Last year we stayed at the Hotel Gran Caribe in Cancun. It was our first trip to Mexico as a family, and we wanted to relax. I had found the hotel on Expedia and booked it because it was a very affordable all-inclusive option, and because we wanted to stay right in Cancun for our first trip. We only had about a 15 minute commute from the airport and we used the Thomas More private transport which was great. The hotel wasn’t perfect, but we LOVED it, especially because it isn’t very big, and therefore was easy to get around. Here’s our review.
Rooms at the Hotel Gran Caribe
The rooms at the hotel are average. We had a one bedroom with two queen beds. I asked for an ocean view- we could see the ocean from the corner of the porch, but our main view was of the Kid’s Club. The room was clean but cramped once we put a crib in. The air conditioner and hot water worked great, and we loved the crib as it was almost full size and wooden. The beds were very comfortable. The mini bar in the room did not have top shelf liquor- we could see the housekeepers refilling it with generic brands. The photos on the website did not resemble the room that we had- there were opportunities for upgrades if we listened to a membership presentation, but we did not do that.
The food at the hotel is great. The buffets have high quality food- and there are so many fruits and vegetables that I actually lost weight on the trip. The Mexican restaurant is INCREDIBLE- we ate there every night and I had everything on the menu. It’s clear the Mexican chefs take a lot of pride in their culinary heritage, and they deliver great Yucatan style Mexican food. We also loved the menu at the Sunset Restaurant, and we ate our lunch there every day with great service. Our younger daughter was just 7 months when we went, and loved to eat beans and bread. The servers were more than happy to bring those items from the other kitchens for her. The drinks were great, lots of beer and top shelf liquor options- and there were lots of waiters in the beach and pool areas.
The beach is beautiful- just what you would expect from the Riviera Maya- clear water, white sand, and the perfect temperature of water. There are lots of beach beds with privacy curtains all along the beach, and we adored lounging on the beds- I breastfed while our older daughter built sand castles with new friends. There is also a great beach bar with swings for chairs and the friendliest bartenders. They made a mean mojito- we spent sunset every evening sipping mojitos and playing in the sand.
The pools at the resort are great. There is one main pool in the center of the resort, and it looks over the ocean. There are clear glass windows so the view is even more incredible. There is a kids pool with slides on the inland side of the resort, and what I most loved about the kid’s pool is that was completely shady for most of the day.
There is a Kid’s Club for children aged 4 through teens. We visited the club to check it out- (we were curious) but out kids were too young to use it. The staff was extremely attentive, but the indoor facility was run down. The toys were not new and there wasn’t a very good variety of activities. The teen area had lots of video games.
The bottom line
I would recommend Hotel Gran Caribe for families looking for an affordable all-inclusive option- the food is high quality and the staff is friendly. We didn’t love our room, but we didn’t spend much time there either.
Have you visited a favorite resort in the Riviera Maya? Which one was it, and why did you love it? Let us know in the comments below!
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