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“Paradise Found”

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Valentin Imperial Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Sioux City Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Paradise Found”
Reviewed February 17, 2010

This place is truely paradise. The grounds are beautiful, the service amazing, and the accomodations excellent. The one tip I would give is to arrive at the pool to save a chair no later than 7:30 a.m. If you arrive late, you might not find a pool chair and you would have to "suffer" by sitting on the beach. I would highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank negotiator2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Casper,Wy.
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2010

As my tan fades like last night’s hangover, I find myself dreaming of the Valentin, and remembering “No Regrets,” my friends.
My Wife and I were here for twelve incredible nights, 1/15-1/27, 2010. The Valentin was the perfect choice for an AI with a great staff, wonderful food, lots of sand, two pools, a very comfortable room, and enough booze to keep my beer drinkin’ pig and his entire family lit up like the 4th of July for several generations.
First, special thanks to Mario, Durango-driver to our room. A very helpful and kind man, who showed us the resort, and its finer points, as we finished off our second beer from the check in desk. We were offered champagne or other beverages, but Tecate was the choice of the parched. Wow, just like Mom used to make! Mario gladly carried our bags to the room and we were ready to enjoy.
The room, a Golden suite in building 8, was nice and clean. A very spacious bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower , bidet and toilet. A comfortable king bed in the room, and a small living area with a television, a table and two chairs, and a large desk with a flat screen above it. A dry bar area with coffee maker and a minifridge stocked with beer, water, soda ,chips and chocolate assured we were in capable hands.
The room had two balconies, a small one with no covering and a larger one, palapa-covered with two chairs and a table. This place was a favorite, as it had a great view of the pool and the lagoon. We could watch the large groups of birds fly out in the morning, and then return around 4:30 pm.
The pools around buildings 6, 7, & 8 are all connected by a lazy river and have a center pool in front of each building. The Sun bar, between bldgs. 7 & 8 had excellent service. German (our absolute favorite bartender) seemed to read our minds and know when the glass was empty and always brought a fresh tray of Pina coladas or Tecate, when needed. He had great help from Marcos, Sonia, and Benito. All the employees we dealt with had a smile and were very appreciative to receive a tip. They all work very hard and deserve these tips, so bring a large stack of ones, fives, etc. We went through about three hundred. We also tipped Maria, our maid, and the fridge guy who restocked every day.
We went for the relaxation this time and pretty much steered clear of the main pool. It seemed to be much more crowded and of course the usual pool games. The entertainment staff armed with 110 decibels mic going non stop. It’s nice to have a choice between the two pools. The quiet pool had no shortage of chairs or pool floats .We did bring our own pool floats, but there seemed to be plenty. The chair game, as others have said, does happen. We only had that happen a couple of times, but we always found other chairs. Personally, if someone has a chair (or ten) reserved with a towel and do not show up for three hours, I’m going to move it anyway. Pool temps for us were perfect. Warming in the 85 to 90 degree sun and then cooling off in the pool was nice. If you are expecting this to be a heated pool, this may not be the place
for you. I have yet to see a heated (except by the sun) pool in the area, and we’ve been to several resorts from Cancun to Costa Maya.
The beaches were beautiful. The red flags were out everyday we were there, large waves with wind. The water was warm and strong. Swimming is allowed in the roped section only. Most of the rest of the beach has rocks and coral so bring your water shoes. This is not a safe place for snorkeling, better to head to Puerto Morelos or Playa Del Carmen. It may be better when the water is not so rough. The beaches to the south of the main beach seemed to have lots of open chairs and palapas available. The bar was an easy access by buildings 9 & 10, and they did have service on the beach. Also on the main beach.
The main lobby areas housed most of the restaurants with the exception of Mar & Tierra, which served as a breakfast (ala carte) and lunch buffet and at night the Steakhouse and Lobster Pot. The buffet at lunch seemed busy most days. Cooked to order steaks, chicken, fish, scallops, dogs and burgers (burgers? … The burgers, supposedly Kobe beef, tasted more like some soft form of mystery meat mixed with soy. Tried one, no mas.)
Le Marche, the breakfast buffet, had many choices and we especially liked the Chiliquilles and other Mexican breakfast items. The made-to-order eggs and steaks were great. The Lobster pot seemed all right for dinner, as did the Steakhouse. Standard resort fare. The Taman Sari (Indonesian) was okay as well. We skipped the Italian, so I can’t comment. My Wife enjoyed L’Alsace. It’s the most elegant of all the restaurants and I believe the only one that required long pants for men. There are dress codes below the menus outside each restaurant’s door. Our favorite restaurants were the Ginger and La Hacienda. Ginger had the cooking tables which you must ask for at the door, otherwise you can sit at a regular table and eat. We ate at both and really enjoyed the Sushi samplers along with everything else we ate. The atmosphere here was very relaxing. La Hacienda had the best items I’ve had at an AI Mexican restaurant. The “Shrim tostadas” (as spelled on the menu) , were simply amazing. We had them 3 times. We had the chicken and steak cooked in a stone bowl, similar to fajitas (it‘s for 2). Made with cactus and onions, served with corn and flour tortillas. We also had the tequila shrimp skewers the 2nd night we ate there. Check out the Mexican coffee. It is an event. Room service was fast and efficient. The wings were good, pizza not bad, and breakfast seemed somewhat better than the buffet. They always said forty-five minutes and showed up in thirty. The food at Valentin was better than most AI’s we’ve been to.
The Mariachi band at La Hacienda was great; talk about harmonies… just amazing. This resort has music of all types everywhere. We did not see or hear all the musicians, but the ones we did were all professionals. Being a musician myself for the last forty years, Valentin had the best musical variety of any resort or cruise I’ve been to. These people all deserved tipping as well as many other helpful employees not mentioned here. I will say the only employee I would not give a nickel to would be the pillow menu guy at the ”One Touch” service button on the in room phone. It seems the pillow menu is no mas, and this unknown individual is still [--] about getting the calls, or he knows not what he’s doing. Maybe my Spanish is not up to par.
If you get the chance, Puerto Morelos is about $11.00 there and $13.00 back. Snorkeling $25.00 per person. Check with Paco in the blue building to the left looking at the pier. We went fishing with Diving Dog tours one day. What a blast. We caught six fish. The Valentin, the whole trip was great. I would recommend to anyone who wants to have a nice relaxing vacation.
Well, got to go, the Fed Ex guy just showed up with a box that looks like it’s been with Tom Hanks on that Castaway island. Thank God, I think it’s my liver back from Mexico

  • Liked — German, the bartender
  • Disliked — The pillow guy.
  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
3 Thank guitarcarlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2010

The resort was wonderful and the staff was immensly friendly. I went for my cousins wedding and the treated us phenomally.I do advise anyone who goes their to NOT get a Henna tatoo. They have stands where you can get henna tatoos done. I got a japanese symbol for party ( farily large) on the inside of my wrist.) It was done with black ink but I didn't think anything of it. I came back and it began to itch and I began to worry. By the evening my arm was red and outlined the entire tatto. I put Calamine lotion on it a took a Benedrayl- nothing worked. I then went to go see my doctor and he gave me some cream to calm the reaction. I unfortunatly will probably get a scar from this. It sucks and I recommend to anyone to always check with the artist before getting the tatoo- I didn't think anything of it, but now I know. My doctor told me that the reaction should go down so I won't have serious medical problems, I feel fine other then the itching on the tatoo. I advise for noone to get a Henna tatoo unless you are fully sure that it is safe. The resort was great but I am upset by getting the tatoo. Vacation was wonderful- overall outcome from a thought to be fun experience (tatoo) horrible!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Angelinalover10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2010

Let me start by saying that Mexico has never been one of my top choices for vacation however after visiting the Riviera Maya area my mind has been changed. This area has been kept pretty much in it's natural state with the exception of the resorts which are built among the jungle leaving trees and wildlife in tact. As for the resort itself it came highly recommended by friends who had stayed there this past summer. We went with their recommendation and are glad we did. Since we never spend much time in our room we opted for the standard room, the Deluxe Junior suite and were not disappointed. We found this room to be far nicer than many others that we have stayed in at other resorts. My advise, unless you feel the need to go way above and beyond, save your money & stick with the standard room. The resort offers several restaurants and although we were not there long enough to enjoy them all, the ones we did get to (5) were very good. The best part is that you do not need to make reservations for any of them. For those of you who have travelled to "All Inclusives" before you know that this can be a real hassle. This and the fact that the resort is adults only makes it all the better. The only down fall that we found was the length of time required to check in. Also a word of advice, get down to the pool or beach early to reserve a lounge chair (just putting a towel on it seems to work). They go fast and people seem to hold onto them most of the day. Other than that the resort in itself is a great place to vacation. We are already planning our trip for next year. Will we look for another resort to stay at?....absolutely not! To the staff of the Valentin Imperial, see you next year!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Arlk53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2010

We visited VIM late November – early December 2009. The adult only resort is well described and analyzed in the abundance of postings to date. A few things to add: the food, drinks and service are excellent, resort grounds and golden suites beautiful, and the quite pool delightful throughout the day with an excellent bar on site. I am an ocean swimmer and was disappointed by the continual roughness of water at this location; Caribbean swimmers may wish to look elsewhere

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank whiteoakspring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2010

We stayed a week at the VIM and we very pleased with the resort. The resort is beautiful and the staff is very friendly. The place is spread out so be prepared to walk to, but it is a beautiful walk. We stayed in a golden swim up suite which has its own swimming pool area right off the room’s patio. The room was great especially the bathroom. We were in building 6 which was the best central location for the whole resort. Not far from the beach, the main pool and a little further from the restaurants. Room service was never more that 30 minutes and the food was good (good buffalo wings). The maid service and mini bar restocking was weak but was much better if you left a $2or $3 tip. After tipping your fridge was stuffed with Coors light if you requested it. The food is very good for an all-inclusive and there are no reservations at the restaurants. For breakfast you have the buffet which has a good selection with an omelets station and but it is a buffet and the same every day. The ala carte restaurant for breakfast has a limited menu and is good, but you can get the same items at the buffet. Lunch is the same. You can get ala carte at the beach restaurant but is a limited menu and you can get everything at the buffet. The diners at the ala carte restaurants were very good. We especially liked the Italian restaurant. We had great steaks at the steak place and the Mexican was good. Overall the food was good and some was great, but again the food was not exceptional. Some of the food is bad, like the hamburgers. The beef patties on them are terrible. But there is a good variety and you learn what to avoid and what you like, just order 2 entrées at diner if you can’t decide. It is all inclusive and the portions are not huge. Service at the restaurants was professional and excellent. My wine glass at the Italian place was never half empty and we never had to flag our waiter down. The Mexican theme night outside the main lobby had great entertainment and good food. The nightly shows in the theater were good especially the Michael Jackson Show. The booze was top shelf (Try Don Julio tequila) and the bartenders and wait staff were excellent, awesome mudslides too. The open air plaza bar area was a great place to hang out in the evenings and have a drink as you waited for your table at the restaurants. The pool is gorgeous and clean. The beach is very nice but rocky right in front of the resort, just travel to the far left on the other side of the ropes if you want to play in the waves. The waitress on the beach does a great job of making sure you have a drink at all times. We booked excursions through Olympic Tours near the lobby. We do not recommend them, there was some shady things going on with our bookings and they booked a trip for the wrong day. We went on the Caribbean Carnival booze cruise from Cancun to Isla Muejeres. The staff was energetic and fun, the food at the island was great, and the show was good too. The bad part is that the booze was watered down. Drank over 15 drinks and never even had a buzz. We also went on the Mayan Adventure snorkeling tour. The cenote was nice and the underground cave was really cool. The lunch was good too. The snorkeling in the ocean inlet was ok but not a great variety of fish and the current was too strong for weak swimmers. Based on other snorkeling trips we have taken I would not recommend this trip. Overall the resort was well worth the money we paid for our stay there. The resort is beautiful, the staff is wonderful, and the food and booze are very good too. This is a nice relaxing place for a vacation on the beach in the Mexican Riviera.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Brent&Coco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Ne
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2010

We spent 7 days in a beautiful resort. The food at all the resturants was first class. The wait staff wouldn't stop. the grounds were beautiful. We are not beach folks, we prefer the pool and couldn't be more pleased. But do bring your own pool float. What ever you pay for it back home you can sell it to a guest when you leave. We almost auctioned ours off when we left. during the day when we were not floating we were playing Texas holdem at the pool bar. The dealer Antonio alias Pepe wouldnt' give you good cards but still kept us entertained. Only one problem, the management kept running Jerry Van Dyke( Luther from the TV series Coach) off the off when he would sneek on. Why.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chunkyman
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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