If you're confused by Trip Advisor having listings for both the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel & Spa and the Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Resort, don't be. They're the same place but with two different reception areas.
The place is HUGE. It's by far the biggest resort I've ever attended. There are two groups of hotel buildings that are separated by probably about 1km with pools, restaurants, and the beach in between.
Our room was very nice. We had two double beds and one pull-out couch which worked out well for a couple with two kids. The rooms were big and had a fridge that was stocked daily with pop and beer. The bathroom was large and had both a shower and a whirlpool tub. The weird part was the opening between the room and the bathroom. There was a hole that had been somewhat blocked with frosted glass but not as well as it should be (and some rooms don't even have the glass). This is Mexico. Sometimes you're going to eat something and maybe make sounds in the bathroom afterwards that you don't want your wife to hear.
There were three pools on the grounds one very close to each set of hotel buildings where there were activities daily. The one in the centre was the quiet pool which was so large and had a sweeping curve to it that at first I thought there were several pools there. The Lazy River was a big hit with our kids. It's a long narrow curvy loop of a pool with jets in it that propel tubes around. It was really quite relaxing.
The two buffets were in the main building between the receptions; they were separate but connected. The food was good and varied. When we first arrived, the Beach Resort half was closed so everyone was in the Riviera Maya half. It wasn't a problem given the number of people there. The best part was when the resort(s) started filling up and they opened the other half, no one seemed to realize it and we went over there and had no line ups whatsoever.
There were several other restaurants on site and we typically ate breakfast and lunch at El Rancho as it was very close to our room and the pools where my kids made me hang out. The Bayou was also available for breakfast and lunch along with the main buffets.
There were several a la cartes on site, too. El Rancho and Bayou each turned into one in the evening. El Rancho was a steak house that served great food. We ate at the Bayou once, too, and the food there was amazing. We also tried out the Brazilian food at La Gira Rodizio and it was fantastic, too. We wanted to try the Japanese food at Ikebana but they charged an extra fee and I thought that was ridiculous at at all-inclusive. There were four other al la cartes availalbe, too.
One discovery that I'd wished we'd made earlier was the coffee shop; they served great drinks here and the atmosphere was wonderful.
The beach was a bit rough. The sand was nice and the view breathtaking but the beach is in a cove with several large rocks or I guess islands in it. The huge waves were broken well out from the shore but the place seemed pretty dangerous. I wouldn't let our kids (aged 8 & 10) in without their lifejackets and me right beside them. The flag was almost always red with occasional yellow ones. I doubt the resort owns a green flag.
There was snorkeling right in the bay and it was okay. There were plenty of fish to see and they even came right up into the shallow water to be fed throughout the day by guest who'd snatched bananas and bread from the restaurants. At times, it was a feeding frenzy with fish thick at your feet literally jumping out of the water to get food.
The snorkelling at Akumal Beach is way better and only a 10 minute cab ride away (or you could grab the collectivo). There are sea turtles there and tons of fish. If you go, don't bother with the guide. Keep your ears open and you'll know where to go to find the turtles.
Playa del Carmen is only a 20 minute cab ride the other way and it's a pretty cool place to visit, too. You'd be crazy not to go. There are no beach vendors at the Sirenis (although they have a bit of a market twice a week in the theatre) so Playa is likely your best bet for some deals.
The entertainment was always awful. I don't know why resorts always try do put on shows. They never turn out well.
The resort uses alcohol out of the dispensers where pop usually flows. The liquor in these is watered down horrendously. If they've got a bottle of what you're looking for, ask for the bartender to use that instead.
Overall, this resort was very nice. There were lots of places on site to hang out that were slightly different that where you were the day before. The kids loved the Lazy River and the ice cream shop. The food was good and plentiful and the coffee that the Coffee Shop was fantastic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa 5* is an astonishing complex, situated on the Mayan Riviera, just 20 miles from Playa del Carmen, and 1 hour from the airport at Cancun. Is in a class of its own due to its spectacular design. It brings to mind the ancient Mayan buildings; but at the same time, a moder, minimalist style which blends perfectly with the luxurious natural vegetation in the gardens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel And Spa
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Hotel Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Akumal
- Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach
- Grand Sirenis Mexico
- Gran Sirenis
- Sirenis Riviera Maya
- Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa Akumal, Mexico