GR Solaris Cancun
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Historical Traveler Reviews GR Solaris Cancun
A few hints for a better stay...
My husband and I stayed at the GR Solaris in Cancun in mid-January 2005. We found it to be an incredible hotel. The food was fabulous, the pool-side servers were attentive, and the staff was very friendly. This hotel really tried to pay attention to details and make our stay memorable. We've stayed at 3 other All-Inclusive resorts, and we felt this was one of the best.
Some of our favorite things were: The "Lobster Buffet" on Saturday night, the "fruit smoothies" and champagne breakfast each morning, the "towel animals" our cleaning staff left for us each day (towels rolled into the shape of animals) and the convenience of free, 24 hour room service. The pools were a perfect temperature and the swim up bar was fabulous!
1) Get to the pool early if you want a pool-side seat.
2) Leave tips if you want better service.
3) The beach is rocky. If you are choosing this resort for the beach/water sports, you'll be disappointed. Keeping that in mind, the hotel says you can utilize the beach at the Royal Solaris just down the street.
4) The hotel has marble floors throughout. Sound carries easily. While in your room you can easily hear luggage and food carts being rolled down the hall and conversations as though you are in the same room. It is not a quiet hotel!
5) Though families were there, it seemed to us that it was more appropriate for couples and singles. (They did have kid's activities and a children's pool and seemed to help parents out by making special foods, etc. But there was also a lot of drunk adults and definitely a party atmosphere. We wouldn't bring our children.)
6) If you have a room joining another, be cautious. It's a one-way lock. Either you'll be able to unlock and walk into your neighbor's room or vise-versa. Keep your valued possessions in the provided safe for safe keeping!
7) Utilize the on-site restaurants. Marco Polo offers a fabulous dinner every night! So, bring your dress clothes! (Pants are required for men). The food that was served there was just as good as every restaurant we paid top dollar for off-site!
8) Use the hotel's travel agency...(We highly recommend the Chichen-Itza "limo" and the 7 hour sailboat cruise to Isla Mujeres aboard the "Sea Passion" Catamaran.)
Of course, as with any new construction, there are a few "kinks" they are working out, but none were bad enough that we wouldn't go back. I think we got an excellent trip for an incredible price. We can't wait to go back! Overall, we had a wonderful vacation.
What a great trip
The Gr Solaris was a great place for our 10th anniversary.It is a beautiful place with a great variety of food. One day, by the pool, they brought in the largest wok in Mexico and made pallaya.(spelling)Shrimp,crab,sausage,scallops,crab legs, you name it . DELICIOUS! It was definetly better than expected having read many reviews on trip advisor.
The beach was terrific regardless of what people are saying. There are some large rocks on the shoreline but just enter and exit where there aren't any. We took walks on beach every day with no problems.
The pools are great. The kid pool ties into swim up bar pool. Activity pool for volleyball or basketball with easy access to food and drink. The quiet pool with less "drinkers" seems to be a little more peaceful if you don't mind the grease smell wafting out of the kitchen.
The drinks were tasty and the staff was friendly and quick. The beverages are mostly domestic throughout however. If you are looking for Jack Daniels or Absolut you are out of luck.
The rooms are quite nice. Bottled water and Carona in the fridge and great views on the lagoon side. My only complaint is that we were placed in a room with an adjoining door which must be made of paper mache. You can hear everything next door and mean everything.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to have some fun by the pool and wants more than just and average buffet all inclusive.
We hated to leave and look forward to coming back to the GR Solaris.
THE HONEST REVIEW
* Before I begin, you must remember that this hotel is just a few months old. Anyone writing from 2004 certainly experienced the usual growing pains of a new hotel - construction, service etc. There was no more construction and the service was truly impeccable.
WHO AM I?
You should take any review with this grain of salt. Ask are they like me? My wife and I are 30 years old, married four years, have been to many all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico, have no kids and really enjoy meeting people and having fun.
HOW DID I END UP AT THE GR SOLARIS?
We tried a 5 square apple deal from Apple Vacations for Jan 22 - 29. We were originally assigned to the Royal Solaris but were upgraded upon arrival in Cancun.
WHAT DID I THINK OF THE GR SOLARIS?
Having been to quite a few all-inclusive and apple resorts, I would rate this up there with any. Definitely should be a 5 golden apple, though I believe its rated just a 5 red apple. First, the service was literally unbelievable, which would instantly give it golden status. I don't quite give it a 6 apple simply because they didn't try to make it some cheese palace. The resort is elegant yet still vibrant.
WHAT DID I THINK OF THE ROYAL SOLARIS?
Only 3 hotels south, curiousity got the best of us immediately so we went to check out the hotel. It looked like a fun place, but the hotel is clearly 30 or so years old. We spent a little time there, enough so that I would feel confident giving it a 3.5 red apple. I am not sure of the cost to upgrade, if they don't automatically do so, but I would absolutely say that the GR Solaris is worth about $500 more a week.
WHAT WAS BEST ABOUT THE GR SOLARIS?
This list could go on and on. I don't even feel comfortable ranking them, so I will just list a few keys:
- The service was unreal. There were almost too many of them, as each table had several waiters, busers etc. The bartenders were incredibly fun and patient with all the boozers.
- The hotel design was perfect. Every room was large enough and had a balcony. The hotel exterior, lobby etc was beautiful. The social areas, like the pool, set up very well for a good time.
- The place is fun. From the daily activities to the nightly shows and shuttle runs out to the clubs, they make sure everyone has a good time.
- For everything you get, the price was way too cheap. Having driven around the strip several times, I would say the GR Solaris is as nice as any hotel on the strip, with the exceptions of the Ritz, JW Marriott and both Riu hotels.
WHAT DO I RECOMMEND?
- Make sure you get an ocean-front room. If you have a lagoon view, pay the $25 a night and get that upgrade. Any room on the ocean side is good, but avoid one on floor 1 or next to the elevator shaft.
- Ask for Eduardo's table at Marco Polo restaurant. This is a great dining experience and he is a superior guy.
- Get your pool towel on a chair before 8pm. The only problem I would say is that they have too many people for pool space.
- Bring your workout clothes. They have a very adequate gym.
- Forget your pepto. There are no water problems on the resort.
- If you smoke, just buy them at the hotel ($2.80 a pack). Everything else is overpriced.
- Be ready for a great time.
Have fun and feel free to drop me an email with any questions. ryan_hatcherRH@hotmail.com.
Loved the GR Solaris
We just stayed at the GR Solaris from Jan. 15-22. We were upgraded to the GR from the Royal Solaris-that was definitely a good thing!!!! The hotel is beautiful, the food was good and the staff was fantastic! Especially the entertainment team at the pool. Our waiter at the pool, Edgar was our man! He was always there to take care of us! Tipping goes a long way! We totally enjoyed ourselves and met a lot of really nice people. We were not ready to come back to OHIO. We would stay there again! We really enjoyed the staff-especially Laura, MacKenzie, Chucho, and last but not least, Malena. They were great!
Great if you don't need a beach
My wife, daughter, and I stayed at this all-inclusive resort the first week of January 2005. The facilities are outstanding, the food is extremely well prepared, and the staff is without exception genuinely friendly. The pool area is very nice, with the exception of not enough shady areas for those of us who don't like being nuked by the sun.
The problem here is that there is no beach or even beach access. Hurricane Ivan washed away what sand they had leaving behind a rocky "beach". The waves breaking on the rocks make for dangerous footing, so the staff has closed off the stairway to the beach and a staff member makes sure you don't attempt to go down to the water. Even if you were able to go down to the water, you wouldn't want to out of fear that a breaking wave would slam you onto the rocks or into the exposed rusting concrete reinforcing rods.
But, if you like lounging around the pool area, extremely well prepared and interesting cuisine, and of course all you wish to drink, this place is for you. If you want to lie on the beach all day or swim in the perfect waters of the Caribbean, head to one of the hotels a couple miles north where there are no exposed rocks.
We loved it and can't wait to return!
We happened to book this hotel with flight through Priceline and loved every minute of it! When we got there we were greeted and our luggage wisked away to our room! Check in was brief, we landed at Cancun airport at 10:07 and was in our swim suit by the pool by 11:30! Everyone you encounter is so friendly and helpful! There is always something good to eat and they really keep the drinks coming! They encourage you to participate in the entertainment provided and it's very good too:) At first glance I was dissapointed in the beach, but soon realized that the beach was pretty much gone as far as I could see in both directions. They did wind up opening up the entrance to the beach from the hotel and we were able to find a smooth, sandy spot to play in the ocean. The pool heater was working and it was very nice, the massages by the ocean are so relaxing! The rooms are great, nice big (very firm) beds, comfortable furniture and a nice size bathroom and shower! We started out with a side room with a small view of the ocean, but the next morning we requested ocean view and got a great room over looking the pool and ocean, it was breathtaking everytime I looked out the patio door to the balcony! We took a jungle tour, as Sol Ha suggested and thoroughly enjoyed it too! You go in your own boat and follow the guide to a place near the nizuc reef and snorkle. It's close enough you can walk to the attraction! We can't wait to go back!
Gorgeous but dishonest
I have very mixed feelings about the GR Solaris. First, the hotel is truly gorgeous. The level of attention to detail in the decor is quite impressive. The pool area is beautiful, and I liked how the pool water lapped up to the edges instead of meeting with a vertical edge. the jacuzzi was always full of loud children who were using it as a pool.
Very nice. AC either very cold or off, nothing in between unfortunately. the decoration was very well coordinated...all of the furnishings were well matched. the bathroom towels were never fully dry, but didn't seem to absorb much water either. balcony was very simple (don't leave anything on it, the wind blew away one of our bathing suits). we were unable to have our room cleaned often, for reasons i will explain under "service".
breakfast buffet was ok, but nothing to write home about. same with lunch, although the first day they had amazing chicken wings, but they didn't appear again. the dinner buffet was really heinous. however, Marco Polo was absolutely delicious. eat there every night if you go. don't waste time or energy on the nasty buffet. the room service menu was very limited, but what was on it was really good, and it was 24 hours, which is really nice.
non-existent, but due to hurricane Ivan. Supposedly they will be rebuilding it, but who knows when. there are no beach chairs for GR Solaris guests to use, unless you take the shuttle to the Solaris Caribe. you can use all of their facilities, which is nice, because they have more of a beach. lots of dangerous rocks which the undertow slams you into.
mixed. first, the good. Jacobo from the dinner buffet/room service was so nice. he remembered my name every time he saw me and was always really nice. Carlos at the main bar was nice too. William at the bar outside is funny...he likes to blow a whistle when people take certain drinks. oh, and he will keep pouring you stuff as long as you sit there, whether you ask him to or not! try the blue banana or the red bird. also, if you want a taste of local liquor aside from tequila, try Xtabentun. its a honey-anise licor, sometimes a shot, sometimes a cordial.
now the bad. we left one night to go out for a couple of hours, and since i had a small handbag, i left my digital camera on the desk (i would have left it in the safe, but it wouldnt stay shut...) when we got back, it was gone. our beds were half turned down and we had new towels (and the old as well...trash was not emptied...hmm). when we informed management of the situation, they searched our room from top to bottom, as if we were hiding it from them in order to gain something. after they didnt find it (and could not fix the safe...) they said they would "make an investigation". that is mexican for "do jack". the general manager did go so far as to check his computer 3 days later and find that the maid was the only person to enter our room during the time interval in question. however, when questioned the maid said he hadnt seen the camera (naturally). i had shown the camera accessories to the manager to prove to him that it did, in fact, exist. unless they FOUND the camera on the maid, they couldn't do anything about it. so now they wanted me to go to the police station to file a report. they pushed this, even though they admitted it would not yield me any results. they wanted the insurance money, but were not going to do anything for me (which they did admit to). we kept our hopes up, but we left without the $500 camera. oh, and did i mention that due to this event i was forced to buy a disposable for $27 that they wouldn't reimburse me for, even though it was from their own gift shop? they did NOTHING to appease us at all, which i find really discomforting considering that they cater to American and Canadian guests, who expect a certain level of customer service. at least dont treat us like WE are the criminals.
I had been to cancun once before and stayed at a MUCH cheaper hotel, and had NO problems. this is NOT the type of treatment one expects to encounter when staying at a "high-class" hotel.
if it weren't for the camera incident i would have given it 4 stars. we met several other people who also got swindled in one way or another. also...don't give up your invitations to other timeshare meetings unless you want to...Mireya will promise to give you your money back, but will in fact replace it with a gift certificate for the gift shop, which is good only on souvenirs (it doesnt state this on the certificate though...we tried to buy hair gel and got denied). she will try to get you to go to theirs instead, but unless you really want to waste 2-3 hours to get free tickets dont bother. all they tell you is that if you spend $18,000 to become a "member", then you get to be treated better...personally, i don't think we paid $6,000 to be treated worse...the staff knows how to treat you based on the color of your cattle tag.
Will be great, in time
Our trip was booked at a major internet travel site, however when we arrived there was no record of our booking. The print-out confirmation sheet was all we had as proof, but after quite a lengthy "panic" by the front desk (after asking me to pay again for the room and leave an open credit card - which I did not do), we were given a room. Over the stay I heard of many people that were booked at the Royal Solaris, but actually were placed at the GR upon their arrival. We arrived on a Sunday, and their reservations office was not open until Monday morning, and I was asked to check back then. Monday morning I spoke with the hotel manager, he told me to enjoy the stay, that the discrepancy was between the hotel and the internet site, and not to have any worries about it, which we did. One thing I learned, be sure to have a telephone access number for your internet travel site.
One thing I would insist upon when staying there is to have a non-adjoining hotel room. The doorjamb between our room and the next had about a 1/16th inch gap, and the sound between the room carried as if there was not a wall or doorway at all. We really did not notice anything when we first entered the room, as the next room was vacant. As soon as our neighbors arrived, we knew there was a problem.
There is no beach access from the GR Solaris, although all facilities at the Royal Solaris (5 minute walk) are available to you. The beach front was washed away with the summer storms, and is not usuable at this time.
The food was adequate (typical all-inclusive style) to good, the Marco Polo restaurant features finer dining with a different theme each night, and again all the food choices of the Royal Solaris are open to you. You are in Mexico, the food styles and preparations are different. Breakfast at the Cafe Solaris was always our best bet, the food fresh and hot.
All, and I mean everyone from the waitstaff to the activites personnel to the houskeepers to the bartenders, of the hotel employees were just wonderful. Everyone was very cheerful and courteous, always doing what they could to make your visit good. The evening stage entertainment was enjoyable.
There were several ceiling leaks in the area, and we had a few hours one afternoon with no water in the showers, but all in all the hotel is very nice. Of course you are hit up with time share pitches the minute you register, but again, welcome to Cancun. After working out the minor problems and getting everything running as planned. I'm sure this will turn into one of the prime all-inlcusive spots in Cancun.
Gr Solaris Cancun has a lot of potential...
We just returned from 5 days at the Grand Royal Solaris in Cancun, and it was great! This resort had only been open for 2 weeks when we were there, so there are a few bugs that still need to be ironed out, but you see improvements every day. This resort has a lot of potential to be top rate.
THE DOWN SIDE:
1) The pool heater hadn't been connected yet, so the pool was a bit cool. My wife prefers steam and bubbles in her water! It didn't stop the kids, and it didn't stop me and others from sitting at the pool bar.
2) The satellite hadn't been connected for the room TV's yet. To us, not a big deal since we don't watch TV on vacation.
3) The beach was probably the worst thing. The hurricanes this past summer totally washed away the beach, causing them to close beach access. This happened to many of the resorts in this area of Cancun, and damage was severe. They plan to dredge sand up to the resorts to make new beaches later. If you are one to lie in the sand, you can go a block down to the Royal Solaris and use their facilities.
All of these things are being addressed. The first two just hadn't made the opening deadline, and the beach.... You can't control nature!
THE UP SIDE:
1) The resort is beautiful. With everything being new, the details are awesome. From the marble floor in the lobby to the double staircase leading to the pool area overlooking the ocean, it looks just like a picture.
2) Everyone we spoke to was very happy with their room. Our room was so pretty, especially the painted headboard. The bathroom was large and nice. We had a large balcony that overlooked the lagoon, with 2 chairs, a table and 2 lounge chairs. At first we were disappointed that we didn't overlook the ocean, but we ended up on our balcony watching the sunset every evening, drinking out of our fridge that was stocked daily with beer, soda and water.
3) The staff was great; very friendly, helpful and courteous. One day we left both of our keys in the room. The person at the desk was very helpful, but I liked how they made sure it was us before just making a new key. Probably because it was new, we always noticed someone in the background with a clipboard taking notes! I'm sure they were making sure everyone was doing their job.
4) PUBLIC ACCESS - If you're one to explore the town, the bus stop is right at the end of the drive. It costs 6 ½ pesos, or about 60 cents to go one way.
5) FOOD - There are several restaurants you can choose from. We didn't go to the Marco-Polo (fancy) one, as we were always happy with the selection from the buffet. Once couple we met did eat there and said the food was excellent, but the portions were small. I find this is true in any of the fancier places. Saturday night is lobster night at the buffet, and they grill huge tails - all you can eat. They were so good; no seasoning or butter needed. The fruit was delicious, fresh and perfect. They also have a deli that you can eat from; excellent sandwiches.
6) ENTERTAINMENT - Typical of any of the resorts we have been to. Nightly entertainment is provided, that usually includes dancing. The shows we did make it to were very good. The staff by the pool is always setting up a volleyball game, aerobics class, crafts, cooking class or something. For those of you who like to party, they also set up nightly excursions to go clubbing in town.
Wonderful New Hotel - Will be even better once bugs are worked out
My husband and I were originally booked at the Royal Solaris from Dec. 18-25 but when we went to check in, we were told that most of the hotel was undergoing renovations and we were therefore being moved to their brand-new sister property, the GR Solaris.
We were a little skeptical since we knew nothing about the GR Solaris other than we were checking on on its grand opening day, but we were a little relieved when we walked into the beautiful lobby. We were a little confused by the check-in procedure when green-shirted workers approached us as we were in line for the check-in desk, asking if we'd made our reservation online. They did indeed help us check in but we were still suspicious that they were time-share people, and declined the "free entertainment" and "free trip to Isla Mujeres" offers, which we later heard from others guests were just opportunities for them to plug their timeshares.
The first room we were given was a beautiful room but it was right across from a very noisy ice machine, and we immediately discovered we could hear the people in the next room as if they were right in front of our faces. There was a door that looked like it adjoined with the room, and my husband opened it to make sure the door on the other side was locked, and imagine our horror when we discovered it opened directly into the other guests' room! We did not feel at all secure knowing that we could walk into the room of a stranger (or vice-versa!) so we immedately went back to the front desk and politely requested a new room without an adjoining door.
Chris at the front desk was extremely helpful and changed our room -- we even got to take a look at it before committing to it (and we ended up with a much quieter, secure, ocean view room at no extra charge).
The rooms themselves are gorgeous, and the blue and yellow decor is very cheery. If you can afford it, definitely spring for an ocean view room -- it is really worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the view from our balcony and often left our balcony window cracked open so that we could listen to the waves. The only complaints we had were that, due to the humid climate, the towels never seemed to be quite dry enough or absorbent enough. And for 2 days, the water wasn't refilled in our mini-bar until we registered 3 complaints each day.
We didn't use the pool much, but we heard the water was cold. The jacuzzi was nice, but even though it was located in the "quiet area", it was always full of playing and talkative children. We did walk along the beach (or what is sadly left of it after the hurricanes) almost every day, and it was pleasant.
Since the hotel was still so new, some things weren't open yet, such as the full-service salon, deli, and fitness center. We did, however, enjoy nice 30-minute massages under a palapa out by the pool for $35 each.
We didn't participate in the poolside activities, but we did catch most of the nightly shows, and we thought they were quite good. Alegria was my favorite, but all of the dance performances were enjoyable.
I'm vegetarian, and one of the reasons I had originally chosen to stay at the Royal Solaris was that I'd heard they had an Italian restaurant where you could find at least one vegetarian entree every night. While I didn't have too many problems finding things I could eat at breakfast or lunch (which I could always supplement with their excellent guacamole at the snack bar), I was extremely disappointed with the offerings at dinner. A couple of nights we wanted to eat at the Marco Polo restaurant and could not because they had no vegetarian offerings on the menu. To be very honest, this is the reason I had to give this hotel only 4 stars instead of 5. It really puts a damper on your vacation when you can't eat properly. The one time I requested them to make me something, they came back with a plate full of nothing but steamed carrots and zucchini -- no cheese, no seasoning, no pasta. Just veggies. This, after they informed me that they could make whatever I requested.
One thing we really enjoyed was the 4 pm flaming coffee and dessert. You pick out the liquer (amaretto and kahlua together was our favorite) and they "burn" it in a ladle before adding it to your coffee, along with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Yum!
Overall, the food was just average, even in my husband's opinion (and he is not vegetarian). Bear in mind, this is Mexico. A lot of items are not necessarily made the same way as you might be used to in the US, and they might not taste the same. If you keep an open mind about this, you are less likely to be disappointed.
We booked a luxury bus trip to Chichen-Itza (to see Mayan ruins) through the Sol-Ha Travel agency, and the only glitch was they failed to communicate to the bus driver that we needed pickup at the GR Solaris, not the Royal Solaris. Consequently we waited for an hour and a half while the hotel staff (not the travel agency, mind you) tried to sort out the mess for us. Noel the busboy was extremely helpful and got on the phone right away to follow up with the tour company on our behalf. We highly recommend the tour (by Cancun Tours, I believe) as it was very informative and even included a stop at an actual Mayan village.
Almost everyone we encountered was incredibly friendly and gave us top-notch service, always with a smile. I don't think I have even experienced this level of service anywhere in the US.
Overall, we really enjoyed this hotel and would definitely stay there again, especially if they improved their menu offerings to include more vegetarian-friendly items.
TripAdvisor Reviews GR Solaris Cancun
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