My boyfriend and I(ages 26 & 27) stayed for 1 week at Grand Sunset Princess, on the Riviera Side in a Junior Deluxe Room from March 25 - April 1, 2013.
Transportation TO GSP:
We flew with Sunwing and the way there was smooth. We left 15 minutes early, had a champagne flight(a small plastic cup of champagne) and the meal was... airplane food. Edible, not gourmet. Once we got to the airport, our bags were quickly available, and we headed out the doors. When you walk out those doors, you are SWARMED with taxi companies, tour companies, etc. If you fly with Sunwing look for someone in a bright orange/green 'CNT' t-shirt, as this company works for Sunwing. A nice gentleman assisted us to our bus. Nice coach bus, air conditioned, we waited almost 30 minutes for a family who was late getting to the bus, and then we were on our way! GSP was the first drop off (yesss!) and the drive was about 30-45 mins from airport to resort.
Check in was quick and painless. We had originally booked a plain ol Junior suite(we don't spend much time in the room at all), but were upgraded to a Junior Deluxe, ROOM only - not the added perks(extra a la cartes, etc.) - which we were a-ok with! Carolina checked us in, and we joked around and she was VERY helpful advising of where the main things that we needed were(our room, towel exchange locations, buffets, etc.) on the map. We left feeling sure of where we were going :)
This resort IS big, but if you don't have any mobility problems, enjoy the bit of walking after eating and drinking too much. The grounds are IMMACULATE and walking around the resort is some beautiful scenery - so walk if you can!! If you do have issues, there is a trolly that runs BEHIND the rooms that you can take! We were located in the 6000s, room 6076, which is closer to the beach than the lobby, and our balcony faced the opposite way of the pool, we found it was very quiet, and slept with our screen door only open at night. Was nice to hear the crickets and wake up to the birds! The room was very spacious, nice, clean, and we always felt safe. We never had any issues with our safe not working, and it's simple to use, and nice and big as well! Our shower leaked a little bit, but put a towel at the bottom of the door, and knew to be careful when we got out, as the marble DOES get slippery. Other than that, the room met our expectations :)
There are pools EVERYWHERE! The party pool is usually pretty busy, and looked like a TON of fun(we are more beach people, only went in the pool once), there is always something going on and the swim up bars are a plenty! All of the other pools are not very busy at all, and there are a ton of them! Seats get filled up quickly, so I'd go and save a seat if you want one before heading to breaky!
There are signs everywhere telling you where certain shops, restaurants & bars are. Yes, this resort is big, but after the first day, it is NOT hard to navigate around.
There was always someone cleaning or fixing something, the public bathrooms were always clean and neat and you can tell that this resort is VERY well kept, absolutely beautiful.
Food was 'ok'. I've had better, but I've also definitely had worse. The buffets are big and plentiful and we ALWAYS found something to eat. I am a picky eater, and never went hungry. Breaky is the usual with made to order omelettes(I got scrambled with all my omelette fixings as I found the omelettes to be a little runny on the inside - they were delicious!). We usually ate at the beach BBQ for lunch, burgs, dogs, chips with guac, cheese sauce and THEE best pico de gaillo I've ever had - soooo delicious! Dinner buffets always had a theme night, which were also good! Again, lots of choice and something for everyone!
We ate at 3 a la cartes, the first was Miso - we did the Teppanyaki show and it was delicious and a lot of fun, you meet some new people and the food is good. A little heavy on the soya in the rice, but not inedible. We also ate at the fondue. The cheese was a mix of emmanthal and guyere and was quite sharp, I would have preferred a cheddar cheese, but again it was edible! Came with lots of meat(shrimp, chicken, sausage, beef, pork and one other that I can't remember) but you have to ask for the mixed plate if you want that, as it's not on the menu! The last that we ate at was Mama Mia, which is Italian, and it was just 'ok'. My bf got the chicken parm but asked for pasta instead of ratatouille and had no issues, and said it was awesome. I got the spinach ravioli and it was just ok. Don't be afraid to try something new at the buffet, some things don't LOOK appealing and ended up being very delicious!
Booking a la cartes is a little annoying with only being able to book 3 days in advance, but we still got fairly decent times of 6:45, 7:15 and 8:15 for dinner - worked perfect for us anyways, time to get ready, have a few drinks and head to dinner!
We didn't find the drinks watered down at all, sometimes they were actually QUITE strong! Bring a big insulated cup and they have no problems filling it!
We LOVE the beach, like I said we only spent one day in the pool. The beach is HUGE! Yes, there are palapas(huts) infront of most chairs in the main area, but if you don't want to look at these, then go to the left or the right a little bit. It's not a big deal like some people make it out to be, there are TONS of other seats with an ocean view! We went down to the left a bit, just before the adult only section, infront of the beach bar for most days. There are some rocks in the water, we bought water shoes for a whole $5 a pair at Walmart before we left. I hit my ankle on a rock and got a few scrapes, said 'ouch' and moved on with my life. The waves were big most days, and we bought an air mattress from the little beach shop, and had an absolute RIOT riding the waves on it haha SO much fun, we couldn't stop laughing. There are some people who come around offering pictures with animals(thanks to the parrot who shredded my shoulder and tried to steal my new sunnies! haha), but if you say no gracias, they move along. (or you can pretend you're sleeping hee hee).
We got massages at 'Spa Del Mar' the massage tables that are set up on the beach, but are NOT from the resort. We paid $120USD for 60 mins each, plus 10mins 'reflexology'(aka a deep foot rub, which I still drooled over) and we were given a bottle of champagne. Not a bad deal and they did an awesome job!
Booking the shuttle into Playa Del Carmen was easy! We were there around 7:30am and were the first people there, and snagged two seats. There are two times to leave 10am, and 12pm. And 3 times to come back 1:30pm($4USD/per), 3:30pm(also $4USD/per) and 5pm - free but apparantly there are only 42 spots. We came back at 3:30 and had no problems getting a seat back!
Do NOT buy liquor on the resort. We thought we'd be smart and bought 2 bottles of Don Julio white tequila for $55/bottle and stick them in our bags, leaving room for 2 more bottles at duty free(not sure why, cause we claimed all bottles anyways - but that's besides the point). Duty Free had them for $28/bottle... OUCH! But what can ya do, I looked online on the website and they are $89/bottle plus tax, so we still got a deal, but Duty Free was rediculously cheap!
if you're going to do an excursion and like adventure, fun and a packed day, go with Edventure Tours - I'll be doing a review on them in the next couple of days. Their slogan is 'the best day of your vacation' and I could NOT agree more! Phenomenal group of people!
Tips - are important - if you have GOOD service, leave a tip, if you don't have good service, don't leave a tip! It's just like any restaurant that you visit at home! We tipped at the bars, buffets, the maid(along with little gifts each day) and felt justified in spending probably over $100 just in tips. We never had bad service :)
Hola, Gracias, Si, and dos cervesas por favor will all go a long way! Try to use/learn a little spanish and see the employees eyes light up that you are interested in their culture :)
Transportation FROM GSP:
Where do I begin? Our day home was a complete disaster. We were to meet in the Sunset lobby at 9:30am. We packed up, and were out of our room by 8, dropped off our bags, and went for breaky. Headed back up to the lobby at 9:15, and by 9:45, our bus still had not shown. We met 6 other people and ended up traveling with them all day, which made the day a little more tolerable. Turns out our flight was delayed by 4 hours and our pick up time wasn't until 1:10. Would have been nice if one of the Sunwing reps who was just sitting on their phones in the office each time one of us went in, would have come out and told us that! But we went and hung out and came back at 1:10. By 1:30, we still had NO bus. After 2 more trips to the Sunwing office, and an hour later, at 2:10 a small 12 seater van, with NO a/c showed up. We picked up 2 more people on the Riviera side, and the bus was PACKED with our bags and us. NOT a fun ride to the airport. And I think the Sunwing reps could have been more present in the lobby rather than sitting in the office doing nothing, especially when they have people departing.
Never again. Like I said, the way there was smooth, but as I mentioned above, the last day was horrible. After basically figuring out our own way to the airport(telling them multiple times that no bus had come, looking for reps, etc), we got to the airport and my boyfriend and I were charged $180USD in overweight charges. That's fine, everything is a bit heavier from the humidity and we did do some shopping - paid the $180 and went on our way. Made our way to the first gate - sat there 20 minutes past our boarding time, and FINALLY heard an announcement that we had to change gates, so the 8 of us got up and lugged all of our stuff to the next gate, where we sat again 20 minutes past our boarding time. FINALLY we got on the plane and landed in Toronto 4 hours later than our original flight was to land. We all met again around the luggage carousel, where we joked that all we needed to happen now to complete the crappy day, was for someone's luggage to not show up! Well - we jinxed that, and I'm the one without luggage. We asked an Air Canada rep to assist us, and he was MORE than helpful, looking up the tag(which was switched on our boarding passes, mine on my bf's and my bf's on mine - error on the rep checking us in - so that set us back some time), and after 30 minutes of searching for a Sunwing rep, we found one and he came along and assisted us. We got home on Monday night, it's now Thursday and I still don't have my luggage, and they have NO clue as to where it is. I will be asking for AT LEAST my $180 in overweight charges to be credited back - when/if I ever get my bag back. I know these situations happen with every airline, it was just the entire day that went awry and it didn't really seem like anyone cared to assist us with any of it.
All in All:
I would ABSOLUTELY reccomend this resort for couples, families, groups of friends, etc. of all ages! We didn't let our crappy last day ruin any of our memories and we had an amazing week! I know WestJet also tours to this resort - choose to go with them if you have the option!
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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