This was our first trip to mexico and our first all inclusive so I have nothing to compare it with but we had an amazing holiday at Grand Sirenis. I will try to keep everything as consise and to the point as possible.
Staff: Everyone that we encountered was lovely, smiley and very willing to please. Maid service was excellent, our maid had quite a job on her hands as our two teenage sons shared the room next to us and she did a great job. Our concierge was very helpful and managed to get us all the a la cartes that we requested and one extra, he also booked a couple of spa treatments for us. Yes he did keep reminding us of the timeshare presentation but did not put undue pressure on us but we were resolute from the start that we were not interested. Bell boys were always punctual - you need to book one to take your luggage to reception the day before you depart - ask the concierge to do this for you. As we are Brits we are not used to tipping so we only tipped the maid, concierge and bell boys and occasionally the bar staff but the service was no different if you tipped or not.
Room: Very spacious and clean, massive comfortable bed. Bathroom was in excellent working order - even the jacuzzi worked. No gaping hole between the bedroom and bathroom or any sign of peep holes. The decor was tired and out of date but perfectly acceptable and we did not visit mexico to inspect our bedroom. I did leave out jewellery - nothing particularly valuable and my sons left their laptops but nothing was stolen. Our rooms were in the Jaban block (i think - room number 2502) on the ocean side and on the ground floor. Very quiet, no noise from above and very little from outside. When we checked in they offered us an upgrade to an ocean view as you do not get a view of the ocean from the ground floor - we declined, I cant remember how much this was but it would have added a considerable cost to the holiday. It was a good 5-10 minute walk to the buffet area and reception but if you are mobile and can stand the heat its really not an issue.
Food: You really can eat 24 hours a day here. The buffet was clean, efficient and had a massive variety of choice. Always fresh fish and meat cooked to order and it never seemed overly busy and I never saw any flies on the food. You would have to be incredibly picky if you cannot find anything that suits your palate here. All the a la cartes that we dined in were excellent - the Brazilian and Japanese the most memorable. The Brazilian is a must if you love meat. The Cajun restaurant also serves a buffet breakfast and lunch, this is located at the lively pool, there is not the selection that the reception buffet has but it is a very relaxing and lovely setting to have breakfast.
Beach/Snorkelling: This was the best asset that Grand Sirenis has (amongst others). The snorkelling on the beach is as good as Akumal, we saw small/medium turtles almost every day and stingrays plus many shoals of tropical fish. The beach to the left of the ruin is best for snorkelling if you swim out to the far left where the weddings are held (no sunbeds) that is where the best fish are and the turtles, they graze on the seagrass quite close to the shore. You do have to be patient though but it is well worth the wait. Snorkels, masks and life jackets are available to hire from a kiosk on the beach as are a couple of sea kayaks. You can rent them free of charge for an hour. There is also a small gully to the left of the ruin and some rocks which considering it is so close to the shore is the home to lots of fish, some can be found in just a couple of feet of water. Racoons and Iguanas are in abundance - dont leave any food on your sunbed as the racoons will steal, they are fascinating to watch we actually saw one drinking from a can of Sprite.
The only downside to the beach is that you do need to reserve sunbeds by 9-10am otherwise you will only get one a few rows back. I really hate it when people do this but i succombed as i didnt want to be right at the back.
We did lots of excursions, some independantly and some through Thomas Cook all of which were excellent, I have reviewed them separately. In short I find it very difficult to criticise this resort, we travelled with teenage sons and we all had the best holiday ever. Its great for teenagers as they can have a lot of independance, if they miss breakfast there is always room service which is free of charge, they can eat what they want when they want. All the staff work really hard to make your holiday stress free, everything is made so easy. There are lots of activities for all ages and this is a part of the world where you can combine lazy days on the beach with some cultural sighseeing, swimming with dolphins, whale sharks, fun boat trips to name a few. This is the only part of the world that I would go back to as this part of Mexico is so beautiful and there were so many excursions and experiences that we just could not pack into 10 days
- 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 Resort & Spa Akumal, Mexico