My boyfriend and I travelled to the Mayan Riviera to stay at the Grand Riviera Princess from April 25 - May 2. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather or hotel, considering we left snowy weather back home. It was both of our first time to the Mayan Riviera, but had both been to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan before.
After reading this site religiously before we took our vacation, I must say I was quite worried considering all the negative reviews. But after spending a week at this resort, I don't know why there were so many complaints.
In this review, I am going to break down each area of the resort to give you the full experience. Now I understand that some people are more picky than others, but my boyfriend and I went to the Princess with no expectations.
Airline: We flew with Air Transat and right from the beginning it was not a good experience. We found their staff to be quite rude, but we were not about to let that ruin our trip.
Arrival: We were whisked through the airport without any problems what so ever and were greeted by our transportation reps within minutes. We had an overnight flight so we were very exhausted by the time we got onto the bus, but others started their vacation right away with Corona's being cracked open at 8 a.m. The transportation reps were quite humourous and made the 40min drive to our hotel go by very quickly.
Hotel: When we arrived at the hotel, there was no line up and they took down all of our information and told us to come back at Noon. The bell boys looked after our bags so we decided to explore the resort. I never truly could have pictured how big this resort was until we started walking around. The pathways are lined with Palm Trees, flowers and statues. There were swimming pools everywhere you looked. Since we had a few hours to spare we figured we would go book our a la carte restaurants right away. From reading previous reviews, I got the impression you could book all 3 reservations at any of the restaurants, so we decided to walk into the Fondue restaurant, but were told we had to book at the front lobby with the concierge. So we walked all the way back to the lobby (10min walk) and were told we had to book them in the Mexican restaurant. Really I have to stress that this was the only concern we had all week. Since the resort is new, not all the staff know where things are or how to go about doing things. So after that, we went back to the front desk at Noon and sure enough our room was ready. We had our bags to our room within 10 minutes.
Room: Our room was in the 6000 section, which was located near the beach, and pools. Great location, as we didn't have to venture up to lobby except for dinner buffets and a la cartes, and we discovered the two restuarants (which turn into a la cartes in the evening) closest to the beach were open for bufffet for breakfast and lunch. We had requested a King Balcony room through our Travel Agent, but were given a King ground level room - not a big deal as our room backed onto the edge of the property so it was very quiet! After all the walking you do not want to have to climb stairs, especially after having a few cervezas. All of the lobbies of the rooms have water fountains with palms trees and plants. Our room was gorgeous and very modern. Marble flooring, jetted tub, frosted glass shower and toilet area, patio, flat screen TV. The bed was very comfortable and everything was clean. We did notice there were quite a few mosquitos in our room by the end of the day because the maids leave the doors to rooms wide open while cleaning. If you are allergic to mosquitos, ask for a second floor room to minimize the amount of them. We also did receive our complimentary bottle of tequila on our second night there without having to ask for it as well as a dried fruit basket.
Tipping: We tipped everyday - $2 and a souvenior for the maids and $2 for the bar people. Everything was always perfect when we returned to our room. We left a note for the bar people as to what we required. The maids left us two swans in the shape of a heart with pretty flowers on it, so we decided to give them a bunch a Canadian souveniors and whatever money we had leftover at the end of our stay - they did a wonderful job all week.
Restaurants: The buffet and a la cartes were very good. The buffet always wide something new. They always had a wide variety or fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, etc. We ate at the Mexcian, the Japanese and the Italian. The Mexican was good, the Japanese was fantastic - we ate at the tapanyeki grill, and the Italian was okay. Aparently the Veal at the Italian was fantastic, so we will know what to have the next time we go there.
Beach: The beach was like what you would see in a postcard. There were a lot of complaints on TA about the beach having a lot of rocks as you enter the water, but we went in without water shoes and were fine. You could walk out for a mile and still only be waist deep. The sand was white and the water was blue/green and somedays you could see right to the bottom, depending on how choppy the ocean was that day. We did, however, have to get up pretty early and reserve a shady spot on the beach at around 7:30 a.m. There were always a ton of sunny spots available all day long.
Nightlife: Unfortunately we never did make it to the disco. After being in the sun all day we were often in bed by 10 p.m. They did have nightly entertainment from Thursday - Monday in the main court yard outside the lobby/buffets. It was very entertaining and usually started around 8:30 p.m. On Saturday nights they bring in vendors where you can buy some neat keepsakes. We especially liked an artist that painted everything with spray paint, newspaper, little tools and his hands - absolutely amazing. It was neat to see the pictures come to life in a matter of 10 minutes.
I am not sure if I missed anything, but I would be glad to answer anyones questions. All in all, we had a fantastic time and will definitely return to the Mayan Riviera and if the price is right, we would stay at the Princess again. Everyone there are so hard working and try to make your stay the best is can possibly be. Thank you so much to the staff at the Princess, you made our trip very memorable!
- 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