More about Grand Sunset Princess
Fantastic Vacation - Grand Sunset/Riviera Princess
Traveled from Jan 2 to 9 with my wife, 2 year old daughter, sister and her family with a 7 and 4 year old.
We booked this trip through Sunwing vacations. Sunwing was the only disappointment in this whole trip. When leaving Cancun, they brought us to the airport from the hotel and delayed our flight five hours and we finally left at 2 am and landed back in Toronto around 7 am. Red eye flights are not made for family vacationers. We were originally supposed to land at 1:30 am in Toronto. They originally told us there was a 25 minute delay in our flight, which would still allow it to land at Pearson before the 2 am cutoff (there are flight landing restrictions between 2 am and 6 am). The second we got to the Cancun airport we found out the delay was actually longer and that is when the fun started with families scrambling to find a set of benches to sleep on. Sunwing will definitely get some calls!
Now to the Princess! The second you arrive you will be in awe as this is a magnificent resort. Marble everywhere. Disregard all reviews from the opening week. The current hotel as is will not disappoint. We originally booked the Sunset, but were given a room in the Riviera side. It is all on the same property and the hotels are side by side mirror images of each other. You are free to use all amenities from each hotel.
Rooms: We had a junior deluxe suite, room 6056. It is on the first floor. Room was large and comfortable. Included an LCD screen, air conditioning, fan, full mini fridge, safe, whirlpool tub, separate shower and toilet and double sink. We had an adjoining door to 6057 where my sister’s family stayed. We had two issues, in 6057; the tile setter must have had too much tequila because he did not grade the tiles to the drain so a lot of water would leak into the bathroom. Secondly, we had mosquito issues the first night. For each other night we stayed we sprayed our room nightly when we left for dinner with the Raid Home and Garden cans we got from room service. I suggest bringing two or three cans from home and doing the same thing. There are mosquitoes on all three levels, but likely less on the third floor suites. They did not fumigate the resort, as all the rooms are not ready yet. Therefore, they deal with the issue on a room by room basis.
Pools: There are tons of pools. They are fantastic. I think there were about 4+ kids’ pools. The best side for sun is on the Riviera side, so get your chairs there. There are tons of chairs, no need to reserve. Beach towel service is on a card system and there are three buildings in the pool areas with ample towels. These buildings also include bathrooms, which are well located. Main swim up bar is where most of the part happens with the animation team.
Animation team: They have a very large team. The main persons in the staff are experienced from other resorts. They put on games based on a standard schedule which include, beach volleyball, tequila volleyball, aerobics, beach soccer, archery, bocce, basketball, dance, etc.
Beach: Fantastic stretch of white sand beach. Very wide with lots of chairs. The best place to go out into the water is along the white rope in front of the straw hut built for shade. I think they cleared out the rocks along that line as some other places still have some rocks here and there.
Food: The food was fantastic. The buffets were some of the best we have eaten at. Lots of selection, including many healthy choices. Pasta made to order was a good option. We believe we put on a few pounds over the week. The a la carte restaurants were good as well. We ate at La Vaqueria (all grilled meats), Mamma Mia (Italian restaurant) and the Japanese restaurant (at the tapanyaki table). We would recommend them all with early dinner times as you will get served faster. Also, stay on top of your waiters as they are busy as the night progresses and we heard of stories people sitting for 2 – 3 hours for dinner which is way too long for kids. We averaged about 1.5 hours for a table of seven. You make your reservation at either lobby, with the Riviera side usually having a much shorter line (although we noticed they added a second concierge desk on the Sunset side the day we left. We liked the fact people had to go into the restaurants to eat, thereby keeping the pool and beach areas clean and free of people’s leftover food.
Staff: Overall very pleasant. You can tell who is experienced and came from other resorts and which staff are new to the hotel industry, have English speaking problems and are unsure on what to do. With time, they will all be up to speed.
Bars: Get to this resort now while they have a full liquor lineup (including premium) and the bartenders are not watering down the drinks like older resorts. We found the best drinks at the beach bar, buffets near the beach, sports bar and piazza bar. Favorite drinks of the week were the cervezas (they serve Corona!), Miami Vice, Electric Lemonades (great on the beach), pina colada and cappuccino with Kahlua.
Shows: There was a band in the piazza area in front of the bar before the 9:30 show which was a nice touch. There were also outside performers that come in to perform some pretty fantastic fire shows, acrobatics, etc. We really enjoyed these shows, which were outdoors and probably about half an hour to an hour. The main shows at 9:30 were mostly put on by the animation staff and were decent. The main three we liked were the Circus, American show (this was the best one if you like Madonna, Bee Gees, Elvis and Michael Jackson) and Casablanca shows.
Kids Club: The smile on kids’ faces that attended these events was priceless. The staff are fantastic with the kids. It was great that they ensured they took the time to learn kids names. There is a playground behind the Riviera side about mid-point of the resort. Our kids participated in the mini-disco at 8 pm every night. It was the highlight of the night for them. They could not get enough.
In summary, it was a great atmosphere for a vacation. While the price is still cheap, go to this resort. Next year, the resort will probably be a $2,000 like all the other 5 star resorts.
I’m sure there is stuff I missed, if you have any questions, just contact me.
Not a great trip
My family went to the Grand Sunset Princess for Christmas and it was the worst trip I have ever been on. We booked two rooms for myself, husband and son and another for my sister-in-law but when we got there the rooms were already pre-assigned and we specifically asked for adjoining rooms so that we could put our son to bed and still be close by, well we ended up having rooms that were about ten buildings away from each other and also our room had one bed for the three of us and I told the front desk that that was not acceptable so he told us that we had to wait until everyone else that was in line got their romms and then we should come back to see what rooms were left, we did that and finally after quite a while we finally got two rooms in the same building two floors apart but better than nothing, well first we got into our room and there were two beds but they are not queen size they are more like doubles, the ceiling tiles in the bathroom were missing and there was nothing in the mini bar, my sister-in-laws room had nothing that worked in it, the tv did not work and her shower didn't drain and flooded the entire room, also we could not lock up anything in the safe as it was closed and we couldn't open it, we called the front desk at least twenty times to open it and they never showed so we had to carry our passports & money everywhere, also we never did end up at the Sunset, we were on the Riviera side because they didn't have alot of rooms that were ready on the Sunset side.
The mosquitos were awful so make sure you bring bug spray the cleaners leave the doors wide open when cleaning your room and the doors are outside so you will get eaten alive when you go to bed, don't expect your fridge to be filled unless you take it off the cart yourself, I called to have it filled when we got there and the guy at the front desk said "what did you drink it all?" I said no it was never filled to begin with.
The second day we went up to the front desk to try and get another room for the sister-in-law, finally we found two adjoining rooms that were empty and called the front desk right away and they said they would have them cleaned right away and then we could move, well 3 hours later we went to the rooms and they were still a mess so while we were in there we tried out the shower and sure enough it flooded so we decided to stay where we were and the sister-in-law moved, well the tv did not work the safe was not open the minibar was empty the jacuzzi tub was filthy it had someone's footprints in the bottom, she was so upset and almost in tears so we went again to the front desk and spoke to the rep from Sunwing who said earlier if you have any problems make sure you call 4910 and we will make sure it gets taken care of well it never did for either of us, finally the day before we were leaving we spotted a maintenance guy who opened our safe, yeah, we finally could lock our stuff up and it only took about thirty seconds to open it!!!!!
Well we really tried to make the best of it but it was really hard to, we met a few people that were just as upset and had some of the same issues and more and I'm sure you will see their reviews on here soon.
The buffets were really good as well as the a la carte restaurants, the only thing about the a la cartes is that you have to go up to the front desk everyday to make a reservation and if you're lucky you can get a decent time for dinner, a good tip is make any reservation and then go when you want to because even though they say they are full they are not, most nights they were empty just a few tables of people and we had no problem changing our time when we got there, the other thing is if you can get through on the phone you can call the consierge to get a reservation, the ice cream parlor was nowhere to be found and the sports bar was filled with kids playing ping pong and pool.
The beach was beautiful, white sandy beach but watch for rocks in the water they were pretty bad in some spots but overall the beach was really nice and there is a bar on the beach, another tip bring your own thermal drinking glasses they will fill them up with whatever you want and we didn't have to wait in lineups for drinks, also ask for your brand of booze they have it all anything you want they have.
The kids club was great, if your kids want to go they do alot with them and there is a schedule of what and where they are all day, the only thing is that make sure you send water with them because they don't stop anywhere to get drinks for the kids, but my son had alot of fun with the kids club when he finally went.
If you want to go into Playa to shop take a cab, the shuttle is not free it costs $10.00 per person but if you take a cab it's $12.00 and you can stay as long as you want and there are lots of cabs available to come back.
I can honestly say that we would never go back to this resort, as beautiful as it looks it's too big to get anywhere and there's really not alot to do in the evening after dinner it just wasn't the place I would go again and it's not a great place for single people it's more of a family resort, my sister-in-law was definately not in her comfort zone
I hope your trip is better than ours was, hopefully in time it will be a great place to go it does have some great potential in the future.
My husband I and just returned from a five night stay at the Sunset Princess in Riviera Maya. This was the third time visiting Playa and we, by far, enjoyed this hotel the most. The staff was excellent and the facilites were beautiful- very modern. The hotel still has to finish a few projects but no big deal.
Rooms: Very nice and modern. Good beds/pillows/views. Easy to get a king size bed if you call the hotel before you go. Bathrooms were very nice although I heard from some other guests that water was leaking from under their shower doors. The showers are a typical Mexican hotel design flaw in that they look cool but they may not all function well. Shower heads are great! There are just two problems with the rooms and I would like elderly/disabled travelers to take note: There are no shower safety bars in the shower (nothing to hold on to) and there are very few lights in the rooms, making it difficult to see at night. The lights look like they have yet to be installed and I think it would be difficult for older people to see well at night. No reading in bed- even for me and I'm 29.
The swim up pool suites are very cool, if you're interested. You can justwalk out your patio door, down the steps and into the pool. Cool!
Beach: Gorgeous, huge sand beach. Beautiful. Pleanty of chairs. A bit rocky in the ocean- water shoes would be handy.
Pools: Fantastic! It is easy to find a more secluded spot if you desire and there are plenty of kids pools where families can be. I mean to say that if you don't want to be around kids, there is a place for you and, likewise, families can have a great time too. The water was cold when we were there because it had been very cloudy with no sun for many days. The loud music is contained to one section of the pool, making it easy to get away from the party scene if you desire.
Food: The buffets are the best food I have evr had at an all-inclusive resort. The food is not just good but great. My husband and I were so impressed that we weren't bored after a few days! The a la carte restaurants tried really hard and were good as well. The French restaurant was FANTASTIC.
Beverages: All alcohol is premium and the champagne is actually pretty good. The bartenders make very good martinis if you need a brake from margaritas. You want it, they've got it. Please don't forget to tip your bartender every once in a while! These guys work hard!
Property: WHile this resort is large, the layout makes sense, unlike some other hotels we have stayed at in the area. You walk straight from the lobby to the beach- no windy passages. The property is beautiful, with lots of water elements. Very peaceful and tastfully decorated. There are tons of gorgeous spots to sit and relax.
Spa: I didn't get any treatments but I heard they were good. My husband and I did pay the $18/day fee to use the indoor therapy pools/sauna/steam room. This was a disaster. The pools weren't working and the steam rooms and saunas were not heated properly.
All in all, great vacation! Very nice because the hotel is so close to Playa. WE WOULD DEFINITELY GO BACK!
On its way......
This resort truly is beautiful, the grounds, the pools, the food - all just wonderful - we arrived on the 29th of December and enjoyed the New Years Eve Gala that was put on ...it was a hot meal served to well over 500 people - the food consisted of lobster & beef tenderloin plus much more! The staff at the hotel worked very hard to put on such a party to include party favors for all and a lovely display of fireworks.
I must say , the hotel staff are very nice however I think they would benefit from more training, in check in /out services, maid services, repair tech's etc. The rooms, although beautiful (we stayed in a a Deluxe Junior Suite) had some problems, lack of a/c, the toilets not flushing, doors not opening with a key or shutting properly - we were moved and that was quite a hassle, and took quite some time - so the first 2 days of our vacation was getting settled in a room. Although there is maid service, you will want to call if you don't get service by 1:00pm or it will be much after 7:00pm......we ran out of toilet paper - which we did not feel petty about when calling reception to get some maid service. Although then one night at 10:30pm, a friendly young staff member knocked on my kids door and ours offering towels and water if needed!?
As for the weather, well - we cant control that - and it wasn't great at all - we had a couple of warm sunny days - then a cold front came in and it was cold - jackets and pants cold - nothing we have ever experienced in Mexico but then again, we usually travel in late Jan or Feb. so it could have been this time of year - afterall - it is their winter!
There is a great looking gym with good equipment as well as a gorgeous Spa as well - my father used the gym pretty much every day and was pleased with the equipment. The pools are huge and travel the majority of the resort- but they were chilly - enough chairs for all- so you didn't have to get up early to save one!
We ventured into Play Del Carmen, to 5th Avenue - many shops, and vendors to choose from - it was about 15 minutes from the resort and the taxi's were $ 10.00 each way - they will ask for 12-15.00 but were were guided by other tourists to offer $10.00 and so we did. The prices at the market were good as well there is a good selection of souviners at the local Wal Mart too!
Sorry,cant comment on the a' la carte meals but the buffet was very good, for the most part the service was good too and then other times it was not.....just not very consistent in this area - I guess that takes me back to the suggestion of "more training".
Just a suggestion , bring bug rep. the mosquitos are horrible...you cant see them really but you will surely feel them!
In conslusion - would I go to the Grand Sunset again - YES - but not within the year - I would still say "5" star even now - but it will be great once the staff are in place and the rooms are ready to go....we have travelled quite a bit and prefer Mexico to many other locations ...cant wait to see this resort next year!
I just came back from the Grand Sunsett Princess and it was the best vacation of my life!! I can not believe all the negative reviews that I saw on trip advisor! We stayed in the Platinum Suite and had a gorgeous room with a concierge, got a free massage and had top shelf liquor!! The place was exqisuit! Gorgeous pools and beach. Best service from the bartenders and food was amazing. I already booked another trip for May. Best place for the price I paid. I would have paid double. A definite must see resort!!!
Stayed here Dec 31 through Jan 3 before spending some time in Cancun.
You won't be the first person to be alarmed at the long entrance road as you pass unfinished concrete walls sprayed with graffiti and a partially completed cement structure on your way in.
Once you arrive, this place is spectacular. The lobby, the grounds, the rooms, all beautiful. The marble throughout and the design is stunning. The beach is wide with palm trees and plenty of lounge chairs. The pools are great.
The staff in general are helpful and cheerful, but there are lapses.
There definitely could be better information for the guests. For example, you can make restaurant reservations only at the concierge, which is one overwhelmed woman, and only after standing in line do you find that she takes reservations from 9:00 to 2:00. I don't mind the policy, I just don't want to stand in line for fifteen minutes at 8am to find that out as I'm leaving for a day trip. There was no information regarding services in the room, which would have been useful, like where the Kids Club meets (a staff member at the front desk didn't know), restaurant locations and hours, and activities.
A few service negatives: they skipped maid service on our room the first day, a waiter who serves you drinks at the buffet showed up only after I tracked him down halfway through our meal, and check-out involved a long time standing in line.
The bathrooms are beautiful but the water from our shower ran out onto the bath floor away from the drain, which we fixed by blocking it with a towel. A few other guests had the same experience.
These are minor complaints compared to the wonderful setting and things you are there for; beach, sun, food, activities and drinks. The designs of the pools allows anyone to have as much privacy or social interaction as you feel like. I am not accustomed to staying at an all-inclusive resort, but I thought the food was very good and my kids loved it.
Just a little more seasoning for the staff and this place would be perfect. If I visit the area gain, I would definitely stay here.
best hotel for the price
We booked this hotel over new years through Sunwing in Toronto. The price was amazing for the quality of hotel. This will be a $2,000 + per week hotel very soon. Go now while it is still cheap. Sunwing service was the best of any travel agent we have ever booked with. The plane food was great, all little things came for no additional cost - head phones - hot towels - glass of sparkling wine - etc. What was really amazing was the attention this company pays to the children traveling. A toy kit for my son with a small beach bag was given to us. The flight attendants brought the kids meals first (Waffles and a cherry sauce). This company knows what they are doing. If you live in Canada do yourself a favor and book with this company.
This hotel is almost 100mpleted. It is important to remember that new hotels have new staff and people have to adjust. They also have a hard time getting staff to work prior to Christmas and New Year. That said the hotel is great! Food was very good, if not one of the best all inclusive food selections in the Mayan. Staff that was there where great.
There are a few items that the hotel needs to address that some people are over blowing:
1 - Platinum Section showers do not drain well.
2- The carts to the lobby need to run more often
Other then these minor issues the hotel is the best deal going in the Mayan!
Where The Future Is
"The Land Of Investment"
You don't have to look far to see that people see this area as a great place to invest. The Mexican people are very friendly and are also very hard workers. The hotel I stayed at, The Grand Sunset Princess, had about 1,300 rooms and when totally finished there complex will be something like 4,000 rooms. I'm not 100% sure of this and it may iclude their sister hotel, The Capitian (?), which is being built right up the beach and will open in Dec..
Note, hotel was just up the road from Playa del Carmen and I didn't sight see so info is limited to where I stayed.
The Grand Sunset Princess
Aventura Palace Resort
Anyone heard anything about the Aventura Palace Resort? Is it a adults only resort?
Re: Aventura Palace Resort
try trip advisor. very good reviews on just about all the resorts www.tripadvisor.com
Re: Aventura Palace Resort
I stayed there two years ago, and yes it is adults only. It is a huge resort with multiple restaurants and the food is pretty good. We were a group of people in our late forties and there wasn;'t much in the line of nighttime entertainment that we liked. It is a nice place, but a bit of a ride to Playa Del Carmen.
Last year we stayed in a developement called Playa Car, which is about a five minute cab ride to Playa Del Carmen and very safe. There are many resorts here, and we stayed at the Iberostar Quetzal and loved it. It is not adults only but that didn't bother us. Went into Playa Del Carmen at night for entertainment.
RE: RE: Aventura Palace Resort
i was there last june. it is adults only, very big, very nice, good food, good severice. only one one warning there is no real beach! they have a man made inlet but no REAL beach. i'm a beach person and had i knowen this would have stayed somewhere else.