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“best honeymoon i could have” 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
A TripAdvisor Member
“best honeymoon i could have”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2004

The Mayan Palce was the most beautful place I could have taken my honeymoon. I could not believe the size. It was huge! I had a suite that was larger than my apartment at home. It was decorated beautifully. The staff had even left a bottle of champaign in our room. I thought that was nice. In fact one of the best things about the hotel was the service. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. The hotel is perfect if you are looking for a place where you really do not have to leave the prperty. They have great resturants, the most beautiful pools, activites, a large store with food, magazines, and gifts. Sure, there were the sales people trying to get you to hear their presentations, but really all you have to do is say no!!! Remember...nothing is free! Overall, I thought the Mayan Palace was a wonderful hotel and I will be returning next year.

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2,127 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
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2004

WOW, what absolute luxury, from the moment you arrive to the time that you leave to catch your plane home you are transported into sheer heaven. The food is divine and the pool to die for.

Although we were aware of the ongoing construction there was abolute minimal noise or other disturbances. It has to be one of the ultimate places to get away and relax. The staff are attentive and you are under absolutely no pressure to go off on any day trips. Hoverwer if you do get an urge to leave that fantastic pool make sure you go to Cozumel. The diving there is phenominal! Playa is also good for a strole around the local markets and restaurants, but when you have had enough it was great to be able to get back in the renal car and 10 minutes later we were back pool side being waited on hand and foot.

The rooms are great for the kids as we had a master suite with a lock-off allowing us to have our privacy whilst still having the kids just next door. And of course they had all the latest play station games to keep the kids busy. The activities were just fab, our favourite being releasing baby turtles less than 24 hrs old into the wild.

What an amazing time was had by all. My wife and I came away feeling absolutely 100% relaxed and pampered, and can't wait to go back. Must try out the Golf Course next time.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2004

Hello everyone! Just got home Saturday from a WONDERFUL TRIP to the Riveria Maya. First I'd like to thank everyone for all the wonderful advice I received from this board prior to my trip that helped make it so great. Because I was desperately searching for info on this resort and the area while planning for my trip I'd like to return the favor so here goes:

Car Rental:
We reserved on-line before leaving with Executive for airport pickup of a Tracker for the 8 days we'd be there. Our flight arrived at 9:30am Saturday. We were picked up by an Executive representative after clearing customs/immigration and shuttled to the office. There was a small mix-up with the confirmation and all the Trackers were gone, which was fine because they just gave us a realy cute Jeep for the week instead at the same reserved price
($411 for 8 days with all the insurance/unlimited miles). We had no other problems with the rental car experience,& LOVED having the car the whole week, especially since the Mayan Palace is so far from everything.

Mayan Palace:
Ok yes the construction is NO WHERE NEAR completion but I must say that it didn't bother me at all. No we weren't surrounded by plush gardens and such but the staff were very pleasant and attentive. The room was nicely decorated with cheerful colors, etc. Check-in went smoothly. We promptly declined the time-share personnel's invitation for breakfast and were not bothered again about it. The maid somehow managed to be completely out of sight and
yet clean the room each morning when we left and turned the bed down each night, leaving us the "Mayan Times" (activities newsletter for the next day) and two Hershey's kisses on our pillows. One night she even made us one of the cute towel sculptures like you get on a cruise ship. The only thing we ever had to ask for was small face towels for some reason she would forget to replace them even though she'd leave more than enough bath towels. They
will give you the large 1.5L bottled water each day for around $1.00 a bottle. The pool is AMAZING! It's huge with two fountains (one with whirlpool jets surrounding it with shallow seats). It's actually three pools, connected by two wide waterfalls cascading into the next pool. At night it is so beautiful all lit up. There's two swim up bars in the pool both open from like 11am to 7 or 8pm I think (we only used it once). There's also two
restaurants (one buffet style-Balche & one ala carte-Tum Tah.) The food was EXCELLENT! but not cheap. We had dinner once at Tum Tah and spent about $50 for an appetizer, dinner and sodas. The waiters were very nice and attentive and the chef came out to serve us our meal, which I'm unfortunately blanking on the name of the main course right now. We also had the breakfast buffet twice. It was $12.50 a person but well worth it. Countless cereals,
juices, fruit, pastries, omelet made to order, waffles and pancakes made fresh, mexican dishes, meats, hashbrowns,etc. etc.
The resort also currently offers car rentals (much more expensive than what we paid though, when we were loading our luggage to leave two guys who had just arrived said they were going to charge them $600 for 6 days rental from there). They have a shuttle service now available. It's about 15min. from Playa and 40min from Cancun. The shuttle is available to Cancun only on Mon, Wed, Thurs and costs $12.00 per person (a cab is about $35) The shuttle
is available to Playa only on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and costs $8.00 per person/rt (a cab is about $18, bus $1). You have to reserve the service with the hotel concierge. There's also a Massage service available, but the gym, tennis courts,golf course, lagoon and water park are all still under construction. There's another really large restaurant under construction as well at the south end of the pool and the new lobby is also under constuction
right behind the pool. So although the construction is going on all day I personally did not find it bothersome. There are plenty of palapa's around the pool and plenty of lounge chairs. The beach is very rocky, need sandals to walk on it. I saw a couple of people trying to snorkel off the beach. They will rent snorkle equipment, Kayaks and a little 2 person trimaran sailboat. I didn't see anyone using them but the prices were listed in the
Mayan times and we didn't spend a whole lot of time around the pool (only two days) They have an activities staff that does stuff like water polo, water volleyball, beach volleyball, underwater swimming races, bingo (I won two free drinks), etc. So anyway that's all I can think of right now. I'd love to go back after it's all finished, it will be amazing. They have a HUGE amount of land they are developing.

Alltournative Tours:
Well after seeing all your posts. I went to their web site and couldn't decide between the two tours so I booked them both online (Pac Chen on Monday and Nohooch on Wednesday). We paid $152 for both of us each time and all I can say is WOW! They were both great experiences! If I had to choose I guess I preferred the Nohooch Jungle Crossing tour because the cavern snorkeling is an indescribable experience I'll never forget! They were well
organized, fun, adventurous, safe, informative, everything I expected and more.

What can I say, the best word I can think of for 5th avenue at night is "enchanting". All of the lights and music and smells combined to create the most romantic atmosphere imaginable. The first night we made the mistake of not strolling all the way down from Ave. Juarez to Ave Constituenes. We ate at Los Rancheros that night which is not even half of the way down so we didn't even know till the next night that it just keeps getting better and
better as you walk down. It was amazing. Over the course of the week we ate at Los Rancheros, Karen's Pizza and Grill, the Panther,and Las Parillas. I only wish we could have gone to more of these great restaurants on 5th.

We also went to Cozumel on Sunday (very quiet, no cruise ships in Port), Xel-ha on Thursday (loved it-did the all-inclusive plan), Cancun on the Saturday we arrived and on Friday night for dinner at Lorenzillo's Lobster House. So in conclusion if you've hung on this far to all my ranting and raving. I LOVED IT! I can't wait to go back although it'll probably be a while :o( I'll be happy to answer any questions. Thanks for listening.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2004

We absolutely loved our stay at the Grand Mayan Palace. The rooms were large and very beautiful. We were in awe as we entered the room. We take four trips a year and always stay in five star resorts. The Grand Mayan Palace is one of the nicest resorts we have stayed at. The pool was amazing, the food was great. There were 20 family members traveling with me and my husband (we needed four 2-bedrooms). I made all the arrangements so I was a little nervous when I read the reviews about the Mayan Palace. EVERYONE LOVED the resort and thanked me for doing a great job (I got a free massage as thanks from my family [cheap-only $59.00 at the resort]). RESORT and STAFF are GREAT. We will definately go back. Keep in mind, all the bad reviews on the Mayan Palace are regarding timeshare presentations. Just don't do it. We didn't, they never bothered us, and we had a fantastic time!!!!

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5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2004

We just returned from a week long stay at the Grand Mayan Palace. Our children aged 17, 14 & 11 were kept busy the entire time - and so were we. Organized (and impromptu) volleyball games were always going on in the pool. There were water basketball, aerobics, water polo etc, etc. The staff were unbelievably courteous and excellent service was available throughout the resort. The walk from the rooms to the pool/restaurants was quite a distance. (shuttle services were also available). We used the walk as a tool to work off some calories from the great restaurants. Although the restaurants were a bit pricey. (My 11 year old was charged $25.00US for the breakfast buffet), there was still an excellent selection. There were plenty of pool chairs, but more shade pallapas are required. The beach is not swimmable due to the coral reef, but the 8,000 sq. meter pool is an ocean in itself! The taxi ride into Playa del Carmen is only 15 minutes away - with many taxis available. The rooms are very clean and spacious. We would all definitaly love to return to this resort again.

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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2004

I would like to thank everyone for your reviews of the Mayan Palace. We stayed at the Grand Mayan which is at the Mayan Palace in the Riviera Maya area south of Cancun. We were there from April 25 - May 2. I was so apprehensive about staying here because of the negative reports, but I couldn't change the reservation because it was through RCI. Your reviews helped us prepare for everything, but please do not be afraid to stay here. It is a 5-star resort with the biggest, warmest pool I have ever seen. My mother loved it because she is very short. I think the maximum depth is 4ft. Some of the negative reviews have merit, maybe I was prepared for negative things, but it wasn't bad at all. It is still under construction, but that didn't bother us at all. We had a two-bedroom ultra modern unit with a living room, kitchen and dining area and 2 bathrooms. Our terrace also included a personal pool! We checked in at 2pm, and the smaller room was ready, so we were able to go to our room immediately even though check in is supposed to be at 5pm. At check in we were asked if we wanted to listen to a timeshare presentation, but we declined and no one ever called or bothered us about it again. 1) Distances: The distance from the lobby to my room was about 3 minutes. I was so surprised about that because of all the complaints here. The walk from our room to the pool was a little longer, but it really wasn't bad at all, and I was traveling with my 80-year old stepfather! We used the vans once in a while, especially from the front gate to our room. That is impossible to walk. 2) Prices: The breakfast buffet was $15pp. It was very good, and we weren't hungry until dinner time, so it was a good value. Chef makes omelets in front of you, and a chef on the other side makes French Toast, Pancakes, Quesadillas and waffles. There was a long line the first day for all these dishes, but it was better later on in the week. This is where the Timeshare Salespeople bring their customers. The Supervisor of the waiters (Abelardo) was so kind to my parents. He waited on them personally....carried their food from the buffet, brought them anything they wanted......and the tip is already added to your bill! Service was the best I have ever experienced. The convenience store was just a little more expensive, but I paid $1US more in Playa del Carmen for the same brand of Salsa Picante! Since that price was better than Playa, we shopped a little more in the convenience store. We ended up buying 2 sets of 6 Mexican liquers for souveniers for 154 pesos, at the convenience store which I thought was a good price. 3) Restaurants: The reviews all mentioned the Italian Restaurant "Tramonto" saying that it was fantastic. Well, we thought the food was horrible. It is more upscale with a nice view of the magnificent pool, but we were so disappointed with the food. My husband and I ordered ravioli. The waiter told us it was cheese ravioli. I don't know what was really inside the ravioli. I couldn't identify it. The waiter said it was spinach, but I know what spinach looks and tastes like, and shouldn't spinach be included in the description on the menu? My parents each had chicken parmigiana with a side of pasta. The chicken cutlet was deep fried and there was no sign of cheese on top. There was a black stringy lump on the plate also. We asked where the pasta was and the waiter pointed to the lump! He explained that it was cooked in the ink of squid! This was not included in the menu at all. It was so wierd.... people complained about things that we didn't think were bad, and they raved about the Tramonto restaurant which we hated! The Oriental buffet at the Balche Pool was not worth $20 US. No rice, no LoMein. Good stir fry, and sushi if you like that, but definitely not worth the money. The Tum Tah Restaurant was our favorite, and we ate there twice. The pizza was very good, and my parents enjoyed their chicken dishes. The ambience is beautiful and the service was wonderful. Happy Hour at Pool #1 was 11-12 and 4:30-5:30. At the Del Lago where the entertainment was is 8-9, and the fantastic show starts at 9pm. Everyone waited for Happy Hour. My husband saw the amount of liquor they put in the drink, so I know they were not watered down as other people stated. We ate lunch at the Balche Pool one day and we all loved our meals. I had the veggie sandwich which came with a large plate of fries, my husband had quesadillas, my parents had hamburger platters. The food was delicious, and the price was not expensive at all. 4) Beds: From reviews I have read about all the Cancun resorts, everyone is complaining about the hard beds. We felt that the beds were firm, but not too hard and I never had a problem falling asleep at all. 5) Marble floors: You had to walk past our door in order to get to the pool, and I never heard any noise whatsoever. No complaints about the floors. 6) Robbery: 3 people wrote that they were robbed from the Room Safe. I advised my family not to bring anything of value with them. My mother still left some US money in her drawer, and I am happy to report that it was never touched. Hotel employees are in and out of the room constantly to clean and to maintain the personal pool on the terrace, and nothing was taken. 7) Transportation: We opted not to rent a car. While we waited for the bus on the highway, taxis would stop and offer great prices into Playa del Carmen. One time we took a taxi for only 40 pesos which was the same as the bus fare into town! Take the Mayab line to the last stop which is the Playa del Carmen bus terminal. It leaves you off at the corner of Juarez and 5th Avenue which is right near shopping, the beach and the Cozumel ferry terminal. We even took a bus to Tulum. It only cost 31 pesos. The bus was air conditioned, the seats reclined and they even showed a video on the way! It makes stops at Xcaret and Xel-Ha first, so the entire ride takes about an hour from the bus terminal. If you are willing to do that you can save mucho dinero! Of course a car would be more convenient, but I think we saved a lot of money by taking public transportation. The Cancun airport is a madhouse. We used CancunValet for transportation to the Mayan Palace. It was very difficult to find them. You have people who are trying to grab your bags to use their service, so be very careful. The reason I didn't use the Mayan Palace transportation was because one person wrote that they never showed up, and another person wrote that they waited a half=hour for another hotel guest's plane to arrive. With Cancun Valet, the van is your private van. It costs $55 and there were 4 of us, so it was a little less expensive, but we didn't have to wait for anyone else. We took the Mayan Palace transportation to return to Cancun Airport because they leave every hour. 8) Bugs: Spraying was done every afternoon. Out of the 4 of us, only my husband got bitten up. He is extremely susceptible to bites, even at home. He would watch the fantastic show every night. At the end of the show, the audience is invited on stage to do line dances and that is when he would leave because he was getting bitten up. If you are prone to bites, please bring spray with you. 9) Drinking Water: No one really mentioned this, but FYI....you can drink the tap water; it is purified. My husband drank the water with his medication every night with no problems whatsoever. They do provide you with bottled water but it costs 12 pesos, which is a very good price. A 20-ounce bottle of water in NY is $1.50, and this was a 1.5 liter of water, so it was worth it. Housekeeping gives you a sample packet of coffee, so you can have coffee in the morning using water from the faucet. NO WORRIES! 10) Activities: We had so much fun with the staff. There are Aquarobics, Bingo, Dart tournament, bracelet and necklace making, morning Yoga and Salsa lessons. We had so much fun with the Salsa lessons. We got the basic steps, but the advanced moves had us baffled. Joanna, a dancer from the show, tried to help us out, but we were too hysterical. The shows at night were spectacular. The Mexican fiesta night was good too. Unlimited bar, mariachi band, dancers, etc. They especially catered to the children too. The cost was $42 US.11) Beach: It's true, you can't swim on our beach. We walked about 10 minutes south (which wasn't too easy. There was a lot of garbage that washed up on shore, but I don't think the Mayan Palace owns that land, so it's not their fault). We came upon a nice beach, but we past signs that said "No Trespassing". Now I know that the beaches in Mexico are public so I wasn't worried until 4 Labrador Retrievers came running over to us and barking. We were a little concerned, but they allowed me to pet them. They ran in their house, so I was relieved, but then they returned and ran straight over to me. The biggest black dog opened his mouth and placed a well-chewed tennis ball at my feet! They just wanted to play! My husband played ball with the dogs while I tried to snorkle. The dogs are very sweet, so if you are walking on the beach, don't be afraid if they approach you. 12) Pool Shade: These reports are true also. One of our final days, my husband went to the pool at 7:15am and got the last palapa with the mattress. The poor guy sat there until we showed up at 9:00. People start to leave the pool around 2pm, so you might be able to find shade about that time.I think I wrote absolutely everything I can think of, but if you have any questions, you can email me.

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A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2004

Beware! Having visited the Mayan Palace in Acapulco, we decided to spend a week at the Grand Mayan in Playa del Carmen.
We booked a Hotel Unit on the internet through RCI. Our room was nice and the resort, itself, was just okay.
As soon as you get there, you are approached by staff to go on the Sales Tour. We were offered 15% off on our entire bill during our stay. We did get the free breakfast, but we got screwed on the 15% off on some of the items on our final bill.
Also, they did not honor the current exchange rate for Mexico. They had a lower rate of exchange for the resort. We felt that was a rip-off!
Another thing that we found very interesting, was that, you are automatically charged 15% tipping on each transaction that was made. Since we tip as we go based on the service we received, we felt that this was deceiving and should not be tolerated.
The resort in nice, but they have a long way to go as far as pleasing the customer.
Our maid service was good one day and the next day was crappy.
The Salesperson we had was very pleasant and we enjoyed her company. Petra did not pressure us, but her boss was an idiot and we would not buy anything from him! It was all about making the sell no matter what! We just said NO!!!
We have a timeshare at Pueblo Bonito Sunset and I would take that over Mayan Palace, anyday.
Atleast there, you have all the rooms with oceanviews! We got stuck in the back with no view at all.
The arcitecture at the Mayan Palace in Playa, is not very attractive and the grounds could use some work.
The food wasn't bad, but everything is very expensive, higher than US prices. Bring your wallet!
The pool was about the only thing that was great. You can go in the water at the beach, but it's got a lot of coral so wear your water walkers and practice your swimming before you attempt that.
The Palace doesn't recommend that you go swimming in the ocean there, and does not accept the liability if anything should happen.
Overall, Its BIG corporate buisness at it's best!!!

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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
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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