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Bev H

Pros and cons to massive property.

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 Apr 2018via mobile
We stayed recently at the Grand Mayan(Jungle). A Vidanta Resort. Although I can't rate it any lower than a 4 star I can't say this would be one of my favourite resorts. The property is massive which has its pros and cons. It was clean and grounds very well maintained. Although we don't mind walking,we did find the good 20 min walk from our room to the pools/restaurants,a challenge. Lovely in the evening but you had to plan most of your day before leaving your room. Don't forget anything cause theres no slipping back quickly even with the shuttles provided. The pools were plenty but you still weren't likely to get a spot next to the pool. My husband went out one morning at 7:30am and most of the seats were already saved. What was disappointing was many times those spots were saved with towels and then no one used them til later in the day if at all. It appeared sometimes towels were left on loungers at the pool when people left and there was no effort by staff to monitor this
The beach is nice but you need water shoes to go in the water. Not good for snorkelling either.
Your choices for view from your room was the golf course or the jungle. Being from the prairies we like to see water, ocean, lagoon, pools, anything. The room was clean and maids very friendly and pleasant but the air conditioning definitely gives the room that awful musty mouldy smell
Like fools we went for the sales pitch. It was the usual annoying high pressure uncomfortable experience. We were first approached by Kelly in the lobby who made lots of promises of "looking after us" but when we saw him a few days later he didn't even remember us. Got 10% off anything purchased on the resort which was somewhat helpful as we found the restaurants pricey. It was cheaper to take a taxi into Playa del Carmen and eat supper there. We had a tiny bar fridge in our room so picked up some breakfast stuff and beer and wine in Playa.
So not the worst resort but not likely to return.
Date of stay: April 2018
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    Reviewed 3 April 2018

    Beautiful resort, however it is very large and requires shuttling to reach amenities. Gorgeous grounds and the staff are wonderful, make you feel like royalty. We stayed at the Grand Mayan, luckily it was walking distance to main pools, restaurants and shopping. There are about 5 resorts in one and still building more. Playa del Carmen is no longer a small town, it’s too busy for me. Puerto Morelos is nice and quiet fishing village, authentic small Mexican town, recommend visiting for good food and shopping and beaches.

    Date of stay: March 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    Review collected in partnership with RCI
    1  Thank Cecilia C
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Vidanta V, Manager at The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2018


    Dear guest,

    We are grateful for taking the time to write a review about your experience while staying with us.

    We are delighted to know your vacation has been an incredible experience, and you enjoyed the kind service of our staff, as we considered them one of our biggest assets.

    Our goal is to make each one of our guests’ vacations relaxing and we look to please you by making sure you receive all the benefits you are expecting to enjoy during your vacation.
    Happily,
    The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Management

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 3 April 2018

    Our family of 5 used a timeshare trade to stay at the Grand Mayan during Easter Week. Following other reviewer's advice, we stayed at a lower numbered building, number 5. Buildings 1-6 are easier walking to activities and the beach. Higher number buildings 7-13 pretty much require using the trams, which seemed to be quite efficient anyway - when we did need a tram, we never waited more than 10 minutes. Recommend stay on 2nd or 3rd floor as bottom floor rooms seems "musty".
    Grand Mayan grounds are beautiful and well maintained, as are the many pools and other facilities. The BEST part of our stay were the myriad scheduled activities for all ages. Lots of things to do for kids, teenagers, and adults. Our teenage girls loved the pool and beach activities and dances! All pools had safe areas for smaller children to wade. And the Grand Mayan had beautiful flamingos on site!
    We were also VERY impressed with ALL the staff! EVERYONE was exceedingly attentive, efficient, and polite! We were always greeted with a smile and a sincere offer to assist at whatever we desired. The atmosphere created by the staff made us feel very special. We also felt VERY safe.
    We enjoyed the seafood at the Blue Fish restaurant, where they had live music on Friday night. Breakfast buffet at the Del Lago was excellent and overlooked the lake. Poolside drinks and snack service was also very good. Happy hour 2-for-1 was daily 11:00-2:00.
    We had a rental car for our stay, and ventured off site three times to shop, attend a wonderful Good Friday services in the beautiful beach town of Puerto Morelos, and visit Tulum (yes, other reviewers are so spot on – you must arrive early, 8:00-8:30, to avoid the tour bus hordes!)
    As timeshare owners at other locations, we did not partake in any sales presentations, despite and offer of 10% off on-site purchases and other freebies. We wanted all our time to be spent enjoying the vacation.

    Room tip: Buildings 1-6 (of 13) are easier walking to activities and the beach. Stay on upper floors, rooms on lower floors seemed "musty".
    Date of stay: March 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled with family
      • Value
      • Rooms
      • Service
    4  Thank stan0832
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Vidanta V, Manager at The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2018


    Dear guest,

    We are glad you have decided to post a review as it is helpful to further enrich our performance and give other travelers a better idea of what to expect.

    We are glad you enjoyed the menus from our different restaurants; our culinary experts always look to please our guests with their creations.

    Our goal is to make each one of our guests’ vacations relaxing and we look to please you by making sure you receive all the benefits you are expecting to enjoy during your vacation.

    We hope to welcome you back in the future; it will be our pleasure to have you as a guest again.
    Happily

    The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Management

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 2 April 2018

    everyone was freindly and welcoming....watch out for the side shows by the staff..also you will be caught off guard by a second check in desk that will sign you up for discounts and then try to sale you a very expensive timeshare in exchange for your timeshare to be traded in.

    Date of stay: March 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    Review collected in partnership with RCI
    Thank Joshua C
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Vidanta V, Manager at The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2018


    Dear guest,

    Thank you for taking the time to write an opinion about your recent stay with us, this helps us a lot to continue to provide the best service.
    Your comments and sugestions will be shared with all the appropriate areas in order to ensure they all have accurate information.

    We appreciate your feedback and hope to welcome you back in the future.
    Warm regards,

    Happily,

    The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Management

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 2 April 2018

    This is our second stay at this resort, having first visited in 2015. This place is beyond gorgeous with plenty of swimming pools, bars, restaurants and nightly entertainment to satisfy guests of all ages. We enjoyed the casual, “open air” restaurants the best – Havana Moon, Balches, Del Lago. And the little convenience store “Jade” has everything from beer to eggs so really no need to go into town or bring food from home. As far as organized activities, the best deal going is the Mexican Fiesta, offered every Thursday night, featuring 3 plus hours of unlimited tequila, excellent food and wonderful entertainment. That said, this resort may not be for everybody. If swimming in the ocean is a big deal to you, then you should consider a different resort due to how rocky the ocean floor in this area is. Didn’t matter to us, since we just enjoy sitting on the beach looking out over the ocean. If we got too hot there were numerous swimming pools nearby to get cooled off in. And guests who have issues with walking should also consider a different resort. In spite of the transportation available there is still a fair amount of walking required. We love walking and found that the added experience of walking along the wooden trails through the jungle, taking time out to view the crocodile and flamingo exhibits along the way to be an added bonus. And all of the trails are very well lit and marked for guests returning to their rooms after dark, so no need for a flashlight. We have never attended their timeshare presentation but the unanimous consensus of all the guests we spoke with who did – both in 2015 and this time - is that they regretted it. If you want to give up 4 hours of your life being insulted by pushy sales people in exchange for the free breakfast and a measly gift then go right ahead. But consider yourself warned. ‘nough said. Now for the bad news. The one major change from when we visited in 2015 is the addition of 6 buildings to accommodate guests, located along the main road going from the central lobby to the rest of the complex, a fair distance from the rest of the resort. We stayed in one of those buildings - Bldg 9. So, here we were in one of the nicest 2 BR units we’ve ever staying in in any timeshare anywhere, located at a spectacularly picturesque resort and yet when we were in our room were forced to listen to noisy trams being pulled by high RPM, gas powered tugs at all hours of the day and night right next to our balcony! This is our only complaint and the one reason we can’t bring ourselves to give this resort a 5 star rating. What a shame that Vidanta didn’t put a little more thought into this. In spite of our concerns about the noisy trams, we would still recommend this resort. But our advice to guests considering staying at Riviera Maya is to try your best to get into buildings 1 thru 7 if at all possible. If they insist on placing you in one of the 8 and up buildings at the very least request a room on the side of the building facing away from the main road.

    Date of stay: March 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    Review collected in partnership with RCI
    4  Thank qhreggie
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Vidanta V, Manager at The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2018


    Dear guest,

    We are grateful for taking the time to write a review about your experience while staying with us.
    We are glad to know your vacation has been an incredible experience and you enjoyed the kind service of our staff, as we considered them one of our biggest assets.

    We are glad your vacation has been an unforgettable experience, also that you enjoyed yourself walking through the wooden pathways and admired the jungle around the resort.

    Your comments and sugestions will be shared with all the appropriate areas in order to ensure they all have accurate information.

    We appreciate your feedback and hope to welcome you back in the future.
    Warm regards,

    Happily,

    The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Management


    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

    This will be lengthy and detailed - designed for the first timer here. I recently spent one week at the Grand Mayan on a Interval International trade. Before I get into details, let me offer this that can save you some time: 1). If you are not able to walk for 20 minutes, don’t choose this resort. As others have written, it is expansive. Yes, there are trams for transportation. But the absolute best way to enjoy this property is by foot along the walkways. Sometimes we walked both ways...sometimes just one and rode the other. But walking is best. 2). If you are a hardcore beach sitter, don’t choose this resort. Yes...there is a lovely, sandy beach. But the shoreline is rocky and the bladderwhack seaweed is very abundant right now. You can access swimable areas but water shoes would work best over the rocks and coral. But it is right adjacent to the largest pool on the property so you can enjoy the best of both worlds if you want.

    With all that said, I want to negate some of the negative reviews on this resort. Keep in mind, that some of those are accounts written by Vidanta competitors. I am not one - just a vacation travel or who likes to offer my perspective on the places I have stayed.

    First of all, check in and check out was not a hassle - at all. And I was there during a ‘peak week’ - week before Easter and Mexico’s spring break. The shuttle ride from the airport was in an impressive, Mercedes, 10 passenger van. At the Central lobby, you are greeted by a bellman who handles your luggage. Another greeter asks where you are staying and leads you through that reception area to a tram station on the backside and makes sure you get the one going to the Grand Mayan lobby. In the Grand Mayan lobby you are ‘officially’ checked in. And now comes the sales pitch. If you have no intention of buying - just say no, and don’t waiver. I did not do the sales meeting. I own elsewhere in Mexico and traded into here. I have no intention of another purchase in Mexico....and I stated that. I was not lured in by the discounts offered or the ‘just one hour of your time’ pitch. I was there to ‘crash’ - not run around the Mexican shoreline. This was my third trip to this area and I have seen much of it already. Yes...that hour of my life was more valuable than their discounts. In my travel philosophy, you don’t go on vacation to save money. That part of the planning is over. From that point, I was escorted to the tram that took me to my building. The entire time from arrival at the Central Lobby to my room was less than 45 minutes. And ‘voila’, my luggage was there. Very efficient.

    Check out was equally easy. I did do it the night before to avoid any morning delays. I scheduled my luggage pick up and booked the shuttle for a return trip to the airport. And the cost of the shuttle was just added to my bill, and another comfy ride. Reverse the enter process - luggage pick up....you take the tram back to Central Lobby....your luggage appears....the shuttle is waiting. I planned an hour from pick up of luggage to shuttle reservation. I do not need that much time. Again, very efficient. I did Dave all my receipts and tracked my purchases. No errors. Expect. The usual ‘hotel fees’. By the way, I chose to keep the 300 pesos donation on my bill. The facial expression and gratitude of the concierge was worth the $16. It goes toward a children’s fund.

    Between my entrance and exit, I had a VERY enjoyable stay. My accommodations were fine. I was in building 12 which is in the Grand Mayan Jungle area. It was about a 10 minute walk to the ‘heart of the resort’ or a quick tram ride. And I suspect a more quiet area as well. It is alongside the golf course - not much people traffic at night. Super clean and filled with little comfort details - turn down service, robes, etc. I stayed in a ‘Master Room’ which is actually the lock off of a larger suite. And there was both a small frig and a coffee maker in the room that was not advertised. Bonus. The private balcony was the perfect morning coffee spot. There is just one word of caution about the accommodations: because of the concrete and tile design of these buildings, sound travels exponentially. There is little acoustic deadening material. Therefore, if a bellman is delivering luggage at midnight, it will sound like a train is rolling down the hall. If you are a light sleeper, you might want to pack ear plugs. The noise was most noticeable on weekends with new arrivals and exits. During the week, much quieter. There were probably a few more attempts to solicit me to do the sales session, but they were by way of the room phone and I just did not answer if I was there. Anyone really needing me would call my cell.

    The raised walkways. Yes, it can be confusing. We did walk in a circle the first night - because I had a wrong map layout in my head. But by the next morning, it was much clearer. The other thing is the terminology on the signs at the ‘crossroads’. It took me a while to realize that Grand Mayan Jungle was buildings 8-13. Buildings 1-4 and 5-7 surround the lake....and the walkway out to the ‘Jungle’ runs between 4 and 5. You cannot get to 8 by going to 7. You end up back where you started. Another convenience is that all the buildings in a group are connected by a single corridor. But use the walkways as much as possible. It truly is a unique feature of the resort to connect with the environment.

    The pools. Yes...there is the typical resort ‘saving’ of space. And yes, people do it at the crack of dawn, especially if they have children and want a specific spot. But I had no problem finding two lounge chairs if I staked my claim by 9 AM. Put the towels down and went for breakfast near the pools. I did do a poolside cabana one day at the large, ‘communal’ pool. The easiest days to get one is on the weekend when the guests are turning over. You have to reserve it for the NEXT day. And again....do it by 9 AM. As a Grand Mayan guest, you have access to three pools - the infinity pool, the sanctuary pool, and the very large community pool. Looking for high activity, rowdy day? Camp at the large community pool near the beach. Looking for something a bit quieter but still with activities? That’s the infinity pool. And the Sanctuary pool speaks for itself. There will be children but the quieter setting keeps noise to a minimum. All pools have wait service for beverages and food. No need to get wet for your happy hour pleasures. I was at the pools between 10 and 4. Things are at their peak about mid-afternoon. Calmer before and after.

    Eating was a delight. Keep in mind I am a moderate eater and drinker. Light breakfast, shared a poolside sandwich or app, and ate a full sit down dinner. I ate only on the resort grounds. The Havana Moon has the best ocean view (and great mojitos and fire grilled pizza). The Tramonto and Azur were outstanding dining with pampering. And while they are billed as ‘formal’ attire - that usually means no beach or pool attire. I prefer to eat early so getting a 6 or 6:30 reservation was no problem. We also did the Cirque de Soleil appetizer version. Got the tickets online before I went to get the night and seats i wanted. Not going to make a full meal of that so a stop before or after at Nektar might be good. If your waiter at Nektar offers suggestions, consider taking them. I would never have ordered it on my own but it was super. And get the ice cream dessert. Light and with a fun presentation. All bills include tip so none is required.....HOWEVER, it comes out to about 5% of the total. There is a spot for an additional tip if so moved. If you are treated like royalty (and you will be), consider a fair share more. Additional tip: download the resort app. Full menus available there for all dining locations.

    I did no off-site excursions but there are more than enough available if you get tired of ‘decompression’. I did not. My trip mission was accomplished by never leaving where I had free WiFi.

    In sum, the grounds are breathtaking, the accommodations were comfortable, the food delicious, the drinks frozen and tasty. And the service and staff? I will miss being treated so well. And I learned a valuable lesson: when you greet someone, always do it ‘from the heart’. I felt pampered, welcomed, and safe. Return? In a heartbeat....

    May you enjoy your stay as well as I did mine. Safe travels.

    Date of stay: March 2018
    Trip type: Travelled with friends
    17  Thank eileens33
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Vidanta V, Manager at The Grand Mayan at Vidanta Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2018



    Dear guest,

    We truly appreciate the time you have taken to share your impression about your stay with us.

    We are glad to know your vacation has been an unforgettable experience thanks to the kind service of our staff, as we considered them one of our biggest assets.

    Your comments and sugestions will be shared with all the appropriate areas in order to ensure they all have accurate information.

    We appreciate your feedback and hope to welcome you back in the future.
    Warm regards,

    Happily,

    The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Management

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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