Sirenis Overall: Over the many years, we have been to numerous all inclusive resorts, including Mexico on the Riviera Maya and also on the pacific side, Cuba and Dominican Republic, most of them 5 stars. We visited the Grand Sirenis from June 16 to June 23, 2014 for my 50th birthday and we can say that it has been quite a pleasurable experience. So much so that we never go back to the same place, simply because there are too many places to see in this world, but for the Grand Sirenis, we would make an exception. We upgraded to a 3rd floor sea view and it turned out to be a great decision. We were in room 2952 in the Naab building. We had spectacular sea view with some palm trees between us and the view. Also, the building's location is great because you get the fabulous sunrise on the sea but after a day in the sun, you want the shade and by the time we would make it back to the room, the balcony was in the shade. After taking a shower, you don't want to sweat in the sun again and there was always a nice breeze. We had 10 minutes of rain during the whole week and it was around supper time when we were showering, so much for rainy season?? Many times when we travelled, we had that light musky smell in the room simply because you are in the jungle (or other reasons?). P.S. We once had that same odor in a nice condo in Florida. I don't know about the rooms on the 1st floors, but there was absolutely no smell in our room and it was super clean. Our friendly maid was diligently making the beds, changing the towels and doing a different animal designs with the towels everyday and filling up the fridge everyday as well. The resort is also very clean, including the restaurants and facilities. And one extraordinary thing as well, no insects took any of my blood all week!! Usually, it's a nightmare for me and it's the same thing in Canada. P.S. I once got a mosquito bite on a "warmer" (-5C) day in December here in Canada. Wherever I go, they quickly find me and it's not only mosquitoes, any blood sucking insects!! I don't know if they are around other times of the year, but this time, nothing!! Even after 3 major walks in all of the resort very early in the morning next to the jungle. So for anyone who is a non-consented major blood donor like me, you will be very happy to know that there no blood sucking insects in June on the Riviera Maya. I had a can of Off, didn't use it once!! The resort is very big and I read reviews from people complaining about the long walks. For us, it wasn't a problem at all, it's not that big of a walk and besides, they do have golf carts passing by quite often with stops marked with little flags all over the resort. There are also elevators in all the buildings for upper floors. Speaking of buildings, they have 2 concierges in all of the buildings which was really great! No line up to book your à la carte restaurants for the week! They have a laptop and they do it for you with a smile! They are also there for any questions or complaints you might have. Also, I had read that they invite you to a 1 hour 1/2 lobster dinner for a presentation and I knew it was for timeshare, as they are pressured to try to sell it. So, I politely declined and that was the end of it! The concierges are there everyday from 7:30AM to 7:30PM but they change shifts. The ones we met were Adrian, Isaac and Merlin in the Naab building and I'm giving them 5 stars for their excellent service. They were very friendly, fun and kind! Just like all the personnel on the entire resort! We are also giving Lou-Ann from the spa a 5 stars as well!! We are not really spa people but on the day of my b-day, my husband and I went to the Sirenis spa for a 1 hour 1/2 hydrotherapy and also a 30 minutes massage, followed by an excellent meal after while watching the dolphins jumping around in their big pool! Very pleasant!
Food: We also read many complaints about the food. We are from Montreal and without bragging, Montreal is well renowned for the food, so we are used to eat very well. We found that the food was quite good at the main buffet with plenty of variety if you are a picky eater and the food was fresh. We were allowed 3 à la carte restaurants during our week stay and we chose the Mexican El Patio (after all we were in Mexico!), the steakhouse and of course, the Japanese. The Mexican was traditional Mexican food and it was quite good with a cute presentation. We were celebrating my 50th birthday while we were in Mexico and for my birthday, we went to the steakhouse restaurant El Rancho. My husband mentioned that it was my birthday while I was visiting the ladies' room and they brought me a plate with little cakes with a candle and all the staff came and sang happy birthday and then they shook my hand, which was sweet! On our last night, we tried the Japanese restaurant Ikebana and it was quite good as well, like all the Japanese restaurants in resorts but I was pleasantly surprised that they had hot Saké. They also have a coffee shop which has great coffees! It was a nice touch after the evening meal to take a walk, sit down at the coffee shop terrace and have a good cup of coffee.
Beach: It is true that the beach is not that big and rocky when you go in the water. There was also a good current and enough waves while we were there as well. We had bought water shoes and we ended up needing them. I don't know about other months of the year but the water visibility was quite poor and therefore, the snorkeling was not that great. But the surrounding bay is very nice and they kept a mini Mayan ruin on the site. Again, I don't know about other months of the year, but there was plenty of chairs and palapas available. From May to October, it's nesting season for the sea green turtles and therefore, there were a lot of turtles swimming next to you which was absolutely great if you are into that, like me!
Pool: We are not big pool people since we have one at home but we did end up going to the main pool one afternoon and we found it was a little loud but that's because we were near the main activities. We didn't go to the others and therefore, we can't comment. But they had a big swim up bar in that pool with seats in water on both sides and the service was very friendly. P.S. I don't particularly like mojitos that much but they had the best mojitos I ever had and that was all over the resort!
Excursions: We didn't book any of the suggested excursions, we did our own excursions. Sirenis has a Budget car rental desk and one day, we rented a car which was very clean with A/C. We drove to Akumal which is a lovely little town. Akumal means "Place of turtles" in the Mayan language, so you are pretty sure to find turtles there. We were told that 6 months ago, they changed the law and you can't go in the water now with long fins, only short ones in order to protect the coral reef. We had our own mask and tuba, which are not that great and no fins. We met Mexicans there who for $50 U.S. for the both of us, lend us excellent masks, tubas, short fins and life jacket and one of them brought us in the open sea, where you are guaranteed to see turtles. And turtles we saw, huge ones, about 3-4 feet circumference!! And also many fish!! Unfortunately, the coral is not very healthy, in fact many areas are completely white, which means that the coral is dead. It's a good thing that they are finally imposing laws, every little bit helps! But for that specific excursion, you first of all have to be a pretty good swimmer, or at least very comfortable in water and also in pretty good shape because you do have to swim a while before you reach the area where turtles are in abundance. Definitely worth while because Akumal beach is very nice and for those into scuba diving, they have an amazing diving area there with many showers and full equipment and the guys working there are very professional and friendly. After Akumal, we drove to Tulum where we visited the ruins for a very small entrance fee. It is truly a beautiful and well kept site and they also have a beautiful beach, also very worthwhile! On another day, we took a taxi from the resort ($20 U.S. each way) to Playa Del Carmel's port where we took a ferry to Cozumel. We then rented a car and drove the whole island. Apart of the small town of St-Miguel (town in Cozumel where the ferry arrives) Cozumel is not very developed. It has kept its spectacular natural beauty! We also ended up in a little typical Mexican town called El Cedral where you can visit a Tequila museum and also buy quite expensive but very good tequila! ;)
In conclusion: We highly recommend the Grand Sirenis, it is truly a top notch hotel but without any pretention! Here is a video that I made from all the pictures of our trip : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spiYBDpcmGk Hope you enjoy!! And if ever you might have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me! Until then, happy vacations!! :o)
- Also Known As:
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Hotel Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Resort And Spa
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal