We just came back from a relaxing vacation in Cancun. During our stay, we stayed at the GR Caribe by Solaris for the 1st part of our holiday. Traveled with our 2 kids. This was our first vacation to the real Cancun (we had vacationed in Riviera Maya near XCaret park few years back).
CHECK-IN: Upon arrival from the airport mid afternoon, we were greeted by the bell boy and went directly to check in. There was no line so we were taken care of right away. After checking in, the reception asked us to wait for someone to take us to our room. As we waited, we were offered a nice cocktail.
CONCIERGE: About 5 minutes later, the concierge came to greet us and took us to the cafeteria and sat us down to show us the hotel map and explain all the hotel amenities. Then, he went on with an activity brochure, asking if we’d be interested in reserving anything with him. Told us he could offer discount of $50 or $75 on these activities. All we’d need to do is meet with a rep over breakfast and go tour another sister property just few minutes away from here. We’d spend about an hour 15 minutes eating breakfast while listening to the sales rep and spend another 10 minutes touring the property. We were hesitant about it since we’ve heard so many horror stories about timeshare presentations. It didn’t sound that bad so we said we’ll think about it. They wanted to know for sure by 6 pm that day if we were still interested so we said we’ll let them know. When we walked back to our room later that day, they asked us to confirm so we said yes, we would be attending the presentation.
The next morning, we were woken up with a phone call to remind us of the presentation mtg. We had thought about it overnight and thought there was lots of things to do already, didn’t want to waste time attending presentation and just save $50 on an activity (other agencies would discount hundreds of dollars on hotels rooms, just for attending a timeshare presentation – this wasn’t a big enough discount worthwhile). So we told the concierge over the phone who then gave us a bigger discount like $100 off. Still, my hubby didn’t want to attend the presentation and we gently declined.
Once in the lobby, the concierge still tried to convince us to attend the presentation which we still declined and walked away. For the rest of our stay, we just avoided eye contact with the concierge.
ROOM: We were pleasantly surprised by how large our room was. The bathroom had a huge shower stall with a rain shower so that was very nice too. The room had an exotic modern look to it. The room had a lagoon view but no balcony -- but it was okay. The ocean view with balcony would have been nice but we didn’t want to pay extra. We got a great deal on this hotel through Expedia.
POOL: The GR Caribe pool is pretty small but they had good snacks and pizza. The adjoining Royal Solaris hotel had a bigger pool that was all connected and had a swim up bar. There were always lounge chairs in the shade when we stopped by the pool. They had good pizzas but the other snacks were just soso.
BEACH: The beach was connected with the beach from the hotel zone up north and south so it was a nice long stretch. Minus part was that the sand was covered with lots of seaweed so it wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be. There were lots of beach lounge chairs along the beach and hardly anyone at the beach. The water was a nice clear blue but the waves were super strong – something I had read in past reviews and was concerned about. Waves were strong for adults, not just the kids. Now, we know why there was hardly anyone at the beach. I recommend going North Cancun for calmer beach.
FOOD: All the restaurants for “formal” dinner were really good, we tried the Veneto and Bogavante (none required reservations and there was never a wait to get in). We had a superb steak dinner at Veneto one night, all the meat were prepared to perfection, very tender. The kids also ate from the regular menu. Our assigned waiter was very nice and friendly and ordered more appetizers for us whenever he saw we really liked a certain appetizer. Perfect service. We were so full we couldn’t finish our desert. Everything was excellent. The buffet at the Solaris was okay, we usually would go there for a late night snack. Buffet breakfast at GR Caribe was smaller but they had a nice selection. All in all, we were impressed with the food and service at the GR Caribe.
DRINKS: We tried many drinks, my favorites were the Mayan coffee (served during tea time or night time in the lobby) and chocolate martini. All the drinks/cocktails were really good. Elisa in the lobby was very friendly and always smiling.
WATER ACTIVITIES: We got to go kayaking and pedal boating on the lagoon (at the marina across from the Solaris). Everything was included in the all inclusive package. We only got to do this for a little as it was really hot.
All in all, this hotel surpassed our expectations. Even though the hotel is on a smaller side, it was big on service. We had a great deal through Expedia, which made this even better. The only minuses were the beach (seaweed and strong waves) and the pushy concierge.