We just celebrated our 15th anniversary last week! We knew we wanted to get away to celebrate and started looking and planning. We debated so many places but we remembered how amazing our trip to the Valentin was 3 years ago and in the end, the thought of relaxing and being spoiled by the amazing staff won!
I enjoy real life reviews of people who weren’t paid to write them, so I decided I would take a little time to tell you about our trip!
First of all, we always book with Cheap Caribbean. We have booked 3 trips with them and have had a fabulous experience each time! We use them to book the resort, airfare, & our transportation to and from the airport. It has been a seamless process each time.
We book the cheapest room. I have to say- the cheap rooms are incredible. I feel like I am being spoiled big time. The room is comfortable, plenty big, and includes so many amenities. The other room options may be better for your needs or desires, but we loved ours. We were in building 5 which is close to the main pool, one of the restaurants, and beach access. It is a decent walk to the main lobby, entertaining area, spa, and other restaurants, but we spend most of our time on the beach so we don’t mind to walk to the main area once a day.
The beach is huge. It goes on and on. One side of the beach is clear and the other side does have a more rocky area. However, if you love to get in the water, there is plenty of clear space to get out and swim. One morning we went out the beach at sunrise and loved sitting on the rocky area, watching the waves hit the rocks! So beautiful! During the day, we parked under our favorite beach hut with the perfect view of the water!
There are lots of huts that are free for the taking. We usually got there between 9-10 and never had any issue getting our spot daily. If you would rather have a reserved spot daily they have choices for you too! You can pay extra to reserve a bigger cabana, that has bed style lounger. They have these available at the pool too. We were perfectly happy with our spot so we didn’t do this. (Side note, the morning I took this picture we had gotten to the beach at 8am, but by 10 there are a lot more people out and fewer free cabanas)
**Tip: Take an insulated cup and have them put your drinks in it. The ice melts in minutes otherwise. We found this to be really wonderful, especially on the beach!
I know seaweed is a problem for a lot of the resorts. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep the seaweed from coming. The staff at the Valentin work so hard to keep the beach clean and free from seaweed. They are out there all the time working to make sure it is cleaned up the best they can.
The grounds of this place are immaculate! Every walk way, building exterior, and pool side are all so well kept and beautiful! I was in awe of how well it is landscaped and maintained. It felt like we were walking in paradise everywhere we went!
Lets talk about food. This is all inclusive so all of your meals are included. There are several options. 2 breakfast restaurants that are buffet style. We loved the omelet station and wide variety each day. It is easy to overeat when the buffet is full of great food! They have coffee, tea, and a variety of juices too! I love fruit and the selection was always exceptional. At lunch there are several options as well. There are 2 buffet options as well as a pool side option. We chose to eat the buffet all but one day. We grabbed a burger and ice cream cone by the pool the other! My husbands favorite thing at lunch are the made to order fajita’s. He can’t get enough! Each day there is a lunch theme but they always have a good variety so there is something for everyone.
At dinner there are 6 restaurants (7 if you count the one that isn’t included in the all inclusive package). These aren’t the official names but rather the type: French, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Steak/Seafood, and Indonesian. We were able to eat at 5 of the 6 this trip, everything but the Mexican. We had a great dinning experience at all of them. We had never eaten Indonesian food and it was different, but we found things we liked. There is also a Hibachi grill inside the Asian restaurant which is included but you have to make a reservation. The reservations are highly sought out so if you want to go, you need to start trying to make a reservation the first day because you may not get it! I could write a lot about the food, but I think the important thing is, we like it! Everyone has their own expectations, likes/dislikes, but for us, the food is wonderful! OH- and room service is included, 24 hours a day, so that is always an option too! (There is a dress code for the restaurants and they do enforce it, so please read the dress code on their website and pack according)
Next I want to discuss service. From the moment you get to the resort you get incredible service! They always say “welcome home” and want you to feel comfortable. They take your bags, greet you with champagne and a cool, refreshing, infused towel. Everyone from checkin to the waitstaff, entertainment staff, and everyone in between- are friendly and ready to make your experience fabulous! We always find our favorites each time we go. We love hearing their life stories and how they got to where they are now. The staff at the Valentin are certainly are perk to staying there!
If you have looked at this resort, you know they have amazing pools. This trip, we didn’t get in the pool one time (I know, right?). Normally we bounce from the beach to the pool but this trip we really wanted to hang out at the beach and relax. Relaxation was our goal and we found that on the beach. The pools are all gorgeous and seems like everyone finds their favorite spot.
Every day we received a newsletter type thing with all the daily need to knows. Each day there was a restaurant that was closed, list of daily activities, and the nightly entertainment. My husband played beach volleyball one day but other than that, we skipped the day time fun. Our lives are very full and we go all the time. We had decided to make this trip nothing but relaxing time. At night, there is always live music of some kind and a DJ after the live music, as well as a show. The band is always great and we watched 2 shows while we were there. Both were entertaining! There is always something to do if you want to do something!
There are so many extra services offered that are not included, like the spa, resort photographer, privilege club, bottles of wine, and more. We didn’t take advantage of any of these, but I did debate a beach massage and wish I would have done it! I brought my camera and found some places to rest it and used my timer to get a few pictures of us. It was challenging to get much variety in poses between limited places to set my camera and the wind at the beach, but we did get a few. I priced the resort photographer after attempting pictures and not feeling great about it, but in the end, it was more than we wanted to spend for so few of photos. I will say, their portfolio looked really good and I was very tempted. Next time maybe we will splurge for it!
I really don’t have any complaints but one thing I want to mention is the size of the resort. I know for some people, the size is concerning. It is BIG. We did not see all of the resort either time we were there. It is easy to get lost at first, but once you figure out where everything is, it is easier. Most of the restaurants, spa, and entertainment are a good walk away from the beach and main pool. Honestly this didn’t bother us because we enjoyed our walks and the chance to burn off our calories! ha! Because the resort is so big, it is also easy to find your spot and feel more at home. We got in our routine and just stuck with it all week. But the size also allows you to experience something different each day if you want!
Our trip to the Valentin Imperial Maya was wonderful! We wouldn’t hesitate going back again or recommending it to a friend. I hope this review answered all the questions you might have!