Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Straight Truth on Mayan Palace

Tide Pools and Pier at Mayan Palace Riviera Maya

Here’s the deal, Mayan Palace Riviera Maya is much, much, much better than all of the negative reviews on TripAdvisor lead on. But it’s not quite as nice as some of the folks say. But again, this is just my review, your mileage may vary. Here's my review.

And because every circumstance is different, I’ll lay out the facts. My wife and I visited October 16-21 (low season). We were on the 3rd floor of building five (a nice short walk to the beach, pool, restaurants, etc).

We arrived at 2:00 on a rainy  (deluge) Sunday and the lobby was pretty empty. Check-in was slow for the amount of folks in there. I would hate to arrive when a lot of folks are checking in at once. We had e-mailed in advance to ask for a closer building and a room on the third floor.

The Rooms - When we first checked in to our room it smelled a little damp and musty. Once we turned the ac up a little and turned on the fans the smell dissipated. It may have just been because it was so damp outside. When we came back to our room after dinner on the first night, we didn’t notice the *smell at all.
The rooms at the Mayan are nice. They aren’t amazing, but they are pretty good. The beds are super comfortable as long as you like a firm mattress. The linens are middle of the road. They are not luxurious but they are much better than what you get in a typical Hilton or Marriot level hotel. It’s nice the have the kitchenette although we didn’t do much cooking in our room. We did boil water frequently for use as drinking water. I have a pretty bad water habit and I feel guilty going through multiple water bottles per day.
The bathroom at the Mayan Palace is just ok. There aren’t any soaking tubs or Jacuzzis and there is just a single sink. You can’t win them all…

Also, there are no ocean view rooms. Maybe if you were on the third floor of building one, you might be able to crane your neck and see the beach. Aside from that, your view is going to be of trees and other buildings. Sorry. If the view from your room is really important to you, look elsewhere.

And yes, this resort is SPREAD OUT! The last time we stayed here we were in building 9 or 10 and it was a drag to be so far away from the beach and restaurants. I don’t doubt that my review would be less sunny if I was writing it after having been in one of the “way far away” buildings.

The Beach - Read More

The Pools - Read More

The Restaurants - Read More

Oh, about the time share folks. Just say you are not interested and they will leave you alone. If you’re stupid enough to do a time share pitch (anywhere) you get what you deserve. My wife and I fell for one on our honeymoon in Puerta Vallarta. That’s 3-4 hours we’ll never get back. But the economy was better back then and the sales tactics were probably a little lower pressure. Seriously, just say no. You’re on vacation. Don’t waste your precious time for some discounts and a “free breakfast.”

Looking toward Cancun from the Pier
If I had any complaints, it would be about the quality of tequila and margaritas. I’m in Mexico – I expect access to an insane selection of top shelf tequilas and mescals and to margaritas made with fresh juice rather than mix. The basic margaritas are made with mixto tequila and sour mix and they are not that good. I’m sure we could have tracked down a better margarita but that would have required work. They really should have a tequila list and things drinks like the Paloma. But I understand that in a place that big, making drinks by hand from fresh fruit is a little difficult. Luckily I stocked up at the duty-free store and brought home a lovely selection of tequila and mescal and I can make my own drinks. I just can’t enjoy them under a palapa with my feet in the sand….

* Oddly – when we got home from vacation and went to do laundry, we noticed that many of our clothes smelled like the room smelled on the first day. Weird. No worries – the smell washed right out.

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