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“Better than ever...on our 7th visit!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Viceroy Riviera Maya

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Viceroy Riviera Maya
Ranked #8 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, FL
Level Contributor
204 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Better than ever...on our 7th visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2012

Yes; this was our 7th visit to the resort, but our first since it's been in the Viceroy chain. I was nervous after reading some of the reviews about the food and drink being so outrageously expensive. Don't get me wrong...it's not cheap. But do you expect that at a resort that costs $500/night++? Here's the "deal". Breakfast is typicall included, and you can eat it late. The downstairs restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we ate all our dinners there, and they were reasonable and good. One night was authentican Mexican night, so that evening, we walked South on the beach two resorts (about 200 yards) to Le Reve, and had a FABULOUS dinner there and it was REALLY reasonable. But, the food at the Viceroy was very good, and not outrageously priced. The rooms were better than EVER! For complete privacy, I recommend the royal villas. They are not the most expensive, and will add 30-60 seconds to your walk to the beach, but are VERY private with both a pool AND an outdoor sundeck. Yes; there are some bugs here and there... you are in kind of a Jungle, but there is bug spray provided, and as long as you don't leave your villa doors open, they don't get inside. This place is such a tropical paradise. We continue to try other resorts that offers that the private pools, and we just keep coming back because the others just don't compare (or they are a lot more expensive, but not worth the extra money). The spa is fantastic...especially if you can book a massage while it's raining; it's almost magical because the massage room is open to the outside, yet screened in. We did have to ask for our pool heater to be turned on 3 times, but that was our only inconvience. The staff truly does everything they can to make your stay amazing. Yascara (the bartender), Carlos (waiter), Oscar (the butler) were all wonderful. Yascara makes a mean mango margarita! Also, shrimp tacos with chipotle sauce are not on the menu, but they made some for us a couple of times...they'll do about anything you ask! You must ask for them...YUMMY!

Room Tip: Any Royal Villa; they have a private sundeck AND pool.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank DHancock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 20 March 2012
Dear DHancock,

The Viceory Family loves to see you coming back again and again and it is just amazing to read that you loved our recent enhancements to the resort including our brand new Coral Grill.

As you mention when it comes to privacy it is a great option to ask for a Royal Villa since they have addittional to the private terrace and plunge pool a sundeck, however our Luxury Villas (Our basic category) and Jungle villas (Brand new villas) are very private as well.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with the TA community and I truly look forward to your 8th visit!

Sincerely,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya
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982 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (287)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level Contributor
278 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2012

You might think that when people escape a Seattle winter, only to find that their plans for an idyll of swimming and snorkeling have been undone by high winds, they might be a little grumpy about their vacation. Well, we might have been -- if the Tides (now Viceroy) hadn't been such a stunning, relaxing place.

There are about 41 rooms, each of them a separate 'casita'. Ours had a huge bedroom, a small private pool, a secluded sun deck where we escaped the wind of the beach and watched each afternoon as the local monkey family crashed through the trees overhead, an outdoor shower, and excellent room service. When you want absolute privacy (and, by the way, some units are more private than others -- those in the back of the property being more secluded) you put the rope up across your entry path and you are utterly alone. Walk out and you are in a lovely ocean-front bar/cafe.

The staff is extraordinary -- well trained, most speaking excellent English, and on top of that friendly and likable. Sometimes a place at this level invites a snobbery in its guests and a corresponding remoteness in staff. Not so here -- everyone was delightful.

We didn't dine in their upstairs restaurant, La Marea, because we walked down the beach to Coco's Cabanas (see my review -- highly recommended if you want to go off-campus), but we did have breakfasts and some dinners at The Grill, their informal cafe and bar. Food was tasty (superb ceviche, as well as grilled octopus) but pitched to a resort (largely American) appetite and so not that earthy Mexican cuisine some of us look for. They were incredibly good about substituting ingredients and tailoring dishes to our preferences.

We rented a car at the airport, assuming that we would drive out for snorkeling and touring. The weather was a factor, but in addition we were just so incredibly comfortable, so nested in our casita among the trees, that the first time we took the car out was when we headed back to the airport. It's that kind of place. We have never been so comfortable and relaxed in a resort.

Room Tip: Biggest variable is privacy -- units away from the beach are most private, those near the beach much...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 20 March 2012
Dear Michael M,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your recent experience in our wonderful jungle retreat in the Riviera Maya, I am certain that your experience will help our future guests to better enjoy our resort.

It is true that even with different types of weather our guests have the opportunity to enjoy the privacy of their villa and the spa cabins with the jungle and its sorroundings which as you mention are great places to enjoy a rainy or windy day.

Next time you come to visit us we can arrange transportation from and to the airport, this way you will avoid renting a car for your entire stay and you will allow us to give you a warm welcome since the beginning of your trip!

Once again thank you for your great comments and I hope you had a safe trip back home.

Sincerley,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya
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New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon in 2010 and absolutely loved it. Paradise. There were just a few other couples staying at the resort at the time so it was very intimate. They brought coffee to our room at the designated time each morning, greeted us by name, knew our tequila preference, the food at La Marea (the hotel restaurant) was fantastic etc.

We loved it so much that we literally booked another trip to Mexico and picked a location on the fact that there was a Tides/Viceroy there. (I believe the name change to Viceroy is rather new.)

We love this hotel!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StephanieEK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear Stephes,

We are waiting for your return! The hotel has 11 brand new rooms including ocean view and beach front villas, a new Gym with ocean view, a new Grill restaurant, a new library, etc.

You definitley need to come back as you will find many enhancements that I am sure you will love, so please let me know when you will be coming back so we can give you a tour around all our new facilities and to give you the warmest welcome.

I hope you enjoy your trip to our sister property and thank you for all your great comments.

Sincerely,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ny
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

We just spent a long weekend in this unique and luxurious resort. The villas are immaculately clean and decorated yet have a rustic feel that adds a very special element to the experience. The layout of the resort is easy, beautiful and visually pretty decadent (think floating beds, linen canopy over beach loungers, private docks, monkeys swinging from trees in the jungle villas). The service could not have been more comfortably attentive and warm. In fact, anytime we showed even a hint of needing something (needing to move a pool chair away from/into the shade, a bottle of water, coffee that arrived 5 minutes after placing a room service call,etc) staff seemed to know immediately and would come over to us right away in a very helpful, calm and not overly eager way. Lastly, the food and wine was all incredibly delicious and presented. Everything we ate was well spiced, creative and fresh...well worth the price! We will return when we can because this is as close to paradise as we've found.

Room Tip: beach villas don't have much privacy but the view is likely a bonus. jungle villas are secluded...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank t c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear T C,

You could not have described in a better way the Viceroy Riviera Maya. It is just as you mention a perfect place to relax, eat great food and drink amazing and unique wines.

The ocean view villas as you say are not as private but in return you get a great view of the caribbean sea with blue and turquoise colors. I would say that the feel of enjoying your private plunge pool or lying on the handmade hammock of your terrace with that view is something worth of loosing a little privacy.

Thank you for all your great comments about our reosrt and the Spa and we look forward to having you with us once again,

Saludos!

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
york,
Level Contributor
59 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

We had a lovely private villa with delightfully warm plunge pool. The staff are excellent and it is a little oasis of calm on a coast that has been truly ruined by overdevelopment. The sea view villas have no privacy at all so avoid.
The big trouble is the cost of eating and drinking. We were there for 2 weeks and as the hotel is remote from alternative eating places and the minimum taxi fare is US$20 each way one is almost forced to eat at the hotel. Our last night capped it all-a Valentine's Day meal on the beach. They moved a few tables from the beach cafe onto the beach and put some candles in jars. There was a fixed menu and a compulsory bottle of champagne (which was very poor qulaity and I left my glass). Of the 5 courses (miniscule portions) I buried 2 courses in the sand as they were shellfish and I had told them on arrival that we are both allergic to shellfish. I was finally presented with the bill which was for US$638. I refused to accept the bill, which was eventually reduced to US$400 (still daylight robbery). I did talk to the restaurant management and the front desk staff a couple of times about the cost of food but to no avail. Drinks were all about the same price, US$19 and bottles of wine were out of reach. On one night each week there is a beach barbecue when there is no alternative place to eat at the hotel and the price is US$194 per head excluding drinks. We and an American couple we were sitting with refused to pay that much and we were given a much reduced helping of barbecue for about half price. We rarely saw anyone dining in the "fine dining" restaurant (we tried it once and it cost US$450) and the beach cafe was usually very sparcely populated so we were clearly not the only ones who didn't like the prices. We ate out one night at a glitzy 5 star resort hotel and the meal, drinks and a nice bottle of wine cost US$146 which shows that the Viceroy is the exception rather than the norm on the Riviera Maya.
A great place to stay but at least there is no danger of putting on weight while you are there!

Room Tip: Go for a "luxury villa" in the jungle area as you get total privacy. Avoid sea view villas...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank johnsanmarino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 24 February 2012
Dear John San Marino,

I was delighted to read that you found the Viceroy Riviera Maya “a little oasis of calm” with lovely private villas and an excellent staff. However, I did want to take the opportunity to address your comments regarding the pricing of food. We take pride in preparing cuisine of the highest level in Mexico. Creating a world-class dining experience and controlling prices is extremely difficult in a resort destination where all costs and taxes are extraordinarily high, however I will look into it. Other top resorts here face the same challenges, and so have dining costs comparable to ours. However, we do offer less expensive alternatives for our guests. We have all-inclusive packages and meal plans that offer dining at excellent value. I would urge guests to ask about these special plans when booking.

I was glad to talk to you during your stay and we hope to welcome you back at the Viceroy Riviera Maya very soon.

Pedro Lara
Managing Director
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New York, NY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

The property is unique among luxury hotels in the area. It is small in both size and the number of guests it can accomodate. We seldom saw more than 4 or 5 other couples. After you get used to the size, it is ultimately one of the very best things about the resort. You get a good feeling of what is to come when you approach the property. (The Viceroy transfers were great and competely easy from the Cancun airport.) There is no signage and when you arrive there is an open air reception without a front desk or point of information. You are met and personally walked through the property, which was very nice, but I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on how to contact or interact with hotel staff during the stay. We ultimately just dialed zero to make appoints and arrange for cars, but it always seemed a bit like we were floundering with the appropriate protocol. The property is just as much about the lush, well-cared for jungle grounds as it is about the ocean. We compared the jungle to a cross between "Lost" and Adventureland, with beautiful birds and monkeys. The grounds are really where the resort shines as they are beautiful and a complete contrast to the bright white sand of Mexican beaches. The beach was very nice and comfortable, but just one property along the same beach. The pier and palapa at the end was a great feature even though the poor staff had to keep chasing off folks who were not staying at the hotel. (Give the staff a break and put up a sign) We stayed in a new (as of December 2011) oceanview villa that was very stylish and yet fitting with the resort's design asthetic. The finishings were all very high end and the extra large bathrooms and outdoor showers are sublime. Perhaps as a factor of recently being built and young plantings, the oceanview villas do not have much privacy -- not that there was much traffic but the terraces and plunge pools are on the main path to the pool and beach. Based on what we heard from talking to other guests, we will opt next time for a new jungle villa that has greater seclusion. There is so much accessibility to the beach and the pool that we did not feel like we gained that much by having a distant oceanview from the room. The beachfront rooms are probably a different story. The room itself was very comfortable with a daybed on the terrace. My only three minor complaints about the room were the "buffet" of minibar selections that covered the surface of the credenza, which looks kind of out of place; the air conditioning that seemed to have a mind of its own (again instructions would be nice); and the lack of information about the hotel and who to contact for all the information that you forgot about from the prior day.There were flashes of brillance at the Viceroy. The spa and spa staff were terrific and it was transporting to have treatments while an afternoon rainstorm was passing through. The dinner on our villa's terrace was magical with candles, great food and the works. I would highly recommend both experiences. The food was terrific, if somewhat expensive. The markup on the Mexican wines (which were very good) shocked even a New Yorker. The very best thing about this property is the ability to really unplug. While there was wi-fi everywhere, the whole mood and approach forced us to relax. The was always a can-do attitude, same-day spa appointments, food whenever and wherever we wanted it. We eventually got so into the spirit of the place that we extended the trip by an extra day. Bottom-line, if you are looking for a relaxing, mind-clearing trip to RIviera Maya, then the Viceroy is impossible to beat.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MRD01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear MRD01,

The Jungle Villa is ready and waiting for your return!

As you mention the spa is a great place to spend a great part of your vacations at, because it has so many options for you to enjoy from jungle cabins to mayan rituals and everything in between. Our Spa can offer the best quality for an unforgettable time with your significant other.

I truly understand why you enjoyed so much your meals, because the Chef behind our restaurants, Jetzabel Rojas, prepares amazing and unique dishes for our fine dinning restaurant La Marea and the most amazing pizzas and some other girlled meals at our Coral Grill restaurant.

Please let me know when your plans bring you back to Playa del Carmen so we can recive a very warm welcome from us.

Sincerely,

Pedro Lara
General Manager
Viceroy Riviera Maya
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Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

I have stayed at "The Tides" in Zihuatanejo, twice, so I had a idea, how superb "The Tides" can be even though the Viceroy has just taken over this hotel.

We loved our Villa and the fact that our private plunge pool was heated and the temperature could be adjusted. Plenty of privacy, very clean & comfortable.

However, we were disappointed that the main pool was not heated. We did not see anyone use the pool during our stay, which probably indicates that the other guests were indeed on the same page....the pool was chilly! The ocean was warmer than the pool.

The staff were very friendly.....a little slow at times but in hind-sight that might have assisted in getting to the pace that I ultimately went to Mexico for.

The villa was priced accordingly and typical with previous stays at Viceroy and or Tides hotels. You pay for the amenities and the exclusivity of the property with the room rate.
The 15% service charge added to the displayed room rate. Now tipping on my room rate? I find that insulting.

We found the cost of dining quite high, $88 for breakfast, which consisted of eggs on a tortilla, some bread, juice & coffee. This is far reaching especially in this economic climate & considering the location. I'm also okay with paying 15% service charge for spa, dining, for actual services...(not room rate though) in fact I usually tip 20% but when I open a beer or make myself a drink from bottle from my bar, I'm going to be charged a 15% service fee & 11% tax???

The spa was divine, as were our treatments & fairly priced services.

All-in-all...we needed this get-away....and we had a terrific time. Just thinking we might find better value for comparable accommodations....or does value exist in Mexico anymore?

Room Tip: Loved Room 25 Would not recommend the beach suites as they have no outdoor privacy.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lulu33469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TRMManagement, General Manager at Viceroy Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 9 February 2012
Dear Lulu33469,

I hope you had a safe trip back home.

Thank you for your great comments and for your feedback. As you mention we do not heat the main pool because it is not needed due to the weather we have in most part of the year, however we do heat the plunge pools of every villa because this way we can please everyone with the temperature every villa requests.

Our Spa is a great place to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the wonderful treatments we have, specially our signature treatments inspired in the Mayan culture and their rituals and beliefs.

As for the costs we constantly review the pricing of our Menus, it is only because of the quality of the products we use that we cannot lower them. We prefer to serve a meal with excellent products in an effort to offer our guest´s always the best.

Also please know that the service charge is usually charged in all the resorts, this is divided between the staff members such as housekeeping, maintenance, mini bar deliverers, security, etc. All the staff that you might not notice but that is working hard to provide the excellent service you deserve.

I hope to see you soon in our whimsical refuge,

Sincerely

Pedro Lara
General Manager
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Additional Information about Viceroy Riviera Maya

Property: Viceroy Riviera Maya
Address: Playa Xcalacoco Frac 7, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly The Tides Riviera Maya)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#6 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Viceroy Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport and three miles from popular Playa del Carmen, Viceroy Riviera Maya is a serene hideaway set on the turquoise Caribbean amid a lush jungle ambiance. As Riviera Maya’s #1 resort in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards, Viceroy offers world-class amenities, personalized pampering, exquisitely appointed villa accommodations with private patio and plunge pool, refined Mexican cuisine accented with international touches at La Marea and Mexican-Mediterranean fare at the seaside Coral Grill. Mayan influences abound, from the Mayan Blessing performed on arrival by the resort’s Shaman to the Mayan healing techniques offered at the award-winning spa. A Lagoon Pool, private pier, fitness center and traditional temazcal sweatlodge are among the resort’s many other pleasures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Viceroy Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Tides Riviera Maya Hotel
Tides Riviera Maya Resort
Ikal Del Mar
Viceroy Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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