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Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

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Vancouver, Canada
posts: 254
reviews: 82
Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort vs Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe?

Which would you choose? Your comments on either resort is appreciated.

I'm looking to come back to Cancun in the Spring or Summer with a small group of friends and we want your input! We’re in our late twenties and early thirties. We will probably relax during the day, taking it easy, spend time at the beach/pools, etc. We're not looking for a party resort. We don't really care about night entertainment at our resort. I'm sure we'll go out on a few nights to some of the clubs.

Sandos Cancun for 1 week with return non-stop airfare for 2 = 1544 CDN /person

or

Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe for 1 week with return non-stop airfare for 2 = $1385.00 CDN /person

Why have we narrowed it down to these two resorts?

-Location, location, location!

-Resorts aren't “too big”

-Seems like both resorts have decent food

-Both resorts seem to receive very good reviews

-Both properties appear well-kept and appear to have decent sized clean pools

Food is important to us, as is price. Live Aqua ($1777), Secrets of the Vine (1987), The Royal in Cancun (2063), etc, are somewhat more expensive and out of our price range. Sandos is even pushing it a bit past my personal comfort zone, but I have read so many good things about the food at their resort that I have decided to consider it.

I spent a day at the Hard Rock Cancun and was so disappointed with their food. I could only order burgers, hot dogs, fries, or disgusting pizzas at their pools (the worst pizza I've ever tasted in my life!). There were no other options for lunch, unless you ate at their buffet. No sit-down restaurants open at lunch time. Buffet selection was good, but taste was bland and much of the food was dried out and cold. While their resort amazed me, their food kind of affected my day there. I also have stayed at the Hyatt Regency Cancun and had no hot water in the mornings of every day of my stay.

SOME QUESTIONS:

What snacks/foods can be ordered beside the pool?

What snacks/foods can be ordered for room service?

Do they both have decent food at their buffet?

What are the differences between the sit-down restaurants and what times are they open at?

Is there a Mexican restaurant/snack bar and if so what time is it open?

What time does the bar close?

How are the drinks and selection of drinks?

Would you describe these resorts as better suited towards couples, friends, or families?

Are the restaurants or lobby air-conditioned?

Are reservations for the sit-down restaurants a pain?

Can you order ice cream by their pool?

Is there a snack or deli place to grab food or snacks on-the-go?

Thanks for your input!

Edited: 3:25 am, September 23, 2013
Cincinnati, Ohio
posts: 176
reviews: 7
1. Re: Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

I can't speak for Sandos as I haven't been there. However, my husband and I were at Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe in April so I will try to answer your questions as best as I can!

We're in our early-mid forties and found the atmosphere to be what we wanted. It's very relaxed and quiet but the "activities" pool seemed a lot of fun for those participating (volleyball, card games, cooking classes, dance lessons even a fashion show) but we spent all of our time at the beach since it's so wonderful. There is not beach side service, though but not a far walk to the pool bars( and we combined it with trips to the bathroom anyway!) there is a nice swim up bar at the "quiet" pool that is adults only and has an infinity pool and Bali beds.

Not much night time entertainment, though they did offer karaoke a couple of nights and a magic show and a "White Party" ( everyone dresses in white) at the roof top lounge ( it's above the Italian Restaurant and is a cool place to hang out in the evening. Not a wild party scene but great seating and views and I would imagine quite fun with a group of friends) If you do want to party a little harder- the clubs are close and the entertainment staff will even take you there at night as an excursion.

As I said, no pool or beach service but everything's close so not a big deal to walk to the bars or snack area. For snacks: they have wood fired pizza. That was hit or miss- the first time we loved the taste and selection other times it wasn't very good. Perhaps it had been sitting too long. They also offer nachos( pretty yummy) hamburgers( these we found to be quite gross!) and hot dogs which were surprisingly tasty.

They have a cafe that offers cappuccino, coffee, pre-made sandwiches( which we took to the beach) and delicious gelato.

Room service has an excellent chicken club sandwich and fries. In the afternoon we ordered coffee and sweet rolls- a nice little in room treat! We also ordered breakfast a couple of times and it was good.

The best place for breakfast is La Concha. It's a separate restaurant near the beach that serves breakfast and lunch ( we didn't eat lunch there but I understand their seafood is supposed to be good) Great ocean views there.

The buffet ( open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) is decent. They have an omelette station my husband loved. We never ate lunch there. Dinner is a different theme every night- Tex Mex, Italian,etc and the only place we had"Mexican" food. They had a wonderful burrito/fajita station that night and will make what you want to order. Always a great selection of desserts!

The restaurants that take reservations are an Oriental one( didn't eat there as we don't care for oriental food) and the Italian place - El Mirador which we absolutely loved! We ate there 3 out of 7 nights. The reservation process isn't so bad. You can stand in line @ the restaurant starting @ noon for the night of your reservation. My husband just got there a little before noon with a drink in hand and talked with other people in line. Didn't take long at all. You can call but we heard it's very hard to get through. I believe if you stay in the Royal Tower that you can make reservations for the week w/the concierge but not totally sure about that :) I think the seating starts @ 6pm.

The bars - I think the pool bars closed when the pools did@8pm but were open later when they had the karaoke by the main pool. I believe that the lobby bar and roof top bar are open until 11pm. All of the drinks we had were great- they weren't watered down and we always got top shelf liquor but some reviewers say they had to ask for it. Only 2 types of beer, though- Corona and Negra Modelo but both on tap and we liked them. I would recommend bringing your own plastic tumblers w/lids esp for drinks at the beach as it is very windy and the resort uses small styrofoam cups. They don't mind if you bring your own plus they hold twice as much and keep them cold longer!

The lobby and restaurants were all air conditioned ( except of course the outside patio at the buffet but it's shaded and breezy)

The resort seems to cater to all groups- we saw quite a few families but other than the pool and small play area not much for the kids to do. Mostly couples when we were there but several large groups as well who all seemed to be taken good care of :)

We loved it there! The resort is so incredibly clean- every inch of it and the staff was wonderful! We loved that it's not a huge resort but it doesn't have a closed in crowded feel to it. The beach is gorgeous and one of the bigger stretches in the Hotel Zone and we never had an issue getting a palapa.

I hope I've answered your questions. If there's anything else I can help with let me know!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 254
reviews: 82
2. Re: Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

Thank you so much Angie for taking the time to reply. You have given me a lot to think about.

It sounds like the food at Grand Park Royal Caribe is fairly good. Also, it seems like this resort has a very relaxed vibe.

I'm going to let my friends know that this would be a good place to stay.

Thanks again.

new york
posts: 74
reviews: 2
3. Re: Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

Love Love Love the Grand Park Royal Cancun Caribe!! Going again in April for 9 nights!

Cincinnati, Ohio
posts: 176
reviews: 7
4. Re: Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

Timbuk2- you are quite welcome!

Typhoidjane- we are also going in April for 7 nights. Lucky you to be staying 9! Have a wonderful time there (again!)

5. Re: Help me choose: Sandos Cancun or Grand Park Royal Caribe?

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