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Reviews (15,752)
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Reviewed 27 March 2007

We arrived before noon and got checked in right away. We stayed at the resort in room 1834 the week of March 3rd. It was a great location if you can't get in the 1900 block of rooms (ocean front) and you should ask for 2nd or 3rd floor. We had a view of the pool and ocean and it was convenient to the lobby bar and buffet to. This is a beautiful property and as other reviews had said it's a variation from your typical Mexican Resort. We found the property well maintained and it's really pretty at night with the colored lights. Staff was very friendly.

The food was great, buffet had a wide variety that should please anyone. Always something there that kids would like along with the snack bar by the beach. We booked reservations immediatly when we checked in for our speciality restaurants and had no problem with choices. We ate at the Mexican, Brazillian, Italian and Japenese at the speciality restaurants. Our favorite was the Japenese and least favorite the Brazillian. Heard the Cajun was really good. Friday Lobster buffet we ate late and they ran out of lobster so get what you want first time around. Tuesday Mexican Buffet was good to.
Pools were really wonderful there, the swim up bars were great. We read reviews on the ocean and yes take your water shoes you need them. We knew but did miss the long walks on the beach, that was our main complaint of the whole trip. Just need the exercise and break from sitting in the sun.

Shows were lacking some but again it's a extra bonus so don't expect a 5 star performance.

All in all, I'd go back again if it wasn't for the beach, everything else was great. Try the Dirty Monkey for drinks, they were great and ask for the top shelf liquor, no extra charge.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank TXtravlerGrapevine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2007

BACKGROUND
We stayed at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya for the two weeks from February 17th to March 3rd. This was my first-ever winter vacation to a sun-destination so there was no previous experience to bias my observations. My wife has travelled to other sun destinations(Dominican,Cuba,Puerto Vallarta) but this was her first time to a 'Five-Star' all-inclusive. The Sunquest booking was through iTravel2000. We booked about six weeks ahead to ensure the dates chosen were secured. The Grand Sirenis was selected by a couple who were our travel companions and who both have a significant amount of travel experience. We were well aware before departure that this was a new resort and we had read the reviews on Trip Advisor also. We all chose to keep an open mind about what may be experienced.
CHECK-IN
We arrived late in the evening at about 11:30PM and the process was just fine. Leave your luggage at the entrance and the staff will deliver it. The lobby is very large and simplistic in design. It appears that the design is an attempt to fuse Mayan history with modern amenities. The lobby staff were welcoming and the drinks were a nice touch. All of us are able walkers so we made off with our room keys & info packages to find our room. For travelers from north-eastern Ontario who left behind weather in the -20's, it was like a warm summer evening!
ROOM
We found our room to be more than adequate in size and the open design is a bit unusual. These rooms should be just fine for any 'regular' couple/family. The safe worked properly.(just read & follow the instructions) Our luggage was delivered promptly. The only issue with the room was the cleanliness of our tub upon arrival. We left a note but the tub was untouched. After speaking with the Concierge, it was clear that the cleaning staff could not be expected to read English.(our oversight) The Concierge passed along our request and the tub was clean for the remainder of our stay. The only other hiccup with our room was the expiry of our keys one day early. A trip to the Front Desk corrected the matter. A small inconvenience but still annoying. Our room was a garden view looking west in the Luum Building(1700's).
RESTAURANTS
The Lobby restaurants' provided a large variety of dining choices at every meal. There was always at least one cook available for custom requests. The Lobster Gala on Friday night is a must for the seafood lovers!(be sure to book ahead) The Ranchero buffet near the upper pool was OK for lunch but we found that the Bayou restaurant at the Mayan Beach side of the resort was better. The best choice for lunch seemed to be the Akumal buffet. There is something for everyone at the buffets and there are microwaves for people who like to have their food piping hot.
We booked the a la carte restaurants on our first morning and chose the Steakhouse, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean and Brazilian. I found all were good but the seating times are set up a little too close for liesurely dining. The Japanese experience ended with us being asked to leave. We did not try the French because strangely, there is a surcharge of $35... not sure why... but explains why we never saw more than two couples in there at any time. I believe the staff did very well in attempting to recreate these dining experiences.
One of our travel companions commented that they found the evening buffet dining was better than the a la cartes!! The Head Chef is to be commended for ensuring excellent variety & quality.
BEACH
The beach is well, a beach inside of a coral cove. My wife is an ocean/beach nut and it was OK for her because she brought water shoes. It appears that the original, natural beach was very small and they imported a significant amount of sifted coral sand from south of the cove. Again, this is a new resort so the beach is quite fine for basking. If you are the type who wants an endless beach to walk along then The staff clean the beach every morning.(by hand!?) On the north side of the cove there's snorkeling for those who do not wish to take a day trip away. Drinks are served at all areas on the beach by the staff or go pick up your own at the Beach Bar or Health Bar. My only disappointment with the beach was the inconsiderate guests who rush out in the morning to reserve a beach chair(or pay someone to reserve it for them) then leave it unattended until sometime around noon!!!
POOLS
Three pools on the premises with the Lazy River plus a wading pool for the little ones! Two pools with a swim-up bar and the other with a health drink bar! If you're a barfly at heart then this is heaven for sure!! Aquacize, scuba, dance lessons... you never have to be bored. The Mayan Beach's pool is a bit quieter than the Riviera Maya's pool next to El Rancho. Something for everyone!
ENTERTAINMENT
The resort has created a family-oriented environment and many three-generation families were evident in the audience. The evening entertainment was very good overall considering that the MC kept repeating that they are 'not professional'.(whatever that means to them) Anyone expecting a 'Broadway' or 'Vegas' type of entertainment would be quite disappointed. The Tuesday 'Mexico Show' has visiting dancers and provided a good assortment of the various folk dances from across Mexico as well as the 'cowboy' rope tricks. Costumes and sets were very well done. The Lion King show was a big hit with everyone.
My one dissatisfaction with the entertainment was with the MC... after week one his tone of delivery seemed seemed to become crude and unpleasant. He would make comments about the audience and was rude or inappropriate to some of his team members also. By the last Saturday of our stay, it appeared that enough feedback from the guests created the situation where he apologized to the audience for his earlier behaviour. I suspect he thought he could insult his audience in a style like Don Rickles or other comedians of that type. Definitely not a good style for a family resort. Unfortunate, because he has an amazing talent for remembering guests names and can ham it up quite well in other circumstances. Some personal coaching is definitely needed to take off the 'edge'.
I also had trouble accommodating the 'smoke wherever you please' atmosphere in the theatre.
On another note... Kudos to 'Mr. Sirenis' from the Toronto area!!
OVERALL
This was my first exposure to Mexican building standards. The resort is new and it appears that there are some follow up items to be addressed. A construction crew was on site in various areas during most of our stay but they were never really an intrusion. All the planted trees & flower beds are new so in a few years this place should really come into its own.
The employees of the GS were always courteous and eager to please. Every question or request was dealt with to our satisfaction. The only issues seem to be with the management in the form of communication & scheduling.(the invalid room key, for example)
On a different tack... it is difficult to have a 'five star' resort when 'two star' guests are on the premises. I was a little surprised to see how inconsiderate some guests can be. Others seem to come looking for the flaws to pick out.
If you are looking for an all-night party spot then try somewhere else. If you want a place in the sun to spend with the children & grandchildren then the Grand Sirenis is definitely on the list.
We had an excellent vacation and this resort will be on the list of possible choices in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank nickeldale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2007

Wow! just returned from an amazing spring break vacation with my brother and parents. I strongly recommend taking some time off to see this resort. Most other reviews on this hotel are a little harsh (not really on this site) but the hotel was fantastic. As many other reviews have complained, "beaches too rocky", "no night life" etc they are definately wrong. The beach has all natural sand, which is a bit more coarse than other maintained beaches, but it makes it excellent to look at, and a great place for finding shells. As for the night life, I'm a 17 year old guy and i was completely satisfied with the night entertainment. (they put on shows that the staff act in), and there are also some beach parties, but i was too tired after a full day of sun to really get into them. My favorite part about this hotel was most definately the staff. Everyone there was very nice, and i especially liked the entertainment staff. If you can try to sit in the front rows for the shows because they call you up to perform with them, and compete in games. With every new hotel there are a few wrinkles that need some fixing, but if you visit the grand sirenis to enjoy time in the sun, instead of acting like a travel agent noticing every small detail, then your vacation shoul be as enjoyable as mine. If you have any questions on the snorkeling, scuba diving, or some of the other activities , imight be able to answer them for you. just email me at fungi_21@hotmail.com

  • Stayed: March 2007
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12  Thank WanderingNugget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2007

It was a great place to stay.

I don't really have much to stay other than the usual, great food, great people, great rooms..etc but I figure I have to add my contribution since I benefitted so much from reading other's reviews.

I did find the bathroom hole awkward when I was there with my mother and my son (8).
(However, I asked the hole to be covered on check-in, and it was really done at promised time. I rarely see things get done at promised time in vacation resorts, so I was really impressed.)

Wife told me I need a consent form to take my son without my wife only the day before leaving. So I went through some hassle preparing for a document which costed me $150.
The airport staff at Toronto asked for it, but nobody in Mexico ever asked me to see it.

My only complaints about the hotel are :

- the bathroom hole.
- need more garbage can in the room, and on the beach.
- lots of repeated walking.

And another thing about the hotel is.. there seem to be more staff than the guests.. and you can never sit down somewhere without being asked if I wanted a drink.
One time, I fell in sleep sitting in one of the comfy lobby chair.. and the waitress woke me up to ask if I wanted a drink.
(She didn't know that I was sleeping - of course. It's almost their habit to cheerfully ask for a drink.)

And.. we went to Tulum by Collectivo one day.
Collectivo is a public transportation that costs you $2 one way anywehre between Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
You just walk 5 minutes to the highway and a collectivo will stop for you in a few minutes.

Tulum by collectivo takes about 20 minutes or so. We also went to Playa del Carmen by collectivo, a 30 minute trip from the hotel.

Playa del Carmen is not really mentioned anywhere as attraction. But it's a MUST-SEE place for tourists. They have a long tourist downtown where you can eat-drink-do shopping. And the beach there is super fantastic. And the ferry terminal there is another dream-like place. I think I could stay at the terminal second floor the whole day, only if I didn't have to eat.

Both Tulum and Playa del Carmen are perfect for a half-day course. You can leave after early breakfast and come back for lunch. And it costs you only $4 per person for roundtrip.

And.. my mother also wanted to venture to Coba. But that one was more than a half-day trip and needed changing bus at Tulum downtown. I was told from the staff that a bus would be running between Tulum and Coba every few hours.
We decided it's a bit too much trouble, so decided not to go.

And.. this lovely $2 collectivo also gets you anywhere like Xel-Ha and XCaret, since they're all along the highway between Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

I never thought of choosing a Mayan Riviera hotel for a transportation convenience, but it is really in a convenient location!

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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17  Thank 4,164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2007

We just returned from a one week stay at Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya from March 16-23, 2007. My husband and I travelled with our two children, ages 16 and 7. We had an incredibly wonderful time! I, like others, had some concerns after reading reviews on this website but they were totally unfounded and I can't believe that I even worried about them! The resort is beautiful, the food is great, service is fantastic! We booked our trip through Sunquest, took the bus from the airport and it was fine. We were the second drop off and we were at the resort in less than three hours from landing in Cancun. Sounds like a long time but really wasn't. The actual bus ride was only about an hour or so. Customs was very busy but everything went smoothly. The Corona on the bus was great, cold and plentiful. We took advantage of that. Checking in was without issue, our bags were delivered to our room within 15 minutes, and the concierge was most helpful in making reservations for the a la carte restaurants. We ate at the steakhouse, mexican, italian and japanese. They were all very good. No complaints. The breakfast buffet was great. My kids enjoyed the pancakes and waffles. I enjoyed the toast (the bread is so good) and the fresh fruit. The coffee is incredible! We ususally did buffet for lunch and three nights for supper. Food is plentiful and there is so much to choose from, if you can't find something you like, you have a problem. The wait staff is friendly and is always refilling drinks and removing used plates, etc. I could truly go on and rave about everything at this resort but I won't. Just know that any of you that have trips booked, I am envious! You will have a fabulous holiday. We live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the 30-32 degree temperatures and beautiful, sunny skies were a wonderful change from our dreary winter. We also met some wonderful fellow Nova Scotians that have become great friends. Hola Adrian and Paulette, Jeff and Bev!

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank NovaScotiaSunGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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