The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
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TravelPod Member ReviewsThe Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
For the first part of my stay we were in the Grand Luxxe. The Mayan Palace resort has a series of buildings, restaurants and entertainment all connected by boardwalks lined with Palm trees.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Great place with a "but..."
Start here if you've never stayed at a Time Share before....
This was our first trip to a timeshare resort and it was a BIG learning experience. I had read the warnings about being approached at the airport, but my husband thought "Jose" was part of the "pickup" service from the resort and followed him rather than going straight outside...we got a couple "free" excursions but once we checked in at the Grand Mayan "Joanna"(timeshare person) told us she would match his offer if we went to the meeting at the resort since the people at the airport had been misrepresenting themselves and could not be trusted. As we were walking up to the meeting place the next day, my gut instinct was to bolt but we didn't, SIX HOURS LATER...we found ourselves "owners". I have to say the people were very friendly and not all that pushy, just very convincing that it was a great deal. As soon as we got back to our room we realized that the timeshare vacation experience was just not for us. We don't vacation enough and would rather go the all-inclusive route. If you find yourself saying "Yes", then having big regrets, don't worry. It is stated on the last page of the contract you have 5 days to cancel the agreement. We went back the next day with our letter (which you don't really need) and prepared to say "NO" at all costs and found it wasn't as painful as we thought. Yes, once again they tried to "sell" us on a better deal and after several more "No's" we were out. Credit slip in hand. In all the first two days of our trip were spent either on the sales experience or worrying about the mistake we made.
Start here if you want to know about the resort...
We stayed in a suite that had a kitchen and one bedroom. Let me start by saying, I'm not a picky person, I'm happy as long as a hotel shower has no mold in it! The room was very spacious and at first glance was very clean. But when you look at the details, was starting to show some signs of wear. There were a couple stains(blood?) on our sheets and on one bathrobe. Stains(drool?) on the sofa pillows. Mold on the wall between the shower and toilet area. The robe hook by the shower was broken. Cigarette scorch on the tub. Some sort of stain(food?) on the painting in the main room and a very dirty exhaust hood over the range. I was not impressed with the large tub in the bedroom because I thought it was going to be a jetted Jacuzzi(it wasn't) or the splash pool on the balcony because the tile was starting to stain and crack. As I write this it sounds much worse than it really was, I just wanted to mention them because having been through the timeshare sales experience, I would have been upset if I had paid what I can only imagine people do for the Grand Mayan and it not be perfect.
I did love the tile floors(carpeted hotel rooms give me the heebee gee bees), the walk out balcony and the beautiful view of the ocean. The kitchen was spacious and the maid even did our dishes 6 out of the 7 days. The entire resort had a very modern decor and the entrance was a definite "wow". I would have liked to have sat down and just meditated there for a few hours. We spent time at the gym every day and took spinning and Pilate's classes. Sandra, our instructor was great and the rest of the gym staff was very friendly. The Green Break was our favorite restaurant but the brunch at the Samba was good too just not as big as the one over at the Mayan Palace. The Green Break had live music in the evenings which was very nice. We did room service too and liked the convenience of that since most all-inclusive resorts don't usually have that.
The pools were wonderful. It took a couple days to figure out when the lazy river went "crazy" since we are fair skinned we limit our sunning time. It goes "crazy" around 1-3. We also can't just "lay out" and not do anything so we took walks on the beach which was very pretty. I loved the stones and glittering sand. It was sad to see the trash further down the beach by other resorts.
We went on the Geronimo catamaran trip. I love being on the water so it was very nice, just make sure you have a hat and plenty of sun screen(we ran out) because there isn't much shade on the boat. The breakfast was fine and the lunch was much better than we were expecting. The snorkeling was just okay but the stop at the beach was fun. You could either swim to shore, take a water taxi or use the kayaks. On the way back they let out the sails and it was very relaxing.
We did look at one of the Mayan Palace rooms during the timeshare tour and thought it looked just as nice, just a different decor and a little smaller.
We were perplexed on why it was such a pain to get to the other resorts, Mayan Palace and Mayan Garden. The walk wasn't bad if you don't mind the sun/heat and have comfortable shoes(my husband didn't). The bus was more of a pain than convenience. After waiting at the stop for 20 minutes at the Sea Market(closest place for groceries) we saw it drive by without stopping and were then told the driver takes a 30 minute lunch between 6-6:30. Good to know before you buy $50 and 50lbs worth of cold groceries.
In all, we had a great time but if we go back we will definitely have a better time being a little wiser...
Wow! Had some trepidations about this resort because of some of the bad reviews. I can't imigine why anyone would not have a super time there. We were expecting to stay at the Mayan Palace and when we got there found we had been upgraded to the Grand Mayan. We had a wonderful room with a ocean view, a splash pool on our balcony and the best service in the world. We would go back tomorrow if we could
Time Share? Yes, we were asked to do it but they took a no from us and that was the end of it. It was not an issue.
The food was great, the pools magnificent, the service excellent. We did find the restaurants pricy but saved a bit buy getting some breakfast and lunch foods at the Walmart so not to have to eat those meals out.
Don't think twice. Go and enjoy
Best Resort Ever!!!
This is the most beautiful resort I've even been to in my life. The resort is like its own waterpark. They have a wave pool, water slide, lazy river, tubes which you can rent (for $3) and lots of activities daily. Plus the resort has it's own beautiful private beach with volleyball and soccer. The staff is wonderful and very friendly. Definetely without a doubt the best resort in Nuevo Vallarta. I've been to many resorts in Nuevo Vallarta, and this one was the best.
The trip of our lives!
My 14 year old son and I went to Nuevo Vallarta in May of 2005 with my parents. Our whole experience in Mexico was one we will never forget. My son is still talking about it to everyone. We had the hotel service pick us up at the airport. We got off the plane, and there in the distance was a big sign with our name on it. How awesome is that! We were a little nervous not knowing what to do with customs and all, but that sign with our name on it helped a lot. The gentleman outside put all our luggage into his Yukon XL, gave us all a bottled water, and off we went to the resort. He was very pleasant, and explained alot to us, (how to make calls to the US, what things were that we were passing), very helpful. Then we arrived at the resort. It was breath-taking. The staff met us at our car, helped us out, took our luggage, and pointed us in the right direction for check-in. Just walking through the doors of the Grand Mayan will blow you away. In a dark, cool, atmosphere is these tall, huge mummy like figures all the way to the ceiling. The music in the lobby set the tone. We were speechless for a few minutes, and were only in the vestibul. Everyone was so helpful at checkin too. Telling us all about the resort, what we had access to, and things we could do. They put bracelets on each one of us, and sent us up to our room. At each exit and entrance is a guard. Very friendly, and always there to push the button on the elevator for you. Our room was so cool. We looked over the Golf Course with beautiful scenery behind it. We had a private little wading pool on the patio, a jacuzzi tub, and our room slept 6 people comfortably. It was a real modern decorated room with plants and a cute little kitchen with a frig, microwave and all the dishes and utensils you would need. We just couldn't believe we were in Mexico in this 5-star resort. Everything was awesome. After we put our stuff in our room, we decided to go exploring. Then, there is was. A 2-1/2 acre pool, surrounded by a lazy river, in the middle of the resort with restaurants and everything you needed right there. My son Alex just froze. There were staff members all over taking orders for drinks or food, swim-up bars, and activities going on all around you. There was definetly no reason to ever leave until it was time to catch your plane home. And that's exactly what we did. Alex made so many friends with the staff, and the clients in the hotel. He lived in the lazy river, participated in al the activities throughout the day, (dance lessons, aerobics, volleyball in the pool & beach, etc). He was known to the staff as Mr. Muscles. We did go down the Mexican Fiesta on the beach one night, and that was quite an experience. They really do an excellent job decorating, and providing you with entertainment, food, drinks and shopping. I have never experienced a resort of this nature, and the four of us didn't want to go home. In fact, we are already planning our next vacation there in 2006. You have to go there once, and then you'll be sold. Don't miss out on this opportunity, It's worth every minute and penny.
Excellent Vacation for family with infant
My husband, I and our baby, who was 10 months when we traveled, stayed at the Grand Mayan for a week in May. We were a bit nervous about traveling with the baby, but it turned out to be a wonderful, comfortable and fun experience.
- The Grand Mayan, as far as we could see, was immaculate. There was a busy cleaning staff everywhere we went. From our room, to the hall to the elevators to the vast pool areas, everything was clean. We saw them carefully cleaning the pool inside and out in the evening, when my husband and I sat out on our balcony at night.
- The staff was very nice. From the moment we walked in, feeling a bit discombobulated from the flight with our baby, they were very accomodating and kind. While I have many photos of the rooms and beautiful pools, I've chosen to include a photo of our baby with some of the staff at the internet cafe at the Mayan Palace. This warmth was apparent everywhere.
- We were able to leave our baby with trustworthy babysitters in the evenings and went out for romantic dates. While there is a family atmosphere - we saw many strollers - we NEVER heard screaming kids. The layout makes the whole complex very private and relaxing. (They also had a real porta-crib for her, not just a packnplay).
- The rooms were spacious and we enjoyed the large tub, jacuzzi and outdoor wading pool overlooking the ocean.
- The Grand Mayan pool complex was goregous and relaxing. We loved it so much, we only went to the beach a couple of times (the beach was also beautiful). The grounds are VERY spacious, grassy and beautiful and ample paths allow for nice long strolls. This was a huge plus.
- We brought some basic food items and bought food from the Sea Market and saved a lot of money eating peanut butter and tuna salad. Food is always expensive on vacation, and there is no excpection here. However, you can use the kitchen and staples from the Sea Market which had reasonably priced basics.
- Lots of fun side trips were available. We really enjoyed our jaunt into Puerto Vallarta (which we did in the evening w/out the baby) and our trip to the dolphin adventure with the baby. Great experience. The baby loved the train ride next door at the Mayan Palace.
- Our baby loved the pools, many of which had shallow sections - perfect for little ones. She also loved the calm beach. Both firsts for her. There was also a very nice kiddie pool with lots of fountains, but she was still a little to small for that.
- We loved the lazy river. SO relaxing!!
The staff, the layout and the general vibe made this a great trip. As for timeshare pitches, we were asked once when we arrived. We made it clear that we were not interested, and were never bothered again. Although, frankly, after this lovely trip, we may consider it in a few years.
Cons - very minor
- I did get the feeling that since the Grand Mayan was relatively new, sometimes the staff had some communications glitches. E.g., we called for water bottles, and for some reason they had a hard time getting them to us. It wasn't a big deal, but little things like that make the difference between 4 and 5 stars. Similar situation with the babysitter one night. They had the wrong time listed so she was quite a bit late. Didn't matter in the end, but was slightly annoying.
- Check in was at 5, so no matter when your flight arrives, you have to be prepared to wait until 5. This is hard with a hungry and tired baby. Be prepared with munchies and toys. There is plenty of room to relax in the spacious lobbies. We hung out in the empty "library" - our baby loved crawling around in there.
- I wanted to use the kitchen as much as possible and didn't realize there was no oven. Only a stove and microwave (which turned out to be fine for our purposes), so not really a con, rather a warning.
Again, I would highly recommend the Grand Mayan for a family vacation with a baby.
Grand Mayan was truly 'Grand'
My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon stay at the Grand Mayan Palace in Nuevo Vallarta. I read several poor reviews of the Mayan Palace, but please note that our stay was at the Grand Mayan Palace, which is next door the the Mayan Palace. I didn't go into the Mayan Palace, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the other reviews, or of that facility. What I can say is that the Grand Mayan truly was "Grand"! Our room was a large suite, with a view overlooking the nearby Mountains. At first we were a bit dissapointed that we didn't get an ocean view, but came to appreciate the mountain view just as much. Our room had a nice sized kitchen with everything you could have wanted to prepare some of your own meals (although we didn't). The fridge was small, but what would you expect in a hotel room? The interior decorating was beautiful, and I was very pleased with the sound proofing from room to room. The bedroom had a couple of couches for relaxing and a deep bath tub that was large enough for two people. Both the bedroom and the living room opened onto our balcony, which had two lounge chairs, a small table, and a personal swimming pool just for us! This pool isn't large enough to swim laps or anything, but it was a nice feature that we relaxed in quite often. We ate the room service on several occasions, and were quite happy with both the quality of the food and the service that came with it. It takes about a half hour to get your food, but in most cases it was well worth the wait. We also ate at the SAMBA restaurant that is located in the pool area. The food was excellent along with the service, and it makes for a relaxing dinner in the evening. The pool itself was also a high point. They boast that it is the longest in Latin America. That's mainly because they have a "lazy river", but we enjoyed quite a bit. Along with that there are several free form pools that are interweaved throughout the river and most of them have varied depths, a couple of swim-up bars, volleyball, basketball, and even some chaise lounges built right into the pool. In addition there are two wave pools...one with small waves for young children and one with larger waves for adults and older children. This entire pool area opens onto the beach, which is technically not owned by the Grand Mayan, but is still pretty nice. The drink and food servers at the hotel are able to come out onto the beach and serve you there, so you're really not missing anything by spending your time on the sand. I noticed that at least one of the other reviews mentioned how far away from downtown this resort is. While that is true, we both found the taxi drivers to be very polite and friendly....more than I can say about many of the drivers in the Chicago area! The most we paid for a cab anywhere was about $16 American dollars each way....not something we wanted to do everyday, but was worth it when we did. If you do go to the Puerta Vallarta area, I would strongly recommend that you eat at Los Palomar de los Gonzales. This was an extrordenary restaurant with an exceptional view overlooking the entire marina area. Make sure to call ahead for a reservation, and be sure to enjoy their free after dinner drink....almond flavored tequila!
I only have a few negative comments to offer. First of all, please listen to this and other warnings about the time share sales pitches! They always promise a 90 minute presentation including breakfast....we were there three and half hours! Not exactly how we wanted to spend the first morning of our honeymoon! If you do agree to a presentation, my suggestion is make them put in writing before hand that they will not go past 90 minutes....my father has done this and it worked pretty well. Also, we discovered that like many other things in life, the "prize" they promise you is negotiable. The person convincing you to attend the presentation is not the person giving it, so he or she has no problem dealing a bit to get you to show up. Don't take their first offer....push for more freebees, and you'll most likely get them! My final three critisms actually deal with the Grand Mayan itself. First of all, the beds were pretty hard compared to the beds in other really nice hotels. Secondly, in the pool area there are inflatable tube floats available for use in the pools and the lazy river. That's great except you have to rent them for about $3 American Dollars a day...not that expensive, but it's just kind of the point. The last complaint that I have is the one that really did make me quite mad. When we checked in, the man behind the desk told me that we were welcome to use the house safe for free, or we could have a safe in our room for only $28. At first I agreed to the room safe, but he insisted that I would have to pay for that up front with cash only, and he could only give me change in pesos. Since I wasn't ready to exchange my money yet (and really just wanted to get into my room and take a nap after a long day of traveling), I declined the room safe and agreed to the house safe. That would have been fine, however, when we got to our room,we discovered that every room has its own safe and there is no charge to use it! I certainly was not too happy about this, and this will not be the last time that the hotel or RCI hear about this.
That being said, both my wife and I were extremely happy with the Grand Mayan Palace, and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to visit the Vallarta area. We also has several very good experiences with Vallarta Adventures....the Sierra Madri Jeep tour and swimming with dolphins were incredible. I'm not going to get too much into that here, as I've rambled on long enough, but just know that I would recommend booking at least one excursion with them while in the Vallarta area. Hope this was helpful to someone out there....
Wow!! Loved this hotel!!!
This hotel was absolutely awesome!! We wish we could have stayed another week, and look forward to going back!! We stayed in a 1 bedroom - very spacious, nice size kitchen, lots of space, bathroom was huge, bedroom had a huge bathtub, sitting area, balcony with little wading/dipping pool. The grounds were paradise - loved the lazy river and all the pools, water slide, steps from the beach! Fantastic service, great restaurants, and are able to use the Mayan Palace and the Sea Garden amenities as well.
We can't wait to go back!!
One of the best vacation i have ever taken
We (my father in law and mother in law, husband and myself) went to mexico april 29 thru may 6th. The flight was good but beware of the time share people at the airport. Do not stop and talk to them. Even if you see a sign that has your resort on it. Just go outside and get your own taxi.
We were supposed to stay at the Mayan Palace but when we arrived where told we were staying at the Grand Mayan. It was the most beautiful place I have ever stayed at. The entrance is breath taking. Check in went very smoothly, as did check out. WE were taken to the timeshare booth and made an appointment for the next day. You receive 15% off food and beverages from the resort. And we received a free excursion. We both bought timeshares here. Our sales women was Patty and extremely nice. No one was pushy or rude. Patty called us at least 3 times that week.
The grounds are wonderful. The pools are so nice . My favorite is the lazy river. The slide was a lot of fun too. It has 2 wave pools and a wonderful kiddy pool section. It would be a nice place to bring your children of all ages. You need to try out the beds they have for you to lay out on around the pool. There are two areas of these. It was nice. They have activites all day for all ages. WE meet some very nice friends from Michagan and are still talking to them . The staff was excellent and we didn't want for a thing. The swim up bars (2) are nice on a hot day. I would recommend sunscreen, at least a 15. The sun gets really hot but the lazy river will cool you off. Around noon or so the lazy river becomes the crazy river. They turn off the waves from the wave pools and put them into the lazy river. I loved it. The room (we were in a 2 bedroom) was great.
WE went into town and shopped at walmart. We also shopped for food at the Sea market. Next time I will shop at the Sea Market or there is a mall with a large market just 5 minutes from the hotel. WE found this out the last day. The samba has great food. It is around the pool. Enjoyed all of our food there. WE ate breakfast and lunch in the room most of the days. I liked having a kitchen.
You need to try the Fajati Republic. It is a $3 usd taxi ride from the resort. It is a local place. Order the cheese sticks. They will bring them out in a lava rock bowl. Very nice people. Also try Lagoona. It is just outside of the gate and down the street on the right. Great seafood. Also a local place. You have to see La Cliff. WE rented a jeep one day and drove around and went to LaCliff. Great Food too. Breath taking views. We ate in the main restarant in the mayan palace. very good food also. WE went down town and did some shopping.
Next time I come to the Grand I will just do everything here. Vallarta Adventures in a 5 minute walk from the Sea Garden. Any excursions you can do here. We went over and watched the dolphins. We booked "The rythum of the Night " Excursion and it was great. I can't say enough about this resort. I will come back again soon. Everything was perfect.
Some people say the mattress were hard. I found them fine. The cool pool on our balcony was great . WE were on the 5th floor and had a ocean view room.
The only bad thing I can think of about my vacation is I next time I want leave the resort or if I do I will stay in Nuevo Vallarta. It has everything you need and is much cleaner and quiter than Puerto VAllarta.
If you have any questions you can email me.
One star Grand Nuevo Vallarta
Just returned from a ten day stay at the Grand Nuevo Vallarta. I read the reviews from this site and book my stay there. I will never use reviews to choose a hotel again, for I was very dissapointed. It was diffently not a five star. I would been happier in a Motel 6. When You enter the hotel you are tagged with a plastic rist band for your entire stay. Which marks you as tourist and cannot be removed. It also made us stand out and be approached in town who selling time shares. The staff as a whole were pleasant waiters, excursion planner, consieire. I was extremely annoyed by the hotel managment and some of the staff for placing a table right by the elevator staffed with people selling vacation timeshares for this hotel. They tried to approach you daily to attend one of there meetings. They even follow us you to another hotel for fear you were attending a presentation at that hotel, but we were only picking up a rental car. The bed hard as a rock . The food was bland and we ending up eating most of our meal out. There was bird dropping throught the resturant. I found a beetle in my bathtowel an a dead fly on my sink. Many nights the hotel was noisy tell about 3 or 4 in the morning.T here were bus loads of famlies that came from the city and filled up the hotel on the weekends. At the beach the chair were never dusted off from the following day. If you choosing a hotel for cleanliness and relaxation This is not the one to choose.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
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