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“Nice hotel and location”
Review of Gran Porto Resort

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Gran Porto Resort
Ranked #29 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Telford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice hotel and location”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

The hotel was very nice and the location was great to get around playa del carmen. The staff were friendly the check - in was quick but the consultation after check in was draging on.

Their were a number of staff members Joaquin and Ramiro in the albatros reastaurant. Also our maid Addy poot.

Plenty of food and drinks 24hr a day, stocked up mini bar, clean rooms etc.

Room Tip: Our room was fine, we did ask for a free upgrade to a beach front room as it was our anniversary but...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank rakesh c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Levittown, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We came back from this resort on Sept 15. We were there from the 7th.
Emilia was our hotel manager and was such a pleasant and lovely person to deal with.
She made sure we were very happy.
The staff, wait staff could not have been nicer. You opened the door to our room and there
was the beach and ocean
The staff at the sushi bar and all the servers could not have been more pleasant
It is old world Mexican style hotel and we loved it.
We are sure to be back very soon

Room Tip: Get a junior beach walkout. You won't be sorry.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank angieandjoe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2013

This hotel was just what we wanted, the location was excellent for 'mooching' around Playa del Carmen and the staff couldn't have been friendlier.
Check-in was quick, friendly and efficient. They did ask for my credit card details in case I wanted to use some of the services that were not included, the lady who checked us in said that it isn't mandatory (this added an extra bonus point to the hotel, usually when you go to these places they try to sell you stuff the second you walk through the door - not here, they didn't try to push anything)

We had a clean spacious room (junior suite), with a very very large comfortable bed. The room was very thoroughly cleaned every day (by Yosenia) and later on in the afternoon our bed was prepared for us (by Cande T) - by prepared I mean bath robes laid out, slippers by the side of the bed and a couple of little chocolates. The mini bar was stocked daily with beer, fizzy and water. There was a coffee machine with a couple of sachets of 'real' coffee (look inside these bags, they contain sugar, sweeteners, milk substitute etc.). If you run out, you just call room service and it is sorted fairly quickly.
There was always clean towels, the water was always hot and all the usual bathroom items were supplied inc. slippers, robe, soaps, hand sanitizer, tissues and other lotions and potions.
The safe in the room was provided free of charge and was easy to use, probably not big enough to store a laptop but large enough for a couple of tablets, cameras, phones, wallet, documents etc.

Our one concern was the food, we are both vegetarian (fussy) and always struggle with food options...not here, it is surprising how accommodating the chefs are - all you have to do is ask :-) our first night, which was Mexican Independence Day, I explained to the chef, in the main buffet, that we are veggies and the lady on show cooking cleaned the griddle and prepared us something vegetarian, my husband got dragged aside by one chef and was presented with a cactus dish. The chef told him, that if he didn't like it he would prepare something else for him. As it was he did like the dish, which he described cactus as tasting like green beans.
We went to the Italian restaurant, where again not only were we treated really well but the waiter (Juarez), got our order 100% correct. Even the shift manager came over to us, introduced himself and said that if we need anything, he is here to help.
The beach snack bar was handy for snacks and totopos (think that is how it is spelt), which are basically tortilla crisps/chips that you drown in cheese sauce, salsa, jalapeños (oh! and guacamole if you swing that way!).
The 24hr snack area is just that, if you've missed a meal or just feeling like being a little piggy - there is ALWAYS food there. They also have a display of about 20 different types of spirits to choose from, a coffee machine that does really nice coffee, a beer tap and a fizzy drink dispenser. Always someone on hand to clear-up the plates and fill up the empty trays etc.
We never tried the Mexican restaurant or the Sushi, so I can't comment on these. We did however drink at the Sushi bar which is next to the quiet pool and noticed that the food was made to order, everything was covered, had a date written on the cover and refrigerated.

Which ever restaurant snack bar you went to, there was plenty of choice. The only time that I had stone cold food, was when I picked something and then walked about looking at all the other goodies. The food areas were clean (they have several porters/cleaners at each place constantly cleaning up our mess and spillages), tidy and in a good state of repair*
(*sorry, just in case I forgot to mention: not only are we fussy vegetarians, if something is stored in a dodgy looking container - i'm not going to eat it).

Lets get the negative out of the way first...the house wine; it's disgusting. Now I'm not a fussy drinker (Mix a cheap wine with lemonade and I'll give it a go), but even I couldn't drink it. Come on management, you need to taste the house wine and honestly judge if it is good enough for a 5star hotel.
Other than that the drinks and drink service is AMAZING, I've already mentioned the 24hr help-yourself room and the Sushi bar, right at the end of the hotel there is a bar with swings for seats a lobby bar and the main pool bar.

There is waiter service around the pool, on the beach and in the lobby. The waiters/waitresses introduce themselves to you, take your order and deliver it, still ice cold, into your hand. More often than not if they see you are running low, a fresh drink just appears as if by magic by your side. All this without having to lift a finger or spend a dollar (another bonus point to the hotel). You receive the same service if you alway tip, sometimes tip, hardly tip or never tip (obviously tips are appreciated). The staff at the bars work really hard keeping both the waiters and guests supplied with drinks, they always seem to be smiling (Hugo, David y Miguel). There are both national and international drinks on offer, if you have a preference you only have to ask and the staff will obligingly pour out your favourite tipple.

We were looking forward to using the canoes, that the hotel have, however due to the bad weather this didn't happen. As far as the actual hotel entertainment goes, I can't comment as we don't involve ourselves in the kind of shows and games that are provided at hotels. I heard both positive and negative comments from other guests, so I guess that it is down to personal preference.
WIFI was available all the way down to the beach and was not bad in the way of speed and coverage and we didn't get charged a peso

There was an incident by the pool one day, a young girl slipped over. Within seconds (I'm not joking!), the life guard was over to help her then a member of staff with a first aid kit and a further couple of staff members. Thankfully she was ok, but never have I seen such a rapid response.
Beach towels are handed over and changed without issue, I was caught in the rain one day and the guy who runs the towel hut just gave me a towel to dry off (unlike some hotels were you need a towel card).
Site security is good, there are security guards on duty and we noticed CCTV at the hotel beach entrances.
A money exchange desk is just to the side of reception, which I used to split some large peso notes. Unlike other exchange desks (inc. in the UK) the guy not only counted out the money, but handed it to me in chunks to count out myself, once I was happy with the first chunk he did the same with the second etc. The exchange rate for sterling wasn't that great, but after seeing how he dealt with the money, I would have been happy to exchange my money there if I had needed to.

General Area
The beach outside the hotel was not the best in the world and there was a smell of seaweed (fancy that! seaweed on a beach, well I never!!). However every day there was a team of workers clearing this away, picking up the rubbish and generally trying to fight against nature to provide a pristine beach for everyone.
There were sandbags at the edge of the sea (coast line protection?) and It was a bit rocky. Not a good area to go swimming, however as all the beaches are public, we emptied out the contents of our mini-fridge walked a few minutes along the shore line to find a spot suitable for swimming in.
The beaches along this stretch are public, so we were able to sit and watch how local fishermen earning their living. There are tour touts either side of the hotel's beach area, however they did not enter into this part of the beach so a peaceful sunbathe was not a problem.

5th Avenue: If you're not buying be prepared to wear a smile and say no thank you every two seconds, if you're a shopper then be prepared to haggle and if the price isn't right start walking away. There are lots of 'official' tour guides that offer you a free map or trip, then as soon as you engage in a conversation they are trying to get you to visit a time share meeting or in some other way to part with your cash.
5th is a must do at least once, just for the experience and who knows you might be tempted to part with some cash. It is also where the ferry terminal (more later) and the bus station is located, if you want to get to these places and avoid as much of 5th as possible then walk along the beach which runs parallel, before cutting up a side avenue.

30th Avenue: this is more outside of the touristy bit and is worth more of a look, here you will find shops, juice bars, restaurants and three supermarkets; Mega, Walmart and one which I can't remember. The one which name I can't remember (in-between Mega and Walmart) is worth a look for cheap spirits, crisps and pretty much everything under the sun. A 1 ltr bottle of vodka and some hot pepper sauce for under £6.
Also on the other side of 30th across Constituyentes, there is a nice little juice bar called Loco Joes, a pint of fresh squeezed Orange juice for $20 (just over £1) and 1 ltr of Orange Juice with chilli for $35 (about £2).

At the end of 5th is the ferry terminal, where several different touts try to sell you their companies tickets. Which ever company you use the price is the same, buy singles (it isn't any cheaper to buy a return) then when you are bored buy a return in Cozumel, from whichever company with who you want to return. The ticket booths display the next departure time on a big sign, so a ticket can be bought depending on when you're ready to leave.
If, like me, you suffer from sea sickness (Which I found out on the ferry journey!), take a travel sickness pill. The ferry staff hand out sick bags to anyone who is looking a little queasy, which although is a kind gesture - holding that little green plastic bag in your hand, hoping that you don't have to use it - makes you feel worse. There are pharmacies in Cozumel, however the prices of the travel sickness pills are altered for the tourists.
Very much like 5th Avenue, there are shops, bars, restaurants, jeep/car/bike hire - however there is a very long path that runs next to the beach, one way takes you to the bigger port for cruise ships (Fixed price shops, bars, restaurants) and the other way is a pleasant walk which is lined with statues and other interesting camera moments (Also a couple of beach bars and a small supermarket).

Take all the usual precautions regarding Mosquitos, when they bite they leave one hell of a lump. We took mozzie spray and antihistamine, the little buggers managed to find the 1mm of skin that I didn't spray but the antihistamine was an absolute god send.

Travel from/to UK
Take plenty of money for the airport, Maccie D was about the cheapest place to eat.
We travelled with a UK tour company; who got us to Cancun safe and sound, however from the second we stepped foot on the plane they try to sell you....comfort packs, headphones blah blah.
Advise: Take your own headphones and buy an aeroplane headphone adaptor from one of them pound shops (a saving of about £6). If you like a snack and have got room in your hand luggage (providing that it is all legal with customs), take it - chocolate, crisps even a jam sandwich. Aeroplane food is both expensive and inadequate.

On the plane they give you a couple of forms, one is customs and the other is like a visa - DON'T LOSE THEM during your holiday, you need the visa-type one to get out. During the security checks in Cancun airport you are asked to press a button - red light means that they search your luggage, green light means go.
Official holiday reps are outside of the building, don't be dragged in by the touts that claim to be your rep, just because they know what flight you've just come off. Check with your travel company on this, our rep wore the official uniform and was outside of the building.

During the hotel transfer, we were invited to spend more money. A bracelet to protect against Mosquitos for $8us, which could have been purchased in a pound shop in the UK for....yes you guessed it £1. Also you are 'invited' to tip the driver and the porter for their services, even though transfer costs are added to your holiday package.
On site we had a rep called Ellie, she was a breath of fresh air - NO hard sell, NO buy this/that. She asked us what we like doing, gave us some priceless advise and said if you want me, here is my number and the hours that I am on resort. Perfect - thanks Ellie after the hard sell we received from the rest of your colleagues, your advise and local knowledge really helped us find our bearings.
On the return we were again 'invited' to tip the driver and porter; when the rep saw that hardly anyone was tipping, she basically shouted at an entire coach of passengers to tip the driver and porter - BAD!
On return a departure tax of £40/$650 is charged (note: this is subject to change, so check with your rep). They don't take: US Dollars or Scottish/Irish bank notes.
Don't use pesos on the flight home, the exchange rate is worse than rubbish and they don't take coins.

All in all, we had an enjoyable week at The Porto Real in Playa Del Carmen and would go back again (I'd probably try a different tour operator).
As an avid review reader, I am now putting down my 2p worth as I thought that the hotel and the area was probably the best out of all the Caribbean places I have visited. I have seen negative reviews about this hotel/area which surprised me a little, however as each review is biased, depending on the reviewers expectations, their holiday demands and to some extent their cultural background - I can only tell you that I liked it and I would recommend it to my friends.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18 Thank B T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Came back from the Gran Porto Real a week ago, had a great time despite the weather. Met some really nice people who we had a good time with. The hotel room was very spacious, big balcony, maid service was fabulous, rooms tidied twice a day, mini bar stocked every day. All staff were friendly nothing was two much trouble for them, the entertainment staff were fantastic, I must mention Arturo & Erick two lovely young men who made our holiday that much better,also Angei, Verlan, Omar and our beach waiter Pablo. The all-inclusive service was excellent all name branded spirits and the 24hr bar came in quite useful. The only downfall with the hotel was the evening entertainment, it could of done with something more varied.

Room Tip: Don't ask for one on the ground floor as a better view is had higher up.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank Sharon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

Check in was okay but too long and the sit down to "explain things" was unnecessary. Got to the room, unpacked, used the toilet that would not flush. Okay, asked the front desk to fix the problem and went to dinner. Came back and the room key did not work. Back down to the front desk and asked for the manager. He coded two new keys and escorted us to the room. Card keys did not work for him so he called for help. 20 minutes later we got in, then promptly left and asked to be transferred to their newer hotel across the street. Negotiated the "up charge" at the new place and were satisfied. Bottom line, this is an old hotel with an underpaid staff. Don't stay here.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
5 Thank Venice Traveler C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

Good restraunt,
Very good service and cute waitress.
A littele bit expensive but we enjoy it.
The menu doesnt have to many option and that is the only thing that they needs to improve

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Service
Thank springaviv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paola, Kansas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

Very good, displayed beautiful, taste excellent. excellent service,waiters very helpful, pull your chair out, place your napkin on your lap for you. Dessert fab.

Thank Susan B
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

Property: Gran Porto Resort
Address: Constituyentes No. 1, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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