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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
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Reviewed 21 April 2012

We went to Blue Diamond Blue Bay from April 14 to April 19, 2012

Transfer.

Not included so I booked the transfer at the hotel. We paid $135 for a round trip (way too much). A girl waited for us at the airport with our name on a board. We had to carry our suitcases ourselves until the end of the parking lot and had to wait for 10 minutes in the heat for the car and the driver to arrive. I expected a nice car from the hotel and we ended up being transferred by a tourist van without any comfort at all (no bottles of water being offered). I was already disappointed.

Check-in.

Our room was 256. The outdoor bath tub was full of undrained dirty water with bugs. Instead of transferring us into another room two people from the hotel came to fix the problem. They stayed for 40' draining the water and cleaning the bath tub . They left telling us that the problem was fixed. When it rained again the problem was still the same. The bath tub was full of dirty undrained water... therefore I could never have an outdoor bath - which I love. I was limited to my only option of showering in the bathroom.

Room.

The front large window would not open.

The docking station to recharge my iphone (and to listen to myipod) would not work as the output from the TV was broken. They did not have any iphone charger at the reception so we ended up buying an iphone charger ourselves at Walmart at Playa Del Carmen. They never fixed the problem and never offered any solution.

No umbrella in the room or at the reception. It would have been useful as it rained nearly every day during our stay.

During the night the rain was licking heavily from the roof into our room (close to the television). My husband had to put 2 big towels on the floor to absorb the heavily dripping water.

Bar in the room.
They never provided us with nespresso capsules unless we called and requested the capsules. They never asked us what we wanted in the fridge - no form to fill in either. Therefore everything we wished we had to call and ask. Sometimes it would not be done as they simply forgot so we had to call again...

Shampoo.
At some point we were missing shampoo as they only provided us with one or two tiny bottles of shampoo per day. We had to request for those more than one time.

Turn out the room for the night. Some night they were turning down the room for the night. Some night they were not.

Golf cart / Transportation within the resort.

The resort is one mile long so we had to call the golf cart to go anywhere. Most of the time we had to pick up other guests... or we had to wait for the driver... for a short time or very long time.... One night it was peak diner time and they only had one golf cart for the whole resort.

Beverage.

Upon arrival I wanted a fresh coconut juice (from a coconut). There is no coconut available in this resort.

Soft drinks from the bar at the pool are warm (they are not in the fridge). So if you wish to enjoy a diet coke you end up drinking a warm diet coke with plenty of ice cubes.

Premium alcohol like "Bombay Saphire" is extra.

Food.

All being served. It usually takes forever.
I wish that at least the breakfast was buffet style so we could start our day quicker. Breakfast took us at leat an hour (minimum). One day we got super hard butter, the other day melted butter. One day the grapefruit juice was fresh, the other day it was from the bottle... They do not have non fat plain yogurt at the resort. On the other had the choice of the menu is very large and the food (for breakfast) is excellent.

Lunch, we were on the go the whole day so we never had lunch at the resort.

Diner, a la carte. We only had one choice of restaurant per night. It is either at the beach restaurant (where you are being served breakfast) or at the Ambar restaurant (nice atmosphere restaurant for diner). The third restaurant was closed. It is frustating for me to have diner where we had breakfast in the morning.

Since we skipped lunch every day we were hungry for diner but the portions for diner are really small. We had a fixed amuse-bouche, an appetizer, a soup, a main course and a dessert. For each of them you can choose amongst 3 choices. The food is fine not great. If you love to eat you are going to be disappointed and you will leave your table hungry.

One of the night it was "Cantonese" night. We lived for in China for 5 years and we were disappointed to have Chinese food (which was far from being authentic) in Mexico. On the other hand they never offered proper Mexican food. We were disappointed to have spent 6 days in Mexico without being offered Mexican food.

Staff.

Some of them love what they do and are very friendly and some of them do not want to be there and are not friendly at all.

Two mornings we had "management staff" showing the resort around to a huge group of people to promote it. The people were guests from the other "Blue Diamond" property next door (which is considered a lower class property). All the guests were served breakfast - it was noisy, crampy and not appropriate for the serenity and the privacy of the our stay and other guests' stay.

Pool.
Small & not deep. No towel available before 9.30 am.

Beach.
Do not go there for the beach. Very narrow. Very dirty with lots of seaweed that they gathered together but did not pick up. A lot of stones in the water. My husband injured his foot while swimming.

Rental car. What a hassle.

You cannot rent a car directly at the resort. We were picked up from the hotel to go to the other Blue Diamond resort next door (5 minutes drive) and rent a car from there. Same to drop of the car.

Location.
It is 15 minutes drive from Playa Del Carmel. Do not take a taxi ($15 one way). Take the "Playa Del Carmen Express Bus" just accross the street. Just stop the bus waving at it. It is $2 per person per way. The terminus is very close to the 5th avenue where the shops and restaurants are.

We loved the fact that the resort is adult only. Considering the amount of resorts in Cancun or Playa Del Camen areas, we will never return to this resort until they offer us a very good deal that would be too good to pass on. Right now we paid $2.200 for 5 nights ($135 transfer to be added) - way too much for what we got.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Carolineroussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Honestly the perfect resort for couples. Accommodations and service were outstanding. This private property is as nice as I have ever seen. The spa was to die for! We joked and laughed with the staff all week long. If i dropped a napkin someone was there to pick it up! I was there in March 2012 and I know they have not been open long at that point but they are on their game now...

Room Tip: Top units have deck on roof..
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Pat M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

My Husband and I have recently returned from celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary holiday spent at the Blue Diamond in Playa Del Carman. Amazing grace adequately describes our experience with Blue Diamond and their incredible staff. From the moment you step out of the vehicle in front of the lobby you know your in a very special place, a place where Magic happens. There to greet us with his friendly smile Darwin say's " Welome to Blue Diamond,'' And it begins.
Mike and I enjoyed the Jr. Suite, this stunningly beautiful masculine yet elegant hideaway surrounded by palm trees, water ways and over looking a Senota became our magical paradice and set the standards for which we were to enjoy. The patio area just outside the suite was furnished by two mandarin style chase lounges and a lovely wooden table with chairs. So very nice to enjoy a coffee, beverage, cigar or in our case a lovely glass of celebatory champagne. Your stay can be as private or public as you wish with just a touch of a button. The staff are very eager to please and will within a small 5 minute wait time shuttle you to either the restaurant , spa or beach in golf cart style automobiles along a tiled cosway that streatches the length of the property throught the natural forested area to the beach front. I personally love the green space that has been preserved to it's natural state and beauty. Speaking of Beauty, once at the beach the restaurant and sitting area are absoluty stunning over looking a very impressive pool, and of course the ocean itself. Mandarin style chase lounges and cotton clothed covered beds are available for your relaxation. The bar is very close by with very willing staff to assist you in making that perfect drink to go with your delicious meal. Blue Diamond is not a place for party goers and or spring break enthuests. This charming delightful little jewel by the ocean is enjoyed by adults only who simply want to escape and rediscover themselves. The evenings entertainment was enchanting one night with a small band and captivating the next with fire dancing. Something for everyone indeed. Whilst at the beach the staff are also willing to introduce you to some very exciting activities like Scooba Diving, Snorkeling or Parasailing. Isreal is ready and willing to show you the ropes, so do drop in and see him. Mike and I took in all three experiences and with Isreals guidence and expertise taught us all the in's and out's of Scooba Diving. What an amazing experience to see the second largest coral reef in the world 35 feet below the surface of the ocean or see the Blue Bay coast line 300 feet above the ground. The staff are very willing to accomodate your next adventure.
The Embar is a Fine Dining exquisite experience with the BEST service imaginable. Thank-you Omar for your expertice in menu selection, excellent service and all with a touch of class and great humor added in just to remind you... your home. The food presentation is a masterpiece and the flavours Tantalize the taste buds. a 10 out of a 10 for us. Blue Diamond gave Mike and I the 25th Anniversary setting and has set the bar for many to follow. The dinner music to accompany our table was truly a moving moment as the violinist played for us. That can't be topped. We met so many great people on our holiday we are so very humbled by what Mexico has given to us. The spa experience just before leaving really touched my soul as we were introduced to a Mayan sweat lodge. All areas of your being spiratially are revisited in this your personal journey back in time. It was very hard saying " good bye" and I know we will return to Blue Diamond for just behind those gates awaits another incredible " Amazing Grace' adventure.

HOLA

Deb and Mike Bok
Edmonton Alberta
canada. debbok1@gmail.com

Room Tip: We really liked the Senota view facing south.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank debbok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

When it comes to reviews, I think we largely base our input and expectations upon what we’ve experienced beforehand. That having been said……

Our first impression was at arrival around 8pm. NO ONE was in the open lobby area initially when our transportation pulled up (staff or guests). Our driver helped put the bags on the curb and took off. It was rather dark and no bell staff or anyone at the front desks could be found at first. I walked a good bit to the desk area and a young lady finally came around the corner bearing drinks and cold towels. I’ve never experienced such a deserted arrival like that, especially as the gate attendants radio ahead to front staff. Dunno what happened there.

We stayed at the Blue Diamond for 7 days/nights. The resort, and especially the landscaped grounds are extremely well kept. Although it is true that Mandarin Oriental did manage the hotel from 2008 to 2011 for this property’s owners, it was not a true Mandarin built property and I think it shows in many places. The property was briefly closed for a modest renovation last year before being reopened at the start of 2012 under “Blue Diamond”. The rooms/suites are in great condition.

SUITES: We were upgraded to a Palafitos Terrace Suite overlooking one of the waterways, although I’d reserved a Jr. Patio Suite. However, when shown the Palafitos we felt that the positioning of all of these units close to one another created a real lack of privacy. So, we requested to move to the Jr. Patio Suite we’d purchased. We had a corner unit which was very private overlooking one of the water ways, (with the exception of the workers who would often cross through our “backyard”). The bedroom and bathroom face this “garden area”, so these workers would usually look right in if the window shades were up. Awkward.

The sheets, towels, and bathrobes are excellent. The mattress was very comfortable.

The flat screen TV has an attached DVD/CD player and an iPod doc. The tv channel selection was good, but there is no “pay per view options”, should that interest you.
Wi-Fi was free and had a strong signal the entire stay.

One really BIG complaint we had was that the blinds are so sheer. This means they are quite see-through and offer little privacy. When the sun comes up forget sleeping in, unless you put a pillow over your head. At night, with lights on inside you can see in as well.

Air conditioning can be an issue. On sunnier days it got warm in the room.

The bathroom in the patio suites had two rain showers inside and no tub. One sink.
Amenities are ok. We had to ask for a hair dryer to be brought to the room the first day. The bathroom also has a big skylight that which floods direct sun light in. We had to store our toiletries so they would not bake on the bathroom counter. We could also not get the housekeeper to leave more than one roll of toilet tissue (notes left in Spanish and English) and despite tipping $20 a day. So odd.

The plunge pool in the Jr . Patio Suite is a bit like a small 7’x4’ spa with no jets and cold water should you chose to fill it. Think like more along the lines of a large bathtub. I suppose it could be refreshing, but we did not use it.

SERVICE : Most of the staff seemed eager to please, but I must agree with a couple of other recent reviews, that the level of service is very uneven and inconsistent on all levels.

Calling “room service” would frequently get you transferred to the “concierge” or “front desk”. Often, they’d tell us that someone would call us back. Sometimes, we’d have to call them back again. Despite whatever they tell you, room service consistently took an hour or more.

POOL / BEACH : The pool area by the beach was modestly busy during our the first few days of our stay. Even though we like to tip with each round of poolside drinks, it didn’t seem to increase the frequency of the service or the strength of the drinks. It almost seemed regulated as far as timing. That being said, you can walk up to the bar anytime you like. I noticed that most of the guests lounging on the beach below had difficulty getting service compared to the upper poolside area. And yes the beach pool is on the small side.

SPA : It’s beautiful. A spectacular tiled steam room was the highlight for me. There are man other amenities including an outdoor pool in the spa zone which had no one around it. The day we were there, we didn’t see another guest, which was too bad. We had a facial and massages, which were quite good.

FOOD and BEVERAGE : As odd as it is since it was all-inclusive, we didn’t eat in in their restaurants once in 7 days. We went out some and used room service A LOT, despite the $20 charge per delivery. The room service menu is fairly limited, but most everything we had was decent to good. Very inconsistent with the delivery and presentation. Sometimes hot sometimes not. Our package included a generous stocking of liquor in our suite at no charge including Stoli, Absolut, J&B, Bacardi and tequila which was a very nice touch. The inexpensive sparkling wine was replenished if you drank it. As well, the soft drinks, beer and Evian water were generously replaced each day in your mini-fridge.

GOLF CARTS : Getting from the beach to your suite or the lobby is a hike, so using the chauffeured carts is tempting if not necessary. Plan ahead. Sometimes they’d be right there when called and other times they didn’t show at all. We ended up walking a good bit.

TRANSPORTATION/ TAXIS : The trip to 5th Ave. (aka Avenida 5….the hub of all nightlife in Playa del Carmen) will run you about $20-$23 each way. It’s not a long trip, so it seemed steep. Every taxi driver charged the exact same amount, so I don’t think there is room for any real negotiation there. Airport transport via Suburban was included in our resort package and went ok.

CONCLUSION : I wanted to be thorough in this review, and did not mean to be overly critical. Just honest. I spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews on Trip Advisor before picking Blue Diamond. Up to our to that point reviews were pretty glowing. Interestingly however, several reviews around the time we were there are also on the negative side, so I don’t know what’s going on there. I do have reasonably high expectations, but consider the price paid, etc. We did have a very relaxing, romantic and enjoyable stay overall. We made the best of it all as any seasoned traveller should. The rate through Jetsetter made it a good deal in our eyes and worth the price paid. Especially considering the all inclusive food and beverage. This is absolutely not a 5 star property when it comes to service. I’m sure it’s a challenge keeping up high standards when the occupancy is rather low. There seemed to be a real shortage of staff in several areas including the front of the house. All that being said, I would choose the Banyan Tree or Rosewood next door on our next visit to Playa for the experience I expected we would get at Blue Diamond.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank 236joshc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

I guess I'll start with the positives:
1. The resort is really beautiful, the rooms spectacular! Spacious, luxurious, comfortable, and private. The bathrooms are absolutely lovely. They exceeded our expectations. The grounds are gorgeous.
2. The spa pools and facilities are wonderful. Free to use, really private. A total hidden paradise.
3. We arrived Really Really early and they accommodated us. We only had to wait a few hours for a room. That was nice.

And now, onto the bad...I'll break it down into three areas that were disappointing to me. Service, food and drink and beach.

1. Service: I know a few people have mentioned that upon arrival they were given a cool towel, and cold drink, etc. This was not our experience, Check-in was swift and efficient, but just that. Nothing more, no drink offer, nothing. We were told we would have to wait for a room since we were early, which was not a problem at all, they came to get us after a few hours when the room was ready. We were dropped off at the room by the bellboy who was nice enough, but when I asked where the pools were and if he could give us an idea of where things were at the resort, he said that he was really busy and that maybe tomorrow he could show us around. That was the start of our 5 star service. There was a bottle of champage in the room, room temp, sittle in a bucket with no ice. Not exactly refreshing, but OK. After a couple hours in the room, I noticed that it seemed really hot. I looked at the thermostat and the temp in the room was set to 68, yet the actual temp was 80. EEk, I called the concierge and told them, they said theat the day before it had been repaired and they would send someone to recheck. Before returning to the room, I asked the concierge if the air had been addressed, she said it had. About 6 hours later when we returned to the room, I looked at the thermostat again and this time it was 79. So again I called and told them it still wasn't working. They said they would send someone. They did, and the service guy came and fiddled with it. While he was in our room I asked him if he could fix the rattling ceinling fan. The noise was driving me nuts. He said it was fine, it didn't need fixing. I insisted and it took him all of 60 seconds. The noise was still there, but tollerable. After dinner we returned to the room and it was still 79. I called concierge again and told them that it was late and that I didn't want someone to come right then, but at that point I was pretty frustrated. The next day it was fixed.

Service at the main pool was dismall. The pool area was clean the first part of the day, but by late afternoon none of the dirty towels people had left on the lounge chairs or plates and glasses had been picked up. By afternoon The day beds were a disaster. Wet and sandy. We were only at the pool a few times, but every time, we'd have to go to the bar to order drinks. Only once did someone ask us if we wanted another drink. Never were we asked if we wanted anything to eat. Service at the bar was also hit and miss, sometimes the bartender would make the drinks immediately, other times we waited half an hour.
Pretty shameful when there's only a half dozen couples at the pool. How hard could it be.
The last straw when it came to service was our second to last day when the concierge stopped us to ask us how our trip was so far. I told her it was OK, the rooms were lovely etc, but the service and food was a disaster, and beach a real disappointment. She said oh, okay, thank you, and that was it. About an hour later I asked her if the free snorkelling excursion was worth going on, she said absolutley, and took me to the guy who orchestrates that. He asked our room # and look at his schedule which had 3 people on it for the day and said he didn't have availability. I told them we were leaving the next day and if there was anything they could do. The concierge just stood there and said sorry, they only start at 1pm so they don't have alot of space. This just an hour after telling her our stay had been a somewhat of a disappointment so far.

2. The food and drink: Now I know food is very subjective, but drinks aren't. We are both lightweights when it comes to alcohol, It really only takes a drink to get me happy, so when I get a drink and it tastes like there's no alcolohol and I order another and I don't even get a light buzz, there's something wrong. The wine served at dinner was shameful, both the red and white were awful. I am no wine officianado, but if I can't even swallow it, there's something wrong.
The food was the worst part of our whole trip!!!! I have never experienced anything wierder in my life. There is no real selection to speak of, which is why we ended up only eating breakfast at the hotel our last 3 days, and going out for lunch and dinner in Playa del carmen. Pretty disappointing when you're at a luxury all inclusive. (By the way, there is really no vegetarian option on any of the dinner menues. I think their idea of vegetarian is no meat, but seafood is ok.) you'd be really out of luck if you were a true vegetarian. I can't remember what the dinner's theme was, but it was horrific. I ordered a beef fillet of some sort, what arrived is hard to put into words. It was as tough at a leather strap, had a very strange flavor and was a shade of white on the inside. Very bizarre. We also ordered the shrimp linguine. Also inedible. Who wants tiny overcooked frozen shrimp? I don't. I think the next night which we opted out of was Lebanese night. Kind of limiting if that's not your thing. It certainly wasn't ours. We barely even ate the desserts. How bad does dessert have to be that you don't even want it. When was the last time you passed up dessert?
In regards to food, I'm up from pretty much anything, but I can honestly say we barely ate 10 bites of most meals, breakfast was ok, but very very ordinary. Not 5 star in the least. It just sounds 5 star.

3. The beach: This is our 4th trip to playa del carmen. The beach is NOTHING like the rest of Playa del Carmen. The whole time we were there, we only saw maybe a half dozen people in the ocean. The water is not clear and bright like the typical carribean ocean like cancun and Playa del carmen. The beach is very rocky for the first 30 feet or so of water, which makes it hard. And the biggest issue for me is that it is always SO SO windy. I'm not sure why, but the location of the resort makes it a wind trap. The beach and pool area always felt like a mini hurricaine, whereas playa del carmen 6 miles is totally calm. I guess I should have paid attention when all the pictures of the beach, all the pics show the palm trees looking like they're being blown away. My fault for ignoring that.

We ended up just spending Sunday all day at the hotel, Monday dinner, and the rest just of our days breakfast. Pretty sad when you've paid all that money for an all-inclusive. Something we've never had to do at other all inclusives.

Okay, so I've written a novel, and I'll stop whining now. I just want people to have a little lower expectations than we had. It really sucks when you're as disappointed on your vacation as we were.

ps. We ended up having a lovely time in Playa del Carmen. The beaches are outstanding and the food delicious. From the super cheap to quite pricey, Lots of selection. The Little Italy area on 5th has some amazing italian food. (I know its hard to believe), but hand made pasta and fresh seafood, etc that was truly memorable.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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18  Thank catzatall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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