Mayan Palace

Visiting Riviera Maya.

Mayan Palace

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by pkolev on September 21, 2004

The Mayan Palace (a.k.a. the Grand Mayan) is amazing. The rooms are very nice and the pool is beyond description. You have to see it to believe it. They have activities by the pool all they long and they also have night shows at the restaurants. We didn't spend much time in the resort because we wanted to explore the area.

I greatly recommend the eco-park called X-Caret. The entrance fee is US$49 but it's absolutely worth it. We went there with a shuttle we took from Playa Del Carmen. Total transportation was about US$3-4 per person. At X-Caret you can swim in underground rivers which is even cooler than it sounds, you can stretch on a hammock on a rock overlooking the ocean, check out a Mayan Village, and much more. The tip of the iceberg was the spectacular nigh show, included in your ticket, which told the history of Mexico from the Maya to the present.

Another must-see place is Chichen Itza - an ancient Mayan city. It's amazing. We haggled a tour with an agency in downtown Cancun. It was US$40. (versus US$75 offered by the Mayan Palace) and included transportation on an a/c bus (the place is 3 hours away), English-speaking guide, a few cool things we stopped to see on the way, and a buffet lunch. It's an unforgettable experience.

${QuickSuggestions} Haggle for everything. We bargained for souvenirs, guided tours, cab rides, food, everything. And saved a lot of money. Be firm with the sales people because they can get exhaustively persistent.
Wear sunscreen and hats.
${BestWay} Don't rent a car. There are some scary drivers down there. Take the city bus or the shuttles. From the main lobby they will shuttle you for free to the front gate, which is on the side of the freeway. "Playa Express" - white vans with green and yellow stripe across - are your best bet. They stop when they see you and charge 25 pesos (US$2.50) to Cancun, and 10 pesos (US$1) to Playa Del Carmen.

To get back to the resort from downtown Cancun, go to the ADO bus station. The buses to Playa Del Carmen stop at Mayan Palace (10-20 pesos). From Playa Del Carmen, same thing. The ADO is on 5th Street and the bus to Cancun stops at Mayan Palace (10 pesos). Also, on the side street of the ADO in Playa Del Carmen you can catch a Collectivo (group taxi). Those are white vans and take you to the resort for 20 pesos.

You can take cabs. However, Cancun-Mayan palace is about US$30. Maybe US$25. Playa Del Carmen- Mayan Palace is more like $15. Not really worth it in my opinion, unless there’s four of you to split it.

Mayan Palace

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by pkolev on September 22, 2004

We got this room as a bonus vacation through RCI so it cost $170 for the week.
The resort is amazing. The rooms are very clean and nicely decorated. The kitchen is well equipped and has a large refrigerator. We even had a waffle maker, and although we didn't have an oven, there was a stove-top. The pool is huge and gorgeous. I can't even describe it, you have to see it to believe it. You can lounge in a very private cabana by the pool if you get there early enough to stake out one. The whole place is decorated in Mayan style and it is very beautiful. The staff was courteous and spoke good English.

Buffet dining

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by pkolev on September 22, 2004

Our first night at the resort we went to the buffet dinner at one of the restaurants. It was the one in the big glass building overlooking the pool. I can't remember its exact name. The cost was $30/person but the food was great. Jumbo shrimp, veal, fajitas, a bunch of other things and a huge desert selection. Drinks were not included.

Mocambo Seafood & Grill

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by pkolev on September 24, 2004

Mocambo seafood restaurant is located right near Coral Beach, where you buy the tickets for X-Caret. If you get off near the Plaza Forum bus stop, you can ask around and people will direct you. The place is great. There is outside seating practically on the sand, and there is a great view. The food is very good and at great prices. The staff speaks English.

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