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“A Blue Diamond in the Rough - beware the hard sell”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #44 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Blue Diamond in the Rough - beware the hard sell”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

We just came back from a five day stay at the Blue Diamond. We found the property beautiful, the service people and the spa outstandingly helpful, affable; always with a smile and always willing to assist. The room was very zen and feng shui; the pool and the beach setting were gorgeous! Breakfasts and lunches were very good and the desserts were artistically and beautifully presented and excellent in taste.

However, the Blue Diamond has some serious problems if their goal is to achieve true 5 star rating. First, the dinners at Ambar and Aguamarina were, at best, a 7 out of 10. They were sometimes bland and tasteless; the meat tough (the Mayan evening at the Aguamarina was terrible.) All the while, the service at these restaurants was consistently helpful and cheerful!

The biggest problem and stress are the heavy sales pitch by the concierge to join the “special club”. We were invited to join, then “uninvited and replaced by some other guests” because we needed a bit of time to think about it! When we approached the concierge, who then approached the General Manager for some compensation at the Club (for the shabby way we were treated and thinking we had missed something by not being included in this very special Club” and, of course, the $150 voucher, we had a stressful back and forth conversation, through the Concierge to the General Manager. He, not once, approached us personally to quiet things down. He subjected poor Sophie, the Concierge, to this game of cat and mouse. And unbelievably, we were told that the sales company was an outside company that had nothing to do with the Blue Diamond! Imagine our surprise when we found out that this company is the parent company of the Blue Diamond! We finally, back and forth from us to concierge and GM agreed to accept the GM’s offer of two lobster dinners with a bottle of wine at Ambar – a nice gesture, but surely, this could have been reached at the beginning of this “negotiation”!

We were waitlisted for the bicycles and it took many calls to finally get them. That said, they have poor brakes and are unsafe. I took a bad fall over the ledge when the bike failed to stop and came home with a large gash on my leg!

And last, the water sports company has old and poorly maintained jetskis. We went out on one and after 10 minutes, the battery died in the middle of the ocean. Blue Diamond should check out the new and beautiful craft at the Mayakoba resort if they are looking for new equipment!

All in all, it was a great vacation but the sales pitch and the unprofessionalism and inflexibility of the GM put a damper on our time there!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 154judi946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (467)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Great service but one bartender was focusing on one group and ignoring everyone else. Other than that the pool service is outstanding.
The rooms are excellent with well stock min bar.
Getting around requires a call for a gol cart but they are quick and available.
Small hotel with a lot of quite areas.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cpa9900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I travel 2x A year to the riviera Maya.We enjoy trying new a1 resorts .
The place was lovely but the food fell short on all evenings,nothing shined.
Perhaps it will improve or they will fail with all of the competition

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Touristbilll
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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for your reply. We sincerely regret that we didn't meet your expectations regarding food. We appreciate your feedback, which helps us get better.
Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

If you're looking for a relaxing getaway in paradise Blue Diamond is a great choice. We just returned from a 5 day 4 night vacation there.

Pros:
-Rooms are gorgeous and spacious. Definitely 5 star quality. We had a great view of the lagoon.
-Pool area is beautiful. Beach is absolutely spectacular. There are plenty of chairs and space.
-Breakfast and lunches are amazing. Really impressive for an all inclusive.
-Service is super friendly and is always there with a smile.
-Great afternoon entertainment at the pool.
-Grounds are well kept and are stunning. You can see where they were going when it opened as the Mandarin Oriental.
-Gym is really nice and clean (but dark? why?). Didn't try the spa but it looked pretty.
-Free wifi everywhere and free long distance.

Cons:
-Dinners in general. The dinner at "Ambar" was downright awful. With such beautiful restaurants spaces why do they bother with the foams and creams? If they stuck to gourmet Mexican and kept the menu simple (i.e breakfast and lunch) it would be just right.
-There's not much nightlife. If you're looking for a quiet or romantic time, it's perfect. If you want a conga line and high entertainment this is not the place for you.
-The TV volume in our room never worked and our room had a weird musty smell at first. They took care of the smell. We never bothered to complain about the TV.
-The complimentary bike rental is a joke. We were on a "waiting list" for bikes and the resort was half full at best? We never ended up getting them.

For the most part Blue Diamond is pretty terrific. We really enjoyed it---8 out of 10.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mara d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Pros:
-Staff is generally very helpful and always quick to smile.
-Rooms are awesome!
-Service was great. We went for a week on our honeymoon and they surprised us one evening with rose petals all over the room, bed and everywhere in between-- they even turned the TV onto the romantic music station and lit candles all over-- and never charged us a dime, it was amazing.
-Food was very good, lots of variety and plenty of restaurants, enough that you won't get bored.


Cons:
-They re-use waste-water to water the lawn, and they do it in the middle of the day instead of in the middle of the night, so various places of the resort will stink from time to time.
-There can be some communication issues between the staff, one person doesn't know what the other said etc.
-We noticed that towards the end of our stay the service seemed to drop off a bit.
-The gym is super dark... it felt like a dungeon, needs more light and a fan or AC.

Room Tip: Apparently some rooms have issues with hot water... I stayed in 358 and didn't have a single iss...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eric P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We spent one week of our honeymoon here. Upon arrival we were told that the resort was in "soft launch" mode, which explains some of the inconsistent service we experienced, but not some other issue.

First of all, the grounds and rooms are very nice. The beach is beautiful and the pool are is also nice.

A plus for this all-inclusive resort was the a-la-carte dining. However, the food was often average and bland (breakfast was good, dinner was usually disappointing) for a place that calls itself a 5-star resort.

One really weird issue about the rooms: we had a nice outdoor bath tub. But first of all, someone has to come to your room to fill AND to empty the bath tub (so forget about spontaneous baths). What's worse, they will not fill the tub with hot or even warm water (room temperature is all you get, even though there is hot water coming out of the faucet). We complained about this and were told that that's their "concept". Well, If I am at a 5-star resort, I would really like to determine the water tempurature in my bath tub myself. So we didn't end up using our outdoor tub at all.

Service was inconsistent. Most of the staff was very friendly and eager to help wheverevert hey could. Others were a little clueless and some of the service, especially at the restaurant was not well coordinated, resulting in long waits. One example for poor coordination: One of our bikes (Which are helpful to navigate the large resort) broke and it was taken to th repair shop. We called several times about the bike and were told that it wasn't ready yet, but when we talked to the guy who had picked up the bike, he told us that it had been waiting for us in front of the restaurant all day long.

The one thing that really left a sour taste in our mouth was the "Vacation Club" presentation that they pressured us into attending. It was supposed to last just 90 minutes, including breakfast. But after 3 long hours, we were still sitting in the sales office. While we had some interest in the offer, there was no way of verifying that we would get a good deal. They pressured us into making a decision right on the spot (you either accept the offer now of you cannot have it at all). I would never spend thousands of dollars without doing some research, just based on two sales people telling me that this is a good deal. More importantly, at a 5-star resort, one should NEVER be approached or pressured to attend a sales presentation!!!! Very disapointing that we wasted our entire morning on this.

In summary, the location has potential, but Service and Food need to improve and STOP TRYING TO SELL US STUFF WHILE WE ARE ON VACATION AT A "5-STAR" Resort!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ralph M
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, December 21, 2012
Dear Ralph, First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to describe bright points of your stay. I must agree our location is unbeatable. We are extremely sorry for the inconveniences you found at our resort and assure that we are working hard to avoid such incidents. There is always a room for improvement and your suggestions are very much appreciated. We are looking forward to having you as our guests again and make every effort to exceed your expectations.
Warmest regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We stayed at this resort at the end of April 2012 so there may have been improvements since then.

Firstly the staff are lovely. Very calm, friendly and helpful. The rooms are large, nice and clean. The free minibar which was always stocked and the free international phone calls are a were a bonus.

On the negative side, the resort is very large and the rooms are far away from the restaurants and beach, therefore you need to wait for a buggy to go anywhere. Most times they were frequent and on time. Other times, you had a long wait, and there were ocassions where the buggy did not turn up at all.

For us, the food was not enough for an All inclusive. The choices were limited in the evening and the food not so flavoursome although well presented. Breakfast was disorganised and there were long waits as everything was freshly made. A buffet would have been better. Lunch was the best but there were no options outside of this like other resorts who have burger bars etc. They do offer room service which we ordered once but by the time the food arrived it was cold as it was uncovered. There s also a service charge for this.

Activity wise, there isnt anything to do on this resort so great if you just want to relax by the beach.

We checked out after 4 days and went to ME Cancun because each day, we found either a lizard, dead mouse or a frog in our room. Whilst the manager was lovely and tried her best to help, she advised us that the resort was in the jungle therefore these things can't be controlled. This is fine if you are comfortable with animals but we are quite squeamish about those things so there were some restless nights.

I would recommend this resort for anyone who gets a very cheap deal but for me there are much better places in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen which are far better value for money.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lilyannaD
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, December 21, 2012
Dear Lilyanna, Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to share your experiences with the TripAdvisor community. Certainly, Blue Diamond is totally apart from AI resorts. We feel we provide good value to our guests, but it seems you had different expectations. I’m very sorry you didn’t enjoy your stay, and I do appreciate the feedback.
Best regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic 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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