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“A very special place”

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Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 2 April 2009

We (couple, 40ish) just came back back from 2 wonderful weeks (Mar 10th-24th 2009) at Maroma Resort & Spa.

We have stayed in other similarly priced hotels and resorts in the past and while we have sometimes liked the food better than we did at Maroma or stayed in nicer, larger rooms than we did at Maroma, this is place that we most likely would return to.

The first reason for this is the beautiful beach (nicer than anything we have so far experienced in Mexico, the Maldives, Mauritius, Bali etc etc). The beach is wide and clean, the sand is white and powdery, the sea is clear and turquoise with a little surf.

The second reason is the size and "special feel" of the resort: with about 60 rooms it is quite small and to us felt more like a spa-hotel than a Mexican resort.


Some further comments (partly in response to other reviews here):

1.) Food and Drinks
Quality of food and drinks is very good (we liked the lunch-menu best). Definitely try the "Tuna+Grapefruit" Ceviche (at the beach-bar) and the Guacamole and chips (brought to your day bed on the beach). For variety, go to Playa del Carmen (see 6.).

2.) Rooms
We had a very nice room with direct ocean-view in the main-building. While there definitely are resorts with more spacious and luxurious rooms at similar rates, we did not mind at all because we spent most of the day at the beautiful beach anyway and slept very well at night.
There was no TV in the room which we actually found very nice (full relaxation and time for books).

3.) Cost
Food and drinks ARE expensive but NOT at rip-off-level. Since you are not required to sign anything when you leave a restaurant or a bar, the place has an "all-inclusive" feeling to it (an illusion that is destroyed rather harshly upon checkout when you get your bill).
Only go if you can afford it. (If you can't afford it: go anyway but stay less days.)

4.) Service
Service was very good and quick, everyone is trying to adress you with your first name which we thought has a nice touch.

5.) Specials
For a special evening, do the rooftop-dinner on the "Mirador" (great view, beautiful stars). Make sure to tip the poor waiter who has to schlepp your food the 80 steps upward to the roof.

6.) Nightlife
There was virtually no nightlife at Maroma. Mariachis play almost daily at dinnertime but there was no music at the bars and they closed at around 10pm. If you want to go out at night, you can take a taxi to Playa del Carmen though (20 Minutes, US$20) where there are heaps of restaurants/bars/clubs.


As I have already written above, Maroma was a beautiful, relaxing and entertaining holiday. If we would have to choose to re-visit just one place that we have been to in the past, this would be it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Luxury-Bliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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811 - 817 of 1,189 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2009

Sorry for the belated review, I stayed at Maroma in Feb 2008. We had spent 1 week in Merida and transferred by coach to Cancun where we had arranged for the hotel to pick us up for transfer to the hotel.

From the first welcome by the staff to our drop off at the airport we had a wonderful week in Maroma. The staff are excellent, the food is fabulous, a couple of restaurants with different characters, rooms are full of charm and we were made to feel very welcome.

The main downside for me was a recurring fee of 'nickle and diming' over every extra. If you wanted water you were offered VOS at highly inflated prices, with only 2 small bottles of complimentary water in the room each evening. Even the transfer to the hotel we had to pay an additional $50 because they were picking us up from the coach station and not the airport. There are no tours or activities out of the hotel, even organising a taxi into Playa Del Carmen was a fortune.

The second small downside, was that the hotel was beautiful and quiet every evening until the weekend. On Friday a large number of loud Americans descended on paradise, obviously because its an easy weekend trip from US. Although they all tend to eat dinner at 6pm so if you are European most of the rush has left restaurant by the time you get there :)

I would recommend this hotel to others, but we aware that you'll have a hefty bill at the end of your stay.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BasherLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2009

Maroma Resort is heaven! My husband and I booked Maroma for our destination wedding and from the moment we stepped foot on their grounds it was pure perfection. It's an intimate boutique resort with understand elegance. The resort is magnificent and you feel like you're part of real architecture and home...definitely not a typical chain hotel. The staff was great (sweet, funny, hospitable) BUT not annoying. In addition, our guests were blown away and commented that this was the best vacation and wedding of their life. I need to stress that the guests in AWE were also the guests who originally complained that we were getting married in 1) Mexico 2) at VERY expensive resort. I need to stress that EVERYONE was high on life once they arrived! They LOVED it, no one wanted to leave and they all mentioned going back one day!
As for the food, it was pretty good...better then expected! After a week its definitly gets tiresome but you can drive to 5th Ave and dine out! I have to be honest...the negative reviews about the hotel made me extremely nervous. I read so many complaints but if you do your due diligence there is no reason to be disappointed. This is a romantic, relaxing, stunning location!
As for our room, we stayed in an upper level Sian Nah Suite. I couldn't imagine staying in another room since for our wedding. It was absolutely amazing...I think everything about Maroma is better in person and their website and pictures don't do it justice. Since we had about 20 guests I was able to see lots of rooms types specifically (ocean, garden, villa and sian nah) Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
If you want to plan a special dinner I highly recommend doing a private dinner on top of Maroma (the miranda). Yes its pricey but it is super romantic...a MUST for an engagement or anniversary dinner.
The banquet manager, Carena, is an absolute doll. She did an amazing job with executing our wedding and it truly was a dream come true. I highly recommend this resort for a desti wedding and wouldn't change a thing or do it any other way!
I'm probably missing a lot of info but I'm still on cloud 9 trying to think how I can get the hell out of NYC and go back to heaven on earth!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank bijoooou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2009

The Maroma, owned by Orient Express, is private and quietly sophisticated. The chefs will personalize your food just for you. The bed-sized chaises on the white sandy clean beach are reminiscent of ancient Egypt. Many famous people come to this resort because they can retain their privacy here. The roof-top dinner (only one table per night) is a marvelous experience and pricey at $400+. Seeing the thousand plus candles light the pathways at night, looking at Cozumel across the waters, is a marvelous break-taking experience. YOU will feel special at this resort. Although it looks old, almost everything was rebuilt after the hurricane of a very few years ago. The service people are polite but not overly friendly, making you feel that you retain your privacy within a small resort. The spa is wonderful! Each room looks different, by the way. Watch for specials on pricing, keeping in mind that this is not an all-inclusive resort.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Vernene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2009

My background: 35 years old, married, living in Chicago. Have visited many fantastic hotels from the Four Seasons in Maui, Ritz Grand Cayman to One and Only in Bahamas.

My wife and I just returned from Maroma on Feb 24, which was our second visit in the last 12 months to Maroma and just as special.

After reading the positive reviews and few negative ones, I will say if you do your research, you won't make the mistakes the negative reviewers had. This is an incredibly special and romantic place, but you need to understand it is not trying to be an ultra modern boutique hotel.....This is what makes Maroma different from the other choices in the Riviera Maya.

Rooms:

My wife and I stayed in Garden Rooms 14 last May and Garden Room 15 this February. These are 2 of the larger and better garden rooms, and I highly recommend both. We did not miss an ocean view as these offer more privacy than many of the ocean view rooms and the Hammock on the oversized patio overlooking the jungle trees is fantastic....I almost didn't mind the day it rained.

If you are looking for an ultra modern room which is 1200 sf with plasma tv's and high speed internet connections, then Maroma is not right for you. Those that complained about these things should have simply done more research. Our room was well sized at about 350 sf including the bathroom. The bed was very comfortable, but beds are always very personal. The bathroom was great. Loved the huge tub with no shower curtain, great water pressure and double sinks with plenty of room for both you and your significant other. One night they filled the tub while we were at dinner and put rose petals in the tub for us. Just one of the many personal touches that many other hotels neglect to do.

Service:
Those that question Maroma's 5 star status cannot question Maroma's top notch service. As I mentioned, we were in Maroma last May and the entire staff was still there and most of them remembered us by face or name, which we found incredible. Gabrielle, Jorge, Alvaro, Cesar, Tachi (at the bar) were all fabulous with great personalities and a sense of humor, which often times is lacking at other more stuffy resorts. Each morning, coffee was on our patio at exactly 8 am or earlier, on the beach they are extremely attentive but not overbearing, and the waiters are all on their game.

Beach:
Let the other reviews speak for themself. The negative reviewers do make a good point about the trash that you will see past the resort, but I recommend walking to right on the beach, which is much cleaner. They keep the beach spotless at Maroma and the beds are fantastic. The only time you may have a problem getting a bed is if you get to the beach later on in the AM, but we were always there by 9 am and could choose any one we wanted usually. A beautiful beach whether it be Ritz Grand Cayman, a nice beach in Nantucket or Four Seasons Maui, I feel Maroma's beach rivals any of them and the water is great.

Pool:

The garden pool is your best bet.....While many people state it is not heated, I found that one was plenty warm. I guess if you are older or are used to 85 degree pools, then Maroma may dissapoint, but the pool by the garden was about 75 degrees, which was refreshing for us.

Food:
If you want a resort with 5 restaurants with sushi and Italian and other choices, then don't stay at Maroma. If you like high end Mexican cuisine, we found the food to be very good. By top US standards, it is always hard to compete, but the chef definitely knows what he is doing. Try the ceviche at the beach bar for lunch. The breakfast was fabulous....amazing fruit plate, bread basket and everything from eggs, to fresh granola to pancakes. I would recommend if you are staying for an extended period to try a restaurant in Playa Del Carmen and maybe one at another high end hotel (Tides or Mandarin Oriental). We enjoyed our meal at Mandarin but were SO happy to be staying at Maroma. Mandarin beautiful but was way too spread out with so many golf carts driving around like rush hour in Chicago.
Note: I asked on my first stay if they ever did sushi, and later that day the concierge informed me that the chef would be happy to put together some sushi for us. I declined, but that was another touch that amazed me.

Spa:
Is gorgeous and we loved our couples massage. Was very peaceful and for 80 minutes was $150 for each, which is really very reasonable for a high end resort. We took a great jacuzzi after in the same room which was a wonderful touch.

In summary:
My wife and I truly believe Maroma is one of those amazing places. Once you visit the other resorts in the Riviera, you will quickly see how amazing the beach is at Maroma.
The staff is phenomenal and you will be sad to leave the friends you have made while you stay there.
Vacations are very personal and we all have our own opinion of what makes a resort 5 star. For us, the service, beach, personal touches, grounds and food all make Maroma an amazingly relaxing vacation, which is hard to find these days.

As far as children go, supposedly they do allow 12 and over at all times except for Cmas time where they allow younger children. We had no issues with young children. I cannot imagine ever seeing more than a couple of younger teens. We saw 2 the whole week.

Finally, the hundreds of lit candles every night is the icing on the cake.

Enjoy Maroma....I have trouble understanding how you can't.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank DavidBed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2009

I like to start the review with a few words about me to help you evaluate my comments: I am a 34 year old gay guy from NYC. My partner and I stayed here for 4 nights in February. We have traveled quite a bit and tend to stay at higher-end properties that are boutique-y or unique, rather than chains.

This was one of the greatest resort experiences we've ever had. This place is magical. The arrival sets the stage. After finally finding the enterance and struggling with spanish at the security checkpoint we were let in and directed to drive down a road through the jungle that must have been a mile long. It ends in front of something that looks like your rich uncle's Mexican mansion. We were greated at the car where our keys were gently snatched from our hands and were replaced with a margarita. We were the wisked inside while two men took away our car and luggage, We were then given a truly personalized tour of the grounds which was like a finely orchestrated dance among the staff, What an enterance. Then we hopped into a golf cart to be taken to our room which was gorgeous and had our luggage already delivered. The room was one of their least expensive garden rooms, which had no view but was nevertheless spacious and well-appointed. Then Roxanna, our guide, offered us their complimentary coffee service each morning at the time of our choosing. We'd like one decaf and one hot cocoa with the NYTimes at 7:30 am please -- pinch me I'm in heaven.
The breakfasts were outstanding, complete with an adorable older woman making fresh tortillas on the patio; if we could have put her in our suitcase, we would have taken her home. We ate lunch at the bar most days, which was excellent (ceviches, sandwiches and tequilas - need I say more). The formal dinners were just ok, the food was a bit ambitious at times. But the Friday night BBQ is a must, and you're on vacation so splurge on the outrageously overpriced lobster, it was delicious.

Now for the real crowning glory - the beach. It's perfect. Cool, soft sand that gently slopes into the water for what seemed like a 1/8 mile and you could still stand up. The beach is very wide and so peaceful. Never once did I feel like someone was too close to me. They have beach beds set up and we never had a problem getting one. It was pure beach bliss. In fact, the resort was fully booked (all 66 rooms) and we felt like there were only a handful of people around. The place is designed that way, which is why it is TOTALLY AWESOME!

OOOH, and they light the walkways each night with individual votive candles, There must have been hundreds of them, It was spectacular.

Only downside is that the pools aren't heated. Please MAroma, heat your pools! Oh and there were kids there - several of them. It didn't bother me much, but others I spoke to were irratated because they thought it was adults only.

One last nitpick: The food, drink and room is priced in US dollars, so at the end you will get a bill in US dollars, but then they charge your credit card in pesos. I found this a bit annoying because they are essentially tying themselves to the dollar, and therefore, you get no benefit from a weakend peso, which I could live with if they actually charged your card in dollars. Instead they charge the final total in pesos, which means that your credit card will then charge you an additional currency conversion fee on top of it. In the end I didn't care because it was a fabulous trip, but I did want to mention it.

In conclusion, I would like to be on the next flight there right now,

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Docranium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2009

My husband and I spent a week at Maroma over Valentines day and absolutely loved it. We travel the world and always stay at very fine hotels(Four Seasons, Ritz...) The Maroma is a very special place that deserves every award it has won. We stayed in 3 different rooms during our stay-a garden, and two different ocean front rooms. Each room was unique and gorgeous- the beds are draped in netting, the bathrooms are beautiful with lovely tiled, open showers(ours had a window overlooking the ocean). The service is incredible- the turndown especially as they dim the lights and illuminate the room with candlelight for the evening. The entire resort is illuminated with what must amount to several hundred tea lights every evening-every walkway and even the winding stairwells leading you to your room. The breakfeast is wonderful with fresh juices, tropical fruit and an interesting selection of entrees...we especially loved the older mexican woman who cooks fresh tortillas on the veranda and comes to your table to offer them directly out of her clay urn. All our meals were excellent- they use lots of fresh herbs with unique combinations...we always dined outside right near the ocean under the stars by candlelight.

Now to the beach- my husband and I are huge beach people and walked many times a day in both directions. Yes, there is trash up away from the shore in some areas away from the resort. You can walk the beach without going near it, but it is disturbing to imagine how we pollute our waters. With that said, the ENORMOUS area in front of the Maroma is kept immaculately! They comb it throughout the day and it is stunning. The sand is the softest white powder you will ever step foot on. The Maroma cannot be expected to clean this entire stretch of the Carribbean....on many occassions I saw them go way beyond their borders and that is grueling work in the hot sun. Please just go and enyoy the natural beauty of this stunning stretch of beach and think twice before you litter yourself as you can see firsthand where it ultimately turns up.

The people of the Maroma are extremely warm and welcoming. They work exceptionally hard and are very proud of their magnificant resort-as they should be. Everything is spotless-the pools are beautiful and my husband and I enjoyed them after our long walks on the beach as they are cooler than the ocean. We felt like we were staying in a private estate as we were typically the only people in the pool, at the workout facility etc..

If you wander about the property you will find different stairways which as you ascend lead to private sitting areas which overlook the Carribbean as far as the eye can see. Take a glass of wine up and enjoy!..I promise you will be the only one there.

We rented a car and went to the charming village of Playa Del Carmen for dinner a few times. We had a delicious meal at John Grey's restaurant which is tucked back in a little enclave in the pedestrian zone. The hotel will make a reservation for you-we also tried John Greys other location and prefered the atmosphere in Playa.

We can't imagine how anyone can stay at the Maroma and leave with complaints. We stayed the year before at the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas, paid more money and can't even compare the experience. We also prefer Maroma to The Four Season's, Maui, The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman and The Fairmont Mayacoba, Playa where we had stayed two years before. We usually don't go to the same place twice as we enjoy trying new locations, however we make an exception with the Maroma. We very much look forward to our return.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank designers5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

Address: Highway 307, Kilometer 51, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: £391 - £923 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set among verdant jungle beside a white, sandy beach, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is one of Mexico’s top luxury hotels. Here you can start the day with yoga and end with a session in a traditional temazcal sauna. Spend lazy days in ocean and poolside restaurants or stroll through flower-filled gardens where parrots and butterflies perch. Explore some of Mexico’s great heritage sites, dive in mysterious underwater caves or shop till you drop in Cancun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maroma Resort And Spa By Orient-Express Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Maroma Resort Spa
Maroma Hotel Playa Del Carmen

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