by Whitney Rife
An array of suites awaits vacationing families at Grand Riviera Princess. All suites are air conditioned and come with a balcony or terrace. Seven a la carte restaurants dot the premises, including Swiss, Asian and Mexican dishes. Not far away downtown Playa del Carmen has many additional dining options, and the resort provides a complimentary shuttle to the charming town.
Grand Riviera puts families first, offering a myriad of activities and events. A whopping 12 pools are on the premises. Four of these are specifically for children. Mini Club runs daily and nightly supervised activities for kids under 12 years. Here, children can visit the club house, play video games and dance at the disco. Funtastic Teen’s Club caters to an older crowd, also planning fun things to do each day. The whole family can use the resort’s non-motorized water sports equipment, or rent motorized equipment from nearby vendors. Many land sport opportunities are available as well, such as archery and tennis.
Our Editor Loves
- Twelve pools
- Mini Club
- Funtastic Teen's Club
This was our first trip to the Grand Riviera Princess, and our 4th to the Riviera Maya. We were hugely impressed by the hotel. It took about 35 minutes to reach from Cancun airport by taxi. It is set back from the main highway, and is on the beach. All staff we encountered were incredibly poilte, cheery and welcoming (not the case at other hotels we have stayed in in the region..). The grounds are large and are immaculately kept. Around and about, you will see coatis and iguanas in the grounds, and, if you are fortunate, spider monkeys playing in the mangrove trees near the beach. We had a junior deluxe suite which was nicely-decorated and well-furnished. The bed was comfortable with a good choice of pillows. My wife wanted a different pillow, which was delivered within 30 minutes, with a follow-up phone call from reception to make sure we were happy! Very efficient and curteous. The bathroom was spacious with his and her sinks, a spa bath and shower. A curious feature of the room is that there was a sliding, opaque window between the bathoom and bedroom. One minor criticism of the bedroom is that there was only one small draw for storage; otther than that it was fine.
There was an impressive choice of eating options although we mainly stuck to the buffets and only used the a la cartes twice (the steak and international restaurants). Both were extremely good in terms of the food quality, presentation and service. Otherwise, the two identical buffets were very good for choice and quality - the only criticism being that if a choice ran out (fries for example), the cooks would only start cooking a fresh batch once the existing batch was exhausted. So, you may have a 6-7 minute wait which meant whatever you had on your plate became cold. The GRP is not alone in this respect though, it happens elsewhere...
We took the hotel shuttle to Playa del Carmen a few times (50 pesos/£2 per person per journey). This was a useful amenity provided by the hotel and is far cheaper than taxis to and fro.
The hotel animation team was first-class. We sat in on a few of the evening shows they put on and were hugely impressed with the theatre and the quality of the choreography and the sheer energy put into it. Well worth going to.
Although the hotel is right on the wonderful beach, it wasn't too practical to swim as there was a seaweed infestation along the Riviera Maya. Beyond the control of the hotel of course, and it afflicts all others along that stretch of coast. Other than the sea, there are a number of pools to choose from (3 with swim-up bars), with some quieter than others. One of the larger pools had a 'spring-break' air about it - ie, it could get a little noisy towards late afternoon. All were heated though. There was a huge choice of loungers too (both on the beach and by the pools), but it could be a struggle finding some shade.
by Daniel M
The staff here are the rudest I’ve ever known. I’ve stayed in numerous 5* resorts and this has been the worst experience of my life. I don’t usually write reviews and travel on average 7-10 times a year. Disappointed that Tui would recommend this as a hotel as it’s definitely not a 5*. My partner has been sick for 3 days in bed due to the food standards. The amenities in the room are minimal - provide a coffee machine but not even a spoon.
We asked to move rooms as the first one was almost falling down. There’s black stuff coming out of the taps.
All in all has been the worst holiday I’ve ever been on.