Here is all what you need to know about Grand Oasis Cancun, Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 16.5, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Now, you have to consider this hotel has two sections, 1 is the Pyramid and Phase 1 including the see front are 4.5 stars, it is called the Grand Oasis, which is the good section, when checking in, they give you the black rest band. Then you have the Phase 2 and the Oasis section ‘’ Oasis, not the Grand Oasis ‘’ which is the 3 stars section, this is mainly for young people, budget travelers and spring breakers. Oasis the part that everyone complains about, noisy, full of adults getting drunk, music, load .. bla bla bla .. well don’t go to a high school section and expect it to look like an IT conference, they give you a purple rest band.
First Arrival and Check in:
We arrived at 3AM, so there were no time share people to bother us, just couple of guys that were not dressed as Sunwing employee in Orang, they told us they are Sunwings and we waited with them for couple of minutes till our guy arrived, took them 15 min to sort the transportation out for all the groups, 15 minute we were at the hotel. Larger groups took big busses, we were a group of 11 took a medium size Van, the guy was driving really fast, but we really liked it, the Van driver was explaining to us that we are going to the Grand Oasis Hotel, which is an all-inclusive, don’t pay tips there, you guys already paid it included in the ticket, only tip me my friends as I am not part of your package : ) we arrived at the hotel, they were doing some maintenance and a building was closed, we all got a free upgrade to Pyramid or Ocean front ☺ it was a very welcomed surprise. The room was exactly as I reserved, big kind size bed, very clean, the room was more than enough for both my wife and I. I’d say it took us 1 hour since arriving to Cancun to be in our rooms, it could be due to the fact we arrived at 3AM .. or not.
Restaurants and Bars baby ..
There are grand oasis restaurants, Les Careyes, Ibiza, Las Palmas, and Cocoa. Only Grand Oasis guests are allowed into these restaurants. And these are the only restaurants we stuck to .. now *** Remember this, next day of arrival, reserve for the Las Careyes. You need to make the reservation between 7am and 9am at the desk next to the reception. We ate twice at this restaurant and both nights were enough to make this trip worth it. The Thai food restaurant was amazing as well, we ate there twice, line was about 20 to 30 min waiting, but once you know where is the Bar is located and keep the Margaritas going till it is your time, it’s totally worth it. Cocoa restaurant is an amazing experience, best sea food by the sea was amazing, we decided to have Lunch at this restaurant to enjoy the torquaze color of the ocean while eating, and we simply loved it. Hmm what else, yep .. Brazilian restaurant or what is knows by Steak House, this was the only one we didn’t like, all the meat was fully cocked from the outside and raw from the inside and bleeding, we tried few kinds and then decided to leave and go finish at the Ibiza. Ibiza is the best breakfast restaurant, the variety is simply insane, there is even Champaign available by the juice table for breakfast, cheap Champaign, but come one .. it is the first all-inclusive I saw that offers Champaign. We tried this restaurant ‘’ which I know from reading the reviews that it is the place to be ‘’ and we were hooked, we had breakfast there daily for 8 days, not feeling board for a single day, and it was our saviour in the days we decided to try the international buffets or the Oasis restaurants, we always ended up eating half stomach and finish our meal at the Ibiza. Ala Cart restaurants were amazing, but the quantities were petit for a big guy like me, so at the last days .. we ended up eating at 2 restaurants for dinner, reserved les Careyes at 6:30 we finished by 8 then off to the tai food .. this was a day, and honestly speaking, the food by itself would make it for this trip.
Notes worth mentioning:
If we were Oasis only, we would’ve really hated this Hotel, the oasis only restaurants were poor, quality is way below average, lines and lines and lines waiting, we got stuck once and returned to the hotel from the market between lunch and dinner, all the Grand Oasis restaurants were closed, so we ate at one of the Oasis restaurants and I can say it is the worst experience in that hotel :D
Tips, we used to leave between 2 to 5$ a meal as were a group of 11, couple of days and the staff knew us, we would go to Ibiza, our table to accommodate 11 is made for us, 3 guys to serve us, juice, coffee .. refills whatever you would ask for we would get in seconds. Tips get you really all the way.
Now for the bars, there are couple of swim up bars, one for the Oasis, which had all the drinks watered down to hell, either you tip or not, it is less than acceptable, I used to go take my big mugs and fill them at the Ibiza Bar and walk till that area, but after sometime I fed up doing that, so I simply stopped trying to get a buzz from the drinks over there while swimming at the pool, we tried the Ibiza swim up bar and all the drinks were prime alcohol and the juices were simply amazing, we liked Bob Marley .. but once again, HUGE difference between the Grand and the Oasis bars. Keep in mind when planning dinner reservations that some require semi formal attire, no sandals for men, no shorts or jeans, so pack something appropriate for those restaurants or just plan to not book them. Drinks – if you bring your own mug/cup/vessel, you will be completely happy with the bars/drink service; they dispense into small 8oz cups, which are just a bit small if you do not want to continually go back and forth to the bar. Water – it’s Mexico…so don’t drink tap water as everyone knows. Drink bottled water only.
Every day the Hotel promote for a club, you’ll see the advertisement by the pools and nice Chikas walking all around the pool area to invite you in, if you are a big group, always ask for discounts. We went to Coco Bongo based on the reviews, and definitely it is once in a life time experience, it is a mix of club and cirque du soleil, think .. mini me Vegas :D. We went to the famous foam party at the Ups and Down club in our hotel, the admission was 30$ and free to Grand Oasis with the black rest band, we couldn’t stay more than 1 hour, just for the sake of experience. The foam was thick, goes in your through and you feel you are going to puke, goes in your eyes and you start tearing, a big chunk fell on my head and I couldn’t remove it and was inhaling foam till I got to the washroom and then I decided to leave, it smell like detergent .. for some reason I thought the foam wouldn’t be that thick but it was very thick that you can actually wash your cloths.
We were mainly at Cancun to relax, so these were the only two clubs we’ve been to.
We went to Xel-ha all inclusive, a very nice trip, we don’t regret it, tons of activities to do there or you can simply snorkel for an hour, eat and lay on a Hammock to relax. I highly recommend it, be careful as Xel-Ha is a natural park and in order to protect it, they are using a Bio Degraded Sun block, if you can’t get one from your country/place it is fine, if not they will try to push a sale, I am from Montreal, Quebec, I tried looking everywhere for a natural non chemical bio degraded Sunblock with no success, whenever i asked anyone about it, they give me this look and just say, sorry we never heard of it, at the end I bought one that says no chemicals for 25$. When we reached Xel-Ha they said it is not good enough, we had one in our bag used it inside as we were not ready to pay a 100$ more for sunblock’s which we already have.
To buy sovounieres, I recommend market 28, you take the R2 bus from in front of the hotel, the lane in front of the hotel directly heading to your right, tell the driver to get you down by the market 28. Once there and wants to take the other bus back, you’ll need to ask for the bus station, it is a little bet where you will not expect it. At the market, barging barging and barging, I got things down from 40 to 20, from 150 to 60 and yet I wasn’t the best one at bargaining. I got a bracelet made out of leather and wool from 8$ to 5$ and when I got back to Montreal, I found the same exact one at Dollarama for 1$ ☺ people at the market are friendly, sometimes pushy but when you give them a no thank you and keep walking, they respect that. I didn’t take my video camera with me not to be targeted, but I founded safer than I thought, actually very safe, I’d take my video cam next time and wouldn’t worry about it. BUT use common since, keep monitoring your surroundings, don’t wear expensive jewellery .. you know .. common since ..
Any time you want a cold bottled water go to the bar in the main building and they give you one. We always got bottled water from the VIP lounge every day. The Internet is also at the main building, It costs $17.00 for 24 hours of use (can be spread over you 7 day stay) or $6.00 for 30 minutes. Very easy to get on. The rate for pesos and American were short at the hotel. They paid 11-1 It was actually 13-1. You can rent a room safe to put your money and valuables for 4$ a day, was very worth it.
Tipping- If you listen to any one piece of advice, it’s this. Tipping makes things better for you. We brought $100 singles with us and didn’t use them all. Everyday $1 for the maid service. Room was always clean, we always had extra towels. Minibar- every day we would throw $1 in the fridge with a note "Mas Modelo's por favor” We always got extra beers. At the bar in the grand oasis lobby. We always threw a buck every time we ordered drinks. By the next day, he knew our drinks and there was no waiting at all. Same for the pool bar. Bring your own cups with you. They give you like 8oz cups. We brought 32oz cups and threw the bartender $5 and he filled them to the top all day long. Be careful - the towel stand closes at 5pm, before the sun goes down, so if you are still on the beach or in the pool, you have to carry your drenched, sand encrusted towels back to your room and lug it back to the pool the next day to retrieve your towel card. was aware of some of the things people complained about so we knew about the lines for dinner so we went early to eat, knew about chairs being reserved early so we found chairs in undesirable areas and just dragged them to where we wanted to sit. The complains about using the sewage septic tanks for showers or whatever is all not correct, true the water is yellow, but it is due to the iron level in it so high, it doesn’t smell nor stink, you are in Mexico, use the regular water to shower, bottled water to drink. Just a word of fairness, we tried the room service couple of times, the first time was a big order of 12 plate, and I kid you not, 5 minutes and we had it delivered hot and inviting, the next time we ordered it took them 20 min. The beach has been renovated in a project that cost 71 million dollar to extend the beach by 41 meter, we couldn’t ask for more.
The only bad experience I had was with the Sunwing representative, we’ve been giving a card to fill with our information to hand the next day at the VIP meeting, A.K.A time share sales, thanks to previous reviews I knew what was this about, so I voided it, but the guy caught me in the room one day and because we have no caller ID i picked up, He wanted me to collect the 11 guys with their cards and go to the meeting next day at 10 am, I told him politely that we are 11 person not all having the same interest and can’t guarantee we all be there, he said we have to do that to confirm our transportation to the airport, and if the 11 of us were not there by 10, they reserve the right to cancel our transportation to the airport. I told him we’ll see about that, hanged up on him, and got down to talk to the guy, and I am sure he will remember me for sometime, I was impolite reminding him that we paid for this, and we are not interested in his meeting and not to harass us for a freakin transportation. This was the only bad experience.
At the end:
After understanding the difference between Oasis and Grand Oasis, this place is what you make out of. We went with low expectations, and we were rewarded with a time to remember forever. You get a waiter that had a bad day, just call another, you need all the bed cheats changed, just strip them and put them on the floor and they will change it. A drunk guy is making a noise, so what .. we had couple of rainy days .. man have you ever had a swim under the rain, either at the ocean or the pool?!! It is all about attitude. I hope you find this review helpful, and wish you a happy stay at the Grand Oasis,
All the best