My husband and I stayed at Oasis Tulum (not the Grand side) from 2/16-2/21 after having spent 5 nights at the Krystal in Cancun. Like most others, I was skeptical after reading so many negative reviews, but we got a good deal so I decided to go with and hope for the best. I completely understand why people are upset about false advertising and I think that if I went there without reading reviews and knowing exactly what I had access too I would have been disappointed. This is an issue that the resort really needs to fix and I was sure to mention it on my comment card when we left. I'll try to give as many details of our experience in hopes of helping others so bear with me if this gets lengthy.
Check in and Room:
When we arrived at the front desk the staff was pleasant. I asked for a free upgrade since I had read several people were upgraded to the grand. I was told that there weren't any upgrades today, but if I came back tomorrow morning I might be able to get one. She told us our rooms weren't ready, she gave us our purple wrist bands, pointed the way to the buffet and asked us to come back at 3. I will say that the communication is lacking a bit...we were never told what we had access to at the front desk and I never did find out what the difference between purple and orange bands were...although it could be that the orange are the ocean front rooms...not sure. We were told where the restaurants were but they didn't tell us that we needed to make a reservation. It was about 1:30 and we were hungry so we went right to the buffet. We were very happy with the food there, especially when compared to the Krystal. Beer was cold and they had both Sol and Dos Equis depending on where you went. After our lunch we walked down the beach and out to the pier. Soon enough it was time to go to our room. We were in room 3132 on the first floor of the Ek Balam building out back behind the pool. The room was clean and comfortable (pillow top mattress) and we were happy to have a patio with our own palapa and lounge chairs and thrilled we didn't need to go up and down stairs to get to our room. We decided not to ask for an upgrade the next day because we were very content with what we had and would rather not move. We planned on visiting the Tulum Ruins, Playa del Carmen, and Xel-ha so we didn't exactly plan on being at the resort enough to fully take advantage of the Grand perks anyways. Our room was always well cleaned and we did have a towel animal one day in our room. Be careful getting in and out of the shower since the tub it very high. I stubbed my toe the first time I got out :( We had two or three bottles of water each day and plenty of towels. There is a small fridge in the room but it is not stocked with anything. That didn't bother us though because we were happy to have someplace to keep our bottled water cold! Also note that there isn't room service, but we don't usually take advantage of that anyway so it wasn't a concern. One of our biggest concerns from reading reviews on trip advisor was the safe issue. Before we even arrived my husband and I decided that we wouldn't pay extra for the safe since we had heard of so many people saying they had items stolen from it. We opted to lock our valuables in one of our suitcases instead and we never had a problem. We never had any staff members knock on our door or enter unannounced as some others mentioned. The walls are very thing...we could hear the girl next door singing one night and it sounded like she was in our room it was so loud! For the most part our neighbors were quiet and respectful so it wasn't a problem. The AC worked a little too well...we were almost always too cold in our room! Better than being too hot though :) We turned off the AC all together at some points or would open the sliding door to try to warm the room up a bit. Yes, there are lots of cats around the property. They were harmless but we found them sleeping on lounge chairs on peoples patios. If you're allergic to cats this might be something to consider.
Beach, Towels, Chairs, Pools:
After checking into our room we went to sit on the beach for a bit and had no problem getting two chairs under a palapa and it was about 3:30pm. I noticed that there were plenty of towels so even though we weren't swimming and didn't need them we took two just incase we couldn't get one later on. If you are worried about towels I would strongly suggest just picking them up day before you plan on using them. Every time we were at the beach in the afternoon there were plenty of towels, but in the mornings it was hit or miss. We only attempted to go to the beach "early" (around 9 rather than after lunch) and it's true that there weren't any chairs or towels on that one occasion. Instead of finding a spot in the sand we decided to walk south a little ways and collected sea glass on a quiet part of the beach just before the GBP's palapas. There is a really great spot there and we collected lots and lots of sea glass through out our trip. We were always able to get beach chairs under a palapa after about 12:30. I think that there were plenty of chairs given the space on the beach and if there were any more chairs than they already had, there wouldn't be any sandy spots left. The beach is stunning and the snorkeling was fantastic. Lots of beautiful fish just a few feet into the water. There's a shallow pool on the beach as well. The service at the beach bar was great but there isn't drink service on the beach itself so you need to go up and get your own drinks. The main pool looked nice but we never used it because we would rather be at the beach. I think they could have used a few more beach chairs by the pool. We saw water aerobics, salsa lessons, and yoga going on in the pool area. There were two swim up bars, one with a sushi bar, and the Happy Chicken for lunch.
For dinner on the first night we attempted to go to the Mexican restaurant, Sarape, but we asked for a ticket and then told that we needed to make reservations between 9am-5pm at the Oasis Plus desk in the lobby. Rebecca at the desk was very friendly and helpful. We also made reservations for Dos Lunas for our last night and she remembered us and asked how our dinner at Sarape was. The Mexican bread soup at Sarape was delicious and my husband and I both enjoyed our fajitas at Sarape. The mariachi band was a nice touch too. Service was decent but nothing spectacular. Dos Lunas was good too but I am pretty picky and just got pizza. I found both restaurants to have very limited menus and I was a bit disappointed with the choices although the food was good and it was nice to have dinner in a different atmosphere. As I mentioned before, we were very happy with the food at the buffet. The breakfast buffet was great and we never had to wait to get a table but on a few occasions the service was a little slow. Someone walked past our table 4 times and never came to offer us coffee. This problem might have been resolved by just having a coffee station at the buffet rather than having to rely on a server to come and bring it to us. A few times we had to wait to be seated for dinner. The buffet opens at 6:30 for dinner so when we arrived at 6:45 one day all of the tables were taken and we had to wait until about 7:15 to be seated. More tables or an earlier dinner start time might have alleviated the problem. Once we figured this out, we just adjusted our dinner time and it wasn't a bit deal.
Entertainment, Staff, and Shopping:
We attended three shows in the theater and we very pleased with all three. The Circus show was our favorite. The male acrobats were unbelievable!!! We also enjoyed the dancing around the world show...which was really more of a fire dancing show. Their tricks were amazing. The lights show was fun too. The entertainment staff around the resort were really friendly. Always with a smile and encouraging people to participate but with no pressure. As mentioned before we saw water aerobics, yoga, and dance lessons along with beach volleyball and minigolf. All staff that we encountered were incredibly friendly and accommodating. We didn't feel like there were any language barriers and we don't speak much Spanish. Every time we passed a staff member they always greeted us with a smile. The store at Oasis Tulum is teeny tiny. We had already done lots of shopping in Cancun and did a bit more at Playa del Carmen on a day trip so we didn't feel the need to shop at the hotel. They do have vendors outside between the store and the buffet and we found it to be a little annoying to have to tell people no thank you as we were trying to get from our room to the beach or to eat. However, on our last day there were more vendors than usual and we found a man named Arthur painting on tiles. His paintings caught our eye and we were very interested in them but figured they'd be out of our budget since it was the end of our trip and we were almost out of cash. We stayed and watched him for a while. He started painting and talking to us and before we knew it he had finished a beautiful night scene of Chichen Itza. He also had paintings of villages and beaches. He told us that his tiles were $25-$30 depending on how much detail/time he put into it. He said that he doesn't have a shop, he just goes around to resorts and paints and sells his paintings. He also said that he could paint a customized picture with whatever we wanted in it. We were able to watch him as he painted and add details as he went along. He painted us a picture of a sunrise over a beach with a palapa, snorkeling gear, and an iguana. It's absolutely stunning and such an amazing souvenier. He drew quite the crowd and although we were his first personalized painting of the night, I'm guessing he had a long line of others waiting to have their own paintings done. He was amazing and incredibly friendly. Believe it or not, this ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. Even if you just stay and watch him paint for a bit, you will be thoroughly entertained.
We absolutely loved the location of the Oasis Tulum resort! We could easily catch a colectivo across the street and get anywhere we wanted. There's so much to do in the area that we didn't have enough time to go everywhere we wanted. The colectivo to Tulum Ruins and Playa del Carmen was 30 pesos and the trip to Xel-ha was 25 pesos. Playa was the longest ride and took about 35 minutes.
Overall we had a lovely time at Oasis Tulum and would definitely return again. Given the awesome deal that we got we felt that it was an excellent value for our money. No, it's not a luxury hotel and it's true that unless you are grand, you only have access to two restaurants and the buffet. For our trip it met our needs just fine and we didn't miss having access to the roof top bar or extra restaurants. We actually had a bit of fun making a joke about how we were at the bottom of the ladder. I didn't feel like we were treated any differently because of the color of our band. As long as you have realistic expectations for the resort and you go into it with an open mind you will have a wonderful vacation. I hope this is helpful and you enjoy your stay as much as we did!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "People say I'm gorgeous, but that's just how nature made me: fresh and beautiful, with a price that's definitely down to earth. I run with the quiet crowd, away from the bright lights and hustle, but my beach is the most extraordinary paradise you can imagine, with its amazing shape and coral reef, and spectacular scenery all around. Bring the family: spend time at my spa while the children check out my super new Kids' Club". ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Be Live Grand Riviera Maya Hotel Akumal
- Grand Oasis Riviera Maya Akumal
- Oasis Grand Rivera Maya
- Grand Oasis Riviera Maya Hotel
- Club Oasis Akumal
- Oasis Akumal
- Oasis Grand Riviera Maya Hotel
- Oasis Tulum Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico