We were there on our Honeymoon. Nothing but good things to say. It is my 6th or 7th all-inclusive (Cuba, Dominican, Mexico) and it was by far the nicest one I've stayed at so far. Very elegant setup, spread out between multiple affiliated/linked Iberostar resorts. Walkways over pools of water, well thought out design for guests' convenience and for keeping it clean. Super nice.
We let them know it was our honeymoon and they re-assigned us to what they thought was a nicer room. I don't know what the original room was like, but the one we got was sizeable, very clean and comfortable, and had a really cozy balcony overlooking the wave pool. When we went in, there were honeymooner t-shirts on the counter (which we didn't wear...but nice touch) as well as a bottle of champagne on ice.
To avoid writing a huge review, I'll just sum up the points I liked most...
-The buffet was varied enough and the food was good. There was an alternate smaller buffet that opened later and closed later (for the slowpokes and late sleepers). You could also go to the linked resorts' buffets, but we didn't.
-There were more a la carte restos (with no booking limit) than we could do in a week, and we enjoyed all of the ones that we tried. The ones we tried also all had mini-buffets in them and when I found that I was still hungry after 1 main dish...they brought me another plate of the same :) (I'm a big eater). Honorable mention to the Steak House, it was fantastic. Other resorts a la cartes usually found me in the buffet later. Not this time :)
- The pools were large, the swimup bar and lazy river were nice, and the wave pool was a blast.
- Very short walk to the beach and its on a gorgeous stretch of it.
- Tested out the room service several times at all hours. Service was pretty quick, though it was not a huge menu....still at 3am....a pizza, chicken wrap & dessert works just fine. There is also a 24hour hamburger place on the other side of the resort, attached to a mini-shopping center and ice-cream parlor.
-Room's mini-bar was included and restocked constantly.
-Our room was made up about 3 times per day. We would take a nap, head out...come back...and it would be made up...again and again. Everyday was like that. Perfect.
-The staff were freindly and the majority were very efficient and dilligent. We were surprised (pleasantly) to continually see staff cleaning and maintaining everything from the flowerpots, to the odd tile...to scrubbing the fountains and pools....it is a very big resort...and whenever we turned a corner....someone was cleaning something.
-24 hour conscierge service, 1 per building complex...for making/changing resto reservations and helping out with anything you need. They sit at a desk all night and every housing building had one. Very convenient.
-Nice tennis courts and golf course (though I didn't use them)
-Archery area, ping pong tables, etc
-The nightly shows were quite nice. A large cut above the ones I've seen in the Cuban and Dominican resorts. Quite a few "prizes" given out nightly for friendly entertainment games and for the daily activity participants (we won 4 t-shirts, and a 30minute massage in the SPA over our stay).
-The resort was very family oriented. Way more families than "singles". Lots and lots of younger kids around, but we still found it quiet and relaxing the whole time. It was very large and so had lots of room and chairs/huts so that everyone had their own space. I wouldn't suggest the resport for singles, or "party" type groups. They would probably be better off hitting Cancun. It is definitely geared more for families and relaxation (which was perfect for us). I heard from the staff that it gets quite packed during peak season, but it was just right during our stay. There were a few nights where there were not many guests out and about, but there were enough to meet people if you wanted to....yet not so many that you could avoid doing so if you preferred "couple/quiet" time. We were there from Sept 30 to Oct 8.
-Close and cheap to Playa del Carmer (via shuttle). very nice place to spend the day, great beach, nice little restos and shops.
-Not worth paying the ferry to go over to Cozumel unless you just want to take a ferry or are planning on doing a water excursion while in Cozumel (for the famous reef). If you are just going to check it out....it was pretty much exactly the same as the Playa del Carmen tourist area, but a little seedier if you strayed from the beaten path. Just more restos and shops.
-We also wanted to check out Chitzen Itza...and while the signup folks told everyone it was a 2.5 hour trip from the hotel...it was actually 4 there and 3 back. I'm glad I went (even though tourists are constantly approached by peddlers while touring the ruins), but its worth noting that it is a longer than advertised trip. A bonus is the Ikil Cenote natural well you can swim in on the return trip. Gorgeous, and not as cold as they tease it is. If you are not up for the long trip, Tulum will give a similar taste, is cheaper, and much closer.
Anyway, it was a great resort and I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend it to anyone (unless they were specifically looking for a singles or party resort). I would personally come back to this resort if I visit Riviera Maya again, and I usually prefer trying new places. Other resorts would be hard pressed to beat it. Not sure I'd take a chance on a new one when I found this one was up to or above my expectations in all aspects.