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“Beautiful resort”

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Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

The grand mayan palace and the mayan palace are both beautiful. The basic rooms don't have coffee makers or microwaves The deli Jade is to spot to go to save $$ on all meals . Transportation could be a headache with waiting on a shuttle to get to your destination since the resort is so big. I agree with everyone else's statements about the pool/ beach etc. visit 5th avenue and Walmart if you can. The resort is beautiful but if you are going with children for a week it could be expensive. I visited Havana moon and the green break on the resorts. Didn't care for the breakfast but the meals were ok.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank Godivacoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was our first time at Mayan Palace. The property is beautiful, awesome pool, terrific service and great food. My only complaint is that the beds are rock hard. We can't wait to go back! We rented a car and went to Xel-ha, Tulum and the beach and to Hidden Worlds. Lots to do in this area. This property feels very safe.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank NextVacationiswhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

In the spirit of full disclosure, we have been owners in Mayan Palace for nearly 12 years. Without going into a full dissertation on the pitfalls of timeshare ownership, I would like to make some comments on Mayan Palace. It has become clear over the years that the owners of the Mayan resorts are much more interested with constantly attempting to extract more money from us by getting us to upgrade to their latest, greatest and newest entities (GRAND Mayan, GRAND Luxxe, etc.). It has become obvious that their focus is NOT on Mayan Palace and, therefore, the quality of the experience, cleanliness of the rooms, age of furniture, etc. has deteriorated.

With that said, the resort itself is lovely and the staff are always very friendly and helpful. The resort at Riviera Maya is on a property that lies perpendicular to the ocean so each Mayan Palace building is progressively further from the pool and beach areas. Building 1 is adjacent to the pools while buildings in the 20s are about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the beach/pool/restaurant areas (they do have a golf-cart shuttle). Regardless of how strident you are in making reservations about being closer to the beach/pool, you will invariably be placed in a building in the hinterlands (they claim first-come, first-served but even when we arrive very early, it's ALWAYS a fight to get into a closer building). If you're looking for a beach view, go somewhere else. If you're a golfer, however, the further buildings provide better access to the golf course.

The restaurants are very good but very expensive. Ten years ago, the food was quite reasonably priced, now it borders on too expensive. The pool area is lovely but can be quite crowded (even though the pool is HUGE). The beach area is nice with beautiful sand but is fairly small and the beach itself is mostly not swimmable due to a very rocky ocean floor.

Finally, my biggest pet peeve...Wifi access is not free and costs as much as $15/day for a weak signal. With the money spent at resorts like the Mayan Palace (and all its associated "Grands"), the least they could do is provide free wifi access for their guests.

Room Tip: Get there early and fight for a room in building 1-6
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Chapmom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We had a most delightful and relaxing vacation at the Mayan Palace.

Let me give you a few tips that we would have appreciated. (There's a REALLY good tip later, read on)

Call a couple weeks ahead and arrange shuttle pickup at the airport. It's free. When you leave the airport, walk past anyone trying to talk to you, go outside and straight ahead. Look for the guy with the Mayan Palace clipboard. He won't be looking for you, so poke around. There aren't tons of van drivers out there. You will find him.

We came in early, so we knew our room would not likely be ready. We brought a change of clothes in our carry on bag, so after checking in (they checked our luggage at the front door) we went to the pool and used the bathrooms to change into our swim suits and lathered on the sunscreen. We went back to get our room keys several hours later and we were well into vacation mode.

Capitol One credit cards don't charge a foreign transaction fee. Get one. Everything you spend at the resort will be on your room charge.

We were in building 19 (of 21). It's about a 3/4 mile walk to the pool and beach from there. There's a lovely, curving sidewalk behind the buildings and we almost always walked it. Watch for wild life along the way. We saw coati and agouti and iguanas. There are shuttles that run pretty frequently, so go out the front of the building and you can wait if you want a ride. We asked about a closer building, but we didn't press it. We loved the walk. You just have to remember to bring everything you want when you head to the beach.

I'm a runner. The beach is a pretty tough run. It's soft sand and you can't go too far before turning back. I was on vacation, so screw it.

We got two towel cards when we checked in. We decided we would like two towels each, so we asked for more towel cards at the check-in desk and the gave us two more without a blink.

If you want shade at the pool or the beach (we preferred the beach) the palapas were claimed by about 8:00. The beach has plenty of palm trees, so if you don't mind moving your beach chair as the day goes on, there is always semi-shade to be found. The waiters come out to the beach at about 11:00, in time for happy hour. The beers are 2 for 1 and the mixed drinks are a little bigger. They can bring you food as well if you are dug in. All charged to your room and your Capitol One card.

There is a shuttle you can take into Play del Carmen. It's $5 each way per person. It drops you off at Walmart and you can easily walk to the main shopping street (or the beach) from there. We shopped and ate at a restaurant, then did our grocery shopping at Mega (cheaper then Walmart and much less crazy). There were plenty of cabs outside Mega to get us back to the resort for $20 (set the price before you get in) so we took that back. 1.5 liter bottles of water were 10 pesos at the store, 20 pesos through the room (leave a note on how many bottles you want) and 50 pesos at the restaurants.

The room was fine. Kitchen is small and has two burners, no oven, a small fridge, small microwave. Most of the usual eating utensils. Blender, toaster, etc. We bought paper towels. There was no coffee maker in the room, but they brought one for us (and filters) when I called to ask.
They make up the room every day and bring fresh towels. They come to offer turn-down service in the evening. The rooms are not sound-proof! We had a room that had an adjoining efficiency and the door between us might as well have been a shower curtain. The room on the other side of us had a snorer. Bring earplugs if you are not a sound sleeper. We also use a white noise app on our ipad called iDream. The waterfall sound was a nice distraction from other sounds at night. It's a free app and we use in in travels all the time. The bed is hard. Very hard. We asked and received a foam pad that helped a bit. What is it with Mexico beds??

There are many restaurants on the resort. We loved the civiche at Blue Fish. We discovered Havana Moon on the last day and wish we had tried it earlier in the week for breakfast. Here is the biggest tip of the whole review.... ready?....If you take the shuttle past ALL the buildings, you will get to the Ocean Breeze hotel. It's part of the same resort and nobody knows about it. It has a very nice restaurant that is very quiet and HAS FREE WI-FI connection!!!! It's the only place on the resort with FREE WI-FI!!! And the food is good! (charged to your room and your Capitol One card) Everywhere else on the resort they want to charge $75/week (per device!) for wi-fi.

We avoided the time-share pitch and they weren't pushy.

The sandwiches at the poolside restaurant are big enough to share.

Walk down the beach to the left to the rocky piles and see the ocean iguanas. Watch the National Geographic program about them first if you can. Watch for their tracks from the water to the rocks.

We went to the seafood night at Del Lago. The food was fine and they had a nice show after dinner. We didn't do the big fiesta night, Some restaurants are closed on certain days so check the schedules. I did the tequila tasting/education (more of the latter) and enjoyed it.

We arranged for the resort shuttle back to the airport. It was a bit cheaper than a cab, but not much.

We never did get pesos. Everything we bought was charged to the room or put on our credit card. No money changing at all.

We did have a lovely trip, and I'm happy to answer questions if you contact me. We would go back here again.

Room Tip: The rooms are numbered like it's one VERY long building. If you are in a far building, just kee...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank eyehep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I read a lot of reviews prior to my recent visit to the Mayan Palace. Some of the advice was much appreciated. Here is my feedback on the place:

We stayed for seven nights/eight days and had a great time. We were with another couple who actually have a timeshare membership with another company and traded to stay at the Mayan. They were committed to attend the timeshare presentation while we "escaped". So, for us it was just like staying at a classy hotel. They had a 1-bedroom unit with kitchen and king bedroom while we had the connecting studio. The room(s) were great. Admittedly, the kitchen was a little abbreviated having only a two burner hotplate, but we didn't cook as much as we usually do anyway. The other idiosynchracy is the "lock-off" doors. There is a door for each side of the doorway that adjoins the rooms. There are knobs facing each room, but nothing on the other side of each door. And, you (or the staff) cannot permanently unlock these doors. Evertime you close one of the doors between the rooms, they lock and you have to call the staff to get it open again, So to provide passage between the rooms you can leave them open permanently. But, if either of you want privacy you have to get creative, We stuffed the latch hole on one of the doors with paper towels and taped over it with red PVC tape. That way we could close the door of the studio without latching it and it provided the privacy and separation that we wanted at times.

The beds are hard but we sleep on a hard bed at home so they did not present any issues. The amenities on the grounds are tremendous. The huge pool was big enough for the crowds from the combined facilities (I believe there are five "hotels" on the property). As Mayan Palace guests you can use certain things based on your wrist band color, but you are restricted from many other amenities such as the Grand Mayan pool and the Infinity Pool. They, however, can use virtually everything. Class system at work in Mexican resorts.

Stuff is expensive on the property, but if you eat reasonably it is no worse that being captive on a resort stateside. I think the best way to mitigate the expense is to take the advice of many other reviewers and go into Playa when you first arrive to go grocery shopping. Get fruit and yoghurt, bread and lunchmeat (or whatever you eat) to provide breakfast and lunch. Then visit one of the resort restaurants for dinner if you are on the grounds. If you are somewhere else like Playa, Cancun or Akumal it will probably cost a little less to eat anyway.

There has been a lot said about transportation. We found for the flexibility, and even cost comparison, that we ended up taking taxis virtually everywhere. The furthest we went was to Tulum and back. It seemed like we were going somewhere everyday, If you want to reduce or control your transportation costs, stay on the property. If you do end up taking taxis, make sure to confirm the cost to your destination up front. Most of the drivers are very forthcoming with this info so you can then make your decision or negotiate. We only had one who attempted some low level extortion.

The beach is what it is. Most people have made the correct observation that it is not a swimming or snorkeling beach. However, it is beautiful place to relax and enjoy the view. And, they really do sweep the beach with machines every day. The problem is that there is so much garbage that blows and floats in from other areas that there is still a lot of trash hanging around.

I learned that this property is a development of the Vidanta Group (not too tough since their vehicles are driving all over the property with the logo on the side). The TV station that comes up everytime you turn it on (channel 50) indicates that they have 7 properties in various places in Mexico. I don;t know what others they have worldwide. Our friends said that part of the timeshare presentation was the revelation that these resorts cater to wealthy golfers, a testament to why they have no compunction about keeping you captive and charging what they do for everything on the property.

All-in-all it was a very fun, satisfying experience. But, if I go back to that part of Mexico I will probably look for different accommodations in a different location. My recommendation is to check out Akumal with it's gorgeous half-moon bay.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank kolekona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

If you have kids and no budget. If you don't mind getting up at 6am for a good place at the pool or beach. If you don't mind breaking the bank for a beer or cocktail. If you don't mind sales pressure. If you don't mind hearing everything your neighbor in the next room is saying. Then this is the place for you. I will say the pool,grounds and staff are good. Beach stinks and crocodiles not healthy. When I was there. I seen a dead baby croc that had clearly been dead for a while and left with the rest. I strongly recommend avoiding this place.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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8  Thank norm1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Mayan Palace Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Dear norm1013 :
Thank you for taking the time to provide us your feedback about your recent stay with us at Mayan Palace Riviera Maya. We are happy to learn you enjoyed the pools and grounds; as well as for your kind comment about our staff as we consider them one of our biggest assets

Your comments are always welcomed. We will take note of your observations so that we can provide all our guests an extraordinary vacation experience.

With all good wishes,
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

I read and read all of the reviews before we went and found them very helpful!. We went in August and of course hurricane Ernesto hit. Only a cat 1 hurricane but I could not believe how the staff was on top of things. The place was SPOTLESS! The customer service was more than you can ask for! The beach is not really swimable but the pools go on for miles! The rooms were fine but truthfully we werent in the room much. There is something to do for everyone. We booked our tours through the resort and were very pleased with the guide to Chichen Itza. I honestly cant say anything negative about our stay. We liked the restaurant by the pool best. Very casual!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kristie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

Address: Km 48 Carretera Federal | Kilometro 48, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
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) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $700 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mayan Palace Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 402
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vidanta Riviera Maya is home to your perfect vacation, where Mexico’s exquisite beauty meets true luxury. From gigantic pools, boutique shopping, multiple world-class restaurants and unbelievable spas to a Jack Nicklaus golf course, beach games, sports, a gym and activities for the whole family. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mayan Riviera
Mayan Palace Cancun
Wyndham Playa Del Carmen
Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Cancun Grand Mayan
Grand Maya Mayan Riviera
Playa Del Carmen Wyndham
Mayan Palace Playa Del Carmen
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Mexico
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Playa Paraiso, Mexico

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