We returned last night from our Grand vacation. The place was fantastic and even nicer than I thought it was going to be. I'll write a detailed review in the next few days but here are some general comments:
- Cancun airport was pretty empty. Our flight left Atlanta at 8:30 am and were at the Grand by 11 am. We did the private transfer through Apple so we could be at the resort quickly. Also, they are still doing swine flu checks at the airport.
- At check-in, the staff told us they were running at 30% occupancy. Apparently this fell to under 25% when one of the corporate groups left over the weekend. They are anticipating a big corporate group later this week though. The place did seem pretty empty. We spent a lot of time at the tranquility pool and there was never more than 4-5 people there. Barely any people at the beach either.
- Services affected by the low occupancy: Oceanfront building 70 is entirely shut down. The dinner buffet is gone, as well as the oceanside breakfast buffet and one of the lunch buffets. All four a la carte restaurants are open nightly though. The customer service was top-notch everywhere you went.
- The guests were probably 90% Americans. Though it was mostly couples, there was also a wedding party and two groups of young women doing getaway trips. There was also a corporate group of 45 IT employees. Unfortunately the group kind of took over the main pool and was loud at times. We could even hear them yelling at the lobby bar when we were dining at the Italian restaurant. Corporate groups definitely detract from the romantic atmosphere of a resort, as this is the second time we've had an issue with this.
- Iberostar did an amazing job with the layout of the resort. It's never a long walk to get to anywhere on the resort, and there are plenty of opportunities for great pictures. The decor is unbelievable.
- The food was very good. Our favorite was the Japanese restaurant (awesome fried rice with spicy sauce). Nothing could beat the desserts at Toni's though- we split 4 desserts between the 2 of us. We were also very impressed by the breakfast and lunch buffets. Three different types of freshly made doughnuts and ten different types of fresh squeezed juice!
- We had a garden view room booked, but we upgraded to an Oceanfront corner room (room 7101) for $75 a night. We didn't spend much time in the room, but it was a small price to pay for the great view when you are there.
- The beach/ocean were very nice! One concern of mine was that the ocean was going to be too rocky and not very nice. But the area directly in front of Building 70 was ideal. Huge beach with tons of palapas, and the ocean was virtually rock-free and quite clear. Red flag days every day, but plenty of people in the water (including me).
- Weather was beautiful. High 80's and not a single drop of daytime rain.
Ask away if you have any specific questions!