My boyfriend and I had been looking into getting a fancier, more exclusive resort. We had checked the Sandals, but decided for the Blue Diamond instead as it is smaller and seemed even better. Our expectations were high, but they were blown away by everything we got there. First, the resort is GORGEOUS: mangroves, lagoons and cenote, manicured landscapes while maintaining the jungle feel, buildings are modern yet warm and the pool looks like it belongs in a magazine. The rooms are all amazing, we had a Palafitos suite right across from the pool and breakfast restaurant (personnally I think these are the best located suites, close to both restaurants and beach, except perhaps for the beach suites), on the upper floor with a huge rooftop balcony, great comfy bed and nespresso machine (we would ask for ristretto coffee and they would bring plenty for us).
The beach is great by Riviera Maya standards; you hit a few rocks a couple feet in, but then it only sand. You will never need to look for a chair; there's always plenty to be found, and someone will even set it up for you.
Our concierge was fantastic and would come to see us every day to make sure things were good and to let us know of things going on (unfortunately for the resort this employee no longer works there as he was an A1 employee). Service was exemplary all around (except for one morning where for some reason the bosses were trying to do the waiters jobs - and failed!), waiters were always spot on, especially at the ones at Ambar. Most nights we had the same waiter who really took good care of us, would bring us little extras (like a cheese platter) and one night even surprised us with a musician who came to our table and played a romantic song on his guitar (I wish I'd written this review before so I could remember his name!).
The food - the food!!! We are montrealers, so we are used to great food, and amazing restaurants. This was just as good - and sometimes even better - than good Montreal bistros. The duck magret was simply the best I've ever had, the salmon was a kind of perfect I didn't know existed, and the chicken pasta was surprisingly fantastic. The soups were absolutely perfect every night, I've rarely enjoyed soups this much. We thanked the chef and we let him know how much we enjoyed the food, and one evening he made us a little something special for our appreciation and gratitude. Breakfast was also very good, but the only time we were not impressed with food was at Ceviche; we were hoping for really good ceviche but it was underwhelming. The rest of the food at Ceviche was just normal resort food, nothing to rave about.
We went to workout twice (great gym) and also got spa treatments twice which were really good (we tried the Egyptian skin). You have a good walk to do go all the way to the lobby unless you take a golf cart ride; personnally I enjoy walking and it allowed me to get a bit of jogging before my workout.
The trip was not perfect, but issues were very few. Our A/C was leaking on our bed after day one and they came to "fix" it, but it didn't do much; we called a second time on a really hot day where it leaked again and finally a few employees came and REALLY fixed it properly, even repainting the patch. No issues after. The beach could really use a couple more umbrellas; everyone wanted one and there was never enough; the poor employees had to sometimes bring it down from the pool in order for us to have some shade. It's not a huge investment but will make people a lot more happier.
Also, I know that for most people free wifi everywhere is great news, but it also has its downsides; on the beach we had to tell people on two different occasions to take their loud calls elsewhere as they were bothering people (one was litteraly working ON the beach yelling at his assistant about a deal). We're on vacation people, we don't want to hear you work! My boyfriend and I never use our phones at the table as we find this to be very impolite to each other, but clearly most people don't have problems with ignoring each other at the table; everywhere, people were noses in their phones, barely talking to each other, even sometimes while eating. Even at night! You guys are in paradise and all you can think of doing is facebooking instead of cherishing this time you have and make things good with your significant other? Sad. So perhaps there shouldn't be wifi at Ambar, at the very least? People clearly need to disconnect, it will be very healthy for them...
Either way, this was absolutely fantastic, and we'd go back in a heartbeat.
- 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