Valentin Imperial Maya: A Gastric Journey

This is Part 2 of our recent trip to the Mayan Riviera. Read Part 1


Just thinking about this post makes me hungry.

I’m not really a foodie, I don’t think, but I do enjoy good food. Nothing kills a vacation like lackluster food. Eating is such a huge part of our culture, and it should be pleasurable….everything from the taste, the presentation, the service, to the atmosphere. When you go somewhere nice, you expect the food to be nice.

The food at the Valentin wasn’t nice.

It was incredible.

The Valentin has 7 restaurants, and we ate at all of them. You can also get room service 24 hours a day. And there are several bars – I’m too lazy to look up how many. At least 8, though they weren’t all open at the same time.

So here you go, your gastric journey through the Valentin Imperial Maya. You may want to grab a snack before you continue…

Happy Birthday Cake

First things first, when we got in our room, look what was waiting!! It wasn’t actually that good, but we got four of them over the week. We didn’t eat any of them, but it was a nice touch.

Mar Y Terra: We ate there our first night. It’s steak and seafood, and the most casual of the restaurants. (Here’s a general hint – they do enforce the dress code.) They also do breakfast and lunch in there, and that’s where we ate most of the week if we weren’t ordering room service.

Taman Sari: Indonesian. We weren’t crazy about this, but I think it’s what we ordered and not the food itself.

La Hacienda: Mexican. Delicious, but one of my least favorites honestly.

L’Alsace: French. OMG eat here. We heard one couple say it was just “meh” – I don’t know what they ordered, because everything all four of us ordered was amazing. One of the best filets I’ve ever eaten.

Il Olivo: Italian, and my second favorite. Everything here was delicious too.

Ginger: Japanese, and very good. I’m not a sushi fan, but the guys said it was great. We tried sake for the first time – Jimmie liked it, but I hated it.

La Marche: Only open for breakfast and lunch. We went for each once – huge buffet, but the food was good.

Room Service: The burger? OMG. Yum. The green salad was also really good, and the All-American breakfast was enough food that we could have shared one order. Breakfast arrived in about 20 minutes, but lunch took a little longer. They also bring you beer if you ask for it (Coors Light or Dos Equis).


Salmon at Mar Y Terra

Salmon at Mar Y Terra

Tuna at Mar Y Terra

Tuna at Mar Y Terra

Duck or Beef at Taman Sari. I ordered duck, Jimmie ordered beef….they said it was the duck, but it tasted like beef.

Tequila Skewer at La Hacienda

Tequila Skewer at La Hacienda

Flank Steak at La Hacienda

Flank Steak at La Hacienda

Escargot at L'Alsace

Escargot at L’Alsace

Baked Alaska at L'Alsace

Baked Alaska at L’Alsace

Marscapone-Stuffed Chicken at Il Olivo

Marscapone-Stuffed Chicken at Il Olivo

Four Cheese Pizza at Il Olivo

Four Cheese Pizza at Il Olivo

Salad at Ginger

Salad at Ginger

Room Service All-American Breakfast for 2

Room Service All-American Breakfast for 2

Room Service Lunch - Burgers and Wings

Room Service Lunch – Burgers and Wings

Room Service Lunch - Salmon and Veggie Quesadillas

Room Service Lunch – Salmon and Veggie Quesadillas

Everything we ate was delicious. And what really impressed me, the temperature was always perfect. I never had to wait for anything to cool off – even soup. How did they do that?! Also – definitely order the room service chocolate mouse. YUM. Best dessert there.

As for the drinks, I didn’t make my goal of trying 30 new drinks. Do you know how difficult that would have been??? Best I can recall, though, here’s what I DID try:

1. Imperial Blue – I think this is a Valentin drink, but it was really good

2. Hulk – not a fan

3. Melon Ball – yum

4. Passionfruit shot – I’m sure this isn’t the real name, but it was good. Wish I’d gotten a picture, because it was pretty.

5. Dirty Monkey – yuck, in more ways than one

6. Bloody Mary – eh, it was ok

7. Mango something – no clue, but it was good

8. Mai Tai – cheating…I’d had this before

9. Sex on the Beach – because, well….I could

10. Banana Daiquiri – meh

11. Caipirinha – yum

12. Miami Vice – not bad, kinda like a strawberry daiquiri

13. Hurricane – too sweet

14. Banana Mama – not as good as a Bahama Mama

15. Flaming death shot – …..

16. Limoncello – too sour

17. Sake – not my fave

So I guess that was about half of my goal….not too bad, right? Respectable? I also stuck to my favorites – Grey Goose and cranberry, screwdrivers in the morning, lemon drop martinis, cosmos, and of course, beer and wine. Their house wine was actually really good.

We tried a few other random things in the Sports Bar, but I have no idea what they were. It was Jimmie’s birthday, and everyone was just calling out shots, and Jorge was making them. The worst was definitely the death shot…I don’t know what it was called, but it had at least 6 different liquors in it. It was so epic, there’s a video.

Needless to say, Jimmie had a great birthday. (I did too, but there was no wild drinking on mine. I just sat in the pool all day.)

Next up – the fun!!!! Here’s Part 1 about the resort if you missed it!