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“All you ever wanted to know about the Valentin”

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Valentin Imperial Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas/ Fort Worth
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“All you ever wanted to know about the Valentin”
Reviewed August 18, 2009

I stay here from Aug 14-18. To give you some background, I have travelled all over the world, from China to Hungary. I have stayed in nice resorts, Ritz to Shangra La, to hostels with College buddies. I have high tastes and standards but I know when there is a good deal. I went here with the expectation to recieve good food, a nice beach, and a relaxing time. I switch from Ocean and Coral to Grand Princess. Then I heard about the stealing at Grand Princess and choose Valentin. Everything exceeded my expectations.

Travel: Took Continental Airlines. I cannot stand a lot of the American airline industry. If you have ever flown Singapore Air or Asiana you know what I am talking about. Overall, the flight was fine. I used USA transfers. They were on-time. We had a our own van/car. It was well worth the 80 dollars. There is a lot of construction on Puerto Moreles so it takes longer than the normal 25 minutes. Overall, it took about 40 mins to get from the airport to the hotel.

First Impression: The entrance is normal for a hotel in Riviera Maya. It is definitly not as cool as the Velas entrance but more interesting than anything Secrets has made. None of the fountains were on, but this is explained by a water main break. Driving up to the actual hotel takes about 3 minutes. The road is private and it is like driving through a botantical gardens. Everything is inline and perfect. The actual front of the hotel, the circle fountain with a cross walkway, is hidden by the road. The "front" or bell boy side is off to the side. This is the first sight. It is not very impressive but as soon as you get out somoene meets you with bubbly and a cool towel. They did not get our bags at first but then the boss whistled and they rushed over. They were not paying attention. You walk straight ahead through some Olympus tours and expedition bookers. They do not bother you. The advertise front entrance is on your left. This walkway was really nice. It feels like a colonial patio.

Check-in- Had to wait 10 mins to check in. The people were very polite and pulled out your chair. The lobby is huge. The main theme is colonial with a splash of modern. The lobby was breath taking to say the least. The front desked told us all the instructions. They told us no dress code for the food, just fyi. They did not mention the resort credit. I had to ask for it, so be sure to mention a upgrade and a resort credit. We booked the golden suite, non swim up. I did not want to move from it so I just wanted the credit. They gave it to us. They gave us a little booklet about the resort. It was all in spanish but i took it anyways. The bellboy came from outside and asked for us by name which was cool. We went to the tram and he took us to the room.

Room: We stayed at building six, room 6205. I had two doubles. With this you lose the gorgeous bathroom door that opens up in front of the tub. You can only get this with the king bed. The room was still huge and nice. Everything was made up and turned down. The air was set for a chilly 67. We never had a issue with the air. It was always at least 74. There is also a fan too that works great. So i think all issues of cooling should be put aside. I never had a issue. The tv in the living was nice as well. I thought they had lost a remote to one of the tvs but in fact the single remote works for both the tv's. I did not know this till the second day. The bathroom, as described by many, was great. It is very very large. The shower is covered in marble tile that is frankly a AWESOME color. The toilet and shower was divided. The tub was walled in, as described. One issue was that there is a triangle hole in the corner of the wall from this encloser. In the hotel pictures, there is a plant in the place. MY room did not have the plant so it looked weird and drab. They gave us shampoo condition, oatmeal soap, and shower gel. The two robes were soft and great to use in the morning. They gave us 6 towels every single day! This was really really nice. Even during the mid day cleaning and turn down, they replaced all the towels. The shower does leak a little bit but the shower can fit like 4 people inside. So the people who have water come out must be shooting it on the door. The floor is lower than the bathroom floor so it is a negative by the modern glass design. All designs similar to this have this problem. So just do not shoot the water on the door. Another issue was only one handtowel rack by design. I found this odd. The other hand towel sits on the tub.

The room every day had a little sheet that had all of the activities for the next day and the weather report. There was drawer paper in each drawer. They gave us fresh slippers and bottle water at each housekeeping visit. The mini bar is stocked with about 6 bottles of water and some beer. There is also a room directory with the room service menu. The beds were AMAZING! They are made with that tempur material that we all see on commericals. The pillow menu was nice but I had to ask 3 times for it. The sheets were always crisp, even on the rainy days. When our room got fridged during the night from the AC and the fan, I was never cold. I was also never hot when i woke up in the morning.

The balcony was huge and nice to sit on when it rained. We had a good view of the pool and the lagoon. It is kind of weird because the balcony next to you is so visible. There is no privacy because the wall is only waist high. The good thing is that you only can see one neighbor. All of the rooms are staggered. I just talked to the people next to me when it is raining. The corner rooms on the top floor of the 6 building have a much better balcony. They are actually ocean view rooms.

On a side note, there is a lot of these "ocean front" suites that are only two stories high (non golden building). They are not really ocean front. There is a lot of trees and brush in the way. You still have to walk through your front door, out on to the road and down to the beach entrance. For being such a premium room, supposedly the second nicest room on the resort, there were a lot of them. I think if you booked a golden suite you could easily get a upgrade. These rooms are still very nice with that sweet private jacuzzi with the glass shudders that open out onto the ocean. Just request a second story room and you can see the ocean just fine. The rooms though are smaller than the golden. The ocean front dexlue suite (not even advertised on some booking sites) are the largest rooms. You can see them on the silver suite buildings. The are always on the corner facing the ocean. They seem to be a lot bigger, twice the size of the golden, and have that same jacuzzi as the ocean front suites.

Pools: If you are looking for a laid back time, go to the 3 island pool next to the golden suites. Literally dead silent. During our stay, it was never full. This seems to be the pool if you just want to be alone. I hung out there in one of the islands with just a friend. It was like my own private pool. It was really nice. There is only one bar and limited service so you have to get up and go get your drinks usually. There was always shade available and room for you to float along and not hear anyone.

There is a water volleyball pool. No one is there unless playing water volleyball.

Main pool is where all the noise was. There was games and a water fall. For kicks, this water fall arch, inbetween the two poolside bars, is the main theme of the entire resort. You see it from the room designs to the beach showers. The pool service was always great and timely. I never had a problem finding shade in the many of the covered seats. There is always a place to sit down. there are two jacuzzi style seating areas. There was never any abnoxiously loud people. It is a good just upbeat feeling. Also, everyone seems to leave either their towel or float behind at the end of the day. If you have a trouble finding a float or lose your towel, people just leave them at the pool.

Yes there are tiles missing in both pools. Considering the billions of tiles in the pool, it is less that .5% are actually missing. You can see them but it is not a problem.

Beach: best beach I have ever been too. I have been to Maui twice and this beach beat Maui on several fronts. Yeah, it is sometimes dirty from rude guests and the sea weed is on the beach but the waves were huge and a load of fun to play in. The water is clear and has that nice mexican blue. There is a rocky side were the waves break about 200 away from the shore. This is full of hard coral rock so do not go walking out there. It is just to look at. This is were the only one bar on the beach, besides the privelage side. It is in front of the rocky beach. This is the calmer side. The waves never get big and you can see the waves crash. About a minute walk from the bar is the swimable side. The entire time we were there the waves were massive. Some parts of the day the waves were at least 12 feet every 5th or so. On average, the waves reach at least 6feet each one. There is a water activities center at the end of the beach. Rent a sailboat or a kayak. It is a ton of fun battling the waves. I actually flipped my sailboat. It was a lot of fun. The waves were way to strong for the sail and my sail partner was just learning the ropes. We kept getting stuck just 10 feet away from the beach because the waves were crashing over the side of the boat. I was trying to pull the sail tighter and then a wave knocked me off and then flipped the boat. The people who ran the place were very helpful and eventually just took us out because it was so rough.

There was plenty of shade, in my opinion, on the beach. Things start to fill up at nine. If you go on the south side of the Terra and Mar, you usually can find a canopy still open. I got there at 830 and had plenty to choose from. The ones on the swimable side go faster. At about 1200, people start to leave. Most people go to the pool by then. At about 4, the beach is dead.

The activities people were fun. They always tried to get us invovled.

A warning, do not swim at the beach unless the lifegaurd is present. Someone almost drowned on a YELLOW flag day. They had to rescue her. She was all the way in the corner, farethest away from the guard, on one of the roughest days of the week. The lifeguards there are really strict and they should be. The waves are strong and only for those who like to body surf and just play in the waves. Be smart. Stay close to the lifeguard stand. He does not kick people out but just moves them closer to the stand.

Food/ Service: Did not try lobster pot, steakhouse, indonesian, room service, italian. Overall, never had to wait for a table. Service was great. Only some minor issues. Nothing out of the ordinary.

French- Apple Tart and Chocolate Mouse are to die for! Amazing! The orange duck was great!!! Samuel at the frech resturant was better than many 4 star resturants I have been too. The service was great! The manager usually brings out your food. I have never had french food so i can not vouche for the "frenchness" but it was good food. Sometimes people confuse authenticity and good food. Good romantic atmosphere. Went there twice!

Japanese- I am half Chinese and sometimes find it funny when ALL of the decorations are out of place. All of the writings are in Chinese not Japanese. They are not even the borrowed characters. The buddhas in there are Indian not Japanese. These are not a big deal at all but just funny. The food was so-so. I have a high standard for asian food. The sushi was decent. I do not like fish and found it good. The show grill was fun. Talking to the other people at the table is always entertaining. The service was kind of slow but not annoying. The decorations were, besides the above, really really amazing.

Mexican- Good. I like Tex-Mex better but they had some good chips. They taste baked, not friend. Service was great and fast

lunch- My recommendation is to the skip the one at the lobby of the hotel and go to the one at the beach. I found this one TONS better. There is a lot more food to choose from and the breeze is much better. The hostess was really really sweet. She was always dancing with the music and had a great personality. She really made the experience.

Breakfast- One at the main part of the hotel hands down. They had alot more choices. The real fruit juice is great. Also, the labeled the style of food, whether healthy or unhealthy. I like this commitment to good eating habits. There is a color coded system that you can see at the table. also, try to sit in the airconditioning side. It is much better because of the lack of breeze in the resturant. I had my "worst" service experience here. The waiter was slower than usual and did not bring drinks. It was not a terrible experience. I just asked another waiter. No bigs. He picked up his game later on though.

Spa- On the smaller side. It was nice. Price was average. They treat you like royalty. Try to do one of there packages or treatments. You get a special room with like private pools and jacuzzies which are cool.

Theme nights- They had two theme nights while I was there. These were fun and different. I am glad they did this so often. It really livens up the hotel. These are separate from the normal food services.

Music- They usually had some musicial playing somewhere all the time. Go watch the music. They are amazing. I am a huge music guy and these people were some of the best. Take a drink and relax.

Enterainment- I only saw the circus show. It was honestly good and very funny. There is not much decor but it was a good show. I am use to vegas shows and I was entertained by this.

Drinks- I just had fruit drinks. They were good. I do not drink hard liquor. Never had a issue with the bars.

Issues- There is some lack of communication between the concerige and housekeeping service. Nothing huge but just minor issues.
- had to ask several times for the right pillow
-my maid service was after 4 usually
- did not show up when i asked

Other than that, the housekeeping was fantastic.

Improvments- This is only to make a true 5 star. I give it a lower end 5 star or a solid 4.5
- orginal artwork
- fixing the minor service fall outs
- upkeep on the beach
- adding that awe factor

Having been to so many 5 stars, I think the awe factor is what people want in a five star. The closest 5 star to the Valentin is the Iberostar Grand Pariso. This has true awe power. I would say this resort does not have that. I do not rate it no worse because of the lack of awe because I think it is so subjective.

Best Quality of the resort is the village type feel. You do not feel like you are at a hotel but part of a small town. The suite buildings are well placed. There is a lot of garden work. The soft music playing in the walkways is a great touch. The employees always say hello. It has a small feel eventhough the resort is a average size. This resort is not large by any means. It takes 5mins to walk from the beach to the lobby. It is a medium size resort. It has a good house hold feel. You feel like you are part of local mexican village rather than a hotel. Also, only go here if you are a couple or with a bunch of friends. The crowd here is much older and usually all the women or men or married or engaged. This is not a party resort.

Overall- Great resort. This is either a 4.5 or a lower end 5 star. It is by far better than El Cid, Ocean and Coral, NH, or even some Dreams/ Secrets resorts. Grand Princess has nothing on this resort (I do not know why it is still rated so high). It probably cannot compete though with the Excellence, Mandarin, or Velas types. So it is inbetween these. If you are looking for a 5 star that is for normal people, This is the place for you. Sometimes those other real 5 stars has guests that are rather rude. It really is valued priced for what you get. This has huge bang for buck value. I would rate this number one in value at the 5 star level. I can see why this hotel is now #10 in all of Playa. I think it will soon be higher and be #1 with a few improvements. One of the best resorts I have ever stayed at!

Please contact me with any questions.... will post photos soon!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
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81 Thank TCUtexan09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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WV
Level 6 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2009

Just returned from the Valentin. All in all this is a great resort. Had a couple of minor service issues which I will explain in further detail. First a few details about myself. My wife and I are in our thirties and have never been to an all inclusive or to Mexico. Never been to the Carribean.

Check In: Quick. Received champagne upon arrival and got into our room right away. We checked in a little after 3 p.m. We had booked a regular room through Orbitz with a complimentary upgrade to a silver suite. I was a little concerned since my confirmation did not mention the upgrade. We received the upgrade. I had to give a credit card in which they placed a hold for $400 for incidentals. The room had a complimentary safe in which we used.

Room: Nice room in building #2. I thought the location of building 2 was close to about everthing so we were pleased. The room did have a dampness smell to it but it was not a big deal. My guess is the humidity. We used a plug in Glade which worked pretty well. No problems with the A/C as others have noted here.

Service: Would have to say the service was outstanding. All the employees were extremely friendly. It did not seem like a "fake" friendly which I often feel is the case in U.S. resorts. It felt genuine. Our room was made up each day and we received the turn down service each night. One day our room was not made up until close to 5 pm but all other days it was completed while we were out of the room. We did have a couple of issues. We ordered two plates of food from room service and only received one. No big deal but felt I needed to mention it. The service was a little slow at the Lobster Pot and the Mexican restaurant. Again no big deal. If those are the only problems encountered on a six night stay that is pretty good in my opinion. The bar service was excellent.

Restaurants: We ate at the Lobster Pot, Indonesian restaurant, Mexican, French and Italian. The French was our favorite as we ate there twice. The Chateaubriand was excellent. Lobster Pot was our least favorite. Crab legs were excellent but the lobster was rubbery. The restaurants seem to be hit and miss depending on the plates you order. For example at the Indonesian the Pad Thai was excellent but the Chicken Tandoori was average. All in all the food is very good but not excellent.

Beach: Again I have not been to Mexico or the Carribean before but I thought the beach was beautiful. The towel game is played here so you need to arrive at the beach early in the morning to get a palapa. The drink service on the beach was good. They have a waitress, a bar, and two big tubs of cold bottled water and Coors light. We had yellow flags every day and enjoyed swimming in the ocean.

Overall: A solid 4.5 star resort. The grounds are beautiful and the service is great. At these prices I feel it is a great value. After taking out our airfare we paid about $135 per night. This place is not a place to go if you want to party all night. If you want a quiet, relaxing vacation this is the spot.

Negatives: Top shelf liquor but not premium such as Grey Goose. Towel cards which are riduculous for a resort of this caliber.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
23 Thank Moneyneversleeps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2009

We stayed at the Valentin from 8/3-8/8 and had an amazing time. We have been frequent cruisers, so this was our first all inclusive and we were not disappointed. I would, and have, recommend this resort and hope to go back one day.

Check-in: We were greeted with Champagne and cold towels. The girl that checked us in wasn't overly friendly but ok. We booked a Golden Suite through Cheap Caribbean that included a free up-grade. When we asked about it, they told us that they only had 1 swim up room available and it had 2 double beds. We opted to stay with our original and were not disappointed.

Room: We stayed in 8301. It was a little further from things, but we did not mind. It was always a nice walk back after dinner. We did get lost our first night, so some more signs and lighting would be nice. The room was very nice, just as described by many others. We were overlooking the swim-up pools, which were very quite and made our balcony enjoyable. I tried to order from the pillow menu, but was told they were all out. Was not a big deal, the bed was comfortable and we slept great!

Grounds: The place was absolutley beautiful and well taken care of. I felt that we were in a secluded area with only a few people and not a 400+ room resort running at 90% occupancy.

Service: Service was pretty good the entire trip. We did not have any bad experiences. Everyone was polite and worked hard. We tipped for everything and everyone was very grateful. Mayra at the main pool was great! She remembered our names every time she saw us, even days later. Victorio at the beach was amazing. We went down early one morning and were looking for a good spot for the day. I was waiting on a chair as my husband was searching out for a covered area. When he found one I grabbed our stuff and went down to meet him. Our camera must of fell out of our bag and I didn't know it. About 1-2 hours later, Victorio found us and gave us our camera back. We found this to be truly amazing. We gave him some money, all that we had on us for tips, for returning it and went back the next day to give him more. We have also called the resort after we returned to again thank him for it. We could of lost a lot right there.

Pool/Beach: Both were wonderful. Only complaint, like many others were the floats and palpas at the beach. We are usually pretty early risers and would be out by 8:30 or 9 each morning and had a hard time finding them. We had a raft one day and when we stepped on the side of the pool to see Dodo, the spider monkey, my husband laid it right beside him and someone came and took it. I thought that was kind of rude. Also, our last day on the beach we were out from 9-2 and the people that were holding the palpa beside ours never showed up. Some people are just not considerate to others.

Food/Drinks: Food was very good. The breakfast buffet was nice and I loved being able to have the omelet made right in front of you. We didn't eat lunch but a few times, when we did we ate by the beach at the Lobster Pot. It was good but didn't feel it was anything spectacular. Dinner on the other hand was. We had French, absolute best of all that we tried, Mexican, also VERY good, Japanese and Italian. We did room service a few times. Food was also good and never took to long to get. They forgot my pastries the last morning and came back with them, which was nice. Drinks were always good. You do have to ask for an "up-graded" liquor, but no big deal, you would at a bar too. Every drink we tried tasted great and were generously poured. The house wine was also very good and they always filled your glass without asking.

Spa: We got a $150 spa credit with our booking so we decided to do a couples massage on the beach. It was amazing. The location was great, all you heard were the waves crashing on the beach. It was so relaxing. The prices are a little steep, but was worth it.

Overall we had an amazing time and was not disappointed by anything. This is a couples resort and we met some really great people, but we enjoyed the time to ourselves too. We never had to leave the resort. One night they had little vendors that set up shop which was nice because it saved me from leaving and I got more time on the beach. Don't hesitate on this resort, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
23 Thank tealh2odreamin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2009

We just returned last night from a 5day/4night vacation at the Valentin. Its a very nice resort and we will return. We travelled in March to Couples Negril in Jamaica and we equally liked this vacation. And we love Couples resorts!!

Check-in: Easy and your greated with champagne as soon as you step out of your transfer. A very nice touch.

Rooms: The Good: We were surprisling upgraded to a beachfront suite. We were celebrating our 2-year anniversary a month early and still got upgraded. Nice room with flat screen tv. Decent channels. We got to watch the PGA Champsionship so that work out nicely. Beds were very comfortable and we slept well at night. Large jacuzzi tub, however we never used it.
The bad about the rooms: is we were in building 9 and far from everything. The lobby was a 10-15min walk, the restaurants were about the same distance. Not bad at night when its not too hot, but in the day its draining. However, a small pool is a short walk and very quiet and relaxing. We also saw many spiders in our room. Some small, some large. We had a lizard carrying a dead frog in our bathroom as well as a crab in our jacuzzi. Overall we killed all the insects and still managed to enjoy the room. We realized we were in Mexico and they have insects. We didn't let this spoil our vacation. We called the front desk about the insects and they sent someone to spray. We still saw a few after that. To be expected I guess. Next time we will not stay in a beachfront bottom floor room.

The Restarants:
Breakfast was excellent. Lots of different options to choose from. The omelet stations were very good!
Lunch: We ate at both restaurants and enjoyed them both. The show cooking stations with fresh shrimp, scallops and fish are really good.
Dinner: We ate at the Lobster pot, steak, Italian, and Japanese. We loved the food. Every meal was great. They even brought us two lobster tails a piece at the Lobster Pot. If you want something, all you have to do was ask. They staff is very helpful.
The Lobster and Steak are outside. Remember to bring bug spray as the mosquitos are
fierce at night. I got bit around 15 times the first half of our dinner at the steak restaurant. I put on bug spray and they weren't as bad. We even had a few diners ask us to borrow our bug spray as they were getting bit too!

Beach and Pool: The beach was great!!! A lot of cover areas on the beach and around the pool. I noticed shaded spots available around the pool even around 10am. We found no need to get up early and claim a spot. We would find a spot on the beach around 10am. The resort seemed pretty packed as well.

Shows: We saw the Michael Jackson show and the Circus show. The Circus show was really good and entertaining. The Michael Jackson show had amazing backup dancers. Unfortunately, the guy who was Michael Jackson seemed a bit off that night. He didn't fully dance and seemed he was sick.

Excursions: We did the Selvantica Corona Ralley. Worth every penny! Zip lining and then driving go cart buggies around on a dirt road. Awesome! Then we swam in a fresh water cenote and cave. The served us lunch which was very good. We highly recommend this. Its a half day excursion. We still had most of our day to enjoy the resort.
We also did parasailing. First time to do this and we loved it. We went through Olympus Tours and they took us to the Marona Marina. We left at 2:10pm and were back around 3:45pm. We liked we didn't have to be gone all day to enjoy an excursion.

Overall, we loved this resort. Very large with great foliage and paths to walk back to the rooms. It is hot and mosquitos are abundantly around. Bug spray is a must. We even discussed we'd pay even more money than we paid to stay at this resort. Staff is excellent, food is amazing, and the resort is a must if you are in the area!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank sctravel06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2009

I admit that I am very critical in general as I travel often and have lots to compare to.
I can't imagine staying anywhere else in Mexico-this was absolutely perfect. We did NOT want to stay in "touristy" Cancun and looked for an AI resort in Playa del Carmen which is about a 25 minute drive south. We only had 5 days and I will stay longer next time. Here are my thoughts:

Transportation: We typically rent a car as we like to "see" the country we visit but after reading the reviews, we decided to hire as we did want to spend most of this short vacation relaxing at the resort. We chose USA transfers and we were not sorry. They were right on time and easy to spot at the airport with their red, white, and blue uniforms. The roundtrip cost to and from airport was $80 total for the two of us. This was a private transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle. Keep in mind that there is no place you can walk to if you want to leave the resort. You will need to rent a car or hire a taxi or company. We had a day of excursions through Edventure Tours (check them out on trip advisor) and it was amazing, I highly recommend. Valentin does NOT use them so you will need to book ahead of time. Another day we booked a shopping trip to Playa del Carmen through the hotel and it was $15pp. We left at 10:30 and were back at 2:30, just in time to jump in the pool. That was a nice place to pick up souvenirs.

Arrival: We got in on a Tuesday and although we arrived well before check-in at about 12:00, we were immediately greeted with bubbling champagne and taken to our room without delay. When we were speaking with someone in the lobby while we were checking in, the person didn't speak English well and was trying to explain the map of the property and the restaurants. We felt really lost the first day and didn't know where anything was. I think they should mark the place off better (more signs, more arrows,etc.)

Rooms: Absolutely gorgeous. Building 2 was the perfect location on the resort. Close to everything, very central to pools, restaurants, lobby, ocean. We paid for the cheapest room (deluxe jr.) and were upgraded for free to silver room which has a jacuzzi in the bathroom. Speaking of the bathrooms, they were all marble with a separate stall for toilet and separate stall for shower. I will confirm what others have said about the awful water that gets out under the shower door and all over the floor. Be sure to throw a towel on the floor before you get it because you will have water everywhere. Gorgeous shower though! Flat screen tv, room always stocked and restocked with whatever you like: different kinds of beers, sodas, water and each day they leave fantastic chocolate and bags of potato chips. Bed was extremely comfortable. I loved the aloe gel, honey shampoo and oatmeal soap left daily. Air was okay but we discovered that the hotel sets it on 70 degrees and "automatic" setting. My husband programmed it down to 67 degrees (the lowest you can go) and set it to 3. If you leave it on automatic, the sensor causes it to turn itself off after awhile with no movement. Setting 3 will leave it on continuously. I was really annoyed with the whole light switch set-up. There were a million switches for a million lights and nothing was labeled. We never knew what we were turning on and off. The cleaning people came in twice each day, once to clean and later around dinner time to turn down the bed and leave chocolates and water by the bed as well as the following day's schedule of events.

Food: All I can say is "Wow!" I loved it. There is NO ONE pickier than me (ask my husband). I am a vegetarian and I found plenty of amazing dishes to eat. You didn't have to sign up for any of the restaurants like in some resorts. You just show up to eat. No wristbands every worn either. We tried every restaurant but the French due to not enough time. Mexican was fantastic and there were many choices.
Indonesian was nothing to write home about and small portions. Italian was very good (and I am used to homemade Italian sauce and this was fantastic) while Lobster Pot was very slow service even though there were not many people in the restaurant. This was my least favorite restaurant; the lobster was not tasty but my husband did like the steak. I really enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the buffet restaurant Le Marche.
As for dress, anything goes at breakfast and lunch but dinner is more dressy. I only brought one dress and often felt out of place. There were some in shorts and I don't believe you would be asked to leave but the majority of women wear dresses (not fancy) and men wear shirts with collars. Next time I will know how to pack.

Pools: We swam in the main pool as there was no need to go to any of the others. There were 2 bars in the pool that served some crazy frozen drinks. There is a menu with many to try and we loved the Miami Vice frozen drink. There were people who came early in the morning and hoarded the pool floats under their saved chairs. This was annoying since they came and went as they pleased and the floats sat unused under their chairs when they left. I loved when other people would take them on them :)
There were so many chairs available both by the pools and beach and we were told by the hotel that it was at 90% capacity. Seriously, it seemed like there was hardly anybody at the hotel (except at dinner time!).
I loved the fact that it was adults only but wondered why there were some kids that were unquestionably under 18. It was nice not to hear screaming babies and kids. Perfect place to get reacquainted with your spouse or partner. This place is heaven. Huge resort so it's nice to take romantic walks. We met great people including Yolanda and Mark who we will keep in touch with. George and Deb from Liverpool, send me a private message and we will exchange those emails we never got the chance to do!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank teacher6th
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2009

We have been to Mexico at least 4 times before and have stayed at the Royal in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, but this is so much better than the Royal! The restaurants were great. We did not try the Mexican or Italian because we are those nationalities. Where this hotel lacks in, it made up so much in other places. Their service is slow when ordering room service at 3 in the morning. There are waitress on the beach, but we never got served from them. We had to hike it back to the bar at the top on the beach entrance. That is all I have to complain about on this resort. The food was great. The entertainment was better than good. The Michael Jackson show was better than I expected. The Mexican marachi (sp) show and food was great! We ate there because we came in late on Saturday and we didn't have to change our clothes to go to dinner. My best restaurants were the Indonesian, and Japanese. The Lobster Pot was good, but I had to fight off the bugs from eating me up (use bug spray before going to eat there). Pool service was good and just remember to tip your waitress/waiter they work hard for their money. We did not adventure out because we have done everything already and we just went to party. We found the party place at night was in the sports bar or on the disco floor. It's not really disco music, so don't worry... it's dance music! Enjoy your time and put plenty of sunblock on during the day. The sun is hotter than you think. This resort is not in walking distant to anything, so you will have to take a taxi or shuttle into town.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank diane1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, NJ
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2009

I just got back from the Valentin today, and I wish I could go back tomorrow! We had an amazing time! I read so many of these reviews before we left and I wanted to do the same for future guests at this marvelous place. My main concern with going to Mexico was my very sensitive stomach, and I really had nothing to worry about. There is all the bottled water you can imagine, and all the ice is purified. I still wouldn't use any sink water, and basically held my breathe in the shower.

Every single person that we came across was nicer than the next. They offered anything and everything to you. The room was beautiful, and the grounds were spectacular. It is a very big property and there is walking involved to go places, but we were able to figure out the fastest routes and if you needed a ride anywhere you could get one. The food was pretty good. The best was the steakhouse. It was delicious.

I can't say enough nice things about this place. I will definitely return!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank ss6teen
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

Property: Valentin Imperial 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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