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“The best all-inclusive on the riviera maya”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #46 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Manteca, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The best all-inclusive on the riviera maya”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2013

We just returned from four nights at the Blue Diamond. I have been to five other all-inclusives on the Riviera (Hideaway, Grand Velas, Zoetry, Capri Secrets and Tres Rios) and this resort was one of the best. A few great items of note: ala carte meals (no buffets), very quiet, very clean, spacious rooms and baths, new furniture in rooms and at pool, friendly staff, adults only, beautiful beaches, nice gym and spa.
Since the hotel is so new (one year), I am afraid the secret will get out and the resort will get more crowded. The food menus did not vary much between the two restaurants, far walk from rooms to beach (unless you book a beach room). Only a few rooms with two beds (all kings except Patio rooms), room service was an extra charge, pool beds need more shade.
I will definitely return.

Room Tip: Try for a beach villa, pool on roof, smaller rooms but beautiful view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Berkeley, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2013

My husband and I spent our honeymoon here in November 2012, and we loved every moment of our stay there.

You arrive at Blue Diamond via a private, gated driveway off the dusty main road heading to Playa Del Carmen. Your first taste of the property's style is inside the massive indoor/outdoor thatch-roofed lobby where you're greeted by your own concierge to check in. While your bags are silently emptied from your vehicle, which is then valet parked out of site, you'll enjoy a fabulous non-alcoholic cocktail and chocolate bon bons at the concierge desk. There you'll receive your room paperwork and wristbands to wear during your stay.

A golf cart, now tidily packed with you luggage, then whisks you down the only pathway that traverses the whole property, to your room. Though "room" is somewhat of a misnomer.

Each room is really it's own building, often adjoining only 1 or 2 other rooms, though some are two stories tall. Rooms are grouped together around beautiful art installation by a famous Latin American or European artist (worth reading the plaques, they're quite interesting), and the rooms face outward, so you'll rarely see another guest from your windows.

Our room looked out onto the lovely little creek that flows from the cenote at the top of the hotel down toward the ocean. A long rectangle, the bathroom was on one end and included two showers with lovely overhead spouts, as well as a door that opened onto the outdoor jacuzzi pool (which is filled at your request, at any time).

The bed was lush and comfortable, the linens perfectly white and pressed. The closet was a bit musty because of the humidity, but in the tropics, who really cares anyway?

Now, on to the food! There were three restaurants available to us during our stay and the dinner option changes between two of the locations every other night. The first option is a casual beach side cafe (Ceviche Tapas Bar) on the lower desk of the pool area. They serve really lovely fresh latin fare like empandas, ceviche, fish tacos, burgers and salads. Expect to find a Mexican hint to the American style favorites on the list - a baby greens salad with goat cheese and dried cranberries was delicious but it's Mexican goat cheese (not American) so it has a funky little twang, though not bad at all. The seafood was always excellent and incredibly fresh. This restaurant is open all afternoon and I think into early evening.

The second dining option is the main dining option for breakfast, lunch and for dinner on alternating nights (called The Pool Bar online). It's next to the pool and features indoor and outdoor seating. There's also a separate bar adjacent to this restaurant that serves cocktails all day and late into the night.

Breakfast here was always my favorite meal. It's very continental style food with a Mexican twist but very formal service and plating. A broiled grapefruit served as a starter to many of my breakfasts and it's elegantly plated with candied orange and some herbs. A selection of fresh juices may not perfectly match my favorite neighborhood juice bar in the Bay Area of CA, but are delicious nonetheless. The bagel I had on several mornings never disappointed. Tiny in size but perfectly toasted, the small quenelle of cream cheese with a little lime zest was lovely and the side of lox always fresh, never fishy.

Beware the pastry service at breakfast - the pastries are actually pretty good and you'll fill up on them before your meal ever arrives! There are a few breakfast entrees with traditional Mexican ingredients like scrambled eggs with huitlacoche (a corn fungus that's very popular) and a crema sauce. All were interesting and delicious.

Lunch at this main restaurant varies day to day. One day sushi was offered (which was surprisingly good) another day I think they did paella on the patio in a giant pan for guests to see and taste.

Several days they also had live music on the pool area around lunchtime. One day I think it was a traditional indigenous duo on what looked like a wooden xylophone, another day there was a DJ spinning very Miami style lounge tunes.

Finally, the other dinner option is the formal Ambar restaurant which is a dramatic space in terms of architecture in the space, and on the plate. I definitely always dressed up for dinners in this white tablecloth space, replete with a wine cellar at the entrance, a lounge area at the rear and an exposition kitchen on one side.

Ambar is really a special place at this resort, and it's obviously the management feels very strongly about upholding it's grace and service. The ambiance is more formal than the main restaurant, the stemware is high quality, the feeling is tranquil and warm and the four-course meal is both exhilarating and filling.

Every meal we ate at Ambar was incredibly ornate and featured a very international flair. One night there was a lobster bisque with little drops of saffron oil on it. Another night was whole quail in a pomegranate sauce.

But the dessert...oh the desserts! One dessert we ordered time and again was the Guernica (named after Picasso's famous painting) - really artistry on the plate. Something you'd expect to see at Le Cirque. Perfect quenelles of chocolate ganache and bright half moons of a blue curacao gelee elegantly dancing across the plate. Ridiculously rich and gorgeous to stare at before diving in.

But what made our stay even more lovely was Ricardo, the hotel manager who never seems to leave the property. Incredibly attentive and helpful, Ricardo regularly checked in on us while we dined in the restaurants and genuinely wanted to hear feedback on our experience. I believe he is the reason this property is so "up to snuff" as some might say - a true professional in the hospitality industry.

So, I hope you enjoyed my review! I had such a lovely experience and I promised Ricardo I would write a review once we returned home, so I hope I've accurately summarized my experience, the ambiance and the food of this lovely resort.

Highly recommended!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are equally secluded and private, but get a room with an outdoor tub if you can. Or...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Lindsey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

We stayed in January 2013. The resort is beautiful and well maintained.

The service was great - very friendly and accomodating.

The food was fine - we were not expecting 5-star gourmet food and we thought it was fine.
Breakfast - probably the best meal, lots of options, lots of juices.
Lunch - we typically ate lunch at the pool (would bring us food to our chairs --- we were on vacation!).
Dinner: Was the food amazing!? No. Was it bad? Not at all. Did they try? Very much so - there was typically live music, the waitstaff acts like it is fine dining, there was typically some amose-bouche presented, etc. Overall, we thought dinner was nice.

I liked that it was quiet and pretty empty, though there were not a lot of activities going on (there are some though, and Omar and team were helpful in going through everything).

There is about a 7 min walk from our room to the pool/beach - we would usually walk and almost always had a cart drive by to ask if we wanted a ride.

The wife went to the spa and gym and thought both were nice. I spent lots of time by the pool, it was very nice. Overall, we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

Stayed here only for 1 night during my work trip and it really wasn't enough. It all started with the arrival. We were greeted at the front lobby by Ricardo (the property manager), where he provided us with a very thorough inspection of the grounds. This has got to be one of the most breath-taking properties I have ever seen. Check in was smooth and Ricardo surprised the group of 15 of us by saying that for this night - all of us would have our own suites. (Having a roommate is nice but it was amazing to be able to have a night of relaxtion in a king bed.) This is a smaller property (room wise) but the grounds are large. The rooms, I have honestly never seen anything so amazing. Walking into my room, seeing the large walk in closet, the oversized bathroom with outdoor bathtub, the huge bedroom with 2 walls of glass to see the view outside (I had the laguna view - and wouldn't have asked for anything else). Another perk to travelling with Transat holidays was the unlimited wifi in the room and the unlimited calls to Canada and the United States (made it great to be able to call my boyfriend and my parents to let them know how I was doing.) After unpacking, I met up with a few friends to take a walk on the grounds - I would suggest renting the bikes, as walking takes a super long time. After the little stroll, I headed back to the room to get ready for dinner - the his and hers showers in my room were in the same area, where some rooms were seperated by a walkway, I had them both on and stood in there for an hour at least. After getting ready Ricardo had set up a predinner cocktail where we met on the rooftop patio and had drinks and were able to smoke the hookah (which is just flavoured herbal shisha). After the drinks, Ricardo escorted our group to the Ambar restuarant where we had an amazing dinner. I have never tested such perfetly cooked food in my life. Even though the menu was preset - this time I did find something I liked and it was presented beautifully.

For the money, this resort is worth it. I could have spent my whole week at this resort and I would have been happy.

This would be great for honeymooners, as well as couples juts looking for a luxurious, quiet vacation where they can get their own privacy.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sammiiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

We took two of our kids 18 & 19 along for a long weekend at riviera maya, and returned just this evening. I researched where to stay endlessly. Great beach, adults only, noo cheesy pool games or Vegas music at the pool, excellent food and drinks key. We were thrilled with BD! The pix and reviews do not approximate the beauty, pristine suites and grounds. The food was 4 star quality; as others mentioned an expanded specials menu and alternating daily menu would be well received. Nice top shelf liquors and wine; though hardly an extensive list. Loved having bikes to get to the pool, beach, and restaurant. Exc service especially front desk ladies, Federico, Roman, and Cesar. We shall be back and can't wait!!

Room Tip: Upgraded to patio rooms to accommodate our daughters, very nice and much appreciated. We had Laguna...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank skikandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2013

My husband and I love Riviera Maya, Mexico. We've been there 5 times in the last two years for vacations. Each time we've selected a new resort to try, ultimately looking for the perfect place to return several times a year. We were very excited to try Blue Diamond since it was originally the Mandarin Oriental - so we knew the property would be beautiful and well maintained.

Property:
Of the other 5-star resorts we've stayed at (including Grand Velas and Zoetry) Blue Diamond had the best beach to swim by far. It was great open water, smooth sand, some waves, crystal clear. The beach itself was also nicely maintained and groomed. You could be in a group or find privacy in chairs separated from the main area.

Service:
The first day we arrived the reception was perfect - on time airport pick up, friendly driver, efficient check in, they provided great information and gave us a thorough tour of the property. Our first morning we had some trouble finding service on the beach, but that was quickly remedied by the arrival of Cesar. Cesar provided exceptional service. He went out of his way to make sure each guest on the beach was comfortable and had everything they could ever need or want. He went above and beyond to find us chairs, an umbrella for shade, anything we wanted for lunch and any drinks we wanted throughout the day. He was kind, professional and attentive.

The Dive Shop:
My husband has been SCUBA diving before and loves it (but wasn't certified). I have always wanted to, but been too nervous to even try it. We've gone to dive shops at other resorts in Mexico before, but I still was not quite sure. But this time, at Blue Diamond, we went down to the dive shop and met Sarah and I immediately felt at ease and ready to give it a try! Sarah helped my husband and I get certified in just a couple short sessions. She was professional, constantly focused on safety and very knowledgeable about SCUBA diving techniques and skills. She was also very fun to be around and made the pool sessions and skill practices enjoyable for the both of us. We had private sessions that she organized to accommodate our vacation schedules. She knew we were on vacation so she arranged for early pool sessions and open water dives so that we still had most of the day to relax or explore. On our first dive the current was strong and I was nervous, but she took control of the situation, made us both aware of how the current would feel and kept us relaxed - and we were able to complete our skills with no problem at all! I didn't want to get out of the water! Sarah also knew the reefs well. So she was able to point out lots of sea life that I would have otherwise missed - we saw Lion Fish, HUGE eels, lobsters, huge schools of fish and a sea turtle. Now certified my husband and I are ready to go back to Mexico and spend most of the time under water!

Food:
Before talking about the food, I would also like to make a special note about Roman, our dinner waiter. Roman served us each night at the restaurant overlooking the ocean. He was excellent. He was attentive, polite and did a great job talking us through the menus and our options. We thank him for making the dinners relaxing and enjoyable.

While the service was good, the food was not. In the six nights we were there, we tried each restaurant, and a variety of dishes and overall did not enjoy the food. It's understandable that "French night" would not compare to a NYC or Boston French Bistro, but we expected the more traditional Mexican cuisine to be better. The sauces tasted canned or reheated, many of the dishes seemed frozen and then microwaved. The presentation was very lovely, so we were surprised when the food did not deliver. Overall we would give the food a C-.

Overall it’s a beautiful resort, the staff was helpful, the dive shop is AWESOME and the beach is great. But the food is not anywhere close to the other true 5 star resorts in Riviera Maya.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mainedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2013

We just got back from a 7 night stay in Riviera Maya. We split our stay between the Blue Diamond and the Banyan Tree. What surprised us the most was that the Blue Diamond ended up being the highlight of our stay and not the Banyan Tree. It far surpassed our experience at the Banyan Tree which was plagued with service mistakes, food poisoning and worn rooms.. not to mention being full with a convention.
We arranged the car service through the hotel and we had a seamless arrival to the hotel. The lobby is calming and beautiful. We were offered a drink and then taken by golf cart to our room.
We stayed in a ground floor Laguna suite and it was beautiful! We loved the bright and airy bathroom, view out to the Laguna and the wonderful bed! Everything was in perfect condition.. no wear and tear! We loved the location of the Laguna suites as they are walking distance to the beach, and Ambar restaurant. We walked through the property and much preferred these rooms to the Patio suites and the suites on the lagoon by the beach which didn't have much privacy. The rooms on the beach look to be worth the splurge!

The hotel was a bit slow while we were there but we found this as a positive. The service we received was unbelievable! Fernando, Prisciliano, Jose and everyone at the Aquamarina restaurant took such great care of us. Our drinks were constantly filled and we found breakfast and lunch to be delicious! The dinners were good but not great. Some items at dinner were delicious and some were just good. Like others have noted, we preferred the meals at Aquamarina over Ambar. However Ambar was a beauftiful setting!

We went to check out the spa and it was beautiful! A great space although we didn't have treatments. We heard from other guests that they were great!

One final comment as many have stated the main pool is not heated. It is probably about 80 degrees but felt so refreshing. The lap pool was probably about 88 degrees so if you didn't want to brave the unheated pool you could use that pool. We actually liked the music by the pool as welll as it made it even more relaxing!

If you want to have a relaxing, luxurious, stress free vacation stay at the Blue Diamond and avoid the Banyan Tree!

Room Tip: Make sure to get a room in the Laguna section on the first floor. They are larger than the second f...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NYC10001
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

Property: 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:
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#32 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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