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“Undeveloped potential for this resort”

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Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Ranked #40 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2012

One cannot go wrong with Mandarin Oriental. Blue Diamond just took over the property from Mandarin and have so far maintained the grounds and the rooms with minimal modification.
However the whole experience starts to crack upon arrival. Like so many our room did not have hot water. The staff mean well and try to help but apart from older experienced employees many are learning their trade on the spot. Breakfast are excellent but service too slow. Dinner at Ambar excellent but choices are limited. Some waiting for transportation at night to get back to your room from the restaurant. Some training and fine tuning required. Never had the chance to come across the manager during our stay. Could he introduce himself or just too busy? All in all not a bad place but hopefully better sometime next year.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank saint-georges401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 April 2012

I just returned from the most restful vacation. My husband and I spent 5 days at the Blue Diamond resort and found the location & room to be beautiful and service friendly. The drinks were top shelf if you wanted, beach was lovely, pools were clean and views were breathtaking. Our only notes and warnings are as follows:

- Food: the food was lovely and you could technically order as much as you like, but since everything is off a menu, my husband felt bad ordering two entrees. I found the portions to be perfect, but my husband is a big eater and is used to Chicago portions. Also, there are fewer options for food than other resorts we have stayed at with only 2 restaurants, one snack bar and room service. Dinner is moved from one restaurant to the next every other night.

- Wine: Its terrible. Order a cocktail! I should have known better :)

- The walk: I loved this, but others might not. Our room was about half a mile from the beach. This meant a lovely walk for about 10 minutes from our room to the beach or the restaurant. Golf carts drive back and fourth occasionally and will pick you up if you like. I believe you can also call one if you are interested.

- Activities: these mostly include relaxation. No one is there trying to get you to learn how to samba dance or play pool volleyball. I loved this:)

- Bugs: bring some bug spray. I had no problem, but my husband must be delicious to Mexican mosquitoes:) I doubt he would have had a lesser issue at another resort, as I saw the staff treating grounds and cleaning the lagoon/spring to keep the bugs at bay.

Overall, I'd say great for 3-5 days, but you will want an excursion out for a change of pace if you stay longer than that. It is a quick taxi to play del Carmen where we had a great evening out at a restaurant called Fusion. Good food, music, right on the beach.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Kristen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2012

The Blue Diamond is close to being a really excellent, 5 star resort, but I am not sure they will make it. My wife and I have travelled to Mexico over 20 times and stayed in a lot of 5 star resorts. In many ways this resort is better than most of them, but it lacks in the ability of management to bring a consistency to the service and to fulfill the expectations of its patrons.

We just returned from spending seven days at the Blue Diamond in a Palafito Sundeck suite. The room was absolutely beautiful. A huge entryway, a large walk in closet, a grand bathroom with both a glass encased shower and a large plunge pool bath tub, and to top it off there was another shower just outside. Just beautiful. The living/bedroom area was quite large with ceiling to floor windows on two sides and opened to a 200 square foot teakwood deck that overlooked a beautiful lagoon. The deck had stairs down to a private boat dock, but unfortunately there were no boats.

Service was spotty, in some cases very good and in other cases non existent. I do want to salute the wait staff for dinner including Roman, Martin, Omar, and Jesus. They comprise the A team for this resort. The housekeeping staff is also excellent as the rooms were well maintained and turn down service was consistent and timely.

The big problem with this resort is management has not consistently trained their staff and therefore they are not prepared to provide the service one expects from a luxury resort. The concierge service seems to be well prepared, but the wait staff, particularly for breakfast & lunch seem for the most part to be lost, not knowing what is expected or what to do and unable to communicate in English.

The resort has two restaurants, but only one is open at a time so you have no choice for dining. The food,however is quite acceptable and in some cases very good.

This is a beautiful resort with an excellent, well maintained beach. It is a shame they don't quite have their act together. I hope they can improve because I would love to go back.

Room Tip: Select a Palafito sundeck or roof top unless you want to walk a long way to the beach.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank gdomuuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

My husband and I just returned from a 4 night stay at the Blue Diamond, we checked in on Saturday, April 21st and checked out this morning, April 25th. I will start by saying that we are well aware that this is a "soft open" for this newly acquired resort and kept that in mind during our stay, which helped keep our expectations in check. When we arrived (around 5pm) we were greeted at our car service by a bellman that knew our names and seemed to be waiting for us. He got our bags and led us to the reception area. While checking in we were greeted with a cold hand wash towel and a cold yummy juice. We exchanged some money and got a better rate at the hotel then the airport exchange was offering, but not quite the rate we were getting in the U.S.. We were brought promptly to our room (#528) which was beautiful and spacious. A bottle of chilled sparkling wine and fresh fruit was on the coffee table. Our room was chilly and despite our efforts to turn off the air, it still seemed to pump cold air into the room event though the thermostat did read "off". It wasn't too bad so we didn't call anyone to fix it and I had read the reviews that there is a definite problem with the A/C so I just figured it wasn't fixed yet. The staff definitely aims to please although at times they fall short. I do believe some are just not trained properly and really do not know what five star service means. Breakfast was delicious and the offerings were abundant. Lunch was just ok and dinner downright bad. Some nights I couldn't even eat it. Last night was the nouvelle fusion night at the Ambar and I got a lobster mixed salad as an appetizer, but the lobster was raw- ick! I grew up in New England and have NEVER seen lobster eaten raw in my life. I didn't realize it until I had a bite because the lighting was so dim- luckily it was only a small bite. I also would not recommend any of the beef selections. The salmon was quite good but the shrimp was a huge fail- grossly overcooked each time we got it, whether in cerviche, kabobs at lunch or at dinner. The servers are totally lacking direction during the dinner service and the management seems to be adding to the chaos, pointing waiters here, there and everywhere to try and keep up. The waiters are hustling but are getting poor direction from the managers and although they are all trying to work as a team, it gets confusing who your waiter is or who to ask for what. Despite what other patrons say, tipping not only helps, but is extremely considerate when someone is serving you. We noticed that since we tipped at every meal and with drink service and car service, the staff was much more attentive to us. We even ordered after another couple who was sitting there before us for 10 minutes and our food came much quicker than theirs. The waiters know that tipping is a way to let them know you appreciate them working hard for you and certainly take notice. The beach and the spa are beautiful and the tiled steam room was the best I've seen. I had a four hand massage at the spa that was top notch, but not the best massage I've ever had. The small snorkeling trip that is included is worth it if you've never snorkeled before, which I hadn't, but I could see it being disappointing for someone expecting more. Overall we enjoyed our stay and had a positive experience but believe they still need to work out the kinks to be deemed a five star resort. With that said, the price is right now with deals on luxurylink and jetsetter, but would most likely be much more expensive when/if the food and service get better.

Room Tip: Laguna suites are in the middle of the resort and are only a 5 minute walk to the pool so you don...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Kerri U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed at Blue Diamond from April 17 to April 22, 2012. We typically stay at the Fairmont but decided to give all-inclusive a try. I chose this resort based on good TripAdvisor reviews, and I suspect those people got a screaming deal in return for their reviews. We knew the resort had just re-opened and expected some slip-ups, but this place is just not worth the money. We’ll be at the Fairmont next time. Some details:

ROOM - No complaints about the room - we had a large suite with a private pool. The room was clean and well-appointed. Some of the other guests reported issues with their rooms (exploding AC unit, no power, ceiling collapsed in the rain), but our only issue was a couple evening hours without cable. Not a big deal when you're on vacation.

FOOD - Breakfast and lunch are served in the beachfront restaurant Aquamarine and are quite good. Coffee at breakfast is served from a communal French press, which means you get quarter cups of lukewarm coffee (if you get it at all). Lunch is also available from Ceviche on the beach. Dinner alternates between Aquamarine and Ambar. Dinner is just terrible, and the best I can say is that it did not make either of us physically ill. There is a theme each night (Canton feast, nouvelle fusion, etc.), and it seems the menu is too ambitious/difficult for the staff to execute. There are lots of "airs" and "foams," but they can't perform basic culinary tasks like cook a piece of fish or meat. I went to bed hungry several nights because my meal was inedible. I tried to fill up on bread, but that was hard to come by (see Service section below). We saw lots of full plates going back to the kitchen each night, and none of the staff looked like they cared. Even the desserts were bad - one night the dessert options were sliced apples or something that resembled Hostess brownie bites. We went to another resort (Banyan Tree) for dinner on our last night, and it was such a relief to get well-cooked food with excellent service.

SERVICE - Inconsistent, horrible. Some examples:
-They do not take reservations for dinner, so everyone shows up at the same time. You will wait for a table, and the kitchen gets slammed (see Food section above). There is no wait list, and it's a mystery how people are selected to be seated. Dinner takes forever, but it is not a long, luxurious meal. More of a torturous wait.
-Restaurants are understaffed, and they don't seem to be trained. You feel it is a major accomplishment to get a drink refill. One breakfast/lunch server (Jacqueline) has a 50% accuracy rate, even when we resorted to pointing at menu items. We cheered the last morning when we realized she would not be our server.
-Service is so inconsistent that you don’t know what is supposed to be standard service. Out of 6 days on the beach, towel service was available 2 days and drink service was available 1 day. No idea if those services were supposed to be available every day, or if we just got lucky a couple times. There were staff members on the beach who hid behind one of the beachfront units most of the day; they only came out when a man who appeared to be a manager showed up and yelled at them.
-The resort offers kayaks and a free snorkel or dive trip. You are supposed to arrange for these at the activities desk on the beach. We never saw it open.
-During rain showers, guests would run to the restaurant for shelter and leave behind towels. No staff members picked up the soaking wet towels left all over the pool areas and the beach. We would find them the next morning.
-The beach was littered with empty drink cups, some left there for 4 days.
-We tried to call the concierge and front desk during the cable outage (with an unrelated request), and it seems they just stopped answering the phones so they did not have to deal with complaints. My husband walked out to the front desk, and they were just sitting there.
-When we stay at the Fairmont (a much larger resort), they know our names. No one at Blue Diamond even made an effort.

ENTERTAINMENT – Dinner entertainment was some guy with an accordion. I don’t require entertainment, but if it is provided, please make it good.

There were a few exceptions to the bad service. Jesus hustled at dinner. Guillermo at the pool bar was great. It was a relief to have Victor as our server at breakfast.

In summary, there are a lot of resort options in this area, and you’ll be better off somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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15  Thank scout91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel

Address: Km. 298-816, Carretera Federal 307 | Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Blue Diamond Riviera Maya)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: RM1,612 - RM4,513 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the pristine coast of the world famous Riviera Maya, Blue Diamond Riviera Maya is a sanctuary of breathtaking beauty and peace, surrounded by nature mixed with luxury. This exclusive hideaway is set in 36 acres of lush tropical jungle, well manicured gardens and a spectacular palm filled white sandy beaches along the turquoise – colored Caribbean Sea, offering unparalleled pampering and rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Riviera Maya

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