Sens Review March 2017

Discussion in 'Grand Oasis Sens' started by regalsteph, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. regalsteph

    regalsteph Enthusiast Registered Member

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    My husband and I spent March 1-6, 2017 at Grand Oasis Sens. Our reservations were for the Sian Ka’an level. We made our reservations this time through Orbitz. This was a return trip for us, we first visited in November of 2016 those reservations were made through Expedia. Both times we bought an airline and hotel package as I feel it is a better deal.


    Before this trip I emailed the hotel to confirm our reservations as I had read that some customers were being told the hotel was overbooked and were being sent to other hotels in the chain. They confirmed we were all set and I also told them we were returning visitors so they said they noted this in our reservation.


    We had airline issues, missed our connection coming in so instead of getting to the hotel at 7pm we ended up being delayed until about midnight. I was concerned about getting in so late so I did email the hotel enroute. They responded and asked for our confirmation number. I emailed them back but did not hear back.


    I would suggest using multiple ways of contacting the hotel if you do not get responses. They do have a facebook page


    When we arrived at the hotel we didn’t get to use the VIP check in because it was so late. Even at that late hour there were staff still waiting to greet customers as they arrived. Our bags were moved from the van to the front deck by staff. The staff were welcoming and helpful. There were no customers at the front desk when we arrived so check it was very quick like less than 10 minutes. All of the paperwork that we needed to sign the hotel map, the activity map and the card keys were all in an envelope so the front desk person was very efficient.


    We had requested before we came that we be assigned a room on one of the higher floors. We ended up in room 859 on the eighth floor.


    The levels can be a bit confusing - the fourth floor is the lobby floor so if you are below the lobby you have to take the elevator down or walk down stairs. Floors five through nine are above the lobby.


    After traveling all day were were glad to settle into our room and ordered some room service. I called and was told it would be about 45 minutes which gave us some time to settle in and unpack. I ordered some sandwiches, guacamole, and desert. They were out of cheesecake but did have chocolate cake which was really Tiramisu with fresh blackberries. The room service menu is very limited, the club sandwich is very good and the guacamole is well just awesome if you like guacamole. The Tiramisu was very good and the fresh berries were a nice treat. Word to the wise do not leave the dirty dishes in your room. Either follow the directions and call the room service number to have them come get the tray right away or leave it outside your room. If you leave a dirty plate with food in your room you will end up with ants.


    Our room, 859, was clean and in comparison to our first trip in room 298 was less run down. The lower floor room the tile was wearing away and there was more rust in the room. This is not a new hotel so we certainly did not expect everything to be brand new. The bed was soft and I found it comfortable. The lighting in the room is good however the bathroom mirror lights are a bit dim but there is a light on the makeup mirror that makes it easier to put on makeup. The switch is on mirror base. The bathtub had some wear but was clean. The faucet really only worked for the shower as water sprayed out the top if you were trying to fill the tub. Not that big a deal though for us as I never took a bath. Thankfully there was a drain on the outside of the tub if water went spraying lol.


    Service: The first night we were there the front desk called to be sure our room was satisfactory. The next morning we were called a couple of times once by the Expedia representative and once by the front desk to check on our satisfaction. Housekeeping also stopped by to see if we needed any more towels etc. Almost every day housekeeping stopped by in the evening to see if we needed clean towels or anything else. Our room was cleaned everyday very well they even provided extra coffee when I asked. If we needed something and are not going to be in the room I left a note with the tip. Our mini bar was always filled with the list of items that was on the list by the fridge. A couple of times I asked that they leave a couple extra bags of chips and chocolates and the request was always honored. For the mini bar we left the tip in the fridge and put any note in the fridge with the tip.


    Bars: We typically used only the Vip bars. The bar next to the Coffee and Me place was always very quiet so was easy to get a quick refill. I noticed with some of the bartenders if you wanted the higher end liquor you needed to specifically ask for it. If you are particular of what you are drinking you should ask so that you get what you expect.

    During certain activities like the foam party the bars near those areas will get very busy so if you don’t have a VIP bracelet you will wait for a drink so plan accordingly. The Kinky bar I only used once and it pretty busy and I got served right away. The Sakura Sunset bar is a nice quiet spot if you want to have a place to meet friends and talk. The bartender is attentive and quick. The view at night is quite nice.


    Meals:

    Breakfast - We only ate at the buffet which I thought was wonderful. There is an omelet maker there that is always smiling and works tirelessly to make omelets for hoards of hungry vacationers. To be honest this is one of the highlights of our trip. Start the day out right and your whole outlook changes. Traveler tip - if you like tortillas with breakfast you need to ask the omelet guy - if you want other kinds of eggs like over easy or sunny side up he will do those also. Be sure to tip him. The servers for breakfast do not seem to have assigned tables so getting coffee can be a challenge. Just ask one of them and you will get coffee but for refills you may need to ask. I would be nice if they had specific tables but it looked to me that they were understaffed so that would not be possible. In spite of this we always had coffee. The buffet food was fresh and abundant including fresh fruit, bacon and or sausage, potatoes, eggs, yogurt with toppings, waffles, french toast, cold cuts, cheese, breads, guacamole, veggies etc.


    Lunch - We ate at the Sian Ka’an beach club and the food and the service was excellent. I had the fish crispy twice it was really nice light fried white fish with a light lime creamy dipping sauce. Hubby had the wrap and that was really good and not too spicy. The guacamole was always good. The veggies with blue cheese were fresh and the sauce was lighter than what I would expect in the states so I thought it was very nice. The server Lizette was always cheerful and welcoming.


    The Sushi bar outside was another wonderful lunch. It was very busy and they only have about 10 tables so we had to wait about 15 minutes to sit down. Well worth the wait - the food was fresh and tasty. I ordered one roll and ended up with an appetizer and then a full roll that was large in diameter about two inches. They were very tasty but were difficult to eat because of the size. The amount of food was substantial. They were served with ginger and soy sauce and I would say the quality was up there with some of the best sushi restaurants.


    The mexican resturant was very busy for lunch but we were seated very quickly. The service was a bit slow but the food was very good. The only negative was that we ordered guacamole and never got it. I had the chicken fajitas and to be honest hubby and I were so full that we couldn’t have eaten the guacamole even if it had come. When we were in the restaurant there was a live mariachi band that was walking around entertaining the guests. A nice touch.


    Snacks other - In my opinion if you go hungry at this resort you need to ask more questions about where the food is. All day there are snacks found throughout the resort. In the VIP lounge there are always snacks and mini sandwiches. In the Coffee and Me shop there are snacks in the morning. One afternoon during the foam party the staff set up a table with veggie snacks in plastic cups so you could grab and go. There is an ice cream machine near the Sushi place that you can just grab a cone.


    Dinner - Benazuza: If you like to be a bit more adventurous I would strongly recommend eating here. The food is exciting and unique. The service is impeccable. About two weeks before our trip I emailed benazuza to request reservations. I had no problem getting the day we wanted. Plan on at least two hours for your meal. It really is an experience not to be missed.


    Sakura Sunset: Up the stairs from the main lobby is a bar and a restaurant. The service was excellent, we were seated right away, drinks were refilled frequently, food ordering when smoothly and the food was delivered quickly. The food was tasty - I had the duck breast. It was a bit on the dry side but was flavorful and the sauce was tasty. Our waiter didn’t think we ordered enough food so he also brought us noodles that were really good. The staff were very accommodating and attentive. We were seated at 8:30pm and i was concerned we were overstaying our welcome and asked the staff but they assured us we could keep our table until they closed. We had invited another couple to dinner and had a wonderful time visiting. The food was plentiful and no one when away hungry.


    Schillabar: Watch the weather when you chose to eat here as the restaurant is outdoors with limited covering. We arrived at our reserved time and were seated right away. Our table was in a dark area of the restaurant which was romantic however made it hard to read the menu and see our food. We did bring our cell phones so we just used them for limited light. We both ordered the trio which was fish steak and shrimp. I had the baked potato and the clam chowder. The clam chowder was a cream soup with clams it was very good and light. The fish steak and shrimp we excelent. The highlight of this meal was the belly dancer show in the restaurant after our meal. The staff was very attentive refilling wine even during the show. The belly dancer show was a surprise for us as it was completely by accident that we were there at that time so if you wish to catch the show during your dinner be sure to ask the schedule.


    Restaurant reservations: for some of the restaurants you need to make reservations at the table in the lobby by the bathrooms during the posted hours. Be sure to do this your first day so that you get to eat at the restaurants you want. For the other ala carte restaurants you will need to check with the individual restaurant to get on the list to get a table for that day. When we were there most of them had three seatings 7pm 8:30pm and then one later I think it was 9:30pm. The Shillabar uses this system. We had to wait in line until 6pm to make reservations for 8:30pm people started lining up at 4:30pm to make the reservations, we were at that pool anyway so just hung around and had a few drinks and socialized. If you don’t get a reservation you can always stop by the restaurants to see if they can get you in. I am not sure how well that works though as we always had reservations or we went to the Coba and ate at the buffet. The buffet was always open for dinner and had a huge variety of food.


    Tipping: We tip and I really think this does make a difference. We are not extravagant, we tip a dollar or two for drinks and tip in relation to what each meal would cost us to something similar at home. About five dollars US for lunch and about ten to twenty or more for dinner depending on the level of attentiveness of the servers. All of the servers are very appreciative of tipping. I had numerous thank me for tipping. Being kind to the staff goes a long way too - if you smile and are friendly you will get the same in return.


    Safety: Never did we feel like we were unsafe anywhere in the hotel. We did see more security during this trip but never did we feel that they were obtrusive. We did hear stories of people having issues that had purchased illegal drugs (both cocaine and marijuana are sold by people walking along the beach) My opinion if you do illegal drugs you will find trouble in Mexico. We were approached on the beach to buy marijuana by a person selling cigars, just laugh and say no. Be aware that the beach is public property and there will be lots of walking vendors. Most are respectful and will only approach you if you invite them.

    We did take the public bus down the road to the Luxury Mall and did some shopping. If you are unsure of the busses talk to the staff at the hotel they will give you good directions and maps. The bus was a US dollar each way per person for a ride. I always felt safe.


    Activities: There was a Pirate Ship cruise on the Thursday night we were there. We had considered going but changed our minds. The bus leaves the hotel about 10pm and then brings you back to the hotel about 2:30am We are in our late 40’s and the crowd that was going was more in their 20’s. You sign up earlier in the day at the front desk or at the Concierge desk in the VIP bar.

    The Kinky bar has shows that are entertaining - if you want a seat get there a bit early. There is dancing there after but it only works if you have a group that wants to dance.


    The pool on the lagoon side of the hotel by the Shillabar is very laid back - great for relaxing. The only exception to this is the foam party.


    There are other activities at the beach side pools - people looked like they were having fun.

    Foam party - lots of people, loud music and a bit of naughty. We got in the foam and danced and laughed. The bad part - be prepared to be filmed. The amount of go-pro cameras we saw was a bit disconcerting. I really think that the hotel should not allow pictures or video. Let people have fun in the moment.


    This hotel does allow topless sunbathing and swimming at all the pools. When we were there it was very small amount of ladies partaking less than half.


    We had a wonderful time at this resort, felt it was clean and welcoming, the staff as a whole were accommodating and attentive. The food was excellent and abundant. The beach was beautiful and you just can’t beat the weather when it’s snowing at home.


     
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  2. PIECO

    PIECO Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Great review.What email address did you use?I face booked but had no reply.
     
  3. regalsteph

    regalsteph Enthusiast Registered Member

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  4. GIN & RUM

    GIN & RUM Newbie Registered Member

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    Good picture of resort, glad we meet you and other TTR fans.
     
  5. Flash2

    Flash2 Enthusiast Registered Member

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  6. Tyler and Angie

    Tyler and Angie Guru Registered Member

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    What a wonderful review!!! It's so nice knowing that someone took the time to give such a detailed review with tips and insight. We are die hard TTR fans but with TTR closed we needed a place to go that could offer a little bit of the vibe. We had much of the same experiences and thought that the resort could offer those that were in need of a Cancun fix an option. RegalSteph, THANK YOU for your detailed review.
    Angie
     
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