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“Beautiful resort, bad beach” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

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Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort, bad beach”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

As a resort, it would be tough to complain. This place has it all. The food was fantastic at Gong and Havana Moon, the happy hours were plentiful and the folks were very friendly. Booked a few cheap excursions thru the resort and they were a lot of fun. The beach, at the water's edge, is mostly coral. Very tough to walk out without water shoes. The beach itself is very nice and is right beside the pool. Be prepared to be asked to sit thru a timeshare sales pitch. If you do it, regardless of whether or not you buy into it, there are rewards like 10% off your entire bill, a wonderful free breakfast, and a 1000 peso credit. We did it and, although we didn't buy, we did receive all of the rewards as promised. Overall, the property is beautiful and the people are too!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (676)
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English first
mount olive New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

POSITIVES:

1. CLEAN--Top Notch Place, immaculate & incredibly clean (which is very important to me). They have a very large maintenance staff constantly working all day beautifying the property. Beautiful gardens surrounding the property & pools. Gorgeous canopy beds, lounges, rattan furniture around pools and sitting areas (which are plentiful). Clean beach with many tiki huts. Very large property which requires the use of their free golf cart shuttle service. Staff is friendly.

Hotel room was very clean with marble flooring. This type of flooring is common in the Bahamas, Caribbean & Central American countries. I prefer it to dirty, old hotel rugs. Hall noise can be a problem but we made a complaint to the front desk and never had a problem again.

2. SWIMMING--Pools are massive-about 5 acres of them in many different shapes and designs. All are 4 ft. deep and very warm with jacuzzis. Volley ball games and pool toys are allowed.

A lot of activities going on throughout the day. Rock climbing & trampoline on the beach for the kids. Outside Trips can be arranged with concierge and prices are comparable.

3. EATING--10 different restaurants on the property & they are not cheap. It's easy to spend $25-30 on a dinner for 2. Havanna Moon breakfast buffet is $25 pp. Can purchase sandwiches, drinks and other items at the large gift shop/store. I found the food prices comparable to US. There is a Walmart and Mega grocery store in Playa del Carmen (about 20 miles away) which is cheaper than resort prices.

4. SAFETY--Very safe with a lot of security all around the resort property. We rented a car and ventured out a lot. There is police patrolling everywhere in the Cancun and beach areas. This is because Mexican tourism has taken a hit by all of the bad USA press (& rightfully so) and tourism has suffered. They are trying to increase tourism again & so are providing a lot of police for safety. Highway police do random car searches looking for drugs & weapons. They don't bother tourists.

CONS:

1. SNORKELING--The resort beach is very rocky with difficult water access. They make it up with the pools. On shore Snorkeling was ok. Saw most fish under and all around the pier. There are many man- made coral formations in the water but in & out access is tricky. Puerto Morales (10 min. away) has good off shore snorkeling for $20 pp if you get someone to take you out on a boat.

2. TIPS--Everyone wants tips for every little thing. It became annoying after a while. So bring a lot of American dollar bills particularly if you venture outside of the resort. You will be tipping just to use the bathroom!! This is not the case at the resort.

3. BEWARE OF THE SCAMMERS-- Bargain your price. Never pay full price if you shop outside of the resort. They inflate all prices & nothing has a price tag. They also lie a lot. Store owners will tell you they know you from the Mayan Resort because they work there. It is a lie. They will notice your colored arm bracelet the resort gives you and use it to lure you into their store, offer you a shot of Tequilla, tell you they served you at the resort restaurant & that they are your friend. They will tell you how little money they make working at the resort so they have to hold down 2 jobs just to make ends meet. They tell you a lot of hog wash just to get you into their shop to buy.

4. AMERICAN MONEY--Many shops won't take your credit cards. They will tell you the machine is broke or you must pay with Pesos or American Cash. They want your American Cash! Try to use the credit card over cash if possible. American Express has a good daily exchange rate. The Mayan Resort exchange rate is low. The resort ATM may be better but there is a fee so you should calculate. At times, the resort also shuts down their ATM by not replenishing the money so you must make your exchange with the front desk.

5. TIMESHARE--At the resort, Vida Vacations will hit you up for a free breakfast and timeshare presentation. If you are not interested, just say no.

Overall, I would highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank diana r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed there for 5 days and 4 night and our overall experience was very good. The staff is super friendly, cheerful and kind willing to help you all the time giving the extra mile to fulfill your expectations. If you're looking for a place to stay there the whole time, then this is a great option because pretty much is located in the middle of nowhere, to go to Playa del Carmen you need about 30 mins in a taxi (25 usd each way) or a shuttle from the hotel (5 usd each way) and to Cancun you need a 45 mins drive.
As I previously mentioned you can stay your complete stay in the resort since they have several restaurants depending on what you feel like eating, prices are ok and the food is good, they also have this "no cash policy" in which the only thing you need around is your signature and they will charge everything to your room. The property is huge so you can also walk around there or take the carts to go to the different destinations if you're willing to wait for about 5 minutes.
The rooms are very clean but the bathroom amenities are not the best for a 5 stars resort, they still have regular TVs and beds are comfortable as well.
If you're looking for a great beach I have to let you know you will need to find somewhere else because the one close to the resort is full of rocks that can be a bit dangerous to your feet, still you have a great pool open 24/7!
Think I would go back again if I really need a get away from everything just to relax.

Room Tip: If you want to be close to everything as for a room between the buildings 13 -15
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Loulie_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
49 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

This resort was perfect for the relaxing, laid-back vacation we were looking for. The pools were amazing and clean, the service was great, and the beach was beautiful. However, the food was very overpriced, making the stay a little expensive. The vacation itself was excellent, and my family would definitely visit again. One word of caution - do NOT go to the timeshare presentation; it is not worth it and takes up your whole day. Otherwise, beautiful resort!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank palindrome16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013 via mobile

We arrived July 19 and stayed 5 nights. Planned on 7 but had to return early. We werye picked up promptly at the airport as set up with the concierge. The property is beautiful, the staff is the most friendly and courteous staff of any place we have ever stayed. We stayed in a suite for 6 but it was cramped for the 5 in our family. The food we had was not out this world for the price but was OK. Speaking of prices....one word: OUTRAGEOUS! They also required us to leave $700 on tab to cover our expenses. There also was no free wi-fi. You could pay per hour(70 pesos), per day(dont recall) or per week (950 pesos). The beach was full of coral for about the first 10 meters, so some kind of foot wear is advised. We rented a car (Easyway) and did our own exploring and bought groceries at Mega and Walmart. Overall, the stay was pleasant but not see if we would stay there again. It seems that "all inclusive" is the way to go.
Oh, almost forgot, they pick you up for free but you have to pay your way back to the airport; $75 for our party of 5!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tonyb0164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for two weeks from July 6-20, 2013. I emailed the concierge, per other reviewers and asked for both a shuttle pick up from the airport to resort and also for a room in building 1-3. Both of these we duly received, we stayed in building 2. Our airport transfer was perfect. We walked out, found the staff and were boarded and on our way within 10 mins. Our room was a 2 bed, ground floor in the 2nd building of Mayan Palace. It was perfect when we checked in at 3pm in the afternoon. However, being on the ground floor on the main thoroughfare to the pools and restaurants wasn't so great at 9pm-2am. We heard everything from families chatting in the hallways to running, screaming and singing. We could also hear the entertainment going on throughout the evening until 1 am. With young children this was not ideal!
The actual resort is beautiful. The staff are friendly and all greet you upon sight. There are plenty of sun loungers and chairs around the pools and the towel service is wonderful.
We had a 2 bed unit which was great for the four of us but we struggled when my in laws came for dinner (they were there at the same time in their own unit). The dining table only seats 4, so my husband and I ate in the living room. The kitchen is lacking, which I can cope with. We were really only looking to do breakfast, occasional lunch and snacks a d dinner if we couldn't be bothered to go out. But the stainless work top housed the electrical appliances which were right next to the sink. Anytime the water was on the appliances were sitting in puddles, not the safest!
With it being a cashless resort I absentmindedly/stupidly didn't think at all about my wallet being in my handbag and left my bag fully zipped on the back of a chair. After a few days we were headed to Playa Del Carmen I picked up my bag, unzipped it and checked my wallet to find that someone had helped themselves to $500 pesos. I was disappointed, mostly in myself but also at whoever had taken it. We had 2 ladies doing day cleaning and night turning down service but we also had a day where maintenance men were in doing some work so we'll never know who took it!
Prices - it can be pricey on resort, particularly at the deli, eg $72 pesos for a 12oz bag of sunchips and 50 pesos for the 5L jug of water. But, it's right there and it's convenience you're paying for. We loaded up on some groceries at Mega, supermarket in PDC. We took a taxi down there for $225 pesos from the hotel lobby and had dinner then went grocery shopping. 5L jug of water is 15 pesos, just to give you a comparison.
We also explored and walked to the main gate, it took 15 mins in the mid day sun. We crossed the dual carriage way, there's a central reservation you can safely wait on to get to the other side. Here we got the Collectivo bus. It's like mini bus that stops to pick up anyone waiting. You get on and sit down, and pay when you get off. It follows the same route into PDC as the taxi but costs just 20 pesos for adults and 10 for kids between 5-12. For our family of 4 it cost 70pesos each way. Even getting the hotel shuttle would have been 200 each way, which is why we got a taxi the first couple of times. Crossing the road is not any more dangerous than any other road. We also got another Collectivo from PDC to Tulum ruins which was 40 pesos each way. It costs 57 pesos to get in so for 177 pesos round trip per adult, or approx $15 USD you can see the ruins. The hotel does a tour which costs $77 USD per person and I still cannot work out why!
We agreed to the timeshare presentation after they called us for the 3 time! We had no intention of purchasing but we went along for the 10% discount on all on resort purchases (except tours they are already discounted) and a $300USD Room credit plus the free buffet breakfast at Del Lago. Our sales person was like all sales people. Genial and friendly until we told him no. Then he was a little insulting, but we've got thick skin. We've owned timeshare since 1999 and we've heard a lot of presentations. Stand your ground! We had several head haunchos come over and reduce the price and offered to take our existing TS at an even trade but when something seems too good to be true, it usually is! We held firm and were escorted out of the back door ha! We did get our discounts though.
We had a good time. The property is big but not so big you can't walk around it without being exhausted. The beach is beautiful. There's a small area that doesn't have coral right in the middle of the resort part, but a 5 min walk to the right through the grounds of an abandoned house takes you to the most perfect beach.
Ask for a schedule for Del Lago in the evenings. We went to an Italian all you can eat buffet, with an entertainment show for about $300 pesos each, didn't include drinks but the food was great. We stumbled upon a grill buffet on a Tuesday night, $250 pesos each and an international night on a Friday. All included some type if show and live music after the grill night. None of these were advertised we literally walked into them. We ate out 4/5 times in PDC during our 2 weeks and only cooked one night in the room as the kids were tired.
Go with an open mind, ready to explore outside of the resort and enjoy. Or, go knowing that it can be pricey but great and that you'll be in the lap of luxury for your time there. Only you know what type of holiday you like!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ScottishinGa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

What I liked least about this property - the outrageous prices and the food.
Out of a group of 15 of us 5 got sick from the food. One was sick to her stomache for 4 days straight and had to see a doctor which cost her US$200.00. Two of us got sick on the food at the Mexican Fiesta which cost us $72.00 each. Not only did we get sick but we paid $144.00 to get sick because the restaurant or resort would not credit anything.
I will never go to a Vida resort again.
$3.50 for a small bottled water and $25.00 each for breakfast along with 10% added to everything we bought is too much.
This placed turned me off to Cancun all together. We won't be back.
If I only knew and researched before. If you Google "Mayan Palace scam" you will see what I mean.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank M D
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 review, August 15, 2013
Dear M D:
Thank you for providing your comments about your vacation at the Mayan Palace.
It is disappointing to learn that your experience was not satisfactory. We spend considerable resources training our staff to maintain the highest possible standard of cleanliness and hygiene which we know our guests expect when staying at our properties.
It is important to note as well that we are pleased to be distinguished as a top safety rating resort through different high-level certifications (Cristal and Check Safety First), obtained by monitoring - on a regular basis, our food and water safety.

Nevertheless, all areas concerned will be notified of this since we constantly strive to achieve the utmost level of satisfaction.

Best regards,
Mayan Palace Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

Property: Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Address: Km 48 Carretera Federal, 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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#10 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mayan Palace Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 402
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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