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“Terrific Resort”

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Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 21, 2013

I became an owner of a week at the Mayan Palace three years ago when it was under Grupo Mayan. It is now under the name Vida. What sold us was the beautiful grounds, the enormous pool and the location of the property in Riviera Maya. It sits between Cancun and Playa del Carmen; both which are easily accessible by riding on the Playa Express, a public van service which only costs 250 pesos per person; which equates to around $2. We were there from May 11-18, 2013 and it was extremely hot and humid. From Baltimore, the non stop Air Tran flight took 3 1/2 hours. Customs and Immigration at the Cancun airport is easy. We called the resort a few days before arrival to arrange for the free shuttle to the grounds. Going home is not free. You will need to take a taxi on the return. It cost $37 for 4 people, opposed to $15/person for the airport shuttle. Upon arrival at the airport, after you get your bags and go through customs, you can follow the signs to the shuttle area to find the Mayan Palace free shuttle. Or you can get assistance from the guys who appear to be helping you but are actually hired by timeshare resorts to get you to sign up for a presentation in return for free or discounted tours. We chose to accept an invitation to the El Cid for 4 heavily discounted tickets to Xcaret. It was worth wasting 3 hours for the tickets. Upon arrival at the Mayan Palace, we were met by very friendly employees who helped us with check-in. You wear a wristband to identify which part of the resort you are staying in. Mayan Palace guests can only use the Mayan Palace pool, which is the largest pool I have ever seen anywhere. There is no need to want to enter the Grand Mayan pool. The Mayan Palace pool is so large, you feel like it's all yours.
Our first stop on Saturday night was a trip to the Playa del Carmen Walmart to stock up on breakfast foods and drinks for the week. Our kitchenette had a small refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and stovetop. No oven. Restaurants on the property are pricey. I do recommend the Carriberan buffet near the Havana Moon which is available once per week. A pizza or a hamburger and fries at the restaurants start at 150 pesos (around $14). We found a terrific restaurant in Playa del Carmen called Alux. It is the Luray Caverns of Mexico. You are served in a cave surrounded by stalagmites. It's very different and the food is excellent. Of course, we went to Cancun and ate in Carlos and Charlies one day. It was extremely hot and there was no AC in the restaurant. It wasn't worth the ride into Cancun. The MP beach is pretty but not swimmable. Go to Puerto Morales to enjoy a swimmable beach
We attended the member's update in exchange for a great breakfast buffet at Del Lago and 4 free tickets to Chichen Itza (plus). That is an all day tour from 7:30 AM - 10 PM. It is a 2 1/2 hour ride each way to see one of the wonders of the world.
Vida is no longer selling the Mayan Palce. The upgrade is to the Blis. They are converting some of the MP rooms to the Blis and erasing the exchange fees and restoration fees, which they told me I had, which I actually don't have and knew it so the upgrade was not something I wanted to spend extra for. They are building a whole new part of the resort across the highway and the main lobby will eventually be located there, along with a Cirque du Soleil dinner theater, shops and restaurants. Huge will become enormously huge. A train will cross the highway underground to transport you from one side of the highway to the other.
The staff are extremely friendly and yes, there is maid service; not always found at timeshares. In fact, it occurs twice a day. The resort is a no cash resort. Bring a credit card which you place on hold at checkin. It is used the same way you would charge items on a cruise ship. If you plan on using American money, bring SMALL BILLS. no one will cash American money for American money-not even the banks. You get pesos so bring singles and $5 bills for tour tips, etc. I read that the beds were hard. They were in fact, very comfortable. The golf cart shuttles took us everywhere on the property. The red flag tram, driven by Martin took us to the pool and to our building. Martin was great, as was Javier, who hailed us taxis when we needed them. They need to run the tram to the front gate more often during the day. The grounds are beautiful, the 15 flamingos are out from 9AM - 5PM to view. I also saw the big crocodile in the Grand Mayan jungle area. Geico should shoot a commercial on the grounds. There were geckos everywhere. Our biggest complaint was that they charge a fee to use the fitness center. That should be free to members. So should wifi. They charge for wifi on the property. Come on! We want to try out the other Mayan resorts to compare but this one is fantastic.

Room Tip: We requested a room near the lobby and pool. We were in building 6. An easy walk or shuttle ride t...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank ldnational
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 18, 2013 via mobile

The Maya Palace is about 15 miles north of Playa del Carmen. The 10 three story apartment style buildings are end to end but with lush vegetation everywhere. They all are either a 1 bedroom with or without a kitchenette next to each other w/ a lock-off door together making enough room to sleep 6 comfortably (1King, 2full & 2 couches) Possibly in the 1st building on the 3rd floor you might have an ocean view. The staff were very nice and always helpful. I myself like having wifi at where I'm vacationing, but they charge a hefty sum for it and if you don't get your room through a club or timeshare it's about $800 US a night, they should give wifi for free. This place will nickel and dime you. The Maya Palace itself is not all inclusive, the Grand Mayan area on site is. The six restaurants on site all have well maintain eating areas from 5 star to buffet. The prices at all except "Tramonto" is way over priced, but you could go to Playa del Carmen in a taxi for $50 US one way, have dinner at many places and spend about the same. Around the the very large, clean, palapa surrounded pool there are staff (ask for Julio, he did a great job for us) to get what ever you need serviced by 4 bars (2 swim up) and a restaurant, all at room service price. The beach is very rocky, but a 1/2 mile north there is a very nice beach to swim at (Valentin's resort).

  • Stayed: May 2013
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6  Thank Nazsnaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We checked out and ended our vacation two days earlier than planned. This was primarily out of boredom, but the resort did not help. I’ll start with the good first and then the not-so-good:

Good: 1) The themed restaurants were good. Tromonto, the Italian restaurant, was excellent. Great food, great service, and while not cheap…great value. 2) The entire hotel staff was friendly 3) The breakfast buffet at the Green Tree (or Green Break) was walking distance from the hotel and in my opinion much better (and less expensive) than the main buffet where the time share discussions take place.

Bad: 1) I have bumps all over my legs which we believe is from bed bugs or fleas on one of the couches in our room. My wife and I did the exact same things every day, and she has no bumps anywhere. The only difference is that we lounged on separate couches in our room. My couch also had a musty, mildew smell to it. I complained to the front desk but they didn’t do anything. We also complained about our mildew-smelling bed linen. They replaced the sheets and took the comforter away, but never replaced it.
2) The shuttle carts were annoying as hell. The resort is huge, so shuttles are necessary to move around. We found ourselves spending too much time waiting for the right color shuttle to pick us up. They really need to change the frequency, or get some of those employees standing around not doing anything to drive some shuttles.
3) The food service at the pool was slow.
4) There was only one happy hour at the main pool bar from 11AM – 1PM. That is too early, and that is not long enough.
5) The beach was too rocky for walking and swimming.
6) There was a $10 charge to use the gym. Ridiculous!!!
7) We mistakenly booked in the Mayan Palace instead of the Grand Mayan. Big mistake. We missed having a large balcony.

Overall, I would not return. This is a good starter vacation for an inexperienced traveler, but if you’ve been to a lot of places and stayed in nice resorts, you probably won’t be happy here.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Worldwideballer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

First let me say whoever gave this resort a poor rating is either a prima donna or on medication. The ONLY downfall were the prices, which are very high. This resort was AMAZING, beautiful grounds, excellent staff, and the pool was incredible. You complain about the beach being to rocky, read about the resort before you go!!!! I learned a little bit of spanish so I could say hi, thank you, your welcome and good bye just so I could respect their country. Depends on what building you are in that you have to walk a little to get to things, but I enjoyed the walk, great excercise and beautiful paths. I was up all hours of the night and the staff never stops working - very hard working individuals, we here in the US should pick up pointers from them. There were people who complained about the beds, no problem here. We enjoyed our stay immensely and will most likely be going back in the future.

Room Tip: If you don't want a long walk to the pool, opt for building 1-7
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank boxerlady18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We stayed one week in May. We are Mayan Palace members but had not been to this resort. The pluses: Absolutely terrific staff, so helpful, so friendly. Beautiful grounds, very well maintained. Lots of dining options. Though there are rocks in the ocean, the beach area is sandy, restful and quieter than the pool. No-cash policy makes buying much easier.
The negatives: No free wi-fi, even for Mayan Palace members. As members, we used to have free use of the gym, but that amenity has been taken away from us and applies only to owners at higher levels. The price of drinks and food is very high. (Drink only at happy hour!) The overall impression is that you are being nickeled and dimed everywhere you turn. $15 for a six-pack of beer in the boutique?
Being MP owners, you think we would not fall for the lies told by Vida staff (who really are Mayan salespeople). When we arrived, Erick invited us to an owners presentation and breakfast to learn about Cirque de Soleil coming to the resort. We believed him, unfortunately, and ended up enduring a four-hour sales pitch of increasing intensity that ended with "bad guy" Ula saying that the company wasn't building any more Mayan Palaces, was beginning to tear them down, and we needed to upgrade--or at least pay $5K to "certify" our contract. This kind of high-pressure treatment really does impact negatively on peoples' visits to this lovely property.
Tips on the area: Xcaret is like a Mayan theme park and very expensive, not a place to snorkel. Chichen Itza is spectacular but the grounds are covered, really covered, with vendors selling junk. The tour will give you just a few hours there plus other stops, adding up to a 12-hour day. Make the trip on your own with a rental car and you will be able to spend much more time at the ruins. Tulum is lovely but also crowded with vendors outside the walls. I'm surprised the Mexican government does not realize that the hectoring vendors diminish the experience of the ruins. Puerto Morelos, north of MP, is a quieter, more authentic town than Playa del Carmen.

Room Tip: Everyone recommends the lower number buildings, but we stayed in building 11, very close to the lobb...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Hi everyone, My family just returned from staying at the Mayan Palace. I sent them there through RCI, It was a last minute vacation so we were excited to be able to book at the Mayan Palace. But..... Ok here goes, I was told it was beautiful and the pool was large and great, the property is very big so a lot of walking to get to pool and such. NO FREE WIFI NO INTERNET IN ROOMS booo! Also there is a charge to use gym WOW that's ridiculous. Ok so property is beautiful but my mom mentioned it's pretty far from town and any other cool place, one must have a car to get around. The worst part of all is that unfortunately there is no real sandy beach, you can't really get in water and enjoy beach because its very rocky right by resort. So if you are used to using the pool and then heading toward the beach to relax like other places... this is not the place for you, Also everything was very expensive and the resort charges for everything! Just wanted to warn you all of the lack of wifi, the gym charge, the pricey everything and the rocky beach!

Room Tip: Was told building 1-7 is closest to pool they stayed in building 8 wasn't too bad 5 min walk to...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Veronica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We LOVE this resort! The grounds are amazing, the staff is fun, the rooms are nice and clean. The pools are incredible. There are palapas by the pool with very comfortable beds to rent for the day, f$35 when we were there. If your bar/restaurant bill was at least $35, it canceled out the fee for the palapa. They were readily available & easy to reserve. Do not hesitate to book this resort!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank gardenpartea
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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mayan Palace Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 402
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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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