Let me start off by saying my wife and I typically don't stay in fancy hotels/motels/resorts. This was the best resort we have ever stayed in. It is truly beautiful. Another reviewer stated she felt like she was in the Garden of Eden. I can understand why. The ground are meticulously cared for, beautiful to the extreme. There are many fine pools, including a childrens waterslide area that I would have loved when I was a child. We definitely enjoyed the Lazy River. It was cool and relaxing during the hot afternoons. The ocean was much warmer than I expected. The beach tends to be rocky. One day I walked on the beach to where the river comes into the sea. There were probably about 15 pelicans sitting on rocks in the shallow area. They would leave and go fishing nearby, then return to the rocks. It was really neat.
We are not members. This stay was part of a package cruise/resort deal we had purchased from RCI. I had some concerns after reading some of the reviews about the Grand Mayan, especially those who mentioned an odor in the rooms. We were very pleased with our room. It was on the 5th floor of the third building. It was spacious, clean, and included a sitting area, nice HD TV, and a large whirlpool tub. There was construction not very far away, but we could not hear it from our rooms.
The staff are every bit as friendly and helpful as everyone has said.
Especially after reading all the concerns about the timeshare presentation, we decided ahead of time that we would likely not do it. I think because I showed some slight interest in the benefits of enduring the presentation, I got two calls from the timeshare folks after the first day. My recommendation is to decide ahead of time if you want to do the presentation. If you don't, make that very clear in the beginning, and show no hesitation, or they will continue to pursue you. They were not agressive with me, but they will be persistent, so practice your assertiveness skills!!
A couple of tips: At the airport do not make the mistake I made of thinking that the people in the first room after you leave the customs area are the Miller transport group, who will provide you the free limo ride to the GM. They are hawkers who will insinuate they are with Miller, but they will be trying to sell you tours, etc. I recommend you not trust them at all. Instead, keep walking into the next room, and you will see a sign that says Miller. I had tried to arrange the free transportation through GM, but did not get a response to my e-mail. So, I decided to take a chance. Miller transported me for free even though they did not have my name on their list. They just asked to see my paperwork for the GM stay.
Many people have commented about the bus transportation from the GM to downtown PV. Some said that it took a long time. I did not find this to be true. When you are at the bus stop close to the GM look for the "Directo" bus. This will take you to the WalMart stop, where you have to get off the bus and take the "Centro" bus to downtown, e.g. to the Malecon boardwalk, flea market, etc. The Centro buses are evey bit as rough and tumbly as others have described. They sound like a bucket of bolts. Some of the drivers think they are Nascar racers. Still, it is only about $4 roundtrip from the GM to downtown PV, hard to beat. It is even less to the WalMart. My wife and I decided on a compromise. We typically road the buses downtown to have lunch or dinner. We took a taxi on the way back. That way our stomachs did not have to endure all the bouncing after a meal. This worked for us. Also, most of the bus drivers speak a little English, and you can ask them to drop you off at the Malecon, flea market, etc. The taxi drivers speak better English. If you are going to the WalMart, look for the casino. Get off at the casino, which is about a block from the WalMart. You will likely see the casino before you see the WalMart, especially when you are heading from the GM downtown to PV.
A word of caution at the bus stop: there are a bunch of vendors, who will want to sell you tickets for tours. We bought one of the City Tour tickets from "Rudolfo." I think Rudolfo gave us the straight scoop. It turned out to be $10 cheaper than what we could have gotten from the GM. We loved the tour, and the tourguide, Miguel. If you are not interested in the tours, you will have to be very assertive. If you show any interest, they will pursue you until they are convinced it is now worth their while.
There are many vendors at the Malecon, and of course at the flea market. Some, I am sure, are real con arttists. All are trying to make a living. I tend to be a bleeding heart at times, so when a mother vendor is there holding her baby, I would buy some cheap things that I did not need. If you have been to Tijuana, the PV vendors are not as aggressive or persistent. If you have been to Gaza or Cairo, the PV vendors don't come close to being as annoying.
The breakfast buffet at the Samba restaurant is really good. If you go between 7-8 AM you get a 30% discount (roughly 149 pesos). We enjoyed the melos, juices, made to order omelettes, etc, etc, etc. Mostly we ate in downtown PV, where we think the food is a little better, and slightly cheaper. If you like Margaritas, be sure to go to the Cheeky Monkey on the Malecon. They are really good, and cost only $1. They are better than the food, which is ok. I'll probably write a review on the Cheeky Monkey.
We used the ATM at the GM to get pesos with a debit card. I tried to have some 20 peso bills on hand to give as tips. They appreciate it, and deserve it.
I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.