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Reviewed January 17, 2010

Let me preface this review by saying that my husband and I have traveled pretty regularly since we met four years ago and we really are very easy to please. We are always thankful for the opportunity to get away and always focus on the positive experiences rather than the negative. Also, I believe when you travel outside the country you must understand that the standards are much different than in the U.S. WITH THAT SAID, THIS PLACE IS RIDICULOUS. I'm not going to go into long explanations but I will give highlights. Service was rude and lacking. Evening meals outside of buffet require reservation which you must stand in line for hours to acquire. Even with standing in line, we only received one reservation for the whole week. The other four nights we had to eat at the buffet because the restaurants only seat 20-30 people per night because they did not have enough staff to support larger capacity. My husband discussed this with the property manager and was told "TOO BAD". While the resort really is gorgeous, THE ROOM WAS FILTHY. Had to request maid service twice to clean a dirty bathtub when we arrived. First time I've ever gone to Mexico and couldn't eat mexican food. The only mexican food available was at a single restaurant which of course was booked. No mexican food on the buffet other than nacho cheese. If you decide to visit this resort, make sure you get a room in the middle because it is a mile hike from the beach to the front desk/bars/restaurants/large portion of rooms. All service areas were understaffed. Items stolen from our SAFE in the room. Beach was pretty but rocky once you are in the water. Entertainment was actually pretty good in the evenings. We saw firedancers and native presentations. It was actually pretty cool. Of course, the only reason we found it was because we heard the beating of the drums. Couldn't find postings or flyers of daily activities. Never found the snorkel shop. Oh well. Pools were very nice and appeared clean. Bars were very cool once you waited for a bartender to make your drink. Order two at a time. With all that said, I guess we should be thankful we checked out ALIVE. On a ride to the beach on one of the carts we crashed into a maintenance cart at full speed!!!! It went from full speed to dead stop instantly and almost flipped. SERIOUSLY, I'M NOT KIDDING. There were several other people on the cart and thankfully no one was injured but we were all very fortunate. WE NEVER RECEIVED A SINGLE CALL TO OUR ROOM TO MAKE SURE WE WERE OKAY OR AN APOLOGY FROM ANY EMPLOYEE MUCH LESS MANAGER OF THE RESORT. It is such a shame because this resort is so beautiful and has so much potential. The staff ESPECIALLY management really doesn't care about you or your experience.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank annistonae3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2010

Just returned from Grand Riviera/Sunset. This resort is beautiful and grand. We actually booked the sunset, but were put in the riviera side. It is one resort, sharing common a la carte & buffet restaurants; water sports; beach lounges and all other services. They do have their own lobbys and buffet restaurants, but you can eat and use either side. We stayed in the Platinum suites which was great, we had extras such as a jacuzzi on the balcony, access to all a la cartes including one dinner at the Thai Beach Club restaurant. Making reservations was very easy with the concierge in the platinum lounge. We did not have to account for a beach towel, they were plentiful just for the taking in the platinum lounge and you didn't have to return them, you just left them on your lounge. Platinum guests had free 24 hour room service included and free internet. The bar in the platinum lounge also had premium alcohol for eg. Tanqueray Gin and Grand Marnier. In the a la carte restaurants the Grand Marnier they served was from Mexico and was more like Triple Sec. We had 7 great a la carte dinners, unfortunately there is no a la carte place for breakfast or lunch. The buffet we went to for breakfast and lunch was never really crowded and the drink service was pretty good. The buffet food was good and tons of options, great salad makings, lots of fruits and hot dishes and a pasta station. The only drawback was that the only option at the grill station was a hamburger or hotdog. Unfortunately the red wine was on tap and terrible, even at the platinum lounge. The odd time the lobby bar had bottled wine and it was not bad, but not good either. The white wine was not much better and the dry sparkling wine was inferior, even if a new bottle was opened it was not far off of being flat. I should say that we are not wine conosieurs and have never been to a resort where the wine was so bad. (THIS WAS REALLY THE ONLY COMPLAINT THAT WE HAD & IS THE ONLY REASON WE WOULD NOT RETURN TO THIS RESORT) It was a dissapointment that we could have a fantastic italian dinner and could enjoy a glass of wine with it. The grounds was immaculate and beautiful. We never made it to the night entertainment, so I can't comment. The beach was quite nice and drink service on the beach was a nice touch. You get drink service regardless of your accomodation. This resort had a very nice spa, which we spent a day at because the weather was cool and rainy. The cost for spending a day in the spa which included a hot tub, sauna, steamroom and great pool with all kinds of hydrotherapy jets was $22.00 USD per person per day. We have stayed at other resorts on the Mayan where the spa was included, but apparently this spa is not owned by the hotel, hence the fee.
In summation, this is a nice resort & if you are not a wine drinker then I would recommend it. It is good value for your money.
Jeni4s

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

My husband and I spent 2 brilliant weeks from 29th December to 12th January 2010 at the Riviera Princess.

We enjoyed the buffets-always something tasty to eat; Italian; Grill; Gourmet and Tapas restaurants. Our only problem with the speciality restaurants was children were allowed and we had a couple of bad experiences with noisy uncontrolled children screaming and running around disturbing others. We think these should be for adults only for a peaceful, romantic meal.

As non-smokers, we found it very unpleasant at times with smokers at the bar and walking around the grounds, oblivious of the discomfort they are inflicting on others. We feel there should be designated smoking areas.

New Year the hotel laid on a special buffet which we really enjoyed-lobster, all kinds of seafood and many other things to choose from. There was something for everyone even the most fussy of eaters!

Afterwards people gathered in the Plaza and the theatre. We were given bags with top hats and feathered hair bands, together with noisy whistles and bells to see the New Year in. A good night.

The room was good, very spacious and cleaned every day. Also beer and water topped up daily without fail.

We walked the beach to Playa Del Carmen one day which is a lovely walk-taxi back to the hotel!

We never had a problem finding a decent sun lounger either.

After dinner we went either to the Piano Bar - excellent pianist, or the Lobby Bar where the staff are polite, funny, entertaining, and good at their job. We did not go to the disco.

We tipped the maid and fridge person, bar and restaurant/buffet staff. They were always polite and very pleased when we tried a few basic words in Spanish- Gracias and Por favour was sadly lacking by many people - sometimes we were embarrassed to see how some people treated the staff.

Previously we have stayed at the El Dorado Royale and Grand Paraiso, this was 25% cheaper and maybe not the same standards but well worth it.

All in all, good value for money.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank janbeeBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2010

My husband and I actually went to the Grand Riviera Princess for our honeymoon last year, so my review may not be up to date, but I'll be very honest.

CHECK-IN
The people at the front desk were not very friendly, but I've found at most all-inclusives they aren't anyway. - pretty standard. It was our honeymoon and they had a special deal we booked, that was free on condition of showing our marriage certificate. They didn't care whatsoever about that at all. Didn't upgrade us, and to boot gave us a room with 2 double beds on our first night of our honeymoon! WTF!? - anyway we went back to have them exchange that and the same guy at the front desk said come back tomorrow and check because they were full - again standard from my experiences. The next day they did accomidate us with a rooom with a king bed, but again nothing special for the honeymoon. The gentleman was not pleased about helping us, I didn't not like him, nor did he like us.

ROOM
Despit our complications the first night, the rooms were absolutley gorgeous! I've stayed at 2 other all-inclusives in Mexico, and this was by far the nicest room I've stayed in. The bathrooms were HUGE and gorgeous! (thinking about it now, we may have had an upgrade because I'm not sure everyone's bathroom was the same) we had a huge jacuzzi tub that opend up to the whole room, a glass shower, two sinks and a seperate door for the toilette. Anyway I remember we had a minor flaw, something like the TV remote not working, but it obviously wasn't a big deal if I don't remember exactly what it was.

GROUNDS
Again, beautiful! The only thing I would say is that, I think this hotel is WAY too big. I usually really like bigger resorts, because I like to walk, and that way you work off all the food you ate that week, and don't end up gaining much weight, or nothing at all. But I found this resort to be just rediculously huge. Not a big deal with the trains that charter you around, but it was sometimes hard to get on one, that wasn't full... or if they were around.. all though we made friends with Alberto, who is one of the drivers, he was great!

POOLS
I remember that there didn't seem to be a lot of options the days we were at the pool (it unfortunatley rained most of the time we were there..probably 4/5 out of the 7 days we were there.) the one pool was full with a wedding goup, that were obviously drunk...(not a big deal, my husband and I are 23, and like to party too) but they were just obnoxious! and it got to the point where they didn't care anyone else was there, and I was ready to punch someone out....and I'm much of a lady if I do say so myself.

BEACH
We spent I think 1 or 2 days on the beach, when we didn't feel like being around the obnixious wedding party. We are mostly pool people. I love the beach but my husband wont swim in the ocean. It was gorgeous, like most beaches in Mexico! The water was warm but I remember seeing lots of jellyfish - seems to be like anywhere else though, just dont think about it. The sand seemed pretty clean too...easy to find chairs, no complaints there.

BARS
We had no problems getting drinks at the bars. I like pretty much like everything, but when I go away I really enjoy fruity blended drinks. This place I found inconsitent with they way drinks were made. I like fresh fruit, and some bartenders didn't like when I ask for it. Most of them were very nice. Also they served premium liquor and when I asked for a rum (white bacardi) and diet... they didn't like that either. - we never made it to the disco, I think it was too far from our room, and because it rained a lot, it was upsetting getting dressed up, to go out into the rain, and wash it all away.

FOOD
The food was average for mexico. I have had better, but by no means will you go starving. The pizza's were really good, and my husband was obsessed with the chicken nuggets and fresh bread. The Japenese resteraunt was my favourite. We had the grill in front of us, which is always entertaining. Way too much food prepared for the table though. I think there were heaps of left over's on everyone's plates. If you like sushi, I had some of the best sashimi in my life there. (you have to like raw fish) some people thought I was crazy! lol. Same standards with the buffets between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner.. you only have the snack bar to eat at which was one buffet by the pool (I think) and for sure the sports bar.. they only had hamburers hot dogs and sandwiches which were OK...but they had the best chips, salsa and guacamole!!! mmm sooo good!!!!

TOURS
We did go on a tour. It was a river safari tour and snorkel. We were bused about an hour out to cancun, (with pick ups at other locations) where you drove your own 2 person speed boat out to the biggest reef in mexico which was nice... not GREAT snorkeling... and definately wasn't "real" per say... the guides just sprinkle food all around you so the fish come by you, they are too scared otherwise and wont see much without that. It was an ok trip for the money, i think we paid $45/$50 a person, so it wasn't too bad - it was only a half day too so that was nice, you don't have to spend all day off your resort. I like doing culture things more like Tulum, and Cozumel, but I hate the traveling part. There's always a price to pay with site seeing though. - one other thing about our trip... when you get to the destination for snorkeling, it's out in the middle of the ocean. If your not in the water you stay in your boat. the water is VERY choppy and therefore can see some people getting sea sick very easily! - my husband doesn't like ocean's so he wasn't in the water much, luckily he does'nt get sea sick.

SUMMARY
Everything was prety good. A year and a half prior to this trip my then boyfriend purposed to me in Mexico and for our honeymoon I think we expected to capture that same moment, and feelings which we didn't really accomplish. I think the worst part was the weather. I have stayed at the Iberostar Playa Del Mar, and the Occidental Grand Xcaret (where we got engaged) and preferred both of those over the princess! I dont' want to say this hotel was bad because it was far from that, but compared to the other two resorts, I don't think I would recomend this one over them, so I'm going to say "no, I would not reccomend this resort to a friend"

Hope this helped!
Bon Voyage!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jillij
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2010

Driving down the road to get to the resort got my wife and other female friend a little nervous; it looked really run down. Then you come upon the resort and it looks very nice. This place is totally geared for Europeans and/or french canadians. There wasn't much to eat as far as food to fit our tastes besides the chips and guacamole. On occasion you could find something. The beach is a decent size, but 90% of it is covered with beach chairs which makes it hard to walk. The thing that bothered me the most is not really being able to walk into the water because of the rocks just offshore. Otherwise, the bartenders and servers were good.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DANRAY827
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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