We just got back from a week at the Grand Mayan. Actually, we were supposed to be staying at the Sea Garden, and just like everybody said, they check you in and immediately go to the desk to see Eloise to pressure you into signing up for a Timeshare. We said no thank you! They didn't charge my credit card, but put a hold of $200.00 on it, which was voided at the end of the week. I tried to get an ocean view room, which I had asked for when confirming my room 72 hours before, and they said it was based on availability. We got there at 4:45 p.m. and check in wasn't until 5:00. Hmmmmm... Anyway, even with extra cash in hand, we still didn't get an ocean view room. Here's the deal -
the room stunk like urine, the bathroom was so tiny, the bedroom was ugly with tattered lamp shades, and just dark and dingy! The kitchen was tiny, eating area very small. Basically, I've stayed in better Best Western motels, and this was supposed to be a Gold Crown Resort???
Before they even hardly had a chance to bring up our luggage, I went over to the Grand Mayan, and booked the most gorgeous room overlooking the golf courses, we could see the bay, and the MP. ( No problem At All switching over! ) Nice size balcony with the little pool on it, nice size kitchen w/ brand new appliances, kitchen bar, dining room table, lots of cupboard space, 2 nice size pullout beds which my 2 big sons slept very comfortable in, and the bathroom! Ladies, this was wonderful - a shower for 2, separate toilet area, marble floors, 2 sinks, an extra sink area near the family room, 2 closets, a separate sitting area in the master bedroom - room to spare, oh and the bathtub (big enough for 2, including candle and bubble bath!) All I can say is WOW!!! Service was fantastic! I left little notes in spanish with little gifts and tip of $3.00. She said it wasn't necessary, but was very appreciative! Everybody spoke english. I tried to speak my little bit of spanish, and they would answer in english!
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous - we loved the lazy river, and all the pools, the wave pools, the water slide, the pool bar, the restaurants, clean bathrooms, great service, a true paradise!
And the best part - we didn't listen to a single timeshare!! Now, we did pay an extra fee, averaging $100/day, but it beat wasting a vacation day and high pressure, and we went on the excursions we liked. (And no maintenance fees!!...) All in all, it was one of the best vacations I've ever been on. This was our first time to Mexico, and I only booked it because my hotel in the bahamas was destroyed by the hurricanes last year (which I didn't find out until way after I booked my airline tickets.... but ) so for a very short 2 1/2 hr. flight, we had the best time, and can't wait to go back!!!
We just couldn't fit everything in that I wanted to do as far as excursions, but we did the Canopy Tour, Mud Rats ATV (A great day!!!) went to the Pirate ship for the dinner and show, and did the Yelapa, Majahuitas Beach tour on the catamaran.
We really wanted to take a day and just enjoy the hotel amenities, sleep in, walk the beach, & parasail, eat, Relax!
One weird thing on our beach though, was the shore line, on Sunday, was full of these little blue jellyfish things. I mean ALL over the shoreline, like you couldn't walk in the water!! Then we went on the snorkeling trip on Friday and the guide said they were Portugese Man-o-war and extremely dangerous!!!So much so, that we had to go aways from Majahuitas beach because there were so many of these in the water, and they were concerned for our safety!!
Also, next time we go, we will definitely rent a car. Traffic was absolutely no big deal, and we ended up taking the taxi which was $17.00/one way to town. And we were squished in the car! My husband is 6'6", and the 2 guys are 6"4" and 6"3" - A tight ride!!
The only other thing was it is beginning its rainy season, and every day we only had an hour or two of sunshine a day, and Thursday, it rained. Light sprinkles in the early morning, and cloudy starting about 2:00 - just warm and tropical.
The posts I've been reading the last couple months have been a tremendous help!!! My family and I thank all who gave helpful suggestions. The best ones were: Beware of timeshare shark at the airport desk, and restaurant tips, a bringing your own floating tubes, and bringing along little gifts and leaving spanish notes for the maid! We didn't even need thermal mugs as the bar personnel made sure your every need was met! Didn't need the pepto or immodium either - not a single stomach upset, and we ate at a couple way out of the way restaurants in the jungle - ice and all! I guess they are very careful as far as using bottled water for guests. Taxi info was great. For us, we didn't need to go to Walmart. I brought a smaller suitcase filled with snacks, Starbucks coffee, cereal, chex mix, beef jerky, granola bars, and for anything else, we just went to the Sea Garden Market. I didn't think the prices were that bad. For my time, to go to the Walmart, the bus, the waiting and all, the sea market was just fine! One day I bought two half gallons of milk, 1 box of orange juice, bacon, eggs, avacado, tomatos, pears, 4 cans of soda, 4 'penguiinos' (like Hostess cupcakes), all for $2100 pesos. Thought it was pretty good (course I'm used to California prices)
Wow, I think I've said enough - didn't mean to go on and on.... but we just had the best best time, and are looking forward to going back very soon!! Grand Mayan - we'll be back!!!!