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“An Extraordinary Vacation...will definately return.”

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Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 16, 2010

My husband and I met my sister and her husband at VIM for a 5 night stay starting on Nov. 8th. All flights went smoothly and our transfer arrived on time and dropped us off at VIM around 5pm.
CHECK IN: we were greeted with sparkling wine and escorted to the lobby for check in. We had reserved Standard Deluxe Suites but were upgraded to Silver Suites on the floor, which was nice. Erick at the front desk made check in pleasant and painless.
ROOMS: We were taken by golf cart to our rooms (Building #1). I thought I would not like the location, but to be honest by the second day I preferred it over any other bldg. location. The rooms were both made up with swan towels with rose petals and a bucket of sparkling wine with an engraved note welcoming us to the resort. The rooms were spacious, tastefully decorated and VERY clean. The bed was so comfortable, and if you did not like the pillows supplied, you could request a pillow menu and order different ones.
FOOD: First night we arrived was the Mexican Fiesta Night which we decided to attend. Fabulous buffet of authentic mexican cuisine, everything was so yummy! You have to try the mexican coffee served at the fiesta and the flavored tequilas (cherry, chili pepper, cinnamon..etc) very tasty! They have a show with dancers and mariachis that was really good. I think they do this Fiesta once a week, so if you are there I would encourage you not to miss it. It was one of our favorite nights. The next night we ate at Lobster Pot/Steakhouse, we ordered a little from both sides ,they are in same building by the beach. All four of us agreed, this was the worst meal we had during our stay. Since we booked before July 15th, we did not have to pay an upcharge for our lobster. This did not make it any more palatable. Everything tasted precook, rewarmed, very salty and chewy. If you do go to the Lobster Pot, avoid the lobster, especially if you are paying for it. As for the steakhouse (Tierra), we ordered 3 different steaks and all three were not very good. If you want a steak, you HAVE to try the New York at the Indonesian (can't recall name at the moment). This was by far, my favorite place to eat. The riblets as an appetizer and the New York steak for dinner and the Chai ice cream for dessert, my absolute favorite meal.Third night we came back late from Xplore and didnt want to miss the show so we just had appetizers at Ginger (japanese) and drinks, which were very good. Our waiter knew we were in a hurry to get to the show and got us our food quickly. After the show we came back to Ginger to see if we could get a hibachi table because we were still hungry. Again, another fantastic dining experience. It was late (10pm) but we had a full table of lively guests from all over the world. The sea bass was my favorite here, also try the sushi sample plate, very good. The next night was Indonesian, which you already know was fabulous. The last night I was under the weather and we ordered room service, philly cheese steak...edible, but would have rather went out to french or mexican, which we missed. Sister had Mexican that night and loved it. We had breakfasts at the buffet and lunches by the pool, both were very good.
POOL/BEACH: Amazing is an understatement! The pool is huge with two swim up bars, plenty of space so you never feel crowded. The resort was at 97% so they had activites going on at both ends of the pool and the beach. What was great is that you could find a quiet place to chill out and read a book or participate in any of the several activities going on. We spent most of our time at the swimup bar nearest the beach (quieter end) which made for some fun afternoons (thanks Ramon!). The beach was red flagged for swimming everyday we were there, but we ventured in and did some body surfing (so fun!). None of us were wore water shoes and never felt the need to, sand was soft and felt great between the toes.
SHOWS/NIGHTLIFE: During our stay we saw: The Mexican Fiesta, The Michael Jackson Show, The Mayan Show and a some of the International Show. All were very entertaining. The band and DJ in the Plaza every night were fabulous. We danced and had a blast almost every night.
GROUNDS: Yes, the grounds are massive, but they are so beautiful, I found myself wanting to take walks all during the day just to take it all in. My advice would be to walk the entire resort in the daylight once you have arrived. Get a feel of were everything is so when you are out at night, it's not so confusing getting around the dim lit walkways.
5 nights was not enough, I would book 7 or more next time we go, and we definately will be going again. Pleas feel free to send me a message if you have any questions. I will post pictures shortly.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank haleychics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 16, 2010

This is my second review of the VIM, and my opinion has changed! I gave it three last time but I'd give it 10 this time if I could. We came here in the second week of a two-week trip. The first week was spent at the Bluebay Grand Esmeralda, which I have reviewed separately. We changed hotels to the VIM as the BBGE was awful.

We visited as a foursome with our daughter and her significant other. We were greeted by the wonderful Francisco and checked in. We were whisked to our room (deluxe suite. We had a Golden suite last time) in a white SUV. The room was superb with gorgeous bathroom, robes, scale, etc. After the previous hotel it was a major upgrade.

There have been a few changes but not really for the better. For example, the lovely beachside lunch buffet at Mar y Terra has been replaced by an a-la-carte menu, which wasn't that great compared with the buffet. Also no more king crab legs at Mar! We also attended an amazing Mediterranean Night buffet last year but didn't see this in the week we stayed this year. However, this is "small stuff" compared with the beauty of this resort and the incredible ambience and friendliness of the staff.

Much of what is lovely about this resort has been addressed by other reviewers. We are already wanting to return, perhaps in February. I wish I had left a higher rating than before but hadn't a "point of reference" for Mexican resorts at that time and could only compare with the Maui Four Seasons. I am now completely in love with the VIM and can thoroughly recommend it to others for romance, fun, and just hanging out in warm weather and gorgeous surroundings. A huge hug to Francisco and all the staff who helped make our second week in Mexico all that it should be.

Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank Wuzzo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2010

I would like to recommend this hotel to couples seeking a lush tropical setting, great service, nice rooms, excellent food / drinks all within 20 minutes of the airport and close to Playa del Carmen. We were 3 couples there for a relaxing week away and that's just what we got. After a small mistake with my room (wanted a king size bed got 2 doubles) the rest of our week was amazing. Thanks to Guillarmo and Maria at the golden suites swim up pool bar (next to room 7117) for excellent service/drinks and friendly smiles. PS: Maria is learning many languages at once and is truly an inspiration. The grounds were one of the highlights of our trip. Walking the pathways at night is very romantic with the soft lighting / music and the stars overhead. Do not miss the fire and mayan show. Be on the lookout for all the different animals: iguanas, lizards, butterflies of all colors, birds and the famous white-nose coati (red raccoons with long tails). Make sure to bring small bills for tips and to try to learn some key phrases in spanish. This is very much appreciated by the staff to whom the spanish language is often a second one (mayan being their 1st, spanish their 2nd and english their 3rd!) Truly a beautiful resort with some minor adjustments needed to be a true high end 5 star (touch ups in rooms need to be done, more bar service on beach) but overall a great experience in a very beautiful setting with warm and friendly staff.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nanou005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Valentin from November 7th through the 14th to celebrate our 4th anniversary. The moment we arrived to the airport the shuttle was waiting for us to take us to the hotel. We were greeted with Champagne, check-in was easy and our room was big enough for the two of us. The bed had rose petals in it, and some towels in the shape of swans, as well as a bottle of Champagne. The resort is immaculate, food is delicious. We only had 3 issues, one was the mattress; it was worn and uncomfortable to sleep on. Walked up with back pain, but the pain went away as soon as we started doing something; a few of the waiters kept forgetting my husband's drinks, and it seems like they don't have enough hand or facial towels, cause I had to keep requesting them. But, the overall experience was great and would definitely go back to the Valentin. Everywhere you went, it was surrounded by nature. There was always something to do, or just relax and enjoy the day after a delicious meal!!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ondiux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2010

Four us, as we are accustomed to traveling to Mexican and Cuban high-end resorts, this was a let-down. Sure, the rooms are well-appointed, the grounds clean and well-kept and the beach and pools gorgeous, but the service, albeit smiling and courteous, is more often than not (especially at the bars and at the concierge's) slow, disorganised and, frankly, just appropriate.
However, the major disappointment was with the food. The Marché restaurant (breakfast and lunch buffet) looked and tasted like an institutional cafeteria: lukewarm dishes, poor presentation, in a bland and uninspired room. As for the no-reservation restaurants, only the Alsace fared better, both in variety and food quality. The Japanese was average-to-good, but is worth a try just for the stunning interior design of the room. Olivo, the Italian restaurant, is not bad, at least the pasta was properly cooked, which cannot be said at the Marché. As for the Indonesian - more a Asian mish-mash featuring Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes, both the satay and the smoked duck were properly inedible.
Now a word about the beverage section: forget the house wine (Mexican), unless you insist on nurturing a mild headache. As for the international liquor brands, most are watered down and their choice is limited. (They mix nice frozen margaritas, though.)
As for the rooms, we had a Junion suite Silver in building 2 (quiet and equally distant from the pools, beach and restaurants). To be noted: rooms in Building 2 on the North side, third floor, command a good seaview (rooms 2301 and 2304 are the best).
One last word: do not be tempted by their Privilege Upgrade ($100 per person per night): the only advantages it offers are a reserved section on the beach and at the pool, which at least guarantees you a reserved palapa (they are in limited number elsewhere, meaning that you have to commandeer one as early as 7 a.m), a mostly empty Privilege Lounge, where hors d'oeuvres are served, as well as some Premium liquors, and a Business Centre with computers and E-mail access.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank HicEtNunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya. Since my daughter just recently found bed bugs in her home, and undertook to have them remediated to the tune of $1,700.00, and much emotional trauma, my husband and I thoroughly checked the room and beds in both the hotel we stayed in the states on our way to Mexico, and the Valentin Imperial. After taking off the sheets at the Valentin we found a large spot at on the top of the bed which very much looked like the staining and damage which are caused by bed bugs. We went to the lobby and explained the problem, and were given another room, which was in a different building. We checked that room as well and did not find a problem. (If you're not in the know, you can research beg bugs on the web and you'll find that they are quickly becoming a plague of sorts.)

Anyway, my husband is not as picky about food as I am, but I found the food to be adequate, but certainly not a four or five star.

The pool is lovely, and the beach is very nice as well. The staff was very friendly and helpful as well.

Again, I would be very concerned no matter where you are traveling to to check for bed bugs, and also to educate yourself about them and how you can avoid an infestation.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank moomsa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2010

Valentin Imperial well located, not far from the Cancun airport (avoiding never ending transfers). The service is very good and the staff is always smily and helpful. The rooms are big, clean, the bed is comfortable and you can order extra pillows (which we did and they come within minutes). The beach is one of the best we've seen in Riviera Maya. White sand, nice clear water, lots of miles to walk. The pool also offers enough spots to have quiet spaces or be part of the noisy crowd. The food is extremely good (and we are picky). The buffet has amazing choices for breakfast and lunch. At dinner, the seven restaurants are equally good. Our disappointment was the gym. Really not to the standards of the rest of the hotel. No mats, few machines and very small. Overall, a choice you won't regret.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marsoan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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: $290 - $699 (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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