Our children were looking for a very special Christmas present for us and booked us a week at Ikal. my husband and I had a few reservations.
But lo and behold, from the moment we arrived at the airport , we were blown away. A Mercedes Benz was waiting for us, picked us up, we had cold refreshing water, magazines.
Driving up to the hotel in that crappy short road, we looked at each other and said can't be that great. However, only a few minutes later, we arrived at what looks like a spa shed. Hard to believel we were not royalty. We were greeted with such a warm and special welcome and coconut water...my favourite.
We looked around and could see no buildings, only a beautiful ,winding stone path lined with candleholders and a lot of lush greenry, and immediately you get the feeling that you have landed on a paradise in the jungle. All the stress seems to dissipate. We got a a tour of the property and then onto our own, private, villa. We immediately checked out the bed and bathroom...seems like heaven on earth really. Most luxurious bed I ever slept in and we have visited a few high end resorts.
We loved the plunge pool, moon shower and pre breakfast coffee service, but I think the personal service and the extra mile staff would go to to ensure your stay was perfect was truly memorable. I recalled saying we liked avocadoes and more tropical fruit and next morning they remembered and we had tons of both. They would set up a table anywhere, anytime for you to dine wherever you wished. Breakfast under the almond tree, overlooking the pool, with a view of the beach was great . We mentioned we would like to view the President's suite and immediately the Director of Food Services called to make arrangements. It was beautiful and I could not believe it how incredibly nice the lady/guide was. I had mentioned the lilies were gorgeous and again lo and behold when we returned to our villa, she had brought them over for us to enjoy....we could not believe it. I offered her a tip and she refused it stating it was her pleasure and job to make us happy...Wow.
We stayed seven nights and everyday got better. We will never forget the night of my husband's birthday. We had the doubles massage...great; the Mayan Ceremony...out of this world experience and then the romantic dinner. We had mentioned we wished to dine at the beach and the Director of Food and Beverage...Fernando, came out to plan our dinner. He asked us what we liked. Of course lobster and seafood. We could not believe it. The head chef, Eric ,and a few assistants came out to cook for us in such inclement weather. They did not have to as we knew it was drizzling and very windy and we mentioned it was too much to expect. But they told us they would do everything they can to give us what we wanted and indeed they came back out last minute and set up outside for us....truly unbelievable service which would be difficult to replicate elsewhere, in our opnion. So personal, so much attention to details as far as our wishes were concerned. We had dined with another couple and they, too, felt the same way.
I guess we are sound too positive for this to be true, but this was the reality for us. The Director of Food services said they were aspiring to be the perfect resort and in order to do this, I would recommend they clean up the beach, include more Mayan in the menu, a few staff member's English needs upgrading, although we realize this is Mexico, remove the turkey dish fromt the menu, it was the only one we really did not like and give each guest a complimentary sheet and the recipe for the big Mistake:-)) I still dream of those sheets and that bedroom. And who drinks coke and beer on a vacation resort of this calibre? The fridge should have more exotic Mexican and healthy things to keep in line with the rest of the service and property.
I guess we cannot say enough about our experience here. We were most impressed when one of the vacationers told us he was staying at another resort and drove by to take a look at Ikal and they would not let him view the place due to the complete privacy they provide for their clients. He said that made him really interested in the place and that alone was the reason for his visit the following year....
Our very thanks to all the staff whose names I have at home . Special thanks to the other Mexican cheft (sorry) who made us Mayan food at the instance we mentioned it was missing....
This one stands out as the vacation of a lifetime. We truly like the quietness and the serenity of this place. The beach was rocky but I found a great spot yards away and enjoyed the water tremendously.
Thanks Ikal...I would come back anyday....like right now....
Leela and Ram.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport and three miles from popular Playa del Carmen, Viceroy Riviera Maya is a serene hideaway set on the turquoise Caribbean amid a lush jungle ambiance. As Riviera Maya’s #1 resort in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards, Viceroy offers world-class amenities, personalized pampering, exquisitely appointed villa accommodations with private patio and plunge pool, refined Mexican cuisine accented with international touches at La Marea and Mexican-Mediterranean fare at the seaside Coral Grill. Mayan influences abound, from the Mayan Blessing performed on arrival by the resort’s Shaman to the Mayan healing techniques offered at the award-winning spa. A Lagoon Pool, private pier, fitness center and traditional temazcal sweatlodge are among the resort’s many other pleasures. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Viceroy Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Tides Riviera Maya Hotel
- Tides Riviera Maya Resort
- Ikal Del Mar
- Viceroy Riviera Maya Mexico - Playa Del Carmen