Have you been to Cancun?
We spent our last 4 days in Mexico at the Gran Caribe Resort and Spa in Cancun and it was the best vacation ever for our family!
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After spending 8 days at the Grand Mayan Resort in Riviera Maya and doing the excursions we wanted to do, we headed to Cancun and checked in at the Gran Caribe Resort and Spa. Gran Caribe Resort is a smaller resort but it is all inclusive. We decided to go all inclusive towards the end of our vacation because at this time, we wanted to just stay at the resort, enjoy the amenities and soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal clear waters and sugar fine white beach.
As I have mentioned, going all inclusive is the way to go when going to Mexico. This allows you and your family not to worry about anything else but to have fun. In Mexico, going all inclusive means that all your meals and snacks, including drinks, alcoholic and non alcoholic are all included in your stay.
Now, all inclusive comes with a price and at the Gran Caribe Resort and Spa, it was $122 per person per day. This is a lot cheaper compared to bigger resort brands. But we were happy to stay at this smaller resort because everything is just right there. No more walking for 15-20 minutes just to get to the pool or to the restaurant. At the Gran Caribe Resort and Spa, the farthest we walked was going to the beach and it was less than 5 minutes. We were overjoyed!
Gran Caribe Resort and Spa is located in the famous hotel zone. The Hotel Zone is about 15 miles of stretch of powdery white beach with azure blue waters between the airport and downtown Cancun and it is lined with numerous beautiful and luxurious resorts and hotels and restaurants.
What we love at this resort!
Gran Caribe Resort and Spa has 5 gourmet restaurants and we ate at only four of them. The only restaurant we did not ate at was the Maria’s which serves Mexican Cuisine. The children were not very keen with spicy foods.
The Gaviotas offers Caribbean and Mexican cuisine with al fresco dining and the beautiful view of the beach. You can hear the crushing waves and watch guests pass by going to the beach or swimming at the pool. We ate once at the Gaviotas and the food was excellent, the drinks as well, but it was hot since its open air.
Our third favorite restaurant is the Sunset Grill which serves classic American and European cuisine. Sunset Grill overlooks the lagoon and the view at sunset was spectacular. What we liked most at this restaurant was it is located by the family pool and the pirate splash park. It was so easy to just sit there under their umbrella and eat and drink while our “little fishes” Troy and Treigv were swimming. Their pizza was delicious, salmon burger and breaded fish fillet were so yummy!
Our favorite place for breakfast for all the days that we were there was the Albatros. The place is elegant with stunning views of the Caribbean. This is a buffet restaurant that serves international cuisine and you can order a la carte from their menu of fresh meats and produce as well. There was wide variety of beautifully presented food choices and we never got tired of eating there everyday, mostly breakfast or brunch and a dinner.
The dessert choices were plenty. There was fresh fruits, cakes, ice cream and plenty of mouth watering pastries. We enjoyed our every meal at Albatros, but the most important feature of this restaurant were the friendly and attentive wait staff. They cater to your needs and they have such happy disposition that you would want to take them home! lol!
But our number One restaurant is the IL Pescatore. IL Pescatore is an Italian Restaurant that is formal dining but you can come with resort casual attire. We ate at this restaurant 2 nights we were there and we enjoyed our wonderfully presented and mouth watering food from the appetizer all the way to the dessert. The wait staff were excellent as well and they were attentive and friendly.
We loved their delicious INSALATA ALLA CESSARE ( a caesar salad) and the CARPACCIO DI SALMONE ( like a smoked salmon with their special marinade) for appetizer. And then there was the mouthwatering Filet Mignon entree and the CHICKEN ALLA PARMIGIANA served with sauteed veggies. There was not a lot of choices in their menu but whatever was available were very good.
After dinner with our family and the kids were tucked in for the night, Jorge and me usually go back to IL Pescatore for a nightcap and some more desserts.
There was always something going on at the Lobby Bar every night and we loved it. The lobby is more alive at night with mariachi bands, theme parties and live performances as well. There was always food stations with snacks and desserts at the lobby in the afternoons and into the evenings. Hotel guests can sit and socialize and relax and make friends.
The lobby bar opens at 8 am to 12 am. Guests can enjoy the refreshing drinks and smoothies all day which the children loved as it was very warm in Mexico. Jorge and me also liked to hang out at the lobby bar every night until closing and just relax and watch other guests have a good time.
And then there is the 24 hour Snack Bar that offers food and snacks 24 hours. This is where you can get midnight snacks and past midnight booze after the lobby bar closes.
The beach at the front of the resort is just like what you see in pictures or in TV for Cancun commercials.
It was so beautiful with its white powdery sand and the crystal clear blue waters and the rolling waves.
We went to the beach everyday and soaked up some more sun and the inviting and happy Cancun atmosphere.
The beach may look so beautiful and inviting but since it faces the open Caribbean Sea, the surf is rough and have some strong undertows. The government utilizes a flag system to warn beach goers of the surf condition and it is imperative to pay attention to these flag signs and be safe.
The Flag Signs:
Black Flag: Do not swim.
Red Flag: Dangerous conditions.
Yellow Flag: Use caution.
Green Flag: Safe.
There were chaises and cabanas and huts for shade. The Trade Winds which is the bar on the beach with swings ( yes, swings in lieu of bar stools) serves the thirst quenching drinks you need to stay hydrated all day and some snacks as well.
Having the bar on the beach is very convenient because the guests don’t have to walk far to get food and drinks. Guests can use the cabana for a fee but the chaise and the huts are free.
The Kids Club
The kids club is really cool at this resort.The Oki Fun World is full of activities crafts, magic shows and live entertainment, and adventures like the Oki mini golf for the whole family…
and the Oki splash water park with pirate ship and medieval castle. There are a total of 7 slides, 2 splash zones and the family pool. Troy and Treigv and Tyreen particularly enjoyed their time at the kids club.
The T Zone for the teens 13 – 17 years old and they have activities and entertainment as well, and they can hang out and socialize and make new friends.
We booked 2 junior suite rooms to accommodate all 7 of us and it faced the pirate splash park and the family pool and it has no ocean view at all. It probably was the cheapest accommodation and we paid $122 per person per day.
It was a downgrade from our elegant accommodation from the Grand Mayan in Riviera Maya, but then its the most economical choice because vacationing with all 7 of us is not cheap at all.
The resort does offer several types of accommodation like suites with ocean view, ocean front and ocean walk out where your front yard is the beach and you have the front view of the beautiful rolling waves.
Our stay included access to the nearby marina through Aquaworld. Aquaworld is a convenient all in one place for water sports and activities like snorkel, scuba diving, aquatwister ( a fast craft ride activity) and skyrider ( parasailing) and other excursions. It is located along the hotel zone at the Lagoon side. We were only interested in kayaking and so that was what we did for half a day.
We asked for a pack lunch of burger and french fries and drinks and the hotel staff were so kind to provide us with that. To get to Aquaworld you either take a taxi or take the local bus just across the street. We opted for the local bus and the fare was 10 pesos or $1 USD per person. It was only a short ride because the place is not very far from the hotel and the children loved the bus experience because it was their first time taking a bus, aside from a school bus! lol!
We spent half the day kayaking at the Lagoon and the attendants were helpful and attentive. They make sure you see the tip jar but they never pushed for the tips. We ended up giving them all our pack lunch and drinks because we were too busy having fun to eat, and besides there were plenty of food waiting for us back at the hotel.
We never felt unsafe during our stay in Cancun and even in Riviera Maya, despite the excursions we did outside our resorts and on our own to Playa Del Carmen and to the Aquaworld taking public transportation. The people we encountered in public, tourists and locals were friendly and helpful.
It is generally safe to walk around the hotel zone and explore the hotels, however, just like everywhere else and even here in the United States in our own home towns, common sense precaution can keep you safe everywhere and in Cancun. Do not go to unsafe places or do unsafe activities in unfamiliar environment. It is usually safer to wander with someone rather than going alone, and when it is daylight.
As for the reports in the news about guests being drugged, robbed and exploited, I really don’t know what to make of that since that is beyond words in the horrible category and resort guests should be able to relax and have fun and get drunk and be safe specially with in the resort premises.
I hope and pray that these occurrences have stopped and the perpetrators were apprehended. And I hope that the resorts are taking extra measures to keep their guests safe.
Our 4 days stay at the Gran Caribe was the icing in the cake of our 12 days vacation in Mexico. We relaxed, we had fun, we were fed and on the 12th day, we were ready to go back to our home and to our normal daily living.
When are you going to visit Cancun? If you go, I guarantee you, you are going to experience one of the most amazing vacation in your lifetime!
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