This is my lenghty review for our week at the GPS - Platinum level, from Nov 24 to Dec 1\12 with a group of 12 friends traveling together.
Tips: If you are more than 10 people, it qualifies for group rate - much cheaper.
Tips for your bar drinks: Bring one of those big mug or "Starbuck" like big plastic cup for your drink. Lots of people have them and the waiters have no problem with them. Better for the environment too!!!
Overall: Had a great week there with my friends. The resort is huge - be prepared to walk. It is well kept and clean. Lots of entertainment at night; live band playing and vegas type show playing in different areas. We saw "Grease" and it was really good. Disco spot is not popular and usually empty at 10:00pm. Lots of places to sit and enjoy drinks and chat. My hubby and friends enjoyed cigars most nights in one of those little "pod" area.
Once a week they have a "vendors market" on site with lots of crafts and jewellery. Very nice...but pricey. Taxi from the resort to Playa Del Carmen cost $20-22 one way. If you are more than 5 people, you have to take a van which charges $36 one way. I feel this is a rip off, but not much you can do.
Shopping at Playa del Carmen is great but you MUST BARGAIN! Prices are so inflated and it is impossible to know if you really get the "real" thing or not. My friend saw a "real silver" ring with some kind of "real" gem in it for $500...and bargained it down to $50! So, I don't think it was that "real" to start with. While in Playa Del Carmen, we stopped at "Tequila Barrel" bar, where ladies are offered free tequila shot if they dance on the bar. No problem!!! 3 of us hopped on the bar, danced to Maroon 5 latest song and attracted quite the crowd...our hubbies just felt ashamed...but us, we were happy - we got our tequila shot!
Sunwing flght: Champagne flight (one glass) and hot meal (very decent) served on board. Unfortunately, it was the type of plane with overhead TV only, so you must watch whatever they decided to show. It was a very long 6 hours + flight.
Departure day - the flight was delayed by more than 6 hours...making it a red eye flight that left at 12:30am for a 6+ hours flight. Same TV system, NO champagne served. WARNING to all: Row 14 on ALL Sunwing flight have seats that do not recline. I wish they would have mentioned that at the time as I would have chosen another seat. Impossible to sleep with the seat in front of me totally reclined and coming at few inches from my legs. Sunwing sucked!
Resort arrival: Arrived around 8:00pm and used the Platinum Check In area - great service, champagne served to us while waiting and all of us were served promptly with bellboy bringing luggage to our rooms in Platinum Section - Adult only. Tipped few bucks for bellboy.
Room: Rooms are beautiful and big! Large shower area with two sinks and large jacuzzi tub. Toilet is in a separate area with glass door - not the best for privacy!!! We had king bed (which we requested), mattress was very firm and slept like babies. The room has a small sitting area with couch (not comfy at all), a table (with complimentary fruit basket on arrival) and 2 chairs. Bar area provided 3 mickey of booze: tequila, gin and rum, which they do not replace. Mini fridge had beer, water and pop replaced daily but you cannot request anything special like tonic water, tomato or orange juice. Too bad. We had a swim-out pool and while the water was very COLD....my hubby loved it and jumped first thing in the morning and at night before bed time. Throughout the week, we did not see anyone else in the pool. It is way too cold. There is also a bar there, which is convenient, but given that the sun disappear at Noon due to building location, the place is totally deserted. Walking through the resort we saw a lot of swim-out pool rooms IN THE SUN! We found out that they were NOT Platinum level, just regular swim-out pool rooms and I truly don't understand why GPS would not give those better swim-out rooms to people that actually paid a lot more for them.
Security wise: 2 people in our parties got their rooms broken in the night we arrived (entry by patio door) and one of them AGAIN few days later. Fortunately, nothing was taken as all the valuables had already been put in the room safe (free), but the luggage were rummaged through. Hotel security basically did nothing. The lock on patio doors is very flimsy, so we ended up putting an umbrella in the door jam whenever we left the room. Room service was good, nothing extraordinary. We usually tipped daily - $2.
Pools: GREAT POOLS!!!! They are beautiful and plenty. No problem whatsoever in finding a place. Some of the pools have "kid pool" around them, which is perfect for family. One pool seemed to be the "party pool" with music and more entertainment and much younger crowd. Most pools we saw had swim up bar. We ended up hanging at the far pool by the Sunset area with mostly adults people hanging there. No music and mostly quiet. Great great pool service by Ruby who came and delivered drinks whenever you requested it. Great gal! The swim up bar with Carlos and Damian was great and we had lots of fun sitting there and watching them in action. They made great drinks, always smiling and joking. Of course we tipped regularly but I also noticed that even when people did not tipped, they always smiled and gave great service to everyone. Always plenty of chair available whenever we got there around 9:30am.
Beach: Beach is very crowded. In my opinion, the Platinum beach area is not the best and while our "package" mentioned beach service, the waiter never came...so we send our friends to the bar with a large order of drinks! Food at the beach is ok with the usual stuff: hamburger, hot dog, salsa and the day we were there they had a jambalaya which I personally did not like much, way way too salty and not much there beside rice. The water is nice but the ocean floor is very rocky, so tread carefully. We knew this before we left so it was not a surprise, but I personally expected much more from the beach area and was disappointed with the overall set up and lack of service. We stayed few hours and never came back, deciding instead to stay at the "Damian\Carlos" swim up pool bar.
Food: Because we were Platinum level, we were allowed a la carte for all services - breakfast, lunch and supper at the Riviera and Sunset restaurant, but most of the time we just did buffet for breakfast and lunch. As usual, bacon is almost non-existent, so if you are Platinum level you can request a plate of bacon. I personally ate fruits at breakfast most of the time and was very happy with the selection they had. The first day we did the main buffet (by the front of the hotel) but after that, we chose the smaller Riviera or Sunset restaurant (by the pool). They are smaller place and we felt we received better services from the waiter, who always brought me a Mimosa. We usually left a dollar every time we ate at buffet ($2 if we chose a la carte).
For supper, we had "specialty" dining 6 nights out of seven and because we were a group of 12 in the Platinum level, we were already "reserved" in 5 restaurants, which was great as we did not have to line up to do that. We usually left $5 tip at specialty restaurant. We tried:
The Grill Steakhouse : Taste was ok. Huge piece of steak that is way too big and most people ended up wasting half of it. Same thing for chicken, where they gave a full half-chicken. Those portions are way too big and it is a shame that so much food is being wasted.
Oriental - fabulous and very very good with perfect portion size. Great service!!!!!
Seafood - a bit disappointed there, not a lot of selection and I truly expected better taste but the shrimp were very good. Poor service, but the waiter worked very hard and did his best.
Fondue: It was good, but the cheese taste different in Mexico, but overall we liked it a lot.
Platinum Services: We were in the Adult Only at the Yucatan Platinum level. Wifi is included in the room, but some people had problems accessing it, but you could always go to any Platinum lounges (Riviera, Sunset and one by the Adult Only section) since they have computers there. Platinum guests get a different towel which is bigger and fluffier than the regular one. On day one I forgot my towel at the pool and had no problem getting another one for free. Thank you!
Having said all that, we would not go Platinum again.
I originally thought that ONLY Platinum level get swim-out pool room, bar services by the pool or beach, better selection of food at restaurant, better liquor brand and better availability for seats on the daily free bus to Playa Del Carmen. It was not the case. ALL swim-out pool rooms IN THE SUN are Non-Platinum level. Waiter services by the pool and beach were given to all guests - not just Platinum guests. Food in restaurant was the same for everyone and Platinum or not, you had to pay extra to get lobster or better liquor brand and we still had to line-up to reserve seat in the bus and tables at restaurant. So, what did I get for paying extra at the Platinum level? Free wifi access (if you can) and free access to Platinum lounges that had computer and private bar areas - and access to "a la carte" for all meals (same food though). Our Concierge never introduced himself, so we did not even know until day 3 where he was located. In my view, Platinum should definitely step up the approach in customer services and do something like a gathering event (breakfast maybe) for all new Platinum guests that have just arrived, and introduce the Concierge and amenities you can get (and where they are located) at the Platinum level.
Base on all of this, I would no select Platinum again.
Ok, that was a long long review....but I hope it helped in better understanding the resort and the difference between Platinum level and other level. Don't hesitate to drop a line if you need more info.
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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