.

Construction: the main areas of concern were that in most of the basic rooms, there was construction going on in the top floor, end penthouse suites. We were in building 3 initially, which was a great location. We were not willing to put up with the noise during afternoon siesta time. We asked politely to be moved, and they did - to a swim up suite at no extra charge.

Staff: We did not encounter one single person that did not seem to want to make our vacation as pleasurable as possible. They were all very polite and friendly and simply could not do enough for us. Exceptional in every regard.

One caution...if you are looking for a place to party, this is NOT IT!! Very quiet in the evenings.

We loved the Valentin. It was a wonderful holiday for adults that are looking for a relaxing vacation. We will not be able to afford it next year!

Stayed March 2008
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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NYC
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Valentin March 10-13. We wish we stayed longer.
I actually only joined tripadvisor to read all the reviews about the Valentine as I didn't know what to expect. After reading every review and message board topic, we left with open minds.
We stayed in room 7203, we were upgraded, however, the room had two double beds, not a king size. Other than that the room was great, we didn't have any problems.
We thought the food was really good. Ate at the steakhouse, Japanese, and Lobster Pot. My boyfriend thought the steak at the Japanese restaurant was better than at the steakhouse.
Our favorite spot was the beach between buildings 10 and 11 (?), there is a pathway leading to the bar. It's more private than the main beach by the main pool. There is another beach, even more secluded further down.
The pool is great too - we never had a problem getting chairs or floaties.
There were a few blackouts while we were there. I'm assuming this is normal, everything continued as usual once the lights came back on. The blackouts were very short - however, depending on where you are or what you are doing it could be very inconvenient. The resort doesn't have much lighting in general, which we found nice and romantic. There are never too many people around either, unless you are by the main areas.
We are planning on going back, but wonder if the Valentin will loose it's charm once all the rooms are complete and more people are there.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

We arrived, Sunday and have been having problems. I have called the hotel management, the concierge and have not been able to resolve problems. The room we were assigned to building 12 room 106 has no airconditioning and intermittent electricity.

On day one we arrived and were told to eat and that our room would be ready at 3:00. We returned to the front desk and there was no room. We were told to come back in 40 minutes. We did so and were given our room. The room itself looks very lovely but the electrical problems and no air make it difficult to stay in. Upon arrival we called the front desk (one touch service) we were told they would send maintenance. Maintenance did not arrive. We walked back to the front desk to speak with a person - again we were told we would get help - no help arrived. We went back and talked to a different person and requested a room change. We were told there were no available rooms. We were shown another room in building 5 and it to did not have a working fan or air and was very hot. We were told that if we stayed in building 12 they would send some one. Later that day a man did come and fix the air conditioning.

Day two - Intermitent power and the air conditioning went out again. I have called the concierge, I spoke to George at the front desk 3 to 4 times. In the evening there is a nice breeze off the ocean but because we are on the ground floor we can not keep the patio open. George told me he would call security and have someone watch the building so we could sleep with the patio doors open. From a safety stand point we decided not to do this. Last night I called for maintenance and each time I was told they were coming. Finally after one in the morning I gave up. We went to sleep with the patio closed - It is well over 80 degrees in the room.

Day three - It is 9:00 in the morning in Mexico. Still no air conditioning. We request that you contact the hotel management and please try to get us a room with air conditioning that works. We have spoken to others. We are not the only people staying at the Valentin that are having this problem. If we can't get air conditioning can you please request that we are moved to the second floor of the building so that we can sleep with the patio open.

The hotel is very lovely - The food is okay - we are from Chicago and the cooking does not compare to urban eateries. They use a lot of cream sauce on the food. The food is fresh and is better than most all inclusives. The service is slow.

We are not having a 5 star experience. Most of our vacation has been spent waiting for maintenance people. Our neighbors were moved from the room next door that was having problems. We booked the trip through bookit.com. I have emailed them twice and have not gotten a response. Hopefully we will get help later today from bookit.

Stayed March 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arlington , texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

I came here with my husband only. We are both 39. This is an adult only resort. No kids :-) This is a new hotel and very clean and nice. The food is very good at the restaraunts, above average. The buffet is the same as all other AI resorts, still good. The crowd is older, at least when we went, so it was hard on some days to get enough people to play volleyball or waterpolo. The pool is big and the beach is nice. You can swim at the north part of the beach but not the south part. (Still plenty of room to swim.) The shows were OK. If you are looking for night life at the hotel this is not for you. The bar was usually empty at night, except for a few. Probably because of the older crowd. It would be a fun place if you came with a larger group of people or other couples and made your own party and volleyball teams. The staff is very nice and join in the fun if you need more people. Overall it was a nice getaway from the kids and work. I would go again, but this time bring some friends.

  • Disliked — the older crowd
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2008

We just returned from a week at the Valentin Imperial (Mar. 8 - 15). We left Toronto just before a major snowstorm and arrived at the Valentin without any problems. We flew Air Transat that goes into the new terminal. We have had better luck getting through this terminal than the old one where you can line up for hours to get through immigration.

The Valentin has only been open for 3 months so there are still a few things to iron out. Overall, we thought it wa a great resort. A couple of negatives: they do need more lighting on foot paths at night, they need a better variety of food for lunch closer to the beach, they need to sort out the issues with the electricity which went out many times (8 times one day) and they are gonjg to need to spruce up the lagoon area as most of the vegitation is dead.

The food is excellent and unless you try to get into a restaurant at peak times (7 - 8 PM), you will not have any problems. If they are full, they give you a pager so you can go to the bar or just walk around. We went to the Japanese, Seafood, French, Mexican, Italian and Lobster restaurants. Our favourites were the Lobster and the Seafood. Not every restaurant is open every night so you need to check their daily schedule which they drop off at your room.

The entertainment was very good and there was live music at every breakfast and lunch and some dinners. They have their own band and the floor shows were good. Many of the shows start early which was nice if you did not want to stay up late at night.

The rooms were probably the best decorated and best use of space that we have stayed in. There are three areas to each room - a living area with a wide screen TV, a bedroom area again with a wide screen TV that is divided from the living area with room dividers, and the bathroom area has a jaccuzzi, double sinks, a tiolet and bidet stall and a shower stall. We were in building 7 on the main floor so we had the walkout to the meandering pool.

There is definitley a water theme to the landscaping as there are fountains, streams and pools everywhere. You could always hear the sound of moving water everywhere on the resort.

We really enjoyed our stay although it was very windy on the beach. I compare every resort to the Royal in Playa del Carmen and I have to admit that it is still my favourite, probably because it is right in town so there is always lots to do.

  • Liked — The rooms and the food
  • Disliked — The windy beach and the distance from Playa del Carmen
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2008

Stayed at the Valentin 3/10 thru 3/15. 5 of us traveled together, my husband and I, my college-aged son and daughter and my son's girlfriend. We had 2 rooms.

Our overall experience was a positive one. The entire area is clean, the food was outstanding, we enjoyed both the pool and beach areas. The only restaurant we did not eat at was the Italian. I concur about the lighting at the Lobster Pot; we couldn't read our menus because it was so dark. On the positive side there, my daughter doesn't like lobster so they let her order off the menu from the seafood restaurant, which is actually located at the same venue.

The staff and the food at the Japanese, French, and Mexican restaurants were absolutely top notch! Yes, the food portions are on the small side, but we ordered appetizers, salad, soup, main course, and dessert and were stuffed by the time the meal was over. The breakfast buffet is pretty typical of other all-inclusives. For lunch we preferred the restaurant by the beach--we only ate at the buffet for lunch one time. We all agreed that this place had the best food of any all-inclusive we have stayed at.

We used room service every morning for coffee and juice and it was delivered at precisely 7:00 a.m. every single day.

The people working at this resort (with the exception of the front desk) are absolutely the friendliest we have encountered in our many trips to all-inclusives. They only want to accommodate you and go out of their way to make you happy.

Now the negative things. First, the power went out numerous times every day/night. Sometimes only for a few seconds, sometimes for longer. Not a really big deal, but it was annoying, especially during dinner. We had asked for rooms next to each other when we made our reservations. We arrived about 10 a.m. and had to wait until 3:00 for our rooms. When we finally got them, they were not together. They were in the same building but not even on the same floor. The girls were in a room with a king bed; my husband, son, and I were in a room with 2 double beds. Upon inquiring about a change so we could be closer together, I was informed that we would have to wait until the next day as no rooms were available, and even then there was nothing right beside each other. I have trouble believing nothing else was available because it was obvious that this resort was not full. Only being there 5 days, it wasn't worth it to have to move after one day, so we stayed put.

We were put in building 8, which is a very long walk from everything. We were told that the golf cart shuttle would come by every 15 minutes. It doesn't. We complained several times about this. When a shuttle did make it to building 8, it was normally full. Construction was going on in our building, but it didn't cause us a problem as we were not in the room during the day. The girls did receive turn-down service. Our turn-down service was a knock at the door at about 10 p.m. and we were handed our mints and towels.

No internet in the rooms. My husband borrowed an ethernet cable at the front desk.

The mini-bar was stocked only with beer when we arrived. I sought out the guy who stocks it the next day and gave him a large tip to leave us coke, diet coke, juice and water. He left extra cans of it and filled it with what we wanted. Unfortunately, the next day we came back to the room and what we wanted was mostly gone-- with beer, again, being the main thing in the fridge.

Our door would not lock one evening, we called the front desk and they sent someone up right away to fix it. Well, actually, my husband helped him fix it. It wasn't operating the way it was supposed to but at least it would lock when we closed it. Light bulbs were missing from some of the lamps, but they fixed that the second day. Be aware that the a/c will not work unless your patio/balcony door is closed.

A few tips that worked well for us:
Arrive at the restaurant when they open, usually 6:00 pm. We never waited for a table by doing that. Tip your favorite bartender, waiter, etc. You will get even better service and top notch liquor every time. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. They will usually try to accommodate you (except, of course, for the front desk). Remember that you are on "Mexican time." Everything happens just a bit slower.

Don't take a taxi into town. Have the bus boy shuttle you to the highway by the front entrance. Cross the highway and stand by the side of the road. A large van with the words Playa Express will stop for you. (This is the bus) It costs 15 pesos ($1.50) per person to ride into Playa Del Carmen (as opposed to $22 one way for a taxi). The last shuttle leaves Playa at 9:30 p.m. Just tell them on your return trip what hotel you are at. When you arrive back at the Valentin, the guard will call for a golf cart shuttle to take you back to your room. No one will tell you this--they will recommend the taxi.

Do not miss the Michael Jackson show, it was outstanding. The circus show was also good. Sit in the back area if you don't like cigarette smoke.

All in all, the positives far outweighed the negatives. They just need to pay more attention to some of the little things. Most of this was covered in other reviews, so I won't go into them. This is a place to go to relax. There is not a lot of night life, things are pretty low key. But that's what we went for!

  • Liked — Food,
  • Disliked — Room was too far from everything--too much walking
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winnipeg
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2008

Our stay was Mar 1-and really enjoyed it.
We arrived at 11 a,m, and had trouble finding the check-in, several people gave us wrong directions. We got there just before a huge bus, and it only took a few minutes. We were told to come back for room at 3:30 to 4|30, in which time we were able to change to a room overlooking the pool with a glimpse of the ocean. Building 5.

Our room was the basic, but was lovely with a long balcony that provided both sun and shade. Almost everyday we ordered up coffee and fruit plates to have before we dressed for breakfast. We never preordered and it arrived everyday in 15 min. That was our only room service use, but others liked it so much they used it several nights for dinner. The menu is in a binder in the room, and the choices were really good.

Our balcony door also didn't lock but within a few days it was fixed, without us mentioning it. The maid must have noticed, cleaning up our dishes. The 2nd floor room was also perfect for watching the latin show theme night/dinner that was set up around the pool, and was the closest to the main beach.

The beach was beautiful, but very windy and we spent more time around the pool than usual. We did go in the ocean everyday, and jumped waves for about 1/2 hour. Very good exercise.

The pool is great and we enjoyed the floaties. Dito on other comments about the floaty savers. This was not the place to act so competitive. We met so many nice people and even discussed reviews read here before we went. It was nice to see so many couples of all ages enjoying each others company, and several families. The place was huge but you did see the same people. The absence of very many large groups seemed to make it friendlier than some resorts.

Our favorite aspect was no reservations for dinner, it gave us so much freedom to do things as we pleased. We did however miss almost all of the entertainment, which we have liked on other trips. The food was great, service usually perfect. We loved the lunch at the beach restaurant, my new favourite spot. The food, view, and service were great. Armondo put us in his section daily and kept the wine coming, which did tend to slow us down for the rest of the day. The serving size was perfect, had to remind myself I could have several courses. I would have felt bad to waste food in front of the mexican staff.

We liked for dinner, the japanese(would have the tempera and sushi samplers and skip the main course choices) and the mexican, which frequently have a mexican trio.

Breakfasts were good and had the lunch buffet once,which was also very good. That was the only time I really indulged on desert.(s)

We did one long excursion to Coba, with zip line, cenote and really enjoyed it. Our group was around 11 people with 8 from the valentin. We got to know another Canadian couple who were lots of fun, and had dinner together at the resort and shared a cab into Playa one evening. We also signed up for a free bus for shopping into Cancun. The guide was obviously on commission to bring tourists into malls, and took us to 3 malls, that were very simaliar. Took much longer than was stated, and not to where they stated, however it was raining anyways. I would say most people were not to happy they went, 6 hours for a few tee shirts.

The grounds are mostly planted but small and there was slight construction noise, nothing to worry about. Was not aware of anyone having real room issues. Lighting is poor at night, and we aware of the STEP as mentioned. (took days for my DH to remember).

Our whole plane was put up in the Moon Palace on the way home due to repair issues for 6 hours, which was fun, but I like the more outdoor feel of the Valentin's main buildings better.

Also as parents of 3 who don't get away much, loved the adult only aspect. We had a perfect holiday and give much credit to the Valentin for the no reservations, no towel cards, sun bed service, excellent liquor choices, room service, and room amenities. The intro price didn't hurt either.

  • Liked — Room service
  • Disliked — Lighting
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Valentin Imperial Maya

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 311 +500, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa del Secreto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa del Secreto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Valentin Imperial Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 540
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Valentin Imperial Maya is the new definition of paradise. Our 5 star Adults-Only (18+) All-Inclusive Resort is located a short 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport in the Riviera Maya. Set amid lavish gardens on a half-mile-long stretch of white sand beach named Playa Del Secreto (The Secret Beach), this magnificent award-winning resort boasts one of the largest swimming pools in Mexico. The location is ideal as one can easily reach Cancun and the world famous Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza, yet be removed enough to enjoy the casually elegant ambience of Valentin Imperial Maya. Escape into a world where your every wish is our command. Come indulge yourself....You deserve it! Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel & Spa is committed to preserve the environment by reducing the consumption of natural resources, promoting among our guests and staff, protection and respect for the environment through good environmental practices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
Valentin Imperial Maya Riviera Maya, Mexico

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