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“Enjoyable 4.5 star holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa

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Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Prolongacion 5ta. Avenida Mza 20 lote 006, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #98 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Enjoyable 4.5 star holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2008

We stayed at the Riviera side of the Princess hotels from April 11 – 18. With Airtransat. I would recommend bringing some food on the plane. Our flight left around 4:30pm and we arrived at the hotel around 10pm. They supplied a light snack and by the time we arrived at the hotel and checked in we were starving. The dinner buffet closes at 10:30pm. Room was jr. suite deluxe number 8123 on the second floor looking out on the grounds, no pool view. No problems with cleaning of room or bar restock. It was done everyday. We were happy to be close to the lobby because the a la carte restaurants and buffets are located there and in the evenings we hung out at the large lobby bar playing games. The Riviera side is bordered by construction but the noise was just during the day and we used earplugs for early morning noise. Some construction dust but hardly any mosquitoes on our side. The Sunset side is bordered by mangroves and I think that is why there are more mosquitoes. Another plus to being by the lobby are the computers. The Transat office has 2 computers that are available to use. (As a side benefit, if you happen to need an extra washroom in cases of emergency, just run to the lobby washroom. It came in handy one day).

Resort: The resort is very modern looking with beautiful marble everywhere. It was easily the largest we have stayed at, some may like this but I felt a bit overwhelmed by the size and amount of people. I couldn’t wear most of the shoes I brought because of the walking, but I don’t think this is too much of a problem because this was the only exercise we got. Also, we went with another couple and because of this brought 2-way radios to contact them around the resort, which was a great convenience.

Food: The Japanese restaurant was very entertaining sitting at the cooking table, but this must be specifically reserved. We didn’t do this ahead of time but the host asked us to wait 10 minutes and if they have any “no-shows” we could get the table in their place, which is exactly what happened and well worth it. Both veal choices at the Italian restaurant were excellent and by far our favorite of all the restaurants . The lamb chops at the International were also very good but the ostrich was terrible, prepared like meatballs but tasted more like liverwurst with bad seasoning. I have had great ostrich back home many times and this was not. A bit disappointed in the Mexican, the food tasted good but was not hot, however that could be hit or miss. The buffets are like other resorts we have stayed at. Nice selection but can get a bit boring at times. Between the two main buffet restaurants is an outdoor lounge. We picked up cappuccino’s there for breakfast and brought them into the buffet instead of drinking the coffee served.

Beach: I would recommend water shoes for the few spots of rocks in the water.

Tulum & Cenotes: We rented a car one day. Found a better deal online so the resort rentals gave us extra time with the car to compensate. Tulum is about a one hour drive from the resort. It was very interesting and beautiful but recommend going early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not so hot. There is very little shade. Also recommend taking the trolley to the ruins, it is only 2$ but in the scorching sun we were happy to get a break.
Drove to Grand Cenotes, which is another 5 minutes away and swam in the underwater cave system. This was a highlight. They charge $8 to enter and another $10 to rent snorkel, vest and flippers. Bring snacks and water with you.

Playa Del Carmen: they have free shuttle buses that leave at 10am, 11am, noon, 1pm and 6pm. You must reserve them ahead and get a bus ticket.

Leaving: Have your flight info, eticket ready for the airport bus, they want to check that you are supposed to be on that bus and not trying to get a free ride to the airport or on the wrong one.

We had a very nice time and are sure others would too. I would not return to this resort simply because we like trying others.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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vancouver
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2008

We enjoyed our stay and most negative points from the reviews are true except the theft issues (cant honestly say I felt unsafe at any time) I wanted to give a few helpful hints. -You can catch a ride to the rooms at the far end of the resort by asking the bell desk in either lobby or a security guard, they are all on radios and a bellman will meet you at the start of the walkways on the outer edge of the resort and drive you on a golf cart. - ake a stroll on the back walkway when you are on the way to the lobby or restaurants the walk is shorter and you can catch a ride - Take some time to get to know the staff helping you even if you dont speak spanis, try it goes a long way. - Tip please even one or two dollars it means so much and if you didnt bring any money smile and talk, the staff have some great stories. - If the lobby bar is too busy at night you can get a drink from the bars in the restaurants, some of the al a cartes have a lounge and the bartender is more than happy to help you make a drink. - spray a few squirts of bugspray after the shower and it helps a lot - check out a website called playa info for helpful regional tips and to meet some people from your area travelling as well. Have fun we did!!!

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2008

First let me premise this by saying that I have always flown Air Canada Vacations and have travelled in the past few years with Air Canada Vacations to Playa Pesquero in Cuba, Occidental Grand XCaret in the Mayan Riviera, Royal Playa Del Carmen in the Mayan Riviera and also the Royal Cancun in Cancun. This year as well we travelled with Air Canada Vacations through Multitravel to Grand Riviera Princess in the Mayan Riviera from April 15th to April 22nd inclusive. My partner and I have always felt very confident in the ratings that Air Canada applies to the various vacation spots they advertise and up until this point, I feel that those ratings have always been very accurate and reliable. This was certainly not the case this year with a five star rating given to the Grand Riviera Princess. We arrived on Tuesday, April 15th and were booked in the Platinum section. Upon arriving at the hotel there was no instruction or direction that in fact, even though we were staying on the Riviera side of the resort , that we had to check in on the Sunset side of the resort. We therefore wasted over 45 minutes in line on the Riviera side only to be told once we reached reception that we had to go over to a different line at the sister resort. Once checked in, we were only given a barely legible photocopy of the map of the resort and absolutely no direction with respect to the various services offered. I understand now they have that problem rectified and that there is a platinum check in on both sides. Once we reached the platinum section, I had to ask the concierge for everything that was promised to us in the Air Canada write up, i.e., beach bag, spa coupons, tequila, etc. It seemed if you didn’t outright ask, they were not going to make this available to you. The room was well appointed, however, the workmanship was exceptionally poor with flooding showers, no toilet paper, no Kleenex, no toiletry rack in the shower. The bathtubs in the bathroom and on the balcony were unclean and the floors were unswept. We ordered room service several times and each and every time, the order that arrived was incorrect and had to be sent back. There was major construction right outside our balcony (within 15 feet) and we were never made aware that there was ongoing construction at this property. At most times throughout the day, you could hear power saws, etc., which at some points was quite noisy and annoying. The food in the buffets was always cold, probably because the dishes were kept on warming trays and not the deep dish steamers that most resorts use. The chefs who prepared the food could be seen cross contaminating raw beef and chicken consistently using the same utensils and cookware for everything. We ate at the Grill restaurant on the second day we were there and both my partner and I quickly came down with a severe case of food poisoning. In fact we were not able to leave our room for three days. I visited the resort doctor who was supposed to be on call 24/7, at 8:00 a.m. one morning where his office door posted his opening hours as 8:00 a.m. At 8:30 he still had not arrived and I called the Reception who after several attempts of paging him, finally located him. He finally came into the office and looked at his fee schedule and looked at me and quite simply said “what do you want lady, do you want me to look at you or do you simply want drugs”. I told him I had food poisoning and he wrote me a prescription and told me that I had to go into Playa Del Carmen to pick it up. I explained that I was too weak to go anywhere and he shrugged his shoulders. I contacted the concierge at the Platinum section and they kindly arranged for the prescription to be delivered to me at the resort for a fee which I gladly paid for. For the rest of the vacation, we ate only ice-cream, dry toast and drank bottled water. I would have tried to arrange an early flight home if I could have, however, I did not feel that I could travel in the condition I was in. At check out, we ordered a bell boy the day before to transport our luggage to the main lobby. We reconfirmed these arrangements . Predictably, no bell boy arrived and we ended up dragging our luggage to the main lobby of this resort in order to meet our transfer to the hotel.

Simply put, I feel that travellers should be alerted to some serious concerns around food safety in this resort and lack of service. Many travelers were wandering around asking each other for direction since that seemed to be the only way that anyone could get any answers. Certainly the staff was not properly trained and did not take any concerns seriously. I am a mature adult and not interested in vacationing at an all-inclusive with less than a five star rating. This resort clearly fell far short of that designation. Admittedly the resort itself was beautiful to look at, some staff tried exceptionally hard, the beach was definitely worthy of a five star rating, however, the service and the food did not exceed what you would expect in a three star resort, let alone meet the minimum expectations of a five star. To end up with food poisoning is simply unacceptable which led to 3 days being completely incapacitated and 5 days overall being terribly under the weather. As mentioned above, we have been to many resorts and have always had excellent experiences. My hope is that Air Canada reviews its commitment with this resort and in fact adjusts the rating to more accurately reflect the level of service that is so obviously lacking.

Pros - beach, pools, some friendly staff who tried hard, spa and
beautiful gardens.

Cons - service and food.

  • Liked — Grounds, beach and pools
  • Disliked — Service and Food
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
1 review
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2008

We arrived home today (April 24th) after a very pleasant and enjoyable stay at the Grand Riviera Maya Princess. We had NO problems what so ever. The room was impeccable, clean sheets, towels everyday. Stocked mini bar... that we only used once. Mixed drinks and Corona's on the patio, around the pool and in the bar were more appealing than sitting in our room drinking. Food at the Buffets, morning, noon, and dinner were excellent, lots of variation. I did read quite a few reviews after we booked and before we left for Cancun, and I must say that I was a bit apprehensive but as we had already booked and paid for our vacation, I was hoping that we would not encounter the same problems that some others had. The staff were very pleasant and helpful, even giving us Spanish lessons, and making sure that we were enjoying ourselves. The beach was a bit rocky, but with water shoes, this was not a huge problem. Sitting around the pool, soaking up the sun, and yes we did burn - even with SPF 50... I can only say that we would recommend this Hotel to our friends. We will definitely book and stay at the Princess again.
Terry & Susan - Victoria, BC

  • Liked — The beautiful well looked after grounds.
  • Disliked — As we had no negative experiences. I cannot comment.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newfoundland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2008

We arrived on the riveria side, but had to lug our bags to the sunset side to check in.
we were with another couple. They had their room ready early, ours was supposed to be ready at 2pm as advised by the front desk.
We had our room already keyed so we could go directly in at 2pm.
We entered our room at 330pm after eating and it was not done.
The platinum concierge called on our behalf and it was done by 415pm.
The room was lovely and comfortable. After our first day we came back from the pool to a strong sewer smell in our room.
This was resolved quickly, but still gave us a bad indication.
The smell continued to come back, so we put a face cloth over the drain under the sink where the smell was coming from.
The platinum was nice and service good at the private area.
We found we paid alot of money and there were other regular guests using the beds and eating the snacks!
The beach was okay, but only a beach bar and no food , you had to walk to the buffett to eat..which was closed from 3pm- 5pm
The first day I did not wear water shoes and hurt my foot, at which my husband had to put my dislocated toe back in!! It is rocky and full of coral and seaweed.. not a 5 star in that sense.
Food was good and the mama mia italian restaurant was awesome!
The grille was NOT steak, but rabbit and veal!! good if you like that.
If we return, we will get the villa laguna which is 100% private and no stragglers in the area you paid for private service.
Likely we will not go back. We prefer the Xcaret hands down!!
this resort does not offer the warm feel i expected.

  • Liked — The Room layout
  • Disliked — The resort was not finished and too large.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bc
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2008

My parents, a friend and i went to the Princess April 11/08, the trip started out a little rocky. our flight was delayed, so we didnt arrive to our hotel until 4:30 in the morning. However that had nothing to do with the hotel. when we arrived we were told our luggage would be brought right to our rooms, it took about an hour, which we didnt understand why, we just wanted to get some sleep.
upon our arrival, we were greated by happy staff members.
our roomn was beautiful, it was exactly what we asked for, we were in room 6236 and 6237, could see the ocean and pools and some restaurants. very short walk to the beach and pools.
they say you cant swim after 8, but we did anyway, no one cared.
the drinks were amazing. the bar close to the beach by the fondue restaurant was awsome. the bartender there was very funny and we enjoyed sitting there at night.
the beach is amazing. everyone recommended water shoes.... i would for children, there are only some patches, so just be careful. we didnt wear them, and it was fine.
we didnt have a problem getting good chairs at the beach in the afternoon, you didnt have to save them.
they cleaned our rooms everyday but one they didnt clean until around dinner time.
the service by staff was good. we expected to have slow service but it was not bad at all!
the resort is huge, so take some time to explore, we were finding new things all the time.
the night show was good. nothing great, but good.
the 2 complaints i have are simple.
the day you arrive, book any alacartes you want, and be prepared for frusteration and line ups. it's not fun, expecially since some of the staff doesnt really know what they're doing when booking them. and you must book them at one of the alacartes between 9 and 1.
the second complaint, the consierge was USELESS they new nothing! go to your transat representative , they klnow more, they're around the corner on your left when you walk into the riviera lobby. we had decided to get up and catch the shuttle one day to Playa Del Carmen, the Conseriege told us we did not need tickets to take the hotel shuttle. so we got up and went to take the shuttle at 10. they wouldnt let us on, it was full with people who bought tickets!! turns out you do need them, and be sure to purchase them the day before, because they fill up fast!
to take a cab is only 13$ so it's not too bad.
So to sum it all up, the rooms were great, nothing wrong in them, although the trick to keep you mini fridge and fan on all day , leave one of the keys in the slot!
the staff was GREAT!
the resort was AMAZING
the beach was BEAUTIFUL
all around a wonderful experiance
i highly recommend this resort, although it's big with lots of rooms, it's very spread out, it doesnt seem like there are that many people there.
ENJOY!

  • Liked — Basically everything!!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2008

We just returned vfrom our stay at the GRP from April 11 -18 and I have to be honest, it was more than I thought it would ever be. After reading some of the reviews of this resort, I was very hesitant to even go, but we went with an open mind and just accepted what was to come. We arrived at 10:00am and had to wait until 3 o'clock to check in..no problem. We were given our wrist bands and had the entire place explained to us by an incredibly professional front desk employee. We checked back at 3, the room was immaculately clean and ready for us.

We had no problem ALL WEEK getting our room cleaned and restocked, complete with personalised towel "creatures". The maids were very pleasant and could not do enough for us. The buffests were fresh and appetising all week.and from someone who has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, I was impressed with the cleaniness, quality of food and friendly staff throughout our stay. The Japanese Ala Carte was brillant (try and reserve the show table, it is definately worth it), though I cannot say the same for the Italian and Grille Ala Cartes (food quality and service way below standard).

For all the people who have complained about everything from soup to nuts, relax .....it may not be up to 5 Star qualifications as of yet (it definately will be!!!) BUT you didn't pay for a 5 Star vacation either!

The pools, beach, food and drinks are all fantastic. The rooms and all the immenities will more than blow you away. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone, and would definately go back. Treat the staff with respect, and don't forget they are working for wages you would never in a million years work for. They are polite, friendly, professional and the bartenders are a riot (especially on the beach).

  • Liked — bathroom
  • Disliked — no wireless internet, balcony light not working
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa

Address: Prolongacion 5ta. Avenida Mza 20 lote 006, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#59 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#65 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#70 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 674
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa is located on the stunning Riviera Maya, just three kilometers from the famous Playa Del Carmen, in beautiful surrounds, with large and spacious natural parks and the delight of a good tropical weather. Besides our fascinating beach, renowned for the clear water and splendid sea beds, typical of the east end of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Hotel invites you to discover the huge wealth of the archaeological remains of the Maya culture in this area. After crossing the spacious lobby the splendid “Paseo de los Dioses” is reached, which invites the costumers to discover the charm of the hotel. It is a gift to our senses to enjoy all our facilities that can be found to our left and right on the way to the marvelous beach awaiting for everybody at the way of the pleasant stroll.Opened in December 2007, Grand Riviera Princess offers 674 fully equipped rooms with a range of services that give the clients a variety of possibilities to choose from: Junior Suite, Junior Suite Deluxe (some with direct pool access), Platinum Suites and Laguna Villa Suites (ideal for the most romantic honeymoon).A fascinating Spa is offered to all the clients, and the most complete activity program during day and night. A range of services in the varied and international selection of top quality food provide the perfect counterpoint when sharing moments of peace and calm with excellent meals in beautiful and inviting specially decorated surrounds, some of which are by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
Grand Riviera Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Riviera Princess Hotel
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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