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The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya
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Reviews (4,171)
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Reviewed November 28, 2011

Stayed here from the 19th to the 26th of Nov. The resort is nice and huge. I am a Grand Mayan owner so I always try to stay at one of the properties when visiting Mexico.
Very important - as you walk through Cancun airport, ignore everyone trying to talk to you like the plague. Just go straight outside, where the Grand Mayan transportation is waiting. (You can arrange this directly with the Grand Mayan concierge prior to arrival.)
This is my first time at the Riviera Maya resort. We were in Building 4, which is probably a 5-8 minute walk to the pools, and at least 10 minutes to the beach. As other travelers say, try to reserve a spot in buildings 1 to 8. The others are just too far of a walk.
The pools are magnificent. I suggest you reserve a palapa early in the morning (you can do so at the Balche restaurant) so your family can have a nice place to hang out. I think the deposit is around 350 MXN, which they waive if you spend that much in food and drinks.
The beach is also beautiful. However, be warned - it is rocky. It's probably best that you wear water shoes while swimming. In any case, I've always found the Caribbean waters to be better for swimming (it's warmer) that the Pacific.
Restaurants are okay, albeit a little expensive. We went to Playa del Carmen a couple of times for dinner. Try to find a restaurant that is a little bit outside of 5th avenue (the tourist area). We ate at La Mission (there should be reviews here in Tripadvisor), and I think the food there was great for the price. We were a huge party (11), but we were able to get a taxi (van) that will take us to Playa and pick us up when we're done. We arranged transportation thru the Concierge.
We took a couple of tours (to Chichen Itza and Xel-ha/Tulum), offered thru the Grand Mayan travel desk. It was really cheap (even cheaper than internet prices), if you attend the sales presentation. This is the important part - be prepared for some high-pressure sales tactics. And remember, if you sign away your life savings, you have five days to rescind your contract. That should take care of buyer's remorse. If you do go ahead with any purchase, make sure that you have done so knowing that this is best for your family. Like I said, I am a Grand Mayan owner. I do not regret being one. It doesn't work the same for everyone, however. So be warned.
All in all, a very nice resort. It's a little far from Cancun (about 30 miles, and a 450 MXN taxi ride one way), and closer to Playa del Carmen (they have a shuttle service for 5 USD per person I believe). If it's your first time in Cancun, you may want to stay somewhere at the Hotel Zone. I have my 2 kids with me, and all they want to do is hang out by the pools and the beach, so the Grand Mayan's location works for us.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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13  Thank Ewr01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

I stayed at this resort from Nov. 5 -12, 2011. Everything about this resort is big. The drive in from the main gate through the nicely landscaped golf course is about 1 km. The Grand Mayan Suite was also big, modern, and clean. It will sleep 8. Has nicely sized kitchen, with serving bar with stools, dining table for 6, open "living room" with couces, easy chair, and flat-screen TV, the counsel of which has a safe for valuables. The bedroom has over-sized King bed, sitting area, jetted tub and a very large bath/dressing area with shower. You can access the patio (with private mini-pool from either the bedroom or the living area. The luscious grounds are also BIG with intimate paths or shuttles to get from one area to the other. The main pool is one of the largest I've seen with inlets and peninsulas to make it seen more intimate. There are at least two swim-up bars, a number of water features, a fountain spray play area for kids, and a meandering five-level stream/pool that goes down to the pool (with beach) exclusively for Grand Mayan residents. All the pools have comfortable, adjustable lounge chairs that are equipped with an attached, adjustable sunshade to keep sun off your face if you wish. There are also a number of pergolas (basically a queen sized canopy bed) scattered around the pools that can be reserved for the day and little sancuaries with couches, easy chairs, and pergolas for quiet reading, conversation, or naps. There are something like 7 restaurants on the property from the combination grocery store and deli to casual poolside dining to more upscale Asian or Italian or steak. We often fixed breakfast in the room, but also at at the amazingly large buffet at Lago overlooking the lake, and at Greenbreak with a view of the 1st tee of the golfcourse. Both were excellent. Around the pool, drink and food service was prompt, good, and conducted by fun, friendly wait staff. At the pool, I would recommend the cerveche which is 90% large, fresh shrimps, scallops, crab, and fish is a refreshing, slightly sour sauce. This was some of the best I've ever had. Frida's is an excellent choice for evening and factor in a 20-minute wait for a table. The marinated pork (comes in a brown cassarole dish with tortillas and accompaniments - incuding a wonderfully hot habanero salsa - for making your own little tacos or just eat it out of the dish. Delicious! There is also Playa del Carmen a half-hour down the road with a number of chain and local retaurants. I would recommend going just a few minutes north of the resort to kind of sleepy, little port town of Puerto Morelos. Check Tripadvisor for suggestions, including my favorite: Merkadito del Mar. We took the Chichen Itza tour which was great, but plan on spending 13-14 hours seeing various sites as well as the intriquing ruins. Try to get down to the ruins of Tulum high on a cliff overlooking the beautiful, azure colored Caribbean. Keep going down the beach road seaside of the town of Tulum to Zamas restaurant/gift shop/hotel for lunch. Keep going south on the beach road to the Sian Ka'an ecological area. Look for a break in the beach houses, cabanas, hostels on the beach side kind of like a vacant lot, but with lots of trees. Park and walk through to one of the most beautiful, powder white sand beaches you will see. All beaches in Mexico are public so don't worry about trespassing. Usually the difficulty is getting from the road to the beach. As other reviewers have said, if you want the hard nightlife, go to Cancun. However, if you want a nice, relaxing vacation with just enough luxury to make you feel pampered (there is a great spa and health club on the property as well), then get yourself to Grand Mayan Riviera Maya and enjoy!

Room Tip: Higher floors may have better view and eliminates the chair on hard tile clicks and squeeks.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DoctorRob1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Just got back yesterday 12 -19th Nov holiday. My wife has been there twice in the last 4 months so she knew the resort. At first arrival it seemed huge but after looking at the map of the resort it was easily manageable and walking wasn't a problem. In fact walking the resort was a very pleasant experience. The staff were excellent and friendly. All tips at the bars and restaurants were included and despite a pretty much guaranteed tip, the service was very friendly and very efficient. Surprisingly efficient, especially for Mexico and that was a great surprise.
Accommodations were very well appointed, modern and very clean. A pleasure to be there.

If your looking for a relaxing or exciting holiday or anything in between, stop reading this review and book it at this place. I thoroughly recommend it !!!

Room Tip: Don't ask for Building One! That's the building I want hen I go back!!
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

My husband & I stayed at the GM from Nov 5-12. We own a timeshare at another resort and booked through HSI for a small fee. I emailed the concierge before we left home and booked the free shuttle to the resort and requested a room closer to the beach and pools. As directed by the concierge, we walked right past the timeshare people in the lobby and found the Mayan Resort transportation reps. After a short wait and a fairly short drive, we arrived at the resort.

We were assigned Room 1440, which was in building 3. Unfortunately it was around noon and check-in was not until 5. After check-in, we were approached by a timeshare rep. We were offered breakfast, 2 free massages and 10% off our bill if we attended a presentation.We declined and didn't feel pressured. (We received one phone call later in the week to check if we were interested, but weren't bothered.) We were given a coupon for 25% off for lunch at Blue Fin(?) and enjoyed some great fish tacos and calamari poorboy. Since it was Happy Hour (11 to 1 half price drinks), we enjoyed a few drinks and set off to explore this gigantic resort.
We found beautifully landscaped grounds, many pools and little niches where you can find some privacy. We debated on going to Walmart to pick up some groceries, but decided that we'd just pick up a few items at the store on the resort grounds. With just the two of us, we were afraid we'd over-buy at Walmart and end up wasting food at the end of the week. We bought some bread, cold cuts, cheese, milk, fruit, and beer. I brought some rum & wine, cereal, and a few snacks from home.

At 5 we were taken to our 1BR suite. It was impressive with a small kitchen, large living room and bedroom, and beautiful bathroom. Our room was on the ground floor and had a garden view. We had no problem with bugs with the exception of a few spiders. Everything was kept scrupulously clean during our stay. If you plan to cook, keep in mind that the cookware is pretty limited. The suite would easily accommodate 6 people, and there are plenty of dishes and glassware, but the cookware was pretty limited. If you wanted to make pasta for a large group, the pans wouldn't be big enough and there was no colander. No problem for us, as I didn't turn on the stove once while we were there. No cooking on vacation for me! The bed was a little hard, but I didn't mind it.

The bathroom has two sinks, a shower, and plenty of towels and nice toiletries. Outside the bath is another sink and vanity. Inside the bedroom is a large jacuzzi tub, which we didn't use. On the patio, there's a personal infinity pool, but the water was too cold. The suite was quite luxurious and nicely decorated.

This vacation was for total relaxation and we didn't leave the resort. Our routine was light breakfast in our room then head to the beach. I packed some sandwiches and a few beers and some sangria which I put in my bubba keg. The insulated bag and ice pack that I brought from home came in handy. Some days we had nachos on the beach. Beach service was great, with Guadalupe our favorite waitress. She was fantastic and very fast delivering drinks during happy hour. We ordered drinks everyday and found them to be delicious, strong, and decently priced. The liquor is premium. Great Bloody Mary's, Pina Coladas, Mud Slides, etc.

The beach was pleasant and there were always palapas available. No need to play the towel game, but this was off-season. As others have mentioned, the beach is very rocky, though a few people went over the rocks into the deeper water. We walked the beach and enjoyed looking for shells and critters in the tidal pools. The large swimming pool is nearby if you want to take a dip. The weather is in the low 80's and perfect most of the time.

Every evening we went out to one of the restaurants and enjoyed a great meal. We weren't disappointed at any of the restaurants and found the prices to be reasonable. The food quality and service were outstanding. We ate at Gong, Tramonto, Havana Moon, and Frida's. We didn't try the buffet. You do need reservations for Gong & Tramonto, but we were able to get in at the last minute. We usually had drinks, appetizer, main course and sometimes dessert. Our bill for food and drinks at the end of the stay was less than $700.

Service was excellent. Someone was always cleaning, pruning, mowing, etc. The wait staff was excellent as well. The evening it was at Frida's it started to rain. The waiter found an umbrella for a woman who was leaving in the heaviest rain. Another woman was cold, so she was given a blanket. Staff greeted guests with Hola as they were passing by. I felt totally safe while at the Grand Mayan.

The Grand Mayan is a great place for families, or couples who want a quiet, romantic holiday. If you want nightlife, this place is probably not for you. We found it perfect.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in buildings 1-7. Avoid the Jungle unless you want to take a shuttle or like to walk far distances to the pools, restaurants & beach.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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8  Thank cabushka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2011

This is one of the nicer, more luxurious timeshare resorts we have been to. We are 4 days into our stay and have no complaints.

We love the tranquility, the modern, well equpped rooms with kitchen, the magnificent pools (there are too many to count!), the pleasant staff, the food at 'Frida's' and the very well equipped gym. One of the biggest pluses is that timeshare people have left us alone.

If you love golf, the course seems spectacular (along with the odd viewing of a croc or alligator).

Our 1.5 year old son loves the flamingoes and we are looking forward to making some discoveries on the beach tomorrow.

Walmart in Playa is closest place for groceries. The resort has a shuttle or you can take the collectivo outside the front of the resort for 20 pesos.

We are active people and don't mind walking but this place is ridiculously big! So, avoid 'the Jungle' buildings which are farthest from the lobby and pools if you like to be amongst the action.

Room Tip: Ask to be located in a building fairly close to the lobby if you don't like walking.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank TerriandTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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