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“Gorgeous Resort, Beach Could Be Better, But Overall Excellent”

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The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Resort, Beach Could Be Better, But Overall Excellent”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We chose to travel to the Grand Mayan with a Groupon Resort Stays Voucher. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Shuttle picked us up at the airport, just call or email the conceirge desk for this free service. Check in was a breeze, although you are immediately spotted by the timeshare reps and asked to schedule a breakfast/tour/sales meeting. We did this because they said it would be 90 minutes, free buffet breakfast and $1000 pesos + 10% off our total bill. While our rep was nice and easy to spend the time with, it took almost 4 hours out of our second day there. We were bummed that we couldn't just say NO - they made us talk to 6 different people before finally signing off on our discount and letting us get back to our vacation. If you are in the market for a timeshare, this seems to be a good deal, but don't take their first offer! Each sales person we spoke to went down on the price. The resort itself is stunning. Beautiful grounds, lush greens, the pools are immaculate. Plenty of chairs and cabanas, we never had problem finding the perfect spot in the sunshine. Great service at the pool bars, and we found happy hour prices to be really reasonable. The restaurants were great for resort options - the Kobe beef steaks and sushi at Gong were our favorite. And Frida's by the pool was quick and easy at night, too. They offer a shuttle to Wal-Mart, which we did and stocked up on essentials for breakfast and lunches. We got away with taking a small cooler to the pool in my daughter's stroller, even though there are signs not to bring coolers, so this saved us a few bucks. The beach is lacking as far as swimming goes, but it is pretty enough to relax there for the sunshine. We walked about 200 yards to the right and found a gorgeous swimmable beach on the other side of an abandoned resort. Definitely worth the walk! Our room was clean, spacious, the beds are REALLY hard, but otherwise the room itself was adequate. Room service was prompt, and we found all of the staff to be very friendly and helpful. The different pools at the resort all have their own personality - the interior pool by the lobby is quiet, secluded; the infinity pool is great for kids; the big main pool has lots of areas for kids to play, but also had fun music pumping and entertaining DJs dancing and offering water aerobics, and the service at the bar was prompt and heavy on the liquor. :-) Overall, the resort was fantastic. We will be back!

Room Tip: We stayed in Building 7, which was great. I hear Buildings 1-4 are better, but we didn't mind t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank KWClements
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
138 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Spent the first week of November at the Grand Mayan. The resort is tremendous - they don't call it "Grand" for nothing. The grounds are largely immaculately manicured jungle, with tons of birds, iguanas and cool coatimundis (raccoon like creatures) all around. There are many huge pools throughout the resort. The pools are so large that they never seemed crowded. There were plenty of lounge chairs around the pools, so there was no need to get up early to reserve a seat. The beach is also a nice place to lounge, with plenty of chairs and palapas. As others have noted the beach is not that swimmer friendly, but with a pair of water shoes I was able to enjoy the ocean.

The rooms were large and clean. We had a living room, dining area, kitchen, as well as a bedroom that also had a large sitting area. There was a big tub in the bedroom and a shower stall in the bathroom. We also had a balcony with a plunge pool. No issues at all with the room or the daily maid service.

We were in building 4, and were about a 5 minute walk to the Grand Mayan Pool, a 10 minute walk to the main pool (where the market, and several of the restaurants are located), and about 15 minutes from the beach). We walked the entire time, so not sure about the shuttle frequency.

The restaurants were pretty good. We loved the Italian restaurant, and Blue Fish near the tranquil pool area. The main pool restaurant was ok for a burger, salad or some pizza. Food was not cheap, but it was not offensively overpriced. Lunch for 2 with drinks averaged about $30 - $40 u.s. dollars, with tip. Dinners were $50 - $75 u.s. dollars. Don't have any info on breakfast, as we prepared eggs and toast (purchased at the resort's market) each morning in the room. A 15% tip is added to all bills. I was fine with this, as service was always fantastic. Beers were about $5 u.s. dollars, cocktails slightly more. There were plenty of happy hours throughout the day with 1/2 price drinks.

There are $5 shuttles from the resort to Playa del Carmen, and tons of taxis too. You can easily head into town for cheaper meals, and supplies. However, everything you need is conveniently available right on the premises.

I would recommend the Grand Mayan without hesitation.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank MilesMereV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
68 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Stayed about a year ago. Went through a time-share so we didnt have to pay very much for the room which made it an incredible value. Room was spacious and very nice. The grounds are huge, spread out over a large jungle-type area. Golf cart rides to and from the lobby are a must unless you want a good 10-15 min walk. Beach leaves alot to be desired but they were renovating the beach while we were there. May be better now, which it needs. Pools are everywhere and nice but water was pretty cold during December. No hot tubs either, which I found weird.

Food was pretty good but we mostly ate in the room and surrounding areas. The time-share "sell" breakfast wasnt too bad, wasted half a morning but we got some good discounts on trips so probably worth it. Just had to say no a million times.

Overall a great vacation.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
64 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We swapped a timeshare week and stayed here for the last week of October. The resort is beautiful, the pools are lovely, the staff was excellent. However, the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta is much nicer. The resort has a jungle feel as it is built on a lagoon and is heavily treed.

Room; We mistakenly chose a hotel room so we had no kitchen. With the help of Aldo at the front desk we were able to get a coffee maker in the room which was important to us. The room was lovely and the maid service was excellent. The resort is huge. Were were next to the flamingos and never felt a need to take the shuttles. (Better to walk off all those drinks)

Beach: The beach here is very rocky, eroded and has exposed sandbags where they are trying to protect what's left. (see photos) There are nice grass umbrellas, lounge chairs and wait service on the beach but don't expect to swim in the water as it is too dangerous to do more than wade. There is another beach about a 15 minute walk but you feel like you are using another resort's property. There's an artificial beach at one of the pools where many kids enjoyed their sand toys.

Happy Hours. (I posted a pool bar menu). There are several 1/2 price happy hours daily. The resort just switched from buy one get 2, to 1/2 priced drinks because people were frustrated with drinks getting warm. Poolside bars are 1/2 price from 11 to 1:00. Then you can hit the Green Break from 3-5 and the wine bar from 5:30-6:30.

Water. We drank tap water at all the restaurants and bars after we noticed they only used Crystal bottled water to fill glasses and pictures. (see photo) This saved us a ton of money.

Palapas: The grass hut covered poolside beds are great. During high season (this started near the end of our stay) you have to reserve them and commit to spending $30 poolside during the day.(this is easily done). This seemed very fair to us and allowed us to sleep in instead of getting up early to just claim a bed.

Meals: We enjoyed breakfast at Greenbreak which offers a la carte as well as a buffet. Everywhere else only offers all-you-can-eat buffets. We thought the Italian restaurant was excellent and had dinner twice in the wine bar during happy hour. Since it sits between the sushi and the Italian restaurants they offer an appetizer menu featuring items from both.

Shuttle into Playa Del Carmen: There is a shuttle into PDC offered several times a day for 50 pesos. Many people use the shuttle to stock up from Wal-Mart. We enjoyed getting off property, seeing PDC and dining in the city. Don't be late. They run on time and a taxi back will be much more expensive.

Excursions: We took one excursion (I posted the price list) which was 1/2 day a Tulum (mayan ruins) and 1/2 day at the Xel-Ha water park. We were happy with this decison as we would have not wanted to spend much more time at either venue.

Room Tip: See map I posted. The resort is huge. Lower number buildings are closer to beach, pools and restaura...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

This place is a total rip off!!! We arrived and were starving so we got lunch, we have 2 small sandwiches and 2 beers each and it was $95 us. It came in plastic boxes no plates. I ordered coffee in the morning and it took 30min to get it I canceled it. They have a buffet at the hotel but its $80 us. A beer is $5.50us. Internet is $17 us a day!!!! The shuttles take forever to wait for. Are room didn't even have a fridge or microwave. We ended up renting and car and driving to local places to eat off 307. We went out to breakfast and had some amazing food and it was only $12 instead off $100 for crap food. We talked to other couples at the resort and they said after 3 days they needed to get out of here so we took the to playa. They got there bill for the week and it was $1800 bc everything gets charged to your room no cash allowed. . Nothing goes on here at night. I was in bed everything at 8 because there is no night life. We ended up renting a room in playa called hotel eclipse for $45 a night and it has a fridge and free wi-fi We are one block away from playas amazing ocean and 5th ave were all the restaurants are and shops and bars!! Had a blast! I will tell everyone I know to never go here or riviera maya in general. They want you to feel trapped so you can't leave. I hope this helps some people out.

Stayed November 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Chicago5386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
130 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We might be partial to this resort, because we are owners, but it is really lovely. We were here for two weeks,10/20-11/03. We were joined by one couple the first week and by another couple and my sister the second week. We were pleased that everyone enjoyed the resort and had a wonderful time. My husband and his friend played golf three times and were very happy with the course. The plants and flowers are so beautiful it feels as if you are in the middle of a botanical garden. You can be as active as you want and join in the activities all day long or just grab a book, sit under a palapa and be waited on all day. Sometimes somewhere in the middle is just the right thing. This trip we visited all the restaurants on the property and were very happy with all of our meals. On a lazy night you might want to use room service, and order in pizza, which is very good. We celebrated our 47th anniversary on 10/30 with the prime rib special at Tramonto's, delicious. Awesome burgers at the Luxxe Pool. We went to the Mexican Fiesta and had a great time. The food, show (with fabulous costumes and choreography), and the Mariachi band were really worth the price charged. The show was as good as at Vegas, or on a cruise ship. Actually this place reminds me of a cruise ship......the employees are working constantly to keep everything shipshape. Our rooms were really nice, Grand Master Suite, which has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a combination K/LR/DR. Completely immaculate, thanks to the workers. I know part of their job is to make the guests happy, but they always have a smile on and are so friendly that they make you feel special. We don't often leave the property but we do go down to Playa del Carmen at least once a visit. We had a wonderful meal at Madre Tierra where Cynthia makes guacamole (yummy) and Cesar salad tableside. Worth the trip. We also visited Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world. We weren't aware through the brochure what we were getting and were pleasantly surprised. We had a bag breakfast, a stop at a cenote, shopping with lunch at a Mayan community and a guided tour of the ruins which were in excellent shape. Our tour guide, Jose Millan, was extremely knowledgeable and taught us quite a lot. The trip is very long but really worth it. We have visited Grand Mayans in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta and enjoyed them very much. We are looking forward to visiting some of their other properties in the future and are already talking about "next time".

Room Tip: We stayed in building two, 3rd floor, which is convenient to a lot of places. But we have also stay...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Grandma6Boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topeka, Kansas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We have been to Playa del Carmen before and learned some helpful things this time.
The beach at this resort is not the soft, sandy kind you are dreaming of for all day swimming. Some people were out swimming. There are rentals for jet skis, scuba diving (on location), para sailing, Sea Turtle releases. The pools are everything you can ever dream of. Get a palapa or a good chair, a book, some tanning lotion, order some food, and chill out.
1: Pack the basics and do laundry at the resort. You will be in your swimsuit most of the time.
2. If you request a topper for your mattress, housekeeping will gladly bring a foam topper in for your bed and this will make it much more comfortable.
3. Go to Playa del Carmen for groceries and eat at the resort for one daily meal.
I'm on a special diet so we went to the local health food store and I was able to stock up on all of my gluten free items and cook what I needed in our room. I wish I would have gone to the health food store the first day we arrived.
4. The spa is wonderful. Visit this the first day, not the last. Take your clean clothes and you can shower, change clothes and go to eat without going back to the room. Good smoothies.
5. Taxis are available everywhere.
6. If you are a member, set up the time for the presentation. They will stop hounding you.
7. The upgrade from Mayan Palace to Grand Mayan is $12,000.00 which is too much money. We were throwing in another timeshare membership we have in Playa del Carmen.
8. Italian restaraunt and Havana Moon are great. Make reservations for the Italian restaraunt. Ask the desk. Some local places will come and pick you up for sea-side dining.
9. TURTLES: Baby turtle release is the best kept secret. They release the babies by Havana Moon at sundown during Oct.. It's only for Luxe members so keep your eyes open.
10. Walk confidently and no one will hassle you. If you look lost, someone will try and sell you something.
11. Decide BEFORE you leave your home IF you want to buy a timeshare. IF the answer is NO, then make a decision, and don't change your mind. If the answer is yes, look on the internet. People will gladly share their timeshares with you. You will receive a 10% discount for a "90 minute presentation". Our presentations have always lasted at least 4 hours. If you are not going to buy, just tell them no thank you up front and enjoy your stay.
12. Housekeeping cleaned our rooms twice daily. If we needed something, I dialed express concierge and someone came fairly quickly.

Room Tip: We were in building 5 & 6 overlooking the lagoon on the second floor. The third floor would hav...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank 1LetsGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya

Property: The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya
Address: Km 48 Carretera Federal, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#9 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
I am offering suites at The Vidanta Grand Mayan Riviera Maya resort, located on the Yucatan Peninsula. This resort has everything you could ever need to experience true happiness: JOYA, a resident Cirque du Soleil show; five luxury resort hotels; world-class restaurants; spectacular pools; shopping boutiques; a Jack Nicklaus golf course; indulgent spas and the most attentive staff in Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Mayan Riviera Maya
Wyndham Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen Wyndham
Grand Mayan Cancun
Grand Mayan Playa Del Carmen
The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Playa Paraiso, Mexico

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