We were there May 21-28, two couples, 40ish. It was a great week at a beautiful resort. I was a little nervous after reading some bad reviews in the weeks leading up to our visit, but my fears were alleviated once we arrived.
Check-in, the front desk help was terrific and able to accomodate our request for two deluxe king rooms on a top floor, near one-another. The rooms weren't actually ready until 3 PM (as stated in their policy) but we were allowed to use their facilities to change and spend a few hours at the pool and before we had lunch and went to our rooms.
Resort layout - huge, but everything is pretty much a straight shot from the lobby to the beach. We were in building 3, near the party pool. I liked the location a lot as we were close to one of the buffet restaurants (breakfast and lunch) and of course the pools were right there. The walk to the beach took maybe 5 minutes. The walk to the main building for the ala carte restaurants at night took about 10 minutes, in heels. Embrace the walking; it might be the most exercise you get for a week.
Party pool, loud but it does quiet down after 4:30. Not an issues unless you have small children who have to nap.
Beach - Go to left upon entry from the resort walkway and you have a bar, but this is also the crowded side, with more people and vendors. Go the right, walk past the volleyball court towards the activity hut and the beach is quiet. This is where we spent our days and there is a wait staff for drinks. Walk past the activity hut for a relatively rock free entry into the water.
Food/Buffets - very good with a lot of variety. I think the negative comments might be based on the preparation. The food will not always be typical of what you find at home in the US, but it is good. You might not have chicken nuggets and typical pizza every day or simple scrambled eggs, but will not go hungry. The buffets offer a lot of variety. I am super picky and was I fine the whole week. You are in Mexico, embrace it.
The Ala Carts - Favorites were Miso, the Italian and French restaurants. Just ok were the seafood and steak restaurants. What we didn't like, only being able to reserve for three days at a time as it would have been nice to just be able to do this all at once for the week. Oh well.
Nighttime - bands play most nights until 11 PM in the large courtyard between the two resorts. This was a nice alternative to the shows, which we did not see. No disco for us, too tired by 11. There is a Mexican market on Thursdays, for shopping, no band on this night.
Complimentary shuttle - Slightly painful. We reserved on Thursday for 10 AM on Friday. Went to the lobby on Friday morning only to be told it would not depart until noon. We took a cab into town instead, $19 each way. It was a small inconvenience.
Activities - Tried two person kayaking - hilarious but we had problems navigating the small waves, so we rented wave runners instead. Do this; they are a lot of fun ($65 p.p. for 1/2 hour on your own wave runner). Parasailing was a huge success too.
PDC - go for shopping if you can deal with the shop owners, or just stroll, see the town and stop for a drink or two. I always like visiting PDC.
My tips - do not buy the spray tanners they do not last as long as the lotion. We ran out of 30 by day 3 and had to spend a lot of $$ for more. Buy a raft for the pool; give it away at the end of your stay. Take lots of $$ for tips and be generous to everyone. If you can afford to go there, you can afford to tip EVERYONE. The staff works really hard so just tip. Lastly, don't sweat the small stuff. People might be annoying but it's their vacation too, so just do what you can to enjoy your time there.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Sunset Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
- Grand Sunset Princess Hotel
- Grand Sunset Princess Review
- Grand Sunset Princess Mexico
- Grand Sunset Princess Resort
- Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico