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“Excellent vacation spot and amazing pool!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

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Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Km 48 carretera Federal, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710 , Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent vacation spot and amazing pool!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

My parents, husband and I went to the Mayan Palace for a week s vacation using a deal my dad found online. We were incredibly impressed with our entire stay! We rented a car and the parking and bellhop service was excellent when we arrived. We spent several days at the pool and several out and about and had a great visit. We ate at about half of the restaurants and loved the food, drinks, and service. My mom and I had hot stone massages at the spa and received excellent service and a great deal on the price of 2 massages. I liked the no cash policy - it made it easier to do what you need/want to do without worrying about money. We stayed in building 14 which was a ways from the pool but the shuttle came frequently and we thought the walk to the pool was beautiful and relaxing. The only complaint about our room was that the beds were a bit uncomfortable and it would have been nice to have an option for a double room with two king beds. They pushed two beds together for my husband and me, though, which made it okay to sleep in a room with two doubles. My parents' bedroom had a problem with the air conditioning being really loud but they fixed it immediately when we called. The coati and iguanas near the pool were so cool and added some excitement to the pool outings. We rented palapas a couple of days which was really nice. The happy hours at the pool and wine bar were great. My husband and dad did a tequila tasting and really enjoyed it. Overall, we had a fun, relaxing, and overall excellent week due to our accommodations, the service, and our choice in places to stay.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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2,126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (349)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
East Dennis, Massachusetts
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We were here March 15-22, 2013. We got this resort through RCI timeshare. I did lots of research through trip advisor, etc. prior to our trip so I knew pretty much what to expect. Also, when reading reviews, take them with a grain of salt. Some people will be harsh no matter what their experience and others will give rave reviews.

I went into this trip knowing that the beach was unswimmable. It was for the most part, although we did take a small dip in a relatively clear area. Here is a summary:

When arriving at the airport in Cancun, look/ask for your shuttle driver. We were told what they would be wearing, but our person was wearing a sweater and not holding up a sign. After a few minutes of looking around, we aked people and were directed to our person. Shuttle to resort was free, shuttle back to airport was not. We opted to take a cab to the airport so we could have better choices as to when we wanted to leave.

On arrival at the resort, our room (we had a 2-bedroom master suite with kitchenette) wasn't ready, but they will store and tag your luggage. This is a good time to check out the pool area, etc. My mom has COPD (breathing problems), so when we booked our trip we requested a room closer to the pool and lobby. We re-confirmed this several times and again at check-in. We were given a ground-floor unit in building 7 or 8. I highly recommend a ground floor so you can see the animals that frequent the resort. Interesting birds, iguana and coati. Learn your room number (impress them if you learn it in Spanish - we had diez-ochento 1080) because everything you do on the resort will be charged to your room/credit card they have on file.

It is pricey, but so is Disney. Average meal is $25/30pp USD, not including drinks which run $8-10 each. We ate several times at Havana Moon and loved it. Service can be a bit slow, but we found that everywhere we went in Mexico. You are on vacation, relax! Spa is very pricey! We were going to splurge but decided not to spend that much and ended up with an hour massage on the beach in Tulum for $25.

EVERYONE without exception was nice, and very helpful. Especially Carlos and Miguel in the lobby and front desk and shuttle drivers Charlie and Dorian. All my high school Spanish came back and we had many great conversations. Sometimes we had to interpret for eachother. Pool was fantastic as were the drinls. Chocolate Monkey and Miami Vice were to die for!!!!

Room was beautiful. I had no problem with bed. It was firm but we all slept well. Maids were great. Small patio, but we put out kitchen chairs and sat to enjoy watching the wildlife (and yes, we fed them bread). Poo was HUGE and seats were plentiful. Despite what anyone says, if you go to the palapa rental in Balche, you can rent a palapa for the next day. If you don't check in though, you lose it. Someone had to move for us, because they didn't check in and it became available. The only complaint about the resort was that at night, as people went through the hallways, it could be very loud.

Took a day trip to Tulum which was absolutely beautiful. Went to a beach next to ruins and had a great lunch and massage $25 UDS/hr. Took ferry one day to Cozumel and rented a car to drive around island. Gave us hardly any gas with reassurance that it would be fine. Have to say I wasn't impressed but the silver pricing was a bit better. Several visits via cab (so we could go on our own schedule) to Playa. Did get some food at Walmart for condo. Be prepared to bargain with them and don't be afraid to say no or just walk away. EVERYONE notices your Mayan Palace bracelets and will follow you around.

Enjoy, I wpuld definately go back. Be sure to check out the WHOLE resort. Didn't even see the lobby on the back side of Jade or del lago until the last day.

Room Tip: Ask for romm in building 1-8. I liked having a ground room to see the wildlife.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My husband and I got a great deal on Amazon local to stay at the Mayan Palace. If you got this deal and it mentions you get a $300 credit towards food/drink/spa whatever you want, make sure you print off that email and bring it with you as proof, because they hadn't heard of that deal when we told them about it, but we had the email so they honored it. It was our first time in Mexico, so didn't really know what to expect. We looked at all the reviews on tripadvisor to see what we were in for. For the most part, people's reviews were pretty accurate. But there are quite a few people who complained so much about how big the resort is on how long of a walk it is to get to certain areas. I think those people have nothing better to do than complain! We stayed in Bldg 18, which was close to the lobby but pretty far from the pool and restaurants, but the resort has a great shuttle service available that will come pick you up and take you were you want to go. I think the longest we had to wait for one was maybe 10 min. Not too bad at all. I saw some people complain about how they badger you to do the time share presentation, but that wasn't the case with us at all. We had one person ask us after we checked in and we just said no and that was it. No one bothered us again after that. Food and service is GREAT! The pool is fantastic!!! My only complaints would be that the beach is not good, pretty to look out at the water, but no good at all for swimming, and the beds in the rooms are pretty hard, but other than that, everything was great! Drinks are pretty pricey there, but they always have a happy hour at the pool from 11a.m to 1p.m. But you can also go into Playa Del Carmen and shop at Wal-Mart or Mega store and get your alcohol there and mix your own drinks if you want to save some money. All in all this resort was very pleasant to stay at and I wouldn't mind going back again sometime

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Denver
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We are members of the "Mayan Palace" and were offered the free upgrade to the "Grand Mayan". Big Mistake.
The Grand Mayan is located a 1/2 mile off into the jungle and a long walk to "any" amenity. The rooms were exactly the same as the Palace rooms.
The walk to the pool...any pool was 20 minutes. They offered golf cart taxies, Our building was supposed to ride the one with an orange tag....we saw yellow, we saw blue, we saw none....if we stopped the wrong cart we were told to get off. The resort is very beautiful, just didn't like the remote location of the Grand Mayan rooms.

Room Tip: The Grand Mayan rooms are very remote....try and get building 1 or 2.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carstairs, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We got an awesome deal through Interval International to stay in a 1 bedroom condo here for 2 weeks. I also chose it based on recommendations from another friend who had stayed here over Christmas. We stayed in building 16, farther away from the pools and lobby.
The resort is huge, but has on-site shuttle services to take you to the beach/pool, lobbies of the Mayan Palace and Grand Mayan, front gate and to most of the buildings in both resorts. There are also daily departures to Playa del Carmen from the resort, and twice weekly departures to shop in Cancun. Check with the concierge for departure info and pricing.


The Good:
- rooms are beautiful and clean; maids are vigilant about cleaning your rooms and will call/leave notes offering service if you have the "do not disturb" sign up. They also have a nightly "turn down" service, and will set up your extra pull out couches each night as needed.
- the pools are HUGE; one of the main reasons I chose this resort!
- there are lots of activities available on-site, from pool games, aqua-size, movie nights, spa services and a dive/snorkel/adventure shop on the beach (prices are fairly reasonable). There are also some souvenir stands, and live music down by the pool area. If you explore the grounds a bit, you'll find their flamingo and crocodile display areas, as well as see many kinds of birds, lizards and flowers. We also spotted a pair of coatis one evening.
- excellent repair service; we had an issue with one of the light switches in our bathroom, and the repairman was at our door and fixed it within 2 hours of us letting the front desk know of the problem.
- staff is very friendly, I don't think we came across a single person who didn't give us excellent service at the restaurants, or didn't say "Hola!" to us as we passed by.
- There are quite a few restaurants to choose from. Havana Moon has a romantic dinner on the pier option, which costs $100 to book, plus your meal costs. Balche at the pool has excellent pizza, and Mexican options for lunch and dinner. The Tramonto Italian restaurant was simply amazing. (Try the pistachio Crème Brulee!) For fun at the pool bar, order a Coco Loco or Pie Eye drink, and watch your bartender build an awesome, edible work of art!

The "Meh"/ Whatever:
- some people claimed the resort is too big to walk around; If you have mobility issues, I can see this being a problem, but shuttles are available, and the check in staff seem willing enough to accommodate special needs, so if you want to be near the pool or lobby, it doesn't hurt to ask!
We didn't find it a hardship to walk to the beach, lobby or front gate, and usually could catch a shuttle to our building without having to wait very long.
- the beach is filled with interesting tide pools and reef structure, so if you like the nice smooth sandy beaches you find in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this may not be the best beach resort for you. As beachcombers and snorkelers, we found the beach fascinating, and could see schools of huge fish around the pier moorings (north side, in the shade), plus all sorts of interesting urchins, snails, coral polyps and baby fish in the tide pools. (There are also fossils in the reef if you look closely!)
- If you don't book your tours through the resort, you will find that you must meet most of your tour pickups at the front gate. Not a problem, as the shuttle will take you there (after 8 am) or you can catch a taxi from the lobby to the gate for about $3 per cab-full of people.
- this is a cashless resort, and all purchases you make at the boutique, store, restaurants and dive activity desk will be charged to your room. The check in staff will put a hold on your credit card for a certain amount at the beginning of your stay, and then will settle your bill for all your charges at the end of the week. However, there are a few little shops selling souvenirs, hair braiding, pictures, etc around the pool area and you will need cash for most of these folks.
- NOT an all inclusive resort, so be prepared to pay extra for your meals and drinks. Our unit had a small kitchen, so was handy for buying a few groceries to make some meals in the room, or for heating leftovers.
- there was a bit of a musty, mildew smell coming from the AC in our room, but hey, it's the tropics and humidity is part of the package deal down here. I have asthma, and mold allergies, but this smell didn't seem to bother me at all.
- I found the bed somewhat hard (compared to my comfy memory foam at home...), but I made do by laying down some extra blankets for padding and warmth. Apparently, you can also request an extra foam topper for your mattress, but we didn't bother calling housekeeping for this.
- The resort is about a 15-20 minute drive to Playa del Carmen. As stated above, they have taxi and shuttle services to town. They also have a car rental booth on-site (Hertz) so we booked a car on 3 separate days for our own explorations. This was generally more affordable than a taxi, and gave us the option to go when and where we wanted. Rentals ranged from $30-60 a day, plus insurance, for a smaller 4 person car. We only had problems renting on one day, when we had to wait about 2 hrs for them to bring more cars back from Cancun! Driving in Mexico wasn't nearly as scary as I'd expected... take a couple rides in a taxi/tour shuttle to familiarize yourself with the area, learn to drive defensively, and you should be fine.

The Bad:
- We found it extremely difficult to book the pool palapas on the days we wanted to kick back and relax. You supposedly can book them ahead of time by going down to the desk at the Balche restaurant, but whenever we tried, we were told to come back the next morning to book, BUT then when we showed up at 7 am, we were then told they had all been booked up the previous day. (?!?) Considering this was the "slow" season, we weren't too happy about never getting a palapa. At least there were other options in the shade around the pool and on the beach.
- Every Mexican resort has their timeshare people, and this place is no exception. We had numerous calls the first week we were there, trying to get us to come to their breakfast "information" session. (We already have a timeshare, and don't need another one, thank you...) They left us alone for the rest of the week once my husband finally hung up on them after saying he wasn't interested about half a dozen times.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone. My husband prefers the cozier feel of smaller resorts on the islands, but this place is a very affordable piece of luxury!

Room Tip: Rooms in Buildings1-9 are closer to pools, 9-12 close to lobby, and 11-21 farther from the noise of...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Amazing place! Absolutely huge, but the property is very well managed. You can get anywhere via the jitney service that stops right outside your building. Walking paths are well maintained & well lighted at night.

The pool complex is really something to see. The architect & landscape designer were definitely geniuses. Shallow pool areas for the little ones & much deeper ones for the adults; so there was no chance of an excellent, adult swimmer bumping heads with a just-learing, four year old.

The beach is beautiful & well kept, but take water shoes, as there are coral/limestone outcroppings that make getting into the water a bit challenging if you're bare-footed.

We tried three restaurants for dinner. Gong (Asian), very refined Asian cuisine & atmosphere; slightly dressy. Frida (upmarket Mexican), casual, poolside atmosphere; very nice menu. Havanna Moon (European/Mexican), oceanfront dining; casual to dressy attire; excellent menu.

Do not miss the Jade Boutique. Sounds boring, right? Definitely not! Amazing actually. Huge indoor space. Upscale boutique for men & women's clothing. The Creperie for bistro-like dining for excellent crepes & delicatessen-style sandwiches, & fruit platters. The Market for grocery needs. We'll admit it. The prices are a bit steep, but the convenience is amazing. Much nicer than having to shuttle into Playa del Carmen & the Walmart. The time you waste on getting into town & back again can be much better spent poolside, as we did. If you're a dyed-in-the wool shopper, take the shuttle. We never did.

Our suite was spectacular & faced the jungle canopy. We ate our breakfast every day on our ground floor terrace, & we were usually entertained by a coati, who stopped by to visit & gambol about. Kitchen was more than adequate & well-equipped, unless you're planning to cook a turkey. We found the bed to be very firm & the multiple pillows we much welcomed. Daily, evening bedding turndown service with chocolates was a nice touch.

Everyone on staff was very friendly attentive, helpful & very interested in improving their English skills. (Be prepared for unexpected, impromptu conversations. Enjoy them as we did.)
The only place we weren't fond of was the Excursion Desk at the lobby of the Mayan Place. The people that worked there were so out of character with the rest of the service people. A bit brusque & chilly. A "buy now or don't bother me" attitude seemed to prevail.

Room Tip: Get a ground floor room, on the side of your building facing away from the jitney path. You'll g...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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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Timisoara, Romania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

Wonderful place with a perfect simbiose between animals, tourists and resort. A good organisation of activities. You will find here an excelent hotel personal and a dream beach. The pool is also fantastic. And the sunrise too.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

Address: Km 48 carretera Federal, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710 , Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#10 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Hotel Class:5 star — Mayan Palace Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 402
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mayan Riviera
Mayan Palace Cancun
Wyndham Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Cancun Grand Mayan
Grand Maya Mayan Riviera
Playa Del Carmen Wyndham
Mayan Palace Playa Del Carmen
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Mexico
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Playa Paraiso, Mexico

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