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“Great location, Good service, Poor food”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #44 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great location, Good service, Poor food”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

My husband and I love Riviera Maya, Mexico. We've been there 5 times in the last two years for vacations. Each time we've selected a new resort to try, ultimately looking for the perfect place to return several times a year. We were very excited to try Blue Diamond since it was originally the Mandarin Oriental - so we knew the property would be beautiful and well maintained.

Property:
Of the other 5-star resorts we've stayed at (including Grand Velas and Zoetry) Blue Diamond had the best beach to swim by far. It was great open water, smooth sand, some waves, crystal clear. The beach itself was also nicely maintained and groomed. You could be in a group or find privacy in chairs separated from the main area.

Service:
The first day we arrived the reception was perfect - on time airport pick up, friendly driver, efficient check in, they provided great information and gave us a thorough tour of the property. Our first morning we had some trouble finding service on the beach, but that was quickly remedied by the arrival of Cesar. Cesar provided exceptional service. He went out of his way to make sure each guest on the beach was comfortable and had everything they could ever need or want. He went above and beyond to find us chairs, an umbrella for shade, anything we wanted for lunch and any drinks we wanted throughout the day. He was kind, professional and attentive.

The Dive Shop:
My husband has been SCUBA diving before and loves it (but wasn't certified). I have always wanted to, but been too nervous to even try it. We've gone to dive shops at other resorts in Mexico before, but I still was not quite sure. But this time, at Blue Diamond, we went down to the dive shop and met Sarah and I immediately felt at ease and ready to give it a try! Sarah helped my husband and I get certified in just a couple short sessions. She was professional, constantly focused on safety and very knowledgeable about SCUBA diving techniques and skills. She was also very fun to be around and made the pool sessions and skill practices enjoyable for the both of us. We had private sessions that she organized to accommodate our vacation schedules. She knew we were on vacation so she arranged for early pool sessions and open water dives so that we still had most of the day to relax or explore. On our first dive the current was strong and I was nervous, but she took control of the situation, made us both aware of how the current would feel and kept us relaxed - and we were able to complete our skills with no problem at all! I didn't want to get out of the water! Sarah also knew the reefs well. So she was able to point out lots of sea life that I would have otherwise missed - we saw Lion Fish, HUGE eels, lobsters, huge schools of fish and a sea turtle. Now certified my husband and I are ready to go back to Mexico and spend most of the time under water!

Food:
Before talking about the food, I would also like to make a special note about Roman, our dinner waiter. Roman served us each night at the restaurant overlooking the ocean. He was excellent. He was attentive, polite and did a great job talking us through the menus and our options. We thank him for making the dinners relaxing and enjoyable.

While the service was good, the food was not. In the six nights we were there, we tried each restaurant, and a variety of dishes and overall did not enjoy the food. It's understandable that "French night" would not compare to a NYC or Boston French Bistro, but we expected the more traditional Mexican cuisine to be better. The sauces tasted canned or reheated, many of the dishes seemed frozen and then microwaved. The presentation was very lovely, so we were surprised when the food did not deliver. Overall we would give the food a C-.

Overall it’s a beautiful resort, the staff was helpful, the dive shop is AWESOME and the beach is great. But the food is not anywhere close to the other true 5 star resorts in Riviera Maya.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mainedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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English first
New York, NY
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

We just got back from a 7 night stay in Riviera Maya. We split our stay between the Blue Diamond and the Banyan Tree. What surprised us the most was that the Blue Diamond ended up being the highlight of our stay and not the Banyan Tree. It far surpassed our experience at the Banyan Tree which was plagued with service mistakes, food poisoning and worn rooms.. not to mention being full with a convention.
We arranged the car service through the hotel and we had a seamless arrival to the hotel. The lobby is calming and beautiful. We were offered a drink and then taken by golf cart to our room.
We stayed in a ground floor Laguna suite and it was beautiful! We loved the bright and airy bathroom, view out to the Laguna and the wonderful bed! Everything was in perfect condition.. no wear and tear! We loved the location of the Laguna suites as they are walking distance to the beach, and Ambar restaurant. We walked through the property and much preferred these rooms to the Patio suites and the suites on the lagoon by the beach which didn't have much privacy. The rooms on the beach look to be worth the splurge!

The hotel was a bit slow while we were there but we found this as a positive. The service we received was unbelievable! Fernando, Prisciliano, Jose and everyone at the Aquamarina restaurant took such great care of us. Our drinks were constantly filled and we found breakfast and lunch to be delicious! The dinners were good but not great. Some items at dinner were delicious and some were just good. Like others have noted, we preferred the meals at Aquamarina over Ambar. However Ambar was a beauftiful setting!

We went to check out the spa and it was beautiful! A great space although we didn't have treatments. We heard from other guests that they were great!

One final comment as many have stated the main pool is not heated. It is probably about 80 degrees but felt so refreshing. The lap pool was probably about 88 degrees so if you didn't want to brave the unheated pool you could use that pool. We actually liked the music by the pool as welll as it made it even more relaxing!

If you want to have a relaxing, luxurious, stress free vacation stay at the Blue Diamond and avoid the Banyan Tree!

Room Tip: Make sure to get a room in the Laguna section on the first floor. They are larger than the second f...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NYC10001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 16, 2013

I stayed for one week with the Blue Diamond as a trip with my mother to celebrate my finishing my service in the Army. Everything at this resort exceeded our expectations. The atmosphere was soo relaxing, the rooms spacious and beautiful, and the staff was always on point. They constantly made you feel like you were the most important person at the resort.

The food at all the restaurants was amazing. Nothing short of five star quality, amazing presentation , and not a single meal that didn't taste absolutely delicious. If eating at the Aguamarina make sure to ask for Daniel! He was an amazing server with wonderful personality and always explained what the delicious items on our plates were.

The beach area was amazing and the service down on the beach as well.

I plan on going back every year that I can!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ScubaJessica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

All was perfect! Stayed in BD in the beginning of January 2013 for three nights. The hotel is amazing. In my opinion better then Banyan Tree or Rosewood which are both near. The spa is nice. The food is excellent. Good selection of cigars and wines. Perfect view from the suites.

I recommend the laguna view suite as it is close to the beach/breakfast, dinner and smoking lounge. The price is also OK.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dmitry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

My wife and I spent 5 glorious days prior to Christmas at Blue Diamond. We are still basking in the afterglow of our visit. Never (and I mean NEVER) have we felt so welcomed and warmly tended to. Day and night the super professional staff could not do enough for us....But that was only the beginning! The appointments of the elegant, oversized rooms, the ambience and beauty of our surroundings, the gorgeously and carefully prepared cuisine all added up to a slice of heaven in Mexico! Although the entire staff deseved praise, I must mention our favorite bartender (Ildegard), our gracious headwaiter (Martin) and in guest greeting services (Jesus).....In closing, we implore you to visit.....You will fall in LOVE!

Room Tip: Book one of the patio rooms (these have their own private patios), which are peaceful and private.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank RobandEmily5302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

My husband and I stayed there over Thanksgiving and we had the most wonderful time. The hotel itself is gorgeous, rooms amazing and we genuinely enjoyed the expansive property. We are from New York so used to walking everywhere but there were golf carts available at all hours of the day to ferry people around. Their service was stellar...all the staff was extremely friendly and always ready to help with a smile. The only minor complaint we had was the lack of variety with respect to the food especially for dinner. We stayed there for 4 nights which was perfect but would have gotten a little tired of the food options if we stayed longer.

I can't wait to go back and am already exploring options!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NYCTripper_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quincy, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed at the Blue Diamond during the first week of 2013, and found our visit to be a great way to begin the new year. Three couples took the trip together, and we wives, who set up the trip, were a little worried because the Blue Diamond looked and sounded quite different from the usual all-inclusive. We were concerned that our husbands might not like it, but we need not have worried.

When we arrived in the gorgeous, open-air lobby, and were all seated comfortably with fruit drinks and cool towels to complete the quick check-in process, we knew we'd found a great resort. After we'd checked in, we were taken to one of the great restaurants, Aquamarine on the beach, for lunch because our villas weren't ready yet. We were picked up after lunch and taken to our separate villas, where our bags had already been delivered. Our "villas," which seemed to be the mid-range residence option, were very roomy. They had sleeping rooms with tables and chairs ahd couches, huge walk-in closets, large bathrooms with two showers and an outdoor tub and terrace, and another terrace facing the lagoon with lounge chairs and another table and chairs.

Our villas were very near Ambar, the restaurant that served only dinner, with a wide variety of gourmet choices available. The food was unfailingly delicious while we were there. The M-bar was in the restaurant, and a cigar bar was on the rooftop--a lovely place for a pre-dinner margarita!

We were located a little hike from the beach, but if we didn't feel like walking, we could always catch a ride on a golf cart with one of thge friendly drivers. At the beach there are two restaurants--Aquamarine, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Seviche, which is open all night and much of the day and serves a casual menu in the restaurant and on the beach as well.

The beach is gorgeous, and there was always a nice breeze while we were there to keep it from being too hot. Above the beach on the level of Aquamarine is the swimming pool. There are ski-doos, a small sailboat, a larger sailboat available, kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats available, so there is plenty to do, but it was lovely to just sit and relax in the sun by the ocean.

The spa is supposed to be great, but we couldn't stay away from the beach long enough to try it. I'm sure it would be an additional draw for many people, but we enjoyed the rest of the resort so much that we just didn't get to it.

The best thing about the resort, though, was its people. Everybody who worked there was friendly and extremely helpful. Even those who spoke minimal English were very helpful and accomodating. Sergio was one example: he drove us around, and knew all six of us by name within a day; when we left, he drove us all to the lobby with our stuff and then waited with us until our bus came. Another example: we like to play cards in the evening, and the hostess at Aquamarine found us a room to play in, and every evening added a better table, or better chairs or something new to make it nicer for us. The employees were just like this--it was amazing!

This is a terrific place, but it's adults only. I'd recommend it to anyone who can go without their children.

Room Tip: We were in the "Deluxe Laguna" villas, which were huge. There were two kinds of rooms tha...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ItalianCooks
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:
#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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