I stayed at the Valentin from march 10-17th. The hotel had a lot of people but a lot of privacy if you needed it. I am a 26 year old that went only with my wife. We have been to quite a few all inclusives in mexico and Jamaica and have crusied to numerous destinations and taken trips to a few other caribbean islands. We went to the Excellence Riviera Maya for our wedding moon and use that as a comparison for everything. This resort is good but if the price is similar the Excellence is the best. This resort needs some improvement but is great. So here is my review.
I noticed complaints about the night life so I will start there. The night life was pretty much done by 10-11pm and not extravagent but I have never been to a resort where it is crazy. Although you can still drink at the sports bar till 2 am That is what Cancun and Playa are for. There were shows every night that were pretty good (especially the fire show) and live music along with the sports bar. (which had very few people while we were there.)
There were a lot of activities and the staff is excellent with them. Oscar is an awesome host. My wife and I played beach volleyball, had a kayak race in the pool, went to cocktail lessons, dance lessons, and played some trivia games in the pool with alcohol punishment for wrong anwsers. The only thing we were upset about is that the hotel advertises they do water volleyball and even has it on the schedule every day but they do not have a net to play. I know this may sound stupid but me and my wife wanted to make sure we went somewhere that had this and were a little upset when it turned out they did not. Anyway, the activities were funa dn the pool was so big that if you want nothing to do with them and want peace and quiet you can easily get it. Also the staff by the pool was great. They came around with snacks and even took orders for snacks if you did not want to go to lunch.
As for the beach. The beach is big and the water is very nice. If you can handle the Jersey shore this is nothing. If you are looking for perfectly still waters or very little waves remember this is mexico and it is on the side of the atlantic. There are waves and it can get rough. If you want those still waters go to Aruba not mexico. As for this resorts beach. The water was one of the best we have seen in mexico... my wife who hates the waves went in for quite a bit. The beach does have a lot of twigs and stuff on it. I and a few others found out diving in beach volleyball can hurt.
The food at this hotel was excellent. The only thing they are missing is a lunch buffet for those who dont feel like throwing a shirt and shoes and being dined on for lunch. (like a beach buffet). Otherwise the food is awesome... especially the mexican lobster at the mexican restaurant. Also there is hibachi if you request it. They call it something else but they do a ton of extra cool stuff that the places in the states dont do (same show everywhere but here). Also beware of Pablo in the Japanese restaurant. He makes it extremely difficult to get the the bottom of your wine or beer glass and my wife and I were hammered twice thanks to him. (thanks Pablo)
The rooms are amazing. The bed was huge with an awesome bathroom. We had a swim up room and I dont believe it was worth it. The other rooms were so great and the swim up was not that special. We stayed in a swim up at the excellence and it was a much better, was attached to the main pool, was heated, and had an ocean view. It was not as good for the price here. We were asked if we wanted an upgrade to oceanfront when we checked in and we declined. It was probably a good thing because the walk to the pool would be longer and the beach is nicer away from the beachfront rooms.Also they seemed to upgrade quite a few people so if you don't really want to spend the extra $$$ and you are landing at a decent time they may upgrade you.. We did not get offered the champagne but my wife asked and they brought some for us. I will say that because they are new they are quite disorganized for check in. Since we were early they put our bags aside and when we came back later got confused and had us wait 35 minutes for a cart to bring our bags to the room (however they onyl brought us). The maid service was great and we got turn down every day. We tipped the maid $2 a day instead of at the end maybe this is why we got it while others complained they did not.
As for tipping on the whole we brough $120 for 7nights/8days and tipped a little each meal. They appreciate and deserve the tips so even tho it is not necessary I always do. I know some people complained about the maid service and others service. Just remember a small tip goes a long way. Also the service was only slow at the outdoor dinner restaurant and that was because the had a small power outage. Otherwise it was quick. (remember you are on mexican time and vacation so the service is a little slower than the states but that is all over the caribbean and mexico... however it was quite quick here).
Overall this hotel is a great adults only all inclusive. It is not couples only which is good for groups. It is new some there are some things to work on. The pool is not heated so I think november to mrach are tough. The water is kinda cold in the morning and warms up later. (Excellence and many others had heater pools). The staff is great. (especially Oscar and Pablo). Everyone there tries very hard to make your stay nice. The grounds are nice (will look awesome when all grown in). The drinks are good (has more than cheap alcohol and no upcharges like some places) The no reservation restaurants are great. (like the excellence) It is better than getting up at 6 am to decide a time and place for dinner. This place has a lot to offer and I would return. For those of you worried about whether it is 5 star or not. It is not quite 5 star. Especially if you want a great spa (go to the excellence... they only have outdoor massages and no spa at the valentin and the excellence has the best there is) In fact it is not rated five star so a review beating this place up over that is unnecessary. If you want a 5 star place go to the excellence. It is all couples, honeymooners, and anniversaries. If you want a fun place that is all types of adults only (families with adult kids, friends,etc...), affordable, great service, and good enough to someday be 5 star this is it. I would return to this place if the price stay affordable. If you are like me you base your decision on tripadvisor reviews. Notice this place is 11 of 154 it was 25 in march and may soon be top 5 when these good reviews keep coming in. Also, this hotel has not been found by many americans. The resort was mostly French and Canadian vacationers but there were Americans too. It is a hidden gem for Americans (and a known thing to others)
Shout outs to all the fun people we met. Cowboy, Tony Soprano, Buffalo(4), etc... from Baby(2).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Valentin Imperial Maya is the new definition of paradise. Our 5 star Adults-Only (18+) All-Inclusive Resort is located a short 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport in the Riviera Maya. Set amid lavish gardens on a half-mile-long stretch of white sand beach named Playa Del Secreto (The Secret Beach), this magnificent award-winning resort boasts one of the largest swimming pools in Mexico. The location is ideal as one can easily reach Cancun and the world famous Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza, yet be removed enough to enjoy the casually elegant ambience of Valentin Imperial Maya. Escape into a world where your every wish is our command. Come indulge yourself....You deserve it! Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel & Spa is committed to preserve the environment by reducing the consumption of natural resources, promoting among our guests and staff, protection and respect for the environment through good environmental practices. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya Mexico