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“We'll be going back--again!” 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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Denver, CO
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
338 helpful votes 338 helpful votes
“We'll be going back--again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2010

We went back to the Valentin for our third visit. I had seen a couple of reviews where people who had gone twice were disappointed the third time. That wasn’t the case with us.

We had stayed at the Valentin in September 2008, December 2009 and December 2010. In fact we stayed 10 nights in December both years (in fact the exact same dates).

THE VALENTIN IS A SUPERB RESORT. It isn’t for everyone, but I would guess that 95% of the people who go there will be delighted.

It is large and can require some walking. But the grounds have gotten more beautiful over the years as the landscaping has matured and I marveled at the BEAUTY AND TRANQUILITY OF THE GROUNDS. It was a pleasure to walk. We were looking to actually do some extra walking (to walk off the extra calories) so we started walking from the main entrance to the main road. I would guess it is just a little over a mile each way and even the access road they’ve put has beautiful landscaping.

We had a very good location in Building 6. Building 6 is centrally located for the beach, the pool and not too far from the central plaza and all the restaurants. We had a golden suite and unlike the golden suite we had our first time seemed much larger. The suite we had in building 7 was divided into two rooms so even though these suites have 100 square feet more space than the standard rooms, it felt smaller. Not the case in Building 6. IT WAS WIDE OPEN AND SEEMED VERY LARGE. I also love the beds at the Valentin. They are the posturepedic type of mattress which I find to be very comfortable. The room has marble floors and is lovely. When we first arrived the sink in the bathroom’s plug was stuck down, but a simple call and it was taken care of while we were at dinner.

We brought our own Ethernet cable and it worked well. The safe is big (held our 15 inch laptop with no problem) and worked well then entire stay. ON A SCALE OF 1-10 I WOULD GIVE THE ROOM A 9+.

One of the things I like best about VIM is the range of beach and pools you have. It you want a swim up bar with a lot happening, you can go to the main pool. In fact, the main pool has two swim up bars (Heaven and Earth). During the day this is where you will find the games, outdoor entertainment, etc. As some people have pointed out in December, the pools are chilly so you don’t see many people in them in the morning. If you want a more quiet experience, you can find that at the swim out rooms by Buildings 6 through 8. I didn’t see either pool overcrowded while we were there.

The beach really has three parts. There is the main beach where you have a pretty big area (I paced it out at 140 paces) to rock free swimming. It is at this beach you will find 65 palapas and probably 5 times as many loungers. The main beach is right near Tierra and Mar restaurants so it has the bathrooms for the restaurants available to you. There is a beach bar and a volleyball net is set up right as you come onto the beach there. It sits just to the East of the Main Pool. This beach is huge with soft light sand. Also located here is the Turtle egg nursery and where you can get kayaks and Hobie Cats to use in the ocean.

If you go south of the Main Beach, you will come onto what we call the quiet beach. It is smaller (although it is larger than the beaches we encountered at Secrets Capri and Secrets Silversands). It has 20 palapas, its own bar, but lacks a nearby restroom. There isn’t any ocean access you would want to try without water socks. But if you want peace and quiet, it’s the beach for you.

Even further south is what we’ve named the deserted beach. There are 7 palapas, no restrooms and no bar (hence the reason it tends to be deserted). I think the emerald suites in Buildings 9 and 10 would be the only ones to use this beach.

Overall I WOULD RATE THE BEACHES A SOLID 9 AND THE POOLS AN 8 (I love the beach more and the pool water is cool in December).

Food. We went to the French Restaurant 3 times, the Lobster Pot 3 times, the Japanese twice, the Indonesian once and we went to the Mexican Buffet (outdoor) once. I’m not a foodie, but all were good. Here are some tips. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE FILET AT THE FRENCH RESTAURANT AT LEAST ONCE. It was the best steak I’ve ever had at an all inclusive. Avoid the Wasabi ice crease at the Japanese restaurant. Of the five people who order it, not one took more than two bites of it.

We ate lunch and breakfast at Le Marche. We liked the fact that they had ice cream at lunch at Le Marche while they didn’t have it at the buffet by the beach. Jackie loved the way they did the omelets in the morning and enjoyed the Mimosas. They also have cappuccinos at breakfast. Her one regret was she didn’t notice the Nutella that was available at breakfast until our 8th day there (it’s on the table with the toasters).

Entertainment. WE REALLY ENJOY THE LIVE MUSIC THEY HAVE AT THE VALENTIN. They have it upon occasion at breakfast and lunch and everyday at the main pool at 4 PM. Normally they have a very good pianist in Don Miquels from 6 PM to 7:30 PM (the main bar) and music in the Plaza from 7:30 to 9 PM in the evening.

They have shows every night and they are pretty good. We enjoyed the one for the Mexican night that was performed out by the front water fountains.

I’m a big fan of the Valentin. It is so tranquil with a wonderful elegance in the landscaping, the rooms, and the buildings.

I would not only recommend this resorts to friends, but we are planning on going back again in 2011. It’s a great choice.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
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  • Service
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English first
Woodstock, Georgia
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2010

First of all, let me state that my wife and I were satisfied with our trip. We stayed from 12/19/10 to 12/25/10. I did a ton of research to find the right resort for our trip. I considered other resorts but in the end we decided on the Valentin due to the outstanding reviews from others and the photos. One thing that we forgot was how short the days were. The sun typically set around 5, so it started to get chilly for bathing suit attire around between 4 and 4:30.

We booked through AAA and did not have much difficulty with our flights or our transportation service (American Express) to and from the resort. It took about 20-30 mins to get to and from the resort to the airport. American Express was a good transportation service to use. The guy they have who works at the resort (Miguel) was very nice and spoke the best English out of anyone we met who worked at the hotel.

I have my reasons for why I only rated the resort as 3 stars, which I will get into in a moment. I wanted to state up front that my wife and I are both under the age of 30 and we have traveled to one other all-inclusive resort (Couples Negril in Jamaica), which was for our honeymoon. Also, we both are not big partiers or drinkers. We both had very high expectations about the resort prior to our arrival, so maybe that is why everything didn't quite live up to our expectations.

- Check-In/Check-out: Pretty easy and smooth. The only problem I had was that we had been traveling all day and were next in line and right when we were about to walk up to the lady to check-in a woman and her partner cut in front of us stating that it would only take a second and made a request to change their room which took a few minutes. Not a big deal, but I would have liked for the lady at check-in to tell them to wait since these people obviously had already been checked-in and didn't even wait for their turn in line.

- Rooms: We booked the cheapest room option available which I believe was the Junior Deluxe Suite or something like that. Either way the room was very nice and spacious. The bed was comfortable, and I usually have a lot of difficulty sleeping in hotel rooms. The mini-fridge was always stocked with plenty of bottled water, some beer, and a few other drinks. Also, every day would give you a large (1 liter) bottle of water. Our travel agent had told us that every room had an ocean view at this resort and this was certainly not the case. Our building (Building 1) was probably the worst located building (furthest away from the beach and the pools), however, it was still enjoyable. If you want to be close the the quiet pool you will want to stay in buildings 6/7/8. I believe the buildings closest to the main pool are buildings 3/4/5, but I am not quite sure about that. Just know that Buildings 1 and 2 are close to the main building and restaurants and don't have much a view of anything. I had two minor complaints about the room. First, their seemed to be a design flaw with the shower in the bathroom. There was no way at the bottom of the shower door to prevent water from leaking out onto the marble bathroom floor. The first time this happened we almost slipped and fell trying to walk on the extremely wet and slippery floor. We had to put down bath towels to soak up the water as the regular bath mat was not enough. Also, we were excited to have a jacuzzi tub, but the water took forever to fill so by the time the tub was full it was a luke warm jacuzzi... Neither of these were big deals, but just not ideal.

- House Keeping/Service Staff: The housekeeping staff did a good job. Our room was always cleaned during the day. The first few nights we had turn-down service. The last several nights we didn't have the turn-down service because I think we may have been in the room when they came but it was difficult to tell. We couldn't figure out which times they were coming, but like I said at the beginning they do a good job of cleaning your room and when we had the turn-down service they would clean again. We had one bad experience with the concierge staff. The first night my wife couldn't sleep due to the pillow. So, the next morning I called to get a new pillow for her and they said someone had to be there to sign for it. Instead of waiting we decided to go out and enjoy our day and I would call later that night. We called after sunset and they told us it would take 15 mins to bring a pillow, after 30 mins I called again, and they told us another 15 mins, then after another 30 mins I called again, and they said another 15 mins and that we didn't need to be there. Finally, after waiting for 1 hr and 15 mins the pillow arrived. Again, this was not a big deal, it was just annoying that they told us we had to be there, and in the end we ended up waisting some of our vacation time waiting on a pillow when it wasn't really necessary.

- Grounds: The grounds are well maintained and very visually appealing. Everything from the drive in to the beach is very impressive. We saw a lot of wild life around the resort, which was also very enjoyable to us. We read reviews stating the grounds are large. However, we didn't really think so, but we both like to walk. If you are older it might be difficult to get from place to place. At most I think from our building to the quiet pool, where we spent most of our time, was probably a 10 minute walk. We didn't spend a whole lot of time at the beach. We walked out there a few times during the day and it seemed pretty crowded in a couple of spots and we watched the sunrise one morning from the beach (which I would highly recommend!).

- Pools: Frigid is a word that would best describe the two pools. I understand that it is December but I never imagined that the pools could be that cold. I honestly don't think I have ever gotten into a pool with colder water. Anyway, there are two pools. The main pool was very impressive. It is definitely a hot spot during the day. It has several bars, including 2 swim up bars, and it always had a lot going on around during the day. With that said, it was definitely not the place for us during the day as we just wanted to relax and enjoy some books. We tried to sit around the main pool, but we could never find a spot that was quiet or free of smokers. The other pool was much quieter and is located behind buildings 6/7/8. This pool was also very impressive and had one bar that also had a waiting staff. That way we were able to enjoy quiet reading and have drinks brought to us, which was very nice. Also, another nice thing about the quiet pool was that there were several bathroom locations, which was nice after drinking all day.

- Drinks: I feel like this deserves its own category. When we first arrived they handed us a glass of champagne, which I think is pretty standard now for all-inclusives and is a nice touch after a day of travel. In our first few hours I got a little tipsy, which is funny because during our entire honeymoon in Jamaica I don't think either of us got tipsy and it felt like we were constantly drinking. At the resort in Jamaica we never really felt like they put much alcohol in our drinks. Like I already said neither of us are big drinkers. We drink because we enjoy it and not to get drunk. With that said, I don't think anyone would have a problem getting drunk or buzzed at this resort. Most of the time I thought they made the drinks plenty strong, and you can always ask for more alcohol. They had several beers available (Dos Equis, Tecate Light, and Coors Light), a few different wines (merlot, cabernet savignon, and chardonnay), and a lot of different liquors. From the shelf it looked like some recognizable brands, but again neither of us really cared about the kind of liquor. We were both disappointed that most of the drinks were made with pre-made mixes. They really didn't use or have available fresh fruit. If I'm at a tropical resort, I would hope that they would use some real bananas in their drinks instead of banana flavored liquor (which tastes like artificially flavored banana candy, not a good thing). It doesn't take long for all of the drinks to start tasting like syrup if you are constantly drinking them, since they are all just mixes. Also, I felt like there were bars everywhere you looked and it wouldn't be long before someone would come around to take a drink order. Also, it didn't take long for that drink that you ordered from a random waiter to make its way back to you. Always a plus!

- Food: First of all, let me state again that my wife and I can be picky eaters. For a place to claim that it is 4 or even 5 stars I would expect a lot more than what we got in terms of food. Overall the food was good, but we never had one meal that we thought was great or where we were really satisfied. We both always felt a little disappointed from the food.

- Dessert: In general, our favorite part of every meal is dessert, and this is where we were both very disappointed. By the end we both suspected that the desserts were not made at the resort. They appeared to be prepared by a company and shipped into the resort. None of the desserts seemed fresh and they all seemed pretty similar from restaurant to restaurant. For example, most of the chocolate desserts were some sort of dry cake, which were ok but not great. I think most people when they imagine chocolate cake, they think of something moist and flavorfull, which was not the case anywhere we went. And when you have the same chocolate cake-like dessert available for about 20 meals in a row, it gets to be pretty disappointing. At every restaurant we ordered or tried every dessert. This was always an event as the waiting staff did not understand the phrase "one of each".

-Breakfast/Lunch: Anyway, breakfast was good. We only ate the buffet, but it pretty much has the same thing every day. It changes a little but most of the items are the same. For example, there was always a scrambled eggs + something everyday. One day it was salmon, then mushrooms, then sausage, etc. There is also an a la carte breakfast, and we did go by one morning and look at the menu but nothing really jumped out at us so we never ate there. For lunch there are two buffets. They are both good, but again they are like breakfast where they serve pretty much the same things every day and change a few little things.

Dinner: For dinner, there are only a la carte restaurants and reservations are not required. The only restaurant we didn't eat at was the steak restaurant. All of our meals were fine and they certainly weren't bad. We generally went to dinner between 6 and 7:30 and we never had to wait once for dinner. I am not going to review them independently because none of them were bad enough or good enough to stand out. Two of the nights we were there they had buffets in addition to all of the dinner restaurants. One of them was a mexican buffet while they had a mariachi band and the other night was a caribbean buffet. We had already eaten before the mexican bufffet, but overall the food looked good. We tried the caribbean buffet, but it was not good at all, and we decided not to eat the food and go to an a la carte restaurant. We both got some form of food poisoning from our last night where we ate at the lobster pot (Mar restaurant), which made for a miserable night and an even worse day of traveling back to our home. The food poisoning didn't surprise me. During lunch one day, I ordered flank steak and watched as the cook prepared it for me. During the preparation as the steak was almost ready someone ordered chicken tacos, so the cook grabbed the rare chicken with her tongs and placed it on the grill. Then, she immediately grabbed my steak with her tongs and put it on my place... yikes. Also, lobster costs extra. Through our reservation we had a $25 credit for lobster, so we ordered one as it costs $20. If you don't eat lobster very often and you have the credit go ahead and order it, but it is really not good lobster. It was not fresh and was very tough. If we didn't have the credit, I would not have paid extra money for that lobster.

- Room Service: We never ordered room service because the menu just seemed like bar food. There wasn't really anything on the menu that we really wanted and it seemed rather limited. I just wanted to say that it is available 24 hrs per day.

- Activities: My wife and I aren't the most outgoing people, but I thought that it was surprising that there weren't many activities going on during the day. They have some like various excercising, bike tours, texas hold 'em tournaments, billiards, ping pong, etc. However, when we went to Jamaica the resort there had excursions where they took people out on boats and had snorkeling adventures available. We were somewhat disappointed that things like that were not included and available (If they were, they certainly didn't advertise it). You can pay to go on excursions outside of the resort, but we really weren't interested in paying more money for other activities, we would have done them if they had been included. At night, the resort has entertainment shows. We only saw one, which was the michael jackson show, and it was very good. We met another couple which said they saw all of them and they were all good.

- Other Items to Note: My wife did a lot of research about the drinking water prior to our trip at the resort. Neither of us drank any of the tap water during the visit. The resort uses Cristal brand purified bottled water. We used the bottled water for brushing our teeth. Also, we saw them on a few occasions dumping a large drum of purified water into the water dispensers around the resort so I don't think you have anything to worry about with the water. Also, we ate fruit at almost every breakfast and lunch and didn't have any problems. We still stayed away from the salads just to be careful. I think our food poisoning was most likely due to the preparation of the tuna (which was seared) or lobster we had the last night.
We were surprised that there weren't really any jacuzzis around the resort. We never got in the main pool, but it looked like there were jacuzzis built into it in 2 separate places. I thought it would have been nice at night time to have some jacuzzis around the resort, but there don't appear to be or they don't advertise it.
We didn't really care to spend a ton of time on a computer while we were there so we didn't bring our own laptops. Internet access is available in the rooms, but I think you would have to bring your own ethernet cable as I don't believe they had wireless access. There is a business center in the main building, but it only had 3 computers. Therefore, you have to wait most of the time if you want to use a computer as it seemed like people were intent on playing on facebook for atleast 1 hour per night. However, our last few days we noticed that most of the other room buildings (buildings 6-14) had a little business center with one computer each and internet access. Most of the time during the day if you are walking around you could just stop at one of these buildings and use the computer for a minute to check email without a wait.

So, there you have it. Like I said, we both were satisfied with our trip, but it was nothing special. Sometimes you can chalk up bad reviews to some bad experiences but I really don't feel like my rating is because of isolated instances. If you eliminate the food completely from the equation the resort gets 4 stars (Very good). However, when you add in the food it drops it down to 3 stars (Average). To give a place 5 stars I would have to been extremely satisifed and impressed by my stay at the resort, and that was definitely not the case with our trip.

I don't think I can recommend this place to a friend. I will tell them about my experience and to read all of the outstanding reviews here on Trip Advisor, but I would say try a different place based on the food alone.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2010

This was our first trip to Mexico and we picked a gem. On our ride in from the airport we shared Best Day Travel's van with a Canadian family. They travelled often and were impressed with where we were staying. All in all it was wonderful and we would definitely go back.

Service:
We were greeted with a glass of champagne and given a brief orientation before we headed out to explore. Everything was kept clean and the staff was very happy and friendly. We stayed in one of the buildings farther out, but we could call for a van which would be there in 10 mins or less and get to any other part of the resort. Room service was always earlier than estimated and always had our correct order. The American breakfast was our favorite.

The Room:
We were in an Emerald suite out by the beach. The privacy was wonderful and we could wander from our little patio under the palms out to an empty part of the beach. great for watching sunrises! My husband was very excited about the bede' also. The only thing not up to par with our hotel room was the giant jetted tub which would not hold water. We eventually improvised and put a rock on the stopper to keep water held in as we didn't want to move rooms.

Restaurants:
Mar & Tierra is good for both breakfast and dinner. We had about the best steak ever at Tierra one eveing for dinner and would have gone back if they had not been closed. Another great choice for dinner is Ginger, the Japanese restaurant. If you want the "dinner show" with four courses cooked in front of you, then you should go by early and make a reservation. You can enjoy drinks and entertainment on the Plaza while you wait. Le Marche provides the best variety for breakfast and has just about everything under the sun on their buffets. The Italian restaurant provides small portions. La Hacienda's food is not that good but their tequila can make for a night to remember- be careful! We did nto make it to the French restaurant while it was open. Also- don't expect American dessert portions. Tierra is the only restaurant with a sizeable dessert, all the rest are fluff.

Events:
For an excellent authentic dinner be sure to eat at the Mexican festival night. An enormous amount of good food and entertainment. We only went to the Michael Jackson show, but it was pretty impressive. We played pool at the sports bar, lounged around th beach (watch out for jellies!) and took the hotel van into Playa Del Carmen for the afternoon. They didn't leave us as long as they advertised but it was plenty of time to soak up some culture and get some gifts. It would have been nice to have dinner out there too.

Tips:
First- Do tip your servers and drivers etc... We over-tipped the first day and worked it out from there - everything in $1 bills. Remember your sunscreeen- it's expensive, $17.00 at the resort. You may want a flashlight to read some of the signs at night, but it's not an absolute need. THE BEST BAR is the one on the beach as soon as you hit the sand off the boardwalk on your left - I think it's Sunrise bar? Excellent and strong drinks and good service. We only took the one excursion provided by the hotel into the city and it was plenty for our 6 night stay. There is so much going on each night on the Plaza and around the hotel that you really don't have to leave. A lot of it is not well described, so you must explore each evening.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blainville, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2010

nice welcome ,very nice resort not too big, very nice grounds immaculate very nice service at the re staurants.we loved the place.the pools not heated brrr.loved the service bar at the beach. meet some nice poeple.try the french very good.and ginger the asian for sushi,eat outside in the italian one night it was good.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Twinsburg, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2010

My wife and I traveled to the Valentin for our 20th wedding anniversary and stayed one week. We booked through cheapcaribbean.com and we were very happy. There were no surprises - everything they told us was available to us during our stay. We were pleasantly welcomed by shuttle drivers as you leave the building of the airport, bell hops, and conceirge at the Valentin. (Side Note: at the airport, once through customs and prior to leaving the building, you will be strongly persuaded to talk to people in uniforms that appear to want to help you get on your shuttle or taxi. They are dressed in uniforms and look official. Beware, they are selling time shares. Bypass them and exit the building. Your shuttle guide is just outside the doors). Upon entry to our room, we were surprised at how nice it was. The bed was really comfortable, the room was quite, shower was great and so was the maid service. One negative -the water in the jacuzzi tub leaves a large rust ring every time you use it...we thought there was something wrong with it, but learned that the brwon ring was rust and not us! We were both impressed with the grounds. We loved our strolls. The landscaping is beautiful and hides the view of most of the buildings as you stroll down the walkways. At night time when touring the grounds, the lighting was subtle and well done. They are creating a romantic ambiance. However, we saw reviews and heard from others that the lighting at night was troublesome. f you have trouble seeing at night, bring a small flashlight.

We had dinner at several of the restaurants. We were given suggestions by others that we met pool side. We had great dinners at the French, Mexican, and Japanese (sushi bar section) restaurants. House wines are not good, and I'm not too picky. There are two places for breakfast and both were very good. We also had some of the best grilled salmon (as well as many other selections) for lunch at the open air restaurant by the beach. We ordered room service twice: both times the service was quick and tasted good.

Now for the fun stuff! We spent a lot of time at the main pool and beach. The pool is huge and has a great tanning ledge with lounge chairs in the water. Don't worry, your body stays dry when on the lounge chair. The atmosphere at the main pool is beautiful and relaxing. Two of our complaints (and not major complaints) are that the pool is a bit too cool and the entertainment/activities at the main pool are good but limited (Crazy Joe is cool. You'll meet him by the pool or volleyball game). There are plenty of places to read a book or fall asleep by the pool, but if you are looking for some entertainment, they need to play more games and play more music to liven up the spirits. The beach is wonderful. The water was pleasantly warm. Water was very clear and and has the caribbean blue look. A portion of the beach is rocky yet still very easy to walk, the larger portion is rock free and great for swimming and riding the waves. There are also great volleyball games going on, combined with great drink service at your lounge chair at the beach or by the pool. We tried almost every fruity drink on the menu along with the margarittas and tequila shots.

The entertainment at night, after dinner, was put together well. I hadn't thought about this much prior to the trip, but it sure helps the evenings to be fun. The shows last about 45 to 60 minutes and create a lot of laughs and good times. Afterwards, we spent most nights in the La Plazia (courtyard area) where a DJ played good dance music. We did spend one fun night playing pool in the sports bar. We saw many others playing board games at many places (poolside, sports bar, outside), ping pong outside, pool outside, bike riding, volleyball...wow!

We did two excursions. We booked both excursions through Olympus tours on the advice of cheapcaribbean.com. Our contact was Victor. He won't steer you wrong. We went on a snorkeling trip called Catamaya. You go out on a catamaran and travel about a half hour, snorkel for 45 minutes, eat lunch and travel back. Lunch is a huge steak (looked great), shrimp, or a small lobster. You order prior to the trip and confirm upon boarding. We both got the lobster, it was very good. the steak looked good (steak in mexico is very thin compared to the USA) however, folks were struggling eating with plastic forks and knives!The snorkeling was pretty good. I have seen better. The crew on the Catamaya was the best. We also met some great people. If you are prone to getting sea sick, either pick another type of snorkeling trip where you don't go on a boat, or take dramamine to prevent sea sickness. (Crew says it happens every outing!)

The second excurision was to Senior Frogs and Coco Bongo. You will hear about Coco Bongo at the main pool. This is a late night out, you get back about 3:30 AM. I am not the late owl like my wife; however, I had a great time and never got tired. The show there is hard to describe. It is kind of a cross between a Las Vegas impersonation show and a Cirque Du Solelil show plus more. The show is changing every 5 to 10 minutes and you just never get bored. The crowd is primarily in their 20's and early 30's. We are in our mid 40's and it didn't bother us. When they told us it was time to go, I couldn't believe that the time had flown by so fast. There is a small group of guys that watch over you and get you on the shuttle van, get your drinks and travel to each place with you. They are really watching out for you and making sure you are safe and having fun. the other benefit of going with the tour is the VIP seating at Coco bongo...you are off the main floor, elevated and not getting bumped around.

In conclusion, I want to express that we loved this place, we were treated like gold from start to finish. We have never been to an adult all inclusive resort. While we love our children, and travel with them frequently, this certainly was an experience that we hope to repeat...we will definitely be back!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2010

The valentin has very nice perks, but one huge downfall.

1. Beautiful beach
2. nice pools
3. Dirty pool bars
4. ROOMS ARE MODERATE AT BEST
A. HUMID
B. A/C limited tempeture range
C. Toilets showers and sinks ALL HAVE SEWAGE SMELL
5. Restaurants are some of the best we have ever eaten in
6. NIGHTLIFE NOT VERY GOOD
7. HOTEL GROUNDS ARE SO BIG IT TAKES TO LONG TO WALK AROUND

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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South Bend, Indiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2010

As the title suggests, this was our second trip to the Valentin. We had visited the Valentin in August of 2009 and found the hotel, food, activities and especially the staff to be out of this world. We had researched many of the reviews on the other all-inclusives around the Mayan peninsula but could not find any that looked as appealing as the Valentin, so our decision to return was a fairly easy one.

We found our room on our arrival to be just as nice as the first visit, although my wife was a bit upset that we didn't get offered an upgrade to a bigger room, it still was very nice, with towel art and rose petals decorating our room to commemorate her birthday that we celebrated while in Mexico.

The 7 restaurants were just as good as we had remembered and we tried very hard to make it to each one during our 8 days there, (we never made it to the Japanese :-/ ) The one we liked the best on both visits was the Italian, both times we had the Filet Mignon and found it to be out of this world. The breakfast buffet was also a true highlight of each day, the omelets are outrageous!

The one aspect of this resort that stands above and beyond in our minds is the staff and the level of service they provide. We have always been pampered and made to feel like we are royalty. They truly make you feel like you are the most important people they have ever had at the resort and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and cared for.
Pepe, German, Hugo, Luis, Crazy Joel: Thank you for the great adventure! You guys truly made our vacation a memorable one, although Pepe needs to learn to deal me the good cards and not my wife :-))

Pros and Cons
Pros:
Excellent Service, Beautiful grounds, Awesome food, Ocean water temp was perfect, Adults Only(No Kids)
Cons: (although I had to search for the cons)
December is off season and we had a few wait times at restaurants, the water in the pool was just a bit too cool for enjoyable swimming, hot water in rooms take along time get there

Overall the 2nd trip to the Valentin was just a good as the first and we can't wait to have the opportunity to return.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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