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“3rd Time Back...Already Booked #4”

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Valentin Imperial Maya
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“3rd Time Back...Already Booked #4”
Reviewed 25 August 2011

10 Thinks to Know

1) Take direct flights if possible...worth it!
2) Book transfers in advance..we used Best Day and they are perfect every time. 20 minute ride to resort
3) Never ever give your bags to anyone as you walk through the tour/time share gauntlet on your way out of the airport. Make your way outside and look for your transfer company and their ID or you will be taken for a ride!
4) All the rooms are good..we had Golden up to Diamond in the past but even lowest category is great. Preference is building 5 2nd floor.
5) Bring a float. We had a Swimways sping float from Amazon...light & folds EZ to pack and around $25. They charge $20 at the hotel for a basic one but you can find some that people leave behind all the time if you don't mind "previously owned" with low mileage
6) Pool is WARM in August which we love but gulf is cooler and refreshing. Bring a roll or Zucarita's from the breakfast buffet and feed the fish to get some great pix.
7) No reservations needed at restaurants which we LOVE and try them all. Worst case is they give you a beeper and you wait 15 min at most. We just had a before dinner cocktail at Don Miguel.
8) Bring singles for tips (or get change in the main lobby). We saw people getting dinner and drinks from a staff that works incredibly hard without tipping but amazingly they were treated with smiles and great service anyway. A testimate to the people at Valentin
9) Bring a thermal mug..bartenders will fill and drinks stay cold. Vodka is Finlandia and Tequilla has been downgraded from Don Julio. Can get Absolut and Don Julio at other bars (kept under the bar sometimes)
10) Don't miss staying at Valentin!

LOVE LOVE LOVE Mexico and the Valentin!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank thegoodlifeNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Elmhurst, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2011

This is going to be long but full of tips. My boyfriend and I just came back from the Valentine a week ago. First off- he's 31 and I'm 29, very laid back couple from NY and not fussy at all. I read a lot of reviews before booking this trip and for the most part, agreed with others. We have been to all inclusive resorts before and this one is definitely nice but had it's pros and cons. We stayed for 7 nights- booked it with bookit.com and paid a little under $3,000 with flight included. (FYI, if you get a package with Spirit Airlines beware that even carry-on bags must be paid for. We got hit with 80$ for two small carry-ons and $43 for one 25 lb. check in bag.)

Arrival: we did not arrange transportation until we got to Cancun's airport. Walked over to a yellow taxi rep and paid about $50 to get to the valentin and they offered to pick us up for departure for $30 if we bought it together so we did. The rep walked us over to one of the men in the white shirts who are very friendly and try to give you a few tips on where to visit and shop however, they are trying to sell timeshares so I quickly said "no thanks" and kept it moving. We traveled with about 12 people and luckily the Valentin was the first stop about 20 min from the airport.
Check-in: easy, took about 15 min. Don't forget to ask about upgrades or credits if you purchased a deal that included these things. We forgot to ask about our $100 credit for phone use and $50 towards a room upgrade and unfortunately, were not told about this until we remembered a day before leaving. Also let them know if you are celebrating something, in our case it was my boyfriend's birthday and room service left us a piece of chocolate cake that said "happy birthday" which was nice. We stayed in building 2 bottom level which is a really convenient and nice building. It is close to the main lobby which has wifi, the majority of the restaurants, bars, and outdoor dj. The walk to the pool and beach was very short. The room was great- you will see bugs but it's impossible not to. Keep a flip flop handy and no big deal at all. The bed was king size and comfy, tv had enough movie channels and maybe 3 or 4 adult channels for sexytime. The jacuzzi was awesome and did not take more than 10 min to fill up. The only problem we had with the room was that the toilet area is not the greatest- the glass door does not go all the way to the ceiling sooo when one of us would have to use the bathroom, the other one would hang out by the terrace so we wouldn't lose the romance :) Minibar isn't really cold but good enough. Room service takes about 40 min to arrive and was just ok to us.

The restaurants- all nice. The French requires long pants or jeans and no flip flops for men. The bleu cheese salad was delicious, onion soup was tasty and creme brulee was my favorite. Indonesian was very good as well- mahi mahi was my boyfriend's favorite fish dish of all restaurants. The steak house had nice cuts of NY strip steak, for dessert brownie and vanilla ice cream. Lobster pot seafood restaurant charges for the lobster if you choose to have it. My boyfriend had the lobster and loved it with a butter chipotle sauce and it cost $20 billed to the room and you pay during check out. Honestly, we liked breakfast and lunch a lot because it was buffet style with various choices to pick from. You can wear whatever you like to La Marche and we thought it was much better than the only other buffet available for breakfast and lunch (much more to choose from and the best strawberry,vanilla ice cream and cake station.) We tipped a few dollars for our meals and the service was nice with or without it.

Entertainment: International show was the best, Michael Jackson show, circus show were nice. Casino night was short but good. Winners are picked and prizes vary from souvenirs to free photo shoot) They last about 45 min and then the hotel becomes pretty quiet. This was the one thing we really disliked about the hotel. We have been to other all-inclusives and there was a casino, disco, or lounge to dance in til 2am. The valentin has a sports bar which closes at 2 but its mainly to play games. They really need to upgrade their games too. Old monopoly, battleship, one deck of cards which you had to wait for so bring your own, dominoes and few other cheesy games. A dj plays music til late too but very few people dance outdoors in the heat.

Beach and Pool: Amazing. We always found spots to lay whatever time of day. One swim up bar is a lot more fun that the other. Great bartenders- German and Hugo.

Tips: I got sunburned bad at the beach being in the water for about 2 hours. Take lots of sunscreen 50spf at least and reapply it often! Take snorkeling goggles or rent them there with an ID, you will definitely see a school of fish or even a barracuda! We went through a can of off spray in 7 days and its so necessary. Ladies, the grounds are beautiful but not stiletto heel friendly. Try wedges and pack dresses because the women get dolled up at night.

Excursions: We paid for a shuttle to take us shopping at playa del carmen 5th avenue and it was not fun at all. Expensive jewelry (they weigh it and charge you crazy prices) One guy even said, "hey let me be the last guy to rip you off" while we were leaving which was funny but so true! We had 2 tacos and a lemonade for $40 and they weren't that great either for the price. The souvenirs were all alike and nothing out of this world. Wait for the stands that come to the hotel at night to purchase, prices are even better. The most recommendable excursion is Tulum, the Mayan ruins. Can't go to Mexico and not see the ruins. We paid $108 altogether, included shuttle, bottled water, tour guide and maybe 2 hours on our own which we used to get into the beautiful beach to cool off. Our best pictures were taken there and the experience was well worth it.

Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
39 Thank Shery S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2011

I stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya with 3 friends mid-August. We really enjoyed our time there. The beach was beautiful (on the left side), the grounds/resort just gorgeous and the rooms very nice. We always found palapas on the beach. For me what made this a resort I would go back to was the amazing service. I've never had such great service anywhere else. The food was good, I've had better but had much worst. The mexican restaurant surprisingly was our least favorite, the french, the indonesian and the japanese were great. The buffet was open for bfast and lunch and had a decent variety (including real Nutella!). I would not go back to this resort with friends though, it is a couples and honeymooners resort. One thing to be careful about before leaving is the dress code for men, some restaurants have a strict dress code of long pants, closed shoes and shirts with a collar. We honestly had a great time and the only thing we found to complain about was the pool being to warm (not something the hotel can control under this heat)! Thank you Valentin!

Room Tip: We were in block 5 and found it was very well situated, close to the pool and the beach
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank MarieMontreal_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Thinking of going here? Best choice for an absolutely fantastic relaxing vacation. Pool was magnificent...incredible service...beautiful well kept grounds, piped in music to keep the romance going. The restaurant selections were more than needed and the food was excellent. Make sure you bring bug spray with you. Only one night we had a problem but better to be prepared than to have a night of your vacation ruined. Bring a pool float..you'll need it. Make sure you get a room on the second or third floor, ants might be a problem if you're on the first floor. The property is very, very large so bring comfortable shoes, no need for heels...you are on vacation after all. And if you don't feel like walking, just call and the really nice staff and they come and pick you up. I had such a great time that I'll be sure to visit again. Enjoy!!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank caroline p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Stayed at the Valentin Aug. 3-10. On arrival we received a glass of champagne and towels to refresh after a long flight. Check in was easy and efficient at the Privilege lounge where you can reserve a palapa on the beach or a shady spot at the pool.-NOT both. We opted for the shady spot at the quiet pool b/c the reserved palapas are on the rocky unswimmable part of the beach. They attach your name to the shady reserved spot which was great, but we prefer the beach so we did have to play the towel game at 7am to get a prime spot on the beach which we prefer.
We stayed in bldg 1 which is close to restaurants, lobby, sports bar and theatre. Very convenient!
The Silver Priv. suite was gorgeous with king bed,double patio to sit outside to watch wildlife., wide screen tv, jacuzzi,. Also, on arrival got a bottle of champagne & fresh fruit. We did have to ask for an umbrella (missing from room) and beach bag which was delivered promptly with a beautiful flower arrangement. Mini bar is replenished daily with water, soda and beer, but NO CORONA on resort and wine is unavailable unless you call room service. Also, restaurants only serve white and dark red wines (no blush/rose). You can order expensive wines from the wine list, but didn't feel the need. The refrig never got that cold so hubby got some ice in the champagne bucket to keep everything cold.
You can schedule maid service just by dialing ONE which was great for us to let them know what time the room needs to be cleaned by. Nothing worse than coming from the beach and room is dirty. You do get a towel card that needs to be returned on checkout, but we just left it at the towel shack and got fresh towels for next day, then turned it in on our last day. No problem. We used the Priv. lounge rarely as there are no snacks and no bartender so you need to make your own drink. We did need to make reservations here for the Japanese as everyone does (go to the rest. at 6pm and they'll give you a beeper when table is full).
Water is a gorgeous turquoise color, sand and beach area is cleaned every day, but is very rocky. Walk to the left near the lifeguard station to find NO ROCKS and you can feed the Angelfish that will come up to you! Water was rough at times, great for riding the waves, but don't wear a hat or sunglasses in the water. We found 3 pair of sunglasses!
Immaculate and beautiful! Main pool has swim up bar and activities. Quiet pool is huge, relaxing and beautiful!
No reservations necessary except for the Japanese..
Our favorites were the Japanese, Indonesian (excellent Gado Gado shrimp-hot &spicy) and Lobster Pot (which is Mar for breakfast/lunch). There is a $20+ surcharge for lobster if not on Priv. plan.
Don't get the supreme pizza-no pepperoni or any other meat, just loads of cheese! Lasagne was just OK. Stay away.
This is usually our favorite, but very disappointing.
Didn't go due to less than favorable reviews since a recent menu change. Loved this rest. last time we were here!
Room service from 11pm to 7am has great buffalo wings, calamari, hot dogs, burgers and pepperoni pizza not available daily only late night snacks- very strange.
Great buffet including everything from omelots, eggs,French toast, pancakes, fruits, bread cereals etc. Choice of eating inside, outside or A/C tables.
These are the beach rest. open BLD. Mar is a seafood rest, for lunch and has great sea bass, and burgers. This is the Lobster Pot at night. Tierra is the steakhouse. Not impressed with the fillet, looked more like a flank steak, but again the fish was delicious. Mar/Tierra have the same menu for lunch.
Bring OFF pads or something with DEET. My husband is a magnet for mosquitos and was inundated with bites. They do spray, but not enough.
The grounds are kept exceptionally clean and manicured and everyone is so polite and friendly. We always tipped but never felt that it was necessary. Everyone works so hard, they deserve it. We left a float to our favorite breakfast waitress.
Hello to Elsia, Tomas and Jorge. They are THE BEST, but there are so many more we can't begin to name. Valentin has the greatest staffat any hotel.
Make sure you see the Michael Jackson show as he is one of the best we've seen and we've seen tons. The circus show was fun, Mayan show good as was the Vegas show. The shows start early (some at 8:15, so plan accordingly). Also, there are restaurant closings 1 or 2 per night depending on hotel capacity.
You can't help but love the Valentin. Go and enjoy.
Happy to answer questions
We were given $200 vouchers for bottles of wine or spa visits, but we could only use $10 toward a very expensive bottle of wine and a total of $40 toward a spa visit which was useless to us. These vouchers should be more flexible in my opinion.
Bring a small fashlight with you as it's sometimes difficult to navigate as this is a vast proprrty and some rest. were rather dark.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Linda&John
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, KY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2011

We recently returned from our first trip to an all-inclusive and loved every minute of it, has to be one of the most bang for your buck vacations out there. Most of the positive reviews cover the high points so I’ll make a quick outline:

The grounds are beautiful, the gardens are well kept throughout the property.
The hotel has the largest and best beach in the area. We walked several miles both directions and the Imperial provides the most shade and open chairs. The water felt perfect and they were constantly raking sea weed and cleaning the beach.
The hotel appears to be environmentally conscious – at least to the point that a Mexican all-inclusive can be. The resort is built into the surrounding environment and overpower the natural beauty of the area.
The rooms are gorgeous, one of the best hotel rooms I have stayed in. The cleaning staff was also top notch, I made sure to tip them each day.
The drinks are good and if ordered right the food is fantastic. I had several average meals but the staff is pretty open about what is good and what is not.
The pool is enormous and with two pool bars it doesn’t get any better in the afternoon.

As others have mentioned the towel game is in full effect here. We were told that during our week the resort was 70% full so there were usually a few shaded chairs open throughout the day but at full capacity I would doubt this would be the case. I would say that 50% of the chairs just had a towel or small item on them for most of the day.
Service in the restaurants is hit or miss. Dinner service appeared to be far superior to lunch or breakfast. We tipped each meal and for drinks but it didn’t seem to have any impact on service.
There are worn parts of the resort, surprising given that it is only four years old. I think part of this is due to the humidity and part due to drunks- as there were a handful of.
I have never really bought into the ugly American traveler stereotype- that is until this trip. Although I think it has to do more with the open bars and all you can eat atmosphere as the Spanish tourists were much worse behaved. E.g. cutting in lines, yelling at staff, and just acting like cavemen.

This place is suited for couples. We ran into a few single people and for the most part they were not happy. All of them said that their travel agents suggested that this place is perfect for singles, it’s not.
The photographers are top notch. If you haven’t had pictures taken in a while it would be well worth it to plan ahead. However the prints did not appear to be top quality so probably better to purchase the CD and print when you return.
Take a Hobie-cat ride. No cost- besides a small tip. Great chance to see the resort from the ocean and other resorts. We were lucky enough to spot a few sea turtles during the trip.
The Japanese restaurant was our favorite, for a romantic choice hit up the French restaurant.
I would probably avoid buildings 4 and 5, it appears this is where the cheapest rooms are located and attract a loud and obnoxious crowd. That is unless you like that scene.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank BlackAngus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2011

This was mine and my husband's first vacation in Mexico and first All-Inclusive resort. I want to start off with that so you know that we don't have other places similar to compare it to. The Valentin is RIDICULOUS. And I mean that in the most positive way possible.

The customer service and culture by the staff is crazy unbeatable. I don't know how a company gets ALL of their employees to be completely on top of their game 24/7 but the Valentin has managed to do that. Every. Single. Employee. is SOO kind, cheery, happy, and helpful. As far as tips go - it is in no way encouraged at all, but greatly appreciated! We did bring $1's to tip but saw tons of people not tipping and we found the staff does not treat anyone differently due to receiving tips or not... they just treat everyone over-the-top amazingly!

The food was delicious. We looked forward to every meal. There is SOOO much to choose from, you don't ever have to repeat if you don't want to. I am a strict vegetarian and never had a problem being stuffed after every meal. The pad thai at TamanSari was the best pad thai I have ever had. My husband and I started going for sushi at Ginger as an appetizer every night before our main meal just b/c it was so good and they serve the perfect portion... a roll of 4! The room service was awesome too, and it is available 24/7. I could go on and on about the food, but I won't. It was delicious, period.

The beach was perfect. I brought water shoes but did not use them once. It is smooth, sandy, and full of crystal clear water. The beach is also kept very clean. The pool is awesome as well. It. Is. Massive. Biggest pool I have ever seen. The swim-up bars were very nice too. We brought our own floats and I am SO happy we did. It was awesome floating around all day on them. The grounds are stunning. STUNNING. I could not believe the detail put into those beautiful grounds. The landscaping is perfect to a tee. My husband and I would just walk around from place to place saying "We can't believe how much detail they have put into this!"

The actual resort and rooms are beautiful as well. There are always people working on stuff... mopping the walkways, sweeping everything from the floors to the outside baseboards above the room doors, dusting, etc. The room was spacious. It comes with a huge balcony, a fully stocked mini-bar that gets replenished every day, plenty of bottled water all around the resort, toiletry necessities, fresh towels daily, turn-down service. The safe is super user-friendly as well. We kept my wedding ring, passports, and money in it every time we weren't using one of them. The rest of the resort is amazing too, again - so much detail. It really is beautiful. And it is big, but not too big. Definitely everything is within easy walking distance. We were in bldg 1 and it maybe took 2-3 minutes to walk to the beach. The walking is beautiful; you get to look at everything and there are tons of lizards/iguanas everywhere, they are so cute.

The bars were fun too! They all carry top-shelf liquors and gladly pour that if you ask for it... you do have to ask though. But it is no biggy... "Crown and water please!" "My pleasure!" That is the response you get every time. The sports bar was fun too and they have a table with games on it to choose from. You can just pick a game and go play at a table. They have pool tables and darts as well. Also, throughout the resort there are tables set up where you can make your own drink, seriously... and pour your own liquor making it as strong or as weak as you like! There is also a bar on the beach which was awesome!

The shows and event nights were a lot of fun. I know those things can get kind of cheesy sometimes but we loved it all and had a blast. The Fire show was awesome! Casino night was fun, we played Blackjack all night and had a blast! There were shows every night... Michael Jackson show, Circus show, Mayan show... something different every night to keep it totally interesting.

I don't know... I could go on and on. I'll stop here and just say that this place is fun, there is a lot to do, it is relaxing, and I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Bldg 1 - Close to the main bldg with all of the restaurants, close to the pool and beach! 3rd floor...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Allison F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Valentin Imperial Maya

Property: Valentin Imperial Maya
Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 311, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa del Secreto
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa del Secreto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Valentin Imperial Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 540
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Valentin Imperial Maya is the new definition of paradise. Our 5 star Adults-Only (18+) All-Inclusive Resort is located a short 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport in the Riviera Maya. Set amid lavish gardens on a half-mile-long stretch of white sand beach named Playa Del Secreto (The Secret Beach), this magnificent award-winning resort boasts one of the largest swimming pools in Mexico. The location is ideal as one can easily reach Cancun and the world famous Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza, yet be removed enough to enjoy the casually elegant ambience of Valentin Imperial Maya. Escape into a world where your every wish is our command. Come indulge yourself....You deserve it! Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel & Spa is committed to preserve the environment by reducing the consumption of natural resources, promoting among our guests and staff, protection and respect for the environment through good environmental practices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

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