This review is long overdue but here goes. There are some things about BD that definitely make it a five star resort but in all honesty I don't think it deserves an 5 star rating. A solid 3.5 or a 4 star perhaps but certainly not a 5 star. It has the potential but in the state that we found it in it is nowhere near it's proclaimed 5 star status. It is in need of some serious repairs & lacked in a lot of areas. It felt bare boned to us. We were there for 7 nights which was far to long. We paid $142 pp for 3 nights & $152 pp for 4 nights. (that was via an online auction site) If we had paid any more we would have been terribly upset.
We were in suite 510 which is basically in the middle of the resort. The suite itself was very nice but we had many issues. Housekeeping was overlooked on several occasions & our mini bar was almost never restocked. We had to constantly call. They could never seem to restock the coffee area as it was when we first checked in. Again, we had to continuously remind them. We had some serious downpours & there was a major leak right next to one of our windows. Just below the window was a ledge where there is an active outlet. The water was about two inches away from the outlet when we walked into the bedroom. We called, they came immediately but did nothing since we weren't using the outlet??? In other words it was safe b/c nothing was plugged in to it. No offer to clean up the mess, no repairs were made, they simply blew it off & left it as is. The decor in our suite left something to be desired, nothing bad but not up to 5 star standards imo. There were a few pieces of furniture that had definitely seen better days. The cabinet that housed our mini fridge in particular was extremely damaged. The hairdryer broke. The iron & the ironing board was a joke. Our garden area was lovely, the view was very nice & peaceful but obviously the bugs were a problem. No bug spray in our suite but our friends had repellant in theirs??? We didn't have an iPod docking station & there was NO surround sound system as promised. None of that was expected. The bathroom was amazing, spacious & the rain showers were one of my favorite things about the suite itself. The bed was very comfortable & we slept well.
Not having to make dinner reservations on vacation is a requirement for us. We didn't have to wait long at any time to be seated. There are only 2 real restaurants at BD so the food can get repetitive & boring after a few days. For us breakfast was the highlight meal of the day/night mostly. We had a terrible experience in Ambar one night. I won't go into any details other than to say that our waiter was unprofessional & lacked any type of apology for his behavior. Someone in our party asked to speak to the manager several times but the waiter decided not to tell anyone. We never went back to Ambar after that night.
There is no nightlife at all. We were at the cigar bar one night there were a few of us there, the bartender told us at 10:30 he was leaving??? Another night we shut it down at 2 am. That was a great night!!! Most of the scheduled activities were cancelled for no reason. When we asked we were told, it was just cancelled??? The only form of entertainment for our entire stay was one day at lunch there was a Mariachi Band & two Xylophone Players by the pool. That's it.
The beach was decent but if you are expecting gorgeous turquoise water then I am afraid you will be disappointed. We walked the beach for miles & miles in both directions. We walked all the way to Hacienda Tres Rios toward Cancun one day & all the way to the Princess Resorts toward Playa on another day. Trust me, BD has the best beach in the area. The pool area is relaxing but the pool itself is extremely small. I can't imagine what it's like when the resort is at capacity. They should consider building another pool. They certainly have the room.
The Spa was a outstanding. 5 stars all the way! You can use the facilities for free & please do. We used the sauna, the pools (indoor & out), the steam room & the relaxation room. The spa itself was incredible & we ARE NOT spa people by any means whatsoever. Just a suggestion if you need a break from the main pool area, go enjoy the outdoor pools at the Spa. I don't think you can get drink service (alcohol) at the spa's pools so that may be a drawback but it's very peaceful & serene otherwise.
We signed up for the complementary Temazcal Ceremony. (sweat lodge) Our concierge went over everything w/ us the day before so we knew what to expect. We were so excited. We showed up the next morning looking very forward to the ceremony. I really thought it was going to be amazing but I wish I would have known that there was going to be a lot of smoke involved. The igloo wasn't the problem for us, it was the smoke that mad me extremely sick. The Shaman walks around each person w/ a burning/smoking piece of wood/incense as he says a few prayers/chants. This happens before you go into the igloo itself & the smoke really got to me. I thought I would be okay once I got inside & sat down but then I started to feel extremely ill. I asked the Shaman if I could leave & he was gracious. He let me out w/ no issues. I felt awful about leaving b/c it seemed as if I broke the circle we had formed as a group but I had to get out of there. I needed to get some fresh air. I sat outside while my husband finished but he came out 10 minutes later, he said he felt sick too. Please don't misunderstand me, this was a beautiful authentic ceremony & I highly recommend it but if you are very sensitive to smoke, smoke of any kind like I am then I do not recommend it. I just wish the concierge would have mentioned the part about the smoke to us the day before. I would have declined the offer if I had known. Live & learn.
9 out of 10 of the bikes we tried were either broken or in dire need of a bike doctor. My husband was riding one to the lobby from the beach & the chain broke. He fixed the chain but it popped off again & broke again. That reminds me, the walk from the lobby to the beach took us just about 25 minutes. The resort is breathtaking so the walk is exceptional. We were picked up many times throughout our stay by the golf carts but we actually preferred walking. The only time we ever had to wait for a cart was on our last day as we were leaving but it wasn't a problem. We planned accordingly.
BD has an excellent selection of beer. Sol, Tecate, Dos Equis, Dos Equis Amber, Presidente etc.. BUT there was an up charge for Bombay Sapphire Gin. Tanqueray Gin was free??? That's a no no in my book.
The suite, minus the issues, & the staff are what makes BD. The staff are the best of the best, they are what makes it so special. Other than the waiter at Ambar every single employee was suburb. Always smiling, stopping to say hello, going out of there way, bending over backwards, outstanding & very very friendly. They enjoyed their jobs & it showed. The staff are the heartbeat of BD. I can't say enough about them.
Unfortunately I can say that we will more than likely not return. If we could get the same rate maybe & that's a big maybe but only if some repairs/changes were made. There are so many other 5 star resorts out there & just not enough time. We had a relaxing time together. We were able to reconnect & that is what we needed. If you are headed there please don't let this review bring you down. Go & have a wonderful time just don't expect a 5 star resort.
- 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