My wife & I stayed here from January 9th til the 23rd. We knew we wanted to stay there b/c of it being another place with a reef right off the beach similar to Breezes Jibacoa in Cuba. The one thing that drew us there was the fact that friends of mine had said that sea turtles are known to wander into the reefs there. It didn't disappoint. Though the only disappointments were the first four days were red flag days, but the resort was definitely big enough to keep us amused, but we were so anxious to tackle the reefs. One thing to beware of though is upon arrival the conceirges will inform you of their Premium traveller meeting and they will make it sound like you are obligated to go. Don't bother with it. My wife did get suckered into it, and I knew all along it was going to be nothing more than a sales pitch just like that of time share BS. The only upside was getting 150 credits out of the deal and that paid for an excursion to Xel Ha for both of us.
The food there was great, but the omelettes weren't quite as good as previous places we've been to. I give high praise to a fella named Luis in the main buffet who can fry up steaks to perfection. Our waiter was a short fella named Faustino who was always pleasant and gave top notch service every time we sat in his section. He'd always greet you with a big smile We did a few different a la cartes. During the 2 week stay we were entitled to 6 as you can have 3 of them per week. We did the Japanese twice, the steakhouse, Brazilian, Mediterranean, and of course, Mexican. At the Mexican a la carte, we were given a lot of tequila shooters. The buffet was good for the most part, but it always has the same type of food, having said that, the many choices of a la cartes always alleviate that. We are not ones who will judge a place by its food like those that b***h about the food in Cuba... which I've said there's nothing wrong with after being there 3 times. This was also the first time in which we stayed someplace with a swim up bar since the Blau Costa Verde in Holguin, Cuba. The pool itself is huge and always has some kind of actviites going on. Most of the time for lunch we would eat at the buffet restaurant by the pool, and at night they turned it into the Steakhouse a la carte. There would even be a little hot dog stand like that of New York by the pool. Another option for lunch is there was a beach BBQ by the beach bar close to the lazy river... which is another unique feature at the Sirenis. we loved the lazy river and would go there at least once a day. Oh and I am also a 3 time name the tune champion!!! First time was at the Grand Pineapple in Negril, second was last year at Blau Veradero, and my third title was at this incredible place. 3 times a charm I guess.
I can go on about all the other aspects of this place but what more can I say that hasn't already been said? We really liked our room which was bigger than a bachelor place I lived in way back when. But since I am a certified diver I will now get into what the diving & snorkelling is like around there. The dive shop is located in the premises on the right hand side of where the little ruin is, just go up near the beach bar and keep walking until you reach a point where the dive shop is. We met a lady named Denise who sits at a little stand set up near the pool closer to the beach. We talked with her and she allowed my wife & I to do a little dive in that pool just to refresh our memories a bit and just to try it for free. She was the one who directed us to the dive shop there and we met Polly & Victor whom I was very impressed with. Polly gave a beginner lesson in the pool and since my wife isn't certified she had to take the lesson and I went in on it too. Victor was very friendly & approachable and I really liked his enthusiasm. We went to a few spots off in the distance a little ways from the Sirenis. Since I am not advanced yet, Victor convinced me to go on a deep dive of 100 feet, at that point in time I have gone as deep as 60 feet, but Victor told me that I can put this towards my advanced, but once we get down to that depth he will run 2 tests. The color spectrum test and a "bingo card" where you touch your nose and 1-24 are randomly spread throughout. I passed both tests and we continued on with a navy seal named Steve from the UK, who did some diving with the seals, and even Victor admitted that he could learn a few things from Steve. The 3 of us explored this depe spot and it was a very nice and unspoiled area. We saw many different fish species, but the big highlight was seeing my second nurse shark. When we were winding down and decompressing, Steve spotted a nurse shark, so we quickly went down to get a better view of it. It was about 5 feet long and more elusive than the one I saw in Jamaica, but we did manage to spend a few memorable moments with it, so we went back up and decompressed. Now to get into what the snorkelling is like, it really was incredible. The best place to enter is on the left side of the little ruin where the wedding gazebo is and just follow the reefs to the right, we made our way around the cove where the ruin sits on top of and went out a little ways where you'll see a red buoy. It was around there where we saw the biggest variety of sea life. There were about 4 or 5 big french angelfish that almost seemed to put on a show for us, it was like they were welcoming us into their territory. Every day when we weont out to that spot we would see at least 3 of them. There were lots of parrotfish, squids, and even a filefish. There was also a green parrotfish that seemed to follow us everywhere. After spending some time in those areas, as we made out way back we saw a few big southern stingrays, and keeping in mind about the sea turtles that are known to wander into the reefs there, we did see 2 of them in the shallow grassy areas in the cove between the left side of the ruin and the right of the wedding gazebo. Definitely moments that will last a lifetime. They would eat the grass and go up for air and continue eating. But keep this in mind.... touching or grabbing a sea turlte is something punishable by law in Mexico and rightfully so. There were a few dumb meatheads that did just that and I personally told them to back off and leave them alone. We also saw a few morons standing on the reefs too, and my wife actually swore at someone doing that. There are lifeguards on duty there, and if they have a reef of that nature right off the beach, then there should be some kind of signs posted around the resort just stating a few simple rules to follow while snorkelling there just to protect the reefs & sea life there. Lifeguards should keep a watchful eye on anyone who stands on the reefs or tries to grab or touch the sea turtles. You can see some of the damage that these meatheads have done. I think the Sirenis should take some kinds of measures to make people aware of how fragile the reefs really are.
As part of our diving adventures, we took a day trip to Cozumel. It was a bit of a homecoming for my wife & I b/c back in 2001 we were there as part of our honeymoon cruise and it was the place that ignited our passion for the reefs & sea life. Back then we spent a day at Chankanaab national park, and as we went by on the dive boat it was very nice just to merely see the place where it all started. We did 2 dives and a snorkelling session. The first dive I did was a wall dive about 85 feet with a fella named Stein. That was likely one of the best spots if not the best dive spot I have been to so far. There are strong currents, but just let them carry you along and enjoy the ride. This spot was called Punta Tunich. Steve was also along with us again this time. We saw a big eagle ray, several barracudas, 2 giant rainbow parrotfish that looked bigger than Humphead Wrasses, and many angelfish that looked larger than what you see while snorkelling. In between dives we snorkelled at a spot where a little ship was sunken about 20-30 feet where you'll see the usual common fish species like the sgt majors (beefish as I call them), yellow snappers, parrotfish, and some angelfish & butterflyfish. The second dive was about 50-60 feet and we saw a lot of bigger angelfish (queen, gray, french, and blue). Stein & Fernando were our guides. There was also an orange triggerfish that we've never seen before, but what was most noteworthy in this dive was a close encounter with a barracuda like something I never could've imagined. There was also a current here and as I let it carry me along I saw something in the corner of my right eye that looked big, so within an arms reach of me was this barracuda about 3 feet long and this was a cool but scary moment as I was actually fighting the current a bit so I didn't run into it... It looked at me with its mean looking eyes and we made eye contact but it just shrugged me off and kept swimming. Steve saw this whole thing unfold and took pictures. Stein & Fernando were also very good divemasters. Cozumel boasts some of the best reefs in the world and the ferry we took from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel showed evidence of that as the majority of the ferry had divers just checking out these incredible reefs.
So since it's been 3 months from the time we've been there I hope I was able to inform you of this awesome place as best as I could, but I wanted to tell it more from a diver's point of view. Whether you are a diver, snorkeller, beach bum, have a big appetite, or just want to relax, the Grand Sirenis is the perfect place to all all of that. You will see tons of iguanas by day and raccoons by night. This could very well be the best place we've been to so far and will return in a heartbeat.
One more thing.... I also want to use this opportunity to try and track down Steve as well. I only know him as Steve, who is a former navy seal from England. I don't know his last name, but he took a lot of pics of myself & my wife. I did give him my email address, but after 3 months I will have to assume he lost my email. So if by some small chance that Steve himself is reading this, my email is email@example.com. If anyone in the UK knows Steve please send him the link to this as he has some incredible shots of my wife & I on these dives. It was a privilege to spend a few days diving with him as he also stayed at the Sirenis.
Final word, the Sirenis was an all around incredible resort... just beware of the premium traveller stuff which will trun into a time share like sales pitch, and who wants to waste vacation time on that crap? Thank you to all the staff, and in particular the dive staff for an amazing 2 weeks!!!! We can't wait to go back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.