Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya: Review from a Travel Advisor

We just returned from our second stay at Valentin. The hotel, food and service were just as I remembered – exceptional. It’s always a risk if the hotel will live up to your first stay and Valentin did!

We just returned from our second stay at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico. You can read about our trip in 2018 here. The rooms have been renovated and several dining options added since our last trip!

The hotel, food and service were just as I remembered – exceptional. It’s always a risk if the hotel will live up to your first stay and Valentin did!

Valentin Imperial Maya All Inclusive Resort Travel Agent Review

An Overview of the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort

Valentin boats about 540 rooms. It’s an adults-only, all-inclusive hotel located about 35 minutes south of Cancun. They have 8 restaurants, 11 bars, a coffee shop, and 3 food truck/snack options. The food truck was added since our last stay and it was a great addition!

We enjoyed lots of yummy drinks during our stay!

The coffee shop was also new. I don’t drink coffee but they had smoothies, donuts, and pastries in the morning and sandwiches and ice cream in the afternoon.

Mexico has a strict smoking policy in place, so the cigar bar is closed. There are smoking areas on the property but the cigar bar could not stay open. They also added a lounge where you can get a glass of whiskey or wine, at a charge. It was not being utilized by many guests while we were there.

The Pools at Valentin Imperial

There are no towel cards or towel stands to deal with. You get towels for the pool in your room or just ask the concierge at your building or at the pool if you need more. Honestly, towel cards are a major annoyance to me.

There are 3 pools. The main Silver pool is the biggest with 2 swim-up bars. The second is a small pool in a quieter area with several palapas and chairs. I honestly don’t even remember it from 2018. Last but not least is the Golden pool which is where the Golden swim-up rooms are located. The pool is open to all guests. It’s more of a lazy river, it’s long and has areas along it with cabanas and chairs and deeper pool areas.

Silver Pool at the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort

There is lots of wildlife at Valentin. The hotel is not a concrete high-rise. There are lots of trees and it’s very much a jungle still.

The hotel offers a 5k race on the property every Wednesday morning and provides numerous trails for walking or running. Guests can enjoy a gym, water aerobics, and spin classes in the pool. Additionally, there are nightly shows in the theater and live music in the courtyard by the restaurants. A bar is available for guests to relax and wait for their table to be ready. The restaurants provide pagers for guests to use.

The Rooms at Valentin Imperial

During our trip, we chose to stay in an Emerald Oceanfront room. While we usually prefer a swim-up room, and stayed in one in 2018, it wasn’t available this time around. However, upgrading to the Emerald Oceanfront room was definitely worth it. It had numerous upgrades and amenities that we loved. Being on the ground floor, we could easily step out onto the sand and access the ocean via the nearby paths. It’s a tough call now to decide which type of room is our favorite!

Path from Emerald Oceanfront room at Valentin Imperial Maya

I think I prefer the ground floor but the ocean views are a little better on the second floor. Also, ground floor rooms have hammocks which make for a great nap location!

The Emerald rooms have a lot of technology. There is a bluetooth speaker system for music, the shades are all controlled by a switch, and the fan and AC have a control panel. The bathroom does have a motion-detected light switch, it’s not ideal if someone gets up in the middle of the night. The do not disturb and housekeeping signs are electronic, just push the button and it lights up outside the room.

The huge jacuzzi tub in the Emerald room takes 26 minutes to fill. The windows are reflective so during the day no one can see in the room, but at night they can. Very important to remember to close the blinds at night!

The fridge was stocked daily, sometimes twice. If you need anything you just call. We had water, coke, diet coke, beer (Coors Light), juice, and chips in the fridge. They use glass bottles for water in your room and plastic elsewhere on the property. The hotel is trying to cut down on plastic usage. I love this!

The Beach at Valentin Imperial

The beach is long with wide stretches of sand. There is a swimming area that is roped off and it was beautiful. The waves will almost take you out sometimes. We had yellow or red flags most days.

In front of the Emerald rooms were lounge chairs and palapas (pictured above), there’s also a small bar to the right and the waiter walks around. There’s a larger beach bar with swings near the swimming area.

Food + Restaurants at Valentin Imperial Maya

The food was just as good as I remember it, some even better. During this trip, the Mexican restaurant (La Hacienda) ended up being our favorite for dinner. I ordered the same thing twice – tortilla soup and roasted chicken mole.

At the French place (L’Alsace) the French onion soup, pictured below with the pastry on top, is so good!

We also ate at the Japanese restaurant (Ginger) a la carte. I enjoyed it more than the teppanyaki last visit.

We ate breakfast at Mar Tierra each morning, it’s a la carte. I prefer that over buffet usually, and it was right by our building. It’s outside by the ocean. It’s also open for dinner as a steak and seafood restaurant.

I really liked the food trucks for lunch. At about noon the bar staff and waiters would start walking around the pool area taking orders. The food truck has nachos, hot dogs, burritos, flautas (they call them tacos I think), and tostadas.

Prive Club Upgrade

On both trips, we chose to upgrade to Prive, previously known as Privilege. Although this option may not be suitable for everyone, we found it to be worthwhile. Personally, I particularly enjoy having access to a reserved cabana, which allows me to select the location of either the beach or pool.

Additionally, the dinner reservations were a great convenience, and we were able to pick out a few bottles of alcohol to enjoy in our room. For your reference, here is a comprehensive list of all the amenities available.

Prive can be pre-booked with your room or you can add it upon arrival. It’s not less expensive to add it at the hotel but it can sell out. If you know you want this package you should add it when you book your room.

Drink in room at Valentin Imperial Maya

Yes, you can get drinks anywhere… but if you want something before dinner or a late night drink, it’s nice and convenient to have in your room.

Whale Shark Excursion near Cancun

Swimming with the whale sharks has been on our bucket list for a while. They migrate through the Cancun waters in the summer. Mexico has strict policies in place to protect the whale sharks. Each boat captain must follow the rules or risk losing their license. We were on the boat for over an hour before finding an area where they were swimming. It was very crowded, with lots of boats and people.

We formed a line of sorts and two people from our boat were allowed in the water at a time. Then back in the boat and the next two people. John and I got in the water at the perfect time and were able to swim alongside a whale shark for about 2 seconds. It was amazing. Ally didn’t get quite as good a view as we did, so she will most likely do this excursion again.

We have no photos so it just lives in our memory! We used Ocean Tours. Our guide was Nina and I was very impressed.

Pier for Cancun whale shark excursion

They take out 10 people max plus 3 crew. Our guide was with us from hotel pick up early that morning to hotel drop off. It’s a very long day, about 12 hours. We left from North of Cancun so I would not book this excursion if you stay any further south than we did. That bus ride would not be ideal.

Hotel Photographer at Valentin Imperial

For the first time ever we booked a session with the hotel photographer. It’s so hard to get us all three together these days, so it was a great option and I love the photos! They don’t charge for the session, you pay per photo for the ones you want to purchase. You get a flash drive and an electronic copy.

Family photo at Valentin Imperial Maya

We had a great trip and I’m so thankful we get to travel as a family!

Drinks and hat by the pool at all inclusive resort in Cancun Mexico

Ready to book your all-inclusive Cancun vacation?

If you are interested in traveling to Valentin Imperial Maya, or any other options, I’d love to earn your business. You can reach me at Lake Pointe Travel at or 469-698-4071. This is my personal lifestyle blog but I’m a travel agent by day.

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