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“First stay beautiful grounds, minor issues...still had great holiday.”

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Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort
Ranked #73 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Oakville, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“First stay beautiful grounds, minor issues...still had great holiday.”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

My husband and I just returned from a week stay.... not sure where the complaints about the food are coming from in the buffet dining. We always found lots of choices and you could make a lovely fresh sliced chicken and cheese sandwich stuffed with other options to take for your excursions. They had a well stocked fresh bread, rolls,etc station. I agree they need more than one short order cook for the fresh cooked station...always a 8 min wait for omelettes. We ate
4 dinners in the a la carte and our favourite was the steak for quality and service. Italian was
ok service was very slow, Mexican was good and Fondue was ok I would not go back again. The beach bbq was great fresh cooked burgers, hotdogs, chicken wings and
taco's daily. There are 3 bars for the whole length of the beach one in the adult section that is never busy and the second at the main entrance to the beach that you may stand in a line for 10 minutes to get a drink. The 3rd would be in the Chill Out section where you pay $11 per person per day for use of this area. It never seemed too busy. The sports bar is open 24 hours and you can always get a nice snack there and a drink. The beach area is mostly clean EXCEPT for the smokers who insist on placing their butts in sand instead of the well appointed
ash trays set up ALL over the beach for this very reason. Never had a problem with finding a lounge chair in any of the areas they have extra stored you can access easily. I will agree that beach does have a good amount of seaweed and there are only a couple of areas to get into ocean without walking through seaweed. Lots of activites and the board outside the buffet is updated every morning. They have a shuttle to Playa that leaves at 10am and 12pm for free coming back at 5pm....you must sign up the day before at 8am for this or its fils quickly. We just paid the $19us each way and went on our own free to come and go when we wanted. No
issues in Playa the beach there is amazing and the shopping is typical tourists stuff... no real deals to be found except maybe for silver ( and be careful of the small vendors) and much cheaper t-shirts then at the resort. Did not like to see the infant tiger still on a baby bottle paraded through 5th avenue for tourists to take pictures with for $5.....the cub looked very hot and tired.... a beautiful but skinny bengal tiger on a lease about 2 feet long with a very dirty water bowel forced to have pictures taken for $5. I laughed when I was told the iguana are protected (as they should be) in this area and yet these poor animals are forced to pose and behave for the all mighty buck. Our room was clean and had lovely marble tiles throughout we were in bldg 2 room 2133 which faced the children's play yard and we learned at night was also the main road for all deliveries and security to drive up and down and the shuttle service.... we learnt by the lack of sleep the 3rd night we had to keep the balcony door closed and the air on. Which was too bad because it does cool down at night and their is a lovely breeze. We had a junior deluxe suite with a king bed for us the bed was very hard and also the pillows we did have sore backs... but this may just be us liking our pillow top mattress at home.
Our shower leaked into our toilet stall every time so we also had to put towels on the floor, there was also a very funky smell from the toilet we would flush it a couple of times and it seemed better. Our neighbours on both sides of us had the same smell...we never saw or got any bites from bed bugs BUT there are issues with this at this resort as like any caribbean resort. We saw several people with bites and the day we were checking out a young man from Ontario was behind me just covered in bites and told me that the pull out bed in their room was full of them...one of his room mates had to be taken to hospital the night before he was bitten so bad he swelled up. I was biten bad in Curaco at the Breezes last year and learned to check for them upon entry to our room and carry lots of benadryl . I also never unpack my suitcases in my house when I get home I usually unpack in the garage or back porch and into green garbage bags and straight to a hot water washing... again this is part of travel in the caribbean.
The staff at this resort are friendly, helpful and always smiling which is amazing for working 6 days a week 10 hours days. The grounds personal due a beautiful job on the gardens and the cleaning staff are always polishing floors and wiping. The ladies bathrooms where always well stocked and clean except for the women who for what ever reason DO NOT flush the toilet after using it ......
BIG COMPLAINT
The bus that took us back to the airport for a 2:45pm flight picks you up at 10:30am why you ask..... because you pick up at 5 other hotels before getting to airport and SO you spend 2 hours on a bus which put a damper on the end of a lovely holiday. We will pay the $48 and spend the extra time at the resort. We had no issues with customs, some did who lost their mexican temporary visa...you don't want to do tis because you are held in immigration for about 2 hours and it cost you $45us for another to leave the country. It is a 30 minute trip from Riviera Maya to the airport and you need to be there 2 hours prior to flight.

Hints: make sure to book your A la carts after you check in and if they have cancellation that's how we got into a couple that where full and I also called directly to restaurants and twice changed 8:15 seating to 7:15 with no problem. If not travelling with children the adult section is a nice place to spend the day on the beach. If you want to go to Playa for a full day book the free bus early the day before other wise its $19 each way.
Chairs in the main entertainment area fill up fast after 7:30pm on the night we did buffet we would eat at 6:30 and then go get our seats for the night.
The gym opens at 7am and the machines fill up quickly. Not bad but dated and not enough free weights one set for each weight for everyone so some waiting around or extra sets of sit ups while you wait.
There is bar service on all the beaches and pool areas and we would usually order from them and have our drinks within 5 mins ( we would tip every third drink a buck) seemed to keep them passing by and asking for our order.

We would go back to this resort and plan too. We would get a swim out suite next time on the Rivieria side because it's sunny all afternoon on the Sunset side the water gets cold in the shade of the afternoon. Resort is very safe with good security at gate all staff have picture ID.

Room Tip: Bldg 2 on the Sunset side facing the pools or gardens... better sleep. In the middle of the resort s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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8 Thank Windscope2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

My boyfriend and I just returned from 6 nights at the Princess. We stayed in the Yucatan Platinum (which i explain below) area, which is on the Riveria side (even though our confirmation said Sunset). I read TONS of reviews before we booked - and hoped the naysayers were wrong. I had stayed at an all-inclusive in the Dominican last year, that had gotten some bad reviews and I LOVED it, so I figured this could be the same deal. Unfortunately, this time - many of the bad reviews were right on.

The grounds are immaculate and beautiful. However, if anything goes wrong, don't expect much help fixing it. Our glass shower door fell off the hinges and shattered all over the floor on our second day at the resort (we think while the maid was cleaning). The only reason we found out at first, was my boyfriend went back to the room and happened to see the workers cleaning it up. The workers didn't speak any English, so they didn't know it was his room. He got me from the pool, and by the time we returned there was a new door, but no note, and glass EVERYWHERE. It looked like whoever "cleaned" up the glass swept it under the sink area and under the bench near the door. There was still glass all over the floor, including the shower. No one left a note, a message on the phone, or anything. We would not have known, if my boyfriend hadn't randomly seen the cleanup. so, we probably would have come into the room, taken our shoes off, and gotten cuts on our feet! Also, whoever cleaned swept all the glass out into the hallway and into the dirt surrounding flowers.

We went right to the front desk and the superisor there didn't seem to care at all about what had happened - as if we were bothering him. No apology, no hurry to help, no offer to switch our room, nothing. He waved me away and snapped at me that he would call a maintenance person to check it out. Two workers arrived and had no idea why they'd been sent there. We explained what happened, they left for a half hour or so. Eventually, they returned with brooms and swept up more glass. They seemed to be in a real hurry to get out of there - and not interested in actually cleaing up all the glass. After they said they were done, my boyfriend pointed out several more glass patches and they swept, and left. Still, we spent the rest of the week finding glass all over the floor. We never took our shoes off again in the room, even in the shower because we were still finding glass.

For that reason alone, I would not return to this resort. I don't need to feel doted on every second at an all-inclusive, but if something wrong happens, I'd at least expect to be told what happened and for it to be taken care of correctly, especially when it's something that could have left us hurt, if we'd stepped on the big chunks of glass. My boyfriend is an extremely chill guy, and he even got irritated by it.

Here's why else i would not return: the food. It's not good. I'm no foodie or a picky eater, but most of the meals ranged from just OK to terrible. I could always find something to eat, but i didn't really care for much of the food. Our experience at the lunch buffets was not great. The food was usually bland and pretty cold. After day two - I mostly stuck to salads and fresh fruit usually (which was wonderful). The Mexican breakfast was good as were a few things on the platinum lunch menu. My boyfriend says he only liked one meal we had - the salmon at las olas, the seafood place. The special platnum dinner was just a regular buffet with icky grilled steaks. I can't speak for every a la carte restaurant b/c we couldn't get into some, so we may have just had bad luck in the restaurants. Some people loved the food.

The beach wasn't bad - there are vendors but only a few, if you walk north or south, you'll avoid them. We didn't find it a big deal at all.

The bar and restaurant service was generally good. Jose in the platinum bar was super nice to us. And there is a nice area between the two lobbies with tables and a bar. There are bands there most nights so it's a great place to have a few drinks, listen to music, dance and people watch. The outdoor shows put on by the animation team were great (we didn't see any in the theatre). The animation team seems to work really, really hard.

There's not much said about the Grand Yucatan Platinum, so I'll explain a little (if anyone's still reading). It's an adults-only area just off the Riviera lobby. We had a swim-out room, which was nice. It was at the edge of the resort so the view was nice, but lots of debris (leaves, dead bugs, etc) ended up in our little pool area. Someone came to clean it every other say, but you can't stop nature. The nice chairs got sun, but the pool itself didn't after about 1pm, at least in our area. You have wireless internet in your room and access to all platinum services. Be sure to ask about what you get in your package - and how to get it. I found out too late that freebies like the water circut at the spa aren't available all the time.

My advice - if you get an amazine deal, take a shot, you may like it here. But, if anything goes wrong, you won't likely get much help. We will not be returning to the Sunset. If you're on the fence, pick the other place you're considering.

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
6 Thank racheldakota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

We went back in November of 2011, so I am a little late writing this review. We stayed in Platinum this time and we feel it was worth the extra money. Wifi in rooms and most rooms can at least catch a view of the ocean. 2 hot tubs in each room...one on patio, one in bathroom. They had turn down service and brought fresh towels every night. Maid created towel animals for us every morning. Loved it! Reservation process for restaurants was a breeze. We even decided to change one and had no problem. We loved all restaurants as well as the A la cartes. Don't know how anyone can complain. There is a shuttle every 15 mins or so that will bring you to/from the lobby. Walking isnt too bad though..about a 10 min walk to the lobby from platinum. Night club is nothing special but if you are looking for a nightclub you can take a taxi or tour to Playa. Just wont be free. Beach is very nice and we never had an issue finding a seat. Sports bar is good for a late night snack to sober up. This was my 2nd stay and we are planning on going back this November again if all goes well. I highly recommend this place unless you want much higher service, and are willing to pay at least double the price. Very safe too. We LOVE it there.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Shelley07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
demarest
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
7 Thank larry g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Vancouver
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sherpajon
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:
#29 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#54 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): ₹ 11,485 - ₹ 31,488
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 674
Also Known As:
Grand Sunset Princess All Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort And Spa
Grand Sunset Princess Hotel
Grand Sunset Princess Review
Grand Sunset Princess Mexico
Grand Sunset Princess Resort
Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen

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