Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya
Find deep relaxation and enjoy incredible culinary adventures at the beautiful and lush Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya in Mexico!
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After a long Chicago winter, we needed to get away - to somewhere warm! Cue - Mexico. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the Cancun airport, but two minutes after arriving at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya, I didn’t notice the soggy weather. As we made our way into the beautiful lobby, we were greeted with a Champagne welcome cocktail and immediately invited to a private table for check in. Our room was available right away, and we were kindly transported to our room with our luggage in a covered golf cart to ensure we stayed dry.
We stayed in a gorgeous Deluxe Junior Suite during our visit! Our first floor room had a gorgeous terrace with terra cotta tile and a dark wood pergola. The foliage around the exterior was lush, gave us plenty of privacy, and allowed us to watch some of the reptiles, birds, and small animals on the property.
Inside, our completely updated room featured an incredibly comfortable king bed with fresh, crisp white linens, a separate lounging area with a TV, wet bar, massive marble-covered bathroom, and PLENTY of closet space (which is important to me since I love to unpack and make myself at home). In the closet we found comfy robes, slippers, umbrellas, ironing items, and a safe, and the bathroom was stocked with lots of towels, shower essentials, a hair dryer, and even a scale. The housekeeping staff was wonderful and made sure everything was perfect for us each day!
The mini-bar was stocked with water, soda, juice, beer, and light snacks, and we definitely took advantage of the 24-hour room service for late night nibbles. Also, since I work for a little bit each day while we are away, the complimentary wi-fi access throughout the property was key! I was able to get work done wherever I was – our terrace, by the pool, or in the gorgeous lobby.
I love to workout on vacation, so having a quality fitness center on the property is something I look for when booking a trip. The gym at this resort was great! Part of the gym was enclosed and air-conditioned and featured several treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and a stair climber. They also had weight machines, bathrooms, complimentary towels, and water in this space. The gym also had a covered, outdoor space with mats, open training areas, and free weights. I loved feeling the breeze outside while I lifted!
Near the pool and gym was the Activity Center, where they offered bike tours, dancing lessons, Spanish tutors, cooking lessons and SO much more. I don’t think I’ve seen so many activities and entertainment options at an all-inclusive property. I schooled Ryan at some ping-pong (he didn’t see it coming), but he got me in billiards. We had a great time watching the entertainment on the pool deck during the day, also.
Our room was very centrally located on the property, so it was just a short walk to the gym, pool, and most importantly - the restaurants. We enjoyed breakfast each morning at Le Marche Restaurant, which sported the most incredible breakfast spread. They literally had everything you could think of: made-to-order omelets, gourmet sandwiches, fruit for days, fresh squeezed green juices, charcuterie, breads, and more! Add mimosa in there, and you've reached perfection. After breakfast, I would drink my Natural Calm magnesium supplement (perfect for high-stress people like me) on the patio and get ready to hit the pool or beach!
We spent most of our lounging time at the main pool, which was massive! It featured two swim-up bars (one served an awesome outdoor grilled lunch daily), and waiters checked in on you at your seats, also. The pool chairs and cabanas definitely filled up quickly, but we were always able to find a comfortable spot and towels were always available. The towel thing might seem trivial, but we've stayed places where they've run out for long periods of time! The resort also featured another pool, but we liked this one the best. We spent some time on the beach, but I felt like the chairs were a bit far from the bar, and hey, that matters.
My regular pool essentials include some SPF, a good book, headphones, and a great cover-up! I brought a few cover-ups on the trip and they were perfect for running back to the room, sitting down for a quick lunch, or getting out of the sun for a minute. This teal cover-up was probably my favorite during the trip, and comes in a ton of different colors! You can score my white cover-up here, and I also rocked this long, black, and lacey cover-up (but forgot to get a picture!).
One of my other favorite reasons for snagging a seat at the pool rather than the beach were these little sandwiches! I don't know why, but the sight of the staff member pushing the sandwich cart around the pool at 4PM everyday gave me pure joy. After a day in the sun, these were the perfect hold-me-over until dinner! They also served small bites in the lobby around this time, too.
After the pool, Ryan usually took a quick nap while I started getting ready for dinner. Guys have it easy in terms of getting ready, haha - I take way longer! Anyways, I love how every night at an all-inclusive resort feels like "date night"! It's fun to dress up, grab drinks, and head to a great meal - no UBER required. The resort featured a great outdoor bar with live music, as well as a cigar bar, sports bar, martini bar, and a swanky lounge bar that were perfect for a cocktail before heading to eat. We explored them all throughout our stay!
We ate at L'Olivio (Italian), L'Alsace (French), Ginger (Asian Fusion), and La Hacienda (Mexican) during our stay. They were all really good! Actually, we went to La Hacienda twice because it was our absolute favorite. Their margaritas were incredibly fresh (no weird, sugary mixes here), the ambiance and Mariachi band were perfect, and the authentic Mexican food was 5-star incredible.
My second favorite was probably Ginger, where I ate my weight in sushi, chicken teriyaki, and white wine! We didn't even make it to all of the restaurant options - they also offered dinner spots such as Mar (Seafood), Tierra (Steak), Tamansari (Indonesian), and The Corner (Additional Surcharge). If you love great dining options during your vacation, this resort is perfect for you!
After your meal you can enjoy a great bottle of wine back in your room, listen to live music in a beautiful courtyard (the artists were great!), or sit back and experience a live performance in the theater! The Michael Jackson performance we saw was SO good and was about 45 minutes - 1 hour long, which I thought was the perfect length.
We opted to stay on the resort and indulge in a couples massage at the Spa as an additional activity, but the resort also has an inexpensive shuttle to take you to nearby downtown Playa del Carmen if you feel like venturing off the property and exploring by yourselves. Just off the lobby you can find representatives that can help you book other excursions, like visiting the Mayan Ruins, too. It looked like there were plenty of sea and land options.
Our stay at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya was absolutely wonderful, and we would definitely visit again if we had the opportunity! If you are planning a trip to Mexico, be sure to include this resort on your list of possibilities - you won't be disappointed! Now, off to the next adventure! :)