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“had a great time”

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Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #81 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed May 29, 2008

I just got back today from a four night, five day stay and I miss it!! The Laguna Villa Suite is worth the little bit extra. I had a great time but I read reviews so I knew what to expect. My only complaint would have to be the food. The breakfast was good but other than that I wasn't impressed. You also have to get cutsomized to their drinks. I like Michelob Ultra and Bud Light but learned to like Corona real fast because that's the only choice. Don't expect jager or patron either. Their mixed drinks are good though. We went with a small group so we enjoyed eachother's company. The included spa was awesome. Make sure you book your dinner reservations when you get there!! The concierege is right next to check-in so just get it over with. Don't go to the "steakhouse". Steak wasn't even on the menu. The japanese was pretty good. We were going to try the fondu but decided to go into Playa for mexican so we wouldn't be disappointed again. I also recommend the Xel Ha excursion. It's all day and it includes your drinks and food so it's worth the money. Everyone complained about the rocks at the beach but they didn't bother me too bad. When you're in paradise and looking at beautiful water compared to Galveston, you can look past a few rocks. Oh yeah, the "DVD library" is a joke. It consists of like ten movies that play in spanish and english. There are a few channels in english like the E channel, Fox News, and some others that will switch back in forth from spanish to english but I didn't go there to watch T.V. so no big deal. Overall I had a good time. Just don't let the little things bother you and you'll have a blast!!

  • Stayed: May 2008
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3  Thank HoustonSrk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 29, 2008

I went to the Princess with my boyfriend, this was our first vacation together; we are 19. Overall, I would say that our stay was a pleasant one. We booked through a travel agent, the flight was quick, and the check in was sort of non-existant for us because in the tour bus on the way to the hotel they had people fill out a short form for the hotel and bracelets and keys for rooms were given out; when we got to the hotel around 10am the guy told us that all our rooms were ready which was a good surprise. we just carried our own luggage and found our room okay. not so hard, although the map was a little confusing. the hotel grounds are beautiful; we liked walking around the huge resort ^ ^. We got a room on the third floor, spacious and nice. Our shower didn't leak. the jacuzzi didn't look so clean so we never used it. although i did notice the safe was a bit suspicious (sticker thing coming off at one of the edges) My boyfriend and i always made sure we never left anything so valuable in there, we carried it with us if we could, and so we had nothing stolen. Rooms were made everyday around 3pm. we had cute towel arrangements. our view wasnt so great though. i would recommend requesting a room that is facing the centre of the hotel. Our agent had called us before the trip and advised us of the construction and asked us if we wanted to move/go to another hotel/or get a refund. we just stuck with it, and the construction didnt bother us so much either. Unless we were in our rooms in the afternoon which we weren't, the sound didn't get to us. the beach is really pretty, i dont think you really need water shoes. The pools are really great too.
We had no problem with towels, even if we were getting them late, like at 5pm. No problem with getting beach chairs by the beach or by the pool. we liked the bars, the bartenders always work so hard everyday. yes you have to wait, but it's not like you don't wait for one if you go to a club here, so it didnt bother me. The food at the buffet was really yummy, but definitely not something i expected to find at a 5 star. The a la cartes werent so great either, because we found that a lot of the food were salty. we ate a la carte dinners every night, because i thought they would be spectacular food, but they werent. 2 restaurants had the same soup on the menu...the worst would be at the seafood restaurant and the italian. i had lasagne and it looked and tasted like the frozen ones you can get at grocery stores. miso was good, but cant really call it japanese because i've experienced such good japanese in vancouver i guess. Oh yeah. Reservation for the restaurants went smoothly as well, i would say it took me 5 minutes. we went to playa del carmen 2 times and cancun once. the shuttles to playa fill up quickly, so make sure you get vouchers in advance. the bus is really comfy though, and cooler with air conditinoing than most taxis. we played tennis (i didnt see anyone play tennis during the week we were there lol) you have to go to the concierge and the deposit is
$20 which you get back after you return the raquets and the balls. ccheck out was a breeze as well, took 1 minute. because we had to check out at 12pm, they have a storage for our luggage and also the shower facility. at nighttime, there are daily shows and other little stuff like a tiny band playing wonderful music by the bar downstairs or the night market, random fire shows and stuff like that. Overall, it was a great time down there except for the people that annoyed me with their rudeness. I would recommend this hotel, but honestly i wouldn't go back, just because i dont like to stay at the same place twice.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank kikibear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2008

My husband and I booked into this hotel to celebrate our first wedding anniversay in May through Thomson. Thomson class the hotel as a "Platinum", unfortunately I would not place it in the same status. The hotel itself is beautiful and asthetically pleasing to the eye, however, what really lets it down is the day-to-day service provided by staff in all departments. Fair enough the hotel opened December 2007 and having read a fair few reviews had my reservations but we've stayed at brand new hotels before (i.e. Riu, Negril 4 months after it opened and Grand Caribe Real (now a Riu) 6 months after it opened) and they have surpassed our expectations so with this in mind we bit the bullet.

The following was what we encountered on a continual basis:-

MAID/ROOM SERVICE
Apart from the bed being made and turned down each day, the room was not cleaned to a satifactory standard and I can honestly say I don't think our sheets were changed during our 2 week stay. There were black markings on the pillow cases and sheets and by the end of the stay they were still there and the bedding smelt musty. They appeared to clean around our toiletries as we often found soap residue left behind. Coffee and mini bar supplies were inconsistent, some days we were stocked up and others not. We had a Room Service Menu (unpriced) left in our room and one evening placed an order only to find out we had to pay for this service, apparently the Menu should not have been left in our room and the fact it had no price list was confusing.

BAR SERVICE
Very slow and under staffed, i.e. one barmen in the Sports Bar taking drinks and food orders - too much for one person to cope with. Bar staff in general lacked knowledge of drinks, even Coca-Cola! Drinks orders were either forgotten, wrong or extra drinks given that we hadn't asked for. On some occassions you got as far as asking for one drink when you wanted four and the barman would turn his attention to the next customer. BEWARE - Americans are very tip happy and were served as priority - figures! I believe in tipping but only if just deserved, not every time you want to get served - we've paid for this holiday and this service!

CONCIERGE/FRONT DESK
Don't bother with the resort map they give you, very confusing, mainly in Spanish, best you walk around yourself and find everything. Concierge was ok but hit and miss along with front desk, there is a definite language barrier here. For example, one lady I met got locked out of her room and we kindly helped her by phoning the Concierge. Continual phone calls and two hours later security appeared to let her in - appauling!

BUFFETT/RESTAURANTS
Restaurants were hard to book, sometimes 2 or 3 days in advance and only ever late times available, i.e. 8.40 - 10pm. Food in these was average to good. Best one is "Miso" and book the chef's table - well worth it for entertainment value and food cooked right in front of you. The International and Italian were nice too.

There are four buffet restaurants all in all, but only Sunset and Riviera are open at night. The food is the same in all for breakfast/lunch/dinner and so can become very repetative, a good suggestion for the Hotel would be to offer theme nights to add variety. The majority of the food was luke warm and when a dish ran out they were slow to replenish it, so a bit of waiting to be expected. Try to get to the buffet early to ensure hot food. Having said this, we didn't experience any tummy upsets. Table waiting service very hit-and-miss....the majority of times trying to get the attention of a waiter was impossible and when you did your drinks order was either wrong or didn't come at all.

ENTERTAINMENT
Daytime activities are largely based around the centre pool although there is aqua aerobics on the beach if you can put up with the whistle blearing out on each new move rather than music. They do have volleyball and archery but apart from that quite low key.

Disco is good and plays English music although is very loud and watch your step as a couple of people went flying where people had spilt drinks.

Sports Bar - ok but after midnight you can only order beer and non-alchoholic drinks. Food orders were either forgotten or came out wrong. Could have done with one person taking food orders and bringing to your table to avoid confusion as to whose food was whose which happened a lot.

GROUNDS/GETTING AROUND
They have golf carts or a little train to take you around the resort. You can pick these up at the Platinum Suite Lounge or by the Lobby. Few and far between & you do have to wait at times but ideal as it is a good 10 minutes walk to the main hotel area. Not ideal for the elderly although the hotel offers wheelchair access but much walking to be had. Nice grounds and the pools are set out either side of the walkway to the main lobby bar. The main lobby is where the majority of restaurants, spa, disco, shop are so if your room is situated near hear then it's ideal, if not then you have a long walk.

BEACH
Nice sandy beach although there is a current to the sea and the hotel operates a flag system although this wasn't a problem. Only issue is the sea itself is too shallow to swim and very rocky. Watch your step! There is bar service on the beach but very intermittent could do with a few more staff. Sometimes there was a long queue and in that heat!

Having said all this, we managed to get a free room upgrade to a Junior Deluxe suite as a result of an influx of Americans booked into the standard rooms - not complaining though! We had a nice holiday as we went with friends and took advantage of the free bus that goes daily into Playa Del Carmen (1 day's notice required). Overall, the hotel provides for a relaxing holiday but I would not go back and probably would think twice about staying at a Princess Hotel again. Next time it'll be the Riu Palace, Riviera Maya as we heard rave reviews about this whilst out in Mexico.

I would place this hotel at a 3.5-4 (that's for the look!).

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Helen73uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2008

My first time to Mayan, so I guess I didn't know what to expect.
First our flight was delayed 2 hours, no notice from Air Transat.
Arrived at the Princess two hours late, checked in, everything good.
Our room had a very strong odor. (musty smell) We tried for
3 or 4 days to get moved to another room with no luck. They sent someone around to sprinkle coffee grounds in the drain pipes.
And cover the shower drain and sink drain with towels. That was it. I know going to a humid country there can be a smell from the humidity. "This was not a humidity problem."
We thought the rooms were very nice. Spacious. Our room was closer to the beach area, so had a long long walk in the evening for dinner. Wouldn't be bad if the train had a set time , but usually ended up walking the distance.
No complaint on the food. We thought it was really good. It was the same thing day and night, but still really good. They could change up the menu alittle more.
Very buggy. I ended up with sand fly bites or something, really left big scars. I was the only one, so maybe an allergic reaction???
Beach was nice, but noisy. Chain saw all week long, building a wedding chapel.
Yes I would stay here again, Next time my expectations will not be so high.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank Shanelaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2008

Reviewer john bond AKA David John
from wales uk
Myself,wife and two friends stayed at this so called 5* hotel for two weeks from may 7th till may 21st.
The positives first,check in was swift only took ten mins.
The location is great with a beautiful beach and lovely grounds.
Never had any problems getting towels for the beach,but if you want shade when on the beach you need to get down at about 7am to get sun beds with the shade.
Booking the restaurants was fine no problems,but i will only recommend two,the itaian and japanese,with the latter ask for the chefs table.
Negatives,on our first morning i was awoken at 5.30am as i could here water running, went into the bathroom to find water pouring into our shower though the light fitting it was coming from the room above, went up to lobby to complain was told it would be fixed but guess what it was like that for the two weeks that we where there,on the second day went up to complain about it and showed them a video of the problem and asked if we could be moved and was told there were no rooms left and they would fix it for me,a man came to the room to look at it ,i showed him the video,he left but came back with a pot of paint and panited the celling,so if you get room 6102 i just hope that this problem has been fixed.
FOOD,apart from the two restaurants above the food was not to the standard you would expect from a 5* hotel,food in the buffets was the same every day with no variety at all,and it was either luke warm or cold did not get any hot food at all.
MAID SERVICE,not good at all room floors not cleaned for the two weeks we were there,we did get clean towels and bedding every day but that was it, not the service you expect from a 5*
GETTING YOUR PROBLEMS SOLVED,forget it as nobody seems to want to know and that goes for our rep to.
OVERALL SERVICE,was really poor not enough staff for the size of the hotel.
Taking everything into account i would only rate this hotel as 2/3* at best

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank davidrjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2008

We stayed at the GRP 5/22-5/26 with several of our friends. We had a great time mostly because we all enjoy each others company. I read alot of review before we went so I was well prepared. This was our first time in Playa and at an all inclusive.

The grounds are beautiful and the room is very nice. We got there pretty early and were checked in quickly. They watched our luggage until our rooms were ready so we could go to the pool and the beach.

The breakfast and lunch buffets were good. Lots of fresh fruit and salads.

When we went to make reservations for dinner we were told there was nothing available until 10pm the next night. Once we said we would even take one of the restaurants that cost extra they found us a reservation at the seafood place near the beach. This was the worst of the 3 places we ate at. The food was very salty and the waiter who took the order was not very nice. The guy who served our food was great and we all had a good time anyway.

La Vaqueria was good and Mamas was a little better. However, they were all less then half full so we're not sure why it was so hard to get reservations.

There is no information in the rooms about the hotel so you have no idea what's going on. The restaurants require men to wear pants for dinner but you don't know that until you get there so all our guys had to run back to the room to change.

The place still needs alot of work and I believe they are short handed which is why they couldn't accomodate more then a few diners at a time. Overall we had a great time but I would probably choose to stay somewhere else next time we go.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank keystoneDfw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2008

We stayed from 5/19 to 5/23 and were traveling with our two small children and with 7 adults. Overall this place is huge and has terrible service. Our room was a mile to the beach and a 1/2 mile to the nearest pool. We tried to tip to get better service, but that made no difference. Had it just been my husband and I, we would have left to stay somewhere else. Some of our other observations include:
Check In - They put all of us in 4 rooms with king beds even though we requested two double-beds. We requested them to change one of the rooms which took them two days. The first attempt with concierge to get a golf tee-time took over an hour and we still had to return the following day. If you're golfing, make plans before you get there.
Rooms - The biggest complaint about the room was the shower leaking and an exposed electrical outlet which our one year old shocked herself on. It was obvious that they hurried to get the hotel built and sacrificed the craftsmanship.
Food - We tried to make reservations at the a la carte restaurants and they were always booked until ten. We were able to walk-in on a cancellation and found that only half the tables were in use, while the employees claim they cannot seat you. It was apparent they did not have the staff to operate the a la carte restuarants (or the resort as a whole). The buffet food was decent but the service was terrible. You would be finished with your breakfast before you were offered coffee.
The one good thing I can say is that the pools and the beach were nice, but this place is definately not worth the money.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Jennifer M
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

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
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 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: $182 - $512 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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