Our Resort: The Accommodations and Food

Happy Monday! Welcome back to the work week, folks. How was everyone’s weekend? Anything good happening? Well, I actually had LOTS happening, so here’s what you may need to catch up on…

So, speaking of Mexico, I have had many of you asking since we first arrived last week about the resort that we stayed in. I decided not to disclose our location while we were away, but now since we’re back, I’d really like to fill you all in because this place was just incredible!

The name of the resort that we stayed at was the Valentin Imperial Maya.

From the resort’s website,

Just 25 minutes from Cancun’s International Airport, Valentin Imperial Maya sits on a half-mile-long stretch of white sand beach of Playa Del Secreto (The Secret Beach) in the Riviera Maya. This all-inclusive, adults-only magnificent resort not only gives you direct access to the beach, but also places you just minutes from the vibrant culture of Cancun and the world famous Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulúm, Cobá, and Chichen Itzá… all while keeping itself secluded from the clutter.

Our entire trip was booked through CheapCaribbean.com, and the entire booking process was not only easy, but it was pleasurable and extremely helpful. Everyone that we were in contact with was great, and we would receive emails every once in a while that would remind us of various things for our upcoming trip. When we first checked out the site, it looked a little shady, but don’t let the looks fool you!

So anyway…back to this resort. Let me first say that this place was phenomenal and all eight of us have decided that we would go back in a heartbeat. No doubt about it. I feel like I have SO MUCH to say about our trip, sand I quickly realized while typing this up that I’m going to have to break it down a bit to keep from making this post enormous.

So today, we’ll talk Accommodations & Restaurants.

As soon as each of us arrived, we were greeted with champagne (and fruity beverages, but those were from Sarah & Jeff). That was definitely a great way to kick start the trip!


It only took us about five minutes to check in, and then we were escorted by our tour guide, “Antonio Banderas,” to our building and room.


The resort has a number of buildings and room categories, and the particular building that we were located in was fantastic; right next to everything. Our room was the most basic you can get, the Deluxe Junior Suite; but as you can see, there wasn’t all that much “basic” about it.


The resort offered free internet, but it was not Wi-Fi, so we had to make sure that we had a ethernet cable with us. There was a turn down service two, if not three times a day, and our room was constantly being cleaned and tidied up.


Oh yeah…and then there was that whole shower. I.want.it.


For breakfast, there were two options available: the Beachfront, which offered buffet breakfast, or the main buffet, which also served up many of the same things.


Both buffets offered make-your-own crepes and omelets, so either way, you can’t lose.


For lunch, the same restaurants that were open for breakfast are re-opened for lunch. The Beachfront becomes a sit-down restaurant with a menu, and the main buffet remains a buffet, offering quite a large variety of items.


The main buffet is where the dessert buffet can be found. Smile


For dinner, there are actually seven à la carte restaurants: Italian, French, Japanese, Indonesian, Mexican, Steak House, and Seafood.

On our first night there, Jay and I joined Sarah and Jeff at the Mexican restaurant, which was great. The food was delicious (this was when my guacamole addiction began), the margaritas were great, and the entertainment was super fun.



On our second night once everyone had arrived, we went to the Seafood restaurant which was good, but nothing mind-blowing. That night after dinner, we spent some time down at the beachfront Tiki Bar, which was fun but VERY windy.


Our third night had us at the Japanese restaurant, where we were lucky enough to score a reservation at a hibachi table.


In order to get a hibachi table, we had to have a few of us wait in like for over an hour so we could be the first in line. Luckily, it was WELL worth it. Again, the food was spectacular, and the entertainment was even better.




On our fourth night, this was when we headed to the Italian restaurant.


I didn’t end up taking any photos of food that evening, but it was incredible. I had a vegetable risotto which was out of this world, and a tiramisu dessert that was one of THE best I’ve ever had.

On our fifth evening, some of the crew was out and about on various excursions, so Jay and I joined Brook and Andrea at the Indonesian restaurant. Again, no photos of food on this one, but I loved the unique menu, so I had to snag a photo of that.


This particular evening began with a tequila tasting, where there were five different tequilas being offered to try at the restaurant. I was not so much a fan, but the boys definitely were, which is what jumpstarted this particular evening…


Oh yes, that was a fun one. Smile

On our sixth and final evening, all eight of us went to our final dinner.


The guys all cleaned up pretty nicely, didn’t they?


Then again, us girls didn’t do half bad either.


Funny story about my dress, actually. I bought it at Target months ago, almost returned it, but decided to save it since I couldn’t find my receipt. I’m glad I kept it!


So our final dinner was spent at the French restaurant at the resort. This is the staircase that you’re presented with as soon as you walk in.


And this is the rest of the restaurant. Amazing, right?


One of the things I loved about ALL of the restaurants was that the portions were the perfect size; not too tiny, but small enough to give you the perfect taste of it while still giving you enough room to try out other things on the menu.

On this particular evening, I started off with a goat cheese and pear salad, topped with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Delicious.


Next, I ordered what may have been my absolute favorite food at the entire resort: the Onion Soup. This was their particular take on the classic French Onion soup, and the puff pastry that was so elegantly draped over that bowl was just phenomenal.


Everything about this soup, from the broth, to the onions, to the bits of cheese inside, to the pastry shell, was just to die for. I *will* be recreating this…or, at least, attempt to recreate it, very soon.


For my entrée, I ordered the grouper, which was stuffed with seafood and came with roasted vegetables in a fennel cream sauce. It was good, but nothing exciting.


My dessert for the evening (because we all *always* got dessert) was a chocolate mousse that I actually really disliked. I don’t know what it was, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it. It was probably the first and only one that I didn’t really eat.


Jay, however, ordered some sort of Flambé dessert, which was pretty cool to watch.



It was also pretty tasty, too. Smile


The resort also offers 24-hour room service, which Jay and I took advantage of once (which, not surprisingly, was after the tequila night you saw pictured above). There were more options available during the day than the “late night” menu, but put any pizza in front of me at 1:00am after a couple drinks…

and you know I’m gonna take advantage. Winking smile


SO, there you have it! A rundown of all the accommodations and restaurants, which turned out to be WAY longer than I anticipated. So now…what do you want to hear about next?

  • The entertainment?
  • The resort amenities?
  • The pool?
  • The beach?
  • Our hilarious, spontaneous evening?

Oh gosh, so much to share!


  1. says

    The place looks great! The rooms are amazing, especially for being just their standard room. I love that about all inclusive vacations. If you paid to stay at a hotel like that in the States, you’d probably have to mortgage your house.
    My boyfriend and I are looking to vacations for this summer, but we’re leaning towards the Dominican Republic and toward places that allow kids, although an adults only vacation does sound heavenly!
    Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..Brunch at Fabiane’s

  2. says

    looks like a beautiful and awesome resort! my husband and i went to an all inclusive resort for our honeymoon, and i LOVED it! it was so nice to not have to worry about how much money we were spending on food and drinks. we’re definitely planning on a return visit someday.
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..LARABAR Balls

  3. Janeen says

    I’d like to hear about entertainment or any excursions you and your friends might have taken away from the resort or that were offered by the resort. Would you be willing to share the price or at least a ballpark figure? Seriously considering this resort for our spring trip!

    • Courtney says

      A couple of my friends went swimming with dolphins, which they loved, and a couple others went on a tour of the Mayan ruins. They all loved their excursions, but Jay and I just wanted to relax.
      Cost-wise, the trip was around the $1500/per person mark, which included everything – flight, ground transfers from airport, room, and everything all-inclusive.

  4. says

    Wow that resort looks so great and i am in love with your room! I know you went to a sandals for your honeymoon, and I am curious to see how you think this all inclusive stacked up against that trip? Cost, food, service, ammenities? I went to the Royal Carribean Sandals for my honeymoon and really enjoyed it! Would love to go on another all inclusuve resort trip soon!
    Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..The Journey is Most Important

    • Courtney says

      Cost-wise, the Valentin was MUCH cheaper than Sandals (probably 2/3 the price), and even though we absolutely loved Sandals, this resort had just as much to offer in terms of everything – food, amenities, and service.

  5. Emily says

    I thought you were at the Valentin! My husband and I were just there in September! We loved it. Did you happen to catch the Michael Jackson show?? It was hilarious! Looking at your pictures makes me want to go back real bad.

  6. Carly says

    looks like you had a fabulous time there!! and may i ask where your maxi dress is from? love it!

    and would like to hear about everything, but if i had to order the priorities…. very curious about your spontaneous evening!!

  7. Nicole says

    It looks like you had a good time. We stayed there last year. I am curious if you were able to sit on the beach at all? We stayed in March of last year and couldn’t go on the beach because of the wind. :(

    • Courtney says

      We only went down to the beach a couple of times, but I know what you mean about the wind. We were at the Tiki Bar one night, and the wind was pretty wicked.

  8. says

    Looks like ya’ll had a blast! Did you notice your hair feeling funky while you were there? The first thing I did when we got home Saturday was take a shower! Must have been the water. Also, did your friends go see the Cenotes?
    Allison recently posted..ashamed

    • Courtney says

      Hmmm, I didn’t notice my hair feeling too funky? Only thing I notice with my hair right now is the fact that it looks like I have wicked dandruff, thanks to my peeling hairline that got burned. Oof. 😛

  9. Denise says

    Loved reading your review!! We’ve been to the Valentin in 2009 for our 10th Anniversary, in 2011 for my 40th & now we are going back for our 3rd visit in May. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the Valentin!! Best place in the Riv Maya!

  10. says

    Wowza! That place looks absolutely amazing! :) I never really wanted to go to Mexico (mostly because of the drug wars and political stuff like that) but that resort changed my mind. I really want to go there now! If it’s adults only, they probably won’t take teenagers, right? Grrrrr. :(

    The food looks amazing- and was sort of surprised that a Mexican resort would have an Italian, Seafood, French, and Indoesnian restaurant. I figured that a country would just stick to their very own cuisine. Seeing that chocolate mousse picture was pretty hard on me- I gave up chocolate for Lent because I eat it like it’s nobody’s business. I’m actually doing pretty well so far- and had a little bit of trouble but I didn’t cave in and give up. Last year, I gave up ice cream and the amount of ice cream that I eat now is down to how much I ate before. Hopefully, this decrease in chocolate will come and I can start to eat more healthy. Yayyyyyy!

    That hotel room is probably one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen (especially in a photo). You’re so very lucky! Hey- maybe I could go after graduation? 😉 (Kind of doubt it though).
    Shannon recently posted..Two posts that you should read

  11. Nicole says

    Wow, beautiful pics. I am JEALOUS :). Just a heads up on Target returns (I work in their corporate office) 95% of the time the store can find the transaction by scanning the item and the credit card used to pay for it. The return policy is 90 days, so after that point all the data is archived. Good call on keeping the dress – I like the print!

  12. says

    When you say 2 swim-up bars, what do you mean exactly? I’ve only ever seen photo evidence of 1 swim-up bar in the main pool. Where is the 2nd one located?

    Also, as far as the buffet for omelet and crepe stations–you state you can “make your own”. Did you mean “build” your own and they actually cook it for you? I’ve only ever seen “build” your own at resorts. I can’t imagine non-chefs trying to actually make their own from scratch or having to wait for people like that hehe (I actually lovve making omelets, personally, but I can’t imagine everyone being in charge of actually “making” their own here:)))


    • Courtney says

      The 2nd swim up bar is on the opposite end of the pool, which we never really went to. It’s past the bridge that you may see in some of the photos.

      And yes, the chefs cook the omelet in front of you – you get to “build” it by choosing the toppings located in front of the omelet station.

  13. Rachel says

    Thanks, Courney!! That’s VERY cool they have more than 1 swim-up bar:) The resort we went to in Jamaica in September also had 2. Do you have pics of the other one, by any chance? LOVE omelet stations at resorts! The first resort we went to in Jamaica 2 years ago, I had them put local stuff in it like crab and calalloo mmmmm…

    Thanks again:)

  14. says

    Ok so after reading this after our trip I agree totally with everything you said. I liked the Italian and Mexican places best…but the whole time I was on the hunt for the pizza you’re eating and NOT ONCE did I ever see pizza!!!! How sad is that!? Now I’m home and on a diet and sans pizza for a few weeks! haha! Love that resort!
    Carissa recently posted..WIAW – Pizza Party


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