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Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

Calgary, Canada
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Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

Hi! I am going to be travelling to Manzanillo in a few weeks and was very excited. A travel company sold my bofriend and I on staying at the Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad. I have been reviewing the latest posts and the reviews swing from glowing 5 months ago to the latest review which makes accusations of the resort being sold to a drug cartel! I am very concerned about our safety. Has anyone stayed there recently and can comment?

Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Manzanillo, Saskatoon
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1,468 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

The Wyndham only started to be listed with Transat this year; last year, I don't think they sold many, if any, tours to that hotel.

For this reason, I'm not surprised to hear that the hotel has very low occupancy. Lower occupancy leads to buffet limitations, lower staffing levels, less maintenance, etc., and I can absolutely see how this might affect people's happiness at the hotel.

The Wyndham is also located about 35 or 40 minutes north of the Airport, about an hour or more north of Manzanillo, and is in a very quiet area. I haven't heard anything about armed guards, but if there are armed guards there, well, sometimes a show of force makes tourists feel much safer, but the area is actually already very safe. I'd be very surprised if your safety is at risk at all. I also doubt that the resort is owned by a drug cartel.

If I were you, I'd call Transat, and/or the hotel, and ask them what their occupancy is expected to be at the time you're there. If it's less than 50%, you may see buffet closures and such. I personally probably wouldn't stay at a resort hotel with low occupancy unless I was really looking to get away from it all.

If occupancy IS expected to be low, I'd personally consider switching hotels; right now, the Grand Bay Isla is selling for more money than the Karmina; if they'll switch you straight across from one hotel to another, I'd do it; the Karmina is pretty great.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Manzanillo, Saskatoon
Level Contributor
1,468 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

In keeping with my tradition of replying to my own replies, here's an addendum to my other post!

Staying at a low occupancy resort hotel can have its upsides; you may be able to arrange free or very low cost upgrades to a swankier suite. If you tend to prefer a la cartes, you'll enjoy your stay, because you'll probably have all your meals that way.

You'll have the pool largely to yourself; no playing the reserve-a-lounger game.

If you're the kind of traveler who is comfortable voicing any concerns you have, immediately and in a friendly manner, then if you DO have any problems, they'll likely be resolved quickly and to your satisfaction.

Calgary, Canada
2 posts
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3. Re: Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

Thank you so much for your comments, greatly appreciated. I have never vacationed in Mexico before and given the swings in feedback from others I was a little nervous.

Toronto, Canada
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1,106 posts
102 reviews
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4. Re: Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

Grand Bay and the Isla Navidad resort are NOT owned by a drug cartel. They have been open for something like 17 years now and are owned by a Mexican family who own several other successful and legitimate businesses. The manager is a marvelous fellow who's been with the resort for years, supports community events and does his best to make sure that all of the guests have the best experience possible.

ChellyBelle's comment about low occupancy in the past is on the mark. Grand Bay is a Grand Turismo hotel located in the Isla Navidad Destination Resort. While the setting is quite lovely they aren't exactly strategically located for the high end tourism they were built to attract and service. Situated as they are across the lagoon from Barra de Navidad - a moderate to low budget vacation destination - and across the bay from Melaque - a low budget vacation spot - the hotel and resort are a little out of the way for a lot of the clients they were built to cater to. Hence I assume this abrupt change of target market and this new strategy of marketing all inclusive charter packages. I suppose they figure better heads in beds than not especially in this economy.

In the past Grand Bay has filled up on many long weekends, at Christmas, New Year and Easter and also several times throughout the year for corporate and other large group special events and conferences - the rest of the time occupancy has indeed been quite low. However, that said, occupancy is terribly low from April through mid December in that geographic area in general.

There are security guards on the property but in my experience - and I have spent a fair amount of time there - the guards roaming the property and at the security gates are not armed with anything but radios. I don't know of any large resorts in Mexico where there are not security guards.

Being a Grand Turismo resort Grand Bay from time to time attracts some very high profile / high security clients. When they have current politicians, ex-presidents, ex-politicos or what would be considered celebrities staying at the resort there may be armed guards and the security will be tightened up from the norm.

The entire area; Isla Navidad Resort where Grand Bay is located, Playa de Cocos the settlement next door on the beach that is mainly populated by foreigners, Colimilla the little mostly national fishing village right outside the resort gates, Barra de Navidad across the lagoon and Melaque across the bay are all very safe. I ran horseback and mountain bike tours on the back lanes and trails in all of those areas from 2003 to last May when I moved and there has never been any sort of security issue for us when we were "off the beaten path" so to speak. No worries, you will have a safe vacation.

Edited: 14 December 2011, 01:01
5. Re: Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad

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