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Reviewed 20 April 2008

We retuned to the Grand for another one week stay from March 5-12 after enjoying our first visit so much in December of 2007! (Please refer to my rather lengthy review from that trip). Now I must say that we have NEVER returned to the same resort twice so it was a bit of a new experience for us. In some ways better because we knew the ins and outs of the resort this time around. The one negative thing is that in some ways it ruined some of the excitement for us to discover new surroundings etc. which we find half the fun.

This time we stayed in Oceanfront building #70, which we definately preferred over our last stay in Oceanfront building #71 (although this was great too.) The advantages to this building were that our butler Victor was completely amazing in his service and attentiveness. Always greeting us by name, always asking us what he could do for us to make our stay more enjoyable. We also found all of the staff alot more personable and attentive than our first visit. Again, not that we had anything to complain about the first time, but this time the service was kicked up a notch (especially at the buffet restaurants).

Some tips we learned this time around which may help are:

#1) We preferred eating at our own table at the Japanese restaurant. Last time we sat at the show table, and found the whole production to be too long and uncomfortable eating at a table with strangers. We had a much more enjoyable, prompt and delicious meal at our own table for two.

#2) If you are booking an oceanfront room, try to get building #70 instead of #71. The building itself is situated quite a bit closer to the shoreline. The sunloungers in front of #70 are better (padded, instead of just the mesh ones in front of #71). Also if you plan to go into the water, there is a nice clear spot directly in front of the watersports rental place that has no rocks and a nice sandy bottom. As mentioned earlier, we LOVED our butler Victor! He was a great guy and always wanting to do more for you, even though we are pretty low maintenance and easy to please. We also liked the proximity of this building to our favorite lunch spot, the oceanfront buffet restaurant which is attached to building #70. (Now if only we could have gotten the bartender Arturo from Bldg 71 to move to Bldg #70. We really missed Arturo, the bartender at this building was not nearly as friendly/personable. His drinks were not as good and his service was somewhat spotty).

#3) At the oceanfront lunch buffet, you must order the grilled shrimp which are not on the menu. Also another must have is the Shrimp Fajitas. If you like guacamole, they had the best guacamole there! This was our favorite place to eat outside, the view was unbeatable!

#4) Alot of people have been writing about how expensive it is for the spa services, saying it was $500. So here's a tip... those quotes are for "ritual" services that are several hours long. What we did was: we went there and told them that we wanted to book a Hot Stones Couples Massage. It was a 1 hour massage (awesome) and it only cost us $139 per person. (I know it's still a bit pricey, but it IS totally worth it, you've gotta splurge a little! It's still ALOT cheaper than the $500 ritual services!! PS for those travellers who are single, you can't do this at the spa at the Grand because their services are all for Couples (which I don't really agree with...) BUT we did this same thing in December, but we went to the Spa at the Shopping Plaza and it was just as good!

#5) IF you do choose to have a service done at the Grand Spa, ask them if you can have it in the King's Suite (which they did for us because it was not booked with any other services at the time). This room was really cool with twinkling lighs on the ceiling that looked like stars. Very cool... the pictures don't do it justice.

#6) When you book your dinner at the Italian restaurant, I highly recommend asking for the outdoor patio. It is covered, and sheltered from the wind. The ambiance there is AMAZING, very romantic and european feeling!

For those of you who love to eat like a king, this resort is tops. You can eat huge shrimp/prawns, lobster, caviar etc for breakfast, lunch and supper if you wanted to, every day...! Also all drinks are top shelf. The lobby bar had something like 30 different varieties of local and international beers alone! All of the brand name liquors you could ever want. You will lack for nothing here, and you'll be treated like a movie star! (Without it being pretentious).

In summary, I think next time we go on a trip we will try something different, but I have to say... they will have some mighty big shoes to fill. This place may just have spoiled everything else for us, BUT I think we would be a bit bored if we returned there again soon. Eventually, I'm sure we will ultimately find our way back to the Grand again though:)

Book it, you won't regret it!!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank holaplaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2008

We are in our 50's, have traveled to many resorts and enjoy visiting new areas and meeting new people. We came to The Grand with another couple and can honestly say we were very impressed with everything- the beauty of the resort, the staff, the food, the service top notch. We laugh at any negative reviews, honestly some people are never satisfied. A quiet resort with everything you could want- dont hesitate, just go and see for yourself!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank kcMassenaNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2008

The Grand exceeded our expectations. The service and food were definitely 5 star. We stayed for 6 nights. We ate all dinners in the reservation only restaurants. The Surf and Turf and the french restaurant were each visited twice. The restaurant by the beach was used for lunch. The griled lobster and the tenderloin were superb. Bar service was prompt and efficient at all beach , pool , lobby and theater locations. The shows were all professional. My favorite was the magician. There was never a problem with chairs at the beach or at one of the pools. Adequate shade was available at the beach, although I would recommend more shaded areas along the main pool. The room was luxurious. Overall the service, accommodations, food and amenities exceeded what I have experienced on the more popular cruise ships.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank tourist095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2008

Just got back last night. Great place. Fabulous room and common areas. Clean, and meticulously maintained. Service was also top notch. Food was really, really good at all of the resturaunts we dined (Japanese, Italian, Steak house and buffett) . We had a run of the house room that was upgraded without any problem upon arrival at no extra cost (to ocean front).

Only issue, which was real minor for me but I'm sure would give others fits, was that the toilet in our room overflowed one morning pretty substantially. And for no particular reason. Water everywhere. The staff was right on it and maintainence and housekeeping fixed the problem without haste. My wife and I laugh at things like that, but I can imagine other, more uptight clients getting all bent out of shape.

IMO, tip when you can - a buck here or there is much appreciated by the very hardworking staff. Don't confine yourselves to the pool. Get on the beach. The service on the beach under the huts is excellent. The relaxation factor is high. Saw many, many couples at the same spot at the same pool day after day. Expand your horizons - even if it's only a few hundred feet. We also tok a cab into PLaya Del Carmen one afternoon. Had dinner at a local cafe on 5th Ave. and shopped. Great people watching scene. I recommend it.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank tbbPhila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2008

We won't repeat what everyone else has already said but must give recognition to certain individuals for great service.
Rigo, the bartender in the Lobby Bar, truly does make the perfect margarita and the service with a smile is top notch. Vanessa and Erick of the Star Friends always greeted us warmly and made us feel like family. Eduardo, our waiter on the terrace at La Brisa, gave us incredible service everyday at lunch as we dined on grilled lobster overlooking the Carribean. Mauricio, our butler, redefined gracious living even if it was only for a week.
Thank you! You made our week spectacular!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank randyanddebbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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