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Reviewed 22 February 2012

We had a lovely private villa with delightfully warm plunge pool. The staff are excellent and it is a little oasis of calm on a coast that has been truly ruined by overdevelopment. The sea view villas have no privacy at all so avoid.
The big trouble is the cost of eating and drinking. We were there for 2 weeks and as the hotel is remote from alternative eating places and the minimum taxi fare is US$20 each way one is almost forced to eat at the hotel. Our last night capped it all-a Valentine's Day meal on the beach. They moved a few tables from the beach cafe onto the beach and put some candles in jars. There was a fixed menu and a compulsory bottle of champagne (which was very poor qulaity and I left my glass). Of the 5 courses (miniscule portions) I buried 2 courses in the sand as they were shellfish and I had told them on arrival that we are both allergic to shellfish. I was finally presented with the bill which was for US$638. I refused to accept the bill, which was eventually reduced to US$400 (still daylight robbery). I did talk to the restaurant management and the front desk staff a couple of times about the cost of food but to no avail. Drinks were all about the same price, US$19 and bottles of wine were out of reach. On one night each week there is a beach barbecue when there is no alternative place to eat at the hotel and the price is US$194 per head excluding drinks. We and an American couple we were sitting with refused to pay that much and we were given a much reduced helping of barbecue for about half price. We rarely saw anyone dining in the "fine dining" restaurant (we tried it once and it cost US$450) and the beach cafe was usually very sparcely populated so we were clearly not the only ones who didn't like the prices. We ate out one night at a glitzy 5 star resort hotel and the meal, drinks and a nice bottle of wine cost US$146 which shows that the Viceroy is the exception rather than the norm on the Riviera Maya.
A great place to stay but at least there is no danger of putting on weight while you are there!

Room Tip: Go for a "luxury villa" in the jungle area as you get total privacy. Avoid sea view villas as they are completely open to view, even the plunge pools are fully open to view.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank johnsanmarino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2012

Dear John San Marino,

I was delighted to read that you found the Viceroy Riviera Maya “a little oasis of calm” with lovely private villas and an excellent staff. However, I did want to take the opportunity to address your comments regarding the pricing of food. We take pride in preparing cuisine of the highest level in Mexico. Creating a world-class dining experience and controlling prices is extremely difficult in a resort destination where all costs and taxes are extraordinarily high, however I will look into it. Other top resorts here face the same challenges, and so have dining costs comparable to ours. However, we do offer less expensive alternatives for our guests. We have all-inclusive packages and meal plans that offer dining at excellent value. I would urge guests to ask about these special plans when booking.

I was glad to talk to you during your stay and we hope to welcome you back at the Viceroy Riviera Maya very soon.

Pedro Lara
Managing Director

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Reviewed 9 February 2012

The property is unique among luxury hotels in the area. It is small in both size and the number of guests it can accomodate. We seldom saw more than 4 or 5 other couples. After you get used to the size, it is ultimately one of the very best things about the resort. You get a good feeling of what is to come when you approach the property. (The Viceroy transfers were great and competely easy from the Cancun airport.) There is no signage and when you arrive there is an open air reception without a front desk or point of information. You are met and personally walked through the property, which was very nice, but I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on how to contact or interact with hotel staff during the stay. We ultimately just dialed zero to make appoints and arrange for cars, but it always seemed a bit like we were floundering with the appropriate protocol. The property is just as much about the lush, well-cared for jungle grounds as it is about the ocean. We compared the jungle to a cross between "Lost" and Adventureland, with beautiful birds and monkeys. The grounds are really where the resort shines as they are beautiful and a complete contrast to the bright white sand of Mexican beaches. The beach was very nice and comfortable, but just one property along the same beach. The pier and palapa at the end was a great feature even though the poor staff had to keep chasing off folks who were not staying at the hotel. (Give the staff a break and put up a sign) We stayed in a new (as of December 2011) oceanview villa that was very stylish and yet fitting with the resort's design asthetic. The finishings were all very high end and the extra large bathrooms and outdoor showers are sublime. Perhaps as a factor of recently being built and young plantings, the oceanview villas do not have much privacy -- not that there was much traffic but the terraces and plunge pools are on the main path to the pool and beach. Based on what we heard from talking to other guests, we will opt next time for a new jungle villa that has greater seclusion. There is so much accessibility to the beach and the pool that we did not feel like we gained that much by having a distant oceanview from the room. The beachfront rooms are probably a different story. The room itself was very comfortable with a daybed on the terrace. My only three minor complaints about the room were the "buffet" of minibar selections that covered the surface of the credenza, which looks kind of out of place; the air conditioning that seemed to have a mind of its own (again instructions would be nice); and the lack of information about the hotel and who to contact for all the information that you forgot about from the prior day.There were flashes of brillance at the Viceroy. The spa and spa staff were terrific and it was transporting to have treatments while an afternoon rainstorm was passing through. The dinner on our villa's terrace was magical with candles, great food and the works. I would highly recommend both experiences. The food was terrific, if somewhat expensive. The markup on the Mexican wines (which were very good) shocked even a New Yorker. The very best thing about this property is the ability to really unplug. While there was wi-fi everywhere, the whole mood and approach forced us to relax. The was always a can-do attitude, same-day spa appointments, food whenever and wherever we wanted it. We eventually got so into the spirit of the place that we extended the trip by an extra day. Bottom-line, if you are looking for a relaxing, mind-clearing trip to RIviera Maya, then the Viceroy is impossible to beat.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MRD01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2012

Dear MRD01,

The Jungle Villa is ready and waiting for your return!

As you mention the spa is a great place to spend a great part of your vacations at, because it has so many options for you to enjoy from jungle cabins to mayan rituals and everything in between. Our Spa can offer the best quality for an unforgettable time with your significant other.

I truly understand why you enjoyed so much your meals, because the Chef behind our restaurants, Jetzabel Rojas, prepares amazing and unique dishes for our fine dinning restaurant La Marea and the most amazing pizzas and some other girlled meals at our Coral Grill restaurant.

Please let me know when your plans bring you back to Playa del Carmen so we can recive a very warm welcome from us.

Sincerely,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Reviewed 7 February 2012

I have stayed at "The Tides" in Zihuatanejo, twice, so I had a idea, how superb "The Tides" can be even though the Viceroy has just taken over this hotel.

We loved our Villa and the fact that our private plunge pool was heated and the temperature could be adjusted. Plenty of privacy, very clean & comfortable.

However, we were disappointed that the main pool was not heated. We did not see anyone use the pool during our stay, which probably indicates that the other guests were indeed on the same page....the pool was chilly! The ocean was warmer than the pool.

The staff were very friendly.....a little slow at times but in hind-sight that might have assisted in getting to the pace that I ultimately went to Mexico for.

The villa was priced accordingly and typical with previous stays at Viceroy and or Tides hotels. You pay for the amenities and the exclusivity of the property with the room rate.
The 15% service charge added to the displayed room rate. Now tipping on my room rate? I find that insulting.

We found the cost of dining quite high, $88 for breakfast, which consisted of eggs on a tortilla, some bread, juice & coffee. This is far reaching especially in this economic climate & considering the location. I'm also okay with paying 15% service charge for spa, dining, for actual services...(not room rate though) in fact I usually tip 20% but when I open a beer or make myself a drink from bottle from my bar, I'm going to be charged a 15% service fee & 11% tax???

The spa was divine, as were our treatments & fairly priced services.

All-in-all...we needed this get-away....and we had a terrific time. Just thinking we might find better value for comparable accommodations....or does value exist in Mexico anymore?

Room Tip: Loved Room 25 Would not recommend the beach suites as they have no outdoor privacy.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank lulu33469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Dear Lulu33469,

I hope you had a safe trip back home.

Thank you for your great comments and for your feedback. As you mention we do not heat the main pool because it is not needed due to the weather we have in most part of the year, however we do heat the plunge pools of every villa because this way we can please everyone with the temperature every villa requests.

Our Spa is a great place to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the wonderful treatments we have, specially our signature treatments inspired in the Mayan culture and their rituals and beliefs.

As for the costs we constantly review the pricing of our Menus, it is only because of the quality of the products we use that we cannot lower them. We prefer to serve a meal with excellent products in an effort to offer our guest´s always the best.

Also please know that the service charge is usually charged in all the resorts, this is divided between the staff members such as housekeeping, maintenance, mini bar deliverers, security, etc. All the staff that you might not notice but that is working hard to provide the excellent service you deserve.

I hope to see you soon in our whimsical refuge,

Sincerely

Pedro Lara
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 January 2012

First I must say this is a beautiful resort. We stayed in room 37 which I must say looks exactly like the pictured advertisement. We were kept awake by loud voices late into the night and awakened by crying children early.
There was no inside dinning and it was quite cold and windy at least half of the time. The restaurant called La Marea was closed for renovations, we were not told of this prior to booking. It costs $40USD to get a taxi to Playa Del Carmen. So you are pretty much committed to eating at the resort.
Apparently the main kitchen is some distance from the beach/ pool area where we ate most meals because the food was barely warm most of the time.
I was surprised by a centipede in the bed and it stung me as I tried to swipe it off me, then to find a spider on my pillow. I caught them and took them to the front office. Housekeeping came the next am and shook out everything. I was still spooked every night when getting into bed. I realize this is a jungle area and our place had a thatched roof.
To finish I asked the front desk for a copy of the CD that they always had playing when we returned to our room..they of course were happy to give me one...except when I got home it was blank. Oh well....

Room Tip: Do not stay in #37
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank kandicef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2012

Dear Kandicef,

Thank you for providing us with very helpful feedback. We now there is always room for improvement and we appreciate our guests comments.

I personally will make sure that we review our service standards to ensure the food gets hot to the table and we will certainly reinforce our pest control, as you mentioned we are sorrounded by Jungle, however we do have a very strict pest control that avoids this type of situations so I will also ensure de efficency of the service at all times.

On the other and I am really glad that you liked our villa 37 and the music selection that we have. Please allow me to send you a copy of the CD to your home so you can remember your trip to the Caribbean. If you could just send me by email your adress I will gladly send it.

Once again thanks for your comments and look forward to hosting you in the near future,

Warm regards

Pedro Lara
General Manager
pedro.lara@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

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Reviewed 19 January 2012

the authenticity of the jungle atmosphere paired with high end resort luxuries makes teh tides riviera maya an incredible destination. the rooms are so private - and the service to discreet - that it is easy to forget there are other guests being tended to as well. strolling along the jungle paths was such a relaxing treat. the short walk to the beach (less than 2 minutes!) was truly a pleasure. every meal and cocktail was top notch and unforgettable. i am SO HOPEFUL to return and enjoy more of the casual elegance that this hotel so generously offers at every turn.

Room Tip: the closer to the beach the better!!!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank char h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2012

Dear Char H,

I hope you enjoyed our retreat with all the enhancements, our new Gym, Boutique, grill restaurant, lobby, and of course our new villas!

It is always satifying to read loyal and happy guest´s that would like to return as soon as possible, so please let me know when you are coming back and we will make sure you have the great service you deserve!

Thanks for your kind words, see you soon!

Pedro Lara
General Manager

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