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“Big resort with lots of options.”

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Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Ranked #74 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Alberta
Level Contributor
44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Big resort with lots of options.”
Reviewed September 1, 2010

This is the fifth resort in the Mayan that I've stayed at, so I have a basis for comparison. This resort is one of the biggest, but with size comes advantages. In the evenings you get a musical show in the courtyard, followed by a fire dancer show or acrobats. Then you can continue with the big show in the very large and comfortable air conditioned theater. The quality of food at the buffets and ala cartes is on par with the other 5 star resorts I've stayed at. You won't go hungry for sure. The drinks are the best I've had at a resort. I stayed at the least expensive room type here and must say that it was very nice, spacious, and clean. Cleaning staff need to smarten up a bit since you never know when they'll clean your room on any given day. Lets get the situation at the beach explained. This is a natural environment so on calm days the water is crystal clear and its mostly sandy on the bottom, never needed water shoes. If a storm has come through, then you can expect lots of rocks near the shore and the water will be murky, and you may have brown runoff from the mangrove swamp. For me, the resort does not provide nearly enough loungers under palapas at the beach, they are basically all reserved by 7:30 in the morning! The pools here are massive, and you can find seating at any time of day. Its good fun and exercise to to a big circuit of the resort through all the connecting pools. I would return to this resort with pleasure.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank sunlver95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cambridge, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2010

This place was the bomb, clean, friendly, great food, beach was awesom,the grounds are breathtaking,rooms are very clean,the room service was well kept, just all around a fantastic time, going back this december, can't wait, so much we didnt even get to do. This time we will def go on some excursions,
noting at all bad to say about this resort

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mexico_201043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2010

I will try to separate pieces out like others have, but like others have said I'm not sure why people said such bad things.... It would be considered a 5 star where I live! Spokane, WA. We stayed for a full week Saturday night to Saturday morning.

Rooms:
We had a swim out pool room. Room #2003. Never had anything stolen out of room, though I was SO paranoid we didn't give them the chance too. We're in our early 20's and were lucky enough to just to take the trip. We consistently kept putting our stuff back in our suitcase, along with our money, and locking our suitcases back up. We put my purse in the safe that had some money and our passports in it a couple of the nights we stayed and never had any problems with it, the safes are pretty idiot proof to use. Tipping maids and fridge people didn’t change service for us, either they do it or forget. But again, they are paid poorly so we just did or best and did $3 for fridge stocker (in the fridge), $5 under the pillow for the maid. Oh! And once you are in the room, you can't really hear people that are outside. But once outside you can hear music and people so it is exciting and upbeat when you are awake and about.

Walking around was not bad at all... unless you are old. But if you are movin slow then the lil go cart/train would be perfect for you to wait for. We are young and the walk was no problem at all and VERY scenic :-) We were right in the middle of the resort. 15 min to the lobby, 15 to the beach max! We just gave ourselves that much time when scheduling dinner. Realistically prob 8 min each way.

The whole shower issue I heard about never had problems with it until the 2nd to last day when we decided to sit in the shower for about 45 min. THEN water did leak under the shower into the toilet room and out into the hallway, but like others... not a problem used a towel to wipe it all up. If you take a shower of normal length it doesn't even happen. YES the marble floors ARE slippery!! LOL I can't COUNT how many times I slipped! But I realized, with the humidity, if it was carpet or wood it would grow mold after awhile or the boards would become warped or whatever, marble is smart to keep it nice. Just be smart and be careful, shoes that have real grip would be suggested by me! As my fiancé did not have as big of a problem as I did with my cheap payless sandal's....

Bugs- We bought a TON of bug spray!... Never used it once... I got bit three times by a mosquito or sand flea on the beach, not sure. But no problem's at all, some were WAY over exaggerating.

Pool:
The water in the pool was SO warm, at first I thought, how is this going to cool us off. But it does adjust your body temp to just a few degrees cooler so it definitely does! Plus! When it rains, it’s so warm you can just keep swimming. As it does rain pretty much every day for like 30 min then clears up and is bright sunshine! If you want a cabana or spot out on the beach, get up early put your towel out there on your spots, then go back to bed. No one will steal it.

Restaurants:
We were very adamant about booking our restaurants each day. We were sure to get there the very next morning after we got there when the office opened, then booked that night and two days out in advance. Then every day after dinner we would go and book the next day. We ate at 6 different restaurants in this order: La Fleur, Miso (Chinese, Japanese side), La Fondue, La Hacienda, Mama Mia, then Tapas. To be honest, with the restaurants it depends on your taste and what you order. At first I didn’t like La Fleur because I got some nasty salad that I ordered buy my Fiancé’s actually tasted really good. La Fondue was my favorite by far! And the lady said it was VERY popular. The only one we agreed was terrible was Tapas. Our waiter was TERRIBLE, but with waiter’s it is just like back home. Sometimes you get stuck with a really bad one and it ruin’s you experience… But the real reason we didn’t like Tapas was because they put on a show and it is SO LOUD you can’t even talk to the person you are at dinner with. We were all the way in the far back corner away from the performance too, so I know it was loud to everyone. Plus we had the manager that we saw at a previous restaurant who was just downright rude! So this will all depend on preference and who you happen to get. We both absolutely loved the sports bar too Haha. Good place to get good American food, try the Sandwhich they make too, it was really good.

Service:
A little Spanish can go a long way, if you are friendly, genuinely trying to learn and ask how they are doing.. “Como estas?” it showed they were much more receptive and friendly with us. They may be serving you, but just like back home.. they are real people too and have to deal with snappy crabby people all day. A smile goes a long way. To me tipping didn’t seem to make a difference, to my Fiance he thought it did. But you don’t really see them after you give it to them, so by that point who knows. We did it more because we felt bad, they are paid so poorly. Tip the people you really like well, it rewards good service and good people. It is hit and miss whether or not you get a person who does well and is friendly otherwise. All server’s are male, not sure why…? But women seat you, then it is always male waiter’s…?

Tips:
Thursday’s they have vendor’s out in the main courtyard, awesome deals! You can bargain them down, except the painter’s! They are awesome and the price is reasonable (2 for $30), we got home framed them, and put them on our wall. Everyone loves them and things they look amazing. Bring cash! US dollars or peso’s was hit and miss sometimes was a better deal in peso’s sometimes better in dollars.

I was paranoid about getting double charged or having to pay so much on the fees so we took all cash and didn’t flash it around. We did just fine and were able to bargain much easier when we said.. “really? All we have left is 8 US dollars…” Haha.. But cards are excepted in all stores too.

Bring “Tervis Cups” good tip I got off another review, a Mexican vendor on the beach even wanted to buy ours Haha! We got them at Target for like $7 a piece, kept our drinks frozen and colder for much longer, plus they are bigger so we didn’t’ have to go back so many times.

Bring bug spray, just in case. Sunscreen. Backpack for excursions. Take water bottles from the fridge on excursions. It’s stupid to pay how much they want compared to what you pay back home. It is a tourist area so, just because it is Mexico doesn’t mean it is cheap.

Look carefully at the map they give you regarding what time which restaurants open.
Try the restaurant/buffet out toward the beach for breakfast and lunch, it was good and we had really good waiter each day. He was Super friendly! Our favorite server by far.

If they run out of clean towels at the pool area, try going up to the concierge. They always gave us towels before our excursions.

Costs: (for those like me that were frustrated no one included this in a review)
Go all inclusive! All the way!
I did a TON of researching ahead of time and booked excursions online before we left. To guarantee we wouldn’t get double charged, plus I found out they fill up quickly so you want to book ahead of time.

We did 3 different excursions. Rested one day, excursion the next, rested the next day, excursion again. Best way to do it! Worked out perfect!

Chichen Itza (through Cancun All Tours) - $90 per person on the deluxe bus (w/continental breakfast & a bathroom) 2 hr bus ride (worth it). $60 per person normal bus. They pick you up from hotel.

Swimming with dolphins in Chankanaab Park - $125 per person (Royal Swim, foot push whole shabang!) Snorkeling gear can be rented for $15 per person, anyone can swim in the area as long as you got into the park and paid. Royal includes watching the sea lion show too, pretty cool.
Taxi to Playa del Carmen from the hotel - $13 (just ask a bell boy out front for a taxi, they’ll call one up)
Ferry to Cozumel - $22 per person round trip ($12 one way, tickets at the dock)
Taxi to Chankanaab Park from the ferry – $13 one way

Selvatica (Zip lines, ATV’s/4-wheeler’s, & swimming in the Cenote) – DO IT! THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY! LIKE NIKE… JUST DO IT!!!! $120 per person. They also pick you up from the hotel. 4 hr trip AMAZING. Read reviews on them to get more detail.

Tipping – We did $5 dinner, $3 fridge, $5 maid. $2 here and there for lunch or $3-$5 for drivers.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Trisha0214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2010

We stayed Aug 8-14th, and it was great only complaint was that the breakfast buffet was just ok. We did excursions to Explore, Xel-Ha, Horseback riding at the Bonaza Ranch and the Party Hopper to Carlos and Charlies, Senor Frogs and Coco Bongo. Explore was our favorite one so much fun, Zip-lining, was awsome. The pools were everywhere, beach was beautiful and the hotel grounds were kept emaculate. Next time we go we are going to stay two weeks!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TLandTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2010

I stayed at the Grand Sunset in May for a week with my friend and had a great time!! I am a travel agent so I do know that these big resorts are not going to be perfect. You go with the expectation of a great week filled with eating, drinking, pools and lots of sun. Here is a break down of each aspect of the hotel.

Room: We upgraded to the Swim up room and LOVED it!! Our room was in a quieter area so we could walk straight from our room into the pool and if we wanted a bar and the busier party area it was only a short swim away. The decor was very modern. I loved the bathroom! The room was always very clean.

Service; We found the service to be great. We didn't come across any bad service at all. Even the maintance staff would 'Hola' to us as we walked through the resort.

Food: Food was ok, which is to be expected when they have to cater to so many people on a daily basis. The a la cartes weren't really anything special, but a good change from the buffets. I would never tell anybody to go to a resort this big for the food. If you want really good quality food then go on a cruise! But really all in all I did have some lovely meals from the buffet. One night I had some really lovely chicken curry! And the guacamole was also amazing!

Grounds: Beautiful! Always very clean and gardens were always manicured. Yes the resort is HUGE! So it is a long walk from the front of the resort to the beach.. but hey after a week of eating you need to walk off the extra calories!

Beach: To be honest I spent most of the time at the pool. Beach was lovely. I have sent other clients to this resort who complained that it was rocky or that their wasn't enough room. It is quiet narrow beach so it can get busy at times.

Entertainment: I thought they really put on some good shows- yes there were the corny ones. But I loved the trapeze and fire show that they put on the in the main square. There was also a great circus show with great acrobatic men ;) We went to the 'disco' a few nights. It was pretty hit or miss, one night completed dead, next night really busy. It was fun regardless.

Others: There is bus from the hotel to Playa Del Carmen during the day. They take two buses loads down, but only one bus back so it is first come first served. We took the taxi in and out a few times and it is about 11 US per direction.

Anyways I had a great time and would recommend this hotel to people of all ages. The main type of groups i saw were young couples/honeymooners and families. Thanks!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank KaratheTravelAgent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2010

I arranged a family reunion for about 20 of us. We were celebrating my in-laws' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Prior to leaving, I read about 350 reviews on tripadvisor. While most were positive, there were (as expected) some negative reviews. Reading the negative reviews got me prepared for the worst -- none of which I experienced.

No mosquitoes in the room, as long as you don't keep your front door or patio door open! Yes, there was some water that leaked out of the shower door - just put down an extra towel! In general, these are minor things that most can overlook. 99% of the rest of the trip will be awesome.

I believe most of the negative reviews were one-off bad experiences or reviews from people who are extra picky. This is a large resort and the staff does everything they can to cater to the majority of folks. If you keep an open mind, treat the staff with respect and friendliness, and relax -- you'll have a great time as well.

The biggest observation is that the resort is truly huge, so be prepared to walk. We liked walking because it let us burn off some of the excellent food and drinks we had. Another observation is that since the resort is so large, they rotate their staff quite a bit so it becomes hard to get to know (and tip well) your bartenders or waitstaff. We wound up not tipping too often and didn't feel our service was any less impressive. Finally, as far as the food is concerned - we went to the buffets for breakfast and lunch, and a-la-cartes for dinner. That kept the meals interesting and varied. At breakfast, try the omelet bar and for lunch, try the pasta bar - very cool. We had some vegetarians in the bunch and they had enough choices to find it accommodating. The a-la-carte restaurant bookings fill up quickly, but if you ask them what's available each night and are flexible when booking - you'll be fine. If you insist on Mamma Mia on a Wednesday night at 7 PM - you may not get it. Try La Hacienda instead! No biggie.

All the best!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chetromeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Pole, Alaska
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2010

My wife and I travel at least once per year and stay in a 5 star, so i think I can give a fare evaluation we are just a middle income hard working couple ..But I have to let you all know this place is by fare the best yet the food was AMAZING ,service was even better . The part I liked about this place the most was there wasn't a bar tender made or bellhop waiting with there hand out ..I read the reviews and I don't get it these people must be in a way way different tax bracket then us because I really cant say enough about this place .... We also went on a excursion to Ilsa mujares I think it was called Albatross . we did book the one Sunwing recommended but it was no were as exciting I think we booked it through every day tours .And if your as fortunate as we were to book the villas say hight to Collie and eddy

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sedric
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
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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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