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“Great Place. You Get What You Pay For”

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Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Ranked #76 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Place. You Get What You Pay For”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We were five people (2 families), with two adjoining rooms. We stayed for 7 nights the last week in July.

As you can see from the other reviews this place gets about 80% favorable marks, so we were on the lookout for any negatives during our stay.

We booked through Bookit.com and received all the pertinent information via email. Bookit was very difficult to reach by phone with follow-up questions, however they were responsive to email. We had heard that it was difficult to book the a la carte restaurants, so I got the bright idea to call down a few days before we arrived. I don’t speak much Spanish, but ‘No’ sounds the same in both languages. Oh, well.

Best Day Travel handled the ground transfers, and they went off without a hitch. We found the resort to be clean and well maintained. The grounds were immaculate. Staff were constantly cleaning. Everyone was very friendly and greeted us with a smile. The rooms were clean and ready for us when we arrived, which was approx. 4 PM local time. The housekeeping staff did a great job all week, and provided extra towels every day. (We used the extra towels for the bathroom floor, which tends to be slippery.) We never noticed a musty or moldy smell in the rooms like a couple of the other reviewers, but I will say that the place was never really dry. The AC was running 24/7. Daytime temps were high 80’s, but with close to 100% humidity. Bathing suits hung in the bathroom to dry took forever. Even fresh bed sheets felt slightly damp when I first climbed into bed.

Yes, the place is pretty big, and you’re going to do a lot of walking. We also did a lot of eating and drinking so a bit of exercise wasn’t exactly a bad thing. We didn’t swim every day, but when we did we frequented the swim-up bar on the Sunset side just before you get to the beach, manned by Elias and Gaspar. There was no lack of alcohol in the drinks as far as I could tell. One member of our party did complain of a sort of ‘nutra-sweet’ aftertaste in all of the frozen drinks. She said this was no matter where in the resort she was.

We frequently ate at the buffets. The food there was good and plentiful, with a great variety of dishes. We never had to wait to be seated. You need to be at the booking desk at 2PM to book the a la carte restaurants two days ahead of time, which limits you to the buffets for the first two nights. Or so I thought. When you first check in they give you an envelope of brochures and advertisements for excursions along with (drum roll please) vouchers for your first two nights’ a la carte dinners. I didn’t find them until I was winnowing out all the unwanted junk the night before we left. The night we ate at La Vaqueria there were many empty tables and they were accepting walk-ins. We also tried Teppanyaki, the hibachi dinner/show and that was packed. Also very hot. Unlike a traditional hibachi place they would not let us order any sushi from the other side of the restaurant.

Also in your welcome packet will be a note from your Best Day representative at the resort. It will have his name and a tentative meeting time. Best Day are the people who arrange your excursions for you, in addition to your return transportation to the airport, so you need to see them if for no other reason than that. We just stopped by their desk to ask a question and ended up booking two excursions. The rep we were supposed to be assigned to was sitting at the next desk and I think he was a little miffed that we weren’t dealing with him. I think we may have unknowingly cheated him out of a commission.

We booked two activities: a ½ day dolphin swim at Dolphinaris Park, and a ½ day deep-sea fishing trip. The dolphin swim is a nice experience. http://www.dolphinaris.com/locations/riviera%20maya.aspx
I did it a couple of years ago in Cozumel, so I sat this one out and took pictures. For a set price you get three activities interacting with the dolphins. The only glitch came right at the beginning when the driver came to pick us up in an unmarked van, with no identification connecting him to the dolphin park. He stood milling around for ten minutes without calling any names until a lady asked him where he was going. He just said “dolphin” and pointed at the van. Oh. really? Hello? When were you going to mention that? When we got back I told the guys at the Best Day desk and they assured me they’d look into it.

The fishing trip was a total bummer. Didn’t catch a thing. Not one of the five boats that went out that morning was successful. Only one guy caught a nice-sized Wahoo. More on that in a minute. They really upsell these trips that you’re going to catch ‘the big ones’. Big sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, etc. Well, after the fact we found out that those fish are only really active from October through May. It’s late July, you say? Well, you may run across something worth telling stories about, or you may just sail around in circles baking in the Caribbean sun for four hours. They also tell you that you can bring your catch back to the hotel and they’ll cook it for you for dinner, or freeze it in their freezer so that you can ship it home.
Remember the guy with the Wahoo? Well they filleted it for him dockside, and he ended up with about 20 pounds of fish in a plastic bag with some ice. Which quickly melted in the heat. He got back to his resort about an hour later. Two nights after that I was talking to a couple of travel agents who were checking out resorts in the area. When I mentioned my fishing trip they told me they had run into a guy who had brought his prized catch back to his resort and they wouldn’t touch it. They refused to cook or store anything that they hadn’t procured themselves. Yup, it was Wahoo Guy.

Going into town? The hotel shuttle fills up incredibly fast, so we ended up using taxis both days we went. Please take note of the easel board near the bell station outside. It lists all the suggested prices that you should expect to pay for a taxi ride based on number of people and destination. You may be able to negotiate a better price, and don’t be bashful about trying, but you shouldn’t pay more than what’s listed.

Speaking of prices, US dollars are readily accepted, both at the resort and in town. If you pay in USD you’ll get change back in Pesos. Expect an exchange rate of an even 10/1 Pesos/USD, no matter what the official rate is. The official rate while we were there was between 12 and 13.4 to 1. You’ll get close to that from the ATMs, which are numerous. 10/1 is a little easier to figure on the fly, especially after a few adult beverages. Again don’t be afraid to negotiate on price.
The only other thing that I can think to say about Playa is that my daughter was a bit intimidated by the shop owners. They call out to you to come see what they are selling. No problem, they’re not aggressive or dangerous. It actually adds to the local flavor. Oh, speaking of flavor we ate at a tacqueria called El Fogon. I had read about it on Tripadvisor. It was fantastic! There are three El Fogons in the city. Thanks to our cab driver Jonathan for finding us the one that was open. He also gave us a good price and came back to pick us up again after we had eaten. If you are in need of a taxi call for #1277 at (044) 984 135 9201.

Room Tip: The resort is laid out in a linear fashion, with the main building at one end (farthest from the bea...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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3 Thank StoneLikeThem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Evansville, In
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2012

We went with a much more affordable resort this time, and were happy with what we paid for it, great deal. If you want to just relax and read and hit the beach, this place is perfect and ut served our purposes well for this trip. Just so you know though, it was very difficult to get reservations at the restaurants. They filled up very quickly. Lots of screaming children around, which didn't bother me much but you should know thay in case in bothers you. The rooms were very clean but super humid and musty. If you find antonio as your waiter at the pool, you will be very pleased. He is wonderful. Also ask for a shot of whayever liquor goes in your frozen drink and pour it in yourself, i strongly suspect they serve the frozen drinks with no alcohol in them at all.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amanda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2012

The week was great, service was awesome, resort was beautiful. We travelled with 2 other families: 6 adults, 6 children aged 11-16. We all had a great time.

Room-Stayed in Platinum, Sunset side-it had problems with A/C noise all week, but resort were attentive & did fix major problem. Room smelled musty all week, all clothing we took needed to be washed--do not over pack! Still, the room was very nice.

Platinum-HIGHLY reccommended-service, attention to detail, private pool, all the extras are all worth it!

Food-great variety of al-a-carte, book at beginning of stay for entire week, Platinum conceirge takes care of this for you. Buffet offers great variety for all eaters, even many gluten-free options (just talk to staff) Loved a mimosa for breakfast every morning. Coffee is amaizing at lobby bar and Sunset Platinum lobby.

Pools-party pool is where that action was, we made a few very brief visits. Swim-up bar is great except for when you notice that you have left to go to the washroom, but many never leave, some so rude to say out loud that they need to go, go for a short swim and come back again--some people have NO class.
We spent most of our pool time at the platinum pool--drinks come delivered cold & quick! Snacks are readily available, lounge chairs are very comfortable and beds are fabulous.

Beach-Platinum service is again amazing. Rubi is the best server we had. Lounge chairs are not as comfortable as at pool. The beach area at this resort is the only reason we will not return. Bring goggles for great entertainment and water shoes for comfort, although you can survive without shoes, we did see people with cuts on their feet from the rocks. Pick your entry point carefully, there are a few areas with fewer rocks than the rest of the beach. The children loved looking for fish with their goggles. We used the catamaran a few times-it was awesome to get out sailing. Our friends went parasailing for $120, they loved it.

Day trip-We went to see a cenote and swim with the turtles. It was a half day trip for $74/adult, $43/child and was well worth the money. Trip said it provided drinks & snacks, but we only got a bottle of water and each of the children got a cookie-we were very hungry when we returned. We all loved this trip & recommend it, just pack a snack.

Activities-there were many things going on all over the resort all the time, but we didn't really do any of them. If you want to get involved, there are many opportunities to do so.

Overall-We highly recommend this resort, but with so many places still to see, we will not likely return, although it was well worth the money. The resort is huge so it does make it a little challenging, especially when men have to wear long pants for dinner and you need to walk 10 minutes to get there in the heat. There is a shuttle, but it is about a 10 minute wait-you can walk faster. We did not go to the spa-but we should have. The weather was great, hot & humid! Bring lots of sunscreen and a hat. This resort is a great place to relax.

Room Tip: You must go Platinum, it is worth evey penny.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sheila G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Just returned from the resort and we stayed from July 17th through July 26th. We stayed in the Platinum Suites and could not have been more impressed and satisified. The service was excellent and every need and question was taken care of. The food, whether it was the buffets or the restaurants, was superb. The buffet featured a wide variety of items and both breakfast and lunch everyday were great. We did not utilize the pools at the end of the trip compared to the beginning, but this was simply due to our liking of the beach. The pools are nice and a couple have a swim-up bar. Unless you must have a pool that is as active as a nightclub, the pools are a great spot for relaxation. The beach is rocky at first, but if you continue to walk out, there is plenty of soft sand and swimming area. We used the Chill Out Club's beach chairs, which cost $11 each per day. If you are willing to spend extra money on these chairs, I highly encourage it because the rest of the beach chairs and corresponding huts are tightly packed. We used the tennis facility to train for the upcoming college season and the facility is in good condition. Whether you are an avid player or just beginning, I highly encourage taking a group or private lesson with Luis. He is a terrific player and coach, has a great personality, and is very approachable. The rooms are spacious and welcoming. The cleaning staff does a great job maintaining the rooms. The nighttime is not as action-packed as other hotels, but the resort provides plenty of beauty and activity after dark. This resort may not be for those looking for a nightclub and nonstop-action type of experience. However, it is a great fit for those looking for relaxation or even a mix of relaxation and activity.

Room Tip: If you want every need met, then choose Platinum Suites.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank barmstrong12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevierville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Stayed at this resort the week of July 16th. Very nice resort, very clean! The staff was very attentive & helpful. We stayed in a Platinum room and was very impressed. The only downside to this resort is that it is very big. It was a 15 minute walk to the beach for us. You probably should bring some water shoes for the walking and the rocks in the ocean. The food wasn't very good, but the service at all restaurants was excellent. Had a great time at this resort!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lynnsie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

despite everything, had a great time. buffet was below average, could not get reservations for dinner at the restaurants, even thought there were many empty tables. the only bar that served drinks with adaquate amount of alcohol was the sports bar. pools close at 6, which is too early. rooms were clean, but many in our group suffered bed bug bites. still had a great time in yucatan, but will probably stay at another hotel next time

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank kikiwiki w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

We stayed at the Grand Sunset Princess for a week in July. Overall, we got what we expected. The reviews and pics are all accurate. We have 2 small kids, 3 and 6. The hotel was perfect for them.
A couple of things to consider:
1. We were staying in the Platinum suites: We booked this before arriving, but met serveral people that had upgraded on arrival. IT IS SO WORTH IT! The room was fantastic, you get access to more, the conciege was very helpful. That silver braclet gets you even better service. Our package also included free room service, which is handy with the kids. There is a private pool and longe bar, which we used alot. The beds at the pool are much better and they literally are beds. We would install the kids in teh shade and it was perfect.
2. The beach is far from great: The sand is lovely - and the platiumum guests have a spot on teh beach with waiter service, so this was great. The merchants lined up along the front did not bother us at all. However, there is a lot of seaweed and rocky bit. Also, a bit of a nasty smell to be honest. We did buy swimming shoes, and that is a really good idea, especially if you have kids.
3: The resort is big, but managable, and there is a little golf buggy running regularly to take you from one end to the other.
4: Babysitting Serive in room: We used the service twice (stayed at the resort). The sitters charge $10 per kid and after midnight you have to pay for their cab home (not that we were up that late). The women were very professional and fun and my kids were very happy. If you book it - make sure you reconfirm the morning of your planned night out!
5: Kids club is great for kids up to 10. They even run a mini-disco ever night which the kids really get into. There never seemed to be any kids at the teenager club - but it does exist.
6. Getting Out: We hired a car. Coach trips with kids are a nightmare. There is a car rental place right in the hotel. It was $114 including full insurance for the day, easy and convenient. We went to Tlum - which was managable as our kids are too young for the drive to Chechen Itza and then found the best resto/beach in Tulum. A trip to Playa del Carmen is also worth it.

We found the service at the resort to be exceptional. If you are considering it for a family vacation you should not be disappointed!

Room Tip: Spend a little more and upgrade to Platinum. But be aware there are birds in the court yard that ca...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lyndsy_eg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort

Property: Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
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
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#54 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 674
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

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