Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
a crappy stay in paradise
"It is with great sadness that i have to give such anunpleasant review of the property at which i stayed on my most recenttrip. But, for all the trust i have put in this forum i feel myexperience may help others to have a more enjoyable trip. I am in the"people pleasing business" and i know you can't please all thepeople all the time but in every instance i never spoke a bad word andalways thanked them (even Jose') leaving my wrath for this forum andthere impending fate. We stayed at the Fiesta Americana grand coral beach for six night. (May11-17th) This property is a very nice property. My wife and i havestayed at numerous 5 star hotels/resorts and this rates as well as thosein beauty and services available. The pool area is one of the best ihave every experienced. Many nooks to relax by the pool that for such alarge property it makes it very intimate. The grounds around the poolare very well maintained and the water is very refreshing yet warm.Other than maybe a few extra hut's or cabana's to supply some muchneeded shade from time to time and a jacuzzi (atleast one would havebeen nice) i would say the pool area is near perfect. The wait staff atthe pool/beach area are very attentive and respectful. The beach area isright off of the pool and there are so many choices to lay out that youwill never find any one having the urge to read your novel over yourshoulder. The beach area was long, wide and peaceful and just enoughwaves to have a peaceful sound ringing in your ears. This area waswithout doubt our favorite part of the hotel complex and probably whatkeeps many guests coming back. There were many young children at thisresort, more than i anticipated however not a one was loud or out ofline. Congrats to all the parents there on there child rasiingskills! Unfortunately, this is where our happiness ends for the most part. Fromthe moment we arrived to our departure i found that the staff that worksfor there wages (tips) to be most efficient, friendly and extra helpful.(except for our maid service) from the bellmen to cabbies all seemedvery warm and grateful that you choose there town to vacation in and wewere grateful to be there. The big exception to our happy people wouldbe Jose', the grand corals hotels room manager and Beatrix, the frontconcierge'. when confronted with a problem with our room there cold,take it or leave it attitude toward my wife and i was a shock to say theleast at such a highly rated resort and although i realize i am in therecountry... Jose' and Beatrix deliberating our fate right in front of mein Spanish and then not making eye contact to tell me my "new roomnumber" was anything but 5 star in my eyes and so Jose' went backto his office never too be seen again. There take it or leave it attitude leaves me to explain my dilemma. Ourroom which was booked was a master suite on the 11th floor (1108) in thegrand club. If you check in and this is your room number, do not acceptthis room. (you'll only have Jose' to deal with later) it has a constantmusty smell and the air condition can't get below 771/2 degrees runningconstantly and not even a ceiling fan on such high ceilings to help itor us. We had to call twice for maid service (our room was not made oneday till 4:45 in the afternoon and 3:15 on the other) and be aware thatthere maid service tells you the service can be conducted between thehours of 9.a.m.- 4.p.m. and turn down service is between 5-10 (which weonly got the pleasure of that service 3 times on a 6 night vacation.)maybe the master guest suites which are at the end and at minimum 200steps away from the closest elevator is the reason there last on thelist. (not in the get what you pay for department in my book) these mayseem like trivial issues but when your on vacation, staying at such ahighly rated resort (and not many rooms are priced higher in Cancun thanthis one) i would think one would not have to worry about whether or noti want maid service and question it after i call for it. Especially fora hotel that was at approximately 69% capacity. The grand club is grand in view only. it did have a nice (nothing hot)breakfast in the morning but it never changes. If you like salmon, roastbeef and assorted salami's and cheese's at 8 a.m. along with very freshfruit and bagles then this is right up your alley. Lunch was one hottray and afternoon/evening snacking was two hot trays. The free drinksare a bonus but i don't think 7 US dollars (with tip) is too bad forsomeone to bring you two beers by the pool and beach. so, do you want totrek up to the 11 floor for your free drink (and drink it there)???? so, even though we loved the view from our "wet dog steamroom" we decided to move. (always a joy to do on your vacation,pack and unpack again) as explained prior ... We finally got a new roomon a lower floor, master suite 408, not a large balcony and not as niceof a view but the room smelled great and the air condition was ice cold.The maid service stayed consistent. (note, if your considering thisresort, in walking by rooms that were getting room service it seemed theregular rooms seemed only a little bit small yet would probably do goodfor a couple and maybe a child also) So, we lost the grand club but i bet we still could have accessed it bythe 2x7 foot panel between the master bedroom and the master bathrevealing all the plumbing for our suite and all the other suitestoo!!!! that's right!!! our other suite had it too!!!! all you have todo is lift the panel off of the eye hooks and walla!!!!, access to yourneighbor above you or below you... no kidding!!!!!!! (we heard thempounding on the pipes below and it sounded as though they were in ourroom) well, a peak behind the panel and below us was a bent over plumberhard at work. imagine if you could....a five star view at it's best tosay the least!!! While many people have wrote that the hotel is pricey i didn't have aproblem with that. yea, a coke is going to cost you $3.00 from yourmini-bar but i've paid the same in the middle of America at a super 8vending machine. Convience is not cheap. (neither is a USA today fromthe sundries shop. $4.00 for yesterdays news.) All in all, the onlything i thought that was overpriced was my first room and the serviceaccompanying both. Michelle, one of the front concierge' at the hotel was veryaccommodating in making restaurant reservations for us at some nicereateries. Lorenzillio's (seafood) and Laguna Grill (new, very good andaffordable) were good choices. The Plantation House (same owner aslorenzillio's i believe) tried to scam us in saying our credit card hadbeen declined so that we would pay for our $224.00 (us dollars for aparty of two) meal in cash. It was a good meal and you can only imaginehow you would feel about that last part. (note, capital one showed norecord of them calling in for an approval on our card) and the cancunairport accepted it with no problem a day later so i can't recommend theplantation house unless you want to spend all your cash there. The bestdollar for dollar eatery in my eyes was salvio's across from the Riu. Ithad great, cheap italian food. (highly recommend!) In closing i would like to thank Lydia (in training at the frontdesk/grand club) for her pleasant smiles and greetings all week long andhope that if you choose this nice hotel that you don't run into the samedisappointments we did. Maybe the brand new Riu right next door (whichopened the last day we were there so we went over to take a peek) withthere numerous cabana's and a beach that is more than accommodating onceyour over there to see it will snap a few sour souls at the F.A.G.C.B.into shape. I hope it does because it really is a nice resort in a greatlocation. OH, i almost forgot! if your thinking about a time share atthe F.A.G.C.B. (they'll let you know even if your not) it's $12000.00on your credit card that day and the balance of $26000.00 and they wouldlike to have paid in the next two years if you could be so kind.(thatbuys you your own piece of paradise for the next 40 years.) it was atough decision..... we passed. ; )"
- Travel date: Mon 19th of May 2003
One of Cancun's Finest
"We loved this place. Clean, spacious, perfect location, excellent service, great pool, spa, tennis courts (in the hotel), close to shopping, all water sports, bars, downtown. One caveat - while the multiple concierge staff are very helpful, they will try to get you to sign up for a free breakfast where they want to take 60 minutes to sell you on the Fiesta Americana "VIP" program. We didn't do it, but we were told by someone that it is similar to time share sales pitches. They had no problem with us turning them down, but had we not known better, we probably would have been in an uncomfortable situation. Still, I can't imagine going back to Cancun and staying somewhere else. This place has it all."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of May 2003
Location, service, facility - all fantastic
"Last week, I spent five nights at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach (FA GCB) hotel as part of a corporate sales incentive meeting. I normally do not care for large hotels -- I prefer the size and comforts of a boutique hotel. This hotel is one of the rare exceptions for me.First of all, the hotel has one of the best locations of any of the hotels in the hotel zone. If you view the map of the hotel zone, you will see it is shaped like the number 7. The FA GCB is near the corner of the seven facing North. The beach along the North is very calm compared the beach along the long side of the 7. With the calm water, the sea breezes, and the wide stretch of sand, we could relax, read, and nap for hours. We looked other hotels on the rougher side and could not imagine relaxing on the beach there. While it may be good for body surfing, it would be impossible to read, or even relax with the strong winds and waves.The service at the hotel was excellent. By the end of our stay, some of the staff members knew our names and our drink orders. While at the pool, staff members brought out pieces of fruit and muffins. The service was very sharp - frankly, better than I expected.The facility is also wonderful. It is a very large hotel (600+ rooms) and walking from one end of the hotel to the other can take 10 minutes or so. But the hotel has marble everywhere and the fresh flowers and plants everywhere made it feel very elegant. We had a nice room, though I am told we should have upgraded. Our view was great, but some of the upper floors had better sun for the balconies. There was no lack of sun by the pool. Plenty of chairs, three swim up bars, and relatively disctict areas set up for older adults, younger adults, and kids await those that prefer the pool over the beach.In looking at some of the other hotels, each has its benefits. The Ritz Carlton is very typical for a Ritz (fancy, expensive, exclusive and frankly looked like an octagenarian socialite decorated it), but had a very narrow, unf the nicest pool areas, but again had a narrow beach. The Le Meridian was Europe's answer to the Cancun scene (smaller hotel with a chic feel to the hotel, pool, etc). But considering these hotels were further from town and had a less desirable beach, I think FA GCB was the best option.And the food at the FA GCB was very good too. Try the ceviche poolside!!!One additional note: Sofitel is building a hotel across from the Isla Mall and it looks to be a gem. Very curious to stay there when it opens in 2004."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of May 2003
Beautiful Hotel, Friendly staff
"We arrived at the Fiesta Coral Beach on April 25,just after spring break. The hotel and the beachwere all ours! Our first night we ate at the hotel'sMexican restaurant, El Joya--FABULOUS. Our roomwas clean, classy and with our balcony overlooking the beach and the blue bay, it washeavenly. The staff were all well trained, warmand friendly. Every morning of our stay we had thehotel's breakfast buffet which offers a vast choice of foods--Mexican, European, American, Japaneseall served up in a lovely garden-room setting. The hotel is walking distance from two Mexican marketplaces and a couple of small shopping malls.You are close to several discos and more good restaurants. The hotel is not cheap and you have to pay for everything extra. A bottle of Evian from the mini-bar was $7.50 U.S., the mini-bar coffee was not free, a message at their spa is twice the price of most you can get at a fine salon in the U.S.(actually the same price but half as long). All and all, late April was slow time in Cancun, so you canrelax and enjoy the beauty of the place. The Coral Beach seems like a wonderful place for a couple to relax and for a family with kids to enjoy together. I forgot to mention the enormous, beautiful, meandering pool! If you're a college kid out for "The Real Cancun", this is not the place for you."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of April 2003
"Just returned from a week at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach. The reviews here are correct...this place is wonderful! We splurged and upgraded to a master suite on the 6th floor. It's 1000 square feet of luxury - huge bathroom with separate shower and jacuzzi tub, living room, master bedroom, bar area and a large balcony with two lounge chairs for private sun bathing and two patio chairs with a small table. The regular suites are lovely too with separate bedroom and living area (they gave us access to a junior suite while our master suite was being prepared). For the best views, however, I would ask for 3rd floor or higher. Large palm trees do obstruct the views of some of the lower floor rooms. All of the restaurants are top notch, but La Joya and Le Basilic are exquisite. Le Basilic has a more refined and romantic setting. La Joya is a bit more casual with a Mexican flavor all its own. The breakfast buffet is excellent and showcases both American and Mexican items. There is also a small cafe serving cappucino, espresso, biscotti and specialty sandwiches and salads. Finally the pool side restaurant La Isla Contoy offers excellent seafood, sandwiches, salads, burgers, etc. My only gripe is that it closes at 5:00 pm. It would be nice to have a casual dinner option other than the cafe. (La Joya and Le Basilic require more formal attire.) The pools are impressive with 3 swim up bars, waterfalls and fountains scattered around the property. There were always chairs available both poolside and on the beach. This is a busy hotel (especially with the business/corporate groups), but you never felt cramped or crowded. As the other reviewers noted, this place isn't for those on a budget. Everything is extremely pricey but it's worth every penny in my opinion. You just can't find better service, rooms, location or meals in all of Cancun. Do ask the consierge desk for a "discount card". They handed us one on our first day as part of their welcome packet. You can save up to 20ard. I didn't see any other guests using it so maybe they don't hand it out to everyone. But ask for it anyway - it can save you a quite a bit if you're planning to stay a while! Finally, the staff at the Coral Beach is truly what makes this place special. Everyone here goes out his or her way to make your stay special. Whether it's the maid putting fresh flowers in your room each night, the waiter placing your napkin on your lap, the cook remembering how you like your eggs or the hostess handing you the morning paper with a smile...it just doesn't get any better!"
- Travel date: Fri 11th of April 2003
best in cancun
"Fabulous hotel, impeccable service, great views, wonderful beach and pool. Just returned from a four day visit, and found the poolside environment so relaxing, we thought "forget the tours, this is what vacation is all about". Scattered throughout the beautifully landscaped pool area are speakers that only pipe out spa type music and the beach is close so you can hear the sound of the ocean in the background. an attendant will pass through with cold washrags(in case you're nursing a burn), a little later he'll circulate with a platter of melon sticks, and a little later, a very delightful treat of chocolate walnut brownies, or white coconut brownies. If you go and are offered the club level for an extra charge, take it because if you like coffee inthe morning,it's about $3 a cup, and drinks are also expensive, $4 beer, $8 for pina coladas. It was our first time here and we had no idea how expensive things would be. Snorkelling was very disappointing, we saw one small fish after an hour of searching extensively, but the water temp in the ocean was great. One other tip, book a room in the west wing if you like early morning sun, the other side doesn't experience much direct sunlight."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of April 2003
Fantastic Hotel with unsurpassed quality
"We recently vacationed in Cancun and stayed at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Reef Hotel. I have stayed at many of the world's finest hotels, and I can say that the service and quality of this location is second to none. From the initial check in, to the check out, everything was wonderful.I have read many reviews about "timeshare" places in Cancun. We were given a welcome package at the desk after checking in, and we were asked to attend a breakfast presentation, if it was convenient. We did not go to the presentation, and we were never called or harassed. There was absolutely no pressure.The beach at this property is beautiful. It was a good area for snorkeling, and there are jet ski rentals, and other water sport items, right next to the hotel. The pool is the largest I have ever seen. It has several swim up bars, a water volleyball area, waterfalls, etc. The location of the hotel is awesome. It is a very short walk to Senor Frog's. There is a large number of restaurants and night life places within walking distances. And, it was a short 100 peso (about $10) taxi ride to downtown and the flea market. But, if you want peace and tranquility, just stay at the hotel. The hotel has a pretty good gym with a bench press, some dumbells, and a variety of Cybex machines. It also has eliptical steppers, stair steppers, treadmills, and exercise cycles. The one suggestion I have is to pay a little extra and get the Grand Club package. This allows the use of the Grand Club. There are five food presentations daily, free drinks and hors d'oerves, and the best "continental breakfast" around. The Grand Club concierges go out of their way to make sure you are happy. We plan to return to Cancun soon, and we will stay at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Reef Hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of March 2003
Best By Far
"No need to look anywhere else for the best stay in Cancun. We have tried em all, Hilton, Ritz, Camino Real, Melia Turquesa, Gran Caribe, Melia Cancun, though they each have there own charm and advantages, for top of the line the Grand Coral is it. Best location, outstanding food, great service and beautiful rooms. We stayed on the club level and the breakfast was just right the night time snacks and drinks were pleasant and the services was above and beyond. Pricey, pricey, but it is the best. No time share non-sense and the best pool anywhere. Enjoy."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of March 2003
10 Year Anniversay Trip--Fantastic Pick
"We stayed 10 nights here and we had a fantastic time! Played tennis, lounged by the pool, scuba diving, parasailing, fantacit ocean front view room.... it was perfect! NO complaints! Friendly staff. Excellent service, and great location."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of March 2003
A Class Joint
"We returned on 1/11/03 after an eight-night visit. This is a truly great hotel located in a desirable area in terms of accessibility to restaurants and shopping. The synopsis: YouÂll like this place.
The Coral Beach is an all-suites hotel. One should always request a free upgrade upon checking-in at any hotel. We did, and most surprisingly, were upgraded to a master suite. WeÂre talking three huge rooms, including a bath as big as a normal room, living room and bedroom. Did I forget to mention the Jacuzzi, plus a terrace as large as my deck at home? Very cool.
Most free stuff includes a downside as well. A minor downside of the master suite was its location, off the foyer of the ballroom/convention area. Just imagine 500 to 1,000 people having coffee or cocktails outside of your bedroom door. Perhaps some of the wild conventioneers had lampshades on their heads during the cocktail hour? We didnÂt look.
The Coral Beach is a well-maintained facility with a corporate culture that is highly customer service oriented. The staff was completely professional, nice and knowledgeable. While we experienced several maintenance problems in our room, they were generally taken care of, with one exception. Not a giant deal considering the luxurious nature of our upgraded accommodations.
The multi-level pool is just fabulous. It leads directly to the beach and creates a perfect environment for its three swim-up bars. Of course we never utilized the bars. (haha, only kidding) While the beers are about $4.50, (not too bad) the specialty drinks are about $10. Pricey, but kind of fun. We can enthusiastically recommend the ÂBanana Monkey.Â Food is available both at poolside and at an oceanside restaurant. The Grouper sandwich is very tasty. Beware, however, of the ÂTower of Shrimp and Scallops.Â It turns out to be so tiny that we re-named it the ÂTower of Disappointment.Â
Here are a few general notes and hints to assist with your Cancun vacation planning:
Â· The ÂJungle TourÂ trip is fabulous. ItÂs a long ride where you drive your very own motorboat. Then, itÂs snorkeling in a gorgeous location. Book it at the hotel or with your package provider, not from a street-hawker. YouÂll pay more, but your boat will most likely not break down.
Â· The ÂIsle of MujeresÂ has some beautiful areas. We didnÂt see them during our visit because we had time for downtown only. It reminded us of Tijuana in terms of tourist-directed shopping and restaurants.
Â· The bus is the best deal in town. You go anywhere for 60 pesos. (about 60 cents) But cabs are everywhere and a far nicer method. The average cab ride is 700 pesos. (about 7 dollars)
Â· The breakfast buffet at the Coral Beach is 2,000 pesos. At the surrounding hotels and also at the Iguana Wana down the street, breakfast buffets are available for 700 to 1,000 pesos. On the buffet offering at the Coral Beach is smoked salmon and Champaign. You wonÂt find these items at the Iguana or neighboring hotels. Do you really need Champaign for breakfast, even if on vacation? We think not.
Â· If you work out, youÂll be pleased with the exercise facility. ItÂs not huge, but is loaded with enough torture equipment to get the job done. Weights, weight machines, stairmasters, treadmills, cross-trainers, etc.
Â· We purchased the Â2002 Entertainment PlusÂ card prior to visiting. ItÂs like the ÂEntertainment CardsÂ available in this country. You show the card at selected restaurants and attractions to get one meal free. The card is available online at cancunandrivieramaya.com. While the restaurant choices are somewhat limited, we were extremely satisfied with the card and recommend it. For example, it included two-for-one buffet breakfast at the Krystal Hotel, which is directly across the street from the Coral Beach. (2 breakfasts for 1,500 pesos, plus gratuity)
Lots more to share, but this may be quite enough. Please donÂt hesitate to contact us if we can provide additional information. Have a great trip and an equally joyful stay at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of January 2003