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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Riviera Maya - Grand Sunset Princess

We decided on a get away to Riviera Maya thanks to a weekly Travelzoo email which pointed me to a special. We stayed at the Grand Sunset Princess Resort ($80/day/per person all inclusive) for 3 nights/4 days. It received 4 out of 5 stars from 2000+ Tripadvisor reviews (always a great travel resource).  It was our first time doing an all-inclusive and first time in Mexico. Here’s my review...

**Pictures taken with my 6 year old Sony Cybershot - I have some fear of sand getting in my camera lens or having all my stuff stolen from the beach - therefore no DSLR on vacation L**

Resort Groundsbeautiful and very well kept. Loved the little cabana seats near the front of the hotel for lounging.  Lots of pools to choose from so you could either be partying with a DJ at a chatty swim up bar or quietly secluded from others.

Beach – The resort is big, so the walk from the front of the hotel to the beach was probably 10 minutes. Plenty of beach chairs and huts/tables for shade. Didn’t like how the first row of seats must be purchased/reserved. Also didn’t like the vendor huts obstructing my peaceful view. The water was clear enough to see fish swim RIGHT next to you. Freaked us out a little, but was very cool. There must’ve been a sandbar or something because you could be standing FAR out. Doug liked that and how peaceful and calm the water was, given he doesn’t know how to swim.

Food - Not particularly good. But not inedible. I was always able to fill up and eat a full plate without complaints. Wide variety of “specialty” restaurants to choose from. Again, not that they were particularly good, but at least there was a variety.

Drinks – Weak. Questionable whether the “Corona” from the tap was really Corona. The mixed drinks were pretty much ice + flavored mix + Gordon’s Rum. Having a few was fine, but I don’t think you’d ever get drunk off them. I almost wondered if I’d prefer to be at a normal hotel paying for real drinks.
I also decided at 530am before our flight to cut myself some bangs despite Doug screaming "DON'T DO IT!!" Still don't know how I feel about them. But I needed a change before vacation.

Rooms – Pretty nice. Minus the brown warm water we had one evening. Not cool. It went away after running the water for a long time. “Stocked” fridges = 3 big water bottles, a few bottles of pop and 2 Modelo beers.

Entertainment – There was live music and a short show every night which we took in from the plentiful outdoor seating. The open walled lobby bars were also enjoyable in the evening. Our favorite was hearing the music from afar while sitting at the cabana seats close enough to talk to others yet far enough to seem alone. We never felt like we were trapped on the resort nor had the desire to leave.

We booked a shuttle from the airport to the hotel in advance through It went smoothly and was the best deal for $100 or so (roundtrip for 2). I should’ve booked our dolphin swim in advance to save $50. It was so much fun though! We also got to hug this 1500 lb manatee and feed him. His mouth was SO weird! How does he get so big off only fruits and veggies?!?

All in all I wish the trip were a day longer. And maybe we should’ve brought Mia - more on that tomorrow. But we still had a good time. As for the resort, overall I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5. Where have you vacationed lately?

linked up here:
Sweet Shot Day


Agatha said...

Yikes...Corona from a tap??? I like the bangs! They make you look older I think.

stinertrev said...

Loved the pics. So glad you guys could get away! Mike yells that at me too when I try to do something to my hair with scissors. Go figure!

mvgumiran said...

i went on an all inclusive mexico trip last year and my biggest complaints were the food and the booze too. i think if i had to re-do, i'd rather just pay for what i want then feel like i have to eat/drink their stuff because it was already paid for. the place looked awesome though!

Vivian said...

Well it looks like after Aruba (see my post) my next destination will be the Mexican Riviera. We are so lucky, huh? Great pictures!!!