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“Great Trip at Mayan Palace”

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Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2014

My fiance proposed our first night on the beach of this resort! We had a wonderful week long trip to celebrate our new engagement! We stayed May 11-18 2013. If you are like us and want to spend time exploring everything the Riviera Maya has to offer and not just stay cooped up at an all inclusive, then this is the place for you!

Obviously, like I said, this place is not an all inclusive. You pay for every drink, and every meal. That being said, the food here was fabulous. We had a wonderful dinner looking out at the ocean at Havannah Moon (try the shrimp tacos! to DIE for!) and the breakfast buffet was delicious. Freshly squeezed juices, tons of tropical fruit, different stations for breakfast items. Every restaurant has something unique to offer and it's worth it to try them all at least once!

There are tons of gorgeous pools, you'll never feel crowded at all! They have separate ones for kids, a pool bar for those of us who like to drink, and plenty of beach chairs for those of us who like to sunbathe.

The beach is just okay. The sand is beautiful, they have lots of chairs and palapas, but like a lot of people said, the beach is full of rocks and unswimable with bare feet. We did our research and read this before our trip and if I had to make one recommendation for you before your visit to Mayan Palace it's to BUY SOME DECENT WATER SHOES!!!! Not the cheap wal-mart kind, invest in a good pair of water sandals from Gander Mountain or someplace similar. We did this and swam in the ocean every day there with no issues whatsoever. We only saw 2 or 3 people ever get into the ocean during our stay and thought it was kind of sad, everyone wants to cool off in the ocean when they visit Mexico!

As to our rooms, we had a bit of an issue when we first checked in. We wound up getting put in a room with two double beds. For a young couple celebrating their engagement, this was kind of a let down.and when we called to request a different room with a queen sized bed we were told it wasn't possible. Their solution was to squish the two doubles together and ta-dah! We're pretty laid back and just kind of rolled with it and made it work, but it would have been nice to have a queen sized bed. Other than that, we had a garden view room, and it was clean, well kept, and cool. Our maid did a wonderful job keeping the place tidy and stocked with towels.

We had one of the rooms farthest away from the pools and beach. And yes, it was a long walk. But this resort has such gorgeous fauna and landscaping that we didn't mind it at all. It was nice to stretch your legs a bit and you're on vacation! What's the rush!

Can't say enough about the hotel and wait staff! Everyone was so friendly, we never had an issue with anyone! We always were greeted with holas, and felt like everyone there loved their jobs. The staff was fantastic about helping us set up our day trips, and anytime we had any kind of question for the lobby staff we were immediately helped with smiles. This place has customer service down to a science!

About the timeshare- yes, you're going to get asked to come to a presentation, or a meeting, or a breakfast when you check in. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS! We heard so many people complaining about having wasted half a day on this, and when you're on vacation your time is precious! It is not worth the 100 or whatever it is they offer you. We were hounded for ten minutes upon check in and after saying "no thank you" about 20 times, we finally agreed to go to it so they would leave us alone and let us go to our room. Our solution was to just go into the lobby later in the evening when these two men were not working and cancel our reservation for the presentation. Worked like a charm! We were never asked about it again and enjoyed the rest of our trip in peace.

One of the best things about this place is that they had a 5 dollar shuttle fare to Playa Del Carmen. It's an awesome deal and really nice to not have to pay for a taxi. The resort staff were also very helpful in helping us set up our day trips. We did day trips with a few outside tour companies (adventuras mayas, would HIGHLY reccommend them!) and they called them for us and set up our pick up times, and we also did a tour to Tulum with the hotel's tour. All were awesome!

All in all, Mayan Palace made for an amazing romantic engagement trip for me and my fiance! We had the time of our lives and would definitely come back!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kayla R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 20, 2014

If you're wondering, this is NOT an all-inclusive resort. You must pay for everything. So make sure you have cash and a credit card because you will be using it.

So you know something about my family and me, we travel the world frequently. We live in the Northwest US and travel internationally at least 3-5 times a year, and nationally about 10 times a year. We've stayed at various kinds of resorts and hotels and even vacation rentals so we've experienced it all. To start, we are RCI members so we decided to check out this place. We stayed at the Mayan Palace in Riviera Maya. Although the grounds of this place is quite beautiful, the whole vacation experience was lacking. Customer service is an issue and bottom line, they just want your money. Also, lots of time is wasted just on waiting for their shuttle service alone.

Let me clarify, if you're here on a honeymoon and time is no issue (getting from point A to point B), then this place could be for you. It's not for me and here's why:

STAFF
The cleaning and bell service people were very kind and accomodating. In fact, they were more helpful than the concierge and lobby staff. The cleaning staff went above and beyond to try and help us with some of our requests. They answered more of our questions, even with the language barrier. I knew I should have brushed up on my high school Spanish but the help staff were quite patient with us and we had plenty of good laughs.

On the other hand, the sales people and lobby staff were like robots. There was no language barrier as they spoke English, but that didn't matter anyway. It's like they were brainwashed and had no human essence to them. Their responses were straight from the book, very black and white. They wanted to make sure it was done their way or no way and refused to listen to what we had to say. Customer service is not a priority for them. Customer satisfaction? Doesn't matter. Their way or no way -- just pay. That's all they cared about. Your money. My money.

TRANSPORTATION (on and off the resort)
When having to go from point A to point B, you have to take these "shuttles" or large gold carts that swing by every 15 minutes. These shuttles are separated by colors depending on where you're going. The problem I had with this is the Red Shuttle was the only one that went to the pool/restaurant/beach area -- so everyone has to take the red shuttle to and from that place. If your hotel room uses a different colored shuttle, then you would have to get dropped off at the lobby and then transfer to the red shuttle. You would expect that since red was the only shuttle transporting people to these busy/saturated drop off and pickup spots, that the Grand Mayan would have it come more frequently. NOPE. Once the large golf cart is filled, you just have to wait another 15 minutes, in which time more people arrive to wait for the cart, oh, I mean shuttle. There was a time that we waited almost an hour to get a spot on this shuttle ... I felt bad for the elderly or the ones with children. But there were only so many times I could give up my seat before I wanted to steal my own golf cart (don't worry, I didn't).

We learned to walk as much as possible from point A to point B, which was fine. But when it's late at night, we didn't want to risk anything considering the grounds are huge and let's face it, it's a jungle. The pride on the fact that they built their resort on a jungle.

And another thing, if you have to leave the hotel grounds at early in the morning, you either have to walk to the main entrance (it's quite a walk) or take a taxi!! Can you believe it? A taxi to the entrance only because their (blue) shuttle service to the main gate entrance doesn't start until 8AM. $3 just to go from the lobby to the main gate. Waste.

This place is money hungry. They suck up your spare time by having you wait for the shuttle and squeeze as much money out of as possible.

FOOD
Restaurant prices are steep. We ate at Frida a few times and it was delicious. Their dinner menu and food service is much better than the lunch menu.

RESORT/BEACH
The resort is beautiful. The pool is open 24 hours and is HUGE. Probably the biggest I've ever seen and it's clean. The beach is great for tanning but not so much for shallow swimming. There are rocks and lots of it right in the front. You can find some pockets and sit around them or venture a little further out. I didn't mind venturing out. So as long as you know how to swim and are comfortable is going further out, then you'll love the water. It's helpful to have water sandals/shoes of some sort. I just clinched onto my flip flops which was helpful as there are some rocks on the bottom. Bring a waterproof camera and you'll enjoy taking photos and videos of the fish.

ROOMS
We stayed in a Suite so there was a master room and a living area with a kitchen (microwave, small fridge/freezer, sink, etc.). Beware, you have to wash your own dishes or you will be charged. Thank goodness I saw their TINY sign that said so.

The suite was comfortable. The master room has the traditional bed and tv, while the living room sofa is where the other people would sleep. They have a turn down service so if you have people staying in the living room, they turn the couches into a bed by adding a bed sheet, pillow and blanket. It was comfortable and spacious. It's not a bed, but still comfortable. I worry about the cleanliness of the "sofa-bed" though. I made sure not to put my face on it without a sheet.

There was one bathroom that you can enter from the master room and the living room. Good thing there's a sink to wash up in the bathroom and outside the bathroom - plus there's always the kitchen sink too.

INTERNET
You must pay for your internet. It is not free. I believe it came down to something like (in USD) $9/hr, $17/day or $95/week PER DEVICE. It was absurd but we needed internet to check on travel arrangements and research other resorts to check out. :)

PARKING
We rented a car so we could go around Riviera Maya, Cancun, among other cities. It was very convenient to have a car so that we didn't have to rely on taxis and hotel shuttle services (which was not efficient whatsoever).

Valet parking is $12 USD (I believe) but the parking lot is a quick 5 minutes walk. So drop off your luggages and those who don't want to walk at the lobby, park the car, and walk to the lobby. Quickest and cheapest way to do it.

SIDE NOTE
Upon checkin, as RCI members they said we get 10% off all food and drinks and there's a breakfast thing they invite you too. Turns out, it's a MANDATORY breakfast so that they can sell you a higher membership (or have you become a new member). And, the kicker is, the only way to get 10% off is if you attend this sales pitch breakfast. We didn't know it was a mandatory breakfast let alone the only way to get 10% off our food and drinks so we didn't attend. We had already made other plans prior to this breakfast. So of course, we didn't get 10% off and there was no way around it.

BOTTOM LINE
There are much better resorts out there. Keep on looking. Whether you prefer all-inclusive or not, go elsewhere.

This place pride themselves of a luxurious resort on a jungle and choose not to be all-inclusive because they want their customers to experience quality, not quanitity. Well you know what, customer service is horrible, transportation is horrible, food is so-so, price we paid for our experience was definitely not worth it.

Room Tip: Look and stay elsewhere.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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13  Thank jenneffer4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Beautiful grounds and pools. Beach close and very nice. Overall, the service was excellent. However, we were placed in a hotel room. No coffee pot, microwave or refrig. This forced us to eat at the resort unless we paid $20 in shuttle fees to leave the resort. Food was very expensive. Beverages were outrageous in price. The biggest disappointment we had was during check-in process they tried to assess us an additional $210 fee which they told us was to pay for the internet and transportation by carts around the grounds. We refused to pay. Check-in took over a hour. Tried to charge us $40 for luggage storage. Our room was extremely noisy. We were often woken up during the night by other guests coming in late. Would not recommend staying here even if it was free. This resort is easily 30 minutes from Cancun and 30 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. Unless you rent a car you are forced to take the shuttle everywhere or take a taxi.Both are expensive by the time you pay for both ways. The Mexican party was fun and the food buffet excellent. Recommend checking your bill every night and track all your charges as things appeared on our bill that we didn't agree too.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank fmiller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Ok, I just want start of by saying; I am not one to complain about a trip, especially one that is given to us as a gift. But I want to let people know how our trip went. Also this is my 3rd time in Mexico, first time to this area and honestly will not be back to this Resort.
Day One: (Sunny) Get our bags head out of the airport, get stopped and by some timeshare presentation people, we need a cab, 60.00 for a cab to the resort get to the resort, get checked in, get hassled by more time share ppl, im going on 30 minutes of sleep husband about an hr or 2 we finally get to our room at 3, come to find out there is no fridge, coffee pot, toaster, microwave nothing 2 dbl beds a table 2 chairs a dresser and a tv and of course the bathroom hmm wonderful a week without the amenities and a non-inclusive, finally showered cleaned up and head to find the bar with the packer game, find it order drinks first round of drink just 2 drinks 17.00, 20.00 with the tip omg this is going to be an expensive trip!!! We sit and watch the game till 5 when that bar stops serving drinks go to the golf course where we were told they would have the game on, nope game wasn’t on and they wouldn't put on the game finally hubby bribes them and we get to watch the last 10 minutes of the game Packers Lost of Course lol......ok we order food and drinks and 150.00 later day one is over!
Day 2: (Sunny in the am raining in the afternoon) we get ready to go and head to our time share deal at 830 in the morning, we are headed to the front gate to get picked up, and we get stopped by the company that stopped us after we got checked in, we showed them our timeshare info, and we are told we have been taken and they can refund our money and to come with them and they would take care of it just so long as we sat thru their 90 minute presentation um yeah 7.5 hrs later we finally leave and they want us to buy a time share and to come back and talk to them on Wednesday I get back to the room read the info and tell hubby nope we are not doing it to call tomorrow and set up an appointment we do that well our girl isn’t there to talk to so ok fine, day 2 we order room service and spend about 100.00 that day!
Day 3: (Raining) We set up our trip to snorkel and go to Tulum and Coba, go to meet with our lady, and well she isn't there so we are pissed and it is raining! So we head to the beach anyways with jackets and towels and drink, that was about a 250.00 day/night
Day 4: (Raining) we canceled our trip for Wednesday to go back and talk to these timeshare jerks they say we need an appointment I said we will sit here and wait all day if we have too, 2 hrs later and 7 ppl later, and 2 very super angry and upset honeymooners, we finally get to sign the opt out of time share papers after my husband actually flips out on the guy because every time we said no they would draw up another offer!! After we FINALLY get to sign, we go to playa del Carmen have lunch and come back to the room around 8 that night and order room service 75.00 for dinner and 35.00 for lunch in playa (still raining Wednesday) Watch out for 5th Ave in Playa, total Tourist Trap!! Get off 5th and head to some of the other streets much more to offer and much much cheaper.
Day 5: (Raining) Thursday guess what still raining up at 615 to head to xel- ha to an all-inclusive drink and eat snorkeling place soooo awesome even with rain it was the best day of vacation by far, saw sting rays, a parrot fish and all kinds of other pretty fish. Was a great day, We got suckered and the trip cost us 210.00 because we never did get our refund for sitting in on the time share presentation Monday. We come back and order room service for dinner mat about 8:30, we found out pizza and a couple sodas came to about 35.00 lol but still by far the best day and soooo worth the money!!!! I highly suggest Xel-Ha!!!!!
Day 6: Up and 6:15 on the road by 7:20 Sunny and hot we head to Tulum and get to see the Mayan ruins, swim in the ocean in Tulum, get to go to another beach (Paradise Beach) that is sooooo gorgeous, the most blue waters ever head to lunch in Coba at a local hotel/restaurant, totally tradition Mexican Food, it was great!!! And go to see MORE ruins, and it was awesome. Get back to our resort at 9 and more room service, .dinner 50.00ish
Day 7 wake up and it is sunny and hot and beautiful, we go and lay on the beach have a couple of drinks which once again 20.00 a round, get up to go to the bathroom next to the pool, and there is no toilet paper in the women’s room, the only one that had tp in it, the toilet is totally clogged up. I come back tell my husband and he said the same thing men’s room, no toilet paper, mind you it is only like 1 in the afternoon. Why no TP? Wehang out all day until about 5 go to our room shower and take a nap get up and go shopping a little at the beautiful boutique, until about 1030 only spend 50.00 that night on food and gifts !!!
Day 7 final day, we check out they hold our luggage will we leave, we have lunch and a few drinks, comes to about 50.00 for that!
I will say the grounds are absolutely beautiful! The pool is wonderful. LOTS of kids! High Priced Food and Drink, and Terrible Rooms. The Grand Mayan was a lot prettier looking then the Mayan Palace. I think one of the reasons The Mayan Palace is rated so highly is because at the end of your check out, they have you fill out a survey from the Ipad right then and there. I wanted to write the review that day but there was no way I was going to stand there and type all of this. The help was nice and friendly! Very clean grounds!
If you go here as a time share exchange it is just that you will end up with minimal rooms, and sit through a presentation at the “Death Star” as we named it. They are Ruthless and they do not call it a time share, they don’t call it a maintenance fee either, it is a Usage fee costing 600.00 a year. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!!!!! Very disappointing!!!!!!! DO NOT GO HERE FOR A HONEYMOON!!!!

Room Tip: If you are staying at the Mayan palace building 1-5 are the best we were in 15 allllllll the way at...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank Amy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Hotel is nice and clean, the pool area is great, food is ok but what we loooved the most, was the kids club. Yuli and Jackie are amazing girls that keep the kids happy and take very good care of them. If i need to recommend the hotel I would just for the kids club. Seriously!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank dvinas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Understand what you are getting into and you will enjoy this resort if it's your cup of tea. If you don't do your research you might feel trapped in a tourist trap. We stayed in building 1, which was great. Room was super clean and well taken care of. The pools were huge and the beach was reefy and not really swimmable. Lots of other activities and they have a great golf course on site.

The negatives, food is pretty expensive. Breakfast buffet is $20. 20 bucks for taco plate or enchilada plate. 1.5l water is 5 bucks every restaurant, beers $6 bud corona and all mixed drinks start at $9 working up from there. The Internet is $6 hr or 170peso day. And it was awful, I don't wanna hear there are too many people on the network when I'm paying that much. You have to wear a bracelet. The resort is 20minutes from town, 220peso taxi or 50 peso per person each way via the resort shuttle that runs a few times a day. Someone is making some good money off this place, but outside the nickel and dime everything was pretty good.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Cursive9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

The Mayan Palace is nice place to stay. We have an RCI timeshare and booked our room via RCI. The staf was very helpful to ensure our family members traveling with us got our 4 rooms together and connected to one another. The Master suite we stayed in was spacious and clean and had a separate kitchen/family room. 4 kids slept comfortably on both couches and the 2 rollaway beds under the couches. The rooms themselves are clean but a bit out dated. I would rate them a 3.5 out of 5. The resort is huge and laid out strangely. All of the buildings that house the hotel rooms are in a line and go away from the pool and beach. We were told this is to prevent damage from hurricanes. The pool is the resorts best feature. It is massive and gives many different choices for you to plant your towel. The beach is beautiful but it does not allow you to swim because of all the coral. A 10 minute walk down the beach to the left or the right yields a swim beach. The resort has some stunning buildings besides the hotel buildings. The adult pool is amazing and tranquil. There is a large building behind the pool that has some nice, but pricy restaurants on the 2nd floor. The lower level has gift shopping and a very convenient store and deli. You can grab lunch, munchies, sodas, beer and most anything you need for cheaper than ordering at the pool. Most morni has around 10-11 they have happy hour drinks at the pool and they don't seem to pour a weak drink. We took a timeshare presentation and were rewarded with some great gifts for tours around the area. We had 10 people in our party so with 2 of the 4 couples doing the presentation we got many of our tours for free. They also provided all of us with an amazing $25 US breakfast buffet on the house. I believe the gifts retail price were over $2,000! But, the presentation was the worst I've ever experienced based on explanation and level of understanding of their offer. Plus the presentation was promoted as "around 1 hour" but laboriously ran 3+ hours. Our heads hurt trying to understand all of the facets of their offer. The staff were most always helpful and service was very good. This is a no cash or credit card resort, everything is charged to the room and all bills include 10% service which I thought was fair for the service you receive. There is a nice gym on the beach but they charge $100 pesos per day usage. One of the biggest let downs for me was the Havana Moon restaurant on the beach. Very appropriately decorated but the menu was not very Cuban and the Mojitos where I was there were sub par. My adobe is to make sure you go off property on some of their tours. I recommend Xel-Ha, or Xplor, the Tulum ruins or the ruins of Chitza Nitza.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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2  Thank 1966Worldtraveler
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 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Top resorts 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
Reservation Options:
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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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