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“Better than the Mandarin!”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #49 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Better than the Mandarin!”
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We chose the Blue Diamond primarily because we had stayed here when it was the Mandarin 4 years ago which we loved! We had no idea that our recent 6 night experience (first week in May) would surpass the Mandarin, and the bonus for us was that the weather was great for the entire time.
Airport p/u and arrival:
On time, new car, pleasant driver, hand towels, and water....a perfect way to arrive
Hotel arrival:
Adriana was wonderful. She assisted us with answers to all our questions and set up out tee time.
The room:
We had the patio suite in the 3rd patio overlooking the river. This was probably one of the nicest rooms we ever stayed at. We preferred this over the beachfront that we previously stayed at. Total luxury, impeccably clean, and in mint condition. Bring your ipod for the docking station and wireless worked well.
The service:
Impeccable and tireless. Sergio who greets you when you first check in is the best! He was always one step ahead of us and was always there whenever we needed anything. Every detail was attended to on a moment's notice. Turn the pool on, set the A/C, learn the TV, extra towels, extra items in the mini-bar....all done immediately. All golf cart drivers were always friendly with a smile at all times and readily available if you didn't want to walk. We happened to enjoy walking to and from the beach, pools, restaurants, etc. But carts were passing us all the time if we wanted to jump on.
Food/Beverage:
The food for all meals was fabulous—meat, fish, chicken, etc…you name it, they had it, or they would prepare it. The presentation was 5 star. All meals were menu not buffet, and the two restaurants were great. The service could not be any better. Cesar, Gabriel, Jesus, Roman, Omar and Walter were all consistently wonderful and they always had a smile no matter how hard they were working.! Drinks were always available.
The Staff:
The Blue Diamond was open only for 3-4 months before we arrived. I would guess that in very short order it will be better than just a 5 star hotel. The smiles, the attitudes, and the service is nothing short of spectacular. Rodrigo the manager, Gabriella running the front office, Adriana, Sophia and many others could not do enough to make us comfortable daily. I guess there is no such thing as being pampered too much on a vacation, and we sure were.
Activities:
We went to the gym every morning....first class with great equipment. The spa was great and truly first class as well. We enjoyed our private pool, the main pool and the spa pool, all great with no noise and no children. Long walks on the beach were great, and we played golf at a Nick Price course nearby and thoroughly enjoyed that as well.
Summary:
Blue Diamond is a perfect setting for relaxation with incredible and passionate service with overwhelming politeness and charm with smiles at all times.
Our six nights/7 days flew by. As frequent travelers, we so enjoyed this vacation of luxury, great attitude and service that we will be booking another trip shortly.
We are sure that others will share a similar experience.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank michael k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBayBelleVue, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
Thank you Michael for your wonderful remarks. I have shared your comments with staff (its suprising how you remember the names!) and they all appreciate hosting you. We look forward to see you back soon.
Kind regards
BlueDiamond team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
LA / NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

Open for only a few months under a new management, this resort offers features that are among the very best on the Mayan Riviera, certainly way above the usual all-inclusive hotels in the area.
Reasonable offers by travel agents (at least in our case) make it a good value, too. Expect few minor flaws (we guessed due to the still short opening time and perhaps due to a lack of experience of the managing company with such a high end property); but be assured, they are vastly compensated by the overall experience and the beauty of the property.
Elegant but not flashy, the resort is stunning. From the landscaping (they also have their own cenote and a natural lagoon - we felt completely immersed in nature during our entire stay), to the very spacious rooms, featuring highest quality details that include designer furniture and fixtures (not knock-offs), it is pretty impressive. At arrival you immediately see the difference. It feels like checking into a top Bali resort.
The beach is smaller than in Cancùn, but feels very private - no high rises anywhere to be seen. Have your beach chair placed between two palm trees, enjoy the attentive service and become part of a postcard setting.
Definitely a highlight is the Spa (not much advertised ..). Good treatments, very friendly service and truly relaxing environment. Designed beautifully, it is so far the best found in Mexico.
Some improvements are needed in regards to the available food options and drinks. The kitchen tries (maybe too) hard, with only half way satisfying results, yet. Good news is that the management seems to be open to comments and suggestions and eager to do better. There may be changes soon, at least so we hope, for when we'll be back next year.

Even if the price for a stay is a little less than in comparable hotels in the area, the outstanding beauty of the resort and the perfection of many details, inevitably raise expectations to the top - you just can't help it to wish for perfection that goes all the way through. But all in all: a great choice that we don't regret!

Room Tip: All rooms are very nicely designed, quiet and immersed in nature - the ocean front villas are a real...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank guidozwicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBayBelleVue, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
We do appreciate your wonderful comments and beautiful descriptions. We are all very proud you enjoyed your stay and loved our property. Of course we are open to suggestions, which help us get better. Hope to see you back soon!
kind regards
BlueDiamond team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2012

What a wonderful place. My wife treated me to a 40th without the kids in the Palifitos suite.
Completely worth it. Modern, stylish, attentive service. Great people, and the all-inclusive food was anything but typical all-inclusive. After a punta cana all-inclusive disaster, I swore off AIs forever. This place changed that thinking in an instant.

The food was always good. Not a bad meal.
The wine was nice, the drinks weren't slushy messes like other AIs.
The beer was always cold and the smiles never stopped coming.

There were a few glitches with timing the golf carts. But they will get better. It was during their soft-opening and they are still working out growing pains.
The important part is that they are working them out and are proactive in making sure they listen to their guests.

The dive center is run by a reputable and safe owner. Very important to the seasoned divers and new ones too. Just contact them in advance to get a spot and schedule it.

We knew as soon as we got to the airport that it was going to be a great experience.
As we walked by all the other AI hotels "transfer service" (which are typically large vans with no air conditioning and loud tourists) we expected the same. But we reached a full Escalade SUV with a wonderful driver. Cold water, leather seats, and a perfect temperature inside.

That's how you transfer somebody to a luxury resort.
From then on it was great.

Book the Palifitos. Walk to the beach. Get lost listening to your footsteps and holding your special someones hand while walking down the beautiful walkway. Stare up a the sky from the sun deck. Fall asleep in an overstuffed bed. Share the glass shower and double sinks. Always have fresh towels and a smiling driver waiting for you.

Room Tip: Palifitos all the way.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank camane72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBayBelleVue, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 23, 2012
Thank you very much for your wonderful comments. As I read them it seems you really had a fantastic 40th birthday. Congrats! We are looking forward to welcoming back soon.
Kind regards
BlueDiamond team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2012

I think some people here are being a little harsh! Mind you from some of the folk I overheard whilst I was there, this comes as no surprise to me! I travelled from Ireland. Most of those staying here seemed to be American. I am a female and was travelling solo. I felt incredibly safe at all times and would have no hesitation in recommending this resort to others.

This resort is in a beautiful location and it is exceptionally well maintained. Staff are always around cleaning and tending to the grounds. The rooms are gorgeous and so spacious. I had a laguna view and saw crocodiles on several occasions. The view was stunning and wonderful to lie in bed looking out at. I certainly experienced no problem with room cleaning and turn down which happened every day without exception. Before you leave your room you simply press the button to indicate that it is ok for someone to come and clean your room. There is also a do not disturb button, so staff know if it doesn't suit. On one occasion my telephone and cable stopped working. The staff knew about this before I did, but respected my do not disturb request and remedied the problem first thing the next morning.

I am scared of wasps and when one turned up angry in my bathroom I rang reception. Literally within 2 minutes a lovely young guy arrived at my door and dealt with the wasp in seconds. I can imagine that in other locations they might just have laughed at me!

The doormen (bellboys) are all very sweet and helpful, particularly Sergio. If there was anything I needed to ask I would seek out Sergio who was always full of helpful advice. It is worth pointing out at this stage that I found that these guys were basically doing the job of a concierge. Personally I did not know the concierge service existed until several days into my 10 day stay. Even then I still tended towards the doormen, especially as I came into contact with them regularly (they provide the lifts up and down the resort in the golf cars). The concierge service needs work! I booked my snorkel trip through them, but they failed to tell those who run the activity. Luckily they were able to accommodate me. I did not find them helpful at all. They could learn from the likes of Sergio who genuinely cares about the guests and fulfilling their needs. Thanks honey!

The restaurant staff I found to be very good. I am not a picky person, but from what I could see they did their very best to accommodate food preferences/intolerances, etc. There are two main restaurants, Aquamarina and Ambar. They open on alternate nights so there isn't any choice of where you eat, but this is understandable, given that the hotel seemed to operate at 40% occupancy or less. It is a small resort anyway, even if it was at full capacity. On the menu each evening there are several courses with two or three options under each. Unless you are very picky you will find something to suit you. I can't really comment on the wine, but you could have any drink combination you fancied. Thank you to Martin, Roman, Omar and Jesus (plus their lovely boss) who were very helpful and pleasant at all times and never seem to get a day off!! I never experienced any difficulty with getting a table and was always escorted straight to the area they knew I liked to sit, outside overlooking the water.

Lunch is available at the Aquamarina and the Ceviche. Both perfectly acceptable in terms of choice. However, if you go to Ceviche you have the benefit of meeting Cesar. He is lovely and works incredibly hard. He was up and down the beach constantly asking people if they wanted drinks. He must be very fit! Thank you Cesar.

Breakfasts are fantastic, especially all the lovely juices and milkshakes. I highly recommend the Mayan and the Ranch eggs.The service here could be a bit hit and miss. I felt that food and drink was always well served, but there was a lack of consistency with table setting, provision of coffee, croissants, etc. Some days these were standard, other days you had to ask. I did have to get up and find a fork at one stage, but for the most part it was fine.

There is not much in the way of entertainment, which suited me just fine. I wanted complete rest and relaxation and this is what I got (and more besides). If you want poolside aerobics, etc then go to the Esmeralda. Personally that looked like a nightmare to me and nowhere near the beautiful Blue Diamond, which is so well presented and more intimate.

Personally I left tips at every meal and for the cleaning staff and doormen. I am talking between 2 and 5 dollars, so not going to break the bank. I could see that many people did not do this. These were the same people who seemed to complain so much about bad service. I am not suggesting that you got worse service if you didn't tip, because that was simply not the case, but rather I think some people have expectations that no one could meet!! I advise that you take a lot of one dollar bills with you. I found that the folk on the front desk could not provide change below a 50 peso note. If you are stuck ask the waitors and they will change notes if they can. There is an atm in the shop opposite the resort, but it only gives out pesos and I was charged 69 pesos for withdrawing money. I am sure the same would apply for withdrawing money in Playa del Carmen. By the way, I was given some excellent advice. There is no need to pay 20 dollars (or more) each way to Playa del Carmen in a taxi. There are white minibuses which you can flag down at the Oxxo shop opposite the resort (once you learn how to spot them and be careful crossing the road!). These travel between Cancun and Playa regularly and it is 15 pesos each way. Huge difference! They are comfortable and air conditioned.

I am giving a rating of 4 simply to reflect the shortcomings in the concierge service and the slight inconsistency of the beakfast service. To give a 5 would be to suggest perfection and there are a couple of minor areas to improve on. There are staff members such as Sergio and Cesar who really know what they are about and the hotel management would do well to make better use of those skills - perhaps utilise them to provide staff training to make sure everyone is of the same standard.

One last piece of advice, if you are at all claustrophobic do not do the Tamascal. This might sound obvious to some, but I didn't really realise exactly what was involved. You sit in a pretty confined space with several other people in complete darkness and extreme heat. I panicked and had to leave! Also spray yourself with mosquito spray if you are going. I didn't think as it was in the morning, but we were all eaten alive as the Tamascal happens slightly deeper into the jungle area. Also spray yourself before going to dinner as the mosquitos are around.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LW1_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueBayBelleVue, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
Thank you very much for your wonderful comments! I have reviewed your comments with staff and we all agree it was our pleasure having you here with us. We look forward to see you back soon.
Kind regards
BlueDiamond team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

My boyfriend and I just returned from our amazing 5 day stay at the Blue Diamond, and we had the most relaxing time! The resort is BEAUTIFUL, our room was amazing, and the service was great.

Our room was extremely clean, and our backyard oasis was very serene and peaceful. We were also given a cold bottle of champagne in our room daily (and with no added charge- no extra charges were added except for the room service, which was an expected $20). Housekeeping came by twice daily- once during the day while we were at the beach, and then again during dinner to turn down the bed and place slippers by the bed. The minibar was restocked daily and there was always more than enough cold, bottled water in our room. The housekeeping schedule dials in on the details, and we greatly appreciated it.

The pool and beach were extremely relaxing and clean. Most of the time, it felt like we were the only ones on the beach. We never went without drinks or water either!

The gym is great. We went every morning around 8 and were always the only ones in there at the time. The AC keeps it very cool and there's cold bottled water as soon as you walk in.

The resort is about a mile long, which we LOVED- because it is the "best of both worlds." You can experience the beach, and go back to your room and experience the "jungle." Our room was far from the beach, but we didn't mind it at all- we wouldn't have preferred it any other way. If you do not like walking, golf carts pass through the walkway frequently and the drivers are very eager to offer rides. However, it is such a pleasant walk that we don't know why anybody wouldn't want to walk!

The food is much more than what you would expect at any other all-inclusive resort. For breakfast, there is an entire menu side dedicated to juices (celery, ginger, apple, basil, lemon, etc. mixes). The dinner food could improve- there is a great selection and there's several courses, however some dishes seemed to offer too many different things on one plate at one time.

The staff is very professional and upbeat. Omar, Caesar, Martin, and Omar (server) were all amazing!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and hope to be for another relaxing and peaceful vacation soon.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank M2016R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

This hotel was previously a Mandarin Oriental hotel and the Blue Diamond Group bought it just 2-3 months-- and the transition is loaded with flaws.We arrived in mid April for an 8 day stay and it was obvious that the property needs proper new management and better concierge services.
The food was average to good -- you don't got to Mexico for the cuisine anyway. The complex is really quite beautiful and the help, for the most part, are extremely friendly.
Minor problems, such as 3 days in a row our room was never cleaned by the maid service and we we would come to a unclean room at 6 or 7 pm, and then having to arrange for the room to be cleaned. Also, we were denied the promised free massage as part of our booking, which is advertised on their website as an incentive to book there.

This hotel is having real problems in booking rooms---;the help told us the average occupancy rate was way under 40% for the past 2 months. For that reason they would change restaurant scheduling, and both restaurants were not always opened each night.
I had booked one of the top of the line, 2 story villas on the beach, with a roof top infinity pool facing the ocean. The unit itself was gorgeous and very clean.

The reason I am suggesting to stay away from this resort, is what happened on our last night.
It rained very heavily in late afternoon and within an hour of the downpour we experienced flooding of water in the villa in 3 places. Water was seeping very heavily under the door which lead up to the roof stairway. Water was flowing in the whole foyer area and we had to grab 8-9 beach towels to try to hold back the water. Simultaneously, we heard water dripping very hard in the middle of the ceiling of the living room area and we had to use the ice bucket to catch the fast dripping water. We had to empty the ice bucket every 15- 20 minutes.
There was a third leak in the bathroom running down the wall.
We called the concierge, he came and saw all the problems but he could do nothing since it kept raining in.
He never even sent in a crew to come in and change the towels that were getting heavily soaked and leaking water all thru the night.

We left the hotel early the next morning for our flight back home.
The hotel had prearranged for our airport transportation back to the airport and they never confirmed to the transportation company to pick us up at 5 AM. We finally got picked up at 6 am and nearly missed our flight home.

I tried for over 2 weeks to contact the hotel manager, Gabriel, to discuss what had happened with the flooding issues and she ignored my calls and emails. I was trying to be fairly refunded for the one night for all the inconveniences caused.

Absurdly, Manager Gabriel finally (12 days later) advised my travel company that the hotel was not going to refund anything and that I should appreciate that my dinner that night was delivered for free, since normally they charge $20 for dinners delivered to guests rooms. Of course, the dinner itself was part of the all inclusive price.
They call this a 5 star resort and I cant believe how poor this situation was handled. I have traveled the world extensively, always stay in 5 star hotels, and can't believe that this is the way a guest could be treated.

I only hope the owners of this resort reads this review so they are aware of how terribly their management treated a guest.

Room Tip: PIck another hotel instead !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
35 Thank charles l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
1 review
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We just returned from the most restful vacation. This is exactly what we needed. The room was spacious and beautiful. The staff is helpful, nice and friendly. The food is good, the beach is beautiful...we loved everything. A big thank you to Roman, Jesus, Martin, Hugo and Cesar, you made our stay such a great experience.

Los canadienses, Isabelle y Pascal

Room Tip: Loved the privacy of the Laguna Villa
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fendlabise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel

Property: Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Address: Km. 298-816, Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Blue Diamond Riviera Maya)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the pristine coast of the world famous Riviera Maya, Blue Diamond Riviera Maya is a sanctuary of breathtaking beauty and peace, surrounded by nature mixed with luxury. This exclusive hideaway is set in 36 acres of lush tropical jungle, well manicured gardens and a spectacular palm filled white sandy beaches along the turquoise – colored Caribbean Sea, offering unparalleled pampering and rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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