Luxurious, relaxing, spoiled holiday. Can't rate this hotel highly enough. The staff are kind, helpful and always around when you need them. Food is great, lots of choice and you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn for breakfast.
I have food allergies (dairy(lactose)/wheat and gluten), I got a letter on arrival that outlined my allergies so I could give it to any member staff who then be able to help me at mealtimes. NOPE, I got better than that, there were three chef's who helped me during my 10 day stay. Olivia was so very helpful, she made me special breakfasts so there was no cross contamination of equipment/oils etc. used for other items, she even made me spaghetti bolognese one evening! When Olivia wasn't around (which was rarely) Alberto and Jorge (Horhay) looked after me equally sensitively, right down to cleaning the tools they were using to make sure there was no chance of cross contamination. Jorge even made me a special desert one evening which was delicious.
A few days after I arrived a GF selection went out at breakfast time that included little cakes and biscuits which were really good, cereal and a weird sort of bread, but it was very hard and another sort of bread it tasted quite sweet but was very dry. I did have to check what on the GF stand was also DF but most of the packets were left so I could check for LECHE which is 'milk' in spanish. (see, I learnt something!)
One improvement I would like to see, would be the GF bread that was put out in the evening to be put out in the morning (they had lovely french stick type bread and also a fluffy type of bread, both equally nice), a couple of mornings I fancied bread and jam but couldn't have any.
Our room was kept spotless and the mini bar and snacks were replenished daily. I love nuts and I happily snacked on cashews every evening with a book, the mixed nuts I relegated to my husband :).
Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to this hotel. Yes it was expensive compared to other holidays I've been on, but I've never had the level of care I received at this hotel at any other establishment, even the top Hotels in the UK. You can have what you want when you want in the way of drinks, snacks etc. Well worth the extra money.
Oh, take dollars rather than pesos. You'll get change in pesos for tipping if you want to tip but you're more likely to be able to reuse dollars than pesos.
A beautiful resort and a very relaxing vacation. You couldn't ask for a cleaner property, from the rooms to the pool to the beach, immaculate property.
Very accommodating staff, they couldn't do enough for you.
The only down side is the food, not exactly tasty or of a high quality. Not bad, but in a five star resort you should have 5 star cuisine I would give the food 2.5 stars
We wanted a very luxurious, relaxing, vacation and that is what we got at the Grand. We stayed there from 4/19/2016-4/26/2016. First, about the hotel. The hotel has the look and feel of a palace. It was extremely tastefully done. Nothing garish about this hotel. Our room was perfect. Some of our must haves are a quiet night sleep, good bed, comfortable pillows, and a hot shower. The Grande provided all four. For a hotel this size, it was very quiet when we went to bed. No slamming doors, no loud people talking at the top of their voices, no clomping down the hall. None of that at the Grande. Extremely clean inside and out. Room was always super clean thanks to Luz, and our fridge was always stocked. We tried all five a la cart restaurants and they all were excellent. Needless to say we ate and drank whatever we wanted and never felt the least bit sick. Have to give special credit to Abel for being an excellent waiter. All the employees at this hotel were genuinely nice and helpful. The pools were excellent and never crowded. We particularly enjoyed the quiet pool when we needed a cool dip. The beach was awesome with the best sand I have ever experienced. Ultra-white, ultra-clean and no seaweed. The color of the sea was unbelievable, blues, greens and turquoise. The drink service on the beach was fantastic, thanks Miguel! Ricardo at the pool made sure we were always comfortable. Everything went smoothly from check-in to check-out. This hotel really knows its clientele and their wants and needs. They even surprised my wife on her birthday with champagne and balloons in our room. So many nice touches. Like in the afternoon they wheeled around a coffee and tea cart with pastries for those wanting a snack by the pool. The shows at night were much better than your average shows. Excellent! We also want to thank Sergio over at the Maya for his customer service. This hotel has to the top the list of our favorite hotels in Mexico/Caribbean. Right up there with the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica. Thanks to all for providing the vacation we really needed.
My boyfriend and I just returned a week ago from this resort and I can honestly say while I like to try new places in Mexico, itās going to be very difficult not to return right back here next year.
The private transfer (through Apple Vacations) was a piece of cake. The attendants and driver were right outside, had a list w/ our names and allowed us to travel with a refreshing margarita.
Upon arrival a cool towel and champagne- aahhh so nice! We were sat in the bar, poured another beverage of our choice while they arranged for a golf cart to take us to our room, which was ready early.
We had a corner ocean front room w/ jacuzzi. I had requested a head of time a corner room on the 3rd or 2nd floor of building 71 and was given a first floor corner w/ jacuzzi in building 70. Ironically, while the exact opposite of what I thought I wanted, we were so pleased. We loved the view, the ease of access to the pool, buffets and spa. We were at the end closest to La Brisa. The other side does look quite busy and crowded as it abuts the water sports hut and the Maya next door.
The room was huge, spacious and meticulously cleaned daily. (Thank you Patricia!) We didnāt ask for anything other than what was give as far as mini-bar and snacks and were fine. Others take advantage of ordering favorite things and the staff has no issue of providing it. Our butler was there day one to check us in and go over the essentials but truthfully we never saw him again and never asked for additional services. Again, other guest request all kinds of services/ items and there is no issue. We did ask concierge in our area for different pillows and received them in lightning speed. I spent the week battling how to turn on and off all the lights in the room- I never mastered it. I did learn there are outlets for phone charging near the coffee makers, in the bathrooms and near the desk.
The saltwater pool was something I was weary about having never been in one and is actually probably what I miss most. GORGEOUS. It was so clean, cool and the best place to view the activities, pool bar fun, or just relax. The tranquility pool is also amazing, and a perfect place to rinse, nap & relax in peace. My boyfriend didnāt love it and referred to it as a retirement home. Apparently at 43 Iām loving the idea of retirement. Iād go over by myself and just dip and swim for a few minutes here and there and it was a great break in the day.
The Star friends (Eder, Cesare, Jorge, Manuel, Fernanda + others I know I am forgetting) do an incredible job of inviting you to participate in daily activities but were never intrusive. They are warm, friendly, funny and make the vacation feel like coming home. They work tirelessly to remember names and ensure a feeling of comfort. Ricardo at the pool is a sweetie and he can help you with anything you may need, towels, assistance with a cabana, sunscreen, or a book. The pool bartenders and wait staff are there what seems round the clock, always checking in to see if you are all happy and have everything you need to enjoy your day.
The towel game does exist but we never felt like we couldnāt find a good seat. I believe some butlers/ visitors are out VERY early claiming their land but we were usually okay to find a cabana around 7:30, 7:45. If you have issues with the blazing sun, I would recommend getting out their early or asking the staff to help you. I did get annoyed with guests who never showed up and their towels and magazines sat for hours. To me, thatās unfair. The staff will remove the towels from the cabanas if it sits unused for too long and allow someone else to enjoy it.
The spa is beautiful- We did the hydro-circuit, sauna, and steam room and swimming and really enjoyed the atmosphere. You can get a fresh juice and just have some Zen time to yourself.
The beach is beautiful and we had zero issues with seaweed. We are from Northeast coast and we know rocks and seaweed and this is no big deal. The waves in this area are constantly rolling so if you are looking for the serene, blue, glass-like ocean, this is not the area for you. We however enjoyed it and went in a couple of times. It is rough but itās refreshing and fun.
The wildlife here is terrific, Caoti, iguanas, peacocks, birds and catsā¦.yes there are some feral cats. I donāt mind, others did but to each their own. Iām an animal lover through and through and happy to share a bit of bacon ļ We had no aggressive Caoti and followed the rule of DO NOT FEED THEM.
The foodāas my boyfriend and I said to each other, if you canāt find something to eat here, itās you. The abundance at the breakfast/lunch/ dinner buffets, grill outside, and even a la cart restaurants is over the top. Everything is fresh and can be made to order if need be. At the buffets we ordered from the menus and as well as the self-serve and were very happy. It can get redundant so switch it up and try something new.
Someone in another review had mentioned flies on the food ā this was outside near the grill. I witnessed it only 1 of 7 days and while not attractive and passed on it that day, they do grill the daylights out of the food and no one was ill stricken. I like to think of it as ants at your picnic or fruit flies at home. Everyone will live and you donāt have to eat it. My boyfriend lived on the steaks here and was completely satisfied.
They bleach the walls, floors, pool sides, and bathrooms, daily and after visiting the neighboring resorts I was all too happy with my selection. On that note- if you have young children Iād really do my research on the Lindo, Maya and Paraiso. We walked through the pool areas midday and honestly it felt hot, overcrowded and just not where Iād want to hang out even with children. My boyfriend has 3 teen boys and he felt theyād be a bit bummed out. However they get amazing reviews and if you have smaller children it might be just fine. If you do not have children and are thinking of heading to any of these, research the Grand and even in the lowest category room, you will thank yourself you can still visit the others.
Dress Code: Even if you are on vacation and in relaxed mode, men, bring the long pants, dress sandals and have fun getting a little dressed up. My boyfriend had long summer weight pants, linen shirts and golf shirts for the a la carte restaurants and was comfortable. They allowed him to wear leather dress flip flops. We saw a couple of men in shorts and t shirts and they were asked to change. They were also completely wasted and Iām pretty sure no one wanted to deal with that.
Drinks: If you want a double, ask for it, otherwise enjoy a slow roll during the day. Itās a low key happy buzz and that worked for us. They give about 1.5 shots in each full frozen/ or mixed drink but if you really want to crash and burn in the hot sun- you can certainly ask them to up the dose.
They have a wine list in the lobby bar and a la carte restaurants. We were happy with the all-inclusive wines and the wine tasting class helped us through the week. There is a sommelier on staff to assist as well.
Restaurant ranking for us, favorite to least:
We did not go to La Brisa on Mexican nights and should have but we heard it tended to be very spicy so beware. (Thatās just hearsay though).
Special thanks to Eusebio, Luis, Alberto, Manuel, and Angel for making us always feel like we were the only ones at the restaurants. The attention and care is humbling.
TIP ā We brought 1, 5ās and 10ās and tipped bar tenders, Star friends, poolside attendants, and maid service daily. They appreciate it and it goes along way.
There are bathroom switches on the side of the wall in all of the bathrooms near the pool areas & restaurants. This sounds silly but its super dark especially after walking in from the sun and can be hard to locate.
Reconfirm your dinner reservations with your concierge when you arrive even if you emailed ahead. We never had any issues really but there is a miscommunication between the concierge and restaurant managers. One of our concierge staff said we did not have a Friday reservation at Tonyās. We went anyway and we did. He also said there was no option to just have food at the sushi bar in Haiku beforehand and was wrong. We went in and the restaurant manager, Mauro was the nicest man and let us have sushi and a drink before heading to Tonyās. Truthfully we wouldāve / couldāve just stayed right there. Itās not an option on busy nights but we timed it right and he was happy to have us. Call ahead or stroll in and ask if you want to sit there instead of at a Teppanyaki table.
Timeshare: We were never approached in person, only left notices to stop by for a gift and discussion of opportunity. I thought this was a very nice and non-intrusive way to do it. We passed on it but others took the tour / time and said it was nice/ informative.
Tacos at the shopping plazaāGO GET THEM
Burgers ā I didnāt love them but my bf did & I did like the fries
Dance Club- We walked through but 11-3AM is out of our league. Itās open earlier but that includes the kiddos.
Shows- We loved Stars under the Stars and sadly never made any of the others- lame, I know.
We did the cooking class, wine tasting course, putting contest, basketball contest, card games, bingo, all were terrific and fun.
Golf course: My boyfriend is an avid golfer and previous college coach and loved the course. Itās 50.00 for club rentals. We went end of day and were solo so he enjoyed playing and taking his time. They did want to charge me for riding along even though I wasnāt playing but waived the fee. I am glad as it was the first time Iāve ever stepped on a course and had zero intentions of playing.
Any questions, feel free to ask! We definitely will return, it was an amazing get away -
Sixth time here tells it's own story. Overall real 5 star holiday hotel with own butler and concierge team for each block. First of all a new pool guy- Ricardo who cannot do enough for you. He has a foot in all four corners of the pool area. The 'Star Friends' are cheerful and fortunately from our viewpoint not too pushy when looking for sports participants. The a la carte restaurants are all good but special mention of Letica in the Gourmet and Eusebio in the Surf and Turf who also spoils me with the afternoon tea trolley. Head waiter Hugo is as always courteous and helpful. The grounds are always immaculate and we are always amazed by the level of activity by the gardener's as we take our early four mile walk (twice round the whole complex perimeter). Finally a new deputy mananager, Mai, who is charming and friendly (not to mention attractive) who I am sure will be an asset to the hotel.