From the minute we arrived in the breathtaking open-air lobby area until we were happily settled into our room I think the words "paradise" may have escaped our lips over a dozen times. Our jaws dropped as we were shown around our Lagoon Suite (where the bathroom alone is bigger than the living room in our NYC apartment).
I should start this by saying if you're looking for a party hotel with constant entertainment and loud people and a "scene" this is not for you. If you are looking to escape everything and hear the sounds of ocean waves and jungle birds, enjoy ceviche on the beach with a book and quiet 5-course meals by a backlit lagoon in the jungle then this is the place you're looking for.
Either Mexico's weather people aren't very good or else this place is just in any area where the weather can suddenly change in an instant right there and not in the surrounding areas because often times the forecast for the area would say it would be a sunny day or even that it was currently sunny but we got a fair amount of rain and sudden downpours (about 80% of the trip was cloudy or rainy). Even with the occasional bad weather in the area this time of year this resort is so relaxing and tranquil. There are no huge looming buildings or loud bright bustling lobbies, no children running around screaming or peeing in the pool, no buffets, no elevators to wait for - it basically felt like you lived in your own little private jungle villa in a quiet neighborhood off a private winding path connecting you with the beach.
I saw some other people's complaints on here I wanted to address. Some people had said the beach was too windy. I've been to hundreds of beaches in my travels and I would surmise to say 95% of them are pretty windy. There is actually a scientific reason for this involving the cool air in the water and the hot air above ground - it's not that this being a bad beach or a bad location. Some said the beach was rocky or has too much seaweed. There does seem to be about 5 feet of an area with medium-sized (but smooth) rocks you need to walk past to really get out into the water but once you're there the sand under your feet is so smooth it's almost clay-like and on the whole this was less rocky than any American beach I have ever been to and many island beaches as well. As far as seaweed, this is the sea. Again it is unavoidable. It comes and goes with storms and currents and as far as I know there is not a beach in the world which does not have days where seaweed washes up. Regardless of this, the resort had someone out on the beach every day raking the seaweed and rocks that would occasionally wash up and 90% of the time the waters were tranquil and clear turquoise blue. We got in the water many times and it was incredibly warm, even in January.
Someone said something in a review about a lizzard being in their room. We had one in our room at one point too (because we were constantly leaving our giant sliding glass doors open to enjoy the fresh air and breeze). Its the jungle, isn't that sort of the point of staying in a natural place like this? If you're not comfortable with the possibility of a tiny little lizzard possibly crawling up on to your gigantic private terrace and coming into your open door then maybe you should go stay in some mega-mall type place with a mammoth building, a staff of 700 and an elevator and a 35th floor room because this is not that place.
The staff were all amazing - I am terrible with names and wish I could remember to mention their names on here but there wasn't a single person we encountered who was any less than incredibly helpful and pleasant. Yoga was cancelled on the day we signed up for it but we did do the Temezcal ceremony and although there were times it was pretty intense and I questioned whether I could finish it, in the end I did and felt like I had achieved something great that I will never forget.
A few people on here mentioned that it was a nuisance that you have to ask the hotel staff to fill up your outdoor roman tub 30 minutes in advance. True, they do tell you that if you want to use it you should call them to fill it but guess what, it's just set up like a normal tub. If you want to use it my best suggestion is that you push the plug down, turn the water on, fill it, and use it! I used it 3 times (without the staff filling it for me) and it was fantastic. We always had hot water in our showers as well - sometimes it fluctuated and it wasn't the hottest water, but really not a big deal.
Our single only complaint would be that the bed was incredibly loud. We didn't sleep that restfully because any time one of us so much as moved our arm the bed made a huge creaking sound and would wake the other one up. We had great blackout curtains, perfect climate control (you have to make sure all doors in your room and bathroom that go to the outside are shut or else the A/C won't come on), adjustable ambient mood lighting available on every fixture in every corner of the room, and 3 sets of doors/rooms between the main room and the bathroom (which I appreciate for privacy when using the bathroom).
The food was top-notch. People saying they were expecting more Mexican food is like someone coming to America and saying they were expecting more hot dogs and hamburgers. It's not like all Mexicans eat are tacos and burritos. The food had a heavy Mayan/Mexican influence with lots of fresh squeezed juices in creative varieties, I saw the use of pumpkin many times, fresh fish was always an active part of every menu, as was avocado, jalapeno, corn, fresh cilantro and many other obvious "Mexican" flavors mixed with various pastas, steaks, and even a Mexican pizza option one night (which as an NY-er might I say was surprisingly delicious). As everyone else has mentioned, the breakfasts were truly the stand out meal - very fresh with multiple courses and so many options (the coffee is so good too!).
There was hardly anyone in the hotel when we were there - it was rare to see anyone in the pool or hot tub at the same time you were and most of the time we felt like we had the beach to ourselves. We were so thrilled with our stay (even with the constant rain) that we're already saving up to come back. I sort of wish they sold condos so I could just live there.
- 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