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TRAVELS: hotel review – blue diamond riviera maya

TRAVELS: hotel review – blue diamond riviera maya

For the last post of our Christmas & NYE get-away I wanted to tell you guys about the hotel we stayed at in Mexico. As mentioned before, originally we wanted to go to Tulum, but when we started looking for hotels in September everything was already fully booked. So we decided on Playa del Carmen along the Riviera Maya, which is basically just an hour down the road from Tulum. My dream hotel was The Viceroy, which I spotted on Emily’s blog back in April, but they were also fully booked over NYE. Then we found the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya through SLH (small luxury hotels) and it was love at first sight. Even though it was a little more than we originally wanted to spend, we decided to go for it, because like I said – love at first sight and for the time in Canada we stayed with family, which helped our budget a bit 🙂 However, looking back, I don’t think I would stay there again. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful week but next time I’d rather spend the money somewhere else. Keep on reading for all the pros & cons below…

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Let’s start with the good stuff: The hotel used to be a Mandarin Oriental, so the grounds, rooms, spa, fitness, lobby and everything else were simply stunning and definitely on a 5-star level. We had a rooftop palafito suite, which is located close to the beach (2 min. walk) and the main pool area. The room was really big, with 2 terraces, one right outside the bedroom, and the other on the roof, where you also had lounge chairs and a big rain shower to cool off. We also loved the bathroom, seperate sinks, mosaic tiles, big walk in shower and Bulgari products. The spa and gym were also perfect – we worked out twice, and there was water, tea, coffee, fresh fruit and anything else you might need. The equipment was everything we’re used to from our gym in here in Vienna – so happy about that as well. For one of the rainy days Mike booked an 80-minute couples massage at the spa and that was pure bliss. Everyone at the spa was very professional and it could easily keep up with the other ones we’ve tried, such as Dubai or the Maldives.

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

As the resort is all seperate little bungalows, it is HUGE – which I actually liked, because there was lots to explore (hello crocodiles at the Lagoon). But, for the other rooms categories (except the beach front casitas) you’re located pretty far away from everything else. They have bikes for you to use and golf carts that take you everywhere, but from other guests we heard that they had to wait up to 20 minutes to be picked up. Normally I guess that wouldn’t be as big of a problem and you could just walk, but since we had rain on 5 out of 7 days it can get pretty annoying if you’re waiting to go somewhere! Or if your older and walking is a problem. We were fairly close to everything and walked most of the time – so theoretically not that much of a downer for us personally. BUT my main complaint is about the service! When you’re paying that much for a vacation I think you can expect the service to be amazing. Well, unfortunately that wasn’t the case! Personally, I feel that the á la carte all-inclusive concept is where the problem is at. The hotel has 3 restaurants, as well as multiple beach & pool bars. At all the locations you order from a regular menu, just like you would at a restaurant. Except for the fact that you don’t pay for anything. And guess what, the waiters and all the service staff know that … which is basically why they don’t give a s**t about how long you wait because they’re not expecting to see any money anyway. On our first night, we actually ended up leaving the restaurant “Aquamarina” after 30 minutes to go and order room service. In those 30 minutes, nobody had brought us water to drink or even a menu to look at. Great way to start the vacation, right? Then, the next morning, when we went to the beach, nobody served us for a good 45 minutes. Mike was so feed up with the bad service, that he started tipping people before they even served us. For example, at the beach he went up to a guy, asked if he would be there for the rest of the week and gave him 20$ – after that the guy was like our personal butler and asked if we needed anything just about every 10 minutes. But for some reason that annoyed me even more! I worked as a waitress for more than a year and think tipping is important – however, to me, it should be a reward for great service, and it should be done AFTER you receive that service! We spent about 200$ in tips for the week, just so we could get adequate service, which is a big no-go in my opinion. Especially at a 5-star resort!

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

All in all I would say it is a beautiful hotel and the facilities are definitely great. But if you value good service, then I am not sure if I can recommend the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya. However, this was our first time in Mexico, so I really don’t have a different hotel to compare the service with. None-the-less it was a great week and Mexico really is amazing. For more impressions, head on over to The Daily Dose tomorrow at 9:30am to see my travel diary from the Riviera Maya.

15 Comments

  • 6 years ago

    So beautiful! I just tried to teleport there…

  • 6 years ago

    OMG <3 I love Mexico!! Great hotel!

    http://www.OntoMyWardrobe.com

  • 6 years ago

    Ich kann deine Kritik wirklich nachvollziehen, man kann am schönsten Ort überhaupt sein, wenn der Service mies ist, kann das alles ruinieren. Danke für die ehrlichen Worte, ich fand die Fotos so toll, nach dem Bericht möchte ich dort aber eher nicht hin, weil ich Service sehr schätze & wenn das nicht passt fühle ich mich einfach nickt wohl.

  • Steffi
    6 years ago

    Das ist wirklich sehr schade und ärgerlich, ich wohne seit 7Jahren in Mexico und normalerweise ist der Service hier immer sehr – manchmal sogar über- aufmerksam. Im AI Bereich sind Trinkgelder durchaus üblich, aber wie du eben sagst, nachdem man einen Service erhalten hat. Das erste Trinkgelf faellt meist am grosszuegigsten aus und danach eben die in Mexico üblichen 10%.
    Wenn du nach Mexico zurueckkommst-das Papaya Playa in Tulum ist wunderschön, leckeres Essen, super Strand und aufmerksamer aber lockerer Service! Saludos desde México!

  • 6 years ago

    Oh nein!! 🙁
    Ist so schade, gerade weil es so ein wunderschöner Ort ist.

  • 6 years ago

    The hotel is gorgeous, but the type of service really makes or breaks a hotel. At least the pre-tips gave you the service you deserved. Annoying, yes, but worth it to have a relaxing time.

  • Katharina
    6 years ago

    Oh man, das ist wirklich schade. Da fliegt man so weit, zahlt so viel… da kann man zu recht erwarten, dass der Service stimmt!

  • Kate
    6 years ago

    Könntest du mal einen Post zum Thema Koffer packen für den Sommer-/Strandurlaub machen? 🙂 Man ist ja mit einem Koffer doch sehr beschränkt, greifst du eher zu Basics oder eher zu außergewöhnlichen Stücken? Für welche Anlässe packst du?

    • Kristina
      6 years ago

      Diese Frage interessiert mich auch sehr! 🙂

      • Kristina
        6 years ago

        +wie du immer deine Urlaube planst/buchst etc…

  • 6 years ago

    Die Fotos sehen wirklich sehr vielversprechend und schön aus, das mit Service ist natürlich sehr doof, tut mir leid für euch!

  • 6 years ago

    Weiß nicht, ich glaube, der Weg mit dem “Vor-Trinkgeld” fördert glaub ich in dem Fall das eigentliche Problem, nämlich dass das Personal trotz All Inclusive Vorabtrinkgeld erwartet bzw. in Zukunft noch weniger tut, um das indirekt von den Gästen zu “erzwingen”.
    Ich glaube ich hätte mich an eurer Stelle so geärgert, dass die erst recht keinen Cent von mir gesehen hätten. Ich hätte einfach richtig Stress bei der Geschäftsführung/dem Manager gemacht, das wärs mir definitiv wert gewesen an eurer Stelle.
    War auch schon auf Kos in 5* Anlagen mit All Inclusive, aber sowas hab ich persönlich noch nie erlebt.

    Was alles nichts dran ändert, dass euer Urlaub ja wundervoll war, und die Fotos sprechen sowieso Bände 🙂
    Liebst,
    http://www.rosewood-fashionblog.blogspot.com

  • 6 years ago

    Oh it’s really unfortunate that the service wasn’t good…especially since it is supposed to be a very good hotel, they should have put a lot of effort as well into the service they provide..

    xoRosie
    Rosie’s Life

  • 6 years ago

    I love that you are being so honest about the service. Unfortunately this practice is so common when you book all inclusive, and basically the only reason I stay away from such offers when booking my holiday. I rather sort food myself ( given the location / distance to shops) permits than relying on horrible service that ruins your mood after a couple of days!

    Best,
    Isabel

  • […] and activities we opted for was perfect. No complaints what so ever. Which is big, since the last visit to Mexico in January of 2014 was the exact opposite. I am a positive person, but the trip five years ago was pure disappointment […]

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