More about Grand Oasis Viva Beach
Grand Oasis Viva Beach is not that bad
Grand Oasis Viva Beach is an added wing to the regular Oasis Viva beach. The food, the pool, the staff and the lobby are the same. We basically share everything. However, during my stay (May 3rd was the the day we arrived) we DID have a full minibar and a plasma tv in our room. The room was absolutely amazing. New, clean and comfortable bed. Great ocean view but no balcony. Only 15 rooms have a balcony.
Great entertainment shows twice a week and fun activities at the resort.(by the pool: beach volleyball, ping pong, water aerobics, etc) Every night, a bunch of the people go out to a different place in the city with the staff members. (Coco bongo, Daddyo's, senor frogs, etc)
Food was pretty average. Nothing great. The Brazilian steak house is officially open !!! (only open for people staying at the Grand Oasis Viva Beach). Mexican Resto was terrible..don't even bother making reservations.
During our stay, we stayed at the Grand Oasis Cancun (5 star resort) for an entire day. Take advantage of using other Oasis resort facilities. You could eat, swim and enjoy yourself at another Oasis resort for free!!
First of all, the hallways and elevators are not air conditioned. The Grand Oasis Viva Beach and Oasis Viva Beach are the same hotel. Just two buildings and two front desks. The food was O.K. There wasn' t 24 hr room service and the restaurants were only open certain hours. The drinks also O.K. The staff wasn't too friendly. Only spoke when spoken to. I traveled with my husband and 2 kids. The first night I went to all the restaurants looking for milk no one had any. I called room service for milk for the baby and I was hung up on. I had to get a taxi and go to a store to get milk at 11:30 p.m. They would run out of towels. The guys at the towel cabana filled up my kids floaties twice with a pump. The next day I went to have them filled and they sent me to concierge. Concierge went to the towel cabana, argued with the towel guys and found the pump in one of the drawers. The pools are kind of small. They look beautiful in the pictures. The beach had a lot of seaweed and was a little rocky. The Riu hotel is next to it and we walked through it. It was spectacular. I'd stay there on the next trip.
Good for the $$
We arrived at the Grand Oasis Viva Beach on 5/31/2008, we received a great deal from bookit.com. Last time we were in Cancun we stayed at the Cancun Palace. This place can't compete with Cancun Palace at all, but it wasn't a horrible experience either. We traveled with our children ages 9 and 12, and my parents. We had new rooms on the Grand side, and we were lucky enough to get a corner room (huge)-the older rooms at this hotel looked horrible. The food was Okay, the Italian Rest. was great, but the entire staff was RUDE, beyond belief. We must have spent at least $175.00 during our stay tipping them for drinks and food, but it didn't make a difference. I truly felt that the staff hated all of the tourists, especially Americans. I will never return to this hotel because of the way we were treated. BUT, in all fairness, for the price we paid I can't complain too much. The beach is perfect for young children, because there are no waves. However, the trade-off is that the water isn't nearly as blue or beautiful as it is over at the side of the hotel zone where Cancun Palace is. We visited the Grand Oasis Cancun on one day of our stay, and the kids and ourselves didn't want to go back to Viva Beach. The staff was friendly, the food was better, and the vibe was upbeat and fun. However, if you don't like loud music, and super fun people, don't go and just stay at Viva Beach. The Vibe at Viva Beach is almost coma-like. If you are on a tight budget, and get a deal like we did on this hotel, and you do not have tweens, and can over look being treated badly, then this would be a good hotel for you. Again, if we were treated better, we would have come back here again.
Decent place to stay
Overall we had a great stay here. Based on previous reviews here and in the forum discussions, I expected some glitches, which I think helped keep me laid back about the whole situation, so thanks to those that took the time to write and answer questions.
We stayed at the Grand Oasis Viva Beach May 23-27. The Grand entrance is now open. The Grand elevator wasn't working when we arrived, but was in service by the time we left.
Though we requested a king size bed, we got two doubles -- which was fine as I know you are not guaranteed such requests, but it was odd because the two beds were pushed together to create one giant bed. The two bedside lamps had no lampshades. There was a place where the smoke detector should be, but it was not installed. There was no key for the safe, so if you want one be sure to ask when you check in to avoid having to run back and forth (there is a $6 fee).
Our minibar fridge was empty and hot. We asked 3 different times for our minibar to be stocked. Finally on the 4th try we had success. Once it was filled the first time, it was refilled regularly. Here is a tip for the fridge -- because ours was placed inside a cabinet, it never got cold because the vent system was being blocked. If you just leave the cabinet doors open and pull the fridge out a couple of inches, your fridge should work fine.
The food was just alright overall, though I can be a picky eater so your mileage may vary. Definitely head to the Grand buffet (next to the lounge bar) for breakfast, the food and service were great. We tried the reservations-only restaurant Serape one night and were not at all impressed. Both the Italian restaurant (open to everyone) and Brazilian steakhouse (only for Grand guests) were great. Room service was available 24 hours a day and the one time we used it, service was prompt.
As for the bar scene -- we tried the lobby bar in the main Oasis section one night and the crowd there was more your younger partier types getting ready to go out (for comparison's sake my boyfriend and I are 30 and like to get out and have fun, but are not huge partiers). From then on we went every night to the Grand lounge bar, which was great. It was never crowded and the bartenders are friendly and attentive. Plus you can get better liquor there, and they will make your drinks much stronger. During the day we went to the two poolside bars at the main pool and the drinks were very watered down. But there is a small bar, easy to miss, at the back of the Italian restaurant/
burger place, near the Grand pool. There you can get better liquor, stronger drinks, and it's never crowded. Some people have questioned whether the beer they have on tap is truly Corona -- we were unsure at first, but we grilled the Grand bartender about it and he assured us it was. If you add lime to it it does taste better. I think because it's from a keg and because it's made in Mexico, it may taste a little different than what we're used to, but it does the job nonetheless.
Maid service was great, with the exception that they don't provide any shampoo/conditioner, we had to ask a few times before we got some. When we did get it, it was awful on my hair (the water probably didn't help either), so make sure to pack your own. The shower was nice except that no matter what time of day we showered, the water would alternate between being too cold and scorching hot without provocation.
The pool areas were very nice. The main pool is more rowdy, they had games and activities going on which made the atmosphere more fun. The Grand pool was more quiet and relaxed, so it's nice to have the options -- as far as I can tell, anyone can use the Grand pool, as I saw people with purple wristbands there all the time (Grand guests get black bands).
The beach is amazing. It was never tough to find a lounge chair, though those in the shade are harder to come by. The only negative about the beach is that it is very narrow -- we tried to play frisbee out there but it was short-lived. Getting into the water you may encounter some rocks, so be careful, but you quickly figure out where the best places to get in and out are.
The location of the hotel is great. We walked to the shopping/
nightlife area several times, it's about a 10 minute walk and we felt safe even very late at night. We also used the bus to head over to La Isla mall, that was painless and very quick, and a fun adventure.
Overall, while there were a few glitches, we had a great stay. It was my first time at an all-inclusive so I can't compare it to anywhere else, but I think it was great for this trip. I do think the slightly higher price for the Grand was worth it, we ended up spending more time in the Grand areas than I thought we would, so for us it was money well spent.
Well let me begin by telling everyone this is not a 5 star but a 3 star at best Grand oasis will never exist,not enough staff to handle double complex.We booked through Sunquest and when we arrived were told we could have canceled or changed resort prior to arriving.What a joke my travel agent spoke to Sunquest 2 days before and this was never mentioned. No elevators no 24 hour room service,no 24 food,sulfur smell in lobby,no priority in a la carte restaurants,rude desk,buffet was overcrowded with dirty linens no clean cutlery or dishes minimun 20 minute wait just to get in.I am an avid traveler and received better service years ago at 3.5 cubian resorts.Never again will I go to Oasis resorts or use Sunquest total fraud.My travel agent sent a letter to complain,lets see if they are professional enough to respond.Should you have any specific questions please ask.
Good first impression
This was my first trip to Cancun, and because my friend is a travel agent, we got an excellent rate as the hotel is actively promoting the 'Grand'. So, I may be a little bias in my review.
Overall the hotel was a pleasant experience. Apparently the 'Grand' portion of the hotel is an extention of Oasis Beach, as others have mentioned. We had to go into a seperate entrance which was a difference of about 100 yards and has it's own 'check' in area. I found this comical, and a little confusing upon arrival (as did my driver).
It smelled like rotten eggs in the lobby, which was a little unpleasant considering the heat. But the room was beautiful, good air conditioning and we had a plasma -- even though I wasn't there to watch TV, there were music channel's to listen to when getting ready for the night life! (Speaking of night life, Senior Frogs, Coco Bongo and others were within walking distance and really close to the bus which cost $.70 each way).
Disappointments about the room -- no balcony (make sure to reserve one because the view rocks), fridge with complimentary beverages was hot (and contained one beer per day -- haha)and the shower was cold at night.
Pools and beach were awesome! Get up early, grab a palapa and floating device -- they go fast and are limited. Swim up bar slushhy drinks was OK -- the tequiilla and white wine was great! Bartenders were professional and sweet, as was the staff.
My friends said the food at the buffet was better than most all inclusives so I went with it. However, I thought it was average, and couldn't get use to the weird food. Sushi was good! Don't bother with the Mexican cafe, not worth the reservation.
Overall I had a great time, and goal for going ---- lazy, buzzed days, working on my tan on the white sand beach of Mexico -- was accomplished! :-)
No complaints here!
We stayed in the Grand section of the Oasis Viva from April 25th to May 9th. Our room was on the 4th floor (441) and had a balcony with a wonderful view (I called in advance and requested it). We had a plasma TV and an extremely comfortable king size bed. The alarm clocks hadn't come in yet, but we didn't care because you could request a "wake-up" call from the front desk. Other than that, everything that was promised was delivered and the room looked exactly as it does in the pictures. Our mini-fridge was stocked every day with pop, water, and beer and we left tips for the person who looked after it. We had a bit of trouble adjusting the temperature, but once we got it figured out, we were good to go.
The grounds are beautiful, with lots of greenery and tended by gardeners who were constantly at work. The beach is fabulous and you quickly learn where the rocks are and the path to take in order to avoid them. The tropical fish come right in around the rocks and they were amazing. We saw at least a dozen different kinds, and they could be viewed without a mask and snorkel. The beach hut has beach toys and floating devices available for your use. It was like being in paradise, floating around sipping on a cool drink and basking in the sun.
The restaurants and buffet have a wide variety of food and over the two week period we were there, we could have eaten something different every day. There was lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to traditional American and Mexican dishes. The snack bar has excellent club sandwiches and french fries. It is important to familiarize yourself with the routine and hours of operation for each restaurant. You can get a pamphlet from the concierge. There was only one restaurant that required reservations while we were there. All restaurants and bars are open and operating, including the steak house.
The elevators seemed to be an issue according to some of the reviews, but we didn't find them bothersome at all. There were two in the Oasis and the one in the Grand section was almost finished when we left. The smell people mention is only evident periodically and it wasn't a problem either. The high lime content in the soil gives off a smell that we are not used to anyway.
We booked with Sunquest and our transfers to and from the airport went off without a hitch. Just remember to smile, say "no thanks" and walk right past all the people who offer to assist you in the airport terminal. There will be a rep waiting right outside the doors with a sign that says "Sunquest." If you allow someone to help you with your bags, they will be looking for a tip. Check-in is 3PM, but we were given our bracelets and turned loose. We had packed swimsuits, sunscreen, and our big travel mugs (compliments of our travel agent) in our carry-on luggage, so we were prepared. Once our room was ready, the bell-boy took our luggage up for us. We didn't have to worry about a thing.
Internet access is available in the Oasis lobby ($5 for 30 minutes). There are two computers set up beside the concierge desk. I would type my letter on Microsoft word and then cut and paste it once I was finished in order to keep connection time to a minimum. This worked well. You can have it billed to your room. The $2 donation that some people complained about is explained to you in your welcome package and as it says, it is optional. I thought it was a worthy cause and applaud the Oasis chain for undertaking this project.
The front desk of the Grand opened while we were there, but the staff at the Oasis desk were especially helpful and we never once went to the Grand desk. I was always up early so I would seek out Miguel, the night manager, who was very accomodating and full of useful bits of information. I would go down to the lobby at 6AM, pour myself a coffee from the urn set up on the lobby bar, use the computer and head to the beach until breakfast. Cappucino is available once the lobby bar staff arrive. The beach loungers are plentiful and there were always lots, even if you didn't reserve one with your towel. The buffet opens at 7AM.
I do not speak Spanish (wish I did), but language did not seem to be a barrier. The wait-staff are eager to understand and smiling goes a long way. We tipped a lot, not because we had to, but because the wages in Cancun are extremely low. It was never expected, but I know they appreciated it.
There are activities on the beach (volleyball, ping-pong, ceramics) and in the pool in front of the Oasis. The infinity pool is quieter, but very nice. The water temperature was both warm and refreshing. The kid's club looked like it provided lots for the children to do, although it did not apply to us. The girl who runs it was awesome and she looked like the Pied Piper, always leading a bunch of children somewhere.
We had a great vacation and I am glad we picked this resort. We decided to go there initially because of the location and the fact we would be there for two weeks, but in the end, we hardly ever left the grounds and everything we could have asked for was right there at our fingertips. There wasn't anything that we desired that was not delivered . The staff knew our faces, if not our names, and treated us extremely well. Just remember to be patient, persistent, and smile. Customer service here is a two-way street and requires an understanding of local customs , way of life, and "the Mexican minute"! I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.
Great value and location for the $
Ok to start out the people who complained the "Grand" was not a separate resort obviously did not do their research. Several past reviews for the "Oasis Viva Beach" clearly had complaints about the noise from the construction of a new building. Add that to the two “different” hotels having the same exact address and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's just a new wing in the same "old" resort.
We stayed at the “Grand” section from May 10-16th. For the amount of money we paid it was a great deal. Check-in was fine and the staff was friendly. There was a bit of a mix-up with the reservation but only because the rooms ended up being booked under individual names rather than just the one person who booked for the 5 of us. Not sure if that was the hotel’s doing or the travel site we used to book the hotel (bookit).
The food is just ok but way better than the standard college or work cafeteria stuff. For picky people the buffet is probably your best bet and generally had the best food. The Brazilian steakhouse had just opened a few nights before we arrived so it was pretty empty. The staff was great but the food and drinks were just ok. I agree with the other reviews in that the Mexican restaurant isn’t worth the reservation. The Mediterranean one (Italian) was just ok – service was incredibly slow at dinner time the day we went but the previous day for lunch it was fine. The sushi one was ok but I’m not the best person to ask about that since I don’t actually like it. They were nice enough to give me a bowl of rice instead though. Oh and the menus appeared to change daily so if there isn’t anything you like you can always try another day.
Location wise the hotel is super convenient. If you need to go to Wal-Mart you just hop on the #2 bus. It cost under a $1 and took about 20 minutes to get to downtown Cancun. I’d suggest buying the bulk of your souvenirs there since it was the cheapest place for standard stuff like shot glasses, magnets and t-shirts.
If you get tired of resort food there is a bar/restaurant across the street from the hotel that offers all you can eat Mexican fare for $7. Drinks are extra but the food was good and there was more than enough. The food there was some of the most authentic Mexican food we had all week…and it was way cheaper than the place the hotel recommended. The recommended place was a $12 taxi ride away and had really good food but didn’t really have typical Mexican stuff like tamales or enchiladas.
There is also a Caracal (or something like that) shopping center close to the area with the restaurant/bar. We didn’t go in but it looked like a mini mall. There are also a bunch of other restaurants within walking distance – but they weren’t cheap. There is also a Mexican Outlet store if you walk the inner loop about a mile away. This is definitely a tourist trap but they sell tours there (slightly cheaper than hotel ones) and tons of the standard souvenirs like hammocks, shirts, jewelry, etc. The tour sales place near the $7 all you can eat restaurant/bar also had cheaper tours advertised.
Clubs and bars are about a 10-15 minute walk away from downtown Cancun. Carlos & Charlie’s, Coco Bongo, Senior Frogs and a bunch of others are all right there. The hotel offers trips there every night at 10pm and always includes open bar, “VIP” admission and transportation for about $50. You can also just show up at the bars/clubs and buy an open bar ticket there as well. Carlos & Charlie’s and Coco Bongo have a $55 open bar that includes 3 hours at C&C and “VIP” admission to Coco Bongo with open bar after midnight. By midnight the line for CB was gone but the shows inside were still going on and were really amusing/interesting. And the open bar did include bottled water…
Oh and finally, the beach at the hotel was great. There water in front of the hotel had a huge sandbar with mid-waist high water where people could hang out or float around without worrying about needing to swim or straying too far. Our group played Frisbee in the water which I personally thought was fun. The sand on the actual beach was cleaned regularly to remove small coral pieces and debris. It really helped keep the sand nice and kept the sharp coral pieces away from my feet.
Not as spectacular as I had imagined...
The hotel was ok, some of the rooms have balconies and others don't so you have to make sure in advance that you request that sort of thing. There are no hot tubs by the pools which kind of disappointed me, but there was Jacuzzis that you could fill up yourself and put bubbles in it. The food was decent, this was the first all-inclusive I have ever experienced so I have nothing else to compare to. The drinks are very watered down, I thought, and there are no top shelf liquors to speak of. My room was ok except there was no vent in the bathroom (that annoys me), and their luggage service is poor (you might as well just take it up yourself). Some people receive welcome drinks and others don't, I don't know how that works but, yeah.
The only restaurant that you have to make reservations for is Serape and you have to get up at 8am and go down to the front desk to make sure a spot is still available.
Oh yea, there are different wristbands that allow more or less service from the hotel. Purple is the least and black gives you access to all the restaurants (I had the black so I don't know what went on with the purple).
My shower was very unpredictable because it kept on going from scorching hot to cold =(.
By the way, I booked this hotel through bookit.com and there was no mention about different color bracelets. I guess we just lucked out with getting the better bracelets, because I had no clue.
The hotel was very nice,nice stuff,the restaurant was ok(not excelent!!!,just ok)the room was beautifull!!!great view...plasma TV...very private,if you like to feel VIP,this is the place,the bar is perfect!!!The bartender("JORGE")and his assistent("CATARINA")are really nice and friendly....over all we are clore to everything,so was a great choice...
Lovely hotel zone beach, with turqoise blue water
The beach grill itself
Ease of getting into cenote Ik Kil
As a senior citizen would there be a problem getting down the steps to cenote Ik Kil? Are they steep?
Re: Ease of getting into cenote Ik Kil
Getting down is easy..it's going back up that gets tough. Theres alot of steps..can't remember how many but the cenote is over 80 feet from the surface.
The steps are not steep ..more like regular steps. Just take it slow and easy and you should be fine. The water in the cenote is ice cold and very refreshing. It is a beautiful cenote.
Re: Ease of getting into cenote Ik Kil
Yes and No.
All depends on how easy is for you to climb regular steps or a somehow small ladder.
It´s flat from the parking to the entrance of the cenote, once there... there are steps.
What you might want to see before getting into trouble is when it´s about jumping into the water, specially on your way out.
Look at the picture, the entrance is on the middle a little towards the right side, the left area with the bunch of steps are more for diving.
The third link is for the steps you will need to go up and down.