Fodor's Expert Review Valentin Imperial Maya
Carretera 307, Km 311.5, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710, Mexico See on Map
The facts that Valentin Imperial Maya is located in the stunning and exclusive Playa del Secreto, and that it owns one of the largest swimming pools in all Mexico, just start to tell the story of this ultra-luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive resort. Service is top-notch, dining options are diverse and refined, and the whole experience just adds up.
The rooms offer ample space and are decorated in an elegant way, using mostly neutral colors and dark wood furniture, and plenty of marble and granite. Most suites have king-size beds and enjoy views to the pools, jungle or gardens. Some suites have swim-up access to the lazy river traveling throughout the property, and there are a few rooms adapted for people with disabilities.
The large size of this resort means long walks to almost everywhere. So, if you know that you want to spend most of your time in say, the pool or the beach, make sure to get a suite near your preferred area.
Pink marble and tempered-glass doors set the style for the bathrooms. They have enough space, but you wouldn’t describe them as spacious, apart from those at the Imperial suites of course. Most include bathtubs, while the top-category suites offer double indoor Jacuzzi plus an outdoor Spa Jacuzzi.
On the outside, this looks like a luxurious Hacienda entrance. On the inside, the lobby transforms itself into a classical, Victorian-style area decorated with marble floors and stylish chandeliers. That out-of-nowhere church organ overlooking the check-in desks is a bit quirky, but completely harmless.
The main swimming pool covers a huge beautiful area surrounded by colorful gardens and comfortable loungers, some of them under some kind of shade. It’s so big this pool that has three islands and two swim-up bars. There’s also the ‘Golden Pool’ which is a kind of lazy river that offers direct access to the guests of the Golden Swim-Up Junior Suites.
There is a wide array of services available at the Aromancer Spa, from facials and massages, to rituals and body treatments. A complete Spa, but not the highlight of the hotel.
Small fitness center well-equipped with cardio machinery, spinning bicycles and free weights, as well as a variety of classes including pilates and yoga.
Gastronomy is well represented here, with seven a la carte restaurants from different world cuisines for dinner, two buffets (one of them beachfront) for breakfast and lunch and the snack options available in the pool areas. Except for the romantic dinner options, everything is included in the all-inclusive program.
YOU SHOULD KNOW All a la carte restaurant apply a dress code, so forget about having dinner on flip-flops and Bermudas during your vacations. Not in this hotel.
Nine different bars make for an excellent offer to have a drink. From the beach to the pool, from sports bar to piano bar, and even a stylish Salón to enjoy a cigar or a Shisha pipe.
Located almost exactly at the midway point between Cancun and Playa del Carmen it is perfect for those looking for peace and tranquility. However, there is not much in the area. A 35-minute drive from the airport and half an hour to Playa del Carmen. The easiest way to move around is on taxi, but the hotel provides a shuttle to the heart of Playa every day.
Enjoying the privacy of a secluded beach has pros and cons, as there are not many dining options but those of the hotel. However, if you really want to try something different you should make the 30-minute drive to the Quinta Avenida of Playa del Carmen where Frida Kahlo is a very good option for gourmet Mexican cuisine.
Same story here, but if you already decided to visit Playa del Carmen, then a bar by the beach is the way to go and none better than Zenzi at Calle 10, for some relaxed fun with live music. Alux at Avenida Juarez, is a cave with a cenote inside that doubles as a bar. Impressive, right?
WHY WE LIKE IT
Because it delivers on its promises. This is a resort of the highest category and, sometimes, this kind of places offer too much and then struggle with that. That’s not a problem here. We love the classy elegance throughout the property and the gorgeous stretch of beach where it’s located.
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