More about The Grand Mayan Los Cabos
Very Relaxing Stay at the Grand Mayan Los Cabos
The Grand Mayan Los Cabos is a very clean and beautiful resort and offers marvelous views of the Sea of Cortez. We were somewhat nervous after reading the reviews before our arrival on March 8th. We were pleasantly surprised and we found all of the staff to be very friendly, pleasant and accommodating. They were always smiling and very attentive to us. We were very impressed with our 1 bedroom suite and the cleanliness of the rooms and the resort overall. We were disappointed that the pools were cold but once you are in the water it was not too bad. There was a lack of nightly entertainment at the resort. We had stayed at the Grand Mayan in Acapulco and were expecting evening shows much like the GM in Acapulco. Also, disappointing was that you could not swim in the beach area due to strong undertow and a jellyfish warning. The food at the resort restaurants was pretty good, a little pricy but we expect that and plan for it while on vacation. The breakfast buffet got a little old after a few days, so we ordered from the menu and the food was very good and not quite as expensive. I was disappointed because there were not a lot of fresh strawberries. The Peri Q served up some nice dinners and lunches for us. The wait staff at the restaurants, the lobby bar and the pool bar were very friendly and fun! The maid service, room service and the laundry service were fabulous! We did get a massage and the staff at the spa were very pleasant and made you feel pampered. The 2 for 1 drinks were very good and they do have happy hour by the pool and in the lobby bar. The drink prices were high but the drinks were good and strong. The check-in and check-out process was smooth. We liked that the Grand Mayan Los Cabos was within walking distance to shopping and dining in town. If you like to sit on the balcony and watch the sun come up in the morning we suggest you request a room on the west side of the resort. Overall, we had a very pleasant experience at this resort and will very likely return. They are new and having recently opened they do have a few bugs to work out (the fire pits weren't working).
Do Not Go There!
DO NOT GO THERE! While the rooms are lovely and the staff very kind and professional, they really do not have the kinks worked out. First of all, THE POOLS ARE NOT HEATED! Cabo in the winter is about 75 degrees in the day and chilly at night - into the 50s. Water is freezing. So what's the point of multiple pools if none of them is heated. No jacuzzi either.
We tried the spa. Arrived a little after 6 and were told it was closed but that we could make an appt for the next day. When I said I just wanted to use the jacuzzi or steam, was told that I needed an appointment because THERE ARE ONLY 8 LOCKERS! For a facility of this size, that is laughable, not to mention: who wants to "schedule" a visit to the jacuzzi??
We went to the manager the first night and insisted that we be moved to another RCI Gold Crown timeshare facility. RCI was most accommodating and found us a new place the next day. They deserve a lot of credit for handling this so expeditiously.
Better than expected...
When we visited Los Cabos a cold front was passing thru that week - not exactly the sun and fun we were looking for. The property was new and still under construction. The lobby is beautiful. Watch out for the fertility statues!!! I found the staff helpful and friendly. Beware of the timeshare sales - they are brutal!!! The beach was beautiful but NO ONE ever swims - current is dangerous!!! The hotel is walking distance to San Jose. In contrast to Cabo San Lucas, San Jose had the feel of a real Mexican town. I found the locals to be extremely friendly. The buses in San Jose run all day for 6 pesos and the bus to Cabo San Lucas 20 pesos. We took 2 tours on our vacation, one for Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo) and the other to La Paz. Do not miss the gallery walk in Thursday nights in San Jose. The art galleries are open 'till 9 and everyone has a different drink and some have live music and special prices. I highly recomend the following restaurants: The Hangman (El Meson del Ahorcado) - best tacos EVER! - make sure to take a taxi and have them come back to get you, San Jose Cafe - great fish tacos and espresso - eat up on the roof for a great view, Spicy Cooper's - GREAT Italian and live shows, The French Riviera ( can't remember exact name ) - best French this side of the Atlantic! To save a few bucks, take the local bus to the Mega Supermarket and pick up a few things ( has a great liquor store ) but watch out for the timeshare sales IN THE SUMPERMARKET!!! Hopefully, the construction will be completed soon. Overall, I can't complain.
Wasted Pools and Pool bar
Stayed there on an RCI exchange 11-18 Jan 08. Our experience was a mix of the other recent reviews. The room was one of the nicest we've had in time-shares. It was attractive, comfortable, and well-equipped. Many of the other facilities were beautiful, but not useful (Mayan gods, flowing curtains, 60 degree pools, 60 degree balcony pols, pool bar with only frigid swim-up access). We asked 5 different senior employees about the cold pools, and got 5 different answers ranging from "we forgot heaters," to the gas lines had to be shut off due to leakage, to they are heated but its just too cold
for them to work. In other words they had no clue or they lied. We visited friends at the Intercontinental and stayed one night at the Crowne Plaza --- both had functioning heated pools. And like others have said, you can't swim in the ocean. The prettiest building on the property, glassed in and overlooking the ocean, is wasted on time-share sales instead of something useful like a restaurant. We were asked (not hounded) twice about the time share pitch...they politely took no for an answer.
Most of the staff were very helpful. The gym was outstanding (yes, they could have used more lockers, but I never found them full.) Breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch were outstanding and not a bad deal if you use either the early 2 for 1 or the $99 for 6 day options. They seemed to have lowered poolside food and drink prices. Five beer bucket for $18 wasn't too bad.
Cabo San Lucas is a party and shopping town. San Jose is better for food and more enjoyable for relaxing with friends. We had very good meals at Habaneros, Local 8 and El Herradera. Tequila Restaurant is pricey and over-rated. Best were Morgan's Cellar and Tropicana. Best value was Tropicana...excellent food and really nice entertainment from a Mexican folk/mariachi group and a Cuban jazz/salsa group.
Enjoyed the GMLC
The GMLC is a well-designed and opulent resort. As folks mention, it has some quirks like the unheated pool (we were told heaters are on the way) and absence of jacuzzis in the pool area (they are inside the spa/gym, which is segregated by gender and thus prevents you from enjoying a jacuzzi with anyone of the opposite sex). Nonetheless, the floorplan, amenities, and views from the rooms, the open pool area, and the beach made our stay great.
First, let me say you can swim at the beach. For whatever reason, the GMLC and other resorts on this stretch of beach dissuade you from doing so (I suspect they fear the potential liability, want to keep you around the pool buying food and drinks, want to make the ocean scary so you'll book a jet ski or other guided tour, or a combination of these). I found the beach to be like most beaches on the Pacific Coast - beautiful and sandy. There is no such thing as an "undertow," but rip currents happen everywhere. Luckily, if you find yourself swimming in churned-up water that pushes you away from the shore, simply swim parrallel to the beach until you reach clear water and, voila, you're out of the rip current and can easily return to the beach. Anyway, I encountered no significant rip tides in my week at the GMLC and, with the caveat that the waves can hit the shore with some force (especially in summer), I found the beach to be like most other beaches on the Pacific Coast.
As I mentioned, the rooms, pools, etc. are well-designed and opulent. The food was great at the resort. San Jose del Cabo has less expensive and equally enjoyable restaurants. If you need/want to save money, use the very nice kitchen (if your room has one) and head to the Mega (a sort-of Mexican Wal-Mart) to stock up on food, liquor, beer, etc. It's a 15-minute walk from the hotel, and it's nice to have inexpensive and cold food and drinks a few steps away from the pool in the shade of your room. As others note, however, beware the orange-shirted men at the Mega who may be employees, but are also timeshare pushers - they are relatively unobtrusive, but will give you the pitch if you let them.
At check-in at the GMLC, we were offered a 10% discount on our room charges, a 2-day rental car, and a free breakfast to attend the timeshare presentation, but we declined. We feel that, with only a week to unwind, we made the right decision (our peace of mind is worth the $100 or so dollars we gave up by passing).
The one downer to our trip was that my credit card information was fraudulently obtained and used. I suspect this happened at the Alamo Rent-A-Car desk at the GMLC. I am in the process of notifying them and the appropriate authorities. This can happen anywhere, so hopefully, if responsible, Alamo will be held accountable and the problem will be resolved. In any event, as always, guard your essential information carefully (the rooms at the GMLC have safes). And, as far as renting cars, find an internet connection and book online (or do so before you get to Mexico) for the best rates - we got a rate about half what the Alamo desk was charging. Also, your Visa card covers collision and loss to the car, so decline all insurance except the state-mandated personal liability insurance (which ran about $10 for us) if you pay with a Visa card.
All in all, I give the GMLC high marks and would definitely go again and recommend it, especially knowing now how to avoid the omnipresent sales pitches and costly food and drinks.
Mayan VERY Disappointing
Upon entering the Mayan from the beautiful Cabo Sunny outside, you are confronted with a pitch black room with moaning huge statues in the backgound. We learned to be very careful as it is easy to be completely blinded by the extreme changes in visibility. And this is one of the better aspects of the Mayan. The food and drinks are so expensive that it is not recommended that you eat there. Our breakfast for two came to $52.00 (eggs and meat folks) and dinner for two consisting of two cheeseburgers was nearly $60! The swimming pools and private pools on the balconys are not heated and not habitable. No one was in the pools except children. There are only two restaurants and neither one are affordable. The only heated water on the premises for sitting in is either your bath tub or the spas in the seperate mens and ladies spa area. That is correct, if you expect to sit with your wife, husband or significant other, forget it. The spas are segregated by sex. When we were introduced to our room by the bell man, he pointed out that we had a coffee maker with tea and coffee available. Then we found out that the coffee would cost us $120 pesos! Thats right, nothing comes with the room at the Mayan. They even charge you for the bubbles they have sen on the side of the bathtub. One monring at 7:00 a.m., the staff began pulling out dead palm trees directly beneath our window with a large chain rambling over the bed of a green gator style mini truck. The loud noise awoke my wife and I, and when I called the front desk to have them wait a few hours to do this, I received a big sorry but we can't do that. No one at this hotel appears to be happy, there are no people in the bars or restaurants due to the high prices. And staff seems to be very unhappy there. In fact, on our last Thursday there, we encountered a strike by the employees. We went out for dinner and upon returning we were not allowed to go back to our rooms due to the strike. Eventually, some very kind workers that were on strike allowed us an escorted entry around the back. And when we checked out a day early due to the stirke, how did the Mayan compensate us for the miserable time we had there - A mere, sorry for the inconvenience. The staff are wonderful, loving people, however Mayan managment really need to attend Hospitality training 101! Come on folks, $12 for a cup of coffee in your room? I do not recomend this Hotel to anyone.
Don't make me go back!!
My husband and I along with another couple wound up at the Mayan by dafault. Should have been our first clue. We tried to book through RCI, another hotel, however, all booked up with the exception of the Grand Mayan. By the way, we booked our reservations 10 months earlier.
Upon our arrival, we found ourselvles in the dark in the presence of 2 giant Mayan Gods, with what I believe was meant to be the sound of Mayan music. Once we found our way through the dark, we checked in and were immediatly accosted by the timeshare sales person. We tried walking away from her,however, she held our wrist bands hostage .. finally we escaped her.
We were lead through the dark to our room. Very very nice bellman showed us around. Showed us the 60 degree balcony spa (hot tub), our indoor bath tub with a sample of bubble bath that we could use for $1.50 USD. He pointed out our coffee pot and showed us the coffee and tea provided for us. We love our morning coffee. Be warned a pot of coffee in your room is $12.00 USD. Also, housekeeping does not refill the coffee, you must call down for it. When my husband mentioned that all other hotels we have stayed at provide in room coffee, the response was , well, we do not.
After unpacking, we met our friends for the 2 for 1 happy hour. Be aware that the 2 for 1 is limited to the 3 drinks that the management allows.
No chairs allowed on the sand and no fire in the fire pits. Oh, and make sure you check out your pool towel and return it or there will be an "extra charge" Extra charge is the catch phrase of the Mayan. However, if you succomb to the time share presentation, they will credit your room $300 USD and 30% off various resort "perks".
This place is over priced. The pools are freezing. The food is overly expensive. Thank goodness for the MEGA. We shopped for our food, cooked it ourselves in the room. Even though there is a kitchen, if you choose to cook in your room, be sure to bring ALL of your own supplies, not limited to paper towels, salt, pepper, cooking oil.
If you are looking for a resort that you can have complete quiet. This is your place. Guests go elsewhere for entertainment, food and a warm pool or spa. That is the good news... the other resorts are in walking distance!
At the onset of our visit, it was clear that the staff was told to be seen and not heard. Once we would begin a dialouge with the staff, they were quite engaging and delightful. It was quite apparent upon our arrival that the staff is beaten down. The proof was in the pudding on that one. They began a labor strike on Thursday of our visit. One of the issues: they want access to their tips that are included in every bill, tips are not allowed to be given directly to the staff. The Mayan management handles that!
We should have taken the Solaris up on the offer they made to us on Wednesday of that week to move to their resort. They have warm pools, spas that are not segregated by sex and very happy staff.
If you have a reservation at the Mayan, change it or stay home! My heart aches for the workers, but it is time for the Mayan ownership and management to get real and take care of their guests and staff.
Do not go to the Mayan!
Below is the text of the letter I sent to the management of the Mayan
My wife and I just returned from a week at The Grand Mayan. We have traveled throughout the world and have stayed at many resorts, but our experience at your resort was the worst either of us has ever had. First, we did not have the room we had booked, which was changed two days later. The sound proofing in this resort is non existent. We could hear even the smallest sound from the rooms next to us. It is very disturbing knowing that they also could hear us. We could have had a conversation with the adjoining room and never left our room.
The food and drink were also disappointing in their quality and outrageous prices. Any meal was at least $50 and had an automatic gratuity of 15% added to it, which I learned did not go to the wait staff but is retained by the resort. Every time we walked through the lobby we were harassed to take a timeshare tour, we also had phone calls to our room by staff trying to get us to take the “tour”.
The real insult of the week happened Friday night, February 22, 2008. My wife and I met some friends in town for dinner. Upon returning to the resort, there were picketers at the front entrance. When we attempted to enter, they told us the hotel was closed. We explained that we were guests there and our belongings were in our room. They told up we could not enter. I spoke to some men who appeared to be hotel employees and they told us there was nothing they could do. I asked them to call the police and they refused. My wife and I attempted to enter the door and were both immediately assaulted by 20 or more picketers while the resort staff watched and did nothing. My wife and I both sustained cuts and bruises in the attack and were dragged back out into the driveway. I again asked for the police and this time they were called. When they arrived they would not get out of there truck. I asked if they were going to help and they said "No, this is private property" and then left. By this time there was a large group of guests returning to the resort. Most were too fearful to leave their vehicles. One couple had their two small children in the resort with a babysitter and was also told they could not go to them. After a while, one of your employees negotiated with the strikers and they allowed him to escort my wife and I and one other couple down through the parking garage to a side entrance into the resort. I do not know if the other guests were allowed in or not.
Before this last week I would have had difficulty believing that, in this modern day, a large customer service business, such as yours, would operate in such a disgraceful way. You build a large, beautiful resort while ignoring the basic necessities of privacy. You are open year around but don’t heat the pools. You are in the customer service business but don’t lift a hand to protect your guests. You are large employers, but don’t have a fair and equitable contract with your employees. These people are in daily contact with us, the customers who pay for it all and deserve a living wage and gratuities that they personally earn for good service.
Please do not underestimate my disappointment and anger. Your management of your resort and personnel have ruined a week of our lives and traumatized my wife. I fully intend to publish this account of our stay on all internet travel sites and file complaints with RCI and the United States Department of State for our assault.
My experience was not as horrific as some of the other reviews because I arrived the day after the strike began. My bad experience began at the San Jose del Cabo airport where I was pounced upon by the timeshare wolves once they learned I was staying at the Grand Mayan. They immediately notified me about the strike and tried to get me to switch to another hotel preferably one they were trying to sell timeshares. I made my reservation through RCI and I'm surprised that an RCI representative or Grand Mayan representative was not present at the airport to assist me. Instead I had to fend for myself not knowing if the salesmen were being honest or not. I decided to sign up for a time-share presentation at the Playa Grande (Plan B) because the salesman told me I could move my exchange from the Grand Mayan to the Playa Grande the next day if I did not have other accomodations. (I went to the timeshare presentation the next day and learned that I had been lied to about being able to stay at the Playa Grande) I insisted on going to the Grand Mayan to see for myself whether there was a strike going on or not. There was and I was greeted at my cab by a man & a woman who informed me that I had accomodations set up at the Presidente next door. I will say that the move was the best thing that happened to me because the Presidente is an all-inclusive resort. The room was very clean and comfortable, the staff were friendly and helpfull, and the timeshare salesmen were not aggressive like at some other hotels. I will never make an exchange at the Grand Mayan, I would never consider purchasing a time share at the Grand Mayan, and I certainly will never recommend the Grand Mayan to anyone.
Grand Mayan in San Jose del Cabo: better than expected
Honestly, we were apprehensive about the Grand Mayan. We had read some unflattering reviews. It was better than we had anticipated. Here is what we found:
Arrival. Having been to Cabo before we knew all about the time share vultures at the airport. No problem, just say no and keep walking.
The Grand Mayan. Even though we knew where it was since we saw it under construction on our last visit, we still missed the entrance. There is no signage on the front of the building. Plenty of help out front once you do arrive. The valet parking guys were very helpful and courteous. The entrance to the building is very dark. It was probably designed for visual impact, but seems like a cave entrance. Totally different from any other hotel lobby I have ever seen.
Check-in. Check in is smooth and easy. Plop down a credit card to pay for incidentals, sign a few papers, get your room key and you are done...or at least it seems that way. At that point there is a very smooth hand off. You are shown to a desk where a very pleasant lady will start off talking about the facility, the town, all the things there are to do, etc. From there she will ease into a pitch to get you to attend a free breakfast presentation (timeshare) the next morning. Of couse, by attending you get a discount on food at the Grand Mayan, discounts on activities, etc. At this point we told her we weren't interested and we just wanted to get to our rooms as it had been a long flight. She tried one more time to pin us down on a time before we walked off to our rooms. Note: she called back and left a message the next day again inviting us to the presetation. Then she called again two days later. We told her we weren't interested and never heard from her again.
Once through the check-in process, our rooms were great. Large, spacious, and comfortable. We were there on a timeshare trade and had a two bedroom, two bathroom unit on the bottom floor. Nice rooms with king beds. Each room had a balcony that overlooks a beautifully landscaped pool area. One member of our party said the beds were hard, but they seemed fine to me. The maid came in and made up the rooms every day while we were out.
The grounds are immaculate. Extremely well maintained. The employees are very pleasant and almost all of them greet you as you pass them on the grounds or in the buildings. There are daily activities on site. We ended up in the ping pong tournament. Saw others playing volleyball, doing water arobics, etc. You can be as active or immobile as you want to be.
As others have stated in their reviews, the pools are not heated. That's just the way it is. We heard the staff explaining that it had been a cool winter by Cabo standards and this was part of the reason the pool felt cold. Not a big deal. We got in to swim and cool down, then got back out. The temp is probably fine if you are doing something active like arobics, a bit cool just for soaking.
We didn't eat a single meal on-site so I have no idea about the food and restaurants at the Grand Mayan. For us, part of the fun is trying a different restaurant in town every night. For breakfast we either ate pastries we picked up at the Mega store or walked up the street to the little sidewalk cafe. (about half way up to the town plaza) A tasty and filling breakfast could be had for about $6 to $8 per person.
Try Damianas or the Tulip Tree or Morgan's in San Jose del Cabo. Try La Fonda in Cabo San Lucas. Try Los Adobes in Todos Santos.
Check-out. Look your bill over very carefully. We found phone, room-service and bar charges that weren't ours. They removed the charges, but you have to find them before the bill is finalized.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay at the Grand Mayan. We would go back there and stay again.