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“Excellent value” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa

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Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum, Zona Costera, Km. 256.3, Akumal 77780 , Mexico   |  
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Ranked #11 of 21 hotels in Akumal
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We were a group of 6 adults from the uk and stayed for 2 weeks from 23rd January. I read many of the reviews before travelling and a few since returning and I guess if you discount the very negative reviews along with the "absolutely fantastic" ones you get a pretty comprehensive idea of what the resort experience was like for the majority of people who go. We went with no illusions of 5 star luxury, really, people only need to check the amount they paid against other resorts to know that they were opting for something less than perfect. In the event we thought the value per pound was excellent and if we want something better next time we know that we will pay an awful lot more for it.
For what it's worth we were happy with most things especialy the service from all the staff including the sometimes criticised concierges. Ours, in block 2400 was excellent and we had no trouble getting the a la cartes booked - thanks Marleen!
This is very much a family resort and as we travelled without children felt there could have been more to do in the evenings especially if the theatre shows were of little interest (good as they were). The bars in the two main buildings may as well have been in a shopping precinct or an airport departure lounge due to the vast size of the buildings and gave no feeling of intimacy. The sheer size of the buildings meant that acoustics were poor and any live music was lost in an echo of white noise. The only other place to go was the disco and as we are a little too old for drum and base music (50 somethings) it was not for us. I think the resort would benefit by using somewhere like the bayou restaurant as a late evening bar rather than as an a la carte with a bit of 60s, 70s and 80s music thrown in.
Would we go back? Yes for the wonderful staff, the lazy river, the snorkelling and the surprisingly good hamburgers served on the beach! But next time armed with the kids and grand kids - they would love it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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St. Catharines, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Firstly i am not a new traveler, I have been to mexico 13-14 times on each coast. Have travelled thru out Germany, Ireland , London , Amsterdam , Bahamas and Cuba. I have never felt compelled to write a review, even thou I do rely on first had experiences. I travelled to The Grand Sirenis as a Christmas present (family vacation) myself, daughter and two sons all past the age of twenty on Jan 5th 2013. Yes the weather was incredible(usually is in Mexico). Posts I had read about this resort advised of the man made beach, which actually turned out better than what I was expecting(am a beach bum) . Room so so...yes big hole in the wall to the bathroom, shared room with my daughter, two sons room was adjoining. Food pretty much like all the other resorts..it is what it is, will you starve no.

After the first day my eldest son complained about waives of pain in his stomach, I pretty much told him to suck it up, relax...he was fine as long as he didnt stray far from a rest room. On the third day my stomach was bothering me also but tried to work thru it. By six am the next morning after a sleepless night my daughter finally called the resort medic as i was doubled over in extreme pain. The resort doctor came up felt my stomach advised my daughter to pay 277.00 cash for her fee, said she could not do anything and called an ambulance. The ambulance driver to me to Playa del carman client where he would not remove me from the back until my daughter paid 577.00 ambulance bill. Stayed in hospital for 2 days, had stomach pumped, could not keep anything down. While my kids were comming up to get me (via cab) my eldest son fell on wet title floor, bashed his head, blood everywhere and broke his foot. Needless to say we did not call the resort doctor afraid of another 277.00 fee along with another ambulance bill, came to hospital where I was at, yes broken foot.
At no time did anyone from the hotel, not desk person, manager, resort doctor call to check on my self or son. Very disappointing, even a how are you doing would have been could.
The resort nickels and dimes you for everything, I lost my hotel card, 5 dollar charge, no wifi/internet no premium alchol, believe me I looked. They left one bottle of water and two beer in the fridge, not even a known brand such as sol or carona.

So as always before you go make sure you have insurance/coverage as you may never know what can happen... food poison, bug virus what ever it was i had I had not experinced before and was extremely painful. Oh by the way sewage smell on beach and water, we actually had to shower with our bathing suits on because the smelt so bad.(Which of course is not a bad thing considering when we came home there was a report to peep holes in the washrooms....Be aware and be careful!!! Will not be returning to a resort that does not care about their quests and nickel and dime everyone.

Room Tip: Had third floor chucum building, middle of everything (if you must stay here)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grandrivieramaya, Assistant Manager at Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Hi Kmckmc, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I really appreciate it as it is our best source of information in order to improve our services. I am sorry that you left us with the impression that we not care about you; I want to express that this is not what the hotel stands for. As for the food quality it is very sad to hear that you think the hotel is not listed under the health and hygiene standards, it is important to know that we are certified with the Kristal award and have spent all performed health checks from travel agents positively. However, we are very sorry that we could not reach your expectations and have not had the vacations that you were expecting, which is why I give you a sincere apology. It is important to know that this can not be a case of food poisoningther since here in the hotel, we prepare food for many people and it is done in the same place with the same products at the same time, so if there was any food poisoning all the food would be bad and all guests would be sick. I do not know if you was on a tour or ate something outside the resort.
Also, we would like to take this opportunity to respond to the recent guest experience you mentioned. After being notified of the discovery of the hole in the shower, we conducted an immediate and thorough inspection of every single room in the resort, and repaired the wall sealing in that particular unit. We can confirm that this problem has been taken care of and it will never be repeated. We have also incorporated more robust measures in our daily room inspections, and implemented closer supervision of our maintenance personnel to ensure this is an isolated incident. Rest assured, our first priority has been, and always will be, the safety, security and satisfaction of each and every guest. Thank you, Daniel Assistant Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Two years ago my wife, our son and I had our first-ever "all inclusive" experience at Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya. We went back this year, almost exactly two years since our first visit (also reviewed on Trip Advisor). we had a great time in 2011, and our trip in 2013 was only a little less satisfactory. And since the hotel can't be blamed for the weather ( a bit cool, windy and rainy at times this year) it is hard to point to anything within their control that didn't meet our expectations.

Most resort visitors are concerned about the same things - food, quality of service, amenities and activities offered. On all of these fronts, the GS scores well, but not perfectly.

Food and drink - the buffet offerings are at first glance diverse, but we did notice a sameness about it all from day to day. Perhaps we were just more picky this time, but we did find that a lot of the choices were not that appealing. Most things labelled "chef's special" get a cold shoulder from me, especially when there is no clear indication as to what that unusual looking stuff might actually be. The a la carte meals were better (especially the Japanese restaurant, where we managed to snag a reservation with some gentle persistence). One aspect that was NOT okay was the house wine. It is dreadful stuff and to be avoided. Better wine can be purchased but it isn't cheap.

On the "drinks" side of things, GS is a cheerful place with lots of cheerful bartenders serving cheerfully large beverages all day long. Usually these are made with cheap liquor and in spite of their volume they are not that strong (which is fine - just know that is what you will get unless you take steps with your bar tender to secure more high-quality booze). They can't make a martini to save their lives, but I suppose that is a small quibble.

Service - On the whole service was terrific. Running a resort is a massive cat-herding exercise, with people constantly demanding room changes, reservations, information, and lord knows what else. We wanted OUR room changed, as we were initially put into a room that overlooked the tennis courts and we wanted to be looking at something else from our balcony so off I went to the desk to make my request, and it was duly addressed. We were moved to a more satisfactory room - but it could only be done two days after we checked in. I have no quarrel with that and in fact the management went about the process as efficiently as possible given the huge numbers of similar requests they were juggling. While I was at the desk making these arrangements I overheard a very irate woman who was practically apoplectic because she and her traveling companions - a total of four separate parties - were not in adjacent rooms (even though it was evident from the discussion that no such arrangements had been requested in advance). Staff advised her that they would do their best, but this apparently was not satisfactory to Madam, who waved her arms about like one of those crazed inflatable Gumby's that you see outside tire stores. The staff smiled calmly. They have seen it all before.

I must also thank our assortment of concierges for their efforts to secure us the desired and somewhat mystically procured a la carte reservations. This is one of the biggest ongoing sore points with Grand Sirenis visitors - the a la carte restaurants are very hard to book. I found that by making a selection of three reservations and then asking the concierge to look for others, I was able to get what I wanted - but it took some time and a number of visits with Blanco or Perfecto or whomever was manning the concierge desk when I got there. Since everyone wants to know about the a la cartes, and we have now eaten at most of them, here are my recommendations: Japanese and Brazilian - very, very good. Steakhouse and Cajun - very good. Mediterranean - not bad, but not my favorite.

The maid service was also very acceptable, although there is an ongoing issue with mini-bar re-stocking. It does seem a bit hit-or-miss at times.

The amenities at GS are hard to fault. The pools are cool and clean, the washrooms are maintained as well as is humanly possible as far as I can see, and the grounds are nicely landscaped and constantly tended. The beaches are not sweeping arcs of powdery sand - they are in fact a bit gritty (except where sand has been imported). On the other hand, there is good snorkeling just off the beach and if you want a big long white sand beach you can take a cab to Akumal for MX$215.00. There are plenty of bars - swim-up, beach side, and indoor - and food seems to be readily available. The towel service is good, although the towel huts close a bit too early, meaning you could find yourself carting a heap of sandy, sodden blue towels to your room if you aren't careful.

The suite of entertainments seems on par with the industry - lots of pool and beach activities, a kids' club, and evening shows that start a bit late at 9:30. We didn't take advantage of any of that stuff so I won't comment on its quality - only to note that it is there for the taking if you so desire.

In summary then - our second trip to GS was almost as good as the first. It is a fine resort, with good hard-working staff and plenty to be recommended. I would go again. For those of you who do plan to go, I will add this note - TIP THE STAFF AND DON'T BE CHEAP. They really deserve it.

Room Tip: When you reserve, specify a room on the third or second floor. In the Riviera Maya buildings, the ev...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Summerland, British Columbia, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed here 5 years ago and had a wonderful holiday, despite the strong smell of sewage near the a la carte restaurants and the cigarette smoke in the theatre. We just returned from our second trip, and although there is no longer the smell of sewage, and not nearly as many smokers, we found that the quality of the food was not nearly as good as last time, nor was the service. The service was adequate this time, but during our first holiday at this resort it was excellent. We did notice that some upgrades had taken place, ie the wooden bridge between the rooms and the main buildings has been replaced by a brick-paved bridge, the spa, jungle walk, etc. We have travelled quite a lot in third world countries, and are not hard to please as a rule, making allowances for being on holiday in less affluent societies, so our complaints about the resort itself are not major. However, we will never book another holiday through Transat. We were either misinformed by their reps about excursions (booked a day trip to XCaret on Sunday and were told by the rep to be in the lobby to be picked up at 7:50 a.m. At 8:20 a.m. we were still waiting and were told by the guide for another tour that pickup for XCaret on Sundays was always at 8:40 a.m., not 7:50.) or not informed at all about major changes to our itinerary (such as the fact that our departure flight time was changed from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and that the bus would leave the hotel at 2:45 p.m. instead of 11:45 a.m.). Apparently it was up to us to contact the reps on a regular basis in order to stay informed (another guest told us that this was what they had been told during the "briefing" that took place on the first day - which we had decided to forego based on our experience during our first visit that this "briefing" is actually a marketing pitch - this hasn't changed according to a guest who did attend the meeting.). The arrogant attitude of Transat rep "Charles" made what little contact we had with him very unsatisfactory, to say the least. A couple of days after our arrival we asked him when we should be ready to catch our bus on our departure date, and were told that the time would only be established the day before we left, and that we would have received that and other "important" information if we had attended the "briefing". When we and several other guests arrived in the lobby for our airport bus pickup at 11:45 (the time we had been given by Transat the morning before) we were told by a fellow guest that they had gone to the Transat desk the evening before and had been told about the change in departure time - at no time did anyone from Transat attempt to contact anyone to let them know about the time change.
We still love the location of this hotel, the beach and the bay for snorkelling and swimming, and the fact that it is only a short walk to the highway to catch a collectivo to go to Akumal, Tulum or wherever else we want to go for the day, but will go to a different resort next time, and definitely NOT through Transat.

Room Tip: Block 28 on the top floor, ocean view .
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Having never been to Mexico before, we were very happy with our stay at this resort. Luckily, we were able to upgrade to a Seaview room which made our visit extremely wonderful. Nothing like the sound of the waves during the evenings when our balcony door was open. The food was moderate but the staff was exceptional. Ofcourse, we had our favourite bartenders who always remembered us during our visits to their establishments. The lobby bar was the most fun after a day of relaxing in the sun. Thank you Luis for always remembering our favourite beverages. And thank you Franklin at the beach bar for refreshing our cocktails. Will never forget Rodrigo, our guide on the Maya Jungle outting. He encouraged my husband and I to do things we had never thought possible. Ziplining and snorkelling were never on our bucket list but are currently checked off. Rodrigo said he always wanted to venture to Canada, our home, and do skiing. I sincereley wish we had hooked up on this one. What a fun guest he would have been. Maybe our next trip in 2014 we will connect. See you all again in January, 2014. We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St.Catharines, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed at the Sirenis for 2 weeks in January. The resort was beautiful, we stayed in building 17 which was a perfect location in consideration to pool, beach and theater. The beach was a lot of fun, one could snorkel right of the shore (make sure you bring water shoes, there is a lot of coral). The spa was definitely high end, and the kids club was a lot of fun for our son. He couldn't wait to go there every morning. Great experience, we highly recommend this place!

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor are quitter.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbotsford, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We planned this trip with family, myself and my fiance, my sister and her boyfriend and my parents. My cousin and his girlfriend were planning to attend but could not come the same week. It was on my cousins recommendation that we chose this resort. My parents had also stayed here before but on the Mayan Beach side of the resort.

The initial impression of this resort was very good. The architecture of the resort was impressive, the staff was friendly and the rooms were clean, except for a musty smell that they seemed to try to cover up, leaving a sort of chlorine overtone. Everything else in our room was acceptable. The beds were very hard and the bathroom isn't completely private from the rest of the suite. These aren't deal breakers but are things to consider.

The staff was probably the only thing going for this resort. They seemed to work hard and were very friendly. Every time you turned around there was someone there to help you. When a bar or area became busy, everyone seemed to kick it up to make sure we got the best service possible. The entertainment staff was excellent as well. The nightly entertainment was fun and interactive.

The beach is beautiful. It doesn't have a lot of space so the back rows of the beach chairs/huts is a bit of a walk to the water but if you get to the beach early you can put your towel down to save your spot. Try to get a spot near the beach bar or else you could be walking along way to the bathroom or waiting a while for drink service. The snorkeling is pretty good. We saw quite a few fish and one turtle but if your in it to snorkel go to Akumal.

The food was edible but it wasn't any better than the 4 star resorts I've stayed at. The al a carte restaurants book fast as well so book asap. The drinks were good, not great but good. The wine in the buffets seemed to be watered down, because they have the same stuff in the al a carte and its much better. We went to the Japanese al a carte and it was decent but I'm from BC so its hard to beat the sushi we have in the vancouver area. One member of our group did get sick and we suspect food poisoning.

The one deal breaker for this resort is the noise. The resort is made of 98% concrete which you can tell from the photos. The design is impressive looking but it amplifies sound. The acoustics of the buildings makes any noise in the hallways very loud. Everytime someone closes a door or has a conversation in the general vicinity of your room you can hear every word, every flip flop, every kid scream, every slam. It made it difficult to sleep past 7 am or if some rowdy folks are returning from the disco at 3 am. Also the lobby area is of a similar design and tends to become very busy at night. This is fun if you are looking to be social but for people who are hard of hearing, this can be a very difficult place to carry a conversation or relax. Especially on the nights when they have music playing.

The other real bad one is the disco. The disco is located near what I can only assume is the septic field for the resort because it smelled like the crazy cat lady's house from hoarders. Also the speakers are blown, so the music is very loud and of very poor quality. It sounded like they backed up an 89 ford taurus to a bush party and cracked it full blast. Plus the DJ(s) on the one night we went was not quite what you would call a professional. He/They seemed to be confused about which song they wanted to play. They would cut songs off and repeat them over and over. Very annoying but the whole thing is easily avoided.

So if you made it through all that, I would not recommend this resort. The main reason would be the value.The resort is listed as a 5 star but it is not worth the 5 star prices. The other stuff is arbitrary. The food may taste better to you or the noise might not be an issue (bring ear plugs, just in case). We had a great trip overall, but the best parts of it were enjoyed away from the resort.

Room Tip: Everything is central around the lobby area. If you want to minimize walking request a room closet t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum, Zona Costera, Km. 256.3, Akumal 77780 , Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#11 Family Hotel in Akumal
#11 Business Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa 5* is an astonishing complex, situated on the Mayan Riviera, just 20 miles from Playa del Carmen, and 1 hour from the airport at Cancun. Is in a class of its own due to its spectacular design. It brings to mind the ancient Mayan buildings; but at the same time, a moder, minimalist style which blends perfectly with the luxurious natural vegetation in the gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel Akumal
Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel And Spa
Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Akumal
Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach
Grand Sirenis Mexico
Gran Sirenis
Sirenis Riviera Maya
Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa Akumal, Mexico

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