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Reviewed 2 March 2013

We have stayed here in Luxxe, Bliss and Mayan buildings. As for the buildings, they are a bit like base model cars with different trim levels. Most recent stay, ending tonight, was at the Grand Luxxe 3 with Platinum service level. Very comfortable beds, pretty trim level.

Pros -
Staff. For the most part, the staff at all levels and in every department is great. Everyone seems to try hard even if they miss the details here and there.

Kid programs. Pretty good, especially in the 5 to 10 age range. The staff here really seems to love children and they made some otherwise completely untenable conditions bearable since our kids were happy.

Attitude toward kids. Sweet. These people all have family of their own and they treat child guests and their parents just beautifully.

Pools. Lots of choices, all lovely in their own way.

Beach Access. Many options. All nice by Pacific beach standards.

Food. Lots of options mostly quite good and reasonably priced.

Cons -
The. Noise. - I have never in all my travels dealt with this absurd level of noise. I've stayed I places in mid town Manhattan, San Francisco and Chicago that were quieter. Between the constant construction noise ( jack hammers, saws, bull dozers, back hoes, sanding, nail guns and so much more) from 7A sometimes until midnight everyday to the absolutely horrendous nightly music blaring at concert volume from the centrally located and ironically named Santuario, it is a true assault on the senses.

Last night we were subjected to awful Whitney Houston covers followed by sawing metal. At midnight. It is a total mystery to me who this appeals to since this place is full of families with small children and elderly folks. Ending the music at 9 might be okay, but turning up the volume at 11:30 and following that up with high pitched sawing noises is just plain awful. And there is no escape once your room is assigned. So either bring custom ear plugs, stay really really drunk, somehow get an ocean side room in the Punta building or leave quickly and stay elsewhere.

The air quality. The horrendous construction noise is only out matched by the wretched dust and musty construction odor everywhere. Enough to wake you up even with doors shut and AC blasting full tilt. Wake up feeling like you have a layer of moldy plaster in your burning eyes and chalky mouth.

Construction. Did I mention that there is a giant hole where the 3rd floor of our high end building the Luxxe 3 should be? For Americans this will be tough to understand until you see it. I'm talking gaping empty floor in an otherwise finished and occupied building.

Bugs. We have been plagued by insect problems due to the standing water all over the resort and construction areas. First it was just massive amounts of mosquito bites. Then we realized we were also dealing with bed bugs. My poor husband looks like he has measles the bites are so bad. we complained and asked for help, bur almost nothing was offered in the way of help and there was no compensation for this egregious problem. Again, we have stayed in very rustic jungle places and have never dealt with this degree of trouble.

Time Share situation. Be ready to fight off the aggressive time share pitches if you do not want to buy. Also be aware that because it is primarily time share based, you have very little recourse for problems.
Whether you own or rent from an owner, you have no say when things are awful. Their whole MO is to sell more stuff, so there will always be new construction so they can upsell existing owners. And if you rent via an owner, they don't give a hoot what you think since you aren't buying and helping them expand.

Sadly, we will probably not be back. The problems just outweigh the good things by too much.

Overall a sad mix of good and awful. We

Room Tip: Grand Luxxe Punta or far end of Grand Mayan - are the only ones away from construction. Also, try for high floor facing ocean.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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13  Thank ByronDreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lizzie M, Gerente at Grand Luxxe, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2013

Dear ByronDreams:
We are grateful for your taking the time to write a detailed review about your experience while staying at Grand Luxxe. We really thank you for your kind comment about our staff as we consider them one of our biggest assets. We are also glad your children enjoyed our Kid’s Club, our facilities and you were all pleased with our food options.

Comments like yours enable our continued pursuit of improvement for perfection on our daily performance. All our staff has a strict regimen of training and supervision in all areas to provide the highest level of service our guests expect from us. We will gladly follow-up with the appropriate areas as creating ideal vacation experiences is our main goal.

We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you back in the future to truly impress you with what we have to offer at Grand Luxxe.

Warmest regards,
Grand Luxxe Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Great place!!!! The service was unbelievable!! We relaxed by the wonderful pools, ate popsicles, got our sunglasses cleaned, played LAZY games, were served lunch and beverages in our pool chairs, they even moved the umbrellas whenever we needed them moved!! Girl Trip 2013 made GREAT because of this wonderful place...........we felt like princesses!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank cpt6281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Excellent resort,great pools and restaurants, excellent services,great apartments.
Slow check-in. Long wait for lugage at departure. Should have direct entry to the beach. Beach should be cleaned daily

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Arnoldk56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2013

The fee for srevice as thjey reort calls it has been reduced from $4.00 usd for each basket of groceries delivered to the room is now $2.50 per basket.This was after less than a week of complaints. If you vist the resort and object to the fee emai, customerservice @grupovidanta.com

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

I have often participated in the free on-site activities but this time, I took advantage of some of the extras available and they made my stay even more wonderful.

I took Zumba and Latin Rhythms classes at the gym (Luxxe #2 building) from Oscar, who is an excellent teacher, very patient but also challenging for the students who need that extra push. It is an amazing luxury and great experience to take classes from such a talented teacher who is trained in so many different disciplines, and a special treat to take latin dance from someone who knows the music and rhytyms so well.

There are other classes available at the gym (e.g., yoga, pilates, stretching, Abs, spinning, as well as personal trainers) which I did not try, but about which I did hear good things from other students. The gym is spotless and the staff very welcoming and interested in providing a personal touch for their clients. There are a good assortment of machines, including treadmills, weights, and spinning cycles.

Full disclosure: I do Zumba classes at home so I am not a complete beginner, but Oscar provides enough variety within each class that I was never bored and he kept me coming back for more. Also, all of the specialty classes at the gym are offered at an extra cost, but there are price reduction packages according to the number of classes that you buy.

This year, I was also able to take advantage of one of the gourmet tours offered, as well as the culinary lesson at Epazote (gourmet Mexican restaurant on-site).

The gourmet tour featured four courses at four different restaurants (all on-site) and the price included a welcome drink and specially-paired wine with each course. At each stop, we had an unhurried opportunity to meet the Maitre D' as well as the chefs. For the longer treks, a special shuttle was provided for transportation door to door. The host/facilitator was Montezuma, one of the concierges who has an excellent command of English and a very good sense of humour. It made for a lovely evening and I look forward to doing it again next year. Highly recommended, and excellent value for the cost.

I would like to add that even though we were on the gourmet tour and felt that we got excellent attention and service, I received the same special attention and service at all of the restaurants on-site that I frequented this trip (Tramonto, Gong, Punta Arena, Epazote). In fact, at the Punta Arena, the very accommodating chef offered to make a special dish (one of our favorites that had been absent from the new menus) and it was delicious (grilled shrimp with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon).

After the marvellous experience on the gourmet tour, I was interested to do the culinary class and I was most impressed. The class was offered in the spotless kitchen at Epazote (gourmet Mexican) restaurant by Chef Enrique Garcia was informative and entertaining. We were greeted with a welcome drink and then Chef Garcia proceeded to demonstrate how to make each of three special dishes featured on the menu. We received cards with the recipes and the information provided was not hampered in any way by being in Spanish from the chef: both translators were excellent and questions were always answered in a thoughtful way. After the demo, we were led in the restaurant where we were served the dishes that had been prepared, along with wine. The meal itself was excellent, the wine choice perfect and the atmosphere extra nice because we had the restaurant to ourselves and a group of travelling "foodie" always can find lots to discuss. I would highly recommend this experience if you can fit it into your schedule: highly recommended and excellent value for the cost.

We did find it more awkward to get around the resort because of the change in transportation which disallows taxis door-to-door at the buildings, however shuttle carts do provide service to within a short walking distance of most buildings, and front door of many.

Full disclosure: we are long-time members (since the company was still called Vidafel) and we have been very impressed with how the company fulfills its vision. For example, last year we were at the Grand Bliss building, across from the then-construction site of the Santuario which is now a spectacular entertainment centre/bar/hub. The free nightly entertainment (from 8 p.m. to midnight) is varied and top-notch. Singer-pianist Dwight and the lady singer are real entertainers who clearly love what they do and are a pleasure to watch. The sand painter is impressive and always astonishes us with how she tells a story in the moving sand with just her hands/fingers as brushes. The dancers (a Latin ballroom couple) and a troupe of folkloric dancers are excellent, and they always go all-out to provide a high-energy show. The balance-acrobat is a showman and highly entertaining as well. The results make that bit of construction noise and dust last year worth the wait.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank Artquilter700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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