First, before I start my review...I'm sending out a desperate call for help! I was at GS Feb 4th - Feb 11th and left my camera in a cabana on the beach by accident on my very last day :( I have been so sad ever since! If anyone picked it up PLEASE email me at email@example.com because I would love to at least get the memory card back.
My fingers are crossed that someone will read this and help me out!
Now for my review!
This resort is amazing! I had never been to Mexcio but had been to a Bahia Principe in the DR and a smaller resort in Veradero Cuba last year. This is by far the best trip I have ever taken. I was with my boyfriend.
The flight: If you book through itravel2000 beware that you may have to stop in Cuba and it will be a last minute change. Minor detail but it adds about 2hrs to your trip. Makes for a long day coming home. Once you arrive at the airport it doesn't take long to get your bags and get out into the sun. The ride to GS took us nearly an hour with two stops at other resorts along the way. Once you get to the resort you can enjoy your welcome glass of champagne! A great way to start your vacation!
Rooms: They asked us at check in if we wanted to upgrade to an "ocean view" for a certain price per night but we said no. Good thing we did. Once we got to the room, I opened up the balcony door and the ocean was clearly visible to our left. We just had to turn our necks ever so slightly! They were clearly trying to rip us off!!! Our room also had the added benefit of a perfect direct view of the sunset. Beautiful! Our room was on the Mayan Beach Side (closest to the disco) which apparently doesn't get used very often during the year except for peak season. We were on the third floor and had a king size bed. The bed was actually pretty comfortable. There is also a sofa and a chair but we didn't use them. We did have the triangle cut-out in the wall and it was not glass covered. It wasn't a huge deal though. The jacuzzi tub was amazing! Especially after a long day of swimming or walking. When you're on the toilet though you feel sort of like you are in an outhouse! But being from Canada, that's okay! The shower had great pressure which was a nice change from Cuba. As other reviewers have said, there is body gel and shampoo in the shower and actually I used it a few times and it was okay. No place to put your own things though. They always changed our towels even if we put them back nicely on the rack to dry. AC worked well and the ceiling fan helped move the air around. Just make sure your patio door is shut all the way or the AC won't turn on. We didn't have a problem with our safe but I could see how there may be some issues. Oh and you do have a mini fridge in your room with a HUGE jug of water, two smaller bottles, 4 pop and 2 beer. They refill it everyday. Oh and room service is included!!
Beach: Not bad. It was a bit of a hike from our room (10min) but we always stopped at the buffet first so it didn't seem so long. The beach is pretty crowded near the main part (bar area) but if you go down farther (second cove) it's a lot more relaxed and not as busy. The waitresses still come all the way down there to serve you. I recommend a Flying Gorilla! YUM! The beach wasn't pure white sand so don't expect anything like that. It is pretty beat up from all the broken coral and shells. The snorkeling is AMAZING right at the resort. Go out from the second cove though...it's much better. We saw a TON of exotic fish, an eel and even the string-ray which has made it's home in the reef! I recommend taking a roll from breakfast to feed the fish (or banana). They will literally jump out of the water to get it from you. If you walk down the beach towards the spa/gym expect to walk on rocks and see a lot of garbage. It's sad really. They keep the beach really clean though. Oh and it's not hard to find a lounge chair so no need to go early to reserve.
Grounds: Beautiful! Lots of plants/vegetation. They actually have a small botanical garden at the resort. They take such good care of everything. After a brief rain storm we even saw some of the cleaners wiping off the glass walls of the walkways between the buildings. I couldn't believe it! Do expect to walk quite a ways though to get anywhere on the resort. Bring what you need for the day and go back to the room once you're tired! There are also a TON of lizards all around the resort. Even the odd gray squirrel which was odd.
Pool: We didn't spend a whole lot of time here as we enjoyed snorkeling each day but we would normally head to the pool restaurant in the afternoon around 3 to each lunch then catch a few last rays. The chairs by the pool are really really comfy but hard to come by after 9am. There were always people reserving them even though you're not supposed to do so. They always had afternoon entertainment from 3:30-5 and it was always really funny to watch especially since at that time there are usually lots of drunk people willing to play!
*as a side note....I would say about 80% of people at the resort were Canadian!!
Lazy River: didn't go down it but it looked fun.
Food: AMAZING! Buffets were great - soooo many options! we never went hungry! We ate at the Mexican, Japanese and Cajun a la cartes and they were all great. Japanese was good but not as good as we thought. Everyone starts with sushi which was pretty decent but then you get your main course which was good...but not very filling (and not a big portion). You have to have the fried ice cream for dessert though, it's SO GOOD! The Mexican was probably our favorite. You get the "salad bar" first but there wasn't any salad, just a lot of Mexican foods like nachos , tacos etc. Ask them to take your picture - you'll get a good one! The Cajun was also delicious but not the typically cajun food we expected. All servers were excellent though in all restaurants. They work so hard! you'd see them working breakfast, then see them again at dinner and again the next morning.
Ice-cream Bar/Coffee Bar: visited both on a daily basis. Nice perk at the resort.
Bars: Great service! They even have the "good stuff" you just have to ask for it specifically. I liked having martinis at night and they were always yummy. The actual bartenders were entertaining too. I recommend bringing a travel mug though! Oh and it's true...they don't give you a straw unless you ask. It's part of their mission to reduce the amount of waste the resort produces (since Mexico doesn't recycle).
Shows: very entertaining. Even my boyfriend who wasn't terribly excited about watching them was entertained. They are all very talented.
Time Shares??? We didn't get approached at all - nobody did who was on the shuttle with us. We were slightly surprised by this as we read so much about how this was an issue for people.
Gym/Spa: Spa is expensive. Prices similar to here at home in Ottawa Ontario. The gym was nice though. Really clean and good equipment.
Side Trips: didn't do anything that was offered through a travel company. We went to the Jungle Place (check out their website....amazing experience!!! Playing with Spider Monkeys is all I need to say!). We rented a cab with friends of ours for the day for $130 (about 7 hours). He took us to the jungle place which is really hard to find, then to Akumal Beach. We did see the sea turtles and they were incredible! I highly recommend doing this. We heard it was expensive to rent their equipment though so if you have your own at the resort I recommend bringing it. From there we went to Playa Del Carmen. Go to 5th street to shop. Barter Barter Barter! Oh and if you want to bring home cheap liquor, go to Walmart. It's about 4 blocks away (heading away from the ocean). Much cheaper! We let our friends take the cab to their resort and we took the collectivo. Easy, cheap and not scary at all. Safest and cheapest way to get around in the Mayan Riviera.
Overall this was an amazing vacation for us. There seems to be something for everyone at this resort. Nothing to complain about at all. I would rate it as a 5 star but then again I'm not a very picky person and I was just happy to be able to actually take a vacation. I'm so excited to return to this resort or at least another Serenis resort (Ibiza hopefully!)
Any questions don't hesitate to email!
- Also Known As:
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel And Spa
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach
- Grand Sirenis Mayan
- Grand Sirenis Mexico
- Gran Sirenis
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel
- Sirenis Riviera Maya
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa Akumal, Mexico
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