For at least a year I had been talking about taking a trip to Mexico. A new city – full of tropical vibes. When Sandro’s (the boyfriend for those who are new) 30th birthday was approaching, we decided Mexico was the place to be and booked a week-long trip.
The process was rather tedious. Trying to pick the perfect all-inclusive resort took some time – reading reviews, scrolling through the gallery, checking for best prices, and more takes time when you are looking through dozens of options. The title serves as a spoiler because we decided to stay at the Grand Sunset Princess Playa Del Carmen.
This post is a mix between an in-depth property review and inspiring photos in hopes of convincing you to spend a week on the beaches of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico!
Pssst…don’t forget to watch the video above for a closer look at Grand Sunset Princess. Should you feel inclined to subscribe, that would also be amazing because I LOVE making travel videos for you. . . just saying.
Getting to Grand Sunset Princess from the Airport
We flew into Cancun airport, followed by a 45-minute commute to our resort. Not terrible.
A shuttle is the most efficient and safe way in my opinion. I’ve heard horror stories of tourists getting pulled over in their rental cars and being forced to pay the crooked cop. Taxis are equally shady and expensive which pretty much leaves you with shuttle services. Booked in advance.
We booked our shuttle with BestDay. Online reviews were good and legit. After booking, they inform you in an email with pictures on where to find them and pick out their employees. We landed in Cancun and found them right away in the exact location and uniform described in our email.
However you decide to get around just make sure you are well aware of scams and how to avoid them.
Grand Sunset Princess Laguna Villa Suite
Given the nature of turning the big 30, a splurge was in order. We booked the Laguna Villa Suite and it was totally worth it. Rooms are in a secluded area with a massive spa tub, private entrance, patio, and the shower of my dreams.
A tier below is are the platinum suites. They are nice and closer to the beach but not as big or secluded if privacy is important to you.
Platinum Guest Extra Amenities
The extra amenities are great. They are amenities you will actually use, unlike some package deals I’ve had in the past.
45-minute spa session. Now, this may sound like an odd way to judge the quality of a massage, but if I managed to fall asleep in utter relaxation and wake up in pure bliss, I say that’s a good massage. That is exactly what happened. Such a wonderful session.
Though free, you should tip. We each gave a $10 tip.
An exclusive pool and personal cabana at the laguna pool. You have to reserve the cabana in advance but it’s free and you get it all day.
Inside the private pool area, you have a bar and loungers in the water. We spent most of the afternoon at Laguna pool drinking Dos Equis and napping in our cabana. By the end of this trip, I was Dos Equis out. I may never be able to look at one again.
A personal concierge to take care of everything you need including dinner reservations. Thankfully so because had our concierges not pre-booked our restaurant reservations, we would have not been able to go. By the time we arrived everything was booked up.
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Daily breakfast at Chill Out. This was by far the best meal we had during our stay. Typically this would be an additional cost, but not for platinum guests. The breakfast tacos and eggs Benedict were so delicious. And the view! This is the only oceanfront restaurant on property. No better way to start the day than on a white sandy beach looking out at the ocean waves.
In total, the Grand Princess Sunset has 12 bars and restaurants. We went to only half of them, so I can’t speak for the Steak house, Swiss or French restaurant.
Teppanyaki or Sushi. This requires advanced reservation and you need to specify whether you want Teppanyaki or sushi. We failed to do so. We came for sushi but got seated at the Teppanyaki table. Still good but not what we wanted. Our fault.
Italian was good. They will try to upsell you on a lobster dinner but we declined. I ordered fettuccini Alfredo and enjoyed it.
Buffet was the best for convenience. It does not require reservations and alternates ethnic food. We had Italian one night and Mexican the other. My theory is they cook the same food as the restaurants.
Sports Bar is the only 24/7 food and drinks options. They are also one of the few places that offer Heineken. Everywhere else is Dos Equis.
Mexican was delicious. I had about a zillion baby enchiladas and left hating myself for overeating.
Chill Out as I mentioned above.
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One of the selling points for us was the number of on-site entertainment options – from archery to daily pool parties. Knowing we were spending most of our time at the resort, we wanted to get the most out of it rather than spending extra money on excursions. Here are a few of the festivities we participate in.
Nightly shows in the theater. We watched a dance show and Frozen sing-a-long. This was probably the strangest part of our experience. Mostly because the theater was nearly empty. We sat a few rows back in a massive theater with a handful of audience members watching the performers go full out. Felt like I was in the upside-down or something. Guess that’s what happens during the slow season.
Daily pool parties happen in one pool though there are many pools on property. Here you will find house music, frozen margaritas and a plethora of men and women living it up.
To our surprise, a little Vegas casino lives here with blackjack, roulette, and slot machines – reminding of us home. The casino does cost extra and should you need to withdrawal cash expect to pay a hefty ATM fee.
Fitness Center was awesome. Fully equipped with everything you need – treadmill to free weights. I got a few workouts in. Pretty proud of that. Working out while on the road is a new thing I’m trying and it feels great.
Once everything Thursday, the property opens its doors to local businesses to set up shop inside the resort for guests to have their market. We found gorgeous souvenirs and were still able to negotiate a price without feeling too hounded.
The spa was amazeballs and though it costs additional (except for one 45-minute session as a platinum guest) it’s worth it. Nothing like a workout in the am, followed by a spa session and beach party. It’s the perfect day in Mexico!!!
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Every night after 11 pm the nightclub opens with a live DJ spinning. Inside you will find plenty of lounge space, a decent sized dance floor, and bar in the back. Everything is part of the all-inclusive package. We didn’t spend too much time as the nightclub because we are old people now and exhausted come midnight. Besides us, the crowd seemed lively.
Overall: Should You Stay Here?
Should you stay at the Grand Sunset Princess Hotel? I think the more important question is should you spend the money on all-inclusive? And the answer is no. No, if you plan on spending money on extra activities and excursions. All-inclusive sells you on a package price offering you everything you need.
The truth, however, is the only benefit to all-inclusive is if you plan on eating, drinking and hanging out at the resort only. My advice would be to do a cost analysis. Total everything you would want to do and divide that by your total number of days.
Do the same a la carte with hotel, food, drink, expenses, etc. and see what the cheaper nightly cost is. Should the all-inclusive route be cheaper, then you should 100% stay at the Grand Sunset Princess.
Psst. . . Looking for more places to catch some sleep? Check out a few of these hotel reviews:
Hotel Napoleon Memphis: Downtown’s Newest Hotel Near Beale Street
The Most Luxurious Bed & Breakfast in the Heart of Chicago
Does this sound like paradise or what? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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