A while back I saw an ad for the Grand Sirenis, it was 399USD (after taxes and such it was just over 500USD) per couple for 5 nights at an all inclusive on the Riviera Maya. The reason for this awesome deal was so that the Grand Sirenis could give you the opportunity to discover the advantages and benefits of their Premium Traveler Service.
I have passed the entrance to this resort a number of times on my trips along the Riviera Maya Coast road, the entrance is quite striking; Their name in what appear to be 20foot tall letters, gee, wish I had taken a foto…sorry!
When we bought our place in Mexico we made sure we had a nice sized guest room for all the family and friends that would be visiting us while there. I mean here we are, with a house in tropical Mexico, in the amazingly cultural city of Merida, with tons of awesome things to do, and we have a pretty good sized pool. Add to that we are an hour or so from the Gulf Coast beach towns of Celestun, Sisal, Chuburna, Chelem, Progreso, Chixulub, Chabihau, Telchac, and on and on. Hmpfffff, seems everyone prefers the Caribbean….which happens to be about 4 hours away.
This seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore a place where we could bring friends for that Caribbean fix when they visit us, so we signed up.
About 4 days before our arrival we started getting emails from Carlos, our concierge at the Grand Sirenis. He is awesome, very responsive on emails, very thorough and informative.
(July 2013) On Monday, our travel day, we left a little later than expected, and got turned about getting out of Merida and on to the proper highway, seems to be the same mistake we make each time. Hmpfh.
Regardless we got there in good time and met almost immediately with Carlos, our personal concierge. He gave us a breakdown of our schedule for the pre-arranged things, the presentation, a full water treatment circuit at the Spa, our reservations for their specialty restaurants, etc. As well as explaining the layout of the resort itself.
While a few last minute details were arranged, and our room was being finished up we went in for a bit of lunch. Lunch service in the buffet ends at 3pm, and we were at 2:30, so we were entering to the endings of service. It is this to which I am blaming the state of the food, which was so seriously over cooked as to render it less than appealing to both sight and taste. There were thankfully still quite a lot of salad items left, and salad is always a good choice.
We then came to find out that this resort does not offer free wifi. And the prices are incredibly, at least to me expensive. 35pesos for 15minutes, 240pesos for 24hours, I mean really! Any hotel or resort that does not offer their guests free wifi isn’t worth coming to in my opinion. I’m really sure the woman at the agency I spoke with to make the arrangements told me there was wifi, unfortunately what sales says, and what hotel does are two different things!
After lunch, and finishing up with our concierge we went to our room. We are in a junior suite and it it quite a good size. The bathroom, bedroom, and sitting area are all quite spacious. Lots of amenities, minibar, safe, coffemaker and service, toiletries, hairdryer, iron and board, bottled water, etc. unfortunately the remote for the TV isn’t working. (By the time we returned from an early dinner a functioning remote was here).
|this is just the sitting area and balcony, the sleeping area is behind me.
The next day, I can see how tired and dated the room is. Cushions and pillows and flat, burn holes from a careless and thoughtless previous guest in the bed coverlet. Linens, although clean, have that over used softness. Grout and tile missing…the decor seems dated, but perhaps they are trying for a retro 60’s sort of feel.
ps I found out later that this resort is only 6 years old!!!!!!
That night we had an early dinner reservation at one of the reservation only specialty restaurants where men are required to wear long pants, sleeves on their shirts, and fairly closed toe shoes, and where women can wear cut off micro short shorts? I mean really??? This was a fairly large restaurant, El Rancho, their steak restaurant. There was a salad and warm food buffet, only the entrees were ordered and served. The food good, not over the roof impressive, and although Barry’s pork ribs were way overcooked and tough the rest of us were pleased.
We slept well!
Day 2 –
We went on walkabout to try and figure out the layout, to check out the beach, and to try to work up an appetite for breakfast. There is plenty of sandy beach front with lots of really cool coral, limestone formations. As well as a natural inlet creating some very interesting spaces for swimming and snorkeling.
There are several lovely pools, the grounds and jungle are quite nice and offer an abundant variety of bird and wild life.
The breakfast buffet was again good, nothing to overwhelm, but good.
After breakie we went to the beach, and although saving seats is discouraged it is done widely and it took us a bit to find 2 seats with just a bit of shade. As luck would have it there was a lovely young newlywed British couple on the other side of the palapa. Hola David and ……., from Stratford on Avon.
We had a lovely visit with them up till 11:15 when we had to get to the Spa for our water therapy spa sessions.
We spent nearly 2 hours at the spa doing both a water therapy circuit, and a circuit of alternating hot and cold saunas, steams, and showers. Very interesting and relaxing. The spa facility is quite lovely, the staff all cordial and helpful. Nice coffee and juice bar for after your treatments. I had intended to have a spa treatment or two, but upon reviewing their price list decided against it. 25 minute masaje 811pesos, 50 minute masaje 1247pesos. Express pedi 658pesos, spa pedi 880pesos. I just couldn’t do it!
It is the rainy season, and as is to be expected we had a heavy afternoon thundershower. Our room gets water, but staff is apparently aware as they had already mopped up our room and had a stack of towels against the door to keep it dry by the time we returned.
Ok so we went to the Italian restaurant this night, and again, the food was fine, but underwhelming for what is supposed to be a 5 Star restaurant. We commented that the food is really no better than what is in the buffet restaurant, and with less options.
So tomorrow we have our presentation scheduled. The time has been changed from 8am to 10:15. We are less than thrilled with this change. We had hoped to have it early so as to still have some sun and surf time!
The presentation was good, very interesting, and tempting concept, but just not quite right for us. We travel lightly, and go places with a general idea of where we are going and what we want to see, so pre-arranging a week here or there just isn’t our style. But it really seemed a good option and we were surely tempted.
The suites that are part of the plan are beautifully appointed.