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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #48 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“world-travelers love world-class service. Go here!”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

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.

Room Tip: choose a beachfront casita- worth every penny. All are beautiful but 801 has the most roof pool pri...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank sotzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

The property is beautiful. The rooms amazing. Food was great - good quality prepared with pride. I loved the wireless reception at the beach. Would love to move my office there.

Occupancy was less than 50% while we were there, but we still had to wait quite long to be driven to and from the beach. I would have preferred to be independant. The bikes we rented weren't in great condition, so that we couldn't use them. It would have made a huge difference to be self sufficient.

Most disturbing was that everybody expected to get a tip, which is why we needed to make sure to have cash on hand at all times. Would I go back? I have not decided yet.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank trautehm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

You should know that it wasn't easy for me to decide to have a Destination Wedding. I live in NY and planning a wedding from far away requires a lot of trust. My husband and I visited many hotels in Riviera Maya, Mexico and stayed in two to experience the service that our guest would receive (Blue Diamond Resort & Le Reve). Blue Diamond captured our hearts once we entered- from the beautiful property to the amazing service, we knew this would be where we would get married in front of friends and family.

Our wedding coordinator, Paty Gonzalez Prieto, did a great job handling the details from far and also ensured that the day went by smoothly (and if it didn't she didn't worry me with it). Once our guests started to arrive, they immediately felt welcomed and any request or issue that may have come up, the staff was always willing to help with a smile. If you are looking for a luxurious place to relax, an attentive staff who knows what you need before you can even think of it then this is the place for you! This is not a place for kids (in fact, it's adults only) so entertainment includes beautiful romantic dinners, live music by the pool, cooking classes and yoga- you can also book day trips from the resort. The property is gated and I always felt safe. Blue Diamond has set the bar really high for us and where we will choose to stay from now on!

Room Tip: We stayed in both the patio suites and the beachfront casitas. If you are looking for a real treat...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zuheidi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico
Level Contributor
126 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Just returned from a great stay at Blue Diamond.. The rooms are fantastic and I actually preferred the suites in the jungle to the ocean front rooms. Food and beverage service outstanding as well as front desk. Would not doubt in recommending to all my friends.

Room Tip: Go for the jungle suites for total privacy and romance
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank acamacho1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

Well upon arrival, this place looked like paradise! My 5th stay in Playa Del Carmen and I thought for sure this was the BEST choice. I was wrong! We upgraded to a "Casita" (by choice) for privacy.. which is a Villa on the beach for an extra $6000.00. What a beautiful place to stay! INCREDIBLE! The service was slow and unpredictable! I couldn't understand why it was so difficult for this staff to remove all of the freaking alcohol from my fridge and fill it with water and sparkling water?!? I even left notes for the staff written IN spanish and they ignored them. They gave you complimentary bottles of rum, vodka, etc, etc and of Moet size extra small and then when I offered to exchange the other bottles for champagne they took all 6 bottles and gave me 1 mini Moet in exchange, Tacky! This is a small resort and the common areas can be crowded and uncomfortable. There is one pool and even if there are 10 people at that pool it feels too intimate., hence shelling out the extra $$$$$$ for a private beachfront Villa. The problem is that other guests wander onto the private beaches and use the amenities set aside for the private beachfront! No monitoring of this or doing anything about it;again if you pay for privacy with a 6k price tag, make it freaking private!
There are too many chiefs and NOTHING GETS done! Management is awful! They ask you when you'd like housekeeping but that's pointles because they arrive whenever they feel like it! You can order room service at this all inclusive and even if they get your order wrong you still pay $25 for the service, because 6 grand isn't enough!
There were a handful of incredible employees! one of them was Caesar (Julio) who went ABOVE and BEYOND to make our stay memorable. All I wanted was fresh coconuts you think for 6 grand you can get a freaking coconut! He got it done & prepared it for us with fresh lime juice, delicious!
You can't get a manager to do ANYTHING!! They say "yes yes" and then don't deliver! Big disappointment.
The beach itself wasn't even combed! I couldn't believe it! Trying to get into the water was near impossible without water shoes. I stayed at a 3 Star Resort in 2008 that combed the beach!
The food was very good but always seemed the same. The resort was quiet there was no place to walk on the resort grounds because they staff would run up and down the road in golf carts so you run the risk of getting hit.
I sent an email to the manager & no response this resort is only about 2 years old and if they don't get it together they may as well close the doors. I have been to Playa several times over the years and this was by far the WORST resort ever. There are plenty to choose from that won't essentially RIP you off and not apologize for it.

Room Tip: Casitas have two floors, the second floor is your own built in pool overlooking the ocean but it'...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Giulia143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

After reading the multiple TripAdvisor reviews I was skeptical if this all-inclusive resort was too good to be true. After staying at the Blue Diamond for a week I can say the reviews were true and it was truly a memorable experience. From the moment we stepped into the majestic lobby we were treated so well that we waited for something to be wrong.

Room Review: Our Palafito Junior Suite with roof access was amazing. We had a shower on the roof (no privacy...during the day...) along with personal lounge chairs on the roof. The king sized bed was extremely comfortable although the sheets could have been softer and the pillows a tad harder (personal preference). We loved how the mini-bar was specialized for our requests of juice, water, beer, diet soda, and M&M's! The liquor in our room was very nice along with our nespresso machine for morning coffee.

Beach Review: Amazing! The lifeguard was always visible and if you get a chance to talk to him you will find out how nice and helpful he is. He made sure that we had a great experience at the beach and gave his recommendations on how to improve our stay. Along with our reservation we were given a snorkel tour which was equally amazing. We saw reefs, multiple types and colors of fish and a few stingrays. It was a great hour experience which was made even better when we realized we were swimming in a school of fish.

Pool Review: Amazing! The lounge chairs were very comfortable and towels were available all the time. The cabanas were also very comfortable and great for taking naps throughout the day. We really liked the cabana closest to the beach which gives you a great view of the beach while relaxing and people watching.

Dining Review: Amazing! The food throughout of stay was very very good. The wide selection of food was cooked perfectly at all 3 restaurants. I was afraid at first that I would get bored with the same selection but the chef changes the dinner menu each night so you try so many different types of mexican, mayan, and fusion food. There was not an instance during our entire stay that we were hungry and always had the opportunity to order food either at the beach, pool, spa or room. We really thought we would escape the hotel for dinner at least one night but the food was so good and the service so great that we never left and did not feel bad about it!

Staff Review: The staff was excellent hands down. Everyone was so kind and always wanted to go above and beyond to make sure our stay was perfect. They all try to remember your name and are always excited to see you and help you.

Spa/Gym: Hidden Gem. I don't think many people go to the spa since every time we visited the spa it was empty. Only my wife and I and all the staff. We were given instruction on how to fully experience the spa from the rain showers, the ice scrub, the steam room (Incredible), sauna, and the jacuzzi pool. The Gym was so up to date with excellent equipment that I wish i knew it would have been as nice so i brought gym shoes! The yoga which is offered for free is a nice touch that really was an enjoyable experience and perfect to unwind to.

Only pitfall/word of advise: We were approached by a staff member that asked how our stay was and if we were interested in coming back in the future for lower rates. She said that an associate would talk to us the next day in return for a free couples massage. Little did we know that this was a sales pitch to join a vacation club. We did talk to the associate but were not interested in a 25 year real estate lease for thousands of dollars without researching it first. Of course it is a one time only opportunity and they try to push you into it. I leave the decision up to you but it did not work for our life and i wish they would have explained the sales pitch when first talked to instead of being talked to for an hour. On a plus side we got a massage in the spa which was great and the experience is a good laugh for us.

Overall we loved loved loved this vacation experience. Everything was amazing and if we do decide to come back to the Riviera Maya region we will only stay at the Blue Diamond. Be sure to ask for bikes because the distance from the lobby/spa to the beach is about a mile long. They do have golf cart valet service which is great and always available. Also since the region is in the jungle there are lots of animals. There are alligators in the ponds around the resort, iguanas, lizards, and even some Coati (Mexican raccoon). We had a Coati (which we assume people have fed) sit outside our room and slept there throughout the night. It looked very sweet and friendly but still being a wild animal we kept our distance. Also, we booked our car transfer through the hotel which made everything so much easier.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Aaron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
71 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

As I start all reviews, please take a look and see how many hotels I've reviewed, I'm not a jaded one time traveler. I travel often and feel I have a good base to write a good overall review. Our stay at the Blue Diamond was the end of January into February of 2013.
With that said, I'm sure you've read yes this was once a 5 star Mandarin Oriental. From what I hear it was open for a year or two then closed for 3 years and reopened as the Blue Diamond last January. The resort - really outstanding, you can tell that it was a quality built resort. Its still very new. The grounds are beautiful. The rooms are nicely appointed.
We booked a Lagoon room but when we got there we were told we booked a Cenote Suite and were being upgraded to a Lagoon Suite but we could further upgrade to a "Patio Junior Suite" for $100/ per person a night. We kept the Lagoon Suite and were happy since the Patio, Cenote, Lagoon rooms are all the same its just where in the resort they are located. The Lagoon Suite was pretty much center of the resort & we liked that. The room in general is huge, outstanding bathroom. The one thing I found crazy is the alarm clock and coffee maker were both old & cheap. Honestly shocking for a 5 star The bed, bedding, towels were all very nice. I didn't care for the toiletries, they were some wanna be french fancy name but on the bottom said Made In Indiana. The television reception sucked, yes I know you're not there to watch TV but if you offer a TV make it clear. As others reported hot water in the shower was here and there also a disappointing point. One day following sitting by the pool most of the day we returned to the room to shower for dinner and we had no water at all. Its Mexico but I've never experienced such water issues. The air conditioning in the room was by far the best we've experienced in Mexico.
Blue Diamond is a small resort, I think its 124 rooms and if I'd guess they were at max 40% full. Housekeeping was EXCELLENT! The young man who took care of our room daily, morning cleaning and evening turn-down didn't miss anything, any request we had he promptly helped. (we usually tipped him $5/day)
There are three pools. 1 spa pool that anyone can enjoy, 1 main pool & 1 lap pool. The main pool is large but COLD so everyone by the pool was in the lap pool which was heated.
The food in general was very good. I'm picky and had always walked away very happy. Nightly steak and lobster was the norm.
Now the not so good... The management I think is due for a change, this opinion is echoed in many TA reviews. The employees seem as if they have little direction and they have no systems in place as how things should flow. Example; you enter a restaurant. The host seats you, you wait a few minutes then someone brings a menu, then a drink order, followed by the food order all by different people. Its hard to ask for anything when you're not sure who your server is. At breakfast & dinner they often seemed short handed. This wasn't the end of the world but come on, after being open a year you'd think they would have it down by now.
The biggest area of disappointment is the transport. They claim you can call for a cart to come get you, but we'd wait and wait and no one would come. We finally stopped calling some times employees passing would stop but more times than not they would pass right on by. Even the General Manager passed us without stopping, its clear right there that he has little focus on Guest Service.
We tried the Temazcal (sweat lodge). Sadly the Activities Director explained it as if it were more of a spa treatment and in reality it seemed more of a ritual. No judgement it just wasn't our dish.
Pool service was excellent as long as you tip, we never had a issue getting drinks and we enjoy tipping but saw people passed by who didn't. Overall it was an excellent stay and plan on returning.
Cheers!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Matthieu25
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 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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