To celebrate the six month mark before our wedding, my fiance and I decided to do a short getaway and celebration. We headed to the Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya Hotel and am excited to share our experience there.
You can read some of my takeaways from the benefits of this trip here.
We had gone to a resort in Riviera Maya last year for our anniversary and loved it (will do a review on that hotel soon!). However, the other hotel didn’t have a very big beach. This time, we were ready for a beach.
With quite a bit of research, we decided on the Valentin Imperial and here’s how it was!
Because we wanted this to be a true and relaxed getaway, we didn’t care about leaving the hotel. We also were only there for a few nights so we wanted to just make the most of whatever resort we decided on.
As such, we chose this hotel without worrying about its proximity to the actual towns of Playa Del Carmen or Cancun. It was about halfway in between and only 25 minutes via car from the airport. Just about 6 hours after leaving our apartment in NYC, we were on the beach! Couldn’t have been easier.
The staff was absolutely lovely everywhere we went. We were pleasantly surprised with a room upgrade upon arrival and everyone that was involved with checking us in went above and beyond. Our concierge was also super helpful in booking things for us around the resort and with our transportation.
The only thing that was a bit off was that we were clearly put in a completely different room than they had showed us. It was on the other end of the property. It wasn’t a huge deal and because our stay was so short, we didn’t want to bother moving. But, it was the only thing that was off about our room experience.
Food and Bars
We were very impressed with the food for an all inclusive resort. Every meal, even the buffets, were very fresh and extremely well staffed. We LOVED the smoked fish, the lean meat available to cook on demand, the delicious fresh fruit, and the variety. This was one thing that really stood out to us. Even though we never go to an all inclusive resort for the food, every meal here was delicious.
We did notice that the room service menu was VERY limited- like three breakfast items! We’re not room service people so it didn’t matter. But if you’re on your honeymoon and wanting to enjoy breakfast in bed or on your terrace, it’s worth noting the menu is very restricted.
The bars in the pool were great. Really energetic but not overly loud or rowdy and with quick service. The beach bars were also convenient but quite a bit smaller and less populated. That was okay, though, since the beach was such a relaxed vibe.
Here was our favorite bar, the Sunrise bar!
Rooms and Space
There were three types of suites:
Golden Suites: These suites were overlooking one of their two massive pools.
Emerald Suites: These suites were right on the ocean.
Silver Suites: These seemed to be most off the beaten path, closer to the “town” area of the resort where most of the bars and restaurants were located.
We chose to stay in the Emerald Suites and loved hearing the ocean as we went to sleep. We felt that the room location was very private and even though we were on the beach, we weren’t near the public area of the beach where hotel guests were. This was a bit further from some of the restaurants and bars, but we didn’t care. We were more excited to be near the ocean!
The room also had a HUGE hot tub in the bathroom with a floor to ceiling window right above it overlooking the ocean. It took about 45 minutes to fill up but we did it once and it was really worth it.
Overall, the room was very clean and we loved the nightly turndown service with towels near the bed to get any remaining sand off our feet before we got in bed! The cleaning service was very attentive and they restocked everything daily. We have only good things to say about the room and room service.
Here was a view from our room onto our terrace!
Pool and Beach
When we chose the Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya Hotel, one of the big deciding factors was that there was both a pool (two actually!) and the beach. Some hotels really only have on option, not both. Or, if they do have both, one isn’t all that nice!
The beach here was beautiful, but wasn’t really conducive for going in the water. There were quite a few rocks and coral right off the shore. This wasn’t a big deal for us since we mostly just liked relaxing near the beach, but worth noting.
The pool was AMAZING and ended up being where we spent more time than the beach. The main pool is one of the largest in Riviera Maya. It had two swim up bars, a place for chairs inside the pool, cabanas surrounding, and lots of activities. You could be at different places in the same pool depending on if you want a lively atmosphere or a relaxing one. They had pool activities every day, too, including pool yoga (which I tried!). There was a mechanical bull, games, water spinning classes, and more. It was a great way to have some fun but never got too “spring break” feeling.
We booked a private shuttle, separate from the hotel. It was super easy. They had a sign for us at the airport and were there when we arrived. From there, it was only about a 25 minute drive before we were there!
The last time we were in Riviera Maya, we were told we HAD to get to the airport three hours before our flight departure for an international flight. We were not happy campers when we left our hotel at the crack of dawn, just to get to the airport and clearly realize there was absolutely no to get there that early.
This time around, we left two hours before our flight left. We still had plenty of time, still got lunch and drink after before our flight. I would never want to be the reason you miss a flight, but speaking for us, we will never leave our hotel more than two hours before our flight again!
We thought the price was more than fair for the experience. Everything is included and you don’t have to worry about one thing once you’re on the premises. (Other than tips!)
As we mentioned, the food was great, the bars were fun, and overall, we thought it was well worth the price.
I didn’t work a whole lot on the trip because it was meant to be a getaway. But, I did note that wifi was available almost everywhere in the resort, including the pool, most beaches, restaurants, and definitely our room.