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If your family is looking for a relaxing, all-inclusive resort vacation at a luxury resort that doesn’t bankrupt a college fund, then Grand Residences Riviera Cancun should be at the top of your list. Grand Residences Riviera Cancun does luxury so well that it was recently named the flagship property for the new luxury brand of Wyndham Hotels & Resort, a Registry Collection Hotel.
The writer was hosted.
Located on white-sand beaches just a short 30-minute drive from the Cancun airport on the Rivera Maya in the quaint fishing village of Puerto Morelos, Grand Residences has a Kids Club with plenty of engaging activities, complimentary water sports and tennis clinics, private pools in every suite and three onsite restaurants. Getting there from the airport isn’t an issue because, rather than an airport shuttle, Grand Residences sends a private car service for each family/group arriving.
It’s these little details that make Grand Residences special. These details start before you check-in with an email from your private concierge and last throughout your whole trip. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, I wasn’t able to bring along my 9-year-old son as planned but it was such a great trip I’m taking back the whole family.
What Works for Families
- It feels like being at home with every detail that you’d want at home.
- Every room has a private balcony/patio area with a hot tub, so parents can let kids take a nap and relax.
- Spacious kids club with lots of activities for kids 4 – 12.
- Every room is part of a suite, with the option to rent out all the rooms or just one.
- The staff remembers guest favorites and were all incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming.
- There’s a business center in the form of a private office with computers and printers that you can use for a private call if you have to work.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- There are only three restaurants so the food can get a little boring.
- It’s not directly inside a hotel zone, so there’s a limited number of activities/nightlife for teens & young adults on site.
The Details that Make Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
One of the first places you’ll notice that the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun really excels and makes this the perfect place for families is with the suites. Everything you’d need to feel at home is in your suite. From a washing machine to private spaces, the suites are large enough for families to feel at home.
One of the reasons I’d love to bring my family along is because of the Murphy beds in the living room. The Murphy beds are separated by a whole entertainment unit with flat-screen tvs. Each has its own overhead lighting, plugs and everything else my tween & teen would need. The peace that would come from having my boys have their own space is just the icing on the cake for a visit to paradise.
Kids Club for the Littles
Keeping the family happy isn’t always easy but Grand Residences does a great job with the variety of activities. For kids ages 4 – 12, the Kids Club is open daily with a full schedule of activities that give kids a taste of Mexico and the culture. The Kids Club isn’t an afterthought. It’s bright and open with board games, video games and even a child-sized bathroom.
When I observed the Kids Club, I was even more disappointed that my son couldn’t have come along with me. During my visit, there were only a few kids but they seemed to be having a great time with the staff. I often saw them playing a game of water soccer and just hanging out around the property.
Is the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun a Good Value?
Finally, I feel that Grand Residences offers a great value for the pricing. It’s a completely luxury resort in every sense but the USD pricing is comparable to room only rates for other hotels in the Caribbean. Families can choose from the All in Grand Experience, which is an all-inclusive rate, or a room only rate. When compared with the room only rate, the All in Grand Experience isn’t a huge price difference but gives much more additional value than the room only rate.
The All in Grand Experience includes round trip airport transfers with private ground transportation (only 1 group/party per vehicle) from the Cancun International Airport, all room service and restaurant dining, most drinks (there’s a slight charge for specific premium brands), free wifi, the kids club and most onsite activities. Additionally, because it is a Wyndham Hotels & Resort brand, you can earn/use points for your stays which makes it even more of a value for pricing.
Why You Never to Have Leave the Room
While the suites are spacious and stocked with everything from home, they are also grand enough to make you feel like you’re on vacation and never want to leave! From beachfront to resort views, there are a few different options for room types. The smallest rooms are the Junior Suites. The Junior Suites are a single room with a kitchenette, mini-bar area and either 2 double beds or a king bed and Murphy bed.
Next are the one-bedroom Master Suites, which is the type of room I stayed in. These rooms sleep up to 5 with a King Bed and Murphy Bed in the bedroom and 2 Murphy beds in the main living/dining area. These rooms offer more than enough room for an entire family with a half-bath, full kitchen, dining room table seating 6, full-size sectionals and more outdoor seating for up to 6. As an extra bonus, all of these rooms have a private water feature. There’s either a private pool or hot tub/jacuzzi.
Traveling with a Large Group?
Larger rooms include the two-, three- and four-bedroom suites that can sleep up to 13. These suites make an ideal extended family vacation because each family can have their own individual space, while sharing the main foyer of the suite. The larger all have their own private pools as well as hot tub/jacuzzi.
A built-in COVID friendly feature is that all the suites directly access an outdoor corridor, so you’re constantly getting air circulating. Each suite has an elevator directly outside. This makes me feel a little more comfortable because rather than get on the same elevators as everyone in the resort, you’re only using an elevator with a maximum of 4 suites.
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Amenities that You’ll Love at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
Comfort is a big deal at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun. They deliver on the unspoken promise of creating a truly relaxing space, personalized to your family’s needs. If you use music to calm down at the end of the day, you can connect your iPod to the bedside radio. If you’re particular about the type of pillow you use, then they have a full pillow menu for you to choose from. The extra half-bath in the main living area means that anyone sleeping in the master bedroom (i.e. a little one down for a nap) isn’t disturbed.
Similarly, with double vanities in the bathroom, a separate soaking tub and shower with a rainshower head, the bathroom has no limit of space for a busy family to all get ready for the day. The Bulgari toiletries were yet another luxury touch.
Traveling Mom Tip: While I didn’t have a baby with me, I do remember very well what it was like to travel with one. Grand Residences has made it easy to enjoy all the luxury of your suite by bringing in all the baby gear you might need. High chairs, cribs, baby bathtubs, even bottle sterilizers are all setup and waiting for use in your suite when you arrive. They also have babysitting available if you’d like to take an evening out.
And All the Activities for Families to Love
Another thing that my son would have loved was the swimming pool because it’s so family-friendly. The main pool is just steps from the white sand beach, so you can get the ocean breeze without the saltwater sting.
As a mom, I loved how the pools were organized. There’s the main pool and then a smaller toddler pool, separated with a line of decorative barriers. Directly above is the adult pool, complete with a swim-up bar at one end with an infinity edge overlooking the main pool at the other end. This means that while I have my own adult space hanging out poolside, I can see my family playing in the pool at the same time.
I felt like there are plenty of chairs with more than enough shade if you’d like it. The pool attendants do a really nice job of paying attention to guests and coming to prepare your lounge chair just the way you like it. My son would have loved that he didn’t have to go looking for a towel or worrying about someone taking his chair while he was playing in the water. While it’s nice to visit a beach resort any time of year, having the heated pools makes it a great place for a true vacation year-round.
In addition to the main pool, there is also a lap swimming pool for exercise near the game room area. Guests can work out in the fully stocked gym or with one of the guided fitness classes during the week. There was everything from yoga to a tennis clinic to daily water aerobics so there’s no excuse not to stay active. I did peek into the fitness center and it had enough variety of equipment/machines that you could get a full workout there as well.
Get Active or Spaaaaah!
Both my sons would have loved was the activity desk. Grand Residences Riviera Cancun has a full activity desk with pretty much anything you’d like to do on vacation. They have a library of books, snorkeling gear, rackets you can borrow for the tennis courts, yoga mats, bicycles – it’s a full list of things that you can do. Also near the activity desk, there’s an art area where you can make bracelets or paint a Mexican-inspired piece of pottery. The best thing about the pottery is that there is an artist in residence, who will help make you pottery look finished with a glaze and a little touchup work.
No beach trip is complete without a trip to the spa and I had to indulge. The spa is worth a visit just because of the quality of the massages. However, it’s not the total spa experience you might expect. Rather than a sauna or steam room to wait in, there’s a relaxing waiting area and then simple treatment rooms. They do have a full menu of body, hair and nail services however the nail and hair service area is open to the spa reception area.
What You’ll Love to Eat
Grand Residences has three restaurants along with a 24 hour room service menu. Overall, the food at Grand Residences varied. I loved lots of the things I tried but there were others that I was disappointed by. The breakfast was one area where I’d certainly get bored.
My favorite of the restaurants was the Heaven Beach Bar. Just like the name says, it’s beachfront with uninterrupted ocean views. You can either choose to sit at the bar or one of the tables in the white sand. My absolute favorite dish in the whole resort were the shrimp tacos. They were perfectly seasoned and tasted so fresh (I supposed that’s to be expected given that it’s near a fishing village.) The Beach Bar also brings lunch and drinks poolside so they’re certainly one of the best places on the resort.
El Faro Grill is the primary restaurant and is open for most of the day. It has an international menu with items like American Breakfast and Mexican Breakfast. Because there are only three restaurants onsite, El Faro Grill also transforms into a different themed restaurant each evening. I was able to visit on Argentinian night and Seafood night. Both nights had menu items that were great and then others so-so. I would really recommend asking the staff about favorites because they’ll guide you based on your palate.
Mexican Cuisine with a Twist
The restaurant I was most excited about was the Mexican restaurant, Flor de Canela. The concept is Mexican World Heritage, with a blend of traditional favorites and updated chef creations. The menu is full of bold items and twists. The house-made guacamole is super fresh and unique; adding pomegranate seeds and granny smith apples instead of the traditional tomatoes and peppers.
The kids’ menu for dinner was the usual kid-friendly meals of chicken fingers and fries, burgers, etc. The good thing is that because Grand Residences is so family-friendly, I would guess if you asked for a slightly less spicy or smaller portion of any regular menu item, it wouldn’t be an issue and they’d happily help you find an item.
Why You’ll Want to Return to Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
While this trip I was alone (#ihatecovid), one thing I observed is lots of guests were returning visitors and I’d like to have that for my family. The best thing is that Grand Residences makes you feel at home and you can create special memories here with your family. I can see laughing and playing games with my boys as tweens now but also look forward to visiting again in a few years when they bring along friends as teens.