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“Beautiful place, nice people, needs improvement to classify as luxurious!”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #36 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2012

My husband and I just returned from a 4 night stay at the Blue Diamond, we checked in on Saturday, April 21st and checked out this morning, April 25th. I will start by saying that we are well aware that this is a "soft open" for this newly acquired resort and kept that in mind during our stay, which helped keep our expectations in check. When we arrived (around 5pm) we were greeted at our car service by a bellman that knew our names and seemed to be waiting for us. He got our bags and led us to the reception area. While checking in we were greeted with a cold hand wash towel and a cold yummy juice. We exchanged some money and got a better rate at the hotel then the airport exchange was offering, but not quite the rate we were getting in the U.S.. We were brought promptly to our room (#528) which was beautiful and spacious. A bottle of chilled sparkling wine and fresh fruit was on the coffee table. Our room was chilly and despite our efforts to turn off the air, it still seemed to pump cold air into the room event though the thermostat did read "off". It wasn't too bad so we didn't call anyone to fix it and I had read the reviews that there is a definite problem with the A/C so I just figured it wasn't fixed yet. The staff definitely aims to please although at times they fall short. I do believe some are just not trained properly and really do not know what five star service means. Breakfast was delicious and the offerings were abundant. Lunch was just ok and dinner downright bad. Some nights I couldn't even eat it. Last night was the nouvelle fusion night at the Ambar and I got a lobster mixed salad as an appetizer, but the lobster was raw- ick! I grew up in New England and have NEVER seen lobster eaten raw in my life. I didn't realize it until I had a bite because the lighting was so dim- luckily it was only a small bite. I also would not recommend any of the beef selections. The salmon was quite good but the shrimp was a huge fail- grossly overcooked each time we got it, whether in cerviche, kabobs at lunch or at dinner. The servers are totally lacking direction during the dinner service and the management seems to be adding to the chaos, pointing waiters here, there and everywhere to try and keep up. The waiters are hustling but are getting poor direction from the managers and although they are all trying to work as a team, it gets confusing who your waiter is or who to ask for what. Despite what other patrons say, tipping not only helps, but is extremely considerate when someone is serving you. We noticed that since we tipped at every meal and with drink service and car service, the staff was much more attentive to us. We even ordered after another couple who was sitting there before us for 10 minutes and our food came much quicker than theirs. The waiters know that tipping is a way to let them know you appreciate them working hard for you and certainly take notice. The beach and the spa are beautiful and the tiled steam room was the best I've seen. I had a four hand massage at the spa that was top notch, but not the best massage I've ever had. The small snorkeling trip that is included is worth it if you've never snorkeled before, which I hadn't, but I could see it being disappointing for someone expecting more. Overall we enjoyed our stay and had a positive experience but believe they still need to work out the kinks to be deemed a five star resort. With that said, the price is right now with deals on luxurylink and jetsetter, but would most likely be much more expensive when/if the food and service get better.

Room Tip: Laguna suites are in the middle of the resort and are only a 5 minute walk to the pool so you don...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Kerri U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed at Blue Diamond from April 17 to April 22, 2012. We typically stay at the Fairmont but decided to give all-inclusive a try. I chose this resort based on good TripAdvisor reviews, and I suspect those people got a screaming deal in return for their reviews. We knew the resort had just re-opened and expected some slip-ups, but this place is just not worth the money. We’ll be at the Fairmont next time. Some details:

ROOM - No complaints about the room - we had a large suite with a private pool. The room was clean and well-appointed. Some of the other guests reported issues with their rooms (exploding AC unit, no power, ceiling collapsed in the rain), but our only issue was a couple evening hours without cable. Not a big deal when you're on vacation.

FOOD - Breakfast and lunch are served in the beachfront restaurant Aquamarine and are quite good. Coffee at breakfast is served from a communal French press, which means you get quarter cups of lukewarm coffee (if you get it at all). Lunch is also available from Ceviche on the beach. Dinner alternates between Aquamarine and Ambar. Dinner is just terrible, and the best I can say is that it did not make either of us physically ill. There is a theme each night (Canton feast, nouvelle fusion, etc.), and it seems the menu is too ambitious/difficult for the staff to execute. There are lots of "airs" and "foams," but they can't perform basic culinary tasks like cook a piece of fish or meat. I went to bed hungry several nights because my meal was inedible. I tried to fill up on bread, but that was hard to come by (see Service section below). We saw lots of full plates going back to the kitchen each night, and none of the staff looked like they cared. Even the desserts were bad - one night the dessert options were sliced apples or something that resembled Hostess brownie bites. We went to another resort (Banyan Tree) for dinner on our last night, and it was such a relief to get well-cooked food with excellent service.

SERVICE - Inconsistent, horrible. Some examples:
-They do not take reservations for dinner, so everyone shows up at the same time. You will wait for a table, and the kitchen gets slammed (see Food section above). There is no wait list, and it's a mystery how people are selected to be seated. Dinner takes forever, but it is not a long, luxurious meal. More of a torturous wait.
-Restaurants are understaffed, and they don't seem to be trained. You feel it is a major accomplishment to get a drink refill. One breakfast/lunch server (Jacqueline) has a 50% accuracy rate, even when we resorted to pointing at menu items. We cheered the last morning when we realized she would not be our server.
-Service is so inconsistent that you don’t know what is supposed to be standard service. Out of 6 days on the beach, towel service was available 2 days and drink service was available 1 day. No idea if those services were supposed to be available every day, or if we just got lucky a couple times. There were staff members on the beach who hid behind one of the beachfront units most of the day; they only came out when a man who appeared to be a manager showed up and yelled at them.
-The resort offers kayaks and a free snorkel or dive trip. You are supposed to arrange for these at the activities desk on the beach. We never saw it open.
-During rain showers, guests would run to the restaurant for shelter and leave behind towels. No staff members picked up the soaking wet towels left all over the pool areas and the beach. We would find them the next morning.
-The beach was littered with empty drink cups, some left there for 4 days.
-We tried to call the concierge and front desk during the cable outage (with an unrelated request), and it seems they just stopped answering the phones so they did not have to deal with complaints. My husband walked out to the front desk, and they were just sitting there.
-When we stay at the Fairmont (a much larger resort), they know our names. No one at Blue Diamond even made an effort.

ENTERTAINMENT – Dinner entertainment was some guy with an accordion. I don’t require entertainment, but if it is provided, please make it good.

There were a few exceptions to the bad service. Jesus hustled at dinner. Guillermo at the pool bar was great. It was a relief to have Victor as our server at breakfast.

In summary, there are a lot of resort options in this area, and you’ll be better off somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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15  Thank scout91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2012

The property is top notch. Everything is of the highest quality and the rooms are very plush. they do a great job of keeping it serene and quiet so if you're looking to party its not the place, but if you want to enjoy a beautiful spa and pool its the place. The staff is very friendly and professional. Go easy on the food they feed you a lot and it can weigh you down. Make sure you take advantage of the spa.

Room Tip: the closer to the pool the better, we stayed at the laguna rooms and they are the best value. All th...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Paul Dante P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Wer just returned from the newly opened Blue Diamond. Grounds are fantastic. Ditto for the staff. However our room was short of hot water and air conditioning was defective. We were upgraded to a different location as many previous reviewers who experienced the same problem. Anyone checking the room before being assigned?
Only forty rooms were occupied during our stay. I do not believe the limited staff can handle any more.
They allowed upgrade/transfer from the nearby BlueBay Esmeralda. Not the greatest idea if you paid for a five star resort and a quiet holiday and have to comingle with partygoers.
Food was excellent under a limited menu. Great ambiance at Ambra.
The Tamezcal is a worthwhile experience if you can handle the heat and steam.
Beach was cleaned every morning and sufficient lounge chairs were available. Nearby beach in front of vacant lot is just filthy with plastic.
Staff was generally helpful and friendly and doing their best under what was perceived limited training.
All in all a resort with great potential but management will have to work diligently to bring it to the five star Grand Luxury level as it is presently advertised.

Room Tip: Any room with working air conditioning and hot water will be fine. If you do not wish to wait for t...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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12  Thank germont001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  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..
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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Additional Information about Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel

Address: Km. 298-816, Carretera Federal 307 | Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Blue Diamond Riviera Maya)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £304 - £972 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the pristine coast of the world famous Riviera Maya, Blue Diamond Riviera Maya is a sanctuary of breathtaking beauty and peace, surrounded by nature mixed with luxury. This exclusive hideaway is set in 36 acres of lush tropical jungle, well manicured gardens and a spectacular palm filled white sandy beaches along the turquoise – colored Caribbean Sea, offering unparalleled pampering and rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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