Staying at the Grand Oasis Palm, Cancun, Hotel Zone, Mexico
We stayed here for 9 nights beginning mid-July 2014 in two rooms – one with 2 double beds, one with a king-sized bed. Rooms were impeccably clean, with no musty smell and quiet during the night. Our windows opened and the ac worked in both rooms although one room was much stronger than the other but both kept the room cool. We loved the pool at the Grand Oasis and the beach and water were great. We did some snorkeling in the seaweed patches and saw some fish and a starfish. The food was Ok but the choice became monotonous and often what was good one day was only OK the next e.g., scrambled eggs. Most buffet dishes involve soft food e.g., pasta, stewed beef rag-out, soft vegetables. The cuts of meat at all restaurants were the cheaper cuts e.g., flank steak or had a large portion of fat or grizzle e.g., rib eye or pork ribs. If you love to eat food this will disappoint you. The fruit was plentiful at most restaurants except at the buffets for dinner while we were there. There was usually a large cheese selection and salads at the buffets. The soups were usually very good and the bread selection was abundant. Our favourite meal was breakfast as it tended to have the best selection of fruits, breads, muffins, danishes and if we felt like it we would line up for the omelettes. There is chocolate milk and hot chocolate available at the buffets. Desserts are better at the sit down restaurants. Overall, we preferred the Xtabentum restaurant for our meals due to the wide selection and/or abundance of food. Careyes for its elegant atmosphere (and ac) and Los Agaves (indoors ac) for the food were also dinner favourites. Again if you come for the food this hotel will disappoint.
The Grand Oasis Palm is one of nine all-inclusive Cancun and Mayan Riviera properties run by Oasis Hotels and Resorts (Spanish holding company). This is somewhere between a three star and four star resort in my opinion.
The Grand Oasis Palm Hotel shares the property with the Oasis Palm Hotel. This can lead to confusion regarding what features and benefits come with each resort. There are a number of reviews on this site for that should have been posted to the Oasis Palm site. It is not within walking distance to other shopping areas or restaurants but it is right next to the pirate ships that have cruises at night, the scenic tower and one of the ferries to Isla Mujeres (you walk on the sidewalk over the bridge that goes over the waterway (about 10 minutes at the most).
This is a family oriented resort and many families with young children stay here. The hotel offers a “kids stay free” package and the pools have shallow ends while the beach has calm, clear, shallow water. It is popular among Spanish speaking people from Mexico, South American countries, etc. The atmosphere at the Grand Oasis Palm is quieter that at the Oasis Palm. There is a disco that plays loud music through the evening that will be heard in all rooms except the ones facing the street and lagoon. When we were there in July the disco was largely empty. This is not a party hotel though. That reputation belongs to the Oasis Cancun and Grand Oasis Cancun but many people get these ridiculously similar names mixed up. Employees that deal directly with the public-waiters, desk clerks speak English well. Asking for directions from someone in maintenance or cleaning the flower beds may be greeted with Spanish. You are visiting their country they don’t all have to speak English for you.
To add to the confusion on arrival, the large stone sign in front of the Grand Oasis Palm Hotel is marked Oasis Palm (without the ‘Grand”). This driveway is gated and manned by a security guard who will physically lift the gate to allow entrance to vehicles. This driveway connects to the Grand Oasis Palm and the Oasis Palm. There is another entrance to the Oasis Palm that again is joined to the Grand Oasis Palm. The parking lot is very small and vehicles are parked along both driveways also.
LOBBY- The Grand Oasis Palm has a large lobby enclosed by many glass doors. It is not air-conditioned. You will see the main desk to your right on entering from street side. The concierges’ desks are along the opposite walls to your left. Across are the glass doors that lead to the inside courtyard with the pool and beyond this the beach. There are a number of other desks as you enter. These are not Oasis hotel employees but a time-share company called Unique Vacations. Their shirts are white with a small logo similar to the hotel employees and they will welcome you and offer help to you just as you would expect from the hotel staff. Look carefully at the shirt logo. If it does not read “Oasis” then you are not speaking with hotel employees. Decline politely and they will leave you alone. Their office rooms (and model rooms) are located on the tenth floor of the Grand Oasis Palm.
Have your reservation paper work ready. If you arrive with a bus load of people of course check-in will seem slow. They have multiple check-in computers. Most people have many questions on checking in that slow down the process.
If you want anything special-connecting rooms, balcony, family room ask right away (politely) before they start typing in your information. Confirm which bed type you are getting (See below under beds)
You will receive an envelope with your basic information on it (e.g., name, room number) and information about the hotel inside. Usually a map, list of features (e.g., restaurants), weekly time table of events, shows, activities, maybe coupons for the spa and beach/pool towel cards (see below). The key card(s) are only for your door. They are not used to charge additional expenses to your room.
You will have wristbands attached to everyone in your party so make sure they haven’t wandered off. The charge for a lost wristband is substantial so be careful.
Our rooms had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and welcome scrolled in chocolate.
ACTIVITIES- Children: The hotel shares a kid’s club with the Oasis Palm. The club is located at the Oasis Palm. It includes a children’s pool, water fountains and slide. You cannot see the pool from the ground level of the hotel. As we were not travelling with young children I cannot comment on the activities.
Family- you are provided with a list of scheduled activities when you check-in. There is also a bulletin board near the pool at the Oasis Palm that list events. Sometimes special cruises are posted on the doors of the two buffet restaurants. You can also ask the concierges about available activities and shows. Note: the location changes e.g., the fire show is on the beach, many shows are in the Grand Salon.
Pottery painting- There is a cart next to the Grand Oasis pool that sells souvenirs and has plain ceramic figures available for painting. The prices are marked on the bottom of each piece in US dollars. They start around $10 and go up based on the size of the piece. The most expensive we saw was $20. (cash only). A table with umbrella is set up next to the cart and you will be provided with paint and brushes. My teenagers enjoyed the painting. You can paint and return another day to finish your painting. When you are done, your masterpiece will be sprayed with gloss. It takes about 2 hours for it to dry enough for you to carry it. The humidity keeps the piece tacky for a while. There is also a smell as it dries. Didn’t bother us but since some people on this site seem so offended by every little thing I thought I’d mention it. There is a second painting station without the cart on the Oasis Palm side.
Next to the Grand Oasis Palm beach is a rental area for jet skis not related to the Oasis hotels.
AIR-CONDITIONING- each room is individually controlled. We had two rooms. One of our ac’s worked fine-could have made it snow in the room if we wanted to, but the other room had to be cranked to the lowest setting which kept the room just comfortable. The hallways and lobby are not air conditioned. See under restaurants also.
BALCONY- The only rooms with balconies overlook the roadway and the lagoon side beyond the road. The lower floors probably don’t have much of a view of the lagoon, partly due to the palm trees out front. These rooms would be sheltered from any noise from the pool area or the disco.
BATHROOMS- clean and each exactly the same whether in a standard room, family room, ocean view etc. So many pictures are posted that description is not necessary. Provided with 2 glass glasses, (there are 2 more glasses in the room with the ice bucket-curious since I never saw an ice machine anywhere-perhaps for the honeymoon package???), shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, one toothbrush, sewing kit, shower hat, round soap. Small size and basic but replaced when used. See below under Towels and Washcloths.
BEACH-soft cream-white sand. A few small stones and some larger ones in the water. Water is shallow and very clear. You can see small fish at times. Calm, only small waves from wake of boats and jet skis going by. Buoys and rope mark off swimming area from boat waterway. If you cross over rope lifeguard will blow whistle and call you back. They clean the seaweed from the shoreline everyday although it may not be until the afternoon. Seaweed is not slimy and children use it on sand castles etc. There are sections of growing seaweed in the water. Excellent for leisure snorkelling-small plant life, fish and occasional starfish and small crab were spotted. This is not a coral reef - just some fun for people who bring their snorkel gear with them. Only small shells in the water, try sitting in shallow water and digging for them with fingers.
Plastic loungers with some covered in blue netting cover. Not very comfortable. Be careful – some were broken underneath. They can be moved around beach. There are some palm leaf umbrellas fixed in place. Large bed canopies are for rent at an additional charge. By late morning, early afternoon most chairs in use. Best place to find chair or place for shade for a chair is on the far side next to the Aires del Norte restaurant.
There are multiple foot baths and showers as you leave the beach and by the pool. At night the foot baths are difficult to see due to lack of lighting-be careful.
Most people use the washrooms in the lobby or their room. There is one “hidden” washroom with a single stall for women and a single stall for men. To find it- face the Aires Del Norte restaurant (your back is toward the beach). To the left of the restaurant is a small walkway. Continue down the walkway to almost the closed fence and you will see the washroom entrance on your right (in the building).
Vendors walk along the beach offering hats, hair braiding, necklaces, woven bracelets and small purses, food, cigars, blankets etc. You can negotiate a price once they tell you the cost. They don’t really bother you. Just say no thank-you and they leave you alone.
BEACH/POOL TOWELS- They are pink, fluffy and large. You will receive a towel card during check-in for each member of your party. You are entitled to one beach towel for each person. Don’t ask for extra towels – it won’t happen. Take your cards to the wood shack on the beach. This is located between the Grand Oasis Palm property and the Oasis Palm property. Both hotel guests get the same towel. Trade your card for a towel. You will not get the card back-don’t ask it doesn’t work this way. Once you have your towel you may use it at the beach or pool-even take it off property on an excursion etc. Whenever you want a new towel return the used towel to the same shack and they will hand you a dry towel. At the end of your stay take your towel to the check-out desk and hand it in. No towel and you will be charged. BTW people are very considerate about the towels. I never saw or heard anyone removing or using towels left around the pool or beach.
BEDDING-extra blanket and pillows are in the closet. Beds have two pillows each, white sheet set and the bedspread. If you want the bedding changed you must put the supplied small sign asking for a change ON the bed. This is the same as many Canadian and American chain hotels who are trying to be eco-friendly (and save costs). Our sign was located on the night stand next to the bed. All our sheets were spotless and clean.
BEDS- Mattresses are firm and pillows comfortable. Since everyone has a different like here you can decide what is comfortable. My family had no problem. Rooms with two double beds have them pushed together. You can separate them if you wish. The king size bed rooms have a true king sized bed not two doubles pushed together. Some people on this site have obviously not understood this and think that the hotel is trying to pass off two double beds together as a king.
COFFEE- if Las Plamas is open you can go and ask to get a coffee to go. There are Styrofoam cups, carafes with coffee, milk and sugar available at small tables just inside and to the right against the wall. Otherwise all the restaurants serve coffee.
CONNECTING ROOMS-there are connecting rooms at this hotel but they cannot be booked ahead. You can request these rooms at check-in. They may or may not be available. Don’t count on it. If your room has a connecting door it will be noisier than the rooms without this door. The door is wooden and sounds travel easily through it. Some rooms have two connecting doors –one to each room on either side. You might ask for a room without a connecting door to cut down on potential noise.
CURTAINS- There are sheer white curtains to pull open with orange room darkening curtains on top.
DISCO- On the pool side of the Grand in a building that is part of the Oasis Palm. In July, the music started pounding out around 7pm and lasted until @11 p.m. Not many people were using the disco but the music plays nonetheless. Adults only.
DOORS- They are beautiful, heavy wood doors with a closable peep hole. They are noisy to open and close. The lock is activated by your key card. If you are having trouble with the door your key card may have become deactivated or the battery inside the door lock may be weak or need replacing. Go to the front desk for help.
DRESS CODES- none of the restaurants accept guests in swimwear. Casual means dry clothes, t-shirts with short sleeves, footwear. Formal- long pants, dress shirt (short sleeves), closed shoes. Women-they suggest dress and closed shoes but nice pants are fine and saw many in dressy sandals. The reservation slips tell you the style of dress. If in doubt ask the concierge.
We were not travelling with formal shoes. We were fine with clean running shoes.
Jackets for men were listed for men but never required at the restaurants and ties are not listed at all.
There are signs outside the restaurants for dress codes. Cayeyes also stays formal but Los Agaves and Aires del Norte were casual. Perhaps this changes based on the time of year.
FLOORS- Labelled in Spanish “Piso”. There is a mezzanine floor at this hotel that overlooks the lobby. There are rooms on this floor also. So if you are staying on the first floor you would actually be on the second floor. For example, to walk up the stairway you would travel to the mezzanine floor, then the “first” floor. In other words, one more stairwell than you thought. Floors are clearly labelled and the wall across from the elevator but to children or to other non-observant persons may look all alike.
ELEVATORS- Two elevators on the Grand side. Small, hot and crowded most of the time. As many people have said-if you can take the stairs.
FOUNTAIN/POND- at front of hotel. It is an attempt at a pond not a purified clear water fountain. There are potted water lilies and fish. The fountain aerates the water. The water is not supposed to be sterile “clean”. The water gives off the typical pond water smell at times.
GIFT SHOP- very expensive with little selection. Air-conditioned. Some Gatorade, pop and water bottles available. In hallway that leads to Oasis Palm with excursions sellers’ tables. Next to place where you buy photos. Shop is run independently from hotel. Clerk was bored, couldn’t even manage a greeting when we entered the shop or respond to ours. Most unfriendly, perhaps only unfriendly person we met on trip.(If you go to Excaret they have a wonderful gift shop when you enter.)
GRAND-SALON- the name for the theatre where some of the shows are held. You would think that because it is called “Grand” it would be on the Grand Oasis Palm side of the hotel. It is not. It is located off the lobby of the Oasis Palm. To find it go down the steps towards the street level of the Oasis Palm lobby. On your left there will be a pink corridor. Follow along to the Grand Salon- a large banquet looking hall with a stage. The chairs are banquet style. Get there early for seats near the front especially if you have small children.
ICE CREAM- 2 outdoor dispensers, Grand Oasis next to hamburger stand; Oasis Palm on pool side near lobby entrance. flavours vary, very popular, sometimes a worker filling cones sometimes you. HINT: If the cones are out get a plastic cup. Sometimes the coconut water server has spoons on his table by the Oasis Palm pool. If it is very hot wait a few minutes and you will have a shake to drink.
LATE CHECK-OUT- you need to ask. Depends on how booked hotel is. If you need to check-out and have a later flight your luggage is held outside at the front of hotel lobby. You will be given a claim check by Oasis men working at front. You will be allowed to keep your wristbands so you can continue to use the facilities e.g., pool, beach, restaurants, snacks etc. To claim your luggage and leave you return to check-out desk and they cut off the bands. You receive a final voucher that you pass along with your claim check to the men caring for your luggage.
LAUNDRY- They do laundry otherwise no laundry facilities for you to use. In closet bag on hanger and rates. You must call housekeeping for pick-up.
MONEY- there are machines that dispense Mexican pesos or American $20.00 increments on site by the lobby. The desk may have some change if you have large bills and want smaller but when we asked they had nothing smaller than US $20.
OVER BOOKING- according to our vacation rep. this is done here. No one is safe—book by yourself or vacation package. You will be sent to another of their properties. Considering several of their properties have age restrictions or are far away in Mayan Riviera you probably are sent to the Oasis Cancun or Grand Oasis Cancun. Please read the reviews posted for these hotels. They are not as family friendly as this hotel is.
PEACOCKS- Usually saw one male peacock wandering around pool in morning. There were two peahens with their broods in an enclosed area that could be viewed from a window along the hallway that houses the excursion sellers and their desks.
PHOTOS- a photographer walks around both pools during peak hours most days. Usually accompanied by person holding Toucan, monkey, snake for photo op. Also, saw photographer taking family portraits using canopied beds at beach. Photo pick-up next to gift shop.
POOLS-There are 3 pools. The children’s pool is hidden and not accessible unless the child is in the kid’s club area.
The Grand Oasis pool is rectangular with a gradual entry system. The water is warm. In the morning, the shallow section is in shade while during the hottest part of the day this shallow part is in sun and the deep end is in shade. The deep end is distinguished by the darker pool floor. On the far end there is a ledge for sitting. The deep end is deep-over 7 feet. No diving. You can bring inflatables, fins into the pool. Next to the pool is an ice cream machine and hamburger grill that operate late morning to late afternoon. There is a life guard but he doesn’t always watch the pool closely so watch your children.
The Oasis pool is the pool with the small swim up bar and free flow form. There are three sections. The one farthest from the Grand Oasis Palm is the deepest and quietest. During the day loud music is played and there are activities narrated by a person on a speaker. This is crowded with families. The Grand Oasis pool although there are children too is not as busy. The Oasis pool is near the two walk-up bars that serve drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, hamburgers, hotdogs, French fries. Other stands have ice cream cones, soft tacos, juice. There is a life guard but the pool is very busy so watch your children.
Both pools close at 8pm. (dark by 8 in July)
RESERVATIONS- some restaurants require these. We stayed in July and the hotel was full. You make the reservations with the concierges in the lobby. They will give you a slip that you hand in to the restaurant on arriving. Dress codes and times are explained on this paper. Reservations for La Bamba opened at 7 a.m. The other reservations open at 9 a.m. Reading some people’s reviews you think you would have to wear battle gear to get a reservation. We never has a problem and I never lined up before 9 a.m. In fact the only time I saw a line (never in lobby at 8:30 to look) was at 9:10 when I waited behind two other people for about five minutes. Usually we showed up after nine to about 9:45 and made reservations for 5 people. We managed to eat at all the restaurants at least once. Once we broke up our party into groups of 3 and 2 but when we arrived at Careyes they sat us together without our asking (concierge had bracketed the two tables on the form). Times for later seatings filled up faster than early seatings. If you really need a certain restaurant for a certain time than by all means line –up but don’t be so dramatic about it.
RESTAURANTS and SNACKS-
Grand Oasis Palm guests have full use of all restaurants and snack bars. Oasis Palm guests can use all the snack bars and some restaurants. They are excluded from Las Palmas, Aires del Norte, Careyes, Los Agaves. Oasis Palm guests are given an option to upgrade their wristbands at a daily rate so they may use the same restaurants as Grand Oasis Palm guests.
Lines or not: Guest at both hotels seem to follow a routine.
Breakfast- 3 restaurants serve a buffet breakfast. Xtabentun 6:30-10:30am
Dos Lunas and Las Palmas 7:00-10:30 am
Peak breakfast times are from 9 am on. You will be waiting in line outside for seats and inside for food, especially the custom made omelettes. Some days were busy by 8:30 am. All places have seating available outside also. Xtabentin had more food choices available.
Lunch- many guests choose not to change out of swimsuits and get food at the snack bars. This would be grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, simple ground beef or shredded pork soft tacos (small and only one type of meat per day), ice cream cones. There will be lines.
Restaurants open for lunch: Xtabentun 12:30-15:30 buffet
Dos Lunas and Las Palmas 13:00-15:30 buffets
La Bamba 13:00-16:00 table service
Aires del Norte 13:00-16:00 table service
Sushi bar 11:00- 18:00 you must be seated to be served.
Since La Bamba is small and usually cooler due to a sea breeze, it usually develops lines for lunch. They also may close the line so they can finish serving on time and get ready for dinner.
I never saw a line at Aires del Norte for lunch.
Dinner- 18:00-22:30 Dos Lunas (buffet); Careyes ( reservations, table service, closed Mondays, over 16 years old); Los Agaves (reservations, table service, closed Tuesday).
18:30-22:30 Xtabentun (buffet); Las Palmas (buffet); La Bamba (reservations, table, seafood); Aires del Norte (reservations usually).
Many guest wait until the pools close at 8pm before getting ready for dinner. By 8:30 lines begin and by 9 pm you are definitely waiting in lines at all the restaurants that don’t take reservations. So to beat the rush eat early.
Careyes-formal atmosphere, calm lovely décor. Ask if they can make Mexican coffee for your table – a wonderful show involving flames and the coffee is served in wine classes. Remember to tip afterwards. Air- conditioned
Los Agaves- inside and outside seating. Inside very pretty, calm, recorded piano music, air conditioned. Outside- next to Oasis Palm pool in small open courtyard surrounded by cacti.
Aires del Norte- some indoor seating but majority outside. Mariachi band plays in evening.
La Bamba- outdoor seafood restaurant by beach and Oasis Palm pool. Dinner has tablecloths over tables. Many dishes served with entire fish (head, tail). Salad has small whole anchovies. If in doubt ask waiter. Fillet usually means fish without all the body parts.
Xtabentun- Mexican theme restaurant. Buffet indoor seating and outdoor seating. Two outdoor seating areas- one facing beach, other on side by waterway. Beach location is better as outside waterway has vegetation that harbours mosquitos in the evening.
Dos Lunas and Las Palmas- both buffets with similar choices. Las Palmas is for Grand Oasis or upgraded Oasis Palm guests but has the plainer look and feel. Dos Lunas is slightly larger with more comfortable seating and decorated in a more stylish manner. Both have outdoor seating available.
How to get a drink during the day (non-alcoholic):
On the Grand Oasis Palm side there is a pool waiter and a beach waiter. They will bring your drinks to you (also alcoholic) but it may be awhile before they return.
You can get drinks at the bar if Aires del Nortes is open or the Sushi bar.
Otherwise walk over to the Oasis Palm side. You can stand in line at the two outdoor snack bars or use the swim up bar. In between the La Bamba and Xtabentun restaurants are two juice fountains- plastic cups available- serve yourself.
You can also get drinks at the bars off the lobby or for adults La Cantina on the Oasis Palm side.
Juice Bar- Oasis palm side near spa. Extra charge
Coconut and Pineapple drink stand. – Oasis Palm side Extra charge
Sounds like most of the drinks are on the Oasis Palm side doesn’t it? They are, sort of inconvenient but keeps the Grand side quieter.
RAMPS- throughout hotel. They are small and at times steep. Seem better suited to rolling luggage than scooters or chairs. No railings. The Careyes restaurant has some tables even with the floor on entering but other tables are accessed by one step and there is not a ramp. Other restaurants are one level. There may be door ledges to negotiate.
ROOM SERVICE- is available and costs 156 pesos or @12.00US per service. The food is included in your all-inclusive cost. The menu is in the room. Did not use so cannot comment on the speed.
SAFE- charge is $7.00US per day. Located as a metal box attached to wall in closet. You are given metal key and the lock mechanism. Hotel states they are not responsible for items left outside of the safety box. Remember your room will be open at times when you are not present. The maid cleans the room and others come to stock the servi-bar or fix a lamp or the ac. I don’t think the theft a few people report is from the staff but other guests. Leave money out on a dresser or a laptop, ipad, camera on a table and it is visible to anyone passing the room. For example, we returned to our room in the afternoon to pick up some water bottles. The maid was cleaning the bathroom. We said hello to her, she answered hola. We entered the room taking our things. It is not possible for her to know if you are in your room or stealing from someone else’s so be smart and put away your valuables. You spent hundreds or thousands to come-spend another 7 a day to guard your things. For those of you who complain about the cost I guess they can do what other North American hotels do and roll the cost into your room and tell you the safe is “free”. My literature and the hotel web site clearly stated the security box was an extra charge.
SERVI-BAR- behind dresser drawers under TV. 4 pops (coke/ sprite/ Fanta) and 4 cans of beer. 2 water bottles. Most days added new cans but not always. Included in all-inclusive price. On check-in we were told anything else in servi-bar would be at a cost but there never was anything else and no price list in the room so I don’t know what all the fuss to explain this to us was about.
SMOKING- no smoking in the rooms but does allow on grounds. When we visited only saw 2-3 guests smoking.
SPA- Kin-Ha Spa-on site on Oasis Palm side, near pool. Separate operation from hotel but you can have charges billed to your room. Brochures in room. One for adults and one for kids and teens. They have a person who braids hair so you don’t have to use beach hair vendor. We had massages –couple head, neck, back, arms, legs 2 for $99 with a coupon. Another daughter had similar massage that was booked along with her sister’s facial (including some massage) also 2 for $99. Rooms were spacious, comfortable, clean. Played quiet relaxation music. Candles. Enjoyed the experience. Large variety of services available. Specials show up on screen near elevators. When they are not busy a spa worker or two will walk the grounds to sign up people very unobtrusively. They have deals for more than one person on many of their services. It is customary to tip.
STAIRS- Next to the elevators. They are wide, tiled stairwells. The drawback is a lack of hand rails along most of the way. Also, because they are tiled they can get slippery from the water coming in on people from the pool and beach. The same is true of the lobby and hallway floors. They have workers continually sweeping and mopping these areas.
TIPPING- since this is an all-inclusive you are not asked to tip BUT if someone does something special like make Mexican coffee at Careyes restaurant, or pulls lounge chairs from the beach for you to use at the pool please tip. They are not paid anything like you are, in fact you would probably not work for their wages. The cleaning ladies scrub the rooms every day and the waiters run around like crazy to make you happy. A dollar or two goes a long way. Be respectful. Quietly hand the tip to the waiter with a thank-you. Cleaning ladies will understand a tip left on the bathroom counter or a bed corner. It is rude to hold money in your hand while you eat to suggest to a waiter they must earn your tip by serving you faster or more than another table of guests. You look ridiculous to everyone. We quietly passed our tip to the waiter when we had finished eating. They had no idea we were going to tip and we received great service everywhere.
TOUR REPRESENTATIVES/EXCURSIONS- if you booked as a vacation package e.g., Expedia, Sunwing you will find them working at their desks along a hallway near the gift shop.
From the Grand Oasis, exit the lobby facing the pool. On your left is a flight of stairs with the Sushi bar on top of the landing. Go up these stairs and through the doors. On your right are some pay phones and a machine for buying phone cards. To your left and throughout the hallway are the desks for excursions and tour reps. Expedia and Sunwing along with other companies have signs on the desks. Ask if you cannot see your rep. They are very polite and helpful – not just because they want to sell you something.
There is one desk for booking excursions in the hotel lobby next to the concierge desks.
During the day and early evening there is a shack along the sidewalk connecting the two resorts that is also staffed.
TRANSPORTATION- catch the R1 or R2 bus to the rest of the hotel zone by crossing the street. The first stop is to your left when leaving the hotel. There is another stop for travelling into Cancun only to your right in front of the Oasis Palm. The R2 bus will take you into town to the Market 28 shopping area but just the wait (not including the trip) to return using the R2 from the market can be up to an hour. Rates for buses, cabs by size and destination are posted on a pillar outside the lobby near the Tequila Lounge.
TOWELS- The rooms are set up for two people when they are cleaned. There were two bath towels and two hand towels in our rooms when we checked in. Each room had one washcloth (see washcloths below). Remember your room is not assigned to you until you check in. So if there are 3 or 4 people in your party the towels for these “extra” people will not show up magically as you go to your room. We left $2 US tip on the bathroom counter in each room every day. We ran into the cleaning lady after returning from our first breakfast. She asked us if we would like more towels. “Yes please” or “si por favor” and thereafter we always had 4 bath towels and 2 hand towels every day.
There is a sign hanging in the shower stall that says to put towels you want changed on the floor.
The towels do not necessarily arrive when your room is cleaned. It can be a separate delivery later. This is just the way it is. Change your pool/beach towel for a fresh one before returning to your room and use this as a bath towel if your towels haven’t arrived yet.
UPGRADING- maybe. The hotel was full during our stay. One day our vacation rep. told us they had overbooked and transferred 40 people (not rooms) to another of their sites. I’m betting the Oasis Cancun (see the reviews for this one). I see many people on this site believe you have to offer a tip (bribe) – we were offered an upgrade to oceanfront rooms when they couldn’t get us connecting rooms. They gave us the cards to see the rooms. The view was nice but aside from one couch becoming a sofa bed all the furniture was the same just spread out over more floor space. Probably good if you are in a wheelchair but for 100 US more a night for each room we didn’t see the value in it so declined.
WASHCLOTHS-many hotels around the world do not provide washcloths. They are considered a personal item. I’m not sure of the Mexican use of washcloths but I think this might be the case here too. So as many people suggest bring your own. We had one washcloth in each room when we checked in. The next day we had 2 washcloths. Some days none were provided. We had brought our own but in hindsight I wish I had brought those nylon puffs instead and some premoistened wash wipes because the tap water leaves a smell in the washcloth even after washing them with some small TIDE packets I had brought with. The nylon puff would probably dry out better.
WELCOME NOTE IN DOOR LOCK- left by the time share people when you arrive. Looks official because your name will be hand written on invitation. Obviously, hotel chain is connected to this endeavor and share your room number and name with this company.
WINDOWS- We had two rooms and both windows slid open. They were supposed to lock also but the locks did not work. The windows are large.
THERE ARE NO SCREENS ON THE WINDOWS –an extremely important safety tip to remember for yourself and your children. The windows are kept very clean inside and out.
WI-FI- there is a charge daily, 5-day etc. There are a few computers set up in the Oasis Palm lobby and near the gift shop for rent also. Eventually they will probably bow to pressure and include this (Disney World charged $10/day long after outside hotels included it) but for now you must pay.
OVERALL opinion- This is a family resort. There are many young families. In July, there were many Spanish speaking guests. The guests were quiet and polite for the most part. The place is clean outside and inside. The beach is calm, shallow and clear with plenty of room to swim. The beach is not “quiet” as it is next to a waterway to the lagoon so there are many boats, jet skiis going by. We enjoyed watching the action but others may want the quiet. The pool is warm and comfortable for children and adults. The employees are hard-working and considerate. The food is OK not spectacular. Drinks are weak but again a family resort and if you want more-pay a lot more and stay elsewhere. There is a kids club on site and a spa. The Grand Oasis Hotel guests use all the facilities of the Oasis Palm also. Good value for families not wanting to pay excessive amounts of money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "I'm all about the kid-stuff: endless entertainment, family-friendly accommodations, child-centric restaurants and a Kids Club that's cool as can be. But I've got that pampered, indulgent side, too, as a visit to my Kin Ha Spa shows - I always find plenty of fun stuff for parents to do while the kids are having fun. I'm like my sister resort, Oasis Palm - but a bit more upscale, with the extra amenities you're looking for. I'm Mexican and proud of it: my dancing, dining and decor reflect the culture of Cancun, with my delicioso Mexican food in the cantina and lots of activities for everyone". ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Oasis Palm Hotel Cancun
- Grand Oasis Caribbean Beach Hotel
- Grand Oasis Caribbean Resort