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“place is a joke” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort

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Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Ranked #72 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
demarest
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“place is a joke”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

One good thing.... the food. It ends there!! We were a large party in the Plat. Club. Waste of money. No butler to be found. Ha d to get my own chair to bring onto the beach. Others had the same complaint. Suites are just rooms and the wireless internet only worked in the bathroom, how charming. Getting a reservation for dinner was supposed to no problem at the time we wanted. Good luck. The workers made no effect to help us with anything....

This is not a place to bring teenagers, as we were told. No activies at night, in fact they are not allowed into the disco at night. They have ID bracelets that prevent them from ordering adult drinks and still were not allowed in. Thank God the weather was beautiful, it was our only savor ....

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank larry g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,287)
Date | Rating
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English first
North Vancouver
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

We, (my wife, 18 year old daughter and I), are just back from one week at the Princess Sunset. We are athletic people who travel extensively. Here is a summary with more detail following; This is not a 5 star, but they don’t charge for a 5 star. In most cases you get what you pay for here. If a top priority of yours is a great beach and clear ocean swimming, try and find somewhere else to stay. The grounds are well maintained and quite beautiful with interesting figurine statues along the walkways. The pools are vast. Just check out the pictures on-line. They are all shallow so no diving boards etc. Kiddy pools were busy and well positioned. Our situation required us to take the 2 bed option. They are a narrow queen size which made it tight for my wife and I but after the first night it was fine. The food was acceptable to great. Daughter who now survives on university dorm food really liked it and put on a few pounds, my wife and I who am great cooks found it “acceptable”. There are lots of options for dining with the buffet theme nights and the specialty dining rooms. It’s hard not to over eat the fresh fruit and ice cream. Typical breakfast selections, great custom pasta bar for lunch and okay themed dinners but a definite lacking of “freshness”. A al Carte restaurants varied with the Japanese style cooking show being the best and the Seafood one the worst. Smoking is permitted everywhere except in the restaurants, and it is prevalent. Activity staff does a good job of entertaining the crowd during the day. Evening shows appear to be “home-made”, but entertaining. The open courtyard where the first show takes place is a great space but smoking is very prevalent, cigarette and cigar. Signature Vacations obviously markets this resort extensively in Quebec which accounts for the smoking.
The pools looked clean in the daytime but at night you could see via the underwater lights that the water had a haze to it. I would think with the hundreds of sun-screened bodies lounging in them that would be expected. The kiddy pools looked busy and everyone was having lots of fun. We are not pool people preferring the beach and ocean for swimming. This was one very disappointing area. Unlike every other beach resort we have stayed at where beach peddlers are discouraged, Princess rents out their main beach area to an array of vendors . When you arrive at the beach area the entire ocean view is blocked by large tented buildings located right along the shoreline. The massage tent is large and you are constantly bothered, (not harassed though), by masseurs trying to entice you to have a massage as you relax in your loungers. The rest of the vendors are in small buildings, all spread across the beach front. At either end of the beach area you can get an ocean view. The east end has an Adults Only area with its own walk up bar. The ocean is not really accessible there unless you have good watershoes ,and like everywhere you have to walk out about 75 metres before the water is deep enough to actually swim in. That goes for everywhere along the Princess beach except right in front of the vendor shacks , which after a few initial careful steps around the rocks you can walk out on a sandbar to where it is deep enough to swim. However, there was something very odd about the water there. It had a dark brown colour to it and smelled bad. This was not the case west of the sandbar but while we were there the wave action was from the west. Once we were out deep enough to swim which was pretty much the end of the roped off swimming zone the water was clear. The beach sand itself was nice but certainly not the fine clean white powder like at the Tulum beaches. The ocean bottom and beach area would not lend itself to any real boogie boarding here. Past the Resorts beach activity building, was an area called, Chill Out. It cost $11 pp/day extra and included drinks and table service. You could also have dinner there for a charge. We didn’t bother but it looked nice. No restrooms anywhere on the beach except at Chill Out. There are bars all over the place and the tenders do what they can to keep everyone refreshed. A few strange classifications of premium brands which cost $5 extra but in general they provide most to all. All of the staff was friendly and courteous. They appreciate tips.

We had a Junior Deluxe Suite with 2 beds. As mentioned above if the beds are queen size they are narrower than standard queen. Mattress was firm, no pillow top. There was a small sitting area with a sofa and 2 chairs located nearest the patio. The bathroom is well laid out with separate toilet and shower stalls. A large jetted soaker tub is in the main bathroom. There is a shuttered window beside the tub that opens to the rest of the room. Our shower stall leaked water into the toilet stall and main bathroom so we had to keep towels against the outside edges to avoid puddles in the main bathroom. Linens are clean, but well used and basic. We had a bit of an problem with housekeeping. On our first full day after being away from the room from 10 -4 the room was not cleaned. Then a couple days later only 2 towels were left. Otherwise they did a great job, often leaving interesting towel creations on the bed.
The restaurants are well maintained and most of the time well stocked. All of the basics are available for breakfast. I found lunch somewhat limited. A fresh sandwich bar would be nice. Burgers were precooked hockey pucks . The best thing I found was the pasta bar operated much the same way as an omelet bar. My daughter would just load her plate up with all the fresh ingredients and get them cooked, add some tomato or meat sauce and skip the pasta. The only problem was as hard as the women worked she was doing a solo job and could only prepare 2 dishes at a time so the wait did exceed 10 minutes a couple of times. On some days they did prepare a Mexican paella served on soft tacos at the beach grill that was quite good. We ate at the a la carte restaurants most evenings. The food ranged from good to below average. We enjoyed the Japanese cooking show performance. The food part was good. Beef was chewy. You get lots to eat. Italian was good. The Grill was okay. Seafood was bad. I chose the red snapper and my wife chose the special fish. When they arrive, identical! Turned out the special was also red snapper. The fish was a whole fish, deep fried in some sort of a press. Hardly any meat on the skinny little carcasses. Looking around we didn’t see anything on anyone else’s plate that looked enticing. The buffets have theme nights with lots of selections. Lobster one night was great. Tuna steaks were overcooked but I asked them to grill one for me properly which he happily did. Interesting that he knew exactly how to cook it properly, just lightly searing it on each side. Yes this seafood was at the buffet not the seafood restaurant. Another night they offered roasted turkey which was excellent. Lots of salad options and of course lots of desserts. The fresh mango ice cream was delicious. My wife enjoys being served for dinner so in my opinion that would be the main reason for going to the a la cartes since the food at the buffet was a more reliably good option. The dress code at the a la cartes also annoyed me. Like other resorts they too indicated that long pants were a requirement. However I have never actually been required to wear long pants. I have great dress shorts and nice collared shirts. I can go into any restaurant in Vancouver for dinner wearing them but not at the Princess. Tee shirts, ratty jeans and the wearing of baseball caps was fine but no dress shorts for men. Women’s wear had no restrictions such as short shorts. Oh yes, so were my fleecy sweat pants which were the only long pants I had with me, so on they would go over my dress shorts. The maître de would go from frown to smile as I slid them on. A pure farce! I have no problem with a dress code but it needs to be appropriate to the dining décor, thought out better, and in line with what the guests of the resort are accustomed to at home. Sorry Princess management but none of your restaurants décor justify semi-formal wear.
The activity people are spirited and fun providing several options from rifles & archery to volleyball and pool dance contests. Check the boards located around the grounds for times. There is a shuttle into Playa del Carmen at 10 and 12, returning at 5. You need to speak with the concierge to get a ticket in advance of going. They fill up quickly. Tennis courts are located at the back of the resort. We only drove past them and they looked fine but don’t know what the surface was like. Signature Vacations fills this place up and a large number of guests are from Quebec. Princess obviously supports this since the menu items at the buffett under the Canadian flag are printed in french only. English is printed under the American flag. A bit of a rub for West Coast Canadians!
In conclusion this is somewhat of a fat camp. That speaks to the clientele more than the Resort. You can probably do better staying elsewhere.

Room Tip: ask for a room half way to the beach that way you are close to the restaurants, main pool and beach
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sherpajon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

5 star plus. This resort is absolutely worthy of each star it's awarded:
Check in: drink on arrival was not concerned about our bags they have a great system in place. Very friendly staff at the desk. If you get there before 3 which is check in time you are able to use the facilities including the buffet.

Room: bags were brought to our room promptly we had a lovely room clean and comfortable I found the bed to be Perfect for me I slept like a baby every night. If you leave a note and a tip in the fridge you get whatever you wrote. Be warned: when you are in your room at all times put your do not disturb sign on the door we had a lovely made knock and waltz in giving us fresh towels we didn't ask for and already had, my husband was naked I wasn't much better! This was my only concern the whole trip regarding this resort.

Platinum versus junior or deluxe suite :
We stayed in the grand yucatan platinum suites on the very farthest left of the resort room number 31159 we loved this location and the benefits of platinum which included premium liquor private lounge access to our own concierge with whom we could make dinner reservations with. Free wifi in the room and in the lounge and free room service, for the little extra you pay it's well worth it.

Food: amazing. The buffet was fantastic breakfast lunch and dinner so much to choose from and varied every meal, I would have happily ate here for the week. The restaurants we wonderful we had the seafood, fondue, tepenyaki and French all outstanding always fresh and 5 star all the way.

Service: second to none, I was asked if my steak was cooked right 3 times by 3 different waiters never waited long at all for a drink, very friendly extremely hard working individuals across he board from the gardeners and cleaners to the bar and waiters it was lovely to feel like we mattered.

Resort: impeccable so clean, working at night to clean paths the pools are saltwater very refreshing lots to choose from

Beach: when we were there it was covered in seaweed but meh it's just seaweed loved the beach massage (don't pay more than $40 for an hour) and consider not getting the facial that comes with it if you have sensitive skin, I had an allergic reaction and had an itchy rash on my face and neck for a week. I would have paid $100 for the massage though it was fantastic.

Entertainment: we headed to the plaza each evening and listened to great live music from soulful tunes you could sing along to, too
The awesome carribean sounds it was a great way to finish the night. The theatre wasn't too bad a little tacky but something to do.

Taxi! Into playa del Carmen is $20 one way no more no less. If you want to get the shuttle you must book it the day before.

Tips: bring $1 American bills to tip ( they deserve it tip accordingly) everything else change to pesos.

Don't assume because you went tanning a week before you came you won't burn I'm Australian and was wearing 70+ and a uv shirt on day 2 from a bad burn ( you don't know how bad it is til you get in the shower)

Bring the following: comfortable supportive flip flops, you feet are not used to walking flat footed after wearing winter boots. A sarong to reserve a lounge chair you blue towels go missing.

They dont have clocks in the room because every time you leave your room your key card is taken out of the power box ( meaning you alarm resets each time) wear a watch and ring for your wake up calls. We loved not knowing what time it was all day long who cares you are on holidays!

Use the safe if you feel unsafe using it try a three padlock system on your bag within a bag within a bag. Photocopy your passports.

If it's your first time to playa do not worry about the little police with big guns. They are there to keep you safe. We were advised to stay out of playa after 4.30 so we didn't do the bar seen. I here it fun though ;)

Mudslide
Mango tango
Miami vice
Mango daquiri
Electric lemonade
Piña colada

Delicious

Remind yourself when traveling to another country be respectful of their culture don't dumb them down always smile you are on vacation if something goes wrong put it down to experience

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sezzab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

I stayed at the Grand sunset princess Feb 17th - 24th 2012 with my girlfriend. We both had a great time
Beach
The beach itself is very nice, lots of chairs but you should get there before 9AM if you want to get a shaddy area. There a multiple bars on the beach and there is a BBQ at lunch. They run beach volleyball a couple times a day. The only downside is as you get into the water it's a little rocky. If you go just to the left of where the BBQ bar is there is a nice sandy area.

Pools
This place has a lot of pools. There are two long river like pools that run in front of the the rooms on both sides of the resort. If you can get a room beside these pools it's very nice. We were on the third floor which was nice. There are also swim out rooms which are also very convienient.

Bars

There are countless bars at this resort. They served a good selection of international liquor. Bartenders were friendly.

Restaurants/Food

We visited every a la carte restaurant except the italian. All of them were very good. Some highlights were the french restaurant and the tepanyaki. The buffets brekfast was very good. The omlette station was very nice. The lunch buffet was fine not spectacular but we certainly didn't go hungry.

Other

We went into Playa del Carmen a couple times. Taxi costs about $20 US or CAD and takes about 15 minutes. We did our Scuba diving with Fantasea dive in Playa Del Carmen as I read some reviews about the dive shop at the resort that weren't so great.

Room Tip: Try to get a room along the pools on either side of the resort. Ours was called a Deluxe Junior Suit...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nritchie5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

My opinion about the negative reviews is that people are just spoiled rotten, and always expect perfection! No matter where they go, they will find fault! It's very sad to me that people are such complainers!.....
We just returned from an 8 night stay last week, and we had a fabulous time on our vacation! Could you look for negatives? Of course, but that for Babies!!!

We had spectacular weather, no rain the whole 8 days, and 80 degrees everyday at least! We never even needed a jacket at night. The place, like all of the reviews say, is sprawling, gorgeous, and impeccably groomed! We were there with our daughter and her best friend. They were able to get a room, 2 doors down from us which was really nice, and so were the rooms! They too, had a spectacular time! The place has about 1,500 rooms we were told, and it was at full capacity when we were there. They have about 1,000 workers, and they all worked very hard! We tipped as much as possible, and they were very appreciative!

PROS....1. We booked as many of the al a cartes as possible, 6 of the 8 nights. We ALL felt that they were fantastic! Especially, the sushi restaurant!.....There is a negative review about the fondue restaurant, but WE really enjoyed that as well! They give you so much food at all of the restaurants that there is no way to finish it all! Yum! You can book them 3 nights at a time, but they fill up fast, with that many people there. We always found that they had openings at 6pm though. That's a little early, but it worked for us.

2. We ate at the buffets 2 of the nights, and always found things we liked there as well! Make sure to try the fancy coffee that they have set up outside of the night time buffets. I had to get one every night, because they were that delicious!
We ate at the breakfast buffet every morning and the homemade omelets' were very good, along with the coffee, and plantains with the delicious homemade sauces!! You can even ask for Baileys for your coffee in the morning, if you like!
Also, we tried all kinds of different drinks throughout the resort and found many that we loved!

3. They had great bands every night in the main gathering courtyard, plus little shows. Then, when those ended we headed to the theater at 9:30pm, which was right above the courtyard, and watched the great performances and shows up there, and we really enjoyed those as well!

4. When we swam in the Ocean by the middle of the resort where most of the people were, it was very nice,....not too many rocks, and it was sandy with no seaweed. Lots of big waves, and we had fun there! The beach in the Adult section had a lot of sharp rocks and lots of seaweed, so we just stayed clear of that area. Caution though>>>>>>>Way out at the sandbar, a couple of people got stung by Stingrays, while we were there. They were buried in the sandbar......so we just stayed clear of that area, and had no problems. The last day, we paid the $10 to sit in the Chill out section and loved it. There were cushions on the chairs and they were very comfortable, unlike the other chairs! (Don't forget to eat at the lunch grill on the beach, it was absolutely fantastic!!) There were lots of beautiful pools that were very refreshing throughout the resort as well, and we had fun swimming, and laying by those too!

5. The girls had a blast at the Disco, and 24hr sports bar every night, and said that the service was exceptional! I did have a hamburger and frys there one night, at 4 am and it was fabulous!!

CONS...... The only con to me would be......if you have any trouble walking at all,... be it back issues, or leg/foot issues, do not go here! Find a smaller resort! There is WAY more walking then you would ever think. The transports do not come around very often, and there is tons of " internal" walking that you have to do as well!
But,.... If you don't have issues with that then,.... you will actually LIKE all of the walking, because the property is fabulously beautiful, and it will help you not to gain too much weight!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank TanaMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort

Property: Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Address: Prolongacion 5ta. Avenida Mza. 20 Lote 006, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 674
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
Grand Sunset Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Sunset Princess Hotel
Grand Sunset Princess Review
Grand Sunset Princess Mexico
Grand Sunset Princess Resort
Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico - Playa Del Carmen

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