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“Plantinum the only way to go...”

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Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
Ranked #79 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Plantinum the only way to go...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2008

We have just returned from a week at the Grand Rivieria Maya Princess. The resort is incredible with gracious and hospitable staff . We were fortunate to stay in the Platinum area of the resort which allowed us to not only develop relationships with the staff but meet other Platinum guests.

One of the 'perks' of being a Plantinum guest was the ability to book 'ala carte' restaurants for every night if we wished. We ate at the Japanese (twice), Mexican, Grill, and Italian. The food and the service at the Japanese and Italian were incredible. I did not eat my meal at the Mexican restaurant (I just didn't like the taste) and my husband and brother in law did not enjoy their meals at the Grill but my lamb was delicious.

We too, as others that we met on our trip, were nervous after reading the reviews...but were pleasantly surprised that very few of these were realized. Were there mosquitoes? Of course there were but very few. The majority of the staff were pleasant and always willing to please...were there others that didn't really care...of course there were.

It did look like the final touches on the rooms were rushed to get the resort open but they didn't hamper our stay. Not every room had all things that were advertised...but again nothing that disrupted our vacation.

Having a jacuzzi on the balcony was the best ever...when my husband and brother in law took their afternoon siestas (a MUST, by the way) I soaked in the tub looking out at the ocean...it doesn't get much better than that.

The Platinum Lounge was great...24 hr concierge, lots of snacks (constantly replenished), liquor/refreshments, cappacino machine, free internet and an incredible pool with great chaise loungers.

As I said we met other wonderful travellers and hope to stay in touch.

What I was appalled at was the lack of appreciation by so many guests when it came to the staff. Hello people, this staff should not be treated as your personal slaves...they are people who work hard for minimal pay. They survive on tips and should be rewarded for going 'above and beyond' for you. Remembering how you take your coffee or what wine you prefer...keep in mind how many people they serve every day.

For the people who whine about the 'starkness' of the resort, or complain that all the statues were not finished, state of the mangroves. Stay home.

All in all it is a great resort still going through growing pains and they WILL get their act together...when they do look out...they will become one the top spots to vacation.

  • Liked — Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean
  • Disliked — Signage and advising Platinum Guests what they were entitled to.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank Emerald007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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houston, texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2008

I guess we were the lucky ones. Before we took off to our vacation/wedding at GRP, I've read almost all of the reviews and posts on this forum. I knew what to expect and what not. Thanks Goodness for this forum, our trip turned out pretty good. I hardly write reviews but since I've spent so much time on this resort, I decide to write one. Ok, here it goes..


The hotel grounds:
beautiful. Nice landscape. Require LOTS of walking or waiting time for shuttles.

Front desk/check in:
We booked Platinum so our check in was an ease. Nacho, the front desk rep. handed us cold towels and champagne as we checked in. Nice touch. We requested for oceanview room, got oceanview room with no problem. Didn't have to tip. However, we didnt get the 2nd or 3rd floor as requested. We didnt care much. We got our bracelets the time we checked in, around 12pm. Our room was ready by 2:30pm. Not bad on timing.

Our oceanview room # 5019:
Our room was beautiful. We can see the ocean clearly from the patio. Patio was huge with jacuzzi and 2 lounge chairs, tables with 2 chairs. Our bathroom didnt have leak issues. We were happy with our rooms. However, it has funky smell. I assume it's the ocean breeze. We got our gifts (bottle of tequila and nice snacks) the first and 2nd day. That was nice.

Room & mini bar service:
Room service was ok. I'm a little confused about this. The first night I left $2 for the maid in the room, she didn't take it. I was impressed. She did clean our room well. The next day, I tipped the maid (short hair) in person and our room got clean well. The day after, a different maid came in our room right when we were about to leave, so I tipped her 2 bucks. When we got back, our room was almost the same-uncleaned. She only picked up the towels and replaced w. new ones. Our sheets were damped! I was ticked so I didnt leave any tip the next day. Surprisingly, our room got cleaned extremely well with towel arts. I notice that whenever the short hair maid(dark skinned) clean our room, it was perfect. So, just make sure you know which maid really work hard and tip them accordingly.

the safe:
we didnt have any issue. We also didn't leave much..just 10 bucks in it. We left everything in our luggage and locked them up. If you use the safe, be careful. We found that the safe can be opened with magnet key.


mini bar service.
not impressed. Our fridge didn't get stocked the first 3 days we were there. I called the concierge 5 times, that didn't help. So we gave up. We just went to the platinum bar for water and drinks.

food:
above average. We loved the Miso, The grill (la vaque.. something), Mama Mia, and absolutely loved the Le Fleur. We had our wedding reception at Le Fleur and it was beautiful. We had our own room. We hated The Seafood and the Fondue. Bad food..really bad. Buffets were better than these two.
We loved the breakfast buffet. However, by the 4th day I was tired of eating the same thing every morning. I thought the lunch and dinner buffets were good, but again, same thing every day-lunch same as dinner.
Food at the sport bar was awful! The hamburger smelled like rotten meat.

Service:
For God's sake, please tip those waiters, waitress, bartenders, maids. They work so hard to please you. I've seen so many people don't care to tip and I feel so bad for them workers. We always had good service at all the restaurants we ate at. The buffets, well, it's buffet so I guess service was not too attentive. We tip anyway.. The only time we didn't tip was when no one ask us anything from the time we walked ourself to our table to the time we walked out.

Liquors:
Awesome. There selections are pretty good. We loved mojitos, mango margaritas, miami vice, and of course tequila shots.

Beach:
Not the best beach, but very nice. Rocky, so we wore water shoes all the time. I find that the beach to the South (on your right if you're looking at the ocean) is much nicer. If you walk a little south you'll find some nice clear blue water.

Beach bar:
There's only one on the riviera side. Not too convenient. I didn't like this fact. Had to walk quite a bit to get a drink.

Saving chairs at the beach:
Urgh! I hated it. I had to wake up at 7am every day to go save us some shade, but hardly did I get a good spot.


Disco club:
They actually play very good music. However, there were lots of smoke.

Live band:
They have live band every night around 9-10ish on the 1st floor lobby. It was nice. Very talented artists.


Shows:
starts at 9:30pm everyday. We saw the musical show and the variety show. Both were awesome. Strongly recommend them.

Wedding:
The setting was beautiful. Everything was planned as requested, and a little more. I had issue with Damarys due to her lack of responses, but surprisingly she did a great job. If anyone has any specific questions I'll be happy to answer.




Some tips for people who book platinum..or other category:
-book your dinner all at once. They dont have many options open so get them while they're available.
-ask for your massage voucher/ bag/ ect to the concierge. They dont hand them to you. You have to remember what is being promised to you.
-bring water shoes
-bring comfortable shoes
-men- bring long pants for a la carte restaurants.
-becareful with marble floors. I felt on the stairway at the lobby due to slippery. One woman felt and broke her arm. So, be REALLY careful.

Would I come back to this resort again? Probably not ...unless I get a very good deal, mainly because we want to try new resorts.

  • Liked — Drinks, Food, Location
  • Disliked — too big
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank KDDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Volunteer State
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2008

We stayed for 3 nights, primarily because of the price. We were unimpressed, but since we purchased a low priced alternative, we were prepared to accept less than stellar service. After checking in, our room's closet door was damaged and would not open or close. We went to the concierge, who said he would check on it. Nothing happened. After 2 hours, we went to the front desk, who said they would send someone to fix it. Two hours later, after returning from dinner on the resort (unimpressive buffet), we went to the front desk. They said it was fixed. Back to the room, it was the same, inoperable. Back to the front desk, they gave us grief. Back to the room, we packed our bags, back to the front desk, they gave us more grief, we demanded another room, the "manager" came out, they gave us another room. I will never go back. Good luck.

  • Liked — Price
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TNpiedra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2008

First let me start off by saying that this was our first time to an All-Inclusive & we are definately not picky people. First impression of the resort was that it is a beautiful place!!! We stayed Platinum & checked in quickly but were kind of on our own after that. Good think I found TripAdvisor before we left!!! We were told after we checked in to go back to the bellboy to tell him our room #. From there we didn't know where to go but since I had printed a map off the internet of the property we figured we could find our room on our own. This resort is big! Lots of walking! Not a problem for us. Found the Platinum lounge stopped there to go ahead & book our dinner reservations. Couldn't get anything for that night because we arrived after 1 & they don't make any reservations after that. Wanted to eat at the Italian & the only opening was at 10pm...kind of late for us but we took it anyways. We were told we weren't eligible for the Platinum massages because we were only staying 5 days & not 7! & the beach dinner they offer Platinum guests was only on Friday nights & that is when we were leaving so we didn't get that either. Neither issue was that big of deal. I was looking forward to the massage but luckily they had massage tables set up on the beach - the massages there were great & very cheap! $20 for 1/2 hour!! From the Platinum lounge we were told to go to our room & wait for the luggage. No other information was given. Kind of thought that at least in our room there would have been resort information but there wasn't. Just a room service menu. We waited in our room (which was BEAUTIFUL) for over an hour & still no luggage. Finally my husband went to check & after a phone call our luggage arrived shortly.

Platinum section on the beach was a joke! It was roped off with nice huts & cushy lounge chairs but it would have been a lot nicer if there wasn't chairs (not Platinum) in front of you. Not as private as the brochure made it seem. Also, I don't think a lot of people even knew it was the Platinum section - there were no signs that I saw & we started noticing there were a lot of people without the Platinum bracelets on in the section. The only issue we had with that is that there was only 1 girl getting drinks & it took a long time for her to get around to everyone so most of the time we got our own.

Platinum lounge was a nice perk. Always little snacks out at any time of the day. Chocolate covered strawberries were awesome! We used the lounge a lot for internet access because we didn't have it in our room (Which we should have) The few times we were lucky enough to get internet access in our rooms it was horribly slow. This was a big reason we booked the Platinum because this is how we planned to stay in touch with our 12 & 6 year old at home.

Things we didn't receive were the slippers, beach bag, hat, coupons for the spa, no motorized water sports & no mention of the DVD library. No biggies to us on any of these. Really did not care for the location of our room due to it being on the ground floor back side of the Riviera. I was really excited about having the Jacuzzi tub on the terrace but ours was located on the back path which was a main walkway for the workers so I didn't feel comfortable out there by myself at night.

There was construction going on but it wasn't close to our section. A few days on the beach they were adding on to one of the beach buildings & that was a little annoying listening to the chainsaw.

Mosquitos - Had more than a few in our room. Should have brought bug spray!

Food - not my idea of good food. Liked the breakfast buffet the best. Made to order omelets were excellent. Lunch & dinner buffett not really my liking. Fajitas on buffett were good but never could find any sour cream. We ate at Mama Mia (Italian) & Los Olas (Seafood) Both were pretty good. Room service we ordered twice & came quickly both times. Would rate the food as just okay. The club sandwich with chips, salsa & guac were the best things I ate all week.

Pools were awesome! Beautiful! Like nothing I have ever seen before! Bars & bartenders were great! Lots of alcohol!

Beach was pretty but not the best I've seen. Many rocks! Go slowly in the water & you will be fine just beware - they are out there!

So even though we had some issues we still had a great trip. Met lots of great people & actually met lots of people that live in our hometown here in Lou, KY. We definately enjoyed the trip & the resort. Very good staff here. Always attentive to any issue you might have. We would return here if the price was right but most likely we will try out a new destination.

  • Liked — Friendly staff!
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank linmcgee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2008

People! What do you expect from a hotel that's been only open for 6 months. Of course there are some bugs that they have to work at, but I guarantee you guys are not complaining about the money you spent. After weeks of tedious researching and shopping around, this resort was able to accomodate our vacation budget ($500 less compare to staying at the Xcaret Occidental). We were not expecting 5 star services, but we did not experience a 3 star rating either. I agree the food is not 5 star, but it's not as bad as everyone is saying. My son ate more on this trip than normal, and he's a picky eater. The pools are great, and we didn't have to fight for chairs (unless you want the cabana huts). The beach is beautiful and clean. There are three swim up bars. My wife enjoyed her massage on the beach which was only $40 for 1 hour. The kids club was great. I suggest you take advantage of that early on as we didn't until the 2nd to last day of our trip. Here are a few other tips they don't tell you. Make your dinner reservations to the different restaurants the first day you get there. You can only make them from 9 - 1pm, so do it as soon as possible and make them all that one day. They book up quickly. Also, if you want to take advantage of the free bus ride to Playa del Carmen, you need to make a reservation for that as well. We thought we could just go up front and get on, not true. Otherwise, a cab ride is about $15 each way. The transportation definitely needs a lot of work. They say they go by every 10 minutes, but that didn't seem to be the case, and when lugging 2 tired kids on your back, the walk gets exhausting. All in all, a very relaxing and enjoyable trip. Don't let people's negativity of this hotel stear you away. We've stayed at several different resorts, and this was by far one of our favorites. They are expanding their resort, and we hope to go back when it's ready.

  • Liked — The pool and the three swim-up bars.
  • Disliked — The transportation around the resort.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CanelaCandela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2008

Let me start we have never stayed at a five star resort before. We just got back yesterday from the princess and we were so surprised because we read so much about the bad stuff we didn't know what to expect. We had a great time check-in was easy everyone was so nice we had a problem getting into our room the key didn't work but it was solved quickly.Food was good ,if you can find fault maybe not hot enough in the buffets but plenty to choose from.Bars everywhere if you couldn't get a drink it was because you didn't try.Some staff was great others not so, but they in general were very good and friendly.The pools were the best good swim-up bars and good people.Would we go back again yes in a second ,don't sweat the small stuff after all your on vacation theirs always going to be something not quite right.

  • Liked — great room
  • Disliked — some bad service
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank delby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2008

Just got back on May 10 after a week in the sun! Overall, our experience was very positive... yes, there some things that we didn't get that were supposed to be part of the package (slippers, turn-down, liquor dispensor, beach towels), but they were not he main reason we went on holidays... so we dealt with it! After all, it is Mexico...

We arrived at 8:35 am, found our bus immediately after picking up our luggage and were on our way to the hotel by 9:45 am. I don't know if Air Transat does things differently, but we were pre-registered and were given booking slips to fill out in the bus on the way down. We had our room number before we even got to the resort and then it was just a matter of indicating our suitcases to the bellboys (ok, bellmen!), heading off to our room with our carry-ons, change into a swimsuite and we were off.

The resort is big so bring comfortable walking shoes or sandals. The grounds are nice, but will be far more spectacular once the trees and shrubs fill out. The pools are salt-water chlorinated which is great because there is far more buoyance in the water (easier to hold your arm up so you don't get water in your drink!). There was someone that came around regulary to see if we wanted more drinks or we could go to any of the swim-up bars.

I didn't find the beach or water all that rocky, but some people's feet are more sensitive than others. We brought water shoes but never used them. They do need more palapas for sun on the beach as it was difficult finding something in the shade if you hadn't gone down to reserve one first thing in the morning. We were more fortunate with the pool palapas and normally could find something in the shade, no matter what time we were there.

The only one issue I would raise is the buffet food - I agree with previous reviews that the buffet food is cold or lukewarm by the time you get back to your table - the reason for this is that they only use heating lamps (not chafing dishes) and the lamps keep the food warm, not hot! Havings said that, we always found something appetizing to eat (yum, guacamole and salsa, and ice cream!).

With our package we had unlimited à la carte and we used them. We LOVED the International (La Fleur) and went back twice, the Japanese (Miso) was very good (ask for the Tepanyaki show) and the Fondue was good as well (it is a mozarella cheese fondue, so if you don't like this type of thing, don't bother, you won't like it). Unfortunately, we did not like the Mexican (Hacienda). We found the food unappetizing and little different from the buffets.

Would I go back... if i got a good price, in a hearbeat!

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank cmrVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
Address: Prolongacion 5ta Avenida Mza 20 Lote 006, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#32 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#63 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#69 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 674
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa is located on the stunning Riviera Maya, just three kilometers from the famous Playa Del Carmen, in beautiful surrounds, with large and spacious natural parks and the delight of a good tropical weather. Besides our fascinating beach, renowned for the clear water and splendid sea beds, typical of the east end of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Hotel invites you to discover the huge wealth of the archaeological remains of the Maya culture in this area. After crossing the spacious lobby the splendid "Paseo de los Dioses" is reached, which invites the costumers to discover the charm of the hotel. It is a gift to our senses to enjoy all our facilities that can be found to our left and right on the way to the marvelous beach awaiting for everybody at the way of the pleasant stroll.Opened in December 2007, Grand Riviera Princess offers 674 fully equipped rooms with a range of services that give the clients a variety of possibilities to choose from: Junior Suite, Junior Suite Deluxe (some with direct pool access), Platinum Suites and Laguna Villa Suites (ideal for the most romantic honeymoon).A fascinating Spa is offered to all the clients, and the most complete activity program during day and night. A range of services in the varied and international selection of top quality food provide the perfect counterpoint when sharing moments of peace and calm with excellent meals in beautiful and inviting specially decorated surrounds, some of which are by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
Grand Riviera Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Riviera Princess Hotel
Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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