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“A Holiday in Playa del Carmen”
Review of Gran Porto Resort

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Gran Porto Resort
Ranked #31 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We’ve just returned from two weeks in standard rooms at the Gran Porto Real in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Based on our experience, we would not recommend this hotel for anyone intending to stay in a standard room, especially for a two week stay. .

When we arrived, we were put into room 514 which shared a common balcony with 24 other rooms on that level. We found ourselves just opposite the roof top air conditioning machinery of a hotel across the road from us – the noise was like having a Greyhound bus engine running outside our door.. We asked our neighbour (from Regina) how others on this ;level felt about the noise.. And he said that some had been moved to other levels as a result of complaints, but that it seemed that most people on this level were Canadians, put there because “Canadians don’t complain too much”

Within two days, as a result of our complaints to the hotel and to Westjet, we were moved to room 403 – one level down and at the far end of the common balcony. The noise here was at a much lower level. Unfortunately for level 4, where we now found ourselves, people in rooms above us on level 5 came down on 12 equidistant sets of rattley iron stair cases to access and leave by our common balcony. We asked about an upgrade, but $80 per night was extortionate.

The rooms were shoe box shaped, with bathroom, etc at the far end, and a door and door-sized wooden slatted window opening onto the balcony. The balcony was a throughway for everyone going to or from other rooms and from level 5, at all times of the day and night, and hotel staff used it to push hard tyred plastic carts back and forth while servicing the rooms – it was not pleasant to have one’s sleep interrupted by one of these carts thumping along at 10:30 at night.

The window slats had no sound insulating properties, and if left open for fresh air or light, exposed the whole inside of the room. A tiny slatted window at the bathroom end of the room opened onto the back of another building, and more machinery noise.

The rooms lacked sufficient light and there were no bedside lamps, so forget about reading in bed. We got around that by using our led flashlights. Indeed the room was so dimly lit, that we often had to use our flashlights to find things.

The beds were very hard indeed, and my wife arranged for the thin foam pad on her bed to be folded double – our maid, Beatriz Arias, was very helpful. She also provided sheets and blankets to replace the suffocatingly hot duvets. We don't like having to sleep in air conditioned rooms.

There were other silly things, like wall switches that didn’t operate anything, and in room 403, the safe was in the back of the narrow slot behind our hung up clothes, and in the shower, one of the taps rotated the wrong way. Not what you’d expect from a hotel of this class. On the plus side, there was a good shaving/makeup, lighted mirror in the bathroom area, and there was always plenty of hot water.

We were disappointed that although there were plenty of recliners on the beach, and around the pools, the hotel was short of umbrellas. To be sure of getting a place by the pool with an umbrella, , one had to get down there by 6:15 am, and leave a towel or book on your chosen recliner. Places around the pool were of course limited, but why were there not enough umbrellas on the beach for late risers who needed some shade ?

The evening entertainment was very well done, orders of magnitudes beyond the usual folkloric dancing seen in many Mexican hotels.

Food and drink was plentiful and good, and the cheerful brightness of Ezaura Chimo who welcomed us to the Albatross buffet restaurant each morning helped us get past another night’s disturbed sleep.

It has to be said that the single best thing about this hotel was the friendly, helpful courteous staff, at every level of the operation. The hotel was meticulously clean. Every open area was swept repeatedly. The buffet food was always fresh, and the people who worked in the buffets and other restaurants were as competent and professional as any we saw last year in a major hotel in Paris.

The hotel evaluation sheet, which we completed before departure, seemed to us to have been designed to avoid any possible negative comments about the hotel management, who actually had the power to deal with the things that spoiled our stay. Human nature, I guess!

Alan and Lorna Cobden

Room Tip: Avoid standard rooms
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlanKelowna_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GranPortoReal, Gerente at Gran Porto Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

We apologize for the inconvients you had been throsugh during your stay with us, all our standard rooms has shared balcony, we hope to have the opportunity to host you a second time. We definitly reccomend a Junior suite that has a private balcony and they are more spacious. Plase contact us at nico@realresorts.com it will be my pleasure to take care of your reservation personally. I remain at your service.

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4,129 - 4,135 of 10,007 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2013

This was our tenth year returning to this great hotel......like coming home. The four of us...my wife and I and brother and sister-in-law, have had some of the best times of our lives at this place. Sure things are not always perfect....the quality of the food..check in time....safe not working right....those darn clouds that show up from time to time...kids splashing water on your book. I gotta tell you its tough.

This year the food was great....never went to bed hungry. Mainly I want to comment on the service. Thanks to Pablo, Teresa, Cecelia, Jimmy, Miriam,Jose, and Jesus. I was never thrsty for long..thank you guys.

Our check in went fantastic....got the rooms we wanted..thanks to Paul, Noemie,and Sandra. And thanks to lost and found for locating my lost shirt.

I have to say the only negative comment I have, and I hesitate to....but here go's.....The entertainment crew was very disappointing...based on passed experience with the likes of "Chicken" and "Ceasar"....this group was pretty dull. Just sayin....come on guys...don't be lazy.

This is a beautiful hotel..in a beautiful location...plenty of shopping...alot of great food and drinks..but most of all the great people who work there who we have become good friends with. See you next year Pablo, Teresa and Miriam...and thanks to all the rest of the servers. Adios from Roberto.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Roberto36890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Great hotel..food decent..Italian restaurant..included in all- inclusive was excellent. Marias was pretty good..Alejandro was great..be sure and ask him to make you some Mayan coffee..quite a sight to see! The employees are so friendly and go above and beyond to make you happy..Willie- guest services was great. Freddy..conceirge greets you with a smile every day..asks what he can do for you. The guys serving on beach..Pablo and Jesus..keep your drinks coming and make great suggestions as to drinks to try. Miguel from pool bar remembers what you are drinking and makes sure you have a drink at all times. Carlos..from Under Water World (located by the beach towels) was my favorite guide..I have been to Mexico four times..Carlos made me feel safe when snorkeling in the cenote and stayed with me the whole time..he was very knowledgable about the Mexican culture too. And oh yea..a real cutie..you will spot him on the beach..giving rides in catamaran. If you want to scuba or snorkel..he is your guy!! Loved him!
Overall this is a great hotel..third time we stayed here..can't say enough about the staff! Only complaint was check in..did not mind waiting for room but got an ocean view instead of oceanfront..room 350.. Talked to Willie about it next day and we could have moved but chose not to. We are from Chicago and were still thrilled to see and hear the ocean..at this time of year it felt like paradise!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Betty S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Overall my wife and I accomplished what we set out to do, have a relaxing time away from our daily routines and a lazy break from our kids. The hotel is beautiful, the staff was very friendly, accommodating and with few exceptions spoke enough English to be helpful. Be sure to get a massage at the on the beach cabana. Wonderful! The beach, pool, and the fantastico’ Caribbean Sea were just what the doctor ordered!

Buyer (reservations) Beware!
We booked what was touted as and "Ocean View" Jr Suite, requesting a king-sized bed. We opened to door to find a lovely view of the hotel across the street, double beds to which the bell-man as if rehearsed, on- queue responded, oh, this IS the ocean view, come look out the window (down the street at a partial view through our neighbors patio) Come on! And double beds? We're on our 14th anniversary if you know what I mean. Really? The front desk offered us a king suite a few nights later (We were only staying for three nights). I requested the manager who very straight faced said you got the ocean view, that’s what we call it and if you wanted to look out and see the ocean you made the wrong choice and your reservation was no guarantee of king sized bed. He didn't flinch at my argument of deceptive representation and gave me NO satisfaction. He did however magically produce a king suite for the next night which again was NOT and ocean view but had a partial view of the ocean.

Run!
We were the escorted to guest services and sucked into the age old vacation sales pitch for free stuff. Short version, we sat through it, was pressured with a smile to buy-into a minimum plan level >$30k with an ask for $11k, ONLY TODAY OFFER! We ran!!!

This place needs a genuine chef!
The food was really bland, in need of some flavor boosting and dying for culinary authenticity. Looks good. Tastes bad. Our Guest Services host thought Steak night would be our best choice for night one. Americans love meat right? The meat (a 3/8” thick slab purportedly a NY Strip) was sub-choice grade, cold, tough, sinewy and well done. It was served with some layered potato thing also cold, pretty tough. Next morning breakfast was okay. I mean how bad can you screw up eggs? Ask for fresh tortillas, the real thing! (best part of the trip). Dinner at the reservations only Italian place, again a huge bust. My Bolognese pasta lacked any definitive flavor, looking and tasting very much like boiled ground beef in a watery soup. My wife’s cannelloni was nothing short of a cheese enchilada with no aspect resembling its name sake in taste. The next night was Oriental night. It’s been a long time since I have literally had to spit out something, many simple things for being so bad. Rice, egg rolls, stir-fry, dumplings… disgusting! The key concern in all was cold food temperature. Dig deep in the chafing dishes for warm portions otherwise most things intended to be warm will be cold. Best bet on food, set your expectations low, very low, like below your average high-school or college dormitory cafeteria quality and you’ll find subsistence at least.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pjhorns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Staying at the gran Porto Real was a real treat! All inclusive but best yet, the staff is exceptional. However, you need to ignore the sales pitch. Also, check out Mamito's beach it is probably the nicest swimming area. Would definately return.

Room Tip: Ocean front
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Shannon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I will soon add the fabulous notes we certainly have to share, but first I must comment on the ridiculous notes left by others. One guest noted their dissatisfaction with the fact they were "Upgraded" simply because their room was not yet ready and they felt "annoyed" because they couldn't unpack.... really? how about going to the bar and relaxing until your room is ready then. Another guest complaining there was Crown Royal being hidden?? ya right, too funny. How about the fact you have to pay for premium labels over the house labels... hmmmmm, perhaps they hide it from the cheap vacationationers thinking they are entitled to have everything..... there was a comment about the sales presentation... we do agree that is uncalled for, thats why we simply said no, once, and did not attend. Oh, another complaint about the only 2 sit down restaurants??? Their website does describe I think 7, and yes it did take me 20 seconds to understand that included the buffets, sushi bars, pool bars etc. and only two "a la carte" restaurants. our package allowed access to the Royal across the street with an additional 4 or 5 feeding wells allowing us to never eat in the same place for dinner for 10 days if we so chose to.

I travel in excess of 100 hotel nights per year with my business, I have more terrible stories I could share, but I won't. I can only say I wish I was treated 1/2 as good as I am when at the Real.... Oh, this was our third time here, its magnificent.

Enough harping, it is Mexico and everyone seems to have a lot of petty disturbances. Its those people, crowding the 5th avenue markets, thinking they are experienceing Mexico and its people with a Starbucks coffee in hand, complaining their perceived slaves have wronged them. Moving forward we we will choose to stay away, not so much from the resorts, but the people that go to them... * That is a bit of a generalist comment as we met many lovely travellers along the way....

  • Stayed: February 2013
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11  Thank dontworrybehappe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We ate at Il Pescatore a couple of times and really enjoyed the food and the service. The food is plentiful, so you might want to share but it was very tasty and fun watching it be prepared.

Thank Walkab
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:
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $176 - $534 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Gran Porto Resort 4*
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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