A note about this reviewer: I have traveled extensively and am a bit picky about hotels, service, and experience. I have frequented high-end hotels and resorts across the globe as a thirty-something fashion industry professional. I am usually seeking peaceful escapes with my partner and always welcome a splash of authentic local exploration. I've been to this part of Mexico before, staying with Banyan Tree at Mayakoba and Coqui Coqui in Tulum. Love the quick and painless flights from the east coast. (Get up for that 6am flight. You will be on the beach by 11am - so worth it.)
Okay... onto my review of Blue Diamond.
I initially liked the look of the resort and knew it was the former Mandarin-Oriental property, but we had never before gone the all-inclusive route. So, booking Blue Diamond felt like a bit of a risk. Would we like it? The verdict: we loved it! (well, MOST of it). Let me break it down...
SERVICE... one word: exceptional.
The staff knew our names by day two, and we in turn learned theirs. We found them all to be kind, fast, friendly- truly going the extra mile to anticipate your every need. FYI- People who previously reviewed about service being poor are likely bad tippers. Here's a tip... TIP! A little goes a long way for extra speedy and special service.
We fell in love with our beach concierge Cesar who was so kind and brought us drinks, lunch, whatever we wanted right to our beach chairs. We didn't raise a finger because we rarely needed to flag him down as he brought the next round before we even realized we needed a refill. (We miss you Cesar- it now seems so difficult to pour my own drink. sigh, back to reality) If you go... he is your guy.
We also loved a very cool bartender at the Cigar Bar named Daniel. The Cigar Bar was always a bust with no guests except us. BUT give it a shot anyway if Dan is working. He was a lot of fun and makes some very inventive drinks.
ROOMS... clean, modern, comfortable, lots of beautiful amenities.
To be fair you should know that we splurged and booked a beachfront casita. Yes, yes, it is more expensive but I will tell you... worth EVERY penny. The pool on the roof was the perfect perch with 180 degree views of straight-ahead sea views. While everyone else was shlepping their belongings back and forth from the beach, we simply walked in and out the beach door to the lapping waves in thirty seconds flat. Best part is that breakfast, lunch, pool, ceviche bar, water sports are all just steps away. These rooms have their own dedicated beach chairs and the beach concierge staff seemingly become your personal butlers... even bringing drinks up to us in our roof pool. priceless. When all else fails, the mini bar will be stocked how you like it. I am a G&T guy and left a note asking for my favorite treat. Returned to find a big bottle of Tanqueray plus tonic and limes on ice.
If the rain comes, no worries in the beachfront casita. While everyone else was locked in their rooms or waiting it out inside the restaurant, we still had sea views and could pounce on the sand as soon as the sun came out from the clouds. No minute wasted.
The bed was big and comfortable. Pillows could have been down-filled. Otherwise slept very well each night. The bathrooms were also spacious and beautifully appointed with a rear walled garden, creating an inside-outside vibe. You will love the shower, trust. (we did not see any other room configurations but everyone did seem happy with their accommodations. I think other rooms have more privacy than the casitas, but it wont matter once you are beachside with those exceptional views). PS. room 801 has the best roof privacy but all are great.
BEACH... nice and sandy.
You run into a few rocks here and there but mostly sugary sand. The beach isnt very wide but beautiful and consistent with the area. We previously stayed just down the beach at Mayakoba and found the beach pleasingly similar. They work tirelessly to keep it clean and inviting.
SPA... great steam room, good massages, albeit overpriced.
I am a massage addict and expected a bit more for the price-tag. That said, the spa was inviting and private in feel. It was the low-season during our stay and we were pleased to find the facilities empty both times we chilled out there. Love that. The spa pool is also very serene for a peaceful dip away from other guests.
FOOD... not so great. Actually disappointing if I am being honest.
So here is the one negative of Blue Diamond: The food was mediocre at best. Lunch and snacks on the beach were just fine... duck tacos, fish tacos, ceviche, burgers, empanadas- all great. Breakfast menus did feature an amazing selection of fresh and interesting juice combinations. Otherwise, breakfast was blah. Dinners were really a let-down- its true. To be honest, this is what I expected of an all-inclusive so it wasnt a complete deal-breaker.
We ended up having dinner one night in Playa Del Carmen (loved the argentinian place called Sur- very nice food and stylishly casual atmosphere) and we walked down the beach another night for a special dinner at Rosewood Mayakoba's Casa del Lago (AMAZING food and you can book via open table easily). From our previous vacation in the area, we also recommend Saffron at Banyan Tree Mayakoba- exceptional thai fusion, upscale and intimate, yet casual.
So the food was bland and boring BUT this would not stop us from returning to Blue Diamond. I would absolutely recommend this property to my friends (and to you of course). Focus on the service, the rooms, the beach, and the open bar of endless beach-sipping cocktails. We WILL return to see our friends at Blue Diamond. This is the perfect spot for a chill and romantic weekend away with your smoochie.
- 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