The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Reviews of The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
I just sent a group of girlfriends here for a trip and they loved it! Gave it 5stars and said everything was perfect. Pretty much everything said in previous reviews so I won't repeat, but HIGHLY recommended.
We just returned from a wonderful week at The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya. We emailed in advance to pre-reserve the free shuttle service from Cancun International to the resort. IMPORTANT: Once you get your luggage, do not stop to talk to anyone until you are outside and past the signbearers. Then you look for the Khaki shirt and Blue pants of The Grand Mayan representative who will direct you to your shuttle.
Check in was quick and efficient. However, our room was not yet ready when we checked in, so we were offered a 25% discount certificate to use in the Bluefish restaurant, adjacent to the private Grand Mayan pool. The resort, which is a combination of The Grand Mayan and the Mayan Palace, is spacious with exquisite landscaping throughout. Resort shuttles were always available to take us wherever we needed to go. The walking paths were well manicured and meandered past flamingos, a fenced in crocodile or alligator habitat, and the multitude of iguanas. The tri-level pool is enormous. The top level seems to be the warmest. Each subsequent level is a few degrees cooler. We never experienced a problem getting lounge chairs. There were more than enough to go around. The wait service around the pool was very good. The two-for-one happy hour, from 11:00am to 1:00pm was great. Be sure to inquire about the "drink of the day." It is not well publicized but is a two-for-one, all day long, at the pool. For those that don't want to leave the pool for a drink, there are a couple of swim-up bars. The maintenance people kept the pool and grounds clean and free of debris throughout the day. As mentioned in other reviews, the beach is well maintained, but the water is not the sandy bottom that most people seem to expect. Take a short walk up or down the beach and you will find that soft sandy bottom.
The restaurant choices at the resort were numerous. Besides lunch at Bluefish, we enjoyed dining and dancing to great music at Havana Moon, lunch by the pool from Balche, and two exceptional dinners at Tramontos. For a night of good eating and drinking, along with great Mexican entertainment, don't miss the Mexican Fiesta at Del Lago.
A trip to Playa del Carmen is a must. While there you can stock up on necessities for your unit at Mega or Walmart. The first trip, we took the resort shuttle to Playa for $4.00 each. We enjoyed a romantic dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant, complete with Mariachi band music, and took a taxi back for $20.00. The second time, we took the resort shuttle both ways. 5th Avenue in Playa is a happening street. If you want it or need it, you'll find it there. We spent the afternoon watching the USA defeat the Swiss in Ice Hockey at a sports bar in Playa.
The accommodations were fabulous. Our two bedroom unit consisted of a full one bedroom suite plus the additional studio lockoff. The balcony, complete with a small pool, was enormous and was perfectly suited for our morning coffee and late afternoon cocktails. The kitchen was just the right size for preparing breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The fridge was rather small but we never overfilled it. Each one of our bedrooms had a whirlpool tub as well as a spacious bathroom. The king bed was firm but comfortable. The twice-a-day maid service, including night time turn down, was outstanding.
Overall, we were more than pleased with our Grand Mayan vacation. As a matter of fact, we can't wait to visit all of the other Grand Mayan / Mayan Palace properties. They all look beautiful.
Loved this resort. Had two units one studio and a one bedroom unit. Because of the one day difference in check in dates we ended up with 9 days. Great. The front desk let us have the rooms next to each other which was fabulous like a 2 bedroom lockout unit. Huge!!! Need a rental car but there is plenty to do so you are gonna need one. Use your credit card and call in advance some credit cards will let you waive CDW or whatever my husband took care of this. Like it better than Cancun. Lots to do not enough time. Go see Rio Secreto a must, the ruins, horseback riding, snorkling, don't forget their mexican fesital buffet all you can drink and eat. Don't drink too much easy to do lots of fun. Dining at Playa Del Carmen is about 20 minutes away and Cancun about 30-35 minutes away. Love having our rental car. We were located in the last building which at first I was concerned about but was more convenient for us because the parking lot was right next to our units and we were in and out going places and having fun so it worked out better for us. I would go back to this resort as we still did not get to do it all. You can easily do 2 weeks here or one week here one week in cancun but dont' think I could stay 7 days in cancun not enough to do and the crowds are not my thing. The pool is not deep however but open 24 hours which my daughter loves (19) with some cousins that joined us. The beach is rocky but beautiful. I don't go in the water anyway so it was fine with me. Lots of chairs and palm trees. Only had one day for this unfortunately as too many things to see and do. Have fun and choose this resort.
Top Ten List to Enjoy Your Stay at Grand Mayan, Riviera Maya.
1) Pre-arrange for the free Grand Mayan shuttle bus from the airport in Cancun. (By phone or via their web site). Then, look for the red-shirted Grand Mayan transportation folks outside. Don't get hooked by anyone else (like RCI), who will try to rope you into another resort's timeshare presentatiion.
2) Press hard for rooms in building 3 or 4 when you check in. This will give you a 3 minute walk to the Grand Mayan Pool, and a 6 minute walk to the enormous Mayan Palace Pool, beachand restaurants. Plus, you're right across the street from the golf course, and 19th hole restaurant. Building 1 or 2 are even closer to the pools and restaurants, but they were rebuilding the lobby right next door when we were there (in March of '08) , complete with construction noise.
3) It's not Kanapaali Beach - the shoreline IS rocky. But once you're out 30 yards into the ocean, it's refeshing and exhilirating! But a pair of Crocs for $20 bucks before you go, and walk right into the surf. Then, wear the same Crocs to dinner. They're the only shoes you need here!
4) Restaurants are very good, and reasonably priced. Havana Moon sits right on the ocean, with the ocean breeze wafting through the open doors at night. Good bands almost every night at 8:00 p.m. Delicious seafood at havana Moon - try the curry shrimp. Or, they have an evening buffet right on the beach! Dinner at upscale Tramonto was superb. Make a reservation for 8:00 p.m., and hit the Tramonto Bar at 7:00 p.m. for happy hour (2 for 1 drinks). One of the best kept secrets is the 19th hole restaurant - sitting right on the first tee: good breakfast buffet (try the huevos rancheros) and lunch (a tasty pannini), and its never crowded. If you choose to attend the timeshare presentation, you can stuff yourself at the awesome (and complimentary) breakfast buffet at Del Lago.
5) To stake out your cabana shade by the pool, rotate designated "towel placers" from your party to hit the pool every morning at 7:00 a.m. Find a cabana you like, and place your towels on lounge chairs to "hold your space". Then, go have breakfast. Splurge one day and rent a Palapa bed for $30 (reserve a day or two in advance, at 7:00 a.m. while you're on a morning towel placing run). Shade is very important - don't expect to find it at 10:30. Remember the sunscreen, and a good hat!
6) There is less traffic on the beach - you can usualy find a cabana or even palapa bed (no charge) on the beach even at 8:30 a.m. Spend a day people - watching at the beach! Rent a Wave Runner, parasail, or just chill.
7) If you want to take advantage of a $100 incentive and 10% off your entire bill (food, drinks), sign up for the timeshare presentation. If you keep saying "no" early and often, you can be in and out of the presentation in under 2 hours (including free breakfast). If you show them a glimmer of interest to the sales sharks, expect to be there 3.5 hours, or until you buy. If you don't want to attend the presentation, simply tell your Concierge very firmly at check-in. You are under no obligation to attend!
8) By all means, take a day trip into Playa del Carmen. If you have a party of 4 or more, it's more cost effective to take a taxi into PDC -- $20 each way, + tip. Our taxi driver dropped us off, then returned 4 hours later to pick us up, after we had dinner and hit the Mega grocery store to stock up on agua and cerveza. If you're a party of two, it's cheaper to take the shuttle, but you are at the mercy of scheduled departure and return times. Book the shuttle two days in advance.
9) If you like riding 2 hours in a crowded bus, and standing outside in the blazing sun - do the Chichen Itza tour. (For Chichen Itza, it's better to add a day onto the front end of your week, rent a car, drive there from the Cancun airport, spend the night in a local hotel, and be at Chichen Itza when they open at 8:00 a.m. Then, you can hike up to the top of the pyramid, take your photographs, be out of there before the heat and caravans of tour busses invade at 10:00.) If you want to see ruins, a shorter trip would be Tulum, which you can combine with a visit to Xel-Ha water park. If you like to snorkel, there's a day trip to Cozumel that's fantastic.
10) Check Out is slower than we're used to in the states, so allow some more time for that. Save some pesos to tip the maids who clean and tidy up your room TWICE a day. Book your return shuttle bus trip to the airport a few days early, for a small fee. Get to the cancun airport 2 hours early.
Pete Graves March 2008
Incredible beaches and services, many amenities close by; Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Three Rivers, Cozumel Island, Isla Mujeres (do the pirate tour, unbelivable), Mayan ruins.
My 2 friends and I vacationed at the Grand Mayan Palace 12/15/07- 12/22/07. The resort is still under construction. They are building another pool area (a little noisy). Since last year when we vacationed there they have finished the pool exclusively for the Grand mayan guest, it is very nice. The food was good especially the buffet breakfast.
The daily activities at the pool was fun. If you are a workout person the activities are great to help you maintian some kind of daily workout. They offer shuttle service to Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Check with the resort for times, during our stay the last one to the resort was at 8:30pm. We took a taxi back from Playa del Carmen for about $20. The restaurants, street vendors and entertainment in Playa is a must see. Also you can catch the ferry to Cozumel there too. The resort offers excursions to different places. We went to Chichen Itza for a day.
The biggest complaint we have is the beach and the timeshare presentation. We tried to run along the beach and swim but the rocks were all over the place. The timeshare presentation was to long and like the other person said, they were incredibly rude.
We actually stayed on the Mayan Palace side 12/21/07 - 12/28/07. First time in Mexico and found the weather and experience to be fabulous! Highs in low 80's and the evenings didn't require a sweater. It only rained one day, but that didn't stop us from enjoying the pool, which was awesome. The Grand Mayan pool was great too, with a sand beach area for the kids to dig in and a zero-depth entry. It's rather shallow though (Mayan Palace pool was slightly deeper) making it great for the kids.
The resort is big and it got tiresome carrying a toddler to the pool. Construction has begun on a waterpark that will be closer to the buildings farther away from the current Mayan Palace pool and that will make a big difference.
The food was very good, but fairly expensive. The buffets at Del Lago were $29/adult for a seafood theme (kids 6-12 half price, under 6 free), but great choices and well prepared. It did get tiring to eat on the resort for an entire week, so the next time I'd get to the WalMart (really!) in Playa Del Carmen sooner. Renting a car was expensive (we had a party of 8) and taxis were $40 each way for us. There's no negotiating taxis from the resort. The rooms were spacious and we found the beds and sleeper sofa to be quite comfortable (we like it on the firm side).
The beach was disappointing there, as it is rocky and you have to walk over the rocks in order to get to water deep enough to swim. Water shoes would be very helpful. But the resort offers great tours (for additional costs of course) that include transportation and many times buffet lunches. All in all, we felt it was medium-high price vacation, no great deal, but worth it because it was so easy to get to from the midwest, there was no time change, the area is beautiful, it's safe and the people are very friendly, especially if you try to speak spanish. Several of us did have some tummy issues, but it didn't affect our activities. The Mayan Palace says its water is potable, but we were always offered bottled water, although they always gave us ice!
This was our second trip to the Grand Mayan. We found that the restaurants have better prices and selection than in 2006. This resort gets high marks from us on everything except the following which we find important enough to consider when planning future trips.
The shuttle between buildings, beach, pool, and lobbies only runs every half hour and you cannot walk to and from many of the distant buildings. Considering the fact that the shuttle makes numerous stops along the way, it can take up to one hour to reach your destination.
WiFi is available in the Internet Cafe, which was relocated from the quiet first floor boutique to the very noisy second floor arcade. If you plan to use Skype, "forget about it". Also, the first floor of building 7 has WiFi, but you have to be lucky enough to get a room there with a working system.
They now have a bus service that takes you into Playa del Carmen; however, you must buy a round-trip ticket for $4pp and the last one has a very early return to the resort at 8:00 p.m..
Great resort - can't wait to go back! The rooms are beautiful, spacious with a jacuzzi in both rooms. They have huge decks that you can sit out on. There is maid service twice a day. The food is great. If you're looking for a lot of night life you can get it in Playa which is about 10 minutes south. They do have entertainment but it ends earlier than Playa. The pool is the nicest I've ever seen.
Great pool, beach is not great. The timeshare presentation is terrible- 3 1/2 hours, very rude- not worth anything they might offer. The rooms are spacious and very nice.
Location is between Playa and Cancun- a bit of a drive either way. I would prefer a nicer beach and a location closer to the action.
We just returned from our second trip to Grand Mayan,Riveria Maya. Having read the posts below, I believe that they are all accurate, from the comments about crossing the street to those about the night life- which is over by 9:30 pm. Good or bad, this is a married couples (with or without families) resort. Don't go hoping to meet your future special other, as there is no venue for that to happen at the resort. The comment abouts about walking alot are a bit exagerated, but could be true if you have a Mayan Palace room. The walk from the Grand Mayan to the pool is no more than 5 minutes, and within 6 months, it will have its own pool area.
The rooms are great, clean, spacious and well maintained. Housekeeping hits the room twice a day. The dinners are a bit expensive, but not unreasonable. Buffet food is very well prepared. Happy hour every day from 11-1pm helps with the cost of drinks. They do taste good even if they are a bit weak.
A couple of suggestions for visitors. Go to Playa 3-4 nights. You can cab it there for $10- outside the main gate, and bus it back from the terminal for $1 PP.
In buying jewelry there, walk away at least once, the price gets better each time. Make sure you eat at La Parilla and Caprichoza restaurants. They are both fun, with great food and drinks. We went to Cancun for an evening and would not do that again. Nothing there that Playa didn't have for us- we are not club people.
There are no DVD players in the rooms, so if you have a mini unit, you can plug it into the TV.
We'll go back again.
I took my daughter and two of her friends here in September for her birthday. I found the level of service to be excellent. All of the staff - from the maids to the activities people to the valet service staff - were efficient, polite, and cheerful. Our attempts to learn Spanish seemed to be appreciated and we amazingly learned quite a bit with the help of the staff, the people in the town of Playa del Carmen (an awesome place) and even the passengers (mostly truck drivers) and crew of the car ferry to Cozumel.
The rooms are all lovely, decorated in a contemporary style, and very roomy. Each two bedroom unit has a plunge pool. The food and service in the restaurants was very good. You have to get up early for one of the "beds" under a thatched roof at the pool, but well worth it - it is HOT in September. I felt that prices were, while not cheap, certainly were reasonable considering that you are, to an extent, a captured audience. There are two happy hour periods at the swim up pool bars each day - mid-afternoon at one, early evening at the other. We rented a car - which I would recommend - so we could leave the resort but even if you didn't, taxis were readily available and not too expensive. My daughter and her friends stayed out late at the dance clubs a couple of nights and a cab home was only $18.
Both the resort and the city of Playa del Carmen seemed to be very safe. Security is evident but we really never saw any reason for it. Everyone we met was pleasant and respectful. The beach is beautiful and the pool was huge. All in all, it was a great week.
We just got back a week ago from the Grand Mayan. It was fabulous! The weather was 83 to 87 degrees. Yes it is spacious and there was a little walking, but we took the little trams. Never waited more than 5 minutes. The timeshare people were not hardsell and we were not pressured. We recieved $50.00 and 15% off all food and drinks. We never noticed the spraying of pesticides. The pools are huge (5). . And we were told that they are building an indoor pool and another pool exclusively for Grand Mayan owners. The pools were a little cool for my taste. But we got used to them. This was our first time to the Riviera Maya, as we usually go to Acapulco in February(guaranteed Perfect weather in Feb.) We rented a mini-van since there were 5 of us from Budget right on the premises. You can haggle for the price. We paid $300 for 5 full days. The restaurants were ok. Prices for the breakfast Buffet was $17(a little steeper than Acapulco) the food was so, so. We ate every morning at the Balche restaurant near the pools. Playa Del Carmen was great. Avienda 5(ave 5) is a cobble stoned street with shops and restaurants, with live music at night. Quite romantic! All in all I would definetly go back. It definetly is a place for relaxation and some seclusion from the busy metropolis of Cancun and Hotel row. I did not give it a 5 star only because I think that they can improve on the Food. Otherwise it is definetly a 5 star resort.
We stayed at the Grand Mayan from June 10th through to the 17th. The reason for our trip was to find a wedding spot and resort for us and our 30 guests for February of 2007. I made appointments with tonz of resorts and there wedding coordinators. We took tours of about 8 resorts and were so happy that we did this and didn't just go by the pictures on the net or other peoples reviews. There beaches in the riviera are not very nice and are definitally not what someone is picturing in there head for a beach wedding.
As far as the resort we stayed at goes the only reason I gave this resort 2 stars instead of one is because it really is a beautiful resort. The rooms are very nice and everyone of them has a balcony. You can crank up the air conditioning so that when you get back to your room from tanning in the hot sun it's like, ahhhhhhhhh! They give you bath oil, bubble bath, and a cented candle as a gift so that you can enjoy the two person hot tub that is in the large bathroom but has doors that open up to the bedroom/livingroom so that you can watch TV or just see another person who may be on the bed or out on the balcony. I really did like the room and it was a very nice size.
Plus it has a great pool with cabana beds everyplace. It was nice laying on them and relaxing while you ordered your food and drinks from the waiters walking by (you have to wave them down or they won't stop to see if they can get you anything) Now for all of the stuff that made this resort a 2 star for me.
You literally have to walk a half mile to get anywhere in the resort (not dramatized at all). You will want to bring your own alcohol because the drinks are so watered down that even after drinking four drinks from the swim up bar for 6 dollars a piece all within about 1 hour I didn't even get a buzz (and I don't drink very often).
Even if you do bring your own alcohol and large thermal cups (we did) to keep your drinks from melting before you get the the pool or beach that is truly a half mile away you have to force yourself to walk all of the way back to your room to make another drink when you are done and this is such a hassel that you end up just not drinking at all. If you want to drink you would be better off going to Playadel.
There is a very good dinner buffet and breakfast buffet but they are so much money that it's reduculous in my opinion. $25 a person for the dinner and $17 a person for the breakfast.
There is entertainment in the evenings from 9 to 11 but when the shows stop there is no music and everyone is really bumbed out and they all go back to there rooms. It's like you are forced to stop having fun on your vacation. Who ever heard of time on vacation anyways? There was really no night life unless you left the resort. You can catch a van that says Playadel Express on the side of it for only $1 a person each way into Playadel Carmen and that is a lot of fun and feels safe. Taxis are outragious and are very negotiable so don't ever pay what they ask for the first or second time. Plus if you do take a taxi make sure you pay them right when you get into the car because otherwise when you get there they will tell you that you owe them something different that what you agreed on. Our favorite way to travel was bus. It's air conditioned, spacious, and only $2.50 a person.
The beach was horrable. There were rocks everywhere and if you wanted to go into the water to actually swim the waves threw you into the rocks and you got all cut up. Not good if you like swimming in the ocean!!!!
We disliked the resort so much (bored) that we left eveyday and so I wanted to tell about a beach that we found that was truly amazing!!!!!!! Free to get in and it was just like the corona commercials and I'm not kidding. I thought beaches only looked this way in pictures that had been messed with in photo shop but this was jaw dropping glorious. A hidden paradise that you have to go for the entire day and night. There are rooms there so if you wanted to stay for the entire week they are only $60 a night and this place was better than anything we saw our entire trip and we saw a lot! It's called Hotel Paraiso but you don't have to pay to get in to the beach if you don't stay at the hotel. The drinks weren't watered down and the food was good. Still on the spendy side but at least there was alcohol in the drinks. The night life goes until very late on Thursday through Saturday and on the other nights you can take a taxi for $5 into town and go to the bars there until whenever. The bar at the beach has swing chairs and normal tables and chairs. They have a huge bonfire at night and there are blue beds to match the ocean water during the days. To sum it up in a few words I would say it's a romantic, simple, intimate, rustic, tropical, hidden paradise.
The only other place that we went that I recommend definitally going to if you like to snorkel is a place called the Yal-Ku Lagoon in Akumal. You will have to take taxi there but it isn't that far away from the Paraiso so it should only cost you about $10 to get there or less. If you bring your own snorkeling gear it only cost $5 to get into the park and then you can snorkel as long as you want. There are NO WAVES at all and there are tonz of fish everywhere!!!!!!! You can't where sunscrean though so I recommend wearing a teeshirt to protect your back, shoulders, and neck. I don't know if there is anything you can do about your legs. Don't rent a life jacket because you can't sink even if you try to. We had the best time snorkeling here and truly saw hundreds of fish.
This is all I can say about our trip. If we were to do it all again we would stay at the Paraiso for the entire week and we would definitally go back to the Yal-Ku Lagoon!
Have a great trip! Lisa & Matt
We just got back form vacationing at this resort April 7-14 and had a great time speacially the kids, the accomodations were very nice and spacious,service and food were excellent but the resort is still under construction and a lot of the ammenities are not available yet; there is no ground transportation to/from airport. At the pool we encounter a big problem trying to get a palapa or any type of covered sitting (people have to get there before 6 in the morning! to get one) a little to early considering you are on vacation. food,transportation and boutique items are expensive.overall it was a delight and can't wait to visit again!
We have stayed at the Mayan Palace and other fine resorts in the world and these properties are certainly on par. They have been built from the ground up as vacation club properties, not like some that you find in the U.S. which are converted hotel rooms. Finally two years ago we purchased 10 weeks at the Grand Mayan. Our experience has been impeccable and the children, family, and friends love the place.
Yes, they are experiencing some challenges. Speaking with one of the big wigs they are behind schedule completing some of the amenities of the resort. When we were there a lot of construction going on. In addtion, he said they underestimated the number of english speaking customers they would have signing up and exchanging through RCI, ICI, ICE, SFX, HSI and so on. That said they have not instructed their staff to do things as we do in the U.S. or Canada. But that is "OK"! That is why we travel abroad to experience different cultures. For instance, we like not being hounded by a waiter or waitress as we complete my meal, cuz they are trying to turn over a table to get more tips, as they do in the states. Ask for the bill and you shall receive...otherwise keep reading your book and sipping your cappacino and they leave you be.
Now to be fair, more of their restaurants could be properly air conditioned or incorporate better air flow to cool the places down, but We could say that about resorts we've visited in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Korea.
We do not however, enjoy being hounded by the sales people at any of the resorts, even the folks at the Grand Mayan Palace. Your respected up to a certain point and when we remind them to look up our profile; they treat me like leper cause we were stupid enough :-)to purchase so many weeks upfront (10 weeks during construction $89,000 including fees). We were actually left at the breakfast table by one of the Mexican sales associates welcoming us once his American/Canadian sales manager looked up our file and informed him that we were probably not going to be buying more weeks. When we enquired we were informed that the "Welcome Back," hospitality greeting was for those who had less than 4 weeks. Guys, it is all about sales numbers and commissions, just like in the states, if that is what you want...you'll get it.
Otherwise, the facility is virtually new and depending on availability each bedroom will have either one king and two queens or each will have a king bed. Allowing for 6-8 sleeping with two pull-out sofa beds. The decorations are bright, colorful and funky and the appliances are all stainless steel. Countertops granite, floors marble, jacuzzi type tub in one unit, marble showers, and a dipping pool on the deck for those days you wish to sun bath without going to the pool. Quality soaps, shampoos, conditioners and lotions are provided to all guests. Overall, the 2 BR units range from 1600-1650 sq.ft., which is on par with many of the finest properties in the world. The decks on the Grand Mayan are spacious and chairs are provided for sitting or lounging. For the children (and those kids at heart) you name it...one of the biggest pools in the world. Golf, tennis, and great health club. What more can you ask? Better food in the restaurants...YES...room service is 10 times better. Hopefully, by the next time I visit the restaurants will have improved. Better yet, take a bus ride/rent a car and eat in the city (Playa Del Carmen or Cancun)...that is the real reason for a vacation...relax and experience the culture of the place your visiting. If I see another McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Domino's or Pizza Hut, while traveling abroad, I am going to scream. Hope you enjoy the Grand Mayan Experience...we have!!!
We rented a time share from a listing here on red week. It was a Excellent investment ! We noticed on the mayan palace reviews, there was a lot of walking to be expected. I didn't think it was that bad... It was definitely a Big Resort !! There was some damage from the huricane being repaired and they were upgrading some of the buildings look, but overall Beautiful! Kind of freaky to see 3 crocodiles in the lagoon or lake by the lago restaurant. The lago restaurant was beatiful and food fabulous but the wild (house) cats running through and around the restaurant was a bit disconcerting.... The pool side restaurant was also open and exceptional. We did however begin to miss typical american fast food... go figure... The suite was beautiful!!! Small sitting pool on the deck, huge bedroom with sofa and large tub. Big bathroom, nice kitchen, and our girls thought the sofa sleepers were quite comfy!! However..... Our King size bed was harder than my living room carpeted floor!!!!!!! They spray poison every night which seems to kill the bugs nearly instantly.... It has a strong smell similiar to Chloridane which was banned in the U.S. We tipped the staff almost constantly, 5 to 10 pesos for picking us up and 20 to 40 peso for our fabulous room service.. I was a bit caught off gaurd by the envelopes left at the end of our stay to provide and additional tip to day and night staff... Security was kind of a joke.... They required an i.d. bracelet which our girls took off nearly instantly (tan lines...), the only people who noticed them were the street merchants in Playa who really thought you must be wealthy.... And man did they play that card hard...("my wife or mother works there and makes little to no money, can't you spare some change to buy a few things ???") We did catch the bus to playa, which can be quite nerv racking... Trying running across a interstate highway with big curbs and 70 to 90 mph cars buzzing along.... ha.. You'ld think they could build a bridge...? Prices varied from type of transportation and driver...Always in pesos and usually between 10 to 65 per person. You want to have close to correct amount as change seems to be a problem for big notes.. Standard vans called collectivos would cram you in tight !!! You better enjoy adventure and your comfort zone with people better be extremely flexible!!! Busses (grey hound style) would also stop for everyone they could squeeze in... And a small type charter bus was also available but again cram everyone they could in.. And EVERY driver would ride the bumper of the car in front of them or drive the lanes inappropriately... Taxis??? Some would negotiate if heading back to Playa after dropping someone off but you need to speak decent spanish we could never get one below $10 U.S.... We usually took a taxi back to the resort as they drove you all the way in and were readily available just about anywhere in Playa, they prefered U.S.at $18 usually a max of 4 people. Playa was our place of enjoyment.. Can't say I enjoyed the salesman (for lack of a better word!!!) everyone is trying to sell the same stuff..... (litterally!) You'll also be presented with cards to get free drinks to this or that restaurant, if you'll look the card over closely, they note their name to get a kick back from the restaurant operator.... We did use the advice of mapchick.com and found her restaurant recommendations to be excellent. Also, highly recommend checking the bathrooms!!!! if they're nasty, which we did see, you can imagine the kitchen and or staff.... We did head to cancun and I got pick pocketed..!! not happy about that.
We vacationed at the Mayan Palace Riviera Maya Resort from December 2-9, 2005. The resort was fully operational and the service was fantastic. The staff were friendly and attentive.
The beach was in operaton and people were swimming and snorkeling in the beach. There were 2 restaurants on-site that were opened and the food was good.
The swimming pools were awesome-8,000 square meters water surface-one of the biggest in Latin America. The resort is located on the Caribbean Sea.
The Resort has a no-cash policy -that is , everything is charged to your room and upon check-out , you can pay with cash or credit card.
The Resort is famous for the 18-hole championship court and practice area designed by Jack Nicklaus, which was in operation.
We enjoyed the services of the world class Spa & Fitness Center.
The Resort is a shuttle ride of 35 minutes from Playa del Carmen-Riviera and 45 minutes from Cancun.
This was our first stay at Cancun and a very enjoyable one. Ownership has its advantages!
Had a excellent time Feb 25th - April. No swimmable beach at the resort. The pool was incredible. Food and drinks very reasonable.
This resort is spectacular; it has awesome food, a world class full service spa; a great pool with swim up bars; and, of course, the turquoise ocean.
THis resort is wonderful and the people that work there are so respectful and courteous. It is just beautiful and it is a healthy walk not unbearable to some spots on the resort yet there is a shuttle that will always take you around and it runs every ten minutes. I found it so clean and the pool is amazing. It has a nice beach to lay out on yet you need to walk five minutes to snorkle from the beach. Americans need to stop being so rude to these wonderful staff members. This is truly a 5 star spot and we want to go back soon.
This is a very nice resort with a wonderful pool. There are however somethings we did not like. We travel with our five children and found that the resort is not designed for you to make your own meals in the condo even though they have mini kitchens in the two bedroom unit. They also have no washer or dryer in the units. They do have self serve laundry but it cost us $7 us a load if you can believe that. The walk to the pool is very long which is ok if you don't have small children with you. You must have a car if you want to see or do anything. You have to walk about a mile and stand on the very busy highway if you want to take a bus. We had our own car so that wasn't a problem but we did see many people waisting their vacation time walking and waiting for a bus. The food is very expensive but good. You would be better off going to Playa Del Carmen to eat out. I would stay here again without the kids. Thanks Bill
The Grands are very spacious. Love the large deck w/plunge pool. The kitchen is good, however they lack cookware...I guess their goal is for you to eat their very expensive meals. They need to improve the maid service at the Cancun/Puerto Murelos location. The activities workers are wonderful ie: Fabiola & Ceasar our 3 girls just loved them...We rent a car when staying at this resort. The drive to Playa is approx 15 min. and 25 to Cancun. We've drivin to Chichen Itza, Tulum, Xel Ha', and Xcaret. I must say be cautious when renting then driving, we've been pulled over only once, that was a tad nerve racking but we got out of being scammed. We've been twice to this location and enjoyed ourselves greatly and would stay again.
This resort is highly recommended. Luxurious and relaxing
personal attention from the staff is superb.
Marvelous food and amenities. Fen Shui decor.
Our family loved it....(Mom, Dad, and 4 college kids)...it was great to get away from the hassel of Cancun, and just kick back and relax. The staff was awesome...just sit and wait a second and along they come in a little buggy to take you wherever you want to go. We will definitely go back....they will be doing renovation on the beach area, and adding new amenities. We have been in some nice places, but the accomodations at the Grand Mayan have proven the best. Just kick back and relax....isn't that what vacations are for?
it is a concrete jungle. no beach to swim in and everything is a walk. would never go back. the rooms are beautiful but the location is also too far from cancun and a good 15 minute taxi into playa.
The resort itself is quite nice, except for the beach, which is why I would go to the Mexican Coast. The restaurants were very good and the reort is very clean with an awesome pool area. You are quite isolated there and can't walk to anything. Playa del Carmen is about a 20 minute ride.