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Panama Jack Resort
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3,985 - 3,990 of 10,606 reviews
Reviewed February 23, 2014

To begin with, we have stayed at this resort before because we are Real Club members.
We stayed at Gran Porto Real February 16-22. Since prepaying for your stay is required, you should fully comprehend that the resort understands that you are stuck with them and nothing is is going to be their fault. I called the day before to make sure my request was correct and they said our room will be ready.... Upon our arrival they had given away our Junior Suite room the night before and stuck us to a Standard room!!!!! After stressing us out getting us upset being there an hour they were willing to send us to The Royal which is an all Adult resort which is very nice but with the construction next door for an additional $300. We all have different taste, different expectations of service and quality but what we all want is good customer service. If they really wanted to accomodate us they would of had upgrade ready since we arrived a day later than original prepayed date but it wasn't offered.
They need to know how to treat customers, especially returning members. They didn't have any kind of consideration.
I sent a number of e-mails to four different member staff employees and managers without any response. Then I was trying to talk to hotel manager NICOLAS VAZQUEZ but he apparently was busy with the other couple and told me to wait. Well, during our 6 day stay at Gran Porto I wasn't able to resolve the problem I have with my membership for the past 9 years.

The rest of our trip was amazing! The staff is very friendly and always willing to help!!! The wait staff, especially Anthonio and the Chef at Il Pescatore, exceeded our expectations! The beach was amazing with tons of places to lay down and soak up the sun! The drinks were excellent at all the bars. The pools were warm and clean with lots of activities during the day and lots of chairs for sunbathing, never had trouble finding a spot!

Room Tip: “If you are not given the room you originally booked, be persistent and tell them you want the correct one, it may be the next day but they will make it right. There weren't any options to upgrade for the whole week during our stay.”
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank ZenCats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GranPortoReal, Gerente at Panama Jack Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear oksanapc

We want you to know that the comments and observations we receive from our guests are always taken very seriously, as they tell us what we are doing right, wrong, and how we can improve it, which is why we truly appreciate your willingness to share your impressions.
I am really sorry not having served as you deserve. As you will know, at “GRAN PORTO REAL Playa del Carmen” our mission is to exceed your expectations, providing the best in service and high quality standards and safety, going beyond to anticipate any customer’s need. Please feel free to contact me to tell me your comments.

Sincerely

Nicolas Vazquez
General Manager
Hotel Gran Porto Real
nico@realresorts.com

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

Very good food. Remember to make a reservation. I had the fettuccine of the Black Sea. Great service

Thank 739erinb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edwin B, Gerente at Panama Jack Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2014

Dear Ms. Erin B

Thank you for your kind comments.

Sincerely,

Edwin Barragán
General Manager
Hotel Gran Porto Real & SPA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

As returning guests to the Gran Porto, the resort and the restaurants of Maria's and El Pescatore were top notch as usual. The shrimp risotto prepared by chef Ruperto Rojas (El Pescatore) was out of this world, not to mention the great service by Antonio,our waiter.
Juan, our waiter at Maria's restaurant was entertaining and provided great service. We also noticed that the menu/food had improved from previous visits and was great!
Out by the pool/beach area, Team Grill i.e; Pablo,Teresa, Jose, and Jesus made our time in the sun so much fun. Their personalities and professionalism in their jobs was outstanding.
Our room was clean and well maintained by housekeeping thoughout our visit.
Being return guests, we are aware of nicer beaches in the area but the Gran Porto Staff and its great location (to 5th Ave. and Cozumel ferry) keep drawing us back.
We look forward to returning next year.

Dave & Kathy D

Room Tip: If you like to watch the pool shows at night, get a ocean front location, if not chose the side which overlooks Constitution Ave.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank dkcorrall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GranPortoReal, Gerente at Panama Jack Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear dkcorrall

On behalf of GRAN PORTO REAL Playa del Carmen staff and myself we want to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for such a positive review. We will make sure to tell all our staff members that you have mentioned what a great job they are doing and to keep up the good work!
Once again, thank you for your kind comments and for granting us with the opportunity to host you at GRAN PORTO REAL Playa del Carmen.

Sincerely,

Nicolas Vazquez
General Manager
Hotel Gran Porto Real
nico@realresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

The Gran Porto Real features some nice amenities but also fell short in many areas. My extended family just returned from a 8 day stay last week. All together we were 6 adults, 2 boys (age 6) and one 2 year old girl.

Let's begin with the positives:

The location was wonderful - right on the beach and steps from the popular 5th Street shopping and dining area.

The resort was very well maintained and clean.

Drinks were abundant. You are never far from a bar or a member of the waitstaff circulating in the pool and beach areas asking if you'd like something.

The Oki Kids Club was wonderful. We were nervous when we first checked in and looked at the space for the kids club. It is small and does not appear to have much to offer. However, our boys loved spending time there and doing the activities. They would get out to the beach to build sand castles, etc so they were not always stuck in that small space.

The staff throughout the resort were all extremely friendly and welcoming.

Sadly, it wasnt until our second to last day that we discovered the Sushi Bar on the third floor for lunch. It is open from noon-5pm and is by far and away the best food in the resort. Though it can get very busy and with only one person preparing the rolls, and few tables available, your wait may be long.

And for the negatives:

We did not discover the sushi bar because of flaws with the resort's check-in process. We arrived early - before the 3pm check-in time. Seems like it is not an option at all to get your room prior to 3pm. Therefore, they held our bags for us (which was nice) while we hung round until 3pm. Because of this, no one sat down with us to go over the amenities, and we missed hearing about these types of things. Other guests who arrived after 3:00 received booklets of info about dining options, use of the sister property across the street, gift shop discounts, activity schedules, etc. We learned nothing.

This lack of knowledge also led us to another unfortunate circumstance. When others informed us we could drop into the adults only sister property (The Royal) across the street for a drink, we took advantage of the opportunity when our son was spending time with others in our family. Seems like if you have a child in your room and are labelled with the Scarlet C yellow bracelet, you best not try to set foot inside The Royal - with or without your kids present. We were quickly asked to leave after setting foot inside the lobby and were informed only those with translucent wrist bands were allowed in from the Gran Porto Real. Again - information that would have been useful to us upon a check-in.

The food was nearly inedible. We ate a number of meals in the casual, buffet style Albatros.
For breakfast, we learned to avoid all food items prepared in their kitchen. That left us with things like toast, fruit, cheese, yogurt and cereal. The first few days we tried other things, but they continually made us sick. Not many of them were very good to begin with outside of the chilaquiles verdes, so we were not too disappointed to avoid them. The breakfast also featured an omelette station with cooked to order eggs, but it would often require a 15 minute wait to make it through the line.

Lunch was similarly disappointing. The choices were to dine again in the buffet style Albatros or sit beach side at Parrillada Grill - which does not actually feature a grill. Note however, that you cannot actually bring your plate into the pool area despite it being located only few steps away. The food was ok here, but certainly nothing to write home about. They offered hot dogs and hamburgers and nacho fixins on a daily basis. The selections did not change much from one day to the next so eating here day after day was difficult.

The other dining option was the 24 hour snack bar. We stopped in on occasion to see the offerings. Each time the hot food was cold and the cold food was warm. Really, this is not an option for anything more than drinks.

For dinner, we tried Albatros and Maria's (The on site "Mexican" restaurant). If these were not associated with the hotel, these are restaurants I would never revisit. The best dinners we had are off site, past 5th Street and in the area of the Mega. Its about a 15 minute walk from the resort but well worth it for something that doesn't make you sick. Try El Fogon for a more authentic experience within walking distance.

One minor fault with the Kids Club is that they fail to follow the published schedule of activities. Therefore, reviewing the day's schedule in advance so our son could better choose the times and activities he wanted to participate in, was a lost cause.

The drinks were abundant, though not consistently prepared from one bar to the next or one bartender to the next. It seems they are not all trained to prepare the same drinks or provided with a guide to prepare them.

Rooms must have paper thin walls. Every morning starting as early as 5am, you can hear babies, kids, door slamming etc from other rooms and in the hallways. Also, non-smoking rooms are directly adjacent to smoking rooms so sitting out on our ocean view balcony was unpleasant when our neighbors were outside smoking.

It was hard to find chairs in the morning at the pool because there are not that many to begin with and guests would "reserve" them in their street clothes prior to sunrise with a bath towel or pool toy and then proceed to leave the resort and have these chairs go unused until the afternoon. When we asked a staff member if this was an approved practice, we were informed it was not but they would not do anything about it. They let us know we could remove the towels and use the chairs but we would have to fight with the other guests. The resort would also run out of pool towels on a daily basis in the afternoon.

In the end, I would not choose to return to Gran Porto Real. My hats off to the attentive staff in the bars and dining areas as well as the maintenance staff. However, the negatives outweigh the positives on the all inclusive plan. I am unsure whether or not you can stay here and not participate in the all inclusive plan. That would be the only way I would consider it, but even then, I would take my chances elsewhere then become a repeat visitor here.

Room Tip: Ask for one far away from the lobby areas because the nightly entertainment can be heard in your room if you are close. I would recommend that management revisit the allocation of smoking and non-smoking rooms so they are not mixed in close proximity.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank mpapier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GranPortoReal, Gerente at Panama Jack Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear mpapier

We want you to know that the comments and observations we receive from our guests are always taken very seriously, as they tell us what we are doing right, wrong, and how we can improve it, which is why we truly appreciate your willingness to share your impressions.
On behalf of all of the staff at GRAN PORTO REAL Playa I would like to express my sincere apology if our service did not fulfill your expectations; as we are deeply committed to assist our guests at all times and provide them with an exceptional service.
Rest assure that all proper corrective measures have been taken, in order to prevent this type of inconveniences in the future.
We sincerely hope to have the privilege to welcome you back in a near future and to provide you with a truly unique vacation experience.

Sincerely,

Nicolas Vazquez
General Manager
Hotel Gran Porto Real
nico@ealresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

I was traveling with my adult children during the holidays. We had a blast! Everything was just perfect. The staff was courteous, the beach is few steps close, the food is abundant and yummy and the proximity of the hotel is just a short walk to town for shopping and visiting the boutiques. What more to say - ah, just a couple days of rain - not a biggy, we played ping pong and other social games that the hotel brought out for us patrons!
I would go back in a flash!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nicole Eva C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GranPortoReal, Gerente at Panama Jack Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear Nicole Eva C

We´re so glad to read your nice review of GRAN PORTO REAL Playa del Carmen. Thank you for your recent stay and we are looking forward welcoming you back in a near future.

Sincerely,

Nicolas Vazquez
General Manager
Hotel Gran Porto Real
nico@realresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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