Pros

  • Beautiful, long beach with pristine white sand and turquoise waters
  • A huge main pool with two swim-up bars, and a quieter lazy river for swim-up rooms
  • Elegant rooms with traditional decor and balconies, some with ocean views
  • Eight restaurants, including Mexican, French, Japanese, and Italian a la carte options
  • 11 bars; top-shelf liquor is included
  • Nightly shows, live music in the restaurants, and poolside games
  • Full-service spa and a well-equipped fitness center
  • 24-hour room service
  • 15,000 square feet of event space and meeting facilities
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
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Cons

  • Ground-floor rooms lack privacy options without drawn curtains, due to open patios
  • Sprawling grounds mean guests can expect plenty of walking
  • No dinner buffet option -- only a la carte
  • Some minor wear; no renovations since 2007
  • About a 45-minutes drive from the airport (though the secluded location is a pro for many)
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Bottom Line

The 540-room Valentin Imperial Maya is an adult-only, all-inclusive luxury resort set in an exclusive area of the Riviera Maya known as Playa Secreto. The draws here are the long white-sand beach, massive main pool with two swim-up bars, lazy river (select rooms have swim-out access), quality food, lively entertainment, beautiful grounds, and full-service spa and fitness center. Rooms have traditional, earth-tone decor, and all have outdoor space -- some have ocean views, though they can be obstructed by vegetation on lower floors. There are 11 bars where top-shelf liquor is included, and seven a la carte restaurants where reservations are not required (though Privilege Package guests can make reservations to avoid a wait). Rates are about middle of the pack for this category, and are usually on par with those at the Platinum Yucatan Princess -- though the beach is better here.  

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Oyster Hotel Review

Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Scene

An all-inclusive, adult-only luxury resort set just north of Playa del Carmen

The Valentin Imperial Maya draws plenty of repeat guests, and for good reason. It stands out for its truly excellent pools, great stretch of beach, and beautiful grounds. Many of the hassles associated with all-inclusive resorts (annoying bracelets, watered-down drinks, long waits to make dinner reservations) are absent here, and guests can expect top-shelf liquor and great food variety. The different guest tiers can sometimes cause dissatisfaction among those who didn't upgrade, however, especially whenever the choice sunbeds in the Privilege pool and beach areas are not in use. This is not the fanciest luxury all-inclusive in Riviera Maya, but overall it hits all the right notes, and rates are reasonably competitive for this luxury category -- the Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, The Royal Playa del Carmen, and The Royal Hideaway Playacar can be quite a bit pricier. 

The resort has a number of distinct hangout areas: the main hub that's home to the lobby and many of the restaurants and bars; the massive main pool (the resort advertises it as one of the largest in Mexico), the quieter lazy river pool, and the beach itself. The downside is that the sprawling size of the resort means getting from one side to another means a 10- to 15-minute hike. 

The decor style of the Valentin is elegant and traditional, with plenty of marble, granite, travertine, flagstone, slate, and grand open spaces. There are multiple fountains around the grounds adding ambience. Overall, the resort is well-maintained, though there haven't been any updates since 2007, and some slight wear and tear is visible throughout, such as slightly scuffed flooring. 

See More Scene

Location

On a gorgeous stretch of beach known as Playa Secreto

The Valenin Imperial Maya is a gated property set in an exclusive section of the Riviera Maya known as Playa Secreto, or Secret Beach. Taxis are available for trips into town, and the hotel offers a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen (it was $18 during our visit). Guests can grab a shuttle or walk 20 minutes to the street across from the front gate, and wait for a "colectivo," a shared tourist shuttle van, for a significantly cheaper ride (under $2 when we were there). 

The resort is around 45 minutes from the airport, and around 30 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen. The location is somewhat remote, which allow for a tranquil environment, but might be less suited for those who want to prioritize sightseeing. 

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Rooms

Elegant, traditional rooms, some with swim-up pool access

The 540 rooms are split between the Deluxe, Silver, Golden, Emerald, Diamond, and Imperial categories, and all are spacious, ranging from 516 square feet (the Deluxe Junior Suites) to 1,032 square feet (the Diamond and Imperial Suites). They have traditional, earth-tone decor incorporating marble, travertine, and granite; furniture is typically of dark wood. For this category, the decor lacks wow factor, though it's elegant enough. The majority of the rooms have views out over the gardens, jungle, or pools; the Golden Swim-Up Junior Suites have direct access to the lazy river pool, and some of the Emerald Junior Suites have lovely ocean views (others are obscured by trees). As this is an adult-only resort, rooms are geared toward couples and most have a king-size bed; however, the Deluxe Junior Suite and Golden Junior Suite have the option of two double beds. Deluxe Junior Suites also have enclosed bathrooms offering more privacy than some other categories -- such as the Silver Junior Suites, where the toilet room has only a half door and the tub is separated from the bedroom only by a gauzy curtain. There are eight ADA rooms available.

All rooms have balconies or patios with lounge furniture. Other amenities include coffee/tea facilities (most rooms have drip coffeemakers, while Imperial Suites have Nescafe capsule coffeemakers), flat-screen TVs, iPod/iPhone docks, bathrobe and slippers, electronic in-room safes, iron and ironing boards, and minibars stocked with water, soda, juice, and beer (Coors Light during our visit).

Bathrooms are decorated with marble and travertine floors and walls and granite countertops. They all have separate showers and jetted tubs; tubs are large enough for two, except in the Deluxe Junior Suites. Imperial Suites also have hot tubs on the terrace and two separate bathrooms. The Valentin Imperial Maya stocks its own brand of Body & Cream toiletries.   

See More Rooms

Beach

One of the Riviera Maya's best beaches

Playa Secreto is a long, spacious stretch of beautiful white sand. There are lifeguards on duty and flags alerting guests to the swimming conditions; expect big waves. There are few vendors, and the resort staff works hard to keep the beach clean and as free of seaweed as possible. Be careful of rocks when wading out into the water. Note that Privilege guests get reserved cushioned daybeds covered by palapas. The regular loungers are plastic, covered by a brown canvas-like material. There is drink service but as the beach is large, it can take a while. 

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Features

Three pools, a spa and fitness center, and theater for live shows

There are two swimming pools on the property: the primary pool near the aquatic sports center with three islands and two-swim-up bars; and the "lazy river" pool (aka Golden Pool) offering swim-up access for the Golden Swim-Up Junior Suites. Unlike some lazy river pools, it doesn't have a current to move you along, but it is narrow and there are blue rafts for floating. Both pools are surrounded by loungers -- some cushioned (and as at the beach, there are reserved loungers for Privilege guests). The main pool is more activity-focused (there are games, and typically a foam party once a week), while the lazy river pool is quieter. In the afternoons, there is usually a hot food option by the main pool such as a taco bar or hamburgers so that guests don't have to sit down in a restaurant for lunch. There's also poolside lunch service as the Golden Pool (the nachos are popular). 

The fitness center is open from daily, and features a variety of modern cardio equipment as well as free weights, spinning cycles, and yoga and Pilates classes. The signature Aromancer Spa is a full-service spa that offers a variety of facial, massage, and body therapies and treatments, ranging from tropical body scrubs to chocolate body wraps. The resort also has a variety of on-site activities such as tennis and paddle-ball, plus motorized and non-motorized water sports. Those looking for more options can ask the concierge to organize off-site activities such as golf, kayaking, snorkeling, or visiting nearby Mayan ruins.

In the evening hours, events take place around Plaza España and Bar, and the Imperial Band plays live music every evening. The Palenque Theater is located in the main plaza area, with music and live shows in the evenings, and fire shows are occasionally held on the beach. There is also a small chapel just beyond the main plaza.

The resort also has 15,000 square feet of meeting space for full range of events, from boardroom conferences to auditorium-style presentations to cocktail parties. Guests also have use of the public computers in the lobby. There are on-site stores for sundries guests may have forgotten to bring. Airport transportation is available for a fee. Wi-Fi can be found across the entire property (though it doesn't really reach the beach). 

See More Features

All-Inclusive / Food

Seven all-inclusive a la carte restaurants, a buffet, and 11 bars

There are a couple options for breakfast and lunch: the beachfront Mar & Tierra, and the main buffet, Le Marche. As previously mentioned, there are also casual lunch options at the pools. For dinner, guests can choose from the seven a la carte restaurants available, including Italian, French, Japanese, Indonesian, Mexican options, as well as a steakhouse (Tierra) and seafood-oriented spot (adjacent Restaurant Mar). Reservations are not required, though Privilege guests can make reservations to avoid the occasional wait. Those seeking a quick and casual evening meal may be disappointed by the lack of a dinner buffet. 

It is worth noting that there is an enforced dress code at all of the restaurants, and some will require men to wear long pants, collared shirts, and closed shoes in the evening. Beachwear, sportswear, T-shirts, tank tops and beach sandals are not allowed at dinner anywhere. All restaurants are non-smoking, with the exception of the Cigar Bar. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Oyster Hotel Review

Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Scene

An all-inclusive, adult-only luxury resort set just north of Playa del Carmen

The Valentin Imperial Maya draws plenty of repeat guests, and for good reason. It stands out for its truly excellent pools, great stretch of beach, and beautiful grounds. Many of the hassles associated with all-inclusive resorts (annoying bracelets, watered-down drinks, long waits to make dinner reservations) are absent here, and guests can expect top-shelf liquor and great food variety. The different guest tiers can sometimes cause dissatisfaction among those who didn't upgrade, however, especially whenever the choice sunbeds in the Privilege pool and beach areas are not in use. This is not the fanciest luxury all-inclusive in Riviera Maya, but overall it hits all the right notes, and rates are reasonably competitive for this luxury category -- the Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, The Royal Playa del Carmen, and The Royal Hideaway Playacar can be quite a bit pricier. 

The resort has a number of distinct hangout areas: the main hub that's home to the lobby and many of the restaurants and bars; the massive main pool (the resort advertises it as one of the largest in Mexico), the quieter lazy river pool, and the beach itself. The downside is that the sprawling size of the resort means getting from one side to another means a 10- to 15-minute hike. 

The decor style of the Valentin is elegant and traditional, with plenty of marble, granite, travertine, flagstone, slate, and grand open spaces. There are multiple fountains around the grounds adding ambience. Overall, the resort is well-maintained, though there haven't been any updates since 2007, and some slight wear and tear is visible throughout, such as slightly scuffed flooring. 

See More Scene

Location

On a gorgeous stretch of beach known as Playa Secreto

The Valenin Imperial Maya is a gated property set in an exclusive section of the Riviera Maya known as Playa Secreto, or Secret Beach. Taxis are available for trips into town, and the hotel offers a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen (it was $18 during our visit). Guests can grab a shuttle or walk 20 minutes to the street across from the front gate, and wait for a "colectivo," a shared tourist shuttle van, for a significantly cheaper ride (under $2 when we were there). 

The resort is around 45 minutes from the airport, and around 30 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen. The location is somewhat remote, which allow for a tranquil environment, but might be less suited for those who want to prioritize sightseeing. 

See More Location

Rooms

Elegant, traditional rooms, some with swim-up pool access

The 540 rooms are split between the Deluxe, Silver, Golden, Emerald, Diamond, and Imperial categories, and all are spacious, ranging from 516 square feet (the Deluxe Junior Suites) to 1,032 square feet (the Diamond and Imperial Suites). They have traditional, earth-tone decor incorporating marble, travertine, and granite; furniture is typically of dark wood. For this category, the decor lacks wow factor, though it's elegant enough. The majority of the rooms have views out over the gardens, jungle, or pools; the Golden Swim-Up Junior Suites have direct access to the lazy river pool, and some of the Emerald Junior Suites have lovely ocean views (others are obscured by trees). As this is an adult-only resort, rooms are geared toward couples and most have a king-size bed; however, the Deluxe Junior Suite and Golden Junior Suite have the option of two double beds. Deluxe Junior Suites also have enclosed bathrooms offering more privacy than some other categories -- such as the Silver Junior Suites, where the toilet room has only a half door and the tub is separated from the bedroom only by a gauzy curtain. There are eight ADA rooms available.

All rooms have balconies or patios with lounge furniture. Other amenities include coffee/tea facilities (most rooms have drip coffeemakers, while Imperial Suites have Nescafe capsule coffeemakers), flat-screen TVs, iPod/iPhone docks, bathrobe and slippers, electronic in-room safes, iron and ironing boards, and minibars stocked with water, soda, juice, and beer (Coors Light during our visit).

Bathrooms are decorated with marble and travertine floors and walls and granite countertops. They all have separate showers and jetted tubs; tubs are large enough for two, except in the Deluxe Junior Suites. Imperial Suites also have hot tubs on the terrace and two separate bathrooms. The Valentin Imperial Maya stocks its own brand of Body & Cream toiletries.   

See More Rooms

Beach

One of the Riviera Maya's best beaches

Playa Secreto is a long, spacious stretch of beautiful white sand. There are lifeguards on duty and flags alerting guests to the swimming conditions; expect big waves. There are few vendors, and the resort staff works hard to keep the beach clean and as free of seaweed as possible. Be careful of rocks when wading out into the water. Note that Privilege guests get reserved cushioned daybeds covered by palapas. The regular loungers are plastic, covered by a brown canvas-like material. There is drink service but as the beach is large, it can take a while. 

See More Beach

Features

Three pools, a spa and fitness center, and theater for live shows

There are two swimming pools on the property: the primary pool near the aquatic sports center with three islands and two-swim-up bars; and the "lazy river" pool (aka Golden Pool) offering swim-up access for the Golden Swim-Up Junior Suites. Unlike some lazy river pools, it doesn't have a current to move you along, but it is narrow and there are blue rafts for floating. Both pools are surrounded by loungers -- some cushioned (and as at the beach, there are reserved loungers for Privilege guests). The main pool is more activity-focused (there are games, and typically a foam party once a week), while the lazy river pool is quieter. In the afternoons, there is usually a hot food option by the main pool such as a taco bar or hamburgers so that guests don't have to sit down in a restaurant for lunch. There's also poolside lunch service as the Golden Pool (the nachos are popular). 

The fitness center is open from daily, and features a variety of modern cardio equipment as well as free weights, spinning cycles, and yoga and Pilates classes. The signature Aromancer Spa is a full-service spa that offers a variety of facial, massage, and body therapies and treatments, ranging from tropical body scrubs to chocolate body wraps. The resort also has a variety of on-site activities such as tennis and paddle-ball, plus motorized and non-motorized water sports. Those looking for more options can ask the concierge to organize off-site activities such as golf, kayaking, snorkeling, or visiting nearby Mayan ruins.

In the evening hours, events take place around Plaza España and Bar, and the Imperial Band plays live music every evening. The Palenque Theater is located in the main plaza area, with music and live shows in the evenings, and fire shows are occasionally held on the beach. There is also a small chapel just beyond the main plaza.

The resort also has 15,000 square feet of meeting space for full range of events, from boardroom conferences to auditorium-style presentations to cocktail parties. Guests also have use of the public computers in the lobby. There are on-site stores for sundries guests may have forgotten to bring. Airport transportation is available for a fee. Wi-Fi can be found across the entire property (though it doesn't really reach the beach). 

See More Features

All-Inclusive / Food

Seven all-inclusive a la carte restaurants, a buffet, and 11 bars

There are a couple options for breakfast and lunch: the beachfront Mar & Tierra, and the main buffet, Le Marche. As previously mentioned, there are also casual lunch options at the pools. For dinner, guests can choose from the seven a la carte restaurants available, including Italian, French, Japanese, Indonesian, Mexican options, as well as a steakhouse (Tierra) and seafood-oriented spot (adjacent Restaurant Mar). Reservations are not required, though Privilege guests can make reservations to avoid the occasional wait. Those seeking a quick and casual evening meal may be disappointed by the lack of a dinner buffet. 

It is worth noting that there is an enforced dress code at all of the restaurants, and some will require men to wear long pants, collared shirts, and closed shoes in the evening. Beachwear, sportswear, T-shirts, tank tops and beach sandals are not allowed at dinner anywhere. All restaurants are non-smoking, with the exception of the Cigar Bar. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.