Beware-this is a detailed review!
We paid the extra £170 per person to go Premium Club with Thomson and it was worth every penny. Both myself and my husband are nervous flyers so from faster check in to extra space on the plane this made all the difference and we would now take this option every time!
We went for a coach transfer for the first time this year and it will definitely be our last. Our coach was air conditioned and not in bad condition. We stopped at 4 other hotels on the way and the second to last transfer nearly 3hours later!!!
We arrived at our hotel where we had yet another 30 minute wait-the staff were extremely slow and for a '5 star' hotel there were no hot towels or friendly welcomes and in replacement we were checked in and told where our room was on what appeared to be a very large map!
When I looked to book our hotel we prefer to go for smaller hotels so I look at the room numbers. This place seemed much bigger than I thought and then I realised in the holiday brochures it only quotes the rooms at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya and not its sister hotel (on the same complex) that has the same number of rooms again! It is not made clear AT ALL by the tour operators how these hotels are set up. We booked all inclusive at the resort expecting to have paid the price for the best package we could buy. In fact there is a Premium club that the hotel try to sell you during your stay, there are day beds roped off on the beach, as well as separate rooms and a restaurant in the main complex that are solely for their use. You get asked if you want to go to a breakfast to look at 'the other side' and if you do you get a discounted spa treatment etc. we declined a handful of times.
Our standard junior suite (2421) was much large than we had expected. The bed was huge, however don't be fooled-it was extremely hard and I dont know when the sheet were last dry cleaned - you needed a free bar to be able to get any sleep, I used my flight pillow to get me through the 2weeks! Our jet bath so nice to jump into after a day in the hot sun. We did have a hole in the wall between the bedroom and bathroom, however there is frosted glass for the toilet and shower. We didn't mind this, however some couples/families may have a issue. The only alcohol the minibar stocks is beer and there are no snacks in the room. You can order drinks on room service but there is a charge and some food is free of charge but we did this one night expecting the same as the restaurant food but it was awful. The rooms are cleaned every day and towels replaced.
Each set of building has 2 dedicated concierge staff every day that book you into your al a carte restaurants and offer any other services. They are very helpful and ours actually bought me some cream for my heat rash out of his own money before he started work the following day-I had to force him to take the money back and a tip! My husband booked the lobster dinner evening as a surprise for our wedding anniversary. The meal was lovely-I've never seen so much lobster and the service was perfect! When we got back to our room my husband was disappointed, apparently in the package we were supposed to have candles, rose petals, a bubble bath etc.and breakfast in bed in the morning but we had nothing. In the morning my frustrated husband went to the concierge to find out what had happened and apparently the trainee concierge made a mistake and only booked the meal. We had it rearranged for another night. When it did happening was lovely and such a great option to book, however once again in the morning they brought us a Mexican breakfast with black coffee instead of the Continental with white tea and coffee, Tacos are the last thing we wanted to see at 8am.
Pool & Beach:
We used all the pools and beach. Our favourites were the quiet pool and the party pools with swim up bar. The sport staff are so good and work ridiculous hours to entertain you on a consistent basis. Not usually partaking in group activities we particularly enjoyed the Tequila volleyball and pre-evening shows!
Take your snorkelling kit! We took one set and bought another whilst there, the beach sports team only have 3 sets for over 3000 guests. We stayed to the left hand side as it was quieter and the sand softer. No need to pay for the turtle swim-they feed off the sea bed just off the beach and you see plenty-this was amazing and we couldn't believe the tropical fish right on your doorstep!
We were sold a spa deal by the pool, we went for a couples massage on the beach with 2hrs in the spa for just over £100 for 2, definitely worth it! The spa is not to be missed!
Mediterranean- avoid. Rude staff who try to clear you out of the restaurant as fast as possible. I had the moussaka which was slices of aubergine and tomato with bread crumbs urgh.
Cajun-lovely. With prawn starters and lovely main choices this was one of our favourites.
Mexican-lovely. The spice is always an option on the side so you don't have to worry about not food. And the staff were very friendly
Japanese-ok. The menu was good and you get some great entertainment from the chef, however the waiter got all of our starters mixed up (table of 10) and the main meals were quite bland.
Steakhouse-ok. The menu was good again and my steak was massive but extremely tough and overlooked.
Buffet-Good. The themed buffets were great and something for everyone, can't complain there. You have a card on your table in the evening telling you the caribe for a bottle of wine-this is a hotel trick for extra cash!!! It's free-just order by the glass! Again the waiters are very good and work so hard -6 days a week.
Overall given the size of the complex we were pleasantly surprised we had a nice holiday. We wouldn't return to the same hotel again, however highly recommend it to young families or large groups.
One other word of warning-there is a disco on site and we had 2nights that we were kept up at 3 am due to holiday makers shouting in the corridors after returning from the club!
I have so much more advice so please get in touch with any questions or tips.
- 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 And Spa
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach
- Grand Sirenis Mexico
- Gran Sirenis
- Sirenis Riviera Maya
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa Akumal, Mexico