Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya 2018

Every summer we travel to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort for our vacation because we love the warm beautiful beaches and great food. This year, we tried the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya and it was hit and miss. We booked with Expedia for 7 nights 8 days trip 6/26-7/3 for $4400 including private super-shuttle to/from the resort.

  • We parked at ParkSFO with the 3 days free, but they charge for the whole day extra just for a few hours passed. Tax and fees were outrageous, total was $141 even with 3 days free. Need to check other parking arrangement next year.
  • The best flights to select is getting in the resort after 1PM – have lunch and check-in room at 3PM – Leaving at 6PM so we could have breakfast and lunch before the flight although check out time is 12PM but the receptionist was nice and let us stay until 1PM.
  • Since Grand Sirenis charges for everything from WIFI and Safe Box, it’s better to book the upgrade room for $35 extra per night with 2 WIFI and Safe. The WIFI registration is not user friendly, they lock to 2 specific devices from beginning to end, so choose the devices wisely. We used one for my daughter and one for the laptop. The WIFI signal is efficient but not enough to play games per our son on the laptop.
  • American Airline changed their economy flight to 2 tiers, “basic” and “regular”, Expedia booked us on the BASIC economy class which is limited to one under-seat bag and NO carry-on bags allowed, we didn’t know and we had to check-in 2 carry-on for $25 each. So, watch out with the booking. It’s better to know up front.
  • Interjet on the way back from Cancun, each passenger can have 2 bags but total weight must be under 10kg = 20lbs.
  • Although the price is a little cheaper than Barcelo or Iberostar, but we rather to spend more to have better beaches, food and drinks. The services are in par with others.

Expedia Booking Upgrade Junior Suite for $35 SuperShuttle Booking

It took 1hr and 20 minutes to shuttle from Cancun Airport to the resort. We did book the red-eye flight from SFO at 12:15AM so we got to Cancun 11:50 and Grand Sirenis at 1:20PM.

The resort is quite a nice and green hotel, a lot of walking. The room is nice although ages and flaws do show but functional, all the important things for us work, AC, Water and Lights, except one switch was broken which is on all the time, but we found a switch by the bed that could turn all lights off so I was OK for us. Bring your eyes cover because the drapes don’t cover well, the sunlight will brighten the room very early because of the gap between the drapes and the glass window. The window doesn’t lock well either but we’re on the second floor 1328, so not easy for someone to climb up.

We bought the Android box with composite and hdmi to hook up to TV to watch our own movies at night, but the TV is embedded in the wall, there’s no way to access the connectors in the back, all we could do was watching local channels, mostly Criminal Minds and the pictures are not HD.

The little fridge is stocked with soft drinks and beers daily, must ask if the drinks were out. The water is supplied in a big gallon bottle to reduce trash and services.

The shower has body and shampoo dispensers on the wall but individual shampoo and conditioner bottles also provided. We have a Jacuzzi in the room but no Bubble Gel, we had to use body gel to create some bubbles.

The balcony is facing a trees forest with many wild animals, quite big for 2 chairs, table.

There are not many bars, only at the reception area which is huge with chairs and tables to sit, the ceiling is high and quite airy. Very nice.

The beaches are pitiful, small and usable beaches are full of seaweeds this time of year, quite rocky, beach shoes are a must to be in the water. After the first day, the water became clearer, we could see the fishes by the corals and the sitting area. There aren’t many people at the beach so the gazebos and chairs are always available. Most of people stayed by the pools because of the small beaches.

We learned to like the fishes and the rocks, stayed on beach most of the time, we only stayed by the pool less than an hour for our own trip.

There is NO catamarans, only kayak but we never did try due to seaweeds, we can have 1 hour per day free Kayaking.

On top a rock area, there’s a ruin that looks big on the website, but it’s actually very small. We did take a few pictures.

Since we love the wavy and clear water with a long stretch of sugar sands beaches, we won’t be coming back here again at least for many years. This place doesn’t meet our expectation.

There is a small bar at the beach with very nice services, there are waitresses go around for drinks. We do tip them well. There are NO premium drinks, most liquors are off brands. The tequila must be asked for doubles for strong drinks.


The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya only limits 3 restaurants per 7 days which is less than Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe or Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. Since we’re nice with the Concierge, we got 4 restaurants. The specialty restaurants are not very good compared to others.

The Buffets, there are 2 adjacent to each others are good. We enjoyed them more than the A La Carte restaurants.

The salad bar was good, the soups are good, the steaks are burnt, they don’t know how to cook rare, everything is medium or well done regardless. The Arrachera in the buffet is more tender and tasty. The T-Bone is thin and hard. The File Mignon is the best when cooked right.

The dishes are quite tasty, the scallops wasn’t good, the Grilled lobster plate was good, the bisque soup was good, Filet mignon was nice. The appetizers were excellent.

Teppanyaki is for show, and the show here is pitiful, the chef wasn’t good, no special acts, the cooked food is hit and miss, my shrimps were salty, the steaks were good. My boy liked the fried rice. The soups were good, the scallop soup is preferred over the miso. The Kabob was mozzarella cheese sticks, not bad. Fried ice cream was OK.

With all the meats, the only thing we liked is the garlic bread and chicken wings, other meats were dry and tasteless.

The Mexican buffet on Tuesday was good, the Mediterranean Thursday was excellent, the Japanese on Monday good too, the Italian night was bad, nothing is good. All dinner buffet has Arrachera steaks that we like. The salad bar is good, not too many specialty pre-mixed salad. There were no Carpaccio of any meats in the buffets.

All 7 days, I woke up early to eat breakfast twice, the bacon and sausages were salty, soft and tasteless.

There are many pools in the resort but we’d only been in one for less than 1 hr for the whole trip. There many trees and wild animals. There were monkeys on the trees, ant eaters, raccoons, all types of lizards… The shows were nice, but the theater is sunken so there’s no sea breeze could get in, quite warm after a while and mosquitoes but not so much.

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