We (myself 30, b/f 38) visited GCP Dec 4-12, and are very happy with our choice, what great memories to take home!
1. THE BEACH, oh my... I can't even attempt to describe it. Not only a feast for your eyes, but perfect in every way. Things about it there are different from other beaches - sand is clean and soft, NEVER hot, water is refreshing but never too cool, waves can be huge but never too dangerous (and there are awesome sandbars - 100 feet from shore, up to you knee, in one place!) We saw huge a few huge needle fish there, neat. Water is clear and amazing shades of turquoise. Also - VERY important - NO TOWEL CARD!!! Just get a beach towel (or 2) at the hut by the pool, leave it anywhere on the beach. And - shady palapas are ALWAYS available, no matter what time you come to the beach. Can't stress that enough - yes, this is a small resort, but the beach is a size of a large one, at times lively, but never ever crowded. I've seen great beaches before - including Maui's Kaanapali - well, the GCP beach is on top of my list now. There, you can relax in piece under a palapa or play a fun game of beach volleyball with other folks (we did much of both).
Ritz's and LeMeridien's beach was to the left and the right - we walked through many times, and both struck me with absence of any evident life (I am not counting a handful of pasty individuals reading a newspaper or sunning in layers.
2. The pool(s) - just fine, smaller, but once again, never crowded. Clean, good temp. The "hot tub" is actually a cool jet stream pool, which is nicer in 90 degree weather anyway. There is always something going on at the "active side" of the pool - games, etc. If you play water volleyball, try NOT to lose to the best of your ability - you'll find out why, when you do :D
2. The ROOM - great, but do all in your power to get the oceanview (I mean
pay extra, not be a jackass like we seen someone do).
We had a lagoon a first night - it's not BAD, but nothing to write home about, and got moved to 5th floor ocean view in the very center - BREATHTAKING, PANORAMIC views of endless ocean and some Cancun skyline!! Pay attention - the GCP balconies are HUGE, and terraced, so you get
completely unobstructed views. The LeMeridien and the Ritz ($$$ rates) were on the left and the right; the balconies on both looked like those of
value-plus condo complexes - comparing to the GCP, and the GCP beach is better, sandier and clearer, once in the water. Room itself was spacious, clean, bathroom worked fine, plenty towels, good maid service, etc.
3. The FOOD/DRINKS - outstanding. We stayed at the Aventura Spa Palace (considerably more expensive AI in Playa del Carmen) just last February, and GCP food blew it away. Buffets have great choices, and tons of things made to order. Everything tasted very fresh and well-prepared.
The Pier 12 has actual FRESH seafood (try fillet of bouquinet and cream of oyster), the Old Barn has good steak (not by Midwestern standards, yet still very good), Shangri La had good appetizers and deserts to die for (many dark chocolate/truffle type). Drinks always superb; good variety. Try "Dolphin Special" at the Dolphin beach bar, Sombrero" at the Old Barn, and mango margaritas at the lobby bar. Jose and Fonzie the bartenders are great; Tiki bar is fun and gets wild at times (good wild, I don't think anyone will get offended ;).
Oh - with dinner, try the red house wine - some Portuguese variety, was surprisingly good - try at any restaurant. Also - almond ice cream - very, very tasty.
4. The STAFF/SERVICE - most welcoming, warm and genuine. Have to love them, these folks work so hard!! Please tip to bartenders, maids and
waiters, we saw many didn't although they were pleased with the service!
The entertainment staff is hilarious - the Karaoke and Elvis night was fun; yes, the Galaxy looks a bit like a high school pageant, but remember these folks wear many hats. As far as going clubbing afterwards - staff takes a group, for $35 pp, drinks included - we went to Daddy-os and it SUCKED!! Wasted about $100 altogether, for half hour of boredom! VERY touristy, old music, tacky decor - rather pathetic, no comparison to real clubs (hmm, Chicago ones, in particular). Typical "Cancun" club, so pass on "Daddy-o's" people - and maybe all other EXCEPT "Coco Bongo" - a must!! Dance while watching incredible shows from a VIP spot - think Circe de Solei meets Vegas :) We had a blast at Coco Bongo.
5. Fellow Visitors - great mix! Whether you're 20 or 60, or anywhere in between - groups of every age there. Another advantage of small resort - you'll get to know some people beyond "how do you do, charming day, isn't it". We met great people at GCP - hello to everyone we talk to - sorry, may not remember all names (we are Nadya and Lee). Special thanks to Eddy and the Texas crew for being so kind to my lack of volleyball skill!! You guys rule; pleasure to meet y'all :D
We visited a sister Crown Paradise - a typical, huge, busy, family resort. Eeeek! We planned on checking it out for an hour or so, but left after eating lunch in 20 minutes :) Adults Only is the way to go if you don't have kids. The sister Crown seemed awful after the GCP - general feeling of stress, noise, heat, mess, - it's full of screaming kids!! Even my b/f who has and likes kids couldn't stand the place. We've seen some flies there, and the whole place felt... loud and sticky?? At the GCP, we'd eat outdoor lunch while gazing at the blue ocean water, watching guys playing volleyball and looking at pelicans dive into the shallows; at the Crown, we ate lunch looking at the pool filled with hyper 3-8 year olds doing a belly flop and a jelly/god knows what-covered toddler banging on the window behind our back. The DJs at the pool there had some crappy hip-hop stuff blarring there. We jumped on a shuttle back to the GCP and marveled at the people who stay at sister Crown without kids (logic??). Oh - lastly, it has no beach (concrete slab with an abrupt drop-off), we were told the hurricane washed all the sand away...
As far as "outside" activities, we did jetski-ing at the GCP beach (jumping enormous waves whether we had to or not - much to my b/f's entertainment... it was great), and went on a jungle tour with Aqua World - highly recommend, great snorkeling and a fun-filled speedboat ride (make sure BOTH of you get to drive the speedboat).
Tip for the ladies - it's hard to find nice swim suits in winter, in the US - if you want one more, wait until you get to the GCP! the shop downstairs has beautiful, boutique-style bikinis and wraps for only $35-45 USDs!! As opposed to same quality suites here in US for about $80-120 USDs.
Okay - once again - things you'll love about GCP - the beach/ocean (turquoise water everywhere, visible from rooms, AND from 3 of the four restaurants. The most spectacular views, all day long, I miss those colors bitterly), great service, NO KIDS in sight, general sense of tranquility, piece and well-being, being catered to, great fun yet very relaxed atmosphere, no flies/insects of any kind, lots of SPACE where it counts, great - if not always gourmet, food. Have a fun-filled day at the GCP, followed by a delicious meal, wind down at the Tiki bar, and have sound of crashing waves rock you to sleep...
People who were complaining about GCP - hard beds, towels, service, room decor, drinks, and who knows what else - get a life. Or better yet, stay somewhere else next time.
Overall, the trip was a great value, and we will DEFINITELY return, no doubt, ifs and buts about it (possibly, same time next year ;). If you have questions about anything that I did not mention, don't hesitate to ask.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Golden Parnassus All Inclusive Resort & Spa Cancun, Golden Parnassus Cancun, is an Adults Only All Inclusive Resort Situated on an unspoiled sandbar tucked between Nichupte Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea is one of Cancun's premier adult all-inclusive resorts. A beach resort wholly devoted to the "in the moment" lifestyle, Golden Parnassus Cancun is a destination where exclusive personal service and a sophisticated yet casual spirit offer the backdrop for the ultimate in relaxation. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Golden Parnassus All Inclusive Resort & Spa Cancun reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Golden Parnassus Cancun
- Cancun Crown Paradise
- Golden Parnassus Hotel Cancun
- Golden Parnassus Resort Spa Cancun
- Jack Tar Cancun
- Golden Parnassus Resort Cancun