Grand Riviera/Sunset Princess Resort Review & Pics!! Lots of Pics!!
Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:51 PM
Here is my brief review of the Grand Riviera Princess Resort.
We went the week of April 25 - May 2, 2010 and had an absolutely WONDERFUL TIME!!!!!!!!! All of my worries were put to rest the moment we arrived and checked in.
I had obsessed for over a year about our decision and I just want to let you know that this resort does not disappoint. I don't have much to compare it with because neither of us have been on an all inclusive, but many from our group were; and they were all blown away not only by the "grand-ness" of the resort, but also by the service.
Resort review: A+++
The pictures pro or not do not do this resort justice, it is beautiful, clean and constantly maintained. I think we figured there was probably a 2:1 ratio of staff to guests. It is a MASSIVE resort, Huge is an understatement. This is a mega resort and if you think you can get places quickly then think again!! Anyone with children under 4 bring a stroller - we did not! The trolley only runs about every 15-20 minutes and lots of times it's full.
It took us a good 2 full days just to get our bearings on where we were going. It was full capacity (1400 ppl plus) the week we were there but it still wasn't a huge problem getting a lounger, sometimes there was a wait but there was always drinks close by. Being such a huge resort with 1400 needy guests to serve, there were some wait times for some things ie; we didn't get a crib right away, some people waited for luggage, it took housekeeping a while to clean up a broken glass in our room, our air con didn't work but Hubby liked it better - I did not! lol So if you take the amount of people they need to please on a daily basis, none of this really upset or affected us - it truly is it's own little city running inside the resort walls.
There was not any theft problem we were aware about while we were there - and there were times valuables including cash and laptops were left out (not that I suggest you do this, tequila was a factor) We didn't use the safe for the most part, you can program it with your own code but there still must be a master code. Housekeeping and Bar stock people are always accompanied by 1 security staff member, with a checklist; I believe this is to ease guests concerns and to have a written document of what was replaced/cleaned/touched in each room.
All the staff were extremely friendly and very accommodating. There was not really a difference in service if you tipped or not. We tipped at the A la Carte meals, not at the buffet. We tipped when our whole group was at one bar for a while, but really the service didn't change if we didn't. We tipped the bell boys and room service, then the Housekeeping when we left. One guest in the Platinum suites left a note and a tip for some more toothpaste - the tip was taken and no toothpaste...lol Even at the buffets the servers were constantly filling drinks, taking away plates and getting anything you needed, it was all very attentive.
The food was all amazing - keep in mind if you ate at the buffets every morning noon and night, yeah it could get a little boring but there is SOOOOOOOO much to choose from. Lot's of selection in everything, so there is no reason for anyone to complain that there is nothing or some same things, but people can always find something to complain about if that's their nature - it's just not ours.
The A la Cartes were very good, most people seemed to enjoy Las Olas (seafood), La Valqueria (The Grill), Miso...well to tell you the truth I didn't really hear one complaint about any of the restaurants, although my Husband and I didn't get a chance to try out a lot of them...we have to plan another trip to GRP!
First of all, we (my husband and I) were upgraded to a Platinum suite for free upon check in, as well the rest of our group that booked properly and quoted our wedding party were upgraded to a Deluxe Junior suite (only difference is that there is a jacuzzi in the bathroom instead of just a stand up shower)
The rooms are very clean and well kept, and HUGE. The bathrooms are HUGE.
My only upset is that because we were upgraded to the Platinum, there were many Platinum perks we didn't get to use because we met with the rest of the group most times. Only Platinum guests are allowed in the platinum areas (lobby, pool, bar, and rooms) If the concierge does see other wrist bands come in they will ask the other guests to leave. Also no one is allowed in your room, and only on the wedding day can some guests come in to get ready for a 2 hour max...well this is what they told us but we went way over that time limit. Also, we did learn how to sneak people in without having to go through where the concierge is...but they do keep a watchful eye - so be stealthy about it! lol They even charged room service to my room on my wedding day because they knew that Non-platinum guests were with me! Oh well!
Also I should mention that if you are scared of critters, be aware - there is nothing that any resort can do; they can get into the rooms so try not to leave doors open if you have fears. We found 4 over the week and it wasn't an issue, just comes with tropical territory. The word is scarier than the actual bug - Roaches, there I wrote it.
The Platinum suites are far from everything else, so allow time when planning on meeting people, lol, Platinums are at the ocean, and most of our other guests rooms were at the very opposite of the resort by the lobby. Give everyone maps in their OOT bags, and if you can find out rooms before hand and plot them out!!!!! this was our biggest hassle, never knowing where anyone was at any one time and not knowing anyone's room # for the first couple of days. Any older guests, please tell them to put their key card in the slot by the door, this will make the lights work - no one told a few of our guests this and they sat in the dark a little bit, lol. Lights won't work without your key card in the slot!
View from our room:
SO like I have already mentioned a million times, everything had exceeded our expectations, even despite the little minor things that we never really let get to us. We wanted to have a good time and that's what we did!
But!! the wedding was beyond what I could have imagined! Mind you, I'm an easy peasy Bride, didn't ask for anything special or crazy, but Patricia our wedding coordinator was absolutely amazing and tended to everything with precise detail. She would have made any of my requests come true, I just didn't really have any, they take care of everything for you!
The wedding gazebo is beside loungers on the beach, and it is a common pathway you walk down, but it didn't really seem to be swarmed with other guests so maybe they cleared it for us. There were some people on the beach watching, I really didn't notice, may have been the 2 bottles of champagne! As soon as the ceremony was over there was a lovely beach waitress there to take our drink orders (so glad I didn't pay for the cocktail hour, although it was still nice; we seen it set up for another wedding)
SO someone should have a tip for that!! Jacqueline was a server and she was amazing, she did 40 drink orders for us and kept coming around all while the pics were being taken!
It was absolutely down pouring just before our ceremony, and they had refused to set up outside, it was just to wet, but last minute the skies cleared and they moved EVERYTHING back to the gazebo!!! It was amazing! all the staff were amazing!
My Bouquet from the resort, LOVED!!
Me and my Brother who walked me down the aisle with my Father in the bouquet frame and watching from above )
Me and My Girls!
Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:52 PM
I ran out of room! lol so much for Brief!!
and Finally I'll wrap this up with our reception dinner:
The Thai Beach Club A+++++++++++++++++++
For all of you Brides to Be trying to decide what to do, you should probably look no more. Thai Beach is where it's at, and I think there are a few brides who would agree with me on this one. Don't get me wrong, the A la Cartes are fabulous too, and they do set you up very nicely and try to keep it a little private, but if you can even afford to go for the semi private dinner at the Thai then I suggest you do it! That's what we did and I'm sooooooo glad we did. $45 per person USD was worth every penny, and if I would have known how good it was, I probably would have went for the $100 per person for the private party. Mind you I would have had to come up with some last minute creative budgeting! lol
So my semi "experienced" opinion would be if you are debating on the private beach reception versus the private Thai reception, pay the $15 more per person and you won't regret it. You will have an entire restaurant to yourself on the beach, with beautiful bathrooms, btw, they were stunning themselves! I'm not sure what bathrooms you use if you're on the beach.
The Beach reception is beautiful as well, we had seen it set up a couple of times, but it is by the main pathway to the beach and right out in the open, also there were many times when we couldn't go to the beach because it was so windy, you were getting sand blasted. There is no shelter.
At least the Thai Beach Club offers a little bit of shelter and beautiful bathrooms and expert service and a gorgeous back drop and the beach is there that you can take full advantage of.
The food was amazing, the service was amazing, the table set up was amazing, I could go on and on and on and on. We did the semi private option, and from the pics you'll see we still had our own little area right on the beach and we didn't even know there was anyone else at the restaurant, but the private option would have been out of this world!!! To have the whole place to yourself for you and the group! well worth the $$'s!
Also if you do the semi private option they usually give you from 6-8pm, but we were longer ( lots of speeches) and we didn't feel rushed at all!
Entrance to the Thai Beach Club
View from our tables, looking past the cake table
Our Wedding cake A++++
another view from our tables
and another view from our tables
Table set up:
So all in all I hope some Brides2Be get a little use out of this review...I'll probably think of more as time passes, but this is a good start and covers some things that I was worried about in the beginning.
We are pretty easy going, so it's very easy to say we had an absolutely fabulous trip!! I didn't want to stress about anything wedding related, and I didn't! I just let things happen as they may! Take reviews with a grain of salt, and if you go with ridiculous expectations be prepared to be let down, there is always something you can complain about. But if you plan on having the time of your life and are willing to take what comes and be prepared to change plans (ie, change of venue if it rains) then I believe that everyone should have a good time at this resort, and a beautiful wedding too!! There is literally something for everyone!
Good Luck to all the Upcoming Brides at Grand Riviera/Sunset Princess, and if any of you have any questions don't hesitate to pm me!
The newly weds
Posted 05 May 2010 - 06:00 PM
You and your hubby look so happy, best wishes always!
Posted 05 May 2010 - 06:18 PM
| Originally Posted by Angie1017 |
Great review! Thank you so much Suzy for putting my concerns to rest. One question I just thought of, you had mentioned speeches; is there an area in the Thai Beach Club where speeches can be made (ie mics)? Also, is there an area for dancing/DJ?
You and your hubby look so happy, best wishes always!
We just made speeches at the tables, we had almost 40 people, and it was 4 round tables, so everyone just kind of spoke loudly. For the semi private dinner I don't think there would have been the option to have a mic or dj, and you definitely wouldn't have been able to dance at the semi private dinner, just for mere lack of space where we were.
But ;o) If you do the Private Option, you would have the whole place to yourself, and I think you could then get a mic and do a dance, I think the DJ is a separate cost - you should ask Sasse, she did the full private option! (the full DJ is expensive but if you do your own song list on an Ipod you can just plug in the music and then maybe just rent the mic for speeches, or something like that.
There would be much more space to spread out and really have a great time, with lots of places to dance either on the beach or on the restaurant deck. It is beautiful!
Let me know what you decide!!! )
Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:45 PM
Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:14 PM
Angie.....you should sooooo go with the Thai Beach Club!!!! I love, love, loved it. And Suzy is so right, its BEAUTIFUL....it might seem small, but the washroom thing is a big deal, having them right there. The service is killer....my hubby and I went to the Thai Beach a few nights later and they remebered what we drank. Most of my guests said that the meal we had there was the best they had all week. I agree that the DJ is super , $600 so we opted out of it (and took an ipod and docking station,) even had Patricia take it off of our contract but somehow we still ended up with one......for FREE!!!! There is tons of room for dancing and mingling. I was back and forth on whether or not to spend the $$$$, but in the end sooooo glad I did.
Oh and on a side note, you will have to decide what reception option before you get there, approx a mth before
If you have any question feel free to ask
Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:20 PM
Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:02 AM
Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:16 AM
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