We recently stayed at the Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen for a few days and enjoyed a restful and relaxing vacation. We would recommend it to others who are looking for a shorter stay. However, I was a bit surprised that the customer experience didn’t quite live up to my expectation of exceptional luxury from the Grand Hyatt. Read our full review for more details.
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The hotel is located a brief stroll away from La Quinta Avenida, the main shopping area of Playa Del Carmen that boasts the largest brands in the world. Mamitas Beach, an internationally renowned area with day and night clubs popular among international DJs, is just a two-minute walk away. You can get to Cancun’s international airport in less than an hour by bus or taxi, and the serene beach town of Tulum is an hour away to the southwest. Playa del Carmen still doesn’t have an international airport
The hotel is a modern structure built with dark slate, light sandstone, and large iron gazebo-like structures. It features a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea. The hotel has a grand appearance with several granite platforms that gradually descend two floors from the lobby to the beach. The Mexican architect Sordo Madaleno and the Rockwell Group designed the hotel, which is only four stories tall.
The muted tones and spacious areas without much clutter give off a Scandinavian vibe rather than the colorful style of Latin or American design. Despite the tropical warmth and blue skies, it feels like you could be in Stockholm or Oslo.
The hotel has 314 double rooms and 34 suites, but despite its size, it doesn’t feel cramped. The rooms are equipped with modern Nespresso coffee machines and comfortable beds. They also have small balconies that overlook either the Caribbean Sea or lush mangroves within the hotel’s gardens. The rooms are styled with charcoal and whitewashed walls, faux granite floor tiles, and black and white photos of Mexican jungles and cave systems. The bathrooms are white and offer large mirrors, walk-in showers, and separate WCs.
The property includes three infinity pools with ocean views and a separate pool for children. Visitors can also use an 82-foot lap pool for swimming. The property also has a beach area with chaise lounges available for guests.
Restaurants and Dining
Unlike many resorts in Playa Del Carmen, this hotel does not offer fully inclusive packages. However, they prioritize quality over quantity. The Grill restaurant specifically serves organic meat and fish with mouth-watering sides. The wagyu steaks and salmon with passion fruit jus are highlights, along with the delicious mashed potatoes with crispy shallots and mushrooms with chestnuts.
La Cocina restaurant has a beautiful beach view. Their portions are also generous like The Grill. You must try the exceptional prawn linguine served in a cream and white wine sauce. Breakfast options include an extensive buffet in La Cocina or Grand Club access on the fourth floor. The latter offers pastries, cereals, eggs, and fresh juices from 7 – 11.30 am, and many guests prefer this option.
To experience nightlife, it’s recommended to venture outside of the Grand Hyatt resort and head to 5th Avenue. You can enjoy shopping for souvenirs, check out Coco Bongo and try a free tequila tasting. The Grand Hyatt does offer daily activities, but they don’t advertise them or encourage guests to participate. If you’re looking for evening entertainment, you won’t find it at the resort, not even a relaxing atmosphere with music beer and drinks.
The Cenote Spa, located on-site, offers treatments inspired by the region’s underground rivers. They have eight treatment rooms, including two for couples, and a hydrotherapy area. The spa offers services ranging from massages to body treatments to salon services. They’re open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and have facilities like a steam room, an outdoor treatment area and sauna.
The Fitness Center
During our stay at the Grand Hyatt, my husband and I used the 24-hour fitness center. It had a variety of exercise equipment including treadmills, free weights, and standard machines that guests can access with their key card. Although the hotel claims that the gym access is part of the “all-inclusive package” and is free, there is a hidden resort fee that covers the cost of the gym. This fee, which is briefly mentioned during check-in, is added to your bill at check-out, even if you do not use the gym. The fee is $30 per day.
The hotel has a spa that took inspiration from Mexico’s famous cinotes, which are large pools of water in the Yucatan. The spa’s design resembles a conical cave and has an 82-foot lap pool and hydrotherapy area. Additionally, there is a 24-hour fitness center with various cardio machines and free weights, as well as daily yoga and fitness classes. The hotel also offers bicycle rentals, three large infinity pools, and a “teen arcade”. The staff is friendly, professional, and mostly bilingual in Spanish and English.
Bottom Line: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
We had a restful and relaxing vacation at the Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen and we would recommend it to those who want to stay for a few days but not a full week. However, I was surprised that the customer experience didn’t feel exceptionally luxurious as I had expected from the Grand Hyatt.
Although the food and drinks were excellent and my favorite, the atmosphere of the campus felt more pretentious than luxurious. Additionally, there’s room for improvement in several customer service areas and the transparency of pricing.
The Hyatt Playa Del Carmen appears to have more of a business resort or conference center atmosphere rather than a hotel that offers an all-inclusive option. I suggest that the Grand Hyatt market to guests who are willing to pay for all the amenities instead of adding hidden fees at the end of a stay. It may be beneficial to charge the full amount upfront for the all-inclusive option.
The additional fees that accumulate over time make the experience less inclusive. This is not beneficial to the brand or to potential visitors who may assume that all services are included. Exceptions like spa treatments and romantic beach dinners are well-known to cost more.