We spent the last week of April at the Grand Mayan, and it was FANTASTIC. I have written many reviews here, and have given a few places 4.0 and 4.5 ratings, but this is my first ever 5.0.
My parents are owners at the Grand Mayan, and we had a Grand Master Suite for our entire family. My parents took one master bedroom (king bed, sofa/trundle bed, soaking tub, shower, three sinks); my husband, me, and our three kids took the other master bedroom (same everything, except two sinks, and our soaking tub had jets and doors that opened it up to the bedroom). The living room had two larger sofa/trundle beds, which my brother and his friend occupied. There was a full kitchen and dining table, and the huge terrace had four lounge chairs and a heated soaking pool (our kids loved this). There was a tv in each bedroom, and one in the living room. Upon check-in we asked for a baby crib and a highchair, which were brought to our room within an hour (note: bring your own crib sheet for the crib mattress, as all they have is a piece of cloth that sits on top).
The unit was quite nice and comfortable, very spacious, with many luxurious touches (granite counters, marble floors, stainless appliances, designer sinks). Meticulously cleaned daily by our housekeeping person, Lourdes. There are three thermostat controls, three sliders to the terrace, and three ceiling fans. The kitchen was well stocked with basic cooking/eating utensils, and the fridge was large enough to hold a good amount of food. The bottled water they had in the rooms was cheap, US$1.50 for 1.5 ltrs. Plenty of nice fluffy towels in the bathrooms, and toiletries by Gilcrest & Soames.
Let me start with the service. Absolutely amazing service: quick, friendly, courteous. No complaints whatsoever. Whether at the concierge's desk (especially Gabriel Medrano), housekeeping, lobby staff, or waitstaff at any of the resort's restaurants/bars, everyone always had a smile on their face, was friendly and helpful, and sincerely wanted to help you out.
Now the property itself. Everything was so lush, so clean, and so beautiful. The structure and furnishings had an updated, more contemporary style, with ancient Mexican touches incorporated into the decor and ambience. It was all quite tasteful and luxurious, and you really felt like you were staying at a very high-end place. The landscaping and grounds were just breathtaking, and the pools were so well-designed and gorgeous.
The food. Our favorite places at the resort to eat were: 1) Cafe del Lago, at the Mayan Palace. The Sunday Champagne Brunch was extremely delicious and sumptuous. Their Friday night Italian buffet was also quite good. 2) Green Break, at the Grand Mayan golf course. Very good breakfast and lunch, for very reasonable prices. Service is just slow, but thankfully, the views of the greens are lovely. 3) Balche and Ola Mulata, both poolside cafes at Mayan Palace and Ola Mulata. Always a drink special or Hora Feliz (Happy Hour), and their chips/salsa/guacamole never got tiresome. Out of the resort, I highly recommend La Laguna, a 5-minute cab ride from the Grand Mayan. A favorite of the locals, they have fantastic seafood and a more authentic Mexican ambience and flavor. Muy Querencias (or something close to that) in downtown PV had a Taquiza (taco bar) with really tasty stuff that went very well with their huge drinks. Gordo's at the little town of Bucerias had yummy seafood--the prawns cooked with garlic was so crazy delicious.
I will say that room service brought up good food at really good prices. We usually do not order room service at hotels, as the cost is just insane. But the room service prices at the Grand Mayan were decent, the portions were huge, and they add a 15% gratuity--no extra service or room charges. We could order a Desayuno Americano (American Breakfast) and my husband, me, and our three small kids got full from it--for US$14! The waitstaff at all the restaurants are so helpful and accommodating to children.
I highly recommend you go to WalMart, or even the resort's own Sun Market, and stock up on some basics for your room, like milk, eggs, bread, butter, water, and fruit. Sometimes it's nice just to have some quick snacks in the room, especially when you've got kids. To get to WalMart, walk out of the Grand Mayan and to the end of the entry road, and the bus stop is there. US$1.20 each way to downtown PV. Taxi rides into PV are about US$20.00 from the resort. To Bucerias, about US$10.00.
The Mexican Travel desk at the resort can reserve your excursions for you, and you'll even get the 10% resort discount. We signed up our 8 and 5 year olds for a Kids' Dolphin Adventure with Vallarta Adventures, for US$60 per child. Half the price of similar dolphin experiences in Hawaii! If you do go to Vallarta Adventures for any adventure (and they have dozens to choose from), take a taxi from the resort. We were told it was only a couple of blocks away, but the blocks here are HUGE, and it was a good 1.5m walk in the blazing heat.
The pools there were just amazing. Every morning it was, "Which pool should we go to today?" There is the giant wave pool surrounded by casitas in the sand. Next to that is a water playground, with a structure that has slides and tunnels and squirting water, in a very shallow pool. There is a huge water slide coming out of an "ancient" temple. There are also several pools with waterfalls, and a lot of shallow areas for small kids. Some pools have swim-up bars, or lounges in the water, or water fountains in the middle. Some pools have organized games and activities. Don't forget the lazy river! There is a train and boat service that takes you all around the whole resort. This was all just so much fun for our three little kids.
So all in all, this was a spectacularly fun family vacation for all of us. The resort is so big, with so many things to do, that everyone had their vacation dreams fulfilled, so to speak. My brother and his friend went to the gym several times, and they said it was a well-equipped facility. We even went to Cobalto, the disco/karaoke bar at the resort. The Lobby Bar is open until late, as is the Mayan Palace's piano bar and wine bar. A great vacation for adults and kids alike! We definitely plan to return. I believe our next Grand Mayan vacation will be at their newest property in Los Cabos.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Resort Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Puerto Vallarta