Blvd. Kukulkan, Km. 11.5, Hotel Zone, Cancun, Q. Roo., 77500 Cancun, Mexico
Posted by: Heather&Jay on Dec 1, 2009
see all reviews
The 5 star Gran Caribe Real Resort & Spa – better than ever and stretching along a quarter mile of white sandy beach - is an awe-inspiring resort, where style and service come together in grand fashion.
Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.
Heather&Jay on Dec 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Group
281 people found this review helpful
Hi! My husband and I just returned from a week's stay ( April 18th to the 25th 2005) at the Gran Caribe in Cancun Mexico and I just wanted to share with everyone how wonderful our trip was. We traveled there with my sister & her family - us for our honeymoon and them for thier daughter's 16th birthday. We received an upgraded room in the main tower for our honeymoon, and also got champagne and cake in our room! Our room faced the ocean and we had a terific view of both the ocean and the pool. My sister's room was not so nice, but they were moved the nest day to an ocean view as well, but on the other side of the resort.
The rooms were beautiful - although the beds were indeed hard as a brick.(Which I liked just fine) The water pressure and temperature in the shower was inconsistent but there seemed to be plenty of hot water. The floors are all marble so next time I am going to bring slippers - it can sure get cold when the air conditioning is on! We actually toured around the entire resort peeking at all the different rooms and there are rooms for each type of traveller, from kingsize beds to multiple floors to multiple bedrooms! Not once did I see any critters other than ants - be sure not to leave any open food in your rooms or you will have tons of them in your room!
The food was fine - definately eat at the seaside retaurant its well worth it! The buffets were okay - half of the time the food was lukewarm but I didn't expect any better being Mexico and all. There was a large variety of food and I never went hungry - plus there is a 24hr snack bar that is available for you snackers, complete with nachos and cheese! :) Drinks were plentiful no matter where we went - just be carefull at the reservation places - they are stronger there than you think!
There are 3 pools - one for each mood whether party or relaxation and plenty of chairs to lounge on. I did notice that most people got up very early to stake thier claim on a preferred chair/hut - I frown on this behaviour as its not fair to the people who actually are out there wanting to sit in the shade and someone has put a towel down there and they don't appear until noon! I think that the staff should adopt a policy against this.
The ocean is beautiful - although when the wind is up it can be difficult to swim. Our last two days there was hardly any wind so we could enjoy the second sand bar and the wonderful swimming! The beach from wall to water is quite small - but there seemed to be enough room for all to play and tan! Occasionally schools of small fish would swim amongst us - and once even larger fish went by! There were small jellyfish one day - but I suffered no ill effects from swimming in them!
We will definatley be going back - we all bought memberships to the Real Resorts as we enjoyed our trip so much. This was my 5th time to Mexico and by far the Gran Caribe was the nicest resort I have been to!
"Overall I was not impressed"
Katie_Kitchener on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009 | Leisure | With Group
281 people found this review helpful
Upon arrival we were given an upgraded room, which seems good but it only had one king size bed and there were two couples. We had to order a single bed and someone had to sleep on the couch. Even though we registered 48 hours in advance so that we would get the proper room. It was a hassle because we had to re pack everything the next day and relocate.
Rooms were nice and clean but we would leave at 9:30am, and return at 4:30pm and our rooms would still not be clean. We would call the front desk and ask to send someone up to clean it and it would still not happen.It was frusterating leaving a tip when we had to pratically pull teeth to get it cleaned.
Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants were nice, very large selection. Bars were good, we wanted shots are we are young adults and wanted to get intoxicated. Over half the week they fed us shots non stop and all of a sudden on our second last night they said no shots for anyone in the hotel. We were frusterated because it was suppose to be all inclusive and they can't just make up rules when they feel fit. It was even more frusterating because not everyone was following these rules and there would be people getting shots and then we would try to get some and they wouldn't give us any and if we did get any they were in plastic cups.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
It says on the website that non-motorized sports were inculded, they failed to mention that the place that you can use these non-motorized sports were 10 minutes up the road. This was also frusterating.
Overall I was not impressed and we tried to complain but we kept getting passed from person to person and weren't getting anywhere. As a result one night was ruined because they were so frusterating. Finally on our last night they offered us an upgrade, which would have been another King size bed, so one person would be on a single and the other on the pull out couch, not only that it was our last night we didn't want to pack up, relocate then have to pack up only to be out of the place by 12 noon the next day.
"The hotel staff truly earns its 41/2 star rating"
Maeve_Toronto on Nov 1, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
286 people found this review helpful
I have just read some of the "reviews" from people who had been at this hotel. My partner and I were there in October (we missed the rain and for the most part it was sunny and hot). One thing I noticed about the reviews, they all said there was no beach. Were they at the same resort we went too? Everyday I walked down several steps from the main pool and bingo! I was on the beach. I took it for a beach at least, lets see there was soft, fine sand, aquamarine ocean ending in snow white surf at my feet and, oh yes, the occasional sea shell. The hotel share of the beach ran about 4-500 yards (now I am not good at measurements) but it seemed long enough to have a comfortable little stroll in the surf or sit/lay in one of the many lounges scattered around.. And to show that the hotel staff truly earns its 41/2 star rating, it seemed every 10 minutes a waiter or waitress was asking me if I would like a drink, even while I was strolling in the surf, on the non-existent beach. I will say that on either end of the hotel beach area, there was rock retaining walls holding back the more massive waves that storms out to sea were rolling in. In that respect, one didn't have a clear unimpeded view of the Caribbean unless you looked directly ahead but it was still a very acceptable beach.
The Hotel itself was spotless, they were always cleaning something. Our room was very satisfactory and had everything one would need. The mini-bar was always full and cold. Staff as I previously wrote were always available to you and were courteous. Ours was a Signature Vacation and the rep, Petra, was just a delightful young woman and went out of her way in one particular instance to help us (and it wasn't related to the hotel or our flight).
The only downside was the food. Breakfast was good (the Bartender made a great Mimosa to go with the scrambled eggs). For lunch anything beyond a very acceptable hamburg and you were putting your taste buds in jeopardy. Same with dinner. And it was boring, always the same no matter what they called it. But then, I consider any food south of Florida to be just enough to keep you alive on your vacation, certainly not fine dining. And the Gran Caribe Cancun did nothing to alter my opinion in that department.
The Real Gran Caribe Cancun is on our list to visit again.
"A nice sunny getaway, in a really nice room with a balcony."
Jenna_USA on Mar 1, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2008 | Leisure | With Group
298 people found this review helpful
Left the Gran Caribe Real in Cancun on March 5, 2008. It was a nice sunny getaway, in a really nice room with a balcony overlooking the large pool and ocean. Here is what I learned:
No beach; true. There is a sandy strip atop the sea wall, so you can lie back on a lounger or bed and enjoy the sight and sounds of surf, watch albatross, pelicans, and seagulls fishing; order food and drink from the "beach" bar; read a good book; and get a tan. If you're not traveling with kids who want to run in and out of the surf, this isn't a problem. If you want to play beach volleyball, think again. I knew this from other reviews before I went, so I was okay with it.
Library w/ books and DVDs, and DVD player in every room. While there was a DVD player in my room, I never found a library w/ movies to watch or books to read. Thank God I took my own paperbacks!
This one was tricky. I didn't know what "show cooking" was until I arrived and found out it is simply a cook-to-order grill in the restaurants. You know, an omelet or burger made right in front of you. Buffet food was rarely warm enough to counteract bacteria growth, so all 4 of us went heavy on show cooking. Omelets were great, hamburgers were good. This really should have been better, but who do you tell?--because....
Finding someone who spoke English was always a challenge. The servers spoke some, the staff behind the check-in counter spoke some, the bar wait staff spoke less. This isn't a problem as long as you're relaxing in the fresh air and want a margarita, but if you want to tell someone something important, like the "hot" food is barely warm, or there were dos cucarachas in my room, forget it.
Guest relations is to the left as you walk into the hotel. Up a step or two, right in w/ the group trying to sell you an "upgrade". The Guest Relations sign at the far end of the hotel, right next to car rentals, never had a person behind the desk.
Everyone we encountered took hard American cash or plastic. If you want to break a five or ten for ones, though, you can't go to the desk. They deposit all American money in a locked box to be exchanged later at a favorable rate. They keep none on hand for guests who want to tip an employee who goes above and beyond. None.
Morning Glory snorkeling tour needs to work out some kinks. They gave us our lunch when we arrived at 9:30 a.m., piled our snorkeling gear on top of that, told us we could use biodegradable sunblock ONLY (guess who was selling it at $8 a tube), could take nothing on the boat but our sunglasses and towels and snorkeling gear, and had us leave our lunch (looked like ham and cheese sandwich) and all our belongings on tables. They had "bins" for our valuables. Whoopee. I'm not complaining about using biodegradable sunblock; it's good for the environment. Just tell me upfront next time. They did take us to good spots to snorkel and I saw things I've never seen before. Even swam above a HUGE stingray; its tail alone must have been 4 feet long. On the 2nd spot, I got the feeling I could have swam back to the boat and no one would have noticed I was missing. When I returned with the others, my sister said, in fact, that was what three others had done. I thought the returning group looked smaller! I used to wear masks in my pool (I'm a woos); they masks they provided were the best I've ever worn. tour #2. ChichenItza. Fabulous!
Hotel has 2 pools. Small pool off lobby bar is nice and quiet. Large pool is noisy w/ scheduled activities, microphone, and plenty of speakers.
Some good, some not so good. Doesn't rate w/ cruise ship shows, but I'm easily entertained. Plus, karaoke in the hotel lobby bar on Sun and Thurs was a hoot.
Most USA hotels can't seem to get 2 rooms on the same floor for our traveling party, but this hotel did.
Hey, they let vendors come right in and set up around the large pool in the evenings. You'll get nagged on your evening stroll to see the surf. Isn't *that* lovely? They will haggle; the stuff is overpriced about 3 times what you can haggle elsewhere.
Travel agent told us one thing, but it's obviously been relaxed in the 2 years since she's been there. In Gaviotas, the open air poolside restaurant, women wore coverups 98% of the time. Men wore tanks or shirts over their suits. Everyone had flip flops. In Albatros, the "nicer" all-windows restaurant above it, people wore everything. Not so many swimsuits, but lots of shorts, even at dinner. Even jean shorts. In Marias, the "upscale" restaurant, people dressed nicely. The food was no better than the other restaurants, was served with more flair, and the waiter said the money wasn't that good. Okay, why he felt he had to get that said--oh, I know, he was bucking for a generous tip.
My sister and her husband got pinned by the Real Resort "time share" / upgrade spiel. 90 minutes later, she had a pretty wrap, a nice beach bag, and a $50 voucher good toward any tour.
Not a white Zinfandel to be had. If this is your drink of choice, better find another one. The house white wine is dry. Margaritas were delicious, except sometimes at the pool and "beach" they came in different colors and flavors. I discovered I like a Tequila Sunset. Or maybe it was a T. Sunrise.
In spite of the aforementioned cucarachas, the hotel is kept in sparkling condition. Oh, take earplugs. They hose down the pool deck at night with noisy equipment.
This was the nicest bathroom I've ever had in a hotel. The shower was a walk-in large enough for four w/ a hand-held shower head that could be raised and lowered to suit.
Varied from day to day. Somedays I got everything I needed, others I didn't get enough.
Mine never got cold. I speak enough Spanish to convey this. They eventually changed out the fridge, which got cold 3 days later. They generally kept enough soda and bottled water in it.
We all drank it and ate raw vegetables; no one got sick. I even had a soda w/ ice at the downtown Burger Chef w/out problems.
"Not a truly five star trip"
Rhonda_USA on Mar 1, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
270 people found this review helpful
we just got back from cancun after staying there for one week.Our plane was late so we did not get to the hotel till 1am to find the receptionist very impersonal and non welcoming.we were very surprised to say the least.Our room was very nice.clean and fairly roomy.we were traveling with our 17 year old son.when we checked in we were given a card with an appt. time of 230pm the next day with sunwing.for two days the rep.did not show so we had to book with another company.it was a tad stressfull.The pools were fine ,small but nice.The oceanside pool had activities in it starting at 10 so we just moved down to the beach.as one viewer had stated the beach is almost not there but we just sat just above it on a lounger in the sand so no big deal.There was a red flag almost the whole week we were there but we body serfed and had a great time.the food we did not care for at all.very small selection and almost always the same.We would not stay at this resort again because of the food and the front desk people.the rest of the staff were very polite and friendly.No complaints about them at all.We had stayed in mexico five years ago at a 5 star in the myan and it was truly a five star hassle free trip which we did NOT get at this resort. Rhonda
"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."
Sarah and Bill on Jan 1, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
280 people found this review helpful
This review could be titled: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. (Our point of view is perhaps tainted by the fact that my wife slipped just a couple hours after arrival and injured her ankle and thus spent the rest of the trip in a wheel chair.)
Transportation & Check-In:
My wife and I (Mid 60s) flew from Toronto on a promotional Signature Vacation package flying on Skyservice. Our trips both ways were normal Skyservice in almost every way except.
Skyservice (the Good):
Skyservice and Signature went far out of their way to assist my wife after her injury both at the hotel and in returning to Toronto. Yes the airline food was its normal bad self; Yes they no longer supply cushions and blankets as the used to; Yes the seats are still small and cramped…But… They were certainly there to help at all times when we needed help. Small point was when we asked for the non-existent cushion to slightly raise my wife’s injured foot one of the flight attendants gave us an empty pop can box tray and is was just the right height to ease the pain on the flight home. It worked! Check-in at airport was fantastic as we were pushed right to the front of the line. It was the last time that we traveled with Wardair that we saw an airline crew that seemed to have a real great time in doing their jobs. Their friendly jokes with the PA announcements on the plane combined with a general enjoyable attitude made our cramped flight almost enjoyable. The announcement that they were about to hand out their dinner sandwich was followed by a slight pause and then the flight attendant continued stating that this meal also came with a free glass of water and a cookie. The whole plane burst into laughter. Arriving at the hotel on a Friday morning and leaving after 5 PM the following Friday gave us 8 days for our 1 week holiday.
Hotel Check-In (The Good):
We arrived quite early in the day and certainly did not expect to get our room before the normal 3 PM check-in. We were given an apology that our room would not be ready for about 15 minutes. Since it was only 11 AM we were surprised when our room was ready as promised in 15 minutes. Check in area was within viewing distance of the main lobby bar. As you checked in your name was flashed on two large TV monitors over the desk over top of a video of the hotel.
Time Share (The Bad):
After checking in we were asked to go across the lobby and meet with the hotel’s customer service department who would give us the complete information and a map of the resort. It was a very informative 15 minutes and should not be missed. It ended with an invitation to visit the upgraded sister hotel next door. We would be given a $50 credit at hotel stores along with a beach bag and a Mexican wrap. Those who accepted the offer were presented a 2 hour time-share presentation. Be warned…
1) Junior Suite (The Good) We had a Jr. Suite on the side of the hotel. Room was spotless and reasonably spacious. Large screen TV, DVD player, balcony, tub and shower with lots of hot water. Rooms had a step down to a sitting area with sofa bed and fridge. As well as the usual assortment of pop and the mandatory two free beer in the frig we also had tins of V-8 juice. A coffee maker & coffee was available in the room. Irons were available on request. Coin washer and dryer were available just down the hall. Room service was free once a day and they seemed to have a good menu although we didn’t try it. (Just a reminder that you will be charged for more than one room service call a day.) Almost every piece of flooring in this hotel is beautiful marble including the rooms the corridors and the bar. Upon check-in they certainly let you know that there were many other upgraded rooms available at an up charge and you could view them at the desk monitor. Like most purchases in Mexico this upgrade charge was fully negotiable and I spoke to some that paid twice what others paid for their upgrade. In short-negotiate. The week we went Cancun hotel association reported an 80% fill rate on the hotel strip. Slightly over 78 rooms of the 448 rooms were vacant at our resort.
2) Junior Suite (The Bad) Our room overlooked the kid’s club which was often noisy during afternoon siesta time. Music from a disco just outside the grounds could be heard from midnight ‘till 4 AM each night. The room air conditioner was very noisy but due to comfortable temperatures it was not needed and the noise from the rough ocean would help drown out other noises. I’m sure we have no problem in switching rooms and if it hadn’t been for my wife’s foot injury we would have likely upgraded or moved.
The Bars (The Good):
Although Signature advertises domestic drinks only, there were some name brands also available without charge. Regardless of where you sat in this hotel you never had to wait than a 10 minutes for a waiter or waitress to offer to bring you a cold drink. Although there is no pool bar a bar is steps away from the either pool. Drinks served at the bars came in glass containers (often frosted mugs) but for other locations, such as the pool, plastic cups were used. Service was generally quite fast at all bars.
The Staff (The Good):
The staff at this hotel was the best we have ever experienced in the Caribbean, or Mexico or indeed anywhere else and are all worthy of the 5* that the hotel rates itself. (4 ½* Signature). Everyone, without exception, seemed to go out of their way to be sure we enjoyed our holiday. (Be sure to try and sit in Moises section if you eat at the Gaviotas buffet.)
1)” Health Sushi Bar and Snacks” (The Good)
This was set up at the ocean end of the main pool. As well as two types of sushi it served a very good BLT or turkey sandwich with fries. The most ordered item at this and at the two buffets was the hamburg. It was very good and many people seemed to eat one more than once a day. (Open 11 AM- 4 PM and 6 PM- 10:30 PM)
2)” Maria’s” (The Good)
Maria’s, the only a-la-carte restaurant, (reservation required) has a limited Mexican menu which among other items includes a great shrimp main dish. They also serve a massive lobster available at a $14 US surcharge. I’m sorry I didn’t try it but those who did rated it the best lobster they had ever eaten. Salads were good as well. I would have expected more than one a-la-carte restaurant and a larger menu at a 5* resort. (Opens 6 PM)
3) “24 HR All Inclusive” (The Good)
This snack bar was a small limited buffet style snack bar. It had a bar, and a pool table. The idea was good but food selection small. (Open day & Night)
4)”Lobby Bar” (The Good)
Although food is not served here they have peanuts. I have not tasted this unique style of Mexican peanut before but they rate a 6*. Be sure to try them. There was always good live entertainment in evenings. (Open 9 AM- 12 PM)
5)”Albatros”-enclosed and “Gaviotas”-poolside Buffets (The Bad)
My wife and I both found that the food in each of the two buffets was boring and almost identical each lunch or dinner and even at the theme nights. Many guests we spoke to agreed with us. You could also order a-la-carte at Albatros in the evening.
Monday-International Buffet……Tuesday-Gala Buffet……Wednesday-Steak Buffet……Thursday-Mayan Buffet……Friday-Caribbean Buffet……Saturday-Mexican Buffet…and…Sunday-Oriental Buffet (Wednesday & Friday Gaviotas served a-la-carte at night which was good)
Breakfasts were always good with eggs or omelettes made while you wait and the usual items you would expect back home. There is one small waffle machine that takes 5 minutes to make one waffle so would suggest the wait not worth it. Pancakes were faster. We certainly didn’t starve but after 9 trips to the DR I would rate the buffets at what I would expect in a 3 1/2 * DR resort. They are certainly not worthy of a resort calling itself a 5*. (Albatros Open 7-12 AM, 1-5 PM, 6-11 PM) (Gaviotas Open 6:30-11 AM,12-6 PM, and 7-11 PM)
The Hotel Property:
1) The Location The Good)
Although signs have added “New” to the hotels name it is actually an older building recently updated. Everything is spotless and constantly being cleaned. Wireless internet is available at a charge. It is conveniently on the hotel strip within about a 10 minute walk to a shopping mall and 20 minute walk to a major shopping mall complete with a canal and boat rides going through it. There are numerous good restaurants, fast food outlets,and discos within walking distance. There were lots of ramps throughout the hotel and down to the ocean and unexpectedly out of necessity we found it wheelchair friendly.
2) The Hotel (The Bad)
The hotel has a very sterile look and is very compact in size. The property is relatively small. A dozen or so palm trees are placed around the pools but these are sparse looking. We missed the large spacious grounds and gardens that are everywhere in the DR resorts.
3) The Beach (The Ugly)
There is no beach at this hotel or at those on either side. The hurricanes have done their dastly deed. Signature had our travel agent phone immediately after booking to be sure we understood this. Many other people from the USA and England did not know this until after we arrived. At the price we paid we understood and accepted this limitation. It was very rough for 7 of the 8 days we stayed there and all other beaches were red flagged anyway. Most of the waterfront of the hotel has large bags of sand stacked up protecting the property and more placed in the ocean off shore helping to build up the beach again. You can swim in the ocean but there are many rocks and the water bags limit swimming areas.
In my opinion this is not a 5* (nor as Signature says 4 ½*) resort. It has no beach. The physical rooms and facilities are great and well maintained. The main pool deck and pool are too small to accommodate all those that want to use them. Restaurant selection is limited. Food menu is boring and repeated far too often. I would compare it to a 3 ½* to 4* hotel in the DR. Weather was great. We enjoyed ourselves but would not return. We are now looking forward for a return visit to Punta Cana DR in a couple of weeks.
"Not a 4.5 star resort"
FV_USA on Oct 1, 2007 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Oct, 2007 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
271 people found this review helpful
My wife and I just returned from a week in the Grand Caribe Real in Cancun and were both very disappointed. We are frequent visitors to Cancun and The Mayan Riviera. This was our second trip this year. We will never return to this place at any price.
My real issue is this resort was rated at 4.5 stars by Funjet and is, in reality, a weak 3 stars.
There is none--nada. The water is about 2 foot deep as it laps against the resort wall. They are trying to recover the beach with big sandbags, but this will take several years unless they bring in huge amounts of sand.
There are two pools: one midsized activity pool and one very small quiet pool. The pools get terribly overcrowded due to the lack of beach and is like swimming in a urinal in the afternoon. One night I checked and water visibility was about 18 inches.
Once again nada. This seems to be one of the most popular aspects of Cancun resorts, but not here.
One decent al la carte restaurant (where they charge you extra for lobster) and one good buffet with a very limited selection. The al la carte restaurant had the same 6 selections every night. They had what looked like a fine restaurant with a wonderful menu but the "All Inclusive Guests" had to pay for everything (at what they said was 50% of full price). We ate at the little buffets by the pool a few times but the food was cold and mushy and we had a terrible fly problem and dirty tables.
Our junior suite was excellent and roomy. The bathroom was roomy and very functional and clean. They kept the mini-bar stocked and even had booze dispensers on the wall. I thought it weird that they put about $75 of booze in your room but still want to charge you extra for good meals. They have terrible acoustics due to the design of the hotel and the hard floors. We were kept awake until 2 AM by screaming kids in the pool and then the late night gang started coming home at 3 AM. At 4 AM one of their security idiots carried on a conversation with his radio somewhere in the hallway for about a half hour. This happened every night.
This was spotty. We had excellent maid service and most of the bar and wait staff were very helpful. We did have to get our own drinks about half the time when sitting by the pool (we do tip well for good service). The front desk was grossly understaffed and seemed annoyed by all the people interrupting their day.
Shows were very good but a bit short in length (about 45 minutes). The music at the lobby bar was good. There is no Disco or Sports bar as in other resorts. They have organized late night trips into town that everyone seemed to really enjoy.
One nice bar in the lobby and a couple by the pool and seawall. The problem here was the humidity and lack of ventilation on calm days. I understand they had a nice air conditioned lounge on the 6th floor but, like the best restaurant, was not included in the "all Inclusive" package.
This is their ultimate strong suit. If you want to spend hours listening to their sales pitches, this is the spot for you. We know the game and were able to avoid these persistent pests, but just about everyone else had the 90 minute arm twisting. The real peeve is these people all had Hotel Staff uniforms and sucked you into the pitch by telling you that they had to tell you about the hotel features when you check in. When we arrived, there were about 10 Time Share Salesmen and 2 Check-In Clerks.
The resort was very clean and well maintained. There was no sign of colorful flowers or gardens on the grounds as at other resorts.
"A great resort."
Laurie_Ontario on Mar 1, 2007 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2007 | Leisure | With Group
258 people found this review helpful
We (3 women in our 40's) just returned from Gran Caribe Real and I would rate this resort a 4-1/2*. It was my 5th Mexican resort, 3 in Dominican Republic, 2 in Cuba.
The resort, in general, is beautiful - very well maintained and meticulously clean. Our room ('Junior Suite') was certainly nothing fancy but served it's purpose. The shower was big and roomy with lots of hot water ... what else do you need? The room was well stocked with lots of bottled water, and beer and pop in the fridge.
The big beds all around the pool, by the beach and in the lobby bar was a nice touch, as were the swing-seats at the beach bar ... something a little different. We are not beach people so didn't venture to the beach too much, preferring to lounge around the pool. There were lots of activities to keep you from being too idle, like aqua-gym, tequila volleyball in the pool, and different little contests and games. The entertainment staff were fun without being annoying.
The food was excellent in every restaurant. Instead of food left out for hours on end like most resort buffets, many items were cooked to order - pancakes/omelets/french toast in the morning, burgers at lunch, seafood in the evening. The service was very attentive at the restaurants as well as the poolside service. The only place that seemed a little lacking in speedy, friendly, service was the poolside bar ... that was remedied by ordering drinks from the waitresses who served right to your lounge chair ... drinks and light lunches like sushi, pizza and blt's. Maria's (a la carte) restaurant was like a gourmet restaurant .. great food and even better presentation.
We went on one of the nightclub excursions with the hotel staff (to Daddy-O's) which turned out to be very well organized. You get a wristband, take a coach bus to the club, cruise past the lineup to a roped off VIP area, where bottles of liquor and mix, glasses of beer and buckets of ice are brought to the table all night.
All in all, a great resort. Going at Spring break time was a bit of a mistake, but provided some entertainment around the pool and in the lobby bar.
"YOU HAVE TO GO!!!!!"
Patricio_Canada on Aug 1, 2006 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2006 | Leisure | Family and Kids
301 people found this review helpful
I just got back from the Gran Caribe Real in Cancun with my parents. We only went from August 19-23 and we were crying because we didn’t want to leave!!!
At first our original reservation was at the Gran Costa Real which is on the opposite side of the hotel strip, which also looked beautiful. However, upon arrival they told us we had arrived on the last day of a promotion they were having for Gran Caribe to promote the hotel after it’s renovations from the hurricane. Of course we said yes and they paid for the taxi ride to the Caribe hotel.
All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!! The hotel is AMAZING!! Everything is brand new because of the renovations, and upon walking in you feel like royality.
The second we walked in we were greeting with drinks and smiles. We checked in quickly and there’s a TV screen that says “welcome (lastname) and I thought that was cute.
Hotel Grounds and Building:
Everything is amazing CLEAN. At all hours of the day I saw hundreds of employees always cleaning up and mopping the marbel floor. Seriously I don’t understand how people can complain about the building, I read a whiney complaint about there not being too many elevators? Boohoooo, there were like 6!!!! The Rooms are georgous. Our room had a king size bed and a pull out sofa, and the noise from outside of the room is very muted, you room is very quiet so you can sleep!!! The beds and pillows are super comfy! (I have a bad back, and I slept with no problems!!) The bath tub and shower were really nice, the water heated up immediately and felt like a nice back massage.
The staff also place chocolates on your pillow at night and fold the towels like swans, so cute!
If you’re into tv, there’s TONS of channels!!
I think I must have gained about 10pounds on this trip!!! The food is SOOOO GOOD!! I’ve travelled to other all inclusives before (cuba, chile, Barbados, Bahamas) and the food here was better than anyplace else I have ever been. There are 2 buffets that are open pretty much all day, a 24 hour snack bar inside as well as outside, a sushi bar and a delicious a la carte restaurant.
You will be treated like royality I promise!! Even when I was 3 feet from placing my plate on my table somebody would come and take it from me, place it down for me open my chair and lay a napkin on my lap.
There is a wide variety!!!! Please don’t just eat hamburgers and fries like I saw many people doing, try to branch out and live a little!!
The food will NOT NOT NOT MAKE YOU SICK!! I have a weak stomach and I always get sick, and I was perfectly fine the whole trip!!
YUMMY!! My favourite was the bahama mama, margaritas, hmmmm blue Hawaii, superman, mojito…the list goes on!! There’s sooo many drinks to try from and I’m sure I didn’t get a chance to try them all!! They are all extremely well made and all of the water in the hotel is filtered and purified so you don’t have to worry about getting sick from the ice cubes or drinking a glass of water. Wine is also included all the time too which was a pleasant surprise from my parents!! They said the wine was good too.
Staff are constantly making sure you have a drink in your hand, so they walk around with trays of drinks and take orders as well at the beach, inside the hotel, and next to the pool
You will never be hungry or thirsty, I promise!
Pool and Activities:
We had an AMAZING TIME! The activities were beyond our expectations. Water aerobics and the macho man competition were hilarious!! There’s a huge list of stuff to do at all hours of the day, you cannot be bored!! I read a complaint about the night life sucking??? What are you talking about!! Every night at 9pm there’s a show in the HUGE show room. One night we saw dancers, the next acrobatics, the next magic show, perfect for kids!
The Pool looks small (there;s two), but it’s a lot of fun!! If you let go of yourself and participate in the games you will enjoy yourself, live a little!! There’s also a Jacuzzi, but we found the weather to be a bit hot to enjoy a Jacuzzi except at night.
The pool is perfect for tanning because there’s chairs right in the water so you get the reflection from the water as well.
The beach is a lot of fun, it was definetly more rough than in Cuba but it’s very shallow so you can still go past where the waves break and have a fun time. The colour of the water is amazing. The sand has little shells in it (that don’t hurt) and make the sand look nicer. The staff mentioned it was because the hurricane brought sand from deeper in the ocean to the shore. There’s always a life guard on duty which was nice and at night time a truck goes by and cleans up any garbage. We went during high seasons and the staff said every room was full, yet we always managed to find chairs. There’s also OUTDOOR BEDS FOR SHADE! There’s beds situated all around the pool, the bars and lined up on the beach
Amazing night life!! The activity staff take hotel clients clubbing every night!! There’s also a huge mall within a 1min walk and you can buy tons of stuff! Bring lots of extra cash!
Things you must do!:
Go snorkelling or at least go to Aqua World to do some sort of water activity! They’re cheap and totally worth it!! There;s a booth in the hotel to get info. At night time the staff release the baby
"Our trip during Spring break"
Maritimers_Canada on Mar 1, 2006 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2006 | Leisure | Family and Kids
256 people found this review helpful
Travelled to Cancun out of Halifax with Conquest (WestJet). Departure delayed by over an hour due to the luggage belt being broken and the airlines having to physically check 25% of people’s luggage. They would call 5-6 names and ask them to go to the departure counters where you could oversee them checking the luggage. My husband was called just before boarding which took him about 15 minutes. Once we were all on the plane they made another announcement that there would be a further delay due to more pieces of luggage needing to be checked. Finally we were airborne and all was well. Hats off to WestJet employees as they certainly make your flight an enjoyable one. Thanks to them for that.
Arrived in Cancun and quickly got through Immigration and to our bags. We got 2 of the 3 bags that we checked in but kept waiting for my daughter’s bag but nothing. The luggage belt stopped and still no bag. People cleared out of the area and I spotted a black luggage bag “off the luggage belt” sitting on the floor all by itself on the other side. We went over to it and sure enough it was her bag. A note to other travellers who remove these bags thinking that they are theirs – please return them to the luggage belt as that’s where we expect to find them.
We were warned ahead of time not to stop and talk to people saying they are going to take us to our bus asking which resort so I listened to that very valuable piece of information even though they kept calling me “maam maam, please what resort” as they said it would be quite probable that you would miss your transportation. Sure enough I kept going until I got outside and found a lady holding a sign saying “CONQUEST” and she directed me to where I needed to go. Van was full and just waiting for us. Sure enough, just in time. Van ride to resort was fine. My daughter (17 yrs old) was quite scared as they drive fast and crazy but everything was ok.
Check in at the resort was quick and room was ready. Unfortunately I could not get a room on the same floor as our friends as my daughter was staying with their daughter but that was ok for the 1st night as I would check again the next day. I have to say that the renovations they have done to the Lobby area is fantastic.
Here’s my comments on the resort:
One pool not open
Pool too small for the size of the hotel (filled with college kids and having to constantly watch for a “misguided football” being thrown from one end of the pool to the other – happened in both pools).
2 restaurants not open, only 1 à la carte and 1 buffet in the evening. (vacation to me = à la carte dining for evenings – buffets become a place to eat to live) We got to eat at an “à la carte” once during our whole trip. Very dissatisfied with that.
No beach at all (not even on either side which I understood we could use)
Spa not open (looked forward to the massage)
Beauty salon not open
Gym not open
Nightly entertainment was a joke. It was held “downstairs in an old boardroom”. Terrible. Went once and left ½ way through it.
Spring break, 95% at least were teenagers. We “older folks” could not sit by the bar in the evenings at all.
Students took over the whole place and seemed to be catered to over “mature tourists”. Lobby seating was limited and mostly taken up by travellers checking in or checking out; therefore we had to stand around if we wanted a drink or go hang out in our room. Not at all what I am used to. I understood that there would be many University students but I did not think that we would become “transparent” as paying travellers.
Did not provide transportation to sister Hotels with beaches.
Did not get in the Villas which are supposed to be quite a bit nicer than the rooms we got.
Rooms were in need or repair. Bathtubs had been painted even over the silver rings in the tub and looked disgusting. Would rate them same as a run down motel.
Noise in the hallways at all hours even after being reported by other travellers to the front desk. Many nights only got 4 hours sleep due to the slamming of doors (at times seemed to become a game amongst a number of rooms because it would be constant) let alone the hooping and hollering and noise makers at all hours.
Definitely not 80% operational. Maybe 50%. Wrong info given No way of getting updated information about the Hurricane recovery.
I am glad that I went on this trip as I now know for sure that my previous travels “are to Paradise”.