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“Very nice but showing signs of aging”

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Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Ranked #76 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Second visit to the resort, the grounds were immaculate, pool was great and the beach was excellent, but the rooms showed signs of aging, especially the bathroom were the tiles on the walls in eroding. Also, the food was not as good as two years ago, maybe a perception, but they seem to lack imagination. They have all of the ingredients, yet don't use them well. As my wife commented once, when you have what is supposed to be a great buffet and the biggest lineup is for the french fries, you have a problem. Maybe it was not high season and their staffing and standards were down, not sure. The house wine also sucks, for an extra 15 bucks in the restaurants you can get a drinkable bottle of wine. Service was very good everywhere and people were very friendly

Room Tip: Stay away from the central pool if you like a siesta. Don't get a swim up in November or Decemb...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
4  Thank Greg791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 6, 2012

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.

Room Tip: If you are Platinum level, take advantage of the complimentary free access to the spa pool (in the S...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Pounette166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

A large group of us went for a wedding. Food was good, and I appreciated the bar on the beach with food right there. Hamburgers (meh) good hotdogs and nachos, and either fresh tacos or an amazing jambalaya dish prepared fresh on the beach.

Stayed in a swim up room which was beautiful. you can't get to any of the swim up bars from the room pools, but that's probably for the best. my dad stayed in the platinum suites which were lovely but access to the pool was awkward.

Buffets were good. Most dinners had a theme, the Mexican night was my favourite.

Downsides: the shuttle service within the resort sucked big time. They said it came every 15 minutes - total lie. Twice it broke down (once when my dad was coming for the wedding reception and he ended up trying to push it. made them late for the start of dinner) The sports bar snack food was icky, but it helps soak up the quantity of booze at 1 am

spa was lovely. went for pedicure - they don't tell you but if you show up early with your swimsuit you can enjoy the spa pool, which is warm and has all sorts of massaging waterfalls.

beach area is great. always room under shade, and nice lounge chairs. water is a bit rocky and some sand. we took water shoes - which saved us.

also, the shuttle into playa del carmen sucks. only goes a few times a day, you have to book a day ahead. And it's so far away from the main highway you can't walk out and get a collectivo . cab into playa was 8.

If you're going here though: pack your own snack food. when we got there we had the munchies and just wanted to snack in room and not eat at buffet right away. they were selling bags of lays potato chips for 12 buck american apiece. that is messed up pricing. So: put a couple cans of pringles and some m and m's in your suitcase because those prices are criminal.

our bed was harder than s*&^ too. not comfortable at all

Room Tip: swim ups on the riviera side. the sun stays out longer on the pool and keeps it warmer
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We stayed there for 1 week, with our son who is 4 years old- we really enjoyed the wam weather and the nice service

Overall it was a good deal for the money we paid.

The only negative point on the hotel other than the quality of food are that the hotel staff is not environmental friendly. All drinks are served in plastic cups that are not recycled, also I saw beach cleaners emptying the half glasses of beer on the beach sand (the same that is used by kids to make sand castle)- that is the only annoying thing

As we are vegetarians we noted that there was not offered in the normal buffets, even in the so called 11 restaurants, there is not much variety. Overall we found that all travelers were not happy with the quality of food. The menu was 80% same on all days.

It was very difficult to get a booking in the so called 11 restaurants and when you go there 50% seats are empty. When I asked why that is they said that they did have the staff to attend to us, hence very few booking were given, so we ended up in the buffet some days. Even in the theme restaurants all the international food had a Mexican taste to it, maybe as we are from Vancouver, we felt it a bit more as back home all international food is served with the same ethnic taste.

The rooms were large in size, the view of the beach excellent, the hotel is very clean.

Also the free transfer to Playa de Carmen gets booked in the first 5 minutes each day as they only have 42 seats, so it is not really free. You end up paying expensive taxi fares for the short trip (15 minutes).

Overall it was a good deal for the money we paid.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank 900Jay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

My husband and I have now stayed at six different resorts in the Mayan Riviera and unfortunately the Grand Sunset Princess doesn't quite measure up. While the resort is lovely to look at and has a great beach for those who love to walk a lot it falls short. The staff are friendly but the service wasn't nearly as good as some of the other resorts. We are typically generous daily tippers but scaled back this time due to poorer service (tables not cleaned too quickly, had to find own coffee, most times there was no one to seat clients). The food was adequate but not terrific...too many stews and the meat was far too tough to eat and very little fish.
I think that in these days a hotel/resort should free offer public area Wifi which the GPS and sister resort do not. $20 per 24hrs Internet service is not acceptable. I can understand that the hotel has an environmental conscience and that is great but at least supply your guests a box of facial tissues Or have them available for sale in their stores (which they did not)...I don't think guests appreciate blowing noses on toilet paper all the time. My biggest concern is the lack of attention to the birds on the beach area and the resulting filth on the beach chairs which is quite disgusting. Low flying birds also an issue but idiots do feed them! Would I recommend/go back? No...even though the resort does have many fine attributes...others have been better.

Room Tip: Room was good but lighting needs explanation upon check-in especially if you do so when it's dar...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank emactheadmiral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

This review is long overdue. But better late than never! A group of 4 of us (ages 24 - 25) went during the week of Family Day - February 2012 (Canada).

Rooms: Requested a King Bed, when we booked our Swim- Out Suite in the "Platinum" Section. Received 2 double beds, we were told everyday that our rooms would be switched (to the king bed that we originally thought we would be getting), only to later find out that most of the swim-outs in that section are 2 double beds instead of king beds. We were told we could "downgrade" to a regular suite if we wanted a king bed, but we would not get a refund of the difference. We were told we could not upgrade to receive a king bed room even if we paid a difference. They said it was agianst their policy. Also, the sheets and pillows always smelled as if they were never washed... kind of like an old, wet rag.

Pools/ Beach: The pools, pool bars and surrounding area were very beautiful and clean. But considering the resort was so large, with lots of pools, it seemed ridiculous that one of us would have to wake up at 5am everyday just to get a decent spot at the pool. Sometimes even that was too late. I am conviced that people would bring their stuff out in the middle of the night to "reserve" a spot, and nothing was done to prevent that.The beach was okay... but there was often garbage or dried up seaweed (i think that is what it was). The nice area on the beach was where the Thai restaraunt is located and you have to pay to get a chair or spot in the roped off area.

Food/ Bars: The buffet was okay. Some of the A La Carte resteraunts were good. The Japanese was great! Since the resort is so big, the bars were never packed. The sports bar however, always seemed over capacity and everyone seems to get pretty rowdy, as I think they are one of the only places that serves late night food. The disco was pretty dead.... barely anyone in there or dancing.

Entertainment: There is a live band that plays at the outside bar at night (very good), there was a beautiful aerilist that put on a show and pool staff was fun (most days) Also, there were a binch of carts and shops set up with merchandise for sale. A lot of talented people selling art work and trinkets, very interesting and appreciated that.

Service: The cleaning staff, maintenance staff etc. was very nice and helpful. But the phone operator/ front desk staff was pretty much useless most of the time.

Sunwing: Worst service ever... our rep. at the hotel... HORRIBLE!

Would I go there again? If the price was right. We paid $1700 CAD for a swimout. I feel as if $1400 is more reasonable.

If you dont like walking, or big resorts... this is not for you. (yes there are carts that come by and pick people up) but you have to walk around "in" the resort and it is big! I like big resorts and lots of pools and resteraunts so this is one of the reasons why we chose this place.

P.S. The gym is horrible. You are better off joggining around the resort

Room Tip: If looking for a king bed, do not get a swimout in the platinum section unless you want to be squish...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank The_Veg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

My hubby and I were part of a group of 12 that just spent the week at the Grand Yucatan Swim Out Suites (Platinum package) from 24 Nov – 1 Dec 12. This was not our first time to Riviera Maya, we stayed at a 4 1/2 star the last time.

The positives of this resort:
The pools!! There are so many and we never had a problem getting a lounger for 6-8 people at any time. There are lots of swim up bar so we never had a problem to get a spot and special shout out to our favourite bartenders Damian, Carlos and Ruby!!
The resort is beautiful, huge, well kept and nicely decorated.
The Platinum package offered free Wi-Fi in our rooms and we liked that a lot, although some rooms in our party could not connect the entire week.
The beach was nice but a little rocky.

What was okay about this resort:
We ate at 6 al a carte restaurants and the food was average. I personally was disappointed because the food was not outstanding!!
The hotel gift shops were just a little above average for the typical Mexican souvenirs, although some of the things for sale were extremely over priced. ie $14 USD for a large bag of chips.

The negative of this resort:
The food and service!
The food at the buffet was average at best and there were always empty dishes on the buffet. When you entered the buffet there was a sign that stated "please wait to be seated" but there wasn't anyone there to seat you (except for dinner). At 5 out of the 7 breakfasts we had a the buffet we were over half way done eating before someone came by with coffee!! When we went to the coffee station and asked for coffee the servers usually took their time to get our table.
The concierge was less than helpful when we requested to reserve the daily shuttle to Playa for our group of 12. This resort only offered three free shuttle runs per day, 10 am and noon into Playa and 5 pm out for free and they would only take reservations the morning prior at 8 am, when we explained to the concierge that we were going on a day trip at 7:30 and want to the take the shuttle the next morning so one person in our group needed to book all 12 spots. She said this wasn't possible and we needed someone there from each of the 6 rooms to reserve the shuttle. Fortunately our day trip guide (not booked through the resort, a big thanks to Edventure Tours, I will leave a 5 star rating for you under tours!!) waited until we booked the shuttle and we left at 8:20!
The platinum section on the beach was over crowded and the "butler service" that was advertised for platinum guest did not exist.
The swims out pools for the Grand Yucatan were so cold that we couldn’t use them at all. The sun only hit these pools for about two hours per day and it was not enough to heat them. This may be different at other times during the year but in November it was they were too cold.

Finally, on our second day there, two of our six rooms were broken into!! It seemed like they came in through the patio doors (which had flimsy locks) and left through the main door of the suites. Our friend had all their money and valuables locked in the safes so they didn’t steal anything, but they trashed their suitcases. When the hotel’s staff was informed they said that this had never happened before. The third day one of these rooms that was broken into again!

Our trip to The Grand Princess Resort was eventful but we can still say that we enjoyed the trip immensely. It was the people in our party and all the wonderful people we met there that made it a great holiday.

This is one of the cheapest 5 star resorts and now I know why. If you stay at this resort I would not recommend paying to upgrade to the Platinum level.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Mitzy B
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

Address: Prolongacion 5ta. Avenida Mza. 20 Lote 006, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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:
#29 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $166 - $538 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 674
Reservation Options:
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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

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