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“Next year, two weeks at the Valentin!”

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Valentin Imperial Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2008

We stayed at the Valentin April 03-10. We were there when the water main broke in the afternoon and our shower was out of order for a couple of hours, there were four minor power outages
during our stay, the last one knocking out our alarm clock. The
batteries needed replacing in our safe on day three and the first
three days I spent switching room keys because they would
deprogram during the day and not work.DID WE CARE? Absolutely not! When you consider the Valentin was in trials and
training from November, and really officially opened in February,
for a resort in its first six months of opening, it is doing a fantastic
job of accomodating and taking care of its patrons.If you have a problem, pick up the phone, visit the concierge in your building or
stroll down to the main desk in the lobby. They will take care of you.I dont even think we had the deluxe suite we were supposed
to get but we loved our room on the third floor of building four with a view of the pool and the ocean and did not want to change it.Take away your travel days and a week becomes five days and
it was enough to stroll the beach, float around the huge pool and
drink and eat to our hearts content! The jewel of the Valentin is its
food. My wife and I had the thought that if we were elsewhere,
dining in the city eating the three course meal with a bottle of
house wine(which is not bad for house wine), how much would that cost?, multiply by seven days? and you have not even factored in the breakfast, lunch and drinks.When we stayed at the
Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, the room cost way more and the food and drinks were an additional cost to the bill. As to the people who think they paid too much, I think they probably paid
their travel agent too much! Shop on line and shop around because the difference between on line and what our travel agent
said they could get us a week stay for was four hundred dollars
and in Canada we have to pay an extra three hundred dollars in
taxes, so somebody was being taken for a ride! If it maintains the
level of service it is providing today, you better go now because
in another year, who knows what it will cost.For us though, we
loved our stay, we loved the staff and the resort is amazing.We
noticed on the bus trip leaving the resort, that the drive in and the drive out had all been laid with interlocking brick!! In fact, when
you arrive at the resort(as we did at night) the bus drops you off at
a side entrance. Instead of turning right to go through the doors
into the main office/desk area, take a left turn outside and check the gardens and fountains out there. They really spent a ton of money on things people may not see during their visit.Amazing!
We are definately returning next year, no matter the cost and staying for two weeks to incorporate a number of day trips off the
resort and to all you Canucks out there, be generous with your
tips and take soft toys for the children! Peace and love. ROKA8.

Stayed: April 2008
13  Thank Roka_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,681 - 10,687 of 12,063 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2008

Hello

I just got back from a week at the Valentin Imperial Maya. Just so you know, this is not a 5 star resort. I would rate it a 4 at best. The grounds and the buildings are very beautiful and give it the facade of being a 5 star but the place is new and a bunch of things need to be worked out:

1. plumbing was out if order for 6 hours on my first day
2.power outages occur up to 7 times a day
3. service is either really great or mediocre
4. the beach is nothing to write home about

The pool is lovely a very big. The staff were friendly. There is no disco and the entertainment is not very good. This is a resort for couples only. Do not bring your kids, they will be bored.

My entire family got sick. I had food poisoning on the last 2 days and spent them in bed. I think I ate beef that was undercooked.

I hate the write a bad a review b/c the week started off with a band. Unfortunately it ended on a sour note.

Good luck, some people loved it and some people felt ripped off.

  • Stayed: April 2008
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5  Thank a-lily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Valentin in March. Our vacation was wonderful and relaxing and we highly recommend the Valentin. When we arrived, we asked to upgrade to (and paid for) a beach front suite in Building 11. Our room was on the second floor and had a fabulous view of the ocean from the balcony and was well worth the price. Part of the upgrade included a special Valentin Privileged package, which provided upgraded liquor in our room and access to an exclusive club (basically another bar with a computer station for our use). We were a bit apprehensive about booking at a brand new hotel and had read all of the Trip Advisor reviews from other guests. However, we were very pleased with our choice and had a wonderful experience. We look forward to visiting again next year. Since so many others have documented their experiences in great detail, we will try to add salient points. The weather in mid-to-late March was perfect; it was in the upper 80s and lower 90s, with occasional storms at night. My husband and I both have very fair complexions and we were able to find ample shade at the pools and on the beach under the palapas.

The hotel does not have DVD players that are compatible with multiple international formats, thus you cannot bring DVDs from the US to play (only those bought and/or encoded in Mexico will work on the DVD player). There is no pillow menu (as advertised) and while our pillows were soft, they were not down. My requests for down pillows resulted in quite a bit of confusion and unfulfilled promises to get back to me from the hotel staff, until my building concierge looked into it and reported there were no down pillows on the premises. There were power outages on a daily basis, especially during the evenings. I would recommend a flashlight, because walking back to our room (near the beach) from dinner at the restaurants in the main area of the hotel was very dark. The staff was warm and friendly and the premises seemed very safe. We heard rumors that the president of the Valentin chain was paying an inaugural visit during the week that we were there, so it may not have been representative of normal conditions and service. We tried to play tennis late one afternoon and couldn’t find anyone to help us locate tennis rackets. Also, a general observation is that there seemed to be a lot of smokers in common areas (not in restaurants). There appears to be a common kitchen for most of the restaurants and while the food was good, we suspected much of it may be prepackaged and then microwaved for service. This was our first all-inclusive hotel stay, but we have been on many cruises and the food and wine on Holland America, for example, was far superior.

We went on a combined tour of Tulum and Xel-Ha Lagoon for a full day, booked through our travel agent with a third party vendor “Best Day Travel” who has an employee stationed at the hotel. The hotel offers bookings onsite for tours, so it looks like it could easily be done on an impromptu basis, as well. Another day, we used the hotel’s van service carpooling with other hotel guests (through a third party contractor) to go to Playa Del Carmen. I believe it was $30 for 2 people round-trip, although the van only picks up and drops off if there are a sufficient number of guests booked through the concierge (6 or more). It drops you off downtown for about 3-4 hours. We had a terrible experience with a jewelry vendor on Quinta Avenida (Plata Magna), so despite being somewhat forewarned by guide books, we did not fully appreciate how unscrupulous the vendors are there. There were no prices marked on any of the pieces. After finding a bracelet that we wanted to purchase, bartering, and agreeing to a price, the vendor charged our credit card (notably while we were still in the midst of shopping for other items). About 5 minutes later, the vendor came back and started to negotiate on other items. After telling him we weren’t interested, he insisted that we owed him more money on the bracelet that we had already purchased and it had been a mistake to charge so little. After arguing with him and demanding that he return the bracelet and credit our account, he refused (he had all kinds of excuses... no money in the store, he couldn’t negate a credit transaction, etc...) and ended up charging us an additional (significant) amount on our credit card. We speak limited Spanish and felt trapped, because we weren’t sure how to resolve the issue with police intervention or otherwise. We are currently contesting the charge on our credit card. All that to say, this appears to be a common tactic so: caveat emptor. However, we would highly recommend La Sirena shop on Quinta Avenida for artisan gifts. The proprietor was very friendly and we found many unique items there.
Overall, it was a relaxing and quiet vacation and the Valentin was a very good value.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Timmywoj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

Let me start by saying that this is our first trip to Mexico and to an all-inclusive resort. We stayed at the Valentin from April 2-7, for our 10-year anniversary. I am not going to cover all the details, as there are plenty within the other reviews. We arrived at about 5:30 pm to very little activity in the Lobby.

The place is beautiful and very nicely landscaped. My wife loved all the flowers and the general appearance of the whole resort.. The Resturants are very attractive and stylish with a classy feel. The pool is beautiful and the beach is very nice also. I had absolutely no problems at all with the appearance of the resort or the beach area. It is great!

The staff is very friendly with many “Hola’s” when walking past on walkways. The Servers are very helpful and friendly in the Resturants and Bars. Very good brands at the bar including but not limited to Grey Goose and Crown Royal. The food is very good for being free at an all-inclusive. It’s not as good as going to dinner at a high quality fine dining restaurant and spending $200.00 or more, but it is much more than adequate and is satisfying in taste, atmosphere and service. We really enjoyed all the restaurants except for the Lobster one near the beach. Yes, you may have to wait and service remains a little inconsistent but they are still new. Remember, Mexican time, relax and slow down. Take a deep breath, have a drink and just go with the flow. It took us a day to adjust to the pace as we are from the city and are used to much faster service and pace.

I wish we had obtained an upgraded to a nicer room. We stayed in the jr. deluxe with two double beds. The resort was full at the time and unable to provide us with a king-size bed. One day the water was out for a few hours followed by many more hours with no hot water. The power goes out at times for a few seconds just long enough to reset your clock flashing 12:00 and if at night possibly having the AC shut off even when the power comes back on. Some movement will reactivate it, as the AC is controlled by a motion detector and will shut off when you leave the room.

If things like these will ruin your time there, wait and go when they are more established. I am sure by that time you will be paying much more for the rooms. No, stop thinking that everything will be fixed when “I” go. It will be many many months before all these kinks are worked out. Be prepared for it and have a good time anyway, we did. I am giving the Valentin four stars due to the fact that it is not perfect yet. No matter how new, five stars should be reserved for an absolutely perfect experience.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank WTalbotAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

This is going to be a short review because most everything about this resort has already been said.
We stayed at the Valentin Mar 26 to Apr 2 and had a wonderful time. We arrived at approx. 3:00pm, were greeted with a cool scented towel and a glass of champaign (then another), checked in ,then off to our room (12106 beach front),wonderful. After checking out our beautiful room we went to the beach bar between buildings 11 and 12, there we met our bartenders Carlos and Eddie, we were instantly best friends (if you need anything just ask Carlos and he will try to get it for you). We were on the quiet side of the beach and the red flags were flying the week we where there and it was quite rocky but it was very beautiful. The other side was far less rocky and swimable. We have no complaints about any part of this resort,the food or the people that work there, everyone was very friendly and helpful. Service at some of the restaurants was a little slow but remember you are on vacation so what the rush and where are you going anyway. If you are looking for a lively night life this hotel probally isn't for you, entertainment was ok but not very lively (except the Marichi band) (spell??) This is the first holiday and hotel that I really didn't want to leave. We met many really nice people from all parts of the world and hope to keep in touch with all of them. Just remember this is a holiday and little things do go wrong but don't let them ruin all this hotel has to offer, I just hope that the price doesn't go up too much because I would love to go to the Valentin again next year. Thank you Valentin for a wonderful vacation. You are a 5 star resort already. If you go to this resort say hello to Carlos and Eddie for me (Betsey)

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank sunandfun5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

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).

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Bryce1106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

Kind of funny how one person's experience can rate this as a 1 out of 5 and for the next person it's a 5 out of 5. We were lucky to be the latter. Not sure if we may have lower expectations then some folks who gave reviews? We tend not to be complainers and go with the flow, but we do have realistic expectations when booking a 5 star luxury hotel. All I can say was this was an absolutely fantastic 1 week experience.
We were at the Valentin Imperial Maya from March 14 - 21st. I'm not going to repeat everything that's already outlined in so many reviews, but to sum it up we felt like we were treated like royalty. I had read all the tripadvisor reviews prior to our depature so I new this was a brand new resort, I knew the grounds and landscaping we not mature yet, and knew to expect a few kinks that still needed to be worked out. There were no kinks (at least from our experience). Our trip could not have gone smoother.... from our arrival to towels and champagne at 8:30 in the morning getting off the bus, to getting to check in our room earlier than expected (at noon) and being upgraded to a wonderful Golden Deluxe Suite. We were thrilled. The service was fabulous, everyone worked so hard and were so friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the food at all of the restaurants. The ambiance of the whole place was perfect. Definitely the place for a relaxing, quiet, perhaps romantic get away. The resort was at 98% capacity the day we arrived and you would never know it. Many nights we found ourselves to be the only couple in a bar or lounge prior to dinner (there's so many options to choose from). One note, this is NOT the spot for singles looking to party it up....which was great for us as we were looking to stay away from the party scene. The classiness of the place was a real treat. Wouldn't hesitate for a second to go back. Would love to return in a couple of years to see it when all the landscaping has grown in. But I'm sure we will not be able to afford this resort by then as I doubt they will be offering the type of rates we got it for!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank calgaryconnection
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Valentin Imperial Maya

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 311, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa del Secreto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa del Secreto
Price Range: $287 - $1,106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Valentin Imperial Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 540
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
Valentin Imperial Maya Riviera Maya, Mexico

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