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“Very good, not great, some pros & cons” 4 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
NY
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Very good, not great, some pros & cons”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2011

This was our 4th stay at Mayan Palace in Riviera Maya, a 40-minute drive from the Cancun Airport. (Hey, if we keep going back it means something!) Mayan members get free transportation to resort, but pay $15 for return trip. This is a great family resort. If laughing children get you peeved, go elsewhere.

BEDS: Huge, platform beds, firm but comfy

ROOMS: Large, spacious LR (sleeps 4 kids/teens), lousy furniture. Kitchen is more than enough for a vacationing family. Lighting is dim. 3*

BATHROOM: You can hear upstairs neighbors flush—sounds like a waterfall, especially in middle of night. Out-dated, but kept clean. 3*

PORCH: Tiny, useless

LANDSCAPING: Superb, 6*

POOL: Gorgeous, comfy lounge chairs, can pay extra for day beds, 6*. There is a tram from lobby to pool and several other routes as well. This is a huge property. The trams run often, but expect up to a 10-15 minute wait at times.

MAID SERVICE: Daily, friendly, speak only Spanish, abundant towels/toiletries

SECURITY: Safe on grounds, beware outside. We met one couple that got caught speeding and police threatened to take away his license. After some bargaining, they compromised on a $100 bribe to get license back without going to police station. (Do NOT try this in the USA!)

BOUTIQUE: The “Jade” offers clothing and food. Eggs, meats, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are available. Fair selection, but very overpriced. A 2-liter bottle of Coke will cost close to $4.

GRAND MAYAN: Minimal increased luxury compared to Mayan Palace, not worth much extra. (We have stayed in both.)

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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English first
Cincinnati, OH
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2011

Some friends of ours have a membership in a vacation club that they rarely use, but decided it was high time to try it out and we landed some real estate at Mayan Palace for a very reasonable price per couple. Our group consisted of three couples, all in our early 30's.

Location: The location of the resort is not great if you want to go anywhere off the resort grounds - it's nearly an hour from Cancun and at least 25 minutes from Play del Carmen. Based on this knowledge, we decided to rent cars (each couple rented a tiny Aveo, which was a better deal than renting one or two larger cars to share) and we were very happy with our decision to do so. It gave us plenty of freedom to go where we pleased and stay in complete control of our own schedules. Doing the math on what other transportation would have cost, I think we were much better off. The parking situation was less than desireable since the small lot that was nice and close to our room was closed the week we were there.

Rooms: As many of the other reviews have stated, the layout of the resort is kind of ridiculous, with 21 buildings laid out in one long line, building #1 closest to the pool, building #9-ish being closest to the lobby and building #21 being closest to nothing. While we requested rooms in buildings 1-8, we were put into building 19. It wasn't a great situation since the pool was nearly always our destination, but after a day or so we learned to deal with it and work the shuttle system.
Despite our complaints about the building location, our rooms were nice enough, however nothing fancy or indicative of the Mexican culture we were in - very utilitarian with no views of anything, but comfortable and clean. We shared a two-bedroom suite (a one-bedroom suite with a King bed and the second bedroom is a lockout with two double beds) with one of the other couples, and the third couple was in a one bedroom suite next door. My husband and I were in the lockout, but we shoved the two beds together to make one giant bed and our travel companions were actually jealous they didn't have our room! In addition, our lockout was at the end of the hall, so we didn't share a wall with anyone or have any trouble with noise that I've heard others complain about. I was also under the impression there was no one in the room above us for most of the week (we were on the 2nd floor), so we may have gotten lucky in terms of peace and quiet. I loved that each couple had their bathroom. The rooms were very clean had twice daily maid service that I was happy to tip each maid for at the end of the week - they even managed to handle our "giant bed" with no problem! We also put our tiny kitchenette to much use with breakfast and lunch foods (we ate all dinners out), as well as beer and wine for drinking in the room (and sneaking down to the pool). We stocked up on supplies at the Wal-Mart in Playa which is cheap, cheap, cheap. You can't cook much on the tiny stove and I wish they'd had larger than a dorm-size fridge, but it got the job done.

Activities: The pool is AWESOME. It's huge and beautiful and we spent much of the week lying next to and in it. During the week we were there they kept draining various parts of the pool to do maintenance on it - I have no idea if this is a constant thing, or if our timing was off, but ultimately it didn't affect us in the slightest because it's so large there's always another part of the pool to explore. We did belly up to the pool bar several times in the beginning of the week, but the areas next to each pool bar tended to be in high-demand and, as would be expected, is often where you'd find the loud, drunken hillbillies and frat boys. We eventually found that our favorite spots were farther from the bars and we preferred to use the poolside waitstaff - they worked their butts off and treated us right (and were not oblivious to our sneaking our own beer down to the pool, and yet still chose to look the other way). They also had two happy hours every day, one in the late morning/early afternoon (11 - 1, I think) and another in the late afternoon (4 - 6?) - they consisted of buy-one-get-one drink-of-the-day and beers, so we usually took advantage of that.
Because of the coral and rocks at the shoreline, the beach sucked, pure and simple. It's BEAUTIFUL, but I'm a beach girl and I like swimming in the ocean (not to mention, it gets very hot laying in the sun, and you need to be able to cool off) and the water was completely inaccessible. I couldn't believe that people were actually risking losing skin by snorkeling off the beach, but there were a few out there. I walked out to the beach once or twice, but mostly resigned myself to staying by the pool.
Four of us in our group got spa treatments and we all thought they did a great job - the prices were fairly typical of a spa back home and I didn't think they were too bad. It also allowed access to the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room before/after your treatment, so that was a nice bonus. It costs extra to go to the gym, which I think is kind of ridiculous. However, I say that as someone who doesn't go on vacation to work out!

Timeshare Pitch: We chose not to do the timeshare presentation (which saves you something like 10% of your entire bill and gets you a free breakfast), as we deemed it completely unworthy of spending three or four hours of our day suffering through (I know from experience they're high pressure and not fun). They asked us to the presentation once at check-in and once called our room to ask us to come - we declined both times and they left us alone after that.

Restaurants: We did try most of the restaurants on the resort at least once and there were none I was truly disappointed in, though some were better than others. As is to be expected, they were all a bit on the pricey side, but nothing too terrible. I think my favorite was the Italian restaurant. The biggest problem I think we found was that none of them are easy or quick to get into at dinner time. Most of them require reservations at least a day ahead of time if you want to wait less than an hour or two. We also drove into Playa for dinner at least three times, which was my preference, but it's a long enough drive where we couldn't get up the energy to do it more than that. The poolside restaurant was really good - our first day we actually ate lunch there and enjoyed it, and several times throughout the week we ordered snacks or light lunches through the poolside waitstaff and it was delivered to us without our even having to get out of the pool! The pizza was awesome - highly recommend.

Overall it's a nice resort, but I wouldn't stay here again. And while I had no problem with our rooms, I prefer something a little more culturally immersive than a room that looks like I could be staying in a chain hotel in the middle of Cincinnati - if I go to Playa again, I'll pay a little more for a vacation rental or boutique hotel in the heart of the city. And the location was a turnoff, because even with access to our own cars leaving the resort was often time consuming and stressful (I think it would have been worse trying to use shuttles and public transportation - my husband was very good at navigating the traffic....there was just a lot of it!). If you're just looking for a resort with a bar and a pool, though, this is your place.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

I traded my RCI points for a 7 day girl's trip in a 2 Bedroom Suite @ Mayan Palace. The resort is beautiful, room was immaculate and the grounds kept perfectly manicured. The front desk allowed each of us four girls to put down our own credit card so that everything didn't go on my bill. This was perfect since this is a non cash resort. All food and beverage bills include a 15% gratuity, so you never need to carry cash. With a couple of nights worth of dinners, 2-3 lunches, a little food and clothing shopping and mostly drinks, my tab came out to about $500. That was about what each of us ended up spending.

The Water-
We bought water for the room in Playa Del Carmen. I talked to several people that had been staying there for a week. They said they'd been drinking the water and were fine. I still drank the bottled water. Never had any problems with the food either.

Security-
We felt very secure on the resort. Even when we left and came back, the guard gate recorded what cab you were in, the time you left and your room number. I found this very comforting, especially when in a foreign country. I walked the grounds at night with no fears whatsoever. All the paths and areas were well lit. Security did walkbys on the beach at night too.

Rooms-
I'd read tons of trip advisor reviews about the resort before I left which were extremely helpful. Particularly when it came to what building we were to be staying in. Upon check-in, I "greased the wheel" at the front desk for a room in Building 1-5 and on the top floor. Our room was in the perfect location in building 3 on the top floor on the end. We didn't hear any outside noise, ever. The unit was more than adequate for our needs. With the adjoining bedroom and main bedroom door s closed, you could hardly hear anything going on in the kitchen/living room area. This was perfect for our early risers and late sleepers. The beds were a bit harder than we have at home yet comfortable, but none of us had any trouble sleeping.

The maid came every day, once to clean and once for turn down service. We left a $5 bill on the table with a "thank you" each day.

Kitchen-
The kitchen was fine for our needs. We cooked a few times and had all the dishes, pots and utensils that we needed. It had a mini fridge that was big enough for food, juice and beers!

Food & Alcohol-
I highly recommend a trip to the Mega Mart in Playa Del Carmen at the beginning of your stay to purchase alcohol, water, coffee and other foods to snack or cook with. It has everything you'll need. The market in the resort is well stocked, but very expensive. You'll pay 2-3 times the price, maybe more if you purchase there. Beers were 50 pesos at the resort and about 250 pesos by the 6 pack in the store. At Mega Mart we paid 61 pesos for a 6-pack.

It's true what I read about the upselling of drinks. We went a little crazy with white russians and amaretto floaters. Each of those drinks came out to about $12-$16 each. Thanks goodness the bar closed at 11pm! Ha! Stick to the beer and an occasional tequila shot. It's a quicker and cheaper buzz!

Pool-
The pool is awesome and the biggest I've ever seen at a resort. The waiters were very attentive. I brought a soft sided collapsible cooler from home and brought beers from my room down to the pool. We saved a lot of money doing this. The pizza is a great value and cheaper to feed 3-4 people. The nachos weren't bad except that they used that liquid cheese instead of the real thing. But they still did the trick.

We reserved the same pool palapa at the end of each day for $35. If you buy at least $35 worth of food and drink at the pool, they'll take it off of your bill when you check out. But you need to check your bill carefully to make sure they take the charges off. We loved the palapa with the large bed and surrounding lounge chairs in and out of the sun. It was perfect!

If you want peace and quiet at the pool, make sure not to get a palapa near the water aerobics/trivia area of the pool. The music and speakers were pretty loud near our palapa #51. Other than that, we had perfect sun exposure all day in that spot.

The beach in front of the resort was nice. but you can't swim there. Our bartender said it was a 30 minute walk to a safe swimming area. You're better off driving 20 minutes in a cab and spending the day on a beach in Playa Del Carmen.

Restaurants-
The Gong Snack Bar and Cevicheria was my favorite. The "Asian" Peruvian Salmon Ceviche was outstanding. The portion size was surprisingly huge too. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The downfall is that it's only open from 11am-5pm.
You can order food to go and take it to the pool, like I did.

The Sushi Restaurant was really, really good too. A bit pricey, but worth it cuz we were craving sushi. Get the thick cut sashimi platter. You'll have a hard time finishing it. The lobster roll rocked too!

Happy Hours at the resort-
Happy hour (2 for 1) at the pool goes from 11am-1pm.
*We asked our waiter to remind us before happy hour ended. Then we ordered a couple of buckets of beer that last for hours. The service at the pool was very good.
Happy our at the Golf Course snack bar is from 3:30p-5p. Premium call brands are not 2 for 1.
Happy Hour at the Wine Bar is from 5:30-6:30p. We ordered the appetizer sampler platter to hold us over until dinner. It was pretty good.
The Resort has a daily special 2 for 1 drink until 5pm at the pool. Check it out at the concierge's tent near the pool area.

Shopping-
Shop in Playa Del Carmen. Everything at the resort is ridiculously overpriced. I bought the same ash tray in Playa for $3 that the pool kiosk wanted $25 for. Same with sunglasses, t-shirts, blankets, and especially jewelry. Bring your sunscreen from home.

Transportation-
I saw a tip on trip advisor to ask for Alex, cab #211. Trust me, you don't want anyone else! He's the best and totally reliable!!!! He works primarily with the resort. This tip made our entire trip! I asked about Alex upon check-in and that evening, he called my room to give me his cell if we needed him. He only needed 30-45 minutes notice to be available. Sometimes he was already at the hotel and we just walked down to meet him. It only cost $20 for a 15-20 minute ride to Playa Del Carmen, whether it's one or 4 passengers. He drove us around town showing us good and not so good places to eat, where not to hang out, etc. I'd called him about 30-45 minutes before we were ready to go back to the hotel.
Alex took us to Mega Mart after our day in Playa and waited while we shopped at no extra charge. As a matter of fact, he stopped at several places for us before we went to the beach. He totally took care of us! And his tunes in the car were great. We sang to the top of our lungs the whole way home every time we rode with him. It was truly a great experience. My only regret was that we didn't have enough time to spend with him.

Nightlife-
At the resort, there is only one true belly up type of bar at the Havana Moon. Jeiro was a great bartender! Technically, you can't eat t the bar. But if you go to the restaurant's maitre'd, you can order anything to go and eat it at the bar. There was a time they actually served us food at the bar. It's hit and miss if they'll let you order from the bar. The restaurant and bar close at 11pm, unfortunately. We were just getting wound up when it was time to leave. The Rock n Roll cover band was amazingly great. If you're looking for a Resort to party all night, this isn't it. Have Alex take you to Playa Del Carmen instead, but be careful where you go at night. Mexico isn't the same as it was 10 years ago. It's still relatively safe, but you need to be aware of what's going on around you.

Golf-
I was the only person in our group that golfs. I went to the "club house" and waited for a single golfer to come by. I didn't have to wait long before I found a partner. The course is a very challenging par 3. Bring your own golf balls or they're $1 each. Tees are provided. The club rentals were pretty decent too. It was $75 for the cart, greens fees and club rental. I heard there was a 2 for 1 deal on Friday's and Saturday's for $55, but was there on a Thursday.

Overall review-

One thing we were happy about was the lack of young children at the resort. Not sure if it was because we were there in January. But that was a definite plus for us.

While this resort was beautiful, to get the true taste of Mexico, I'd rather stay either in Playa Del Carmen or more likely Isla Mujere. You get to wander around town and feel the local flavor of Mexico. I usually stay in Isla Mujeres where it's cheaper and they have lots of beaches. I'd reccomend Mayan Palace for an older crowd that doesn't want to leave the resort much, but not to a younger crowd that wants to have fun.

If you want to wander around without needing a cab, go to Playa or Isla.
If our time share was available in Isla Mujeres that week, we would've stayed there instead. But overall we knew what Mayan Palace had to offer and were fine with that.
The day trips broke up the monotony of being at the same place for 7 days.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

The resort it's just amazing, acommodations are always nice in any of the "Mayan Palace chain" as family with young children we enjoyed our stay and plan to travel and stay in these resorts. I have also heard excellent comments on the resort up in Cabo San Lucas.
But this resort in the Riviera Maya is just excellent, 20 to 30 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen, it is just in between Cancun and playa del Carmen.
We really enjoyed our time there and we highly recommend it as young vactioners, couples, family etc.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Gothenburg, Sweden
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2011

When we first arrived at the main entrance we could not believe our eyes. It was one of the most beautiful lobby areas and made us worry if we were actually at the right place!

We stayed 2 weeks and it wasn't even close to enough time! It was my mother, my sister (12) and myself (21) on this trip. We had a blast. Every day there was something to do. The weather was perfect, couldn't have asked for better. We rented a car for 2 weeks (about 700$ with the insurance) but it was totally worth it. Playa del Carmen was an awesome little city. Once you get over a bit of the culture shock, you feel right at home and wonder why you don't already live there. The locals were very used to tourists and a great many of them had a wonderful sense of humor.

As for safety, we were 3 girls and never once felt threatened. Of course you need to be smart and not venture off into the shadier parts of town, but how does that differ from any city?

My only complaint would be that it was impossible to use the internet. The hotel was overpriced on that note and even in town it was seriously difficult to get online. But after all, we were on vacation and it felt good not to worry about missing the latest on Facebook.

I suggest bringing TONS of sunscreen and your camera. Also a map of the area would be smart. Oh, and a Spanish/English dictionary, as the road signs are all in Spanish (obviously). Taking a road trip to Chichen Itza should be high on your list of things to do, it was beautiful.

I was deeply moved by this trip and highly recommend it to others.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2011

We stayed at the MP for New Years 2010 and had a great time. We are a family of 5 with 3 teenagers and have been to Mexico several times. There are so many different reviews, opinions and thoughts on this resort – some good, some bad and some indifferent. I will share our experience with you and hopefully you will find it helpful.

We arrived on Dec 26th into Cancun, went thru immigration, grabbed bags and went thru customs (in some order) and went looking for our shuttle. If you did not rent a car and had arranged transportation with the MP ahead of time, they will tell you to look for their driver that will have a tan polo shirt and navy slacks on. There are SO many people outside trying to get you to come with them, that it makes it difficult to find your driver. Walk all the way OUTSIDE, cross a very small driveway/crosswalk and walk to the BLUE station Number 28. It is the 2nd blue station straight ahead. Anyone going to the Grand Mayan or the Mayan Palace will need to check in here. They will direct you to the next shuttle that’s available – this took about 15 minutes and we were on our way.

The drive to MP took us exactly 30 minutes from the airport and the sights along the way were not pretty. There were many abandoned buildings and not a whole lot to look at - but I think that is how it is outside all resorts. Once we got to the MP we went into the lobby to check-in and of course, was approached by the timeshare people. I told them I would stop by after I checked us in. Check-in was easy but a little slow. I think we had a new person behind the desk helping us. They have trays of cold bottled water sitting on the counter that you can help yourself to. I had sent a request in prior to arrival asking for a room in building 1-8 but we didn’t get it. Oh well, we were in building 13 instead on the ground floor. When I asked if they had any other rooms on another floor I was told no. Ok, let’s just go with it! We got our keys, towel cards and MP bands that everyone had to wear and were on our way. The bands are different colors each week and the GM bands are different than the MP bands. (Stopped and signed up for the timeshare tour but we’ll talk about that later).

Like I mentioned, we were in building 13 – which was about a 3 minute walk from the lobby. No big deal. We booked a 2 bedroom unit thru RCI (HGVC members) and we were not disappointed. The unit was comprised of a king bedroom with a separate toilet and separate shower/sink. There was an additional sink outside of the bathroom next to the kitchen - almost like a half-bath minus the toilet! Then we had the living room that had 2 full couches that adults could sleep on, dining room table with 4 chairs and the kitchen. 2 top burners, microwave, sink, small fridge and plenty of dishes, silverware and 4 pots/pans. On the other side of the kitchen/living room you had the second bedroom with 2 queen beds and another full bathroom. Showers were good size and you didn’t feel cramped in there. Marble sinks and full size shampoo and body lotions each day. There were plenty of towels, good water pressure in the shower and twice daily maid service. With regards to the beds, yes they were indeed firm but everyone slept very well. We would rather have a firm bed than a mushy one where our backs start hurting 2 days into our trip. Our backs never hurt during the entire trip. Even our 16 year old enjoyed sleeping on the couch and said it was VERY comfortable. TV’s in each room but limited English speaking channels. Literally, there were maybe 7 or 8 of them. No worries – we brought Wii with us and hooked it up to the living room TV to play at night!

People complained of the smell of the rooms on the ground floor – was there an odor, yes, was it terrible no. We had our doors open so much that the smell didn’t bother us. Quite honestly, I think it’s the water. Every time you had someone take a shower or you washed a couple dishes you seemed to notice the smell more. It really wasn’t THAT bad as some have made it out to be. Plus having the doors open and fresh air in the condo is what we prefer. No bugs either!!

House keeping came in the morning and then came again in the evening for turn down service. On the nights we didn’t take the turn down service, they gave us a handful of Hershey Kisses. We left them a tip and a note each morning and had plenty of towels, lotions and soap. They even refilled our dish soap bottle so we could wash a few dishes each day.

Each building is comprised of 3 separate buildings that are connected by a hallway. So, building 11, 12 and 13 were all connected and then it opened up to building 14, 15 and 16 at which point it opened up again. Building 13 was about a 3 minute walk (if that) to the hotel lobby but it was a 15 minute walk to the pool. We walked it so many times that we decided to time it so we could let you know. It’s a nice stroll and the kids did it themselves many times even at night. Not a big deal plus you get some exercise in and walk off your food and booze!

Laundry machines are between buildings 5 and 6 as well as buildings 16 and 17 and are located off the service path/driveway behind the buildings. It is kinda hidden but if you look closely for it you will find it. There were 3 washers and 3 dryers in there and I the dryer I had wouldn’t work. Called maint and they came and fixed it right away. If you are going to wash any laundry you have to go to the Concierge to get the tokens and soap. You won’t guess how much it is for 1 load of laundry - $8.00 USD for 1 token to wash, 1 token to dry and a little pouch of soap! Hope you don’t do a lot of laundry! If you purchase the tokens and don’t use them, return them to the Concierge and they will credit your room. I did it!

As so many people have said before, the pools were incredible. You never felt crowded because they were so big and people were so spread out. When you walk up to the pool you can go either left or right - if you go to the left you will find the pool towel stand, hair braiding, tattoos, jewelry, face-painting and a restaurant called Balche. We ate at Balche several times during our stay and thought it was great pool food and reasonably priced. Club sandwiches, BLT’s, hamburgers, Chix Quesidilla’s , Grouper sandwiches etc. Also on the left side you will find a board that shows the resort activities each day and the times. There is also a stand that you make all dinner reservations at in this area and I believe the ladies name was Ava. As you go around the pool you will see Havana Moon, which is located on the beach as well as the health club. There are 2 places to enter the beach from the pool deck and between the 2 places you will find an ice cream stand – big hit with the kids but expensive. We bought 3 double scoop servings and it was $24.00 USD. Do you know how many gallons of Breyers I could have bought!!?? LOL I’ve also seen people say that you cannot bring food to the pool – that was not the case for us. We brought food down ourselves and left it right out on the beds or tables and NOBODY said anything to us. We saw people with coolers too! I guess some people may have had a bad experience with this but we didn’t have any problems at all.

As everyone mentions, there are Palapas with beds to rent around the pool each day. There are a total of 55 beds around the pool and they rent for $35.00 a day but if you order that much in food/beverages then the beds are free. Why would you not do this – they are so comfortable and it’s nice to get out of the sun sometimes. Alongside each bedside they have a small table and a chaise lounge chair so you have the bed, 2 tables and 2 lounge chairs for each palapas. Plenty of room for everyone! If you prefer not to pay anything, then the palapas that have only chairs under them are free – first come, first serve.

The beach has a ton of green chaise chairs and palapas for you to sit under. There is even a wooden playground set for the younger kids if they get tired of digging in the sand! The sand is very soft and rock-free until you get down to the water. Yes, it is full of rocks and next to impossible to get into the water to swim but it was so nice to lay there in the sun and listen to the waves come crashing in! RELAXATION! We did not go exploring down either way on the beach so I can’t help you there.

Del Lago is a restaurant onsite that has an awesome breakfast buffet. Almost everything you could want is there. Something we found out was that if want bacon for breakfast you have to ask for it – they do not leave it out on the buffet. Orange juice is delivered to your table on request. The freshly made donuts were the most incredible donuts I’ve ever had. I don’t eat donuts for breakfast but since they made them right there I had to try them. They were AMAZING!! All kinds of fresh fruit, eggs, bagels, hot cocoa – great breakfast and a must try.

Tramonto was the Italian Steakhouse located on the 2nd floor above the Jade store and café. We went for dinner one night and had Angel as our server. He was EXCELLENT!!! He asked everyone our names, told us about the menu, great selections, entertained the kids with jokes and made paper napkins into roses for the ladies. We enjoyed the food and his company so much we went back another night and requested his section. Believe it or not, he remembered everyone’s name and stayed and chatted with us. Great Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, Chix Parm, Pasta, Salmon, Ribeyes, Crème Brulee and Cheesecake. The food was awesome and we left very happy and full.
Green Break Café is by the golf course and my husband went there every morning for his coffee. Nice, quiet and relaxing place to have coffee or breakfast in the morning.

Jade is the boutique within the resort and they have everything that you could need while on vacation. Also in this area you will find the “market” that has fresh fruits, eggs, breads, dried goods, toiletries, chips, milk, all kinds of drinks from waters, Gatorades, sodas etc. It’s a mini grocery store that has everything. They also have a deli that sells pizza’s, lunch meats, hot dogs, cheese etc. We purchased a couple trays of fresh cut fruit each morning, blueberry muffins, apple turnovers and were good. It isn’t terribly expensive but it’s more than what we’d pay in Chicago and you’re on vacation so why not?!!

We signed up for the Xel-ha and Tulum tour thru the resort and had a WONDERFUL time. We picked up our bus by the Green Break Café for the departure and it took us about 1 hour to get to Xel-ha. Xel-ha is almost like a giant Disney waterpark/theme park but with a huge area for snorkeling, swimming, zip lines, tubing and beach chairs. They had an all you can eat buffet there which we all thought was excellent – including the soft serve ice cream. We spent 5 hours there and then hopped back on the bus to go to Tulum which was about 15 minutes from Xel-ha. Tulum has beautiful Mayan Ruins and it was incredible to see them. The beach down below was breath-takingly beautiful with crystal clear water and white powdery sand. There is a path from atop of the hill down to the beach if you choose to go down there. We definitely recommend this adventure. It does take the entire day if you are looking for something to do.

Now for the timeshare part . . . we knew exactly what we were getting into going to a presentation – no surprise there. We are current owners at HGVC, after the tour we sat down and talked numbers. They asked us to sign a piece of paper that allowed them to find out the value of our current timeshare – we signed it because we were curious as well. At the end, my husband asked for a copy of the document we signed and they were shocked – in fact the guy was stuttering. I guess nobody asks for a copy of this. Since it’s a legal document, we felt we were entitled to a copy. He said let me check on that for you. 2 people later, we were told that it would cost us $200 to get a copy of that document (because that’s what it cost them to run the check). Our final stance on the timeshare was NO and since they knew we were done they wanted us to sign the “final exit” paper so we could leave. We refused to sign. They walked us to the door area so we could collect our promised perks. We sat down with the owners’ rep for an exit interview. We told her about the document, the $200 price tag that went with it and she flipped. She made me tell her who it was so she could suspend him for 3 days and send him back to training. They are NOT supposed to ask for any money. Since we didn’t sign the “final exit” paper that prevents us from dealing directly with the owners and being contacted by them within the next 5 years – she was able to offer us the same 2 bedroom property as they did inside for 50% less. No lie! It was incredible!! So, if you are really interested in purchasing here, follow the same steps we just told you and you’ll get it for half price. The only reason we did the presentation was to save some money and we did - $500.00. That was good enough for us.

Would we go back to this resort – yes as we had a really good time. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them. If you go to this resort – enjoy your trip!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lethbridge
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2011

We stayed here December 18th through Jan 1. Got up to take pictures of the sunrise and witnessed a couple getting engaged. If you know who they are, have them get in touch with me, I would love to forward the pics to them.
The Review.
ROOMS- Clean, well layed out, beds were in typical Mexican style- hard as a sheet of plywood. The maid service was great, with a turn-down every night.
RESORT - The property is beautiful, nicely set out, with the exception of the beach. There is no sandy access to the water, but we knew this going in. We never ran into an unfriendly staff member and had great service from anyone we had contact with.
POOL - one of the only ones we were able to find in Mexico that was heated. It is massive and warm, open 24 hours and for my wife, the highlight of the resort. We actually spent more time in it after dark, comfortably - at least until the chilly dash back to the room.
Food & Alcohol - priced on the heavy side, you will learn when Happy Hour is and where quickly ( at least after you sign your first tab). It isn't difficult to hit the 200.00 mark having a meal.
We rented a jeep and spent most of our time off property. Hopped across to Cozumel for six nights, walked Fifth ave a ton, and having been to the area eight times before were quite comfortable doing it. As a base of operation the Mayan was okay, a little further from town than would be perfect, but other than the costs to eat and drink there we had no complaints.
The cost of a round trip to Playa Del Carmen was the same as the rental jeep for a day, so it was an easy choice, and it made it easy to come and go as we pleased.
I would recommend this resort to a friend if they came forewarned. If you know the costs going in it's easier to enjoy yourself without stressing. This was our first experience with a non-all inclusive and we found a way to make it work for us, but if you are going to stay on site you could most likely stay at one of the all inclusive properties in the area for the same money.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 1
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:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#10 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Hotel Class:5 star — Mayan Palace Riviera Maya 5*
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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