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“We liked it enough”
Review of Gran Porto Resort

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Gran Porto Resort
Ranked #38 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2011

This was our second trip to Playa. Previously we stayed in a small hotel on the beach with breakfast only. GPR is a completely different experience. The hotel is ok, but we agreed that we would much rather do a B&B again.. We enjoy eating authentic food in different restaurants and cozy atmosphere. Anyway, this time we went for an AI mainly because we wanted to spend as little as possible and there is no secret that AI's work out a lot cheaper. We still went out for food few times as we were getting a little tired of the food at GPR. We found the food to be good overall, but not excellent. Buffet selection was good, Italian restaurant had nice steaks, mexican was ok, but everything we had there seemed to be over salted. Drinks are not the best, far too sweet, to much grenadine in all of them. We always asked them to make a sour drink for us and we found Clementine to be the least sweet. Mojitos were also usually ok. In terms of the rooms, we stayed in a junior suite and it is important to mention that not all junior suites are the same. The ones in the newer part of the building are a lot nicer than those in the old part. We actually changed rooms twice.. The first room was the nicest but it had two double beds and we wanted a king size bed. The second room was in the old part, on the ground floor. It wasn't as nice as the first one but had a king size bed. Unfortunately we had to change it as well as there was damp on the ceiling and unbearable smell which we hoped would go away as we left the balcony open overnight, but it didn't. The third room was again in the old part, but on the first floor, it was not the greatest room, but we decided to stay in it as we didn't want to moan and keep moving rooms. In the end we realised that the first one we had was the best of all three and actually regretted that we didn't stay in it. The biggest problem in this hotel in our opinion is noise. You can hear everything there, so it is not good for light sleepers. Overall, the hotel is ok, staff is nice, nobody ever bothered us,nobody was trying to sell us anything, nobody was trying to make us upgrade to the Royal. The beach is ok, however not great for swimming as there are lots of rocks in the water. The location is great. Overall, we would probably not return... Big hotels are simply nor us, too noisy, too busy, food- no matter how varied gets boring after a while. We prefer small hotels, food in different places every night even though it costs more.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank MJLSK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,333 - 5,339 of 10,227 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2011

The Gran Porto Real is a small hotel (about 250+ rooms) that allows children. It's sister property the Royal - next door is adult only.
When we arrived, the bellman was quick to take our bags to check in. While we were checking in/waiting, some people were receiving welcome drinks and we did not. We had no sooner got our room key, then we were approached by someone in guest services. Because we had a beach walk out, we had "gold card" status. There was a special card that we had to fill out to get some discounts at the gift shop, massages, and it entitled us to eat not only at the restaurants at our property, but also at 3 restaurants next door at the Royal Real.
We were taken to our room, which was a beach walk out. We had looked at the photos of this resort on line and thought that we should upgrade and get the beach walk out. The room did not disappoint! Due to the shape / design of the hotel, our room was only the room on the lower level to have 2 patio decks. We just walked about 12 feet from our deck, and we were at our assigned "cabbanna". This was about the size of a queen sized bed (mattress) with wooden posters and white drapes that you could slide and position with the sun. There were other cabbanas too (assigned) that had the same frame, but only had lounge chairs under them.
We enjoyed our little piece of paradise and were glad to have things so close to us. (the beach, shopping etc. ) The beaches are white and beautiful. However, most of the water area designated to the hotel was rocky. The first couple days we watched as they were clearing away seaweed by hand and then by machine - as this was preventing people from going into the water. Once it was clear - it was fine. During this time, we discovered that we could go past the pier (security) and use the Royal Real's beach - which was much better!!!
We were impressed that there was constant security on the beach walking by. It was nice to be able to enjoy the beach areas without vendors coming up to you trying to sell things. There was also a video camera outside our room and various places around the property. We did feel safe.
There were many water related activities to do. The hotel pool was always busy.
Many different "classes" happened during the day - dance lessons, yoga, snorkeling, etc.
The hotel had a "Kids Club" (separate glassed room near the entrance) that provided daily themed activities for the kids. We saw them do crafts, talent night, movies, pajama party, dress up etc. Looked like fun!
After a couple days of "buffets", we got tired of the food. The Italian and Mexican restaurants were fantastic. We visited the Italian twice! The othere nights, we ate at the "Royal Real's - Asianas, Pelicanos and Maria Marias" they were absolutely to die for. Asianas was an Asian themed restaurant (Thai, Japanese, Chinese), Pelicanos - seafood, and Maria Marias was an upscale, fine dining Mexican restaurant. Men needed to have pants and closed toed shoes for these three restaurants to be permitted in.
Our room had it's own mini bar. There was a pull out that had full sized bottles of alcohol that you could pour and make your own drinks as well as pop (mix) too. There was no charge for this, unless you drank the wine. We were to receive "snacks" as well, but only on a couple occassions did we get the potato chips.
Sometimes when we returned back to our room, we had nicely made towelled animals. The room was always clean. Because we had a beach walk out, we did wake up to a crab in our shower one moring and a cockroach in the middle of the night on the floor. (Thank goodness for flashlights!) We then put a towel by the door and let housekeeping know.
For the most part, our stay was very good. Because we were Gold Card status, we were constantly (daily) approached by Real staff to buy a time share, take tours of the sister property next door, got flyers about moving to the Royal Real resort either next door or in Cancun for a small fee or no fee. We thought we had left the "Time Share Sharks" at the airport, but were harassed daily during our stay. These fellows were wearing "Real" shirts and were right beside Guest Services in the lobby. So as you went through the lobby, they would always talk to you and try and convince you to take a tour of the property next door etc. We saw many families trying to enjoy breakfast, while a time share rep spoke / ate with them. This was a real turn off for us as we were trying to escape and relax. We wanted our beach access and were not interested in moving to a property off the beach with only a view of the beach.
Staff that we encounted were there to do a job, and we didn't notice anyone going above or beyond their job. One waiter had tears in shirt (not sure if hotel provided or if he had to buy). A couple of bar waiters were friendly (tips given to them daily). He even gave us his card when he left and said to mention him on the internet! One fellow who was a rep from "Best Day" was one person that we felt that we could trust. He booked our excursions and airport transfers.
An instance occurred that I needed to see a doctor. He helped me translate some ear drops as the night before an ear became blocked and hadn't improved. Guest services told me that there were drops in the gift shop. I bought it, but of course the box was in spanish and the ladies in the shop couldn't translate for me.We saw this fellow from "Best Day" (we had purchased some excursions from him and felt that we could trust him). He translated for us. I tried the drops and waited an hour. No improvement. So then we approached Guest services and enquired about a doctor / medical services near by. There was a doctor at the Royal Real, but they said that he didn't specialize with ears. (He did!!!) We went over later to consult this doctor who had specialized training from Switzerland and the US. I got my ears flushed and was given medication for my ears. There is a $75 consultation charge and a charge for the medication. I would now be good to fly!
Would we go back again? Of course we would. We enjoyed the hotel, having the beach walk out, being near to shops, great restaurants and being near the beautiful blue water and having white soft sandy beaches. This we loved. We had hoped to have a massage during our stay but found $150+ USD too much for one. We waited until we got home.
Our only complaint is the daily time share harassments that we had at the hotel and sometimes found on 5th Avenue when we were shopping!

Room Tip: There are two sides to the hotel. Beach and street. We upgraded to a beach walk out. Worth the exper...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank KodaKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

This was me and my wife's first trip to Mexico and first all inclusive trip. The resort was okay. The rooms were musky but clean. The food was terrible. The best food we had was on the way home at the Bubba Gumps in the Cancoon airport. The alcohol and drinks were cheap and tasted it. The wristband/cattle tag that you have to wear is annoying and a contsant reminder of how disappointed I was. Everyone in Mexico that worked in the tourism industry were very pushy and sly about trying to sell you anything. It's a very beautiful area but there is no authenticity to be found. It's a tourist trap. We purchased an upgrade to eat at the nicer Royal Playa next door but every time we went over to eat we were accosted multiple times by security who requested to look at our wristbands and confirm that we had the upgrade. And then the food at the Royal Playa was just as bad. Don't go unless you stay at the Royal Playa as long as you don't mind below average food. At least the Royal Playa had better grade alcohol.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank filam567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

We stayed at the Gran Porto Real in April. We are in our 40's and brought our 15 and 16 year old boys with us. It was our first time to Mexico and our first time to an all inclusive resort. We had a fantastic stay. I read what seems to be a thousand reviews on this site before we went... so let me sum up opinion easily for you:

Positives:
~ CLEAN Hotel
~ FANTASTIC Location - never felt unsafe, loved 5th ave... everything you could want is right there - took a trip to the Mayan temples - amazing!
~ Super friendly staff!!!
~ Great food, lots of variety, Italian and Mexican restaurants were excellent.
~ Upstairs pool bar lots of fun
~ Poker night fun
~ "Swing" bar (bar with swings instead of bar stools) was wonderful
~ Free non-motorized water sports, fun, minimal to no wait
~ loved the hidden hammocks and jacuzzi on the roof
~ Junior Suites are beautiful!!!
~ Safes in every room - I don't understand how people can get things stolen, we locked up plenty of cash, jewelry and iPads... NO problems!
~ Free WiFi... was able to use my iPad just about everywhere
~ fast and friendly room service, will bring anything you ask for
~ great family resort

Negatives
~ Check in - they didn't have our room available the first night, so we got pushed from Jr. Suites to a standard room - the standard rooms were tiny and unimpressive.
~ Sandbags on the beach, although it didn't bother us much, the beach is still beautiful
~ Main pool gets slightly crowded, but not that bad
~ Forget the sushi bar... it is sitting in the sun most of the day

Other items of interest:
~ Teenagers were allowed to drink, although we were there when they got their wristbands, so they were supervised by us.
~ Great spa, but expensive... can get wonderful massages a short walk away for 1/4 of the price
~ Can easily walk the beach to night clubs
~ plenty of places to parasail and do other things right close by

Feel free to email me if you have any other specific questions! ENJOY your vacation!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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9  Thank MoJoJo22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

I had read the reviews of this hotel and was a little bit apprehensive. It was our 25th Wedding Anniversary so wanted it to be perfect. We picked this hotel because it included families and although we weren't taking our children we felt that we liked a relaxed atmosphere and it's always nice to see families enjoying themselves whilst knowing we were having a bit of respite from ours. The other reason we picked it was because of the location....... and it did not disappoint. It is in Playa del Carmen. You can see the beach and the water from the hotel pool! It takes two minutes to walk to 5th Avenue and the shops. On the beachfront are hotels, beach clubs and some shops at the ferry end. There were plenty of fishing boats for hire and beach activities. An ideal location for us as we did not want to be stuck on a resort in the middle of the jungle and have to pay taxi fare to have a stroll in town. Yes, people have said about the sandbags - that is natures fault. People have said about the seaweed - that is natures fault, but people worked hard to clear it. If you walk for two minutes either direction yes the beach is more as you imagine, but people were swimming in front of the hotel and the small fishing boats added character.
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with a drink. Check in went quick and our room was ready. Yes we were asked if guest services(ie the Real people in the blue shirt could show us about but we declined). We were taken to our room. We had booked a Junior Suite. It was on the ground floor. Have to say the room was fine. Everything worked not a problem and plenty of space for the two of us.In fact we were happy we were on the first floor because if we needed to go back to our room it didn't take long!
The service we received was lovely. The people who worked there whenever you went by said hello and there were times in the restaurant that if I tried to tidy up they come over and did it and told me stop I was on holiday!. The maid for our room was excellent. In fact we never saw her and we stayed there a fortnite. She left beautiful towel animals for us. One person who made it for us was Jesus, the pool waiter. He was friendly without being intrusive, refilling our drinks when he saw we were low. We didnt like Maria, Marias the mexican restaurant but enjoyed the Italian. We only went to these once each, the rest of the time we eat in the buffet. yes, there was food we didnt like because of all the spices but the mexicans there did. They do though try hard to have european. They would cook your beef, chicken, steak as you were waiting. Had a beautiful steak.
Evening entertainment was a hit or miss for me but plenty others enjoyed. Some of the dancers though were very good.
All in all a fantastic holiday and yes we are planning to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Theholidayduo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

The resort was incredible. A wonderful experience, the resort was clean, and they had a great variety of food. The guys in the recreation and entertainment made the entire trip more memorable for the entire family. Cesar, Victor "Chicken", Armando, and Alejandro were great with not only the kids but provided fun activities for all ages. I also really enjoyed the variety of tropical drinks at the bar. Avila the bartender was excellent and made some of the best drinks I have ever tried and some of which I have never heard of especially the Mango Daiquiri's. My family and I will definetly return and I hope to see the same familiar faces. I felt safe, and even their gift shop items were reasonable.

I will advise to bring plenty of sunscreen, the waitstaff is excellent but ice seems hard to come by and melts at the blink of an eye.

Room Tip: The Jr Suite was just right but the beds are somewhat small
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
4  Thank pinksneaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

The service was amazing! the whole crew from the hotel was incredible, Specially the service from the bar tenders from the pool area,there were extremely kind, Avila&Alejandro, great service and friendly!!! Also the security guards from t the front desk and the beach area (:

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank GeorginaChih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gran Porto Resort

Address: Constituyentes No. 1, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $199 - $524 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gran Porto Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 287
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a beautiful, protected stretch of pristine beach in the heart of Playa del Carmen stands the spectacular Gran Porto Resort, just steps from Fifth Avenue's shops, clubs, and restaurants. Architecturally reminiscent of one of Mexico's finest haciendas, the resort welcomes couples, families, friends, and colleagues to the warm Caribbean breezes and azure seas of the Riviera Maya, where guests can experience the region's cultural heritage, relish all-inclusive luxuries, and enjoy genuine hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Porto Real Hotel
Gran Porto Real Playa Del Carmen
Hotel Gran Porto Real
Gran Porto Real Resort Spa
Porto Real
Grand Porto Real Playa Del Carmen
Gran Porto Real Mexico
Gran Porto Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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