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“Overall a terrific all inclusive.”

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Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We went to the VIM with another couple from June 29 to July 3. We are seasoned All Inclusive vacationers and rank this resort among our favorites. We went to Sandals Grande Riviera last year and intended on returning, but VIM was substantially less so we gave it a try. Although it cost much less I did not feel that we were getting much less and thought that VIM was a substantially better value than the Sandals resort.

STORM DAMAGE - I understand that there was a major storm that flooded the whole resort and caused extensive damage on June 1. This was a major concern for us, however, there was little to no evidence of this flood and the resort management and staff did a terrific job of getting things back up and running.

CHECK IN - This resort is only 25 minutes from the airport. At checking you are lead to a comfortable seating area where you are given champagne while you wait to be checked in. very comfortable and relaxing way of doing things.

THE ROOM - We stayed in a silver suite, which was clean, spacious and tastefully decorated. The bathroom layout is a bit strange. Although it looks beautiful and open with a huge jacuzzi as the focal point, you lose all privacy while doing your business. Consider yourself warned. Otherwise the room was great. We were in building 1 on the third floor, which was convenient to the lobby, restaurants, theatre and night life. It was a three minute stroll to the pool and a five minute stroll to the beach.

THE GROUNDS - The Resort is fairly large but not overwhelmingly so. The grounds are immaculate and beautiful and meticulously maintained. There is an abundance of wildlife and beautiful fauna throughout. There are golf carts that will take you around, however, we really enjoyed strolling the grounds and never took advantage of this service.

THE BEACH - The beach is a long stretch of white sand that goes on for as long as you can see. However, there is no reef in front of the resort, so the waves can get a little rough. We actually enjoyed this a great deal, but it is a little out of character for the serene, placid caribbean beach. We took a long walk to the north and checked out all of the beautiful beachfront houses.

THE POOL - The pool was amazing and had a quiet and active side. We really enjoyed the pool bars. My only complaint in this regard is that they close too early. In retrospect this is a good thing as we would likely be in the pool all night if they did not kick us out!!!!!! We were told that the lazy river pool was only for the use of the golden suite buildings adjacent to the pool. Is this a new policy? Did we misunderstand what we were told? Regardless, we went to check it out and found it deserted. We very much enjoyed the active pool with the swim up bars.

DRINKS - Drinks are plentiful and very good. Top shelf liquor of all varieties is readily available, but you do have to ask, otherwise you get well liquor. Earlier reviews suggested bringing Bubba Mugs because the drink glasses are small. Totally not the case at the pool bars, where drinks were HUGE. I drank Icebergs pool and beachside all day, which is a beer topped with a frozen margarita. Also, sipped on don julio tequila.

FOOD - All of the food was exceptional for an All Inclusive resort. As long as you judge the food against other All Inclusives, and not fine dining in a major US city, you will not be disappointed. We did room service for breakfast every day, which came quickly and was hot, fresh and delicious. The low-point in All Inclusive cuisine is usually the buffet, however we had no complaints and really enjoyed the lunch buffet every day. For dinner we ate in the French, Indonesian, Mexican and Sushi. All were excellent. Indonesian and sushi was our favorite. I loved the French, but my wife did not.

DON MIGUEL - Our only let down was the sushi situation in the Don Miguel bar. Other reviews mentioned sushi appetizers in this bar. We met there every night for drinks before dinner and found no sushi. However, we did find a beautiful bar, friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere.

THE STAFF - FIRST RATE!!!!!. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the staff were. They work very hard to insure that your vacation is perfect. I brought $100 in fives and $100 in ones and tipped very generously. It was most appreciated by the staff who took great care of us during our stay. It should be noted that they also took great care of those that were not tipping, but do not use this as an excuse not to tip. Please take good care of those who take care of you!!!!

HOUSEKEEPING - Our maid did a very good job at cleaning our room and providing a turn down service. We had beautiful towel art every day.

EXCURSIONS - We went on the Tulum/Akumel excursion. It was very expensive, however, our guide was exceptional and the lunch on the beach was great. Tulum was beautiful and snorkeling with the sea turtles at Akumel beach was amazing. However, we could have just taken a cab to Tulum and Akumel and saved several hundred dollars. We spent a day in Playa Del Carmen and had a really good time. It was nice to get off the resort and stroll down fifth avenue. We looked at a beautiful botique hotel called the Hotel Lunata and we are considering staying there next time, for a whole different vacation experience.

GYM - Very small and very outdated. But it was sufficient to get me moving and sweating, which is all I really need while I am away. A gym upgrade would be most appreciated. There were a variety of fitness classes every day, but I did not attend any.

THE GUESTS - Mostly American from all over the country with a few Canadiens and Brits thrown in for good measure. Ages ranged from early 20's all the way up with the average age being late 30's to early 40's. Everyone had a good attitude, was easy going and very friendly. In some cases a bit overly friendly!!!!!!!

OVERALL - The VIM is exceptional on every level, is a terrific value and is one of our favorite all inclusive resorts.

I read over a hundred of these reviews, most of which were glowing, and consistent with my experience. There were several negative reviews, however, they all left me with the distinct impression that these people would fine some nonsense to complain about regardless of where they were staying.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank adamhadem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Subdirector at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 7, 2013

Dear Adam from Haddonfield, New Jersey

First of all we would like to thank you for confirming to the TA community how HARD the employees had worked to get everything up and running during and after the storm.

We do appreciate hearing from our customers, as their comments are vital for us to continue improving our services, it is thanks to communications of this nature that our customers give us an opportunity to target areas of concern and take necessary measures

We are glad that you liked our Beach, food, rooms, drinks, pools and the amiability of our staff. we will pass all your inspiring comments to them.

We took also good note of your observations regarding the lazy river pool, we would like to confirm that the pool is NOT only for the use of the golden suite buildings but well for all the VIM guests .

Thank you once again and we look forward in welcoming you back very soon.

Warm regards

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6,333 - 6,339 of 12,181 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2013

Just got back from a AMAZING week at this resort. We had a group of 17 and couldn't have asked for more. From the food to the service-top notch. Will DEFINITELY be back to experience this place again and again!!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank laceface83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Chief C KCA at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2013

Dear laceface83,

We are pleased to learn that you and your group had an amazing stay at Valentin Imperial Maya.
It is a pleasure to know that you enjoyed so much the time spent at our hotel

We are very happy to hear that you were looking forward to returning to the hotel so do not hesitate to contact us before your next arrival.

Email : customercare@valentinmaya.com

Receive our warmest regards,

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Reviewed July 5, 2013

We just returned from our 8th stay at the Valentin Imperial Maya. It was wonderful.
We have vacationed in Cancun and Playa del Carmen 25 times in the last 14 years. We have stayed at many different 5 star resorts. But ever since we found the Valentin Imperial Maya we won’t go anywhere else!
Our favorite restaurant- the Japanese Sushi restaurant. Alberto, the sushi chef is Fantastic! He’s been making me scallops since 2008 and they are wonderful.
The maître d recognized us, the waiter recognized us and so did Alberto. It really is like going back home.
We really enjoy the Imperial Bank and the music in the plaza. They have a couple new members, but all of the old ones recognized us and played the songs they know we love.
The shows were great-I included a picture of one of the Mayan dancers. But whatever you do, DON'T MISS THE MAGIC CIRCUS!!!
The staff always goes out of their way to fulfill our every desire.
We already have booked our next vacation to the Valentin Imperial Maya for September!!
Thank you everyone at the Valentin Imperial Maya.

Pat & Ken Vanecek

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pvanecek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Subdirector at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 12, 2013

Dear Pat & Ken from Spring Branch, Texas

Wow 8th Time with us! We are very grateful for your preference and confidence.

On behalf of all our staff we would like to thank you for consider Valentin Imperial Maya your second home and for give us the opportunity to be a little part of your memories.

We cannot wait to welcome you back for the 9th time to spoil you and make you feel at home again. Thank you so much!

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Reviewed July 5, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a fantastic week at the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort. What a perfectly delightful experience.

This property is not a hotel, but a Resort. It is a LARGE SCALE ESCAPE.

While we have been on all inclusive properties before in different areas, this was our most enjoyable. The activities are constant. The bars are attentive and generous, the restaurants are better than expected.

Pool areas seem to be just about everywhere and set up for everyone. If you chose, there are quiet areas outside some of the buildings for reading and relaxing. The Lazy River is there just for just floating from bar to bar. If you are in for fun, the main pool area has two bars, waterfalls, fountains, volleyball, music, and entertainment just about all day. All of the pools were in excellent condition and very clean.

The Room: We stayed in a Golden Junior suite. The bedding was very good. Two TV's with cable and a DVD player, some channels are in english, and there are even some adult channels. There was a nice fridge/mini bar that was always stocked with beer, soft drinks, water, and juices. The bathroom had a generous sized Jacuzi style tub, a large walk in shower, a bidet, and a double vanity area. The towels were always fresh, fluffy, and plentiful. The only shortcoming was internet access. You can internet connection via a hardwire only in the rooms if you have a laptop that can plug in. Wi-fi is only available in the lobby and around the Plaza area.

Restaurants: Eight good choices with lots of quality and variety -

HINT -- There is a Dress Code for evening meals at several of the restaurants. Men --- don't forget at least one pair of long slacks. Ladies --- dresses or capris or jeans or nice shorts.

Le Marche - is the international restaurant open for all meals. It has an amazing buffet at every meal offering an assortment for just about any taste. This is the best place for your breakfast - omelet station, pancake station. I can even describe all of the choices. Also good for Lunch.

La Hacienda is a good Mexican restaurant with lots of better choices of local cuisine.

L'Olive is the Italian restaurant. Lots of choices of Italian cuisine. I did miss some veal selections, but you can't have everything.

L'Alsace is the restaurant we thought was the best at the resort. The restaurant itself is a two story, balcony style, impressive venue. The French Onion soup is not to be missed. You have a choice of a Lobster Thermador dish for an additional charge -- splurge --- it's worth it. I had a beautiful filet mignon with a wonderful wine sauce accompanied by a potato/apple pastry style dish that was light and wonderful. Desserts here are all outstanding, especially the baked alaska done tableside.


GINGER, a pretty good Japanese / Sushi restaurant. My wife enjoyed good terriaki and I loved my Tuna and sushi. The Sushi choices were good, and the freshness was excellent.
HINT: no reservations necessary at any restaurant EXCEPT for the Hibachi Grill at Ginger.

Tierra / Mar is one building housing two restaurants. For breakfast and lunch it is one restaurant with good choices. it is beachside so you can eat casually. Primarily a Mexican style cuisine is offered. We enjoyed this restaurant for several early meals because it was close to the swimming areas and our suite. Tierra is a steak restaurant at night. Mar offers seafood and lobster in the evening.

Taman Sari is their restaurant offering Indonesian / Thai / Vietnamese. We ran out of time before we had a chance to visit this dining choice.

Bars are plentiful. You never go thirsty at Valentin. The pool bars are fun and offer a huge variety of traditional libation and even more choices of umbrella drinks than you could imagine.
Most people in the main pool have one hand on a tall frozen selection most of the day. In the afternoons you can play pool and drink in the Sports Bar, or talk quietly with friends in the Don Miguel bar. In the evenings lots of people are around the Cigar Bar enjoying smokes -- mostly outside in the beautiful patios. Smaller bars are spread thoughout the property. Premium brands are available (not ultra premium) and there is a huge variety of liquor choices.

The buildings at Valentin are separated by beautiful walkways that lead all throughout the property. If you are older (my wife and I are in our 60's) be aware that Valentin is not a place for people who cannot get around comfortably. While there are a few shortcuts, you should expect to walk off most of that liquor and food intake. Most of the restaurants are placed together close to the lobby / Plaza area, but not actually close to the buildings with the suites. The walkways are lined with vegetation, birds, flowers, and an occasional iguana who will often stare at you while you walk around him. We enjoyed our walks, and used them as a good excuse not to visit the gym.

Valentin has a wonderful beach area that is fairly private. The resort is not very close to any other large vacation properties, so most of the people on the beach are Valentin guests (adults), and there are almost no vendors trying to sell you anything. Pick a couple of lounges, relax and enjoy the beach volleyball games, the beautiful water, the soft sand, and the constant flow of drinks that are forever being delivered to you.
HINT -- Bring lots of small bills for tipping.

The evenings at the Plaza area at Valentin have lots of events to keep most people entertained. Around the Plaza there are up-to-date movies offered, circus shows, art and crafts booths, a casino night, a fire show, and plenty music to please most tastes. There are bars all around the area so you can sit with a lemonade or a Martini and enjoy whatever is going on. Like on a cruise ship, every evening you will get a little newsletter telling you what is planned for the following day.

The property is manned by an army of very polite and friendly workers who keep the place very clean. They do an impressive job.

The Valentin is large enough to keep several tour companies manned daily around the lobby area. You can plan most any excursion right at Valentin. Snorkeling (which we did) and Scuba are also offered right on property.

The guests we encountered were pleasantly varied. Most age groups are represented, but the average guest seemed like they were in their thirties. There were several older couples enjoying themselves right along with us. Lots of honeymooners of course. Everyone fits in.

I highly recommend Valentin Imperial Maya. It gave us a great vacation with plesant memories. It offered lots to do, lots to eat, lots to drink, lots of water, lots of sun --- Your choice here. Do plenty of things, or just lay back. We ended our week completely relaxed and reluctant to leave.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank teeville51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Customer Care - JV at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Dear guest from Louisiana,

We would like to thank you for your comments and for taking the time to post such detailed review on Trip Advisor.

We know that our Staff will be truly motivated by your kind words about your experiences.

Please do not hesitate to contact us prior to your arrival so we can assist with all pre arrival requests and be sure that your stay surpasses all expectations.

E mail : customercare@valentinmaya.com

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Reviewed July 5, 2013

I have never experienced such friendly customer service. The resort was beautiful the food was decadent (best lobster I have ever had!) and the staff seemed genuinely happy and were extremely helpful. A big storm can through the night we arrived and flooded the grounds and I was so impressed by their dedication to quickly turn the place back into a 5 star hotel. Our honeymoon was well celebrated at the Valentin and we hope to celebrate may anniversaries there in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for the ocean view and let them know if you are celebrating a special event!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kelly r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Chief C KCA at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 6, 2013

Dear Kelly r from Saint Louis, Missouri

First of all congratulations and thank you very much for staying in the Valentin Imperial Maya for this unforgettable occasion and taking the time to write your positive impressions.

It is a pleasure to know that you enjoyed so much the time spent at our hotel. Thanks for appreciated the efforts and job of the staff, we will pass all your inspiring comments to them.

It will be always a pleasure to welcome you back at Valentin Imperial Maya and better for celebrate your first anniversary!

Wishing you all the best,

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

My husband and I just returned from 5 nights at the Valentin (6/27-7/2) and it was our second trip to stay here. We have been to Playa del Carmen 4 times (two at different resorts) and this was one of the best. The beach was incredible and the water the most beautiful Caribbean blue. The property has great landscaping with beautiful flowers. We were in building 8 which is a bit of a walk to the main areas but it was so lovely we didn't mind a bit (and we needed to walk off the delicious meals). We enjoyed all the restaurants (made it to all but the French) and the buffets as well. One of our favorites was the Seafood restaurant. It was a tasty meal in a romantic setting by the beach. Who could ask for more? We spent most of our time at the beach, but did get in some pool time, too. We always enjoy the music and activity at the large pool. The bed was sooo comfortable and the temperature was perfect in our room. Everyone you come in contact with is so helpful and nice. The staff is cheerful and other vacationers are so friendly. Our last two (maybe three) trips were arranged by Ruth at tripguy.com (ruth@tripguy.com). She really does a great job and always gets upgrades arranged and the best flights. I highly suggest if you're thinking of taking a trip anywhere in the area you get in touch with Ruth.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Grahare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Customer Care - JV at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Dear repeat VIM guests,

We very much enjoyed reading your comments, as we are sure many others will to. We understand that you have many options when choosing where to spend your vacation and it is an honor that you choose to keep returning to the Valentin Imperial Maya.

Please let us know as soon as you are ready to comeback, our great team will be ready to exceed your expectations again!

E mail : customercare@valentinmaya.com

Wishing you all the best,

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

My wife and I stayed from June 24th-July 1st. Service was very good especially the room service. Food choices were widely varied and mostly good.
The resort was very large and didn't seem crowded even though it was sold out. Beach was beautiful and the pool was very big but a little warm.
On my second day I got sick and was room bound for 2 days. I have narrowed it down to 2 things I ate with sauces over them( beef with peanut sauce and salmon with cream sauce). But other than that the stay was very good over all.
Tip: USA Transfer was great for travel to and from the resort. Waitng with a private car when we arrived and was at the resort exactly at 8:15 on day of departure. Only 80.00 round trip!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank rlynn1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
F T, Chief C KCA at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear rlynn 1962 from Owensboro, Kentucky

First of all we want to thank you for choosing Valentin Imperial Maya like your holiday stay.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Trip advisor community; we are very happy that you had the chance to enjoy all that we have to offer including our room service, beach, pool and food.

On the other hand we are sorry to learn about the inconveniences you encountered while in Valentin Imperial Maya. We strive to provide immediate attention to any report or request from our guests, and this avoids creating uncomfortable situations for our guests. Having said this, I would have truly appreciated knowing of these inconveniences first hand and from the first day so as to provide you with the service you deserve or alternatives for your total satisfaction. Concerning our food quality, we can assure you that the health and safety of our guest and staff is our major priority, in this regard the hotel is supported by the Cristal Food Safety Risk management program developed for the travel and tourism industry.

We hope that despite of this situation you afford us the opportunity to serve you again at the Valentin Imperial Maya.

Kind regards,

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Additional Information about Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 311, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
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: $307 - $773 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Valentin Imperial Riviera 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 Mexico

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