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“Fantastic Holiday”

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Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #78 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Cotswolds
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

I booked my holiday, and then like others before me I read many reviews on Trip Advisor and some were positive some were not. Fortunately for me, my experiences mirror the positive.
We had chosen in advance to upgrade to the Platinum suite, and although we have no basis for comparison, were very impressed with our accomodation and the extra services (24hr complimentary room service, wifi, premium drinks, preferred dining every night, location to beach) it included.
All the staff were friendly and helpful from the minute we arrived, we were checked in and found our way to our room very quickly. We din't get our drink (glass of bubbly) on arrival due to a large group checking in just before us, and the refills not getting there quick enough, but it was not a big problem at all, as soon as we got to our room we had alcohol on tap!
The room was very spacious and clean (couldn't fault housekeeping), and we had no problems throughout our stay. I like a firm mattress and slept very well every night. We didn't have much of a view as we faced inwards towards a row of tall jungle bushes, rather than towards the beach, which was a shame, but not the end of the world.
The private concierge service that is offered to the platinum suites is so helpful and really useful, they can make all your dinner reservations directly for you, and check on any local information you might need, saving you a trip to the main reception. It was the same few concierge for our whole stay and it was nice to be recognised when you had a query. Talking to other guests during our stay this platinum benefit was certainly worth it, they had waited for ages to make bookings, and the reservation times weren't great, where as we got what we wanted every time.
The platinum suites are located right down at the beach end of the hotel and although they have a private pool area with bar and snacks, the beach is so clean, and also has a butler service and a BBQ snack area, so your really spoilt for choice. You are also only a stone throw away if you want to watch the sun rise or set, we did both, and it was well worth the early morning.
You do need to be quick in the morning if you want a poolside bed in the private area, although your not supposed to, everybody reserved these by about 8.30 each morning.
Having a private bar within the platinum complex with drinks available all night was certainly a nice touch, we enjoyed pre dinner champagne with canapes by the pool on several evenings and it was always nice to have one last drink knowing you were so close to your room at the end of the day.
Whilst I don't want to complain about the food, there was certainly enough of it, and the quality of produce was good, my only criticism would be that it was a little bland, there is lots of choice between all the restaurants on offer, and the buffets, but none really impressed us, with the exception of the French restaurant, where the steak was excellent. Breakfast was always good, with lots of choice, and dessert always looked amazing but was mostly just a collection of coloured gelatinous gloop, not that I minded as there was always plenty of fruit, yoghurts and icecreams. You will definitely not go hungry though, and if like us you except that they are trying to cater to a neutral international palette, you will be quite happy.
Being platinum guests we were very close to the buffet restaurant at the end of the resort, and were offered an a la carte service at breakfast and lunch if we wanted it. It was then quite nice to go up to the main lobby area for dinner in one of the many restaurants.
There is a golf buggy service down each side of the hotel, (Riviera and Sunset) this runs every 15 minutes so you never have to wait long, it picks up and drops off at the platinum reception so again nice and convienient. This is great druing the day when it is very warm if you want to get up to the main reception for any reason, and although it runs well into the late evening, we found the ten minute walk back after dinner very pleasant with all the lights on around the very well kept grounds.
The hotel is only a ten minute taxi journey from the centre of Playa Del Carmen so you can easily go shopping or eat out whenever you want to. The concierge at the main reception will either book you a place on the free shuttle bus or arrange a taxi. We opted for taxi's as there was always plenty of them, your not time restricted, and they are very reasonably priced.
The beach is lovely, and very well equiped with beds and bars, as well as other activities and little stalls for souvenirs, it was never busy due to the season, and so we always found a quiet spot to sit without walking to far. I would advise you take or purchase dive shoes (the hotel shop stocked them) though, as the location is a little rocky, and without them swimming in the sea could be a very painful experience for your feet!
We were extremely lucky with the weather, it stayed at 28-30 degrees of sun / cloudy sun every day, and although our stay was during the rainy season we only had a couple of heavy short showers, always in the evening and never effecting our plans as a result.
There are a few shops within the hotel complex, these are very expensive if you just want some basic toiletries or food snacks, but only marginally more expensive for gifts and beach equipment, especially if you need it there and then and are not planning a trip into town. The big benefit is that with the exception of the jewellery shop, (discount negotiation strongly advised) you don't haggle for your purchases, and not bothered while you browse. Playa Del Carmen is great for all your little bits and pieces, but can be a tiring experience, and the hotel has them aswell if you forget one or two.
They also have quite a large spa, we received a 50% voucher to use within 24 hours of arrival and we are very glad we did. We both had a swedish masssage and although it would have been very expensive at normal price, it was well worth it with the voucher, and a really nice start to our holiday. You can also opt for a massage on the beach through the hotel spa, but if you walk up and down a little there are many providers at much better rates.
I have stayed in a few large resorts and this seemed a very typical all inclusive large resort within it's price bracket, it was only about 50% full due to the time of year, so I have no idea what it would be like at peak season. Whilst I know that there will always be bad where there is good, we were lucky not to experience any, and so we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone considering it as an option.

Room Tip: Would stringly recommend an upgrade if you can, it doesn't seem like it will much of a differenc...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank FJ1Cotswolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kissimmee, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Just came back from this resort and had a great time...
FYI- The Sunset and Riviera Princess Resorts are literally the same resorts..
So, picture a resort where the Left side they call the Riviera and the Right side they call the Sunset and that was what you got...
We stayed on the Riviera side. I do not recommend you spend extra on either sides as far as rooms go. Unless you like saying your in the Platinum rooms, you'll have just about all the same amenities.
The staff was very friendly and their was a lot of activities to do.
Rooms:
I believe we had a Jr Deluxe suite. At first walk in, we did not have any muggy smells that were mentioned on some reviews. It was very spacious. We had a Jaccuzzi in the bathroom and King Size bed. Something I found unique was that you had to insert your room key in this adapter on the wall as soon as you come in to activate the room lights.We had a balcony as well. Room had a refrigerator with soda,water and beers.
Ladies- If you bring your own hair blower like my wife did, make sure you bring an extension cord as the mirrors were not close to the 110 outlets..
The Buffet:
Their are two Buffet rooms which are labled the Sunset and the Riviera.
They are literally across from each other. One always opens first before the other.
This is a hard one as people love different things..
In my view, it was just ok.
Their salad bar is good with many variations of salads and veggies.
Their Fruit bar is also good.
The main dishes change from day to day. Their were some dishes that were always their like, the pasta,mexican chips,bread table(which is pretty good and always fresh),fries,burgers and hot dogs. Their was sirloin steaks,chicken wings,pork ribs and sea food on different days. None were outstanding. they were just ok.
The desert bar definietly needs improvement. All of it looked great until you bit into it. They all were lacking taste. Brownies,cheescake and pies were just bland.
Breakfast buffet was much better than the lunchs/dinners.
Now, what this resort had in addition to the buffets were restaurants where you MUST make reservations to eat at each night.
I recommend you make these reservations for each night that you stay as soon as possible as they book early and will find yourself eating very late or not at all.
One thing i noticed is even if i had reservations for 9, i would show up at 7:45 for example and get seated. So as long as you have that little reservations paper, you are good.
We ate at the italian,steak and Japanese steak house restaurants. they were all good.
There is one restaurant that is not included in the all inclusive package where yoiu have to pay like a normal restaurant UNLESS you reserved the top/platinum rooms where it is included. I think this restaurant is French.
The best one by far was the Japanese/chinese restaurant. Plenty of food and very flavorful.
Only bad thing i can remember about the restaurants were that you could not go off the very small menu. For instance, if the salad came with a vinegrat dressing and you wanted something else, you could not get it. Even if it was at the buffets below, you could not get it. Very weird but they were strict on it.
There are plenty of pools all around the resort as it is by far one of the biggest resorts i've stayed at. It will take you a few minutes to get from the buffet rooms which are towards the front of the resort to the beach.
The beach was nice. Their are rocks in the sand as soon as you get in so you might want to bring some water shoes. They dissapear as you get further in so if you can tuff it out, you'll be ok.
The only thing i did not like about the beach are the souvenir vendors on the beach.
They are all lined up in front of the beach taking up space where people could be laying on. In my opinion, they should be towards the back of the beach.
Like most resorts, everything is very expensive at the convenience store and shops.
Ex. a bag of chips were 11 dollars..YIKES.. And the size was that of a gas station store not the super market size. A pack of 20 aspirins was around 12 dollars.
Also, they advertise an all adult resort. It is not.
At the resort, their is a section that they deemed adult only as well as a section of the beach. It makes no sense, as you have to go to the same buffets/restaurants that everyone else goes to.
Same for the beach, 10 steps and your with everyone else..So dont fall for this adult only resort section.
Overall, this resort is very beautiful and Big...
If your looking for a small mexican feel resort, this is not it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank BigDaddyO_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

We just returned from the Grand Riviera Princess. The hotel is beautiful and very clean. However, it is very spread out the layout is terrible. We were in building 6. There is one elevator in the whole building, no where near our room, so we had to climb up and down three flights of stairs each time we left and returned. It is a very long walk to the lobby and restaurant area. They do offer a trolly, but I just find that a nuisance. The food was just fair. I've had better and I've had worse.

When we checked in, we were told that our breakfast and lunch would be in the restaurants near the lobby, so every morning, we made our way down there. After a couple of days, we noticed a restaurant just outside our building that was serving a breakfast buffet, so we went in and asked if it was for Platinum member. We were told no, it was for everyone. They also served lunch and there was another restaurant nearby as well. It would be nice if there was a bar at the end of the resort, so people staying those buildings could have a nightcap near their room.

Also, we were told that restaurant reservations had to be made a day in advance, so we went to make our reservations only to find out that they were all booked for the entire time we were there, except for Mama Mia and Miso at very odd times. We tried both - Miso was the better of the two, but did the buffet the rest of the time. The buffet has a lot of food, but really not much in the way of choice. There were no meat carvings (turkey, beef, etc.), just a lot of food in rich sauces. There was a decent salad and fruit bar, but the hot food was never hot. The staff was pleasant enough, but the front desk was not very helpful.

We asked the concierge about the "free" shuttle to town and we were told that we had to be at the concierge desk at 8AM to make a reservation for the 10AM or 12 Noon shuttle. I asked if we could call and they said no, you had to go in person - why?? Anyway, we ended up taking a taxi at $40 each way. The next day, I heard someone ask a person at the front desk about it and they were told to just be out there at 10 or 12. That was very annoying and expensive for us, as we did it two days.

This was my first trip to Mexico and I would like to go back, but I don't think I would return to the Princess.

Room Tip: If you have trouble walking or climbing stairs, you should request a room on the first floor. Build...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank BostonGeneral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My husband and I had the pleasure of attending a wedding held at this hotel last week. Wedding was just beautiful and it appeared that the staff did a fantastic job to make sure that everything turned out beautiful for the bride and groom. As far as our own experience we did not like several of the things about this hotel. On a positive note, the place is beautiful, and the staff were friendly for the most part. The hotel was just too large of a place for us. 3 buffets, several a la cartes to choose from, and I believe 12 pools, No limit to amount of times for the a la cartes, thankfully because for the first time in my many travels the buffets were not good. Only food that was actually served "hot" The meaning temperature HOT was the morning made to order egg ommlete. Everything else was served at room temperature. Only thing cold was the ice cream, or anything served with ice. Rooms were very clean and very spacious, however the mattresses were hard, and the pillows were very hard and very difficult to sleep on, Definately try and squeeze your own pillow in your luggage if at all possible. Would I go back, definately NOT. I prefer smaller places and more focus on good quality of food rather than larger selection of a lot of food items that were terrible to look at let alone eat.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Darlene T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manitouwadge,ontario,canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I spent 2 wonderful weeks in a laguna Villa, celebrating our 35th anniversary. It was an amazing experience, as soon as you arrive into the lobby you are in awe of the resort's beauty, our private villa and the private pool for the plantinuhm guests was just beautiful! We met so many wonderful people, the resort itself is absolutely breathtaking, the grounds are immaculate and so lush.Many restaurant options,buffet and al la cart, the sports bar had great hot dogs and margaritas!.Staff in our experience was very accomadating,A variety of cocktails, although we did not care for the wine options so we usually bought a bottle of wine at dinner, or ordered one to our room.The weather was perfect, lots of pools and the beach was great too.We ate dinner at the rest. on the beach one nite,THE CHILL OUT,,although it was not included it was well worth the $120.00 for appetizers,2 huge lobster tails and a good bottle of wine.we watched the sun set and the moon reflect on the oceon while listening to the waves, it truly was one of the most romantic dinners we have ever had. All in all this was a great holiday, we hope to go back one day! Highly reccomended!!

Room Tip: Although villas are not close to the beach, they are prime location to everything else, and the walk...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Pay for Platnium what a joke. Would never recommend this hotel at all. Supposed to be a 5 Star hotel, got better service at a Travelodge. Our evening concierge was very nice and so were the servers around the pool area. As for cleanliness of the rooms terrible. If you have allergies would not recommend the suites. They have a very musty smell to them.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ilv2truck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Great location near Playa del Carmen but not in the town. Walking opportunities on the very long beach or to Playa del Carmen. Great variety of foods to chose from everywhere. Spacious feeling overall. Very clean everywhere. Entertainment nightly. Surprisingly large and bright gym with basic equipment. So bring your gym outfit. Sense of good security. Good road from the airport 1 hour away. Privacy from vendors but within easy reach if you like trinkets. Shallow spacious beach with underwater rocks, bring beach shoes to save your toes. Many resort pools to chose from including semi private ones. Kids on the premises make the place lively. WiFi available at no extra charge in places. Reasonable spa services on site. Many people around during the busy hours. Quiet and relaxed at off hours like very early in the morning.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Spiral0112358
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
Address: Prolongacion 5ta Avenida Mza 20 Lote 006, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#30 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#63 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#69 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 674
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa is located on the stunning Riviera Maya, just three kilometers from the famous Playa Del Carmen, in beautiful surrounds, with large and spacious natural parks and the delight of a good tropical weather. Besides our fascinating beach, renowned for the clear water and splendid sea beds, typical of the east end of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Hotel invites you to discover the huge wealth of the archaeological remains of the Maya culture in this area. After crossing the spacious lobby the splendid "Paseo de los Dioses" is reached, which invites the costumers to discover the charm of the hotel. It is a gift to our senses to enjoy all our facilities that can be found to our left and right on the way to the marvelous beach awaiting for everybody at the way of the pleasant stroll.Opened in December 2007, Grand Riviera Princess offers 674 fully equipped rooms with a range of services that give the clients a variety of possibilities to choose from: Junior Suite, Junior Suite Deluxe (some with direct pool access), Platinum Suites and Laguna Villa Suites (ideal for the most romantic honeymoon).A fascinating Spa is offered to all the clients, and the most complete activity program during day and night. A range of services in the varied and international selection of top quality food provide the perfect counterpoint when sharing moments of peace and calm with excellent meals in beautiful and inviting specially decorated surrounds, some of which are by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
Grand Riviera Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Riviera Princess Hotel
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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