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“Great place for exotic getaway”

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Viceroy Riviera Maya
Ranked #13 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 12, 2013

This resort is really something special concerning the overall jungle atmosphere and the surrounding.

Great service, everybody is really trying to pammper you all the time. Spacious villas, great tasty food, very nice beach and pier.

We were on a all inclusive plan, and it was well worth it. Firstly, you eat when ever you want, where ever you want and almost everything you want but with an A La Carte reataurant quality. No buffet, everything is prepared just for you. I believe that, the all inclusive plan is worth it, because the prices of the food and drinks, are very, very high.

We also had our marriage ceremony there, on the beach, and we were very satisfied with the organization, service and the photos.

Luxurious, expensive but a place you'll enver forget.

Room Tip: Do not waste money on ocean view villas, you just get a small view, but no privacy at all. Choose th...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2013

Dear S M,
I appreciate that you have shared your comments about your recent stay at Viceroy Riviera Maya.
Our special design and unique landscaping offer a unique an exceptional option for couples that are looking not only for privacy and intimacy but to have the opportunity to enjoy great service and luxury accommodations.
Our all inclusive version, the Mayan Indulgence Package, has many advantages if you would like to relax and forget about everything, at the same time you can enjoy the options of our service a la carte in our restaurants.
We are really glad that you have chosen us to celebrate your marriage.
We hope to see you soon in your next visit to the Riviera Maya.
Sincerely,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 11, 2013

My husband I stayed here in early February, and it was the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had.

To begin with, unlike a traditional hotel, checking in at VRM basically means just showing up; the “lobby” is a covered space outdoors; there are no lines, no people standing at counters when you walk in. When you arrive, they whisk your luggage away and welcome you with a cool towel and refreshing drink. Then, you’re given a tour, with a stop at the spa for the Mayan welcome ritual, which involved us holding hands while a “shaman” surrounded us with aromatic smoke and said an incantation. At the end of the tour, your guide shows you to your villa and explains how things work (we got the all-inclusive package, which even included the minibar—awesome!—but I digress…). He offers a gift of divine-smelling handmade soaps, then leaves you to your own devices.

Want to hang out on your patio? There are lounge chairs, a table and chair set, and of course an awesome hammock for reclining, or maybe you’d rather just jump into your own private pool? You can do that. Yearn to do laps? VRM’s main pool is large and set amongst gorgeous palm trees, and an attendant is on hand to set up your lounge chair with fresh towels or offer drinks. Or you could hit the beach—and try to snag a palm-leaf-covered cabana or loungers shaded by gauzy white curtains.

While we were there, we developed a routine for most days: head to breakfast and choose our cabana (we were there in high season, so it was a little competitive and we had to claim a spot early), hang out on the beach until late afternoon, then go “home” and chill on the patio with a beer and have a dip in our pool. We’d have dinner either at the grill or La Marea, then stroll on the beach or meander back along the jungle pathways to our villa.

We had a luxury jungle villa at the edge of the property near the lobby; although I coveted the beachfront villas for their proximity to the water, I think the jungle villas are the way to go: ours was very secluded, comfortable, and generally quiet. (Our neighbors next door were loud talkers, so that got annoying the couple times we happened to be on our patios at the same time, and one morning a dog barked for an hour and a half straight—but I was too relaxed to get worked up enough over either of those things to complain). Plus, seeing the wildlife was cool—one afternoon a monkey jumped on our roof and I watched it swing through the trees. We also saw many colorful birds.

The food was good. I enjoyed breakfasts most—they have a mix of American-geared food and Mexican food and it’s all well done. For breakfast, the fresh-squeezed juices are amazing, and I became addicted to the X’spa salad. They even did scrambled eggs and bacon really well. (My husband raved about the French toast.) Lunches we ate on the beach (they bring a tray to set between you), and we could not get enough of the fish tacos and pork tacos—delicious! Dinner we had either at the Coral Grill (casual) or La Marea (fine dining). Coral Grill mixed it up a couple times while we were there with a “cantina” night (they moved the tables into a grassy area and offered cantina-style dishes) and a “street food” night, which we really enjoyed. La Marea was good, but it would be nice if they offered a daily special; otherwise it was the same menu every time.

This is long, I know, but I have to mention the staff. Everyone was very kind and friendly; special thanks to Francisco and Pepe who provided stellar service on the beach. VRM makes everything seem effortless—morning housekeeping service and nightly turndown appeared to be coordinated so that the staff are working on your room while you’re dining. And the housekeepers/turndown staff are wonderful—everything was clean, they always had fresh towels and fresh carafes of water for us, and they even folded the clothes we haphazardly threw over chairs, etc.

All in all, a satisfying and rejuvenating experience.
Pros:
• Small, all-villa resort
• Romantic grounds (that transition from lush jungle to stunning ocean view with private pier)
• No kids under 16 allowed
• All-inclusive includes a nice range of drink options, most of which are included in-room minibar
• Staff who are helpful and friendly but never intrusive
• Your own pool and hammock, plus an iPod docking station in your villa so you can listen to music

Cons:
• Mosquitoes can be bothersome in the evening/early morning; bring bug spray/wipes with Deet.
• Noise issues: Not sure where the barking dog was (at VRM or the hotel next door); VRM does allow pets, which is not conducive to the enjoyment of other guests so I’d suggest they reconsider that policy or maybe require dog owners to use bark collars to keep pets quiet.
• I arranged and paid for the trip, yet the bills were always given to my husband; a little irksome, but it is a different culture.
• Food and drinks are expensive, so all-inclusive will save you some $ and worries.

Oh--about those “rocky beach” comments in other reviews: I was expecting the worst when I read those comments. The beach itself is fine sand (not rocky), but there is a patch of rocks as you enter the water immediately in front of VRM (and for some ways, especially to the south), so it’s best to either swim off the beautiful pier or walk north about 5 minutes and there is a great, sandy-bottomed spot for swimming.

Room Tip: Jungle villas offer more privacy.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Wildreinlegen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2013

Dear Wildreinlegen,
I would like to personally thank you for write such an amazing description about your experience at Viceroy Riviera Maya.
I have shared your comments with our entire team. We feel very proud that you have enjoyed so much the experience and privacy of our Luxury Villa.
The fact that you have taken advantage of all the special details and amenities that we offer in our property, as well as pointing out the areas of opportunity that we have give us details of where we need to improve our services in order to provide a better experience to our guest.
We thank you again for your feedback and we hope to see you soon in your next trip to Mexico.
Sincerely,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 11, 2013

My wife and I just returned from spending a wonderful week at this property. We were celebrating our nineteenth anniversary. We’ve travelled quite a bit over the years and always have fun wherever we go, but we both agreed that this was the most relaxing and enjoyable week of our marriage. Other reviewers have described the beautiful setting and amenities quite accurately. I won’t repeat those descriptions here, but I will add that everything about the property is serene. And the service was even better. We felt as though we were being welcomed by good friends who wanted to make sure we had a good time.

We loved waking up and walking to breakfast at the open-air beachfront grill. Then we would sit under a cabana for a few hours while our new friends visited periodically to deliver fresh fruit skewers, beverages, or cool face towels, or to clean our sunglasses. When we were ready for lunch, one of our friends would bring us a menu, take our order, and then serve us right at our beach loungers. Our afternoons were usually spent in our villa, where we talked, read, napped, and enjoyed our private pool. The biggest decision of the day was whether to eat dinner at the grill or restaurant (both were excellent). The walk down the softly-lit path was a very pleasant part of our evening. Though we didn’t visit the spa, we left there feeling like the entire experience was a week-long spa treatment.

Different people have different expectations about resorts, so I thought I’d add a few comments addressing some of the criticisms here on tripadvisor. First, I’ll note that there is only one reason to visit and that is to relax in a beautiful setting and to be pampered by an amazingly professional staff. It’s not a party place or even a place with a lot of activities on the grounds. The staff can help arrange any kind of day trips or activities one wants, but frankly, if one is only looking for a place to sleep between such things, there are probably better options. Second, while we absolutely loved the authentic, fresh local foods as interpreted by a very talented chef, others who might be looking for a broad culinary experience would be more likely to find that at a larger resort. Third, we had no problems whatsoever with mosquitoes, even though our villa was the farthest from the beach. We were there the first week in March, and it was a little breezy, so that might have helped. The staff did say that insect repellent might be needed in the summer months. There was a bottle in our room and others in several spots throughout the property.

Finally, I’ll note that, while this is not a place for cost-conscious travelers, the overall price is in line with other exclusive properties. A few reviewers have commented about the prices and especially about the automatic service charge. While the individual prices for the meals might seem high, the all-inclusive option is the only way to go, and that is actually a very good value. There are no “hidden” or “unexpected” fees – the resort is very clear about the automatic service charge. I realize that some people would rather make their own decisions about gratuities, but I cannot imagine any reasonable person being unwilling to tip the many excellent staff members at this resort. We almost always added an additional gratuity. I spoke to a staffer and confirmed that 100% of the service charge is distributed to the employees, and this makes the Viceroy a very attractive place for the best hospitality professionals in Mexico. Even with the automatic charge added, the cost of the all-inclusive package is perfectly in line with, if not slightly below, the market for this type of property. Where else can someone rent a beautiful beach house with a private pool, a chef, and a full staff for well under $1,000 a day?

We can’t wait to go back.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Alpharetta_guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2013

Dear Alpharetta_guy,
I really appreciate that you have taken the time to share your experience.
There is no better way to enjoy and relax in our property than you have described. The best plan is do not have a plan at all… we’ll take care of the rest.
Our staff has been mention in various reviews and is one of the main pillars that we have. If we just add the special characteristic and landscaping that surround our property, not to mention the privacy and intimacy that offer our villas, we definitely offer an amazing experience to our guest.
We also have the special theme nights that offers a different culinary experience, to mention two of the most representatives is our “Antojeria” night, where we bring street food from Mexico to your table. Our Chef’s Table, a delicious 6 course dinners with wine pairing from Mexico, this is the interpretation of our Chef Jetzabel about Mexican Cuisine.
We feel honored for such a great review and we look forward to host you and your wife for your 20th anniversary.
Warmest Regards,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 9, 2013

At these prices, this beautiful property failed.

Room service phone just rang and rang on several occasions.
Hot water was not hot enough to mix in any cold.
Door lock was tricky.
One of our lamps had no switch and could only be powered from the plug.
Villas are close enough together that we had to listen to the drone of AC units all night which is not in keeping with the "jungle" Villa atmosphere.
Toilet ran constantly and on our fifth day gave up flushing altogether. (they fixed it quickly.)
Wait staff at the two restaurants were friendly but not attentive.
Kitchen put out some excellent dishes but the menu was static for five straight days and limited on the casual end. Also, the hamburger at the pool side restaurant had the worst patty of beef I've seen in years-- probably frozen. We also endured a poor tuna steak and a poor ribeye.

Beach service was excellent as were beach and poolside lounging and shade options. the villa was beautiful and über-private, with our own dipping pool.
We didn't go near the spa because the prices were astronomical.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank johnrChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2013

Dear johnrChicago,
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for sharing your comments about your recent stay at Viceroy Riviera Maya. We value the input of all our guests, and have taken immediate action to improve our services and facilities, based on your remarks.
I am convinced that we learn from your valuable comments. These will help us to improve in our search of attention to detail.
We are always eagerness in the search to be better. My team and I truly appreciate your feedback.
With best regards,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 8, 2013

The food was average & sometimes overcooked. Only 2 restaurant choices & sometimes only 1 (beach barbecue) is boring. Room was clean; however, was located near the lobby & required a good amount of walking to get anywhere.
We've traveled to different countries - always selecting an all inclusive resort for the simplicity of cost - all inclusive. A few of the resorts have required a signature after every meal & beverage service - which I consider a nuisance but not a big issue. It has always been our choice to tip (very generously) based on the level of service but always our choice. However, there's a different practice at The Viceroy regarding 'service fees' and for that reason we will not be returning.
At The Viceroy - breakfast, lunch, dinner, bar service with no waiter involved & beach service - we were charged a 15% service fee based on food/beverage price printed on the menu (regardless of the level of service). Then the 15% service fee is included in the total bill amount and then tax is added based on the combination. I have no issue with a service fee for spa services, special room service orders, etc.; however, it has always been my understanding, unless explained otherwise - which is wasn't - that these gratuities & applicable taxes were already considered in the total cost - especially applying a tax on food & beverages that has already been paid for in the total cost. Whether I want to add an additional amount should be my choice. Additionally this was never explained to us nor included in any information we received about the resort.
Never experienced that type of all inclusive billing & won't be in the future - because we won't be staying here again.

Room Tip: Make sure your room is closer to the restaurants & pool rather than the lobby - lower room numbe...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank bradlg25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2013

Dear bradlg25,
I would like to thank you for sharing the comments of your recent stay at Viceroy Riviera Maya.
Even though that we are not an All Inclusive property, we offer a different experience to our guest and to that end we promote our own all inclusive version which we called “Mayan Indulgence”.
And though we are a small resort, with just 41 villas, we have three different dining options for guests: two restaurants, including a gourmet dining room and a seaside grill, as well as room service.
In the reservation confirmation letter that we sent to all our guests, we outlined the service fees and government taxes that would be charged.
I will get together with my team to make sure that we offer different options.
I regret that your stay with us was not everything you expected it to be. If you will give us another try, I know you will have an exceptional experience.
Once again, your comments are greatly appreciated it.
Sincerely,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 6, 2013

I can't imagine exceeding the quality of service and ambiance of this hotel. From the moment we arrived, all personnel greeted us by name and knew our villa #. They went out of their way to please us and they surely did.

The villas are gorgeous, private and very romantic.

Food quality is good but not great. We took the meal plan which was a good decision as the a la carte prices are extremely high.

The beach is gorgeous.

Location is excellent as you're very close Playa del Carmen's 5th avenue, Tulum, Xcaret and many other tourist sites.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank avis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2013

Dear Avis,
We appreciate that you have taken the time to write about your recent experience.
It is also very satisfying to hear that you had such a great time at our resort.
We are going to work with our Chef in our menus and options to improve the culinary experience of our guest.
We look forward to host you again in your next trip to the Riviera Maya.
Yours Sincerely,
Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed March 6, 2013

My family and I stayed here in December 2012 for my sister's wedding. It was AMAZING. I cannot say enough good things about this place. The food was delicious and the staff was incredibly warm, gracious and welcoming. The grounds are also gorgeous and because it's in the rainforest you get to see a whole array of animals. As soon as we pulled in to the resort we saw 3 monkeys hanging out in the trees, we saw different kinds of birds and lizards sunning themselves. I also saw a snake one day, but it looked pretty harmless, I didn't bother it and it didn't bother me.
The suite my husband and I stayed in was perfect. It was right on the water so we fell asleep each night to the sound of waves crashing onto the beach. The suite also had its own private patio (equipped with a super comfortable hammock), plunge pool, and private outdoor shower. All were perfect. The food can be pretty pricey but if you go out into town you can find some really great deals. The only complaint I have about the place was the water temperature in the shower, it kept fluctuating between scorching hot and freezing cold, I had to play with the dial a bit to find the sweet spot. I never called and complained though, so I can't blame the resort for that. All in all we had a great time and I would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stellablu83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2013

Dear Stellablu83,
Thank you very much for sharing your comments regarding your recent stay at our Jungle Paradise.
I assure you that we are working in your comments. We have different options for our guest not only in prices but also in variety.
I always appreciate contributions and areas of opportunity where we can improve our service.
I will review the offer and prices that we have.
Thank you again for your valuable feedback and we look forward to welcoming you in your next trip to the Riviera Maya.
Sincerely,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Additional Information about Viceroy Riviera Maya

Address: Playa Xcalacoco Frac 7, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly The Tides Riviera Maya)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#9 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $469 - $1,394 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Viceroy Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport and three miles from popular Playa del Carmen, Viceroy Riviera Maya is a serene hideaway set on the turquoise Caribbean amid a lush jungle ambiance. As Riviera Maya’s #1 resort in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards, Viceroy offers world-class amenities, personalized pampering, exquisitely appointed villa accommodations with private patio and plunge pool, refined Mexican cuisine accented with international touches at La Marea and Mexican-Mediterranean fare at the seaside Coral Grill. Mayan influences abound, from the Mayan Blessing performed on arrival by the resort’s Shaman to the Mayan healing techniques offered at the award-winning spa. A Lagoon Pool, private pier, fitness center and traditional temazcal sweatlodge are among the resort’s many other pleasures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Viceroy Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Tides Riviera Maya Hotel
Tides Riviera Maya Resort
Ikal Del Mar
Viceroy Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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