« General Vamp's Quick Recipes #5 - Oyako-katsudon | Main | 4-Way Wireless Earbud Showdown »

My Grand Oasis Palm Resort Review

View from Room

Apparently I'm too wordy when it comes to writing reviews; none of the usual review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Expedia) would accept the entire thing but I guess my blog would be the perfect place for it in its entirety. ;-p

So without further ado...

We spent a week at the Grand Oasis Palm for our spring break this year and I think for us it really was a case of "you get what you pay for." This was only our second trip to the Cancun area, our first trip being last year when we were further south in Playa del Carmen and stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. The price difference between the two all-inclusive resorts was ~$200/person, Grand Oasis Palm being the less expensive of the two. And frankly, it showed. We did pay the extra ~$20/night to upgrade our room to the Grand Ocean Room which had "partial" ocean view. Which was actually a pretty good view: full on view of the pool and the beach past it. Upgrading also had the added bonus of including free wifi (with limitations) and free minibar. The wifi was limited to only two devices however, and it was locked to those 2 devices your entire stay. If you needed to connect more devices, you'd be charged $30/week per device. This was more limiting than what we had at Lindo last year which, while also limited to two devices, allowed you to switch devices at will.

Pano Beach View

Our first impression upon arrival was pretty good. The concierge was courteous and efficient and check-in was quick. However, their elevator situation was downright abysmal. They have one main set of double elevators, only one which was working when we checked in. The building is ten stories. One working elevator for a ten-story resort? Are you kidding me? Because we were in a rush to grab a bite to eat at one of their buffets before it closed for the day, we wound up hiking up 6 flights of stairs to our room to drop off our carryons, and then back down 6 flights to rush to the buffet. The one faulty elevator worked on and off for half the time that we were there. Fortunately, one of the staff told me about the separate larger & newer elevator that was tucked around the corner from the main ones. We used that one our entire time here. Even when the main ones were working, they were really showing their age. Which turned out to be true for the resort in general really. At first glance things look ok, but if you start paying more attention, you'll see that many things need to be updated.

Our room itself was also fine at first glance. The beds were comfy enough, I liked the lounge seat next to the window, the tv worked fine. But the thermostat didn't work. Thankfully, the a/c worked fine but it just didn't respond to any temperature that we set the thermostat to. For me it wasn't a big deal since the room didn't seem to get too warm with the a/c off, especially at night when we were in the room the most anyway. So I would leave it on during the day while we were out, turn it off at night when we were in, and then turn it on again in the morning. Oh and the built-in hair dryer in the bathroom didn't work either. But housekeeping brought by an extra one that did.

And then one day we had a tropical storm roll in for the afternoon. Heavy rain, high winds. The wall-to-wall windows that gave us such a nice view during good weather leaked. Not just from one place, or two, but from all sides. Luckily we were sheltering in the room so I noticed it immediately. Wound up using all of our resort-provided beach towels to staunch the flow. Also walked down to the front desk (cause the front desk doesn't seem to like to pick up calls) to let them know. They said they'd send someone to take a look, which sort of happened cause someone did come but he didn't even come in to look. Just asked if we had reported leaking and then scribbled on a clipboard when I said yes. I think he said they'd come back later but I never saw anyone afterwards. Possibly they came by when we were out in the early evening, don't know. But anyway, the beach towels were sufficient in keeping the rainwater at bay and since the following days were back to being sunny and bright again, I didn't bother to pursue the issue. Plus we exchange the beach towels for new ones daily anyway. But again, what seemed perfectly fine at first...

View of Resort from Beach

Next up, the pools and beach. If you stay at the Grand Oasis Palm, you also have access to the sister resort next door, the non-Grand "Oasis Palm." The pool next door is actually better for kids as it has slides and an inflated climbing structure and the like. The Grand Oasis Palm pool looks nice but is just a normal rectangular pool. So we spent most of our pool time next door. The highly-touted child-friendly beach really was exactly as described. Pretty much wave-less, and, thankfully, not seaweed-infested. Seaweed was a big problem last year when we were down at the Lindo resort. Pretty much made hanging out at the beach a no-go. Interestingly, while the beach here had no seaweed issue, I did notice that the beach for the resort next to us, The Royal Cancun, did have more than just some. But the beach here was super calm and shallow. Adults can pretty much walk all the way out to the beach perimeter. And I liked the row of hammocks that they hang up in the water. Oh, and if you did upgrade to the Grand Ocean room, you also have access to their beach club, which is where almost all the beachfront canopied beds are located. BUT, and this is a big but, no kids are allowed. I guess it's fine if your kids don't mind being sent to their kid's club (which is supposedly excellent) for the entire day while you and your spouse enjoy some alone time but our kids like sticking with us so that didn't work out for us. They do have 3 canopied beds next to the pool but those get claimed pretty quickly.

Now on to the food. Since this was an all-inclusive, and one on the lower price range to boot, I wasn't expecting too much from the food. Particularly at the no-reservation-needed buffets that we ate the most at. And for the most part I was correct, the food in general is nothing to write home about. Since it's a buffet you'll probably be able to find a couple of things to gorge yourself on but it's not going to be the best. One thing in particular that stood out in a not-so-good way was pretty much all the beef dishes, which was for the most part, unchewable and uncuttable. I think out of all the lunches and dinners we had, there was only one beef dish that our kids could actually eat; a shredded beef stew which was actually decent. Every other beef dish that came in larger than bite-sized pieces? Stay away. Also, their desserts. I'm not sure if it's because as Americans we're used to sweeter desserts but we found every dessert item offered to be pretty bland. Except for the brownies. Those actually tasted like brownies. And the fruits weren't too bad either. But anything else, bland.

So split between both the Oasis Palm resorts, there are 3 restaurants that you would need to make dinner reservations for. Two, really if you take out the one that's for 17 year olds and above only. To make a reservation, you need to show up at the restaurant the day of at 4pm. Or preferably before 4pm. Cause a line forms way before that. I think I sauntered over at 3:40 one day and the line was already 20 deep. This reservation format wasn't exactly the best for us since we were away from the resort a couple of days so there's no way we'd be back in time during those days. At Iberostar Lindo, they actually had you make reservations for their restaurants during check-in, with some restaurants already only having available time slots late in the evening. I don't think I prefer one method over another. It is what it is. But anyway, we did eat one night at Los Agaves, their Mexican restaurant. Which was pretty good. The steaks were actually edible. But again with the bland desserts.

Partial Beach View

As far as alcohol availability, I was severely disappointed here, not because I felt the drinks were too watered down or not using the best brands or what not. I'm actually not very picky when it comes to my cocktails. As long as it keeps me refreshed and doesn't upset my tummy, I'm good. But, for our entire stay here, I couldn't, for the life of me, get a mojito. What kind of Mexican vacation is it where you can't get a damn mojito? Last year at the Lindo, I could get a mojito anywhere: poolside bar, in-pool bar, beachside bar, buffet restaurants, a la carte restaurants, etc. Here, the buffet restaurants only serve white/red wine or beer for alcohol. That's it. Los Agaves had other cocktails available, but no mojito (their margarita was good though). I couldn't get one at the poolside bar or the inside the game room bar. When I asked the poolside bartender he said they were out of limes. I didn't see any mint leaves either actually. For the 2-3 days we spent pool/beachside there, no mojitos. Ugh. But this may have only been me being unlucky. Cause when I complained about it to a friend who had stayed here a few months ago, he said he was able to order them from the pool/beachside bars. Just my luck.

So to sum up, the Grand Oasis Palm is an ok place to stay considering the price. Yes, we had issues, but nothing that was worth making a big fuss over. If you have little kids who love the beach, there's no safer beach in the city around for them. Oh, and if your plans also include a visit to Isla Mujeres, particularly Dolphin Discovery and/or Garrafon Park, this resort is actually a pretty good location for it since it's just one resort down from Playa Langosta, the public beach/pier where the ferry to those places depart from. Just a 5-10 minute stroll away. As for us, if we do come back to Cancun again, we'll probably try a non all-inclusive instead just to see how big of a difference in food there would be.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 27, 2019 11:41 PM.

The previous post in this blog was General Vamp's Quick Recipes #5 - Oyako-katsudon.

The next post in this blog is 4-Way Wireless Earbud Showdown.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Add to Google Reader or Homepage
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.