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Mayan Palace at Vidanta Riviera Maya
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Reviews (4,367)
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All reviewshavana moonplaya del carmentimeshare presentationrented a carfront gatetime share presentationplaya expresssmall kitchenhappy hour isminute walk to the poolhigh pressuretimeshare salesone bedroom suiteno cash policymexican fiestaresort feevidanta resort
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Reviewed 6 November 2009

You CAN drink the water –we were informed after 2 days of using bottled water that all of the resort’s water is purified. Makes life easier!
Things I wish I had known or remembered:
1. Carry bug spray with you to use on your ankles about an hour before sunset. It does no good sitting in the room-oops!
2. No alcohol sales in the stores after 5 on Sundays- we tried checking out at 5:10 with beer –oops again!
3. There is a shuttle (golf cart type) from in front of the lobby to the pool with stops along the way. It has a navy flag. I quite enjoyed the long walks but hubby was relieved to learn about the shuttle after a few days!
4. There is a market at the resort but prices are still much higher than at the Mega Store in Playa Del Carmen.
5. We should have brought salt and pepper with us-we couldn’t find a small set in PDC.
6. We found a few eggs in each dozen that were bad- best to crack each one into a glass before adding them to a bowl and spoiling an entire omelet!
7. We brought masks and snorkels but should have brought fins as well, since renting was expensive. We didn’t wear half the clothes we brought, just lived in swimsuits, so we could easily have made room.
Review:
The rooms were wonderful. Our mattress already had foam over it, so it was fine for sleeping. The kitchen had a toaster, blender (important for guacamole and margaritas) and a coffee maker. The Mexican coffee is really strong; so don’t overload the coffee maker. We were not expecting much of a balcony (thanks Tripadvisor!) and so were not surprised to find that there isn’t really even room for a chair.
The grounds were gorgeous and well maintained and the pool was the best I’ve ever seen. The week we were there, the palapas had no strings attached. At 8:30am there was still a decent selection of the deluxe ones with mattresses and pillows.
It was off season (last week of Oct) and there was very little entertainment. Our days were busy though and we were asleep most nights by 9.

Our best day was when we hired a taxi and driver (Alex, Taxi # 726) for a day. He knew the best place for us to snorkel-Akumel lagoons- where the water was clear and there were no waves, but thousands of beautiful fish. At the harbour there, we swam out following the buoyed rope to see turtles. At first we saw none and came in, but someone told us that if you hang out long enough you will see turtles even when there are big waves. Sure enough, when I went back out, I saw three of them and swam with them as they munched seaweed .

Our amazing meal of the trip was not at an advertised restaurant. Alex took us to the café of his friend Alfredo Dominguez, who is a former chef from one of the resorts. There were two long tables in a very run-down area. Alex had phoned ahead and when we arrived Alfredo put out steaming platters of lobster tails, one of king crab, one of jumbo shrimp along with Mexican rice, vegetables and a big basket of fresh bread. We didn’t think we could possibly eat it all, but we sure came close! Most cab drivers can drop you there (10 ave and 59 av) since they eat there. There is no name, just ask where Dominguez’s seafood is.

The timeshare salespeople are sneaky – they make it sound like it is mandatory or make your presentation sound like it’s something else –a free tour for instance. We went to the presentation at MP which got us a nice breakfast and $100 off our bill. Was it worth it? Pretty much. We knew what to expect and had our arguments ready. They were hugely aggressive, but we were just as stubborn!

We spent about $250 total at the resort, which included some happy hours. Our shopping the first day was about perfect given how little we had left on the last day. At the back of the Mega store is a takeout counter and we bought a whole roast chicken, a large tub of fried rice and some vacuum packed fresh fish which looked safer than the exposed fish. The tinned salsa was amazing and we should have bought more than one. We added a tin of black beans to the rice which stretched it into three meals. For fresh produce we bought onions, green pepper, shredded and mushrooms for omelets . 5 avocados, limes and a head of garlic for fresh guacamole every night. We’re careful about food so we bought frozen brocolli and stir fry veggies. The produce looked fine, but it wasn’t worth the chance. The Chilean red wines are amazing and only about $7.50 a bottle!

All in all- the best vacation ever!!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank practicalmagic2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2009

Clean - cut, modern elegance. I felt like I was walking through a magazine the whole time. I was just delighted by the meandering pool with private nooks. My favorite restaurant was right on the beach with vast unobstructed view of water and their boardwalk. I didn't leave the resort because I really needed to relax and I found that I wanted for nothing. There was a convenient and aesthetically pleasing place to lounge, dine, enjoy a cocktail, whenever it occurred to me to want to. I took advantage of the scuba lessons on -site and the on-site waverunner rentals. Everyone else enjoyed the resort's golf course and shuttled excursions to more scuba diving, the big Mayan temple nearby, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, etc. I can't wait to go back there with my son! I'd be happy no matter who I was with - there's plenty of space for everyone to spread out and have their intimate moments with family, friends, lovers, etc. I actually spent the first 2 days there alone before my friends got there which is when I took advantage of a massage at the spa!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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3  Thank AandACleveland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2009

First off there were 11 of us and we had 3 rooms all in the same building. We were very lucky and were in building 11 I think. It is the very 1st building as you walk from the pool/restaurant area. We stayed in the Grand Mayan section. The rooms are very spacious, modern & clean. There is a dipping pool on the patio and a large tub in the bedroom. The staff are very helpful and courtious. This was our 1st trip to this resort and I was a little worried after reading some reviews. Some people bash the beach at this resort becasue the shore is rocky. If the main focus of your trip is to spend all of your time in the water you may be let down. If you just want to lay on the beach you will be happy. The pools are unbelievalbe. We swam in all of them. The service around the pool could be a little faster, but you are in Mexico and sometimes you have to wait a little or go to the swim up bar. The gardens are beautiful and constantly maintained. We enjoyed the Havana moon restaurant. Good food, live music and dancing. I don't golf but the course looked great too. I came home very relaxed. We took a few side trips. First if you have not been you must go to Playa Del Carmen. The best beaches in Cancun, excellent food and plenty of shopping for the ladies. The main street there is lined with restaurants and shops. We spent a full afternoon/evening there. Also Isla Mujeres is a very nice trip. I'll stay here again any day.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank us2alwaysmovin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2009

We had a great time. The hotel is beautiful, very relaxing, amazing huge pool. People are extremely nice. The place is beautiful.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank adriperezf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2009

If you like traveling to a foreign country and then separating yourself from anything that might identify said country as foreign, I suppose this place is for you. Also, if you like overpriced, unappealing, and again, inauthentic food, then this is also the place for you. I'm being fairly negative here, so I guess I should say that the pools are very nice.

We spent the week there, and only paid cleaning fees (on a swapped-out RCI timeshare), and that was about worth it. We spent the vast majority of our day time away from the resort (at Coba, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Gran Cenote etc -- traveling in rental cars). We did take a half-day to enjoy the pools and beach of the Grand Mayan. There are sections of the pool that are secluded and semi-private, which was really nice for a family with small, loud kids.

The rooms were fairly clean (one day I noticed a line of ants coming in from outside, but I called housekeeping about it and they were gone by the time we came back from the day's activities and didn't return), and nicely appointed. The shuttle system was more baffling than annoying. Also, if you have a large group (more than 4 people), at peak usage it's often impossible to get all of you on one shuttle.

I should probably note that I had a negative experience because I'm not a "resort guy". I guess I prefer "doing stuff" when I "travel thousands of miles to foreign countries". As far as resorts go, I'm probably unqualified to really comment on the Grand Mayan, but I've heard there are better ones in the area. Go to those.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank tasdemer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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