All Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort and Spa Customer Reviews
We can always count on Cheap Caribbean for ensuring that the properties they work with each offer great experiences and Caribbean Jim's CSR's work magic making sure arrangements like staggard airport pickups & transport go perfectly smooth! This was true of our "Ladies" trip to the Grand Riviera Princess Hotel in December 2011. We were each flying in from different points and the staggared airport pickups and transport to the hotel went without a hitch ! As the Van pulled up to the front of the hotel and I entered the lobby, it was apparent to me why this is a "Grand" hotel. To your right is Check-in and Concierge services, to your left the Main Lobby Bar & Lounge are for the Riviera Princess..... and in front of you is this incredible, enourmous "grand" staircase you take down to the actual level of the "Grounds." So beautiful, words can not describe. We were so fortunate to have been offered an upgrade to a Platinum Ocean View Suite ..... but since I had my heart set on my Swim-out Suite, I declined. I had arrived first (early) and the hotel room was not yet ready, so I spent some time sampling the delicious Mango Margharita's at the Lobby Bar.... and I highly recommed them! After waiting a short while, a young gentleman at the Front Desk waved to me letting me know that the suite was ready ..... he then proceeded to advise that they were upgrading us to a Platimum Swim-out Suite ...OMG, I was so thrilled I could have cried. It was the most beautiful suite, and we were able to enjoy all of the Platinum upgrades. This Hotel is very customer-centric and they know I and my party will return either individually or together! As for the rest .... beautiful grounds; great helpful cheerful staff; lovely beach; incredible Spa; we loved the outdoor shows and the Mexican night in the courtyard between the Riviera and Sunset Hotels; and it is fantastically close to Playa del Carmen. This resort also has a great childrens camp area for the little ones. Since it was so peaceful, we only took two half-day trips, one to Tulum, the other snorkling out of Aventura... this was great because we had plenty of afternoon sun to savor on the beach back at the resort. And lastly .... I will definitely be returning the the Grand Riviera Princess .... that is certain. Hope if you read this you will take a chance and book a vacation there ... you will not be disappointed! "Welcome to Mexico ....Welcome Home!"
88 of 92 found this helpful
From: Jackson, NJ
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
When writing reviews of a hospitality/culinary nature, I like to lend some credence by mentioning that I am a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and trained in classic French service. My wife and I are well-travelled and have frequented all-inclusive resorts in many countries. While reading the recent reviews leading up to our trip, I became a bit concerned about this particular resort. We very much believe that two things can critically affect your trip in a positive OR negative way – 1.) understand that there will be cultural differences of all kinds, and 2.) go with a positive "this will be fun" attitude. With that said, anyone that writes a negative review about the Grand Sunset Princess is either ignorant to what good food and service is, or has a bone to pick because they didn't get their way regarding a request of some sort. My mother joined us on this particular trip, which took place from October 8th to October 15th. We stayed in one of the laguna villas and enjoyed every moment of our stay. From check-in to check-out, we lacked nothing whatsoever. (They even offered a pillow menu in case you happen to be picky about your pillow like my wife happens to be.) I would suggest starting your trip by enjoying a meal at the Chill Out Lounge on the south end of the beach. The price of the food at the Chill Out is not included in the all-inclusive package, but the small expense is totally worth it. Not only is the food incredible, but by enjoying a meal at the Chill Out, you will then have the option of enjoying the adjacent private beach for the remainder of your trip at no extra charge. This part of the beach offers a quiet, relaxing, mature atmosphere with waiter service (drinks are free), free wi-fi, and great access to the sea. Our meal of two appetizers (ceviche and oysters rockefeller), three large entrees that included giant lobster tail, three desserts, mango bellinis, and coffee cost approximately $100 USD. If you're not a party animal, take advantage of this side of the beach. As for the food offered at the rest of the resort, I was rather impressed. The a la carte restaurants are definitely better than the dinner buffets, but I didn't mind the buffet food. Definitely try the steakhouse and French restaurants, if you can. The seafood restaurant, Las Olas, was also very good! Service in the a la carte restaurants was premium! The individual in charge of service is clearly well-versed in service techniques. The breakfast buffets were delicious, and this is the time to keep in mind that there are cultural differences. There is one particular country that likes to visit this resort, and such country is renowned for having horrible food, Gordon Ramsey being their only capable culinarian. I would suggest ignoring their reviews about the food. Honestly, it's obnoxious! All in all, the food was great and my mother, my wife, nor I have a single complaint about the culinary experience at this resort. In Colorado, we have thousands of pools we can enjoy so our vacations are not usually spent poolside. We much prefer the beach, and we had no problem with the beach at GSP whatsoever. It was beautiful! The sunrise is stunning, the beach combing is great, and you can walk for miles in either direction. The pools were plentiful and seemed to have something for everyone. The main pool was a party from sun up to sun down. If that's your thing, you'll love it! Yes, the resort is large, but it's very easy to learn the layout and get around. It took us no more than eight minutes to walk from the lobby to the beach and it was a beautiful walk, full of stunning flora and fauna. We never felt the need to use the shuttle service that is offered to get around the resort. We left the resort several times to enjoy off-property adventures and excursions and thoroughly enjoyed each one. We took a cab to and from Playa del Carmen for $20 each way, which seems to be the flat rate for a cab, period. The resort offers transportation, as well, which costs approximately $3 per person. It leaves and returns on a schedule, so keep that in mind. Be warned that the vendors on 5th Avenue, the shopping district in Playa, are VERY aggressive. It can be exhausting, but it is still worth the experience. We also booked an excursion through Amstar. The excursion was organized by a company called Alltournative, which we would highly recommend. We explored the Mayan ruins of Coba and visited two different Mayan villages. We went diving in Cenote Esmerald, preceded by a Mayan ceremony and blessing, requesting permission to enter the cenote and enjoyed an authentic Mayan lunch prepared by the local villagers. It was a REALLY good day! We also took a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Isla Cozumel where we rented a 1970s VW bug on request of my wife. It was an absolute adventure driving around the island in that little hooptie, stopping at will to explore beaches, eat shrimp quesadillas and drink coconut margaritas at Bob Marley’s Bar, and take a tequila tour. Another fantastic day! We felt very safe and very welcome the entire time! Please keep an eye out for a few of the individuals that stood out to us and who went above and beyond to make our trip memorable. First and foremost, Gustavo, who is a service manager for two of the la carte restaurants, Las Olas and Le Fleur. He is a credit to the resort! Janisse and Carlos at the laguna villa concierge desk who will bend over backwards to suit your ever whim. Jose, who was our breakfast waiter in the (green) buffet every single morning - Seek him out! He was great!! Russell was our waiter at the Chill Out Lounge. Great job, my friend!! And lastly, Leonel and his back waiter, Daniel, who served us at Las Olas and Le Fleur on three separate occasions between. They are an awesome team! I'd also like to recognize Ewa who was our Amstar rep. She made booking transportation and excursions simple and easy to understand. Muchas gracias to all of you! I hope you have made it this far because I promised my wife I would include this tidbit in the hopes that someone will carry on her work - The resort has several very friendly cats that, I imagine, the resort tolerates due to a cat’s rodent-control abilities. Anyway, my wife, who is a bit of a cat lover (Senorita Loquita Gato, as the employees began calling her), began feeding a tortoise shell-colored female cat who was very pregnant by the time we left and her male cohort, an orange-colored cat that she named Ginger Kitty. Any updates, or feeding of the two of them, would be greatly appreciated. They mostly hung out by the sunset side laguna villas, specifically rooms 9000 to 9004. Do not hesitate to book this trip! It is a great resort, and if you go with an open mind and a love for humankind, you'll have a great time!!
28 of 28 found this helpful
From: Denver, Co
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
My girlfriend and I just returned from an 8-night stay at the Grand Riviera Princess. It was a great vacation to say the least. The grounds are as well maintained and beautiful as most reviews informed. I'll break down some of the specifics into the following categories: Places to Eat: We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffets and it was fine. We thought that the quality could have been slightly higher, but there were always a number of items that tasted great. The selection was extremely large. We ate at 6 of the 8 plate service restaurants available to the non-villa, non-platinum customers (we did not try the Italian or Mexican). Each one was great and represented their theme well. The reservation process was not a problem at all. In the evening before dinner my girlfriend would go behind the lobby and book the next day or two while I had coffee and cigarettes. You may have to take an earlier or later time, but either has its benefits. Employee Hospitality: Service was amazing. Each and every employee works hard to please. They do this while dealing with some individuals that should not be treated so kindly. We found that a lot of upper class families attended this resort were much too accustomed to demanding things be done and brought to them. We had one instance of bad service with one waiter during the entire trip. Sand and Sea: The beach is nice. It is rocky at the entrance. You have to understand though; I'm not a beach person. I'm a pool person and always have been. They do however have free snorkels, kayaks, and catamarans to rent. We took advantage of these things. We went to the Chill Out beach one day (this costs $10.00 per person). They have cushioned beach chairs with umbrella's and a nice, large tiki bar. I enjoy places that aren't very crowded, and this wasn't. My girlfriend doesn't mind being surrounded by people. So, I thought it was worth the money and she didn't so much. It is a beautiful part of the beach though. Pools: Everywhere. There is water everywhere. The pools are set up nicely and there are several swim-up bars. One negative aspect; people do place towels on chairs and then don't show up for hours. It is a touch irritating. Once again, we're coming back to people's ignorance. The resort has rules against holding chairs, but imagine how that would go over if enforced. We could find chairs, they just weren't shaded. Extra-curricular Activities: We went to Xel-Ha. It costs approx. $100 per person. This includes park admission, transportation to and from the resort, and all food and drink (including alcohol) inside the park. The main attraction of the park is snorkeling down a stretch of river containing tons of fish. You can also zip line, jump off of cliffs, look at the beautiful macaws, etc. I personally enjoyed diving to the bottom and looking at the gorgeous conch that lined the sand along a particular stretch. That is until I noticed the large sign that said, "Do Not Touch The Conch". We really enjoyed our trip here and it is from about 7:00a.m. - 6:00p.m.. So expect to be gone all day. Nights at the Princess: Live bands, flaming coffees, fire shows, nightly entertainment in the theatre, the best popcorn you will ever have, alcohol (which is included in your price), lobby bar. That's pretty much what our evenings consisted of. The theatre shows are amazing and the performers are great. I recommend catching a couple. Heads up; the sports bar is the "cool kids hang-out". But, they serve food 24-7. So...you have to deal with the daycare center if you want a hamburguesa con queso y papas frittas at 2:00 a.m. This was a nightly struggle with myself. There is also the disco. This place is foggy, loud, and very fun if you have been drinking for the past six hours. Gym: I forced myself to exercise every day due to the ridiculous amount of calories I seemed to consume. The gym was nice. 5 ellipticals, 3 treadmills, 5 bicycling machines, 2 weight resistance machines, and free weights. Please note - 1 pound = .45 kilograms. I can't imagine there is much else to say. We read some horrible reviews before we left. The people writing them must lead a different lifestyle than myself and I've been told that I'm not the simplest person to please. We recommend this resort.
21 of 21 found this helpful
From: North Central Pennsylvania
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
We were very seasoned travellers- before we had children- and had never considered an all-inclusive option, mainly because we liked the adventure of each day. So, this is our first, Overall, we enjoyed the resort. The beaches, pools and grounds were lovely. We did not figure out till the last few days that there was an adults-only section (since we did not brings the kids along) which was significantly quieter. The foor was average, same breakfast and lunch buffet each day, which was nice but tended to get a bit boring after a few days. We did have to make revervations for most of the dinner restaurants and did not have any trouble getting in- do this when you first arrive. Some of the other resorts do not require reservations which may be better for scheduling flexibility of the day. The resort did state there was "a free shuttle to Playa del Carmen" which only ran 2 times per day (1000 and 1200) but you had to make reservations at 0800 the day before over at the other section of the hotel (Riviera Sunset). There were only 8 seats and was impossible to get in. The taxi to the town was $40 round trip with the ferry to Cozumel running $46 per person roundtrip. That just seemed misleading from the website. Overall we did enjoy our stay and this resort was a good value; however, we think that next time we will splurge a bit more and upgrade to the next level up. Hope this helps your decision!
18 of 18 found this helpful
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
My wife is a perfectionist.. Everything has to be perfectly clean and in it's place.When we arrrived at the Princess Resort her jaw dropped. She and I were in amazment of how perfectly manicured this resort was. The service was "EXCELLENT" and we have absolutely no complaints.
21 of 23 found this helpful
From: Grove City, Ohio
My wife and I just returned from our 1 year anniversary and overall had a great time. It was not a perfect trip by any means but we rarely have one. Overall: --Great property with beautiful landscape, well kept grounds, friendly & helpful staff and a great location. 7 or so restaurants, 2 full buffets, 2 mini-buffets (called snacks), plenty of bars, 1-2 that were 24 hours, great beach access with plenty of loungers, vendors and an awesome spa. The property is basically 2 resorts in 1, but they're just mirror images of each other (north side is riviera, south side is sunset). --We had a swim up room and I highly recommend paying extra for it. It's nice to walk out on your patio, down some stairs right into the pool. Notes before booking this property (good & bad): --Buffet food is ok...don't expect it to be excellent but was fine for quick eats. If you're a picky eater, bring snacks or be prepared to eat very little as some items aren't prepared in ways you're used to. --Restaurant food is better but make sure you book your reservations when you arrive at the property as times fill up quickly. --There are 7 or so restaurants and they each had little quirks that made us laugh but wasn't enough for us to be turned off by them. Don't go in expecting 5 star dining. We liked the "benihana-style" dinner @ Miso and the Grill. The french restaurant was ok (not our thing) and the mexican restaurant was not what we expected for being in Mexico. --Men just need to have some sort of pants for eating at the restaurants (jeans, khakis, slacks, etc). A simple shirt/t-shirt and shoes are fine. No need for slacks and a button up, but you may not be able to wear flip-flops. --The language barrier is still very much an issue. Knowing simple spanish will help as there are quite a few staff members who don't know basic english. --Don't expect top shelf liquors at the bars and don't ask for complex drinks. Stick to simple drinks and if they're too sweet for you (a lot were), order something like "tequila & lime" for a margarita. --June starts their rainy season and it rained on us 4 days out of 6. I loved it, but if you're going for sun, you may not always see it. Expect the humidity to turn into thunderstorms at times. --Definitely book your round trip transportation through CheapCaribbean...they handled everything perfectly. --Bring biodegradable sunscreen and bug repellant with you...their gift shop charges a lot for it and you'll need it. We had mosquitos in our room because they're all over the property (and area) so it's best to be prepared. Also most excursions require it to be biodegradable and won't allow normal sunscreen/bug repellant --Some activities were a little chintzy and others were great. I wouldn't hesitate to do them again, even if they were a little "off". --The property offers a tram to take you around since it is quite large...don't bother. It doesn't run very often. We walked the entire time we were there and had no issues doing so...plus it was beautiful looking at the landscaping and murals. --If you want your minibar replenished, don't put a Do No Disturb sign on your door as they won't replenish it later. You can try but we didn't have much success (see language barrier note) --The wildlife is plentiful around the property but don't feed them. The iguanas and coaties will walk in front of you or near you without problem so be prepared. And if it rains, the frogs/toads will come out and be all over the property. They won't do anything to you but will make a lot of noise. --Always check the times of excusions, activities, and buffets/restaurants/bars. Some food is only available at certain times, some bars open/close at different times, and the activities may or may not happen when you think as it may change. Also, check with the concierge about where the activities take place as it is not clearly marked. --Be prepared to tip a lot during your stay. These people live on tips so they'll try to do what they can to earn it. For the buffets, we usually tipped $2-3 per seating and did $5 in the restaurants. $1 per drink order at a bar or $2 every other drink order (not per drink). Bell boy got $2, maid got $5-10 at the end of our trip, and we gave each transportation driver (to/from airport) $5. For our 6 day trip, we probably spent about $80-100 in tips just at the property and more with excursions and our spa treatment. We recommend this property as long as you don't have high expectations going into it. Talking with our friends who went to Iberostar 2 weeks before us, they had similar notes as us so most of this is a regional thing, not a property thing. Understand where you're going, who you're dealing with, and you'll enjoy yourself.
14 of 15 found this helpful
Top 500 Contributor
From: San Diego, CA
Travel: 3-6 trips/year
This was our first time in the Riviera Maya. The pictures of the hotel were true to fact. The hotel was impeccable and the staff extremely accomodating. The nightly shows were entertaining, but the star was the lead vocal for the hotel duo. Two complaints: (1) the hotel only offers two shuttles to downtown and they fill up rather fast. You have to make reservations at least two days in advance - which the hotel does not advertise. (2) When we made the reservation we made it for two queens beds, but once we got there we were told that there was a "clause" and that they could not accommodate our request. Our son had to sleep on the sofa the entire stay.
9 of 9 found this helpful
From: Fort Worth, TX
Travel: 3-6 trips/year
We have taken many cruises and done many all inclusive resorts and this trip was by far the best. First of all the pictures of this resort hardly do it justice. It was a huge resort filled with wall to wall marble, a variety of beautiful landscaping throughout, and magnificent statues and decor. Second, the staff exceeded my expectations. The front desk was extremely helpful, the wait/bar staff was extremely friendly and your room was not only spotless every day but the also added several little extra touches to make you feel truly special. My favorite part was the entertainment staff and all of the activities they offered on a daily basis. We did archery, volleyball, dancing and many many competitions in which we won souvenirs! Lastly with the food I expected a 3 and got a 10. The many ala carte restaurants were all setup and decorated very uniquely to reflect the nation's food they offered. The steak and ribs rivaled any 4 star restaurant here in the states and the hibachi restaurant was so much fun. Even the buffets were phenomenal. Overall we plan on going back next year for our honey moon. When reading the other reviews, don't let a few bad apples change your mind when thinking of booking with this resort. Oh and cheapcarribean.com has their own representative there all the time to make sure you have a great stay!
9 of 9 found this helpful
From: Akron, OH
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
We were in Mexico and stayed at the Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa. We paid extra and booked a platinum suite; mainly for the private concierge for platinum guests and the private hot tub on our balcony. However, at check-in the clerk tried to give us a junior suite and when we said "No sir, we booked and paid for platinum." acted as if he was doing us a favor in finding us what we had paid for. The resort is spread out and our room was quite a ways from the main lobby but very close and easy access to the beach. Annoyed and irritated at the fact that the person we thought was assigned to show us to our room was actually trying to sell us a timeshare. She was not to pushy or rude, but she was persistent. The grounds were absolutely beautiful and very well kept. The animals on the grounds were cute and fun to look at, didn't get the purpose of the cats though. The platinum concierge may have been overworked that particular week or maybe just not meant to be in the hospitality business. He wasn't very accommodating and not very helpful whenever we approached him with a question or simple request. He always seemed disinterested and had a shoulder shrugging attitude about everything. The room was clean and the air conditioning worked well. The fruit basket was a nice touch and the complimentary beach bag came in handy. The coasters were nice and we actually have them on our coffee table at home. We also had an umbrella in the room that really came in handy when it rained much of the second day of trip. The first night we were excited to relax on our balcony in the Hot Tub and were so disappointed to find that it did not work. We called down to the lobby for a repairman. He came after about an hour and left saying it was fixed however it was not. He came back looked at it again and said he had to order a part. Came back the next day that night we were able to utilized it for about a half hour before it conked out. Needless to say we were not happy. The food was probably the most disappointing thing of all. We didn't expect the best from the buffets, but we were more optimistic regarding the Ala Carte restaurants. The food was just OK for the most part with the exception of the Mexican Restaurant were the buffet that accompanied the meal had some really good offerings. None of the deserts we tried at the Ala Cart Restaurants were any good (1 bite was taken at the most) and the servings were tiny at that. We had been warned about the rockiness of the water so we both wore water shoes to the beach and didn't have a problem with that. The staff was out early burying seaweed and making the beach look pristine. The pools were big and clean. However none of the jacuzzi's we tried worked while we were there and we went to several different pools. Lots of tiles were missing which didn't look good. The drinks were good.
13 of 14 found this helpful
From: Saint Paul, MN
Beautiful place .not a thing out of place , people constantly working, painting,cleaning . The only complaint was that the pools were cold , we had swim out rooms and could not take advantage of them because of the water temperature.
8 of 8 found this helpful
From: New York
Travel: 1-2 trips/year
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