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“Excellent; As Good as all the Hype”

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Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 17, 2009

Just got back 3 days ago and had an excellent experience at the Maroma Resort and Spa. My wife and I never are the type that would go to the same place twice, but if we ever go back to the Yucatan again, and can afford it, we're going to stay here again. Since everyone has an opinion, I will try to fill the below with more useful information than opinion.

For starters, so you understand where I am coming from, my wife and I make a fairly good living and so can afford to stay in nicer places like Maroma, but we do not make so much money that when we go to a place like Maroma we can just spend whatever we want on drinks, dinner, spa services, etc., without flinching. We like to be spoiled like the rich, but have to watch our money closely once we are in their presence. We generally try to stay in the nicest of places, but our lifestyle usually only allows us to stay one notch below, with the occasional splurge, which is what we would consider Maroma. Accordingly, our expectations may be slightly lower than the elite travelers that no-doubt frequent Maroma.

Economy/Swine Flu - According to Maroma staff, they are currently running at 30% occupancy, and actually have the southern portion of the resort largely shut down, though the ritzy beach-front villas and spa are still open and the pools are still useable. What this currently means is plenty of attention (not too much) from staff, no having to fight for reservations/beach chairs/beds, and a couple of apparent cost cutting measures (but my perception was it generally was a plus for us).

Location - Maroma beach is nice; can't comment on how nice verses other areas on the Yucatan, but the water seems as crystal clear as it could be and the sand is white. Waves are present but small. The resort beach is situated towards the middle of the crescent cove that makes up all of Maroma beach. There are two all-inclusives immediately south of the resort (Secrets and Catalonia; Maroma actually share an entrance with Secrets), and there is an empty lot and a partially completed condo development immediately to the north, with tons more all-inclusives visible in the distance (over half mile away). Playa del Carmen is no more than 20 minutes to the South. As for driving directions, the hotel seems shy to admit that you have to use the same entrance as Secrets Maroma, and so the driving directions they give are not adequate. Get their directions, and then on your drive down, look for Secrets Maroma and that is the gate.

Grounds - Beautiful and constantly being cared for. Maroma cleaned its beaches of seaweed and trash each morning, whereas the all-inclusives directly south did not, and the difference is obvious (and nasty for those at the other resorts). Unfortunately there is a lot of litter that comes in off the water and collects on the beach (if not picked up) and these other resorts had lots of garbage and seaweed on their sand and in their water but Maroma kept its beaches virtually spotless, and picked up items later in the day if the need arose. In fairness to these other resorts, they seemed to amass more junk because of the way the current worked and because they were near a point and behind a reef, as well. But a walk south down the beach and look at these resorts completely affirmed our decision to go with Maroma over any all-inclusive.

Room Choice - This is not a cookie-cutter all-inclusive, so the rooms/buildings aren't fungible or easy to compare. We stayed in Room #6, Ocean View and couldn't have asked for anything more. Ocean View means you can see the water from your balcony, but you don't necessarily have an unblocked view. Our original room was a first floor, and we asked at check-in to move to a second floor, and they accommodated without any issue or delay. In previous reviews we read that second floor was better for bugs and/or privacy, and again, it's kind of a crap shoot. Second floor rooms may generally have more privacy because your balcony is not a patio on the ground, but some of those balconies are directly above the restaurant or bar and actually offer less privacy. A few ground floor Ocean Views open directly out to the beach bar (less than 10 yards). The garden view rooms open onto the pools and walkways between rooms and look like they may be short on windows, but we did not go into one. Room 6 was perfect FWIW.

Food/Prices - For starters, just as with the room prices, everything is hit with 25% of fees, so add 25% to everything below and anything you spend money on at the resort. We booked our reservation through Expedia as part of a package with air travel, and got a discount off the rack rate. As is noted in previous reviews, the food and dinks are expensive, but there are ways to mitigate this. For starters, the food quality was extremely good, and we enjoyed our meals. There is the fancy restaurant, Sol. Entrees run $35+. There is the less expensive, but very nice restaurant (that is really the same restaurant, just one room over), that has basically a Tapas menu ($12 or less each) plus entrees in the $20-$30 range). This restaurant is just as good and seemed more popular, including because you could sit outside basically on the beach. Then you can also eat at the beach bar at least through the afternoon, not sure about the evenings. Great selection of appetizer type foods like Quesadillas, Nachos, Guacamole, for $15 or so, and the portions are fairly large so you can easily share one. Regardless of where you are, beers are $6, mixed drinks and wines are $12+, and bottled water is $6 (except for your room; more below). To keep cost under control, eat your free breakfast (which is very filling), order a late afternoon item from the bar menu and share it, and then just get a few Tapas to share for dinner at the outside restaurant. More advice on saving on drinks below. Again, the food was excellent and of good quality in our opinion.

Service – Every person we met was extremely friendly, happy and helpful, and they made the stay so much better. At the beach, there is the perfect level of service throughout the day; not to much, but there when you need it. You get a free fruit skewer and juice at 11:30 AM or so, and then they bring around free sorbet on waffle cones at 2:30 or 3:00.

Doing it on the Cheap – We took the advice of another reviewer and stopped off at a 7-11 on the drive in and loaded a cooler with beer, bottled water and snacks. I would carry what we needed down to the beach in a bag, and the waiters would actually provide ice buckets to every person on the beach, which they didn’t seem to mind me using for my own beverages. Because I was not buying as much of the resort’s refreshments, I tipped them throughout the day. May not be the classiest, but they didn’t seem surprised by it, and it saved us a ton. I actually could have gone without the cooler, as they also bring ice to your room every night.

Bugs – We read reviews that had us scared of the mosquito situation, as my wife is allergic to them. We found the bug/mosquito situation not bad at all, and worst case, on par with what you get on the U.S. Gulf Coast. As long as you were in sight of the beach, the breeze completely kept them away, and the hotel provides a fancy non-chemical repellant with your room.

Cons – No place is perfect, so I will spell out the few cons we encountered, though for us these didn’t even represent a minor blemish on the trip as a whole: (i) our room had one of those wall-unit type A/C’s that was making lots of noise the first night and started dripping water. Without even asking, we walked into our room after breakfast and they were fixing it the next morning, after having noticed we had placed a trash can under it to collect the drips. It was much better thereafter; (ii) this is the only evidence of cost-cutting we saw; they supply your room with two quart size bottled waters at all times. If you leave the empty bottles in your room, they refilled them, as opposed to providing you new ones, which is a little weird; (iii) at the beginning of the trip, they ask you if you want a tray of coffee/tea/juice on your patio waiting for you in the morning, and the time, and what paper you wanted. They didn’t seem to follow our time, and the paper service was a bit spotty; (iv) getting hot water in the late evening seemed spotty. The hot water was excellent through early evening, but after around 10:30, it was iffy; not sure why, and you could still get warm water, so it wasn’t a big deal.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank RickStevesJunior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRelationsM, Managing Director Mexico at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2009

Dear Rick,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your recent stay in Maroma Resort & Spa with us and with other readers. Your feedback is important, as this allows us to take immediate action in the areas of opportunity with the intention of constantly improving our services. I am pleased to know of your preference for Orient-Express Hotels and that you have enjoyed our location and our staffs’ friendliness.

I have taken special interest and attention to your comments made as far as “Cons” and have addressed each of these items with the areas involved to ensure immediate and corrective measures are taken and avoid these from repeating in the future.

Despite the above, I appreciate your preference and desire of returning in the near future to this your paradise home away from home.

Looking forward to welcoming you back

Federico Echaiz
Regional Managing Director Mexico
Maroma Resort and Spa
www.maromahotel.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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818 - 824 of 1,209 reviews

Reviewed July 2, 2009

The beach was beautiful so is the resort. Staff went above and beyond, the service was unbelieveable! Had a great time telling everyone about our trip and Maroma is the place to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank littlebit_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2009

My wife and I went to Maroma for our honeymoon and we're planning another trip back during the Christmas Holidays and our 1st anniversary. There are no words that I can say that does this hotel and its staff justice. The most friendly, accomodating and entertaining staff that I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mbroadus2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2009

My wife and I spent 6 nights at the Maroma to celebrate our 13th anniversary and have nothing but good things to say. The staff is the friendliest and most thoughtful around. On the evening of our anniversary they surprised us with a quiet dinner by the water which was as pleasant as it was unexpected.

The waiters on the beach worked very hard all day to keep us in the shade on our large beach beds and to ensure we had everything we needed. The complimentary snorkel trip revealed itself to be quite fun and full of exotic fish. The Temazcal sweat treatment was energizing, mystical, and very well guided by Nancy. Our standard room had a great sea view from between the palms and a spacious terrace to lounge privately on (Room 33). The textures and lush foliage envelop the rear side of the resort inviting one to lounge under the cool jungle leaves by one of the pools as a pleasing alternative to the beach. Unlike many hotels, nature is the principal companion to the architecture, not design. This lets one feel like each corner is special, unique, and private. Although in the end we opted for the beach every day anyway.

All the details in the Maroma are hand-made, and the feeling is one of simple pleasures made luxurious through the inherent quality of the materials. There is no multi-layered sophistication attempting to hide over weaknesses. The very foundation of the property is based on principles that come through as pure, fresh, aromatic, and full of color.

It is the best place to go to simply disconnect, relax, and be pampered. The staff manages to make you feel like each gesture is genuine and meant especially for you. A very romantic setting! The food was great too. 5 stars all around.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank luxuryexpert88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2009

It´s hard to find words to describe the feeling of wellbeing that you take with you when you leave this wonderful place. It is a place of true happines. We were first amazed by the beauty of the facilities and the location, but what made our stay so extra special was the staff. They were so friendly, accomodating and professional in what they were doing. We felt they were truly happy working there, and they talked about the place as it was their own, and that we were "the most special guests, ever " ;-). The staff really know how to give first class service in a very natural way. We enjoyed learning about the different ancient maya skills and technics that were used in everything from building the place, the history about it, the amenities in the room and to the wonderful gardens with swimmingpools, and not to forget the 1000nds of candles in the evening.
The room was spotless, and the attention and care for details were impressiv. We had the pleasure to enjoy an ocean front room with a fantastic balcony. We enjoyed our delicious snackmeal on the beach and our dinner in the restaurant, everything prepared and served with style and personality. The experience in the SPA was second to none. It was more then a beautiful facility, excellent service, amazing ambience, fantastic massage technincs...it was just so much more.... I still feel relaxed just thinking about it!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank T_E_G-borg_Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

I am writing to express my disappointment in the way a recent unfortunate situation was handled and our poor stay at Maroma. My husband and I stayed at Maroma Spa and Resort from April12 to April 18, 2009.

After weeks of preparation and planning, we arrived on April 12 and were looking forward to a relaxing week at the resort. The grounds and the location were beautiful. From the servers on the beach to the waiters in the restaurants, all were very courteous, friendly and helpful.

We stayed in room 55 and from the moment we began to unpacked we noticed the room had its problems. As we opened the shutters to let some light in the shutter broke off and fell. In the bathroom the toilet paper dispenser broke and fell to the floor. I then wanted to take a relaxing bath and the faucet came unscrewed and the top piece fell off into my hands, little did we know that this was just the beginning. We thought they were minor problems and had no reason to believe that the problems would be indicative of the days to follow.

The first two nights were the only nights we slept peacefully. Every night after, for the rest of the week we were woken up in the middle of the night from noises from the plumbing. The noise was so loud that it woke us up out of a dead sleep. The first night I was so frightened that I ran into the bathroom and saw rust colored liquid backing up in the sink and in the tub!

That evening when we tried to take a bath we noticed the bath water had the same rusty-tint. I called the front desk and they said to they would let the manager know and he or she would get back to us. Unfortunately, the manager never got back to us at all. Since we were leaving the next day we decided not make a big deal about it and reported the problem to guest services and never received a call from anyone regarding this problem during our entire stay.

I then called the front desk to ask for new soap because the soap was sitting in the rusty and filthy water in the tub. Again no one got back to us or provided any soap. I then asked one of the maids and she was happy to help. My husband and I decided to let the water run and after 10 minutes the water was still rusty. We had a car scheduled to meet us at 7am and didn’t have time to wait for someone at the hotel to get back to us. We were determined not to let this ruin our vacation and hoped the problem would be solved upon our return from our day trip.

We had arranged for a private tour to the ruins and my sister who staying a few minutes away at a different hotel and joined us for the tour. On our return we had planned to stop at our hotel for drinks and appetizers at the beach bar. After being in the sun all day my sister asked to take a quick shower in our room. The water seemed to clear after letting the water run for 5-10 minutes.
I then called guest services for soap and was told I needed to buy it at the gift shop! This was rude and shocking!!!

On our last night we stopped at guest services to express our disappointment and the problems we faced. We were told that the manager would be told and we would hear back from him or her. We did not, as a matter of fact to add insult to injury our experience got even worse! As we were checking out of the hotel, my husband and I settled the bill and pulled away from the resort. We were chased by an employee from Maroma and the driver was stopped as we were pulling away. I thought to myself that perhaps it was the manager wanting to apologize. To our shock and amazement it was guest services, who wanted to collect $8.00 from us from an unpaid bill from the gift shop, which was never applied to our bill. After spending almost $10,000 in one week at Maroma, we were chased for $8.00! Not only disappointed, but now embarrassed by other guests that witnessed this scene in front of the hotel! Words cannot describe how humiliated we both felt when we were stopped.

It seems ironic that the values and philosophies that Maroma stands for were the very things lacking in this situation. There was a clear lack of concern and not even the slightest of considerations were extended. As a frequent guest of Orient-Express for business and pleasure, I will certainly think twice about booking a room at Maroma. I am most dissatisfied and extremely frustrated by the sequence of events resulting in this review for future travelers to Maroma.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank misscotrona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRelationsM, Managing Director Mexico at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2009

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your recent stay in Maroma Resort & Spa. Your feedback is important to us, as this allows us to take immediate action in the areas of opportunity with the intention of constantly improving our services. I am pleased to know of your preference for Orient-Express Hotels and that you have enjoyed our location and our staffs’ friendliness.

On the other hand I am sorry to learn about the inconveniences you encountered while in Maroma. We strive to provide immediate attention to any report or request from our guests, and thus avoid 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 the less than pleasant experience encountered with that last charge from the boutique. Well, first of all I am sorry you had to go through such an embarrassing moment. In Maroma we have great confidence in each and every one of our guests, reason for which we do not require your signature on each consumption check but instead we provide our guests with a list of their consumptions during their stay the night prior to their departure so that they may carefully check each charge made to their account. This makes the check out process much more efficient and agile, believe me, it was never our intention to make you feel uncomfortable by consulting with you a charge which reflected as uncharged in your account. I assure you that each of the details mentioned are being follow up on as I write, and immediate and corrective measure will be taken to avoid this from repeating in the future.

I would like to have the opportunity of erasing this negative experience and to demonstrate why Maroma Resort and Spa is considered one of the best hotels in the Riviera Maya and would look forward to welcoming you back in a return visit in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2009

We were at Maroma May 17 to 24. This is our fourth time to this resort. We found out about it on the Travel Channel several years back when it was number one on the Ten Best Carribean Beach resorts. We decided to go to all ten (we have been to Little Dix Bay, Caneel Bay, Ritz in St. Thomas, which were also on the list) but once we got to Maroma we stopped and now we just go back there.

The swine flu thing really has caused a stress in Mexican Riviera but we had no trouble at all. Took lots of hand sanitizer. Some people at the airport were wearing masks and they made you sign a document saying you hadn't sneezed in the past few days and they even took our temperature once. Maroma's occupancy was extremely low when we got there (we were told that 25 hotels in the Hotel Zone in Cancun were shut down completely and the Italian resort next to Maroma was shut down too), like10%. So you basically had this entire resort to yourself (even when it's busy it is very quiet).

The airport was no problem. Just be sure you keep walking all the way outside to get to your Maroma driver, who will pick you up and give you water and take you to the resort. We stopped in Puerto Moreles and got a styrofoam ice chest, ice and beer, and some liquor, to take to our room.

When you arrive at Maroma they will give you a margarita and a tour (we didn't take the tour because we've been there before). They upgraded us from a garden room to an ocean view room and it was just beautiful. The beach is to die for. The blue beach beds are fabulous. The beach service was incredible. In fact the service is incredible across the board. While the scenary is idyllic, the service is what really puts this place over the top.

Take them up on their offer to make special food requests. We had homemade tamales, molletes for breakfast, empanadas, enchiladas, all off the menu stuff that they will prepare happily for you. Even had a BLT for breakfast one day with fries. Be sure and try the various sauces that are available. Ixni pec is very good. Cilantro was closed but the menu was still available. We had fish, shrimp, lobster, chicken, just everything. Expect to pay $14.00 for a lunch of shrimp and chicken k-bobs. I am not a ceviche fan but people who are say it's great too. Most of the dishes at lunch will set you back more than $20.00 per entree. A bottle of chardonnay (which would retail here for about $13.00) will cost $50.00. Since we are wine heads this cost us.

Dinner at El Sol is expensive. The entire resort is expensive. I agree with what another reviewer said: if you can't afford it, just come for fewer days, because you just have to see this place.

We had four spa treatments with Toni and Carmen who were both just great.

We had snorkel trips with Cinthya and Sandro and they were just fabulous. We even have an underwater video that Cinthya took while we were snorkeling.

We left the resort only one time to look around with Cinthya and Ernesto in Puerto Moreles. Lots of property for sale down there. They were both so friendly. I need to e-mail them our recipe for pasta and meatballs.

At night the resort is just enchanting, with candlelight everywhere. The breeze blew most days so it was not so hot. It only rained one day and only for a short time.

Finally, I come back to the service. While we were there they were switching out staff weekly, so from the first Sunday to Friday I think we had the same people helping us. They were all just fantastic. In addition to the above, Anzelmo and Gilberto, Moises, Carlos, Joaquin, Michelle at the dive shop, Gabriella, Belin, Juan Jose, Victor, Frederico, Irvin, Alberro, Samantha, Jorge, Guillame, our housekeeper Rachel, our chefs Mario, Guillermo, and Gabriel, who remembered us from last year, and all those whose names we have forgotten, gracias from Kim y Rafael. See you next time!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank kimhoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

Address: Highway 307, Kilometer 51, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $543 - $1,402 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set among verdant jungle beside a white, sandy beach, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is one of Mexico’s top luxury hotels. Here you can start the day with yoga and end with a session in a traditional temazcal sauna. Spend lazy days in ocean and poolside restaurants or stroll through flower-filled gardens where parrots and butterflies perch. Explore some of Mexico’s great heritage sites, dive in mysterious underwater caves or shop till you drop in Cancun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maroma Resort And Spa By Orient-Express Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Maroma Resort Spa
Maroma Hotel Playa Del Carmen

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