Where to Stay in Mexico: The Grand Mayan

Looking out over the beautiful blue water

Mexico is a typical Midwesterner winter destination. I met more Minnesotan’s in the pool in Mexico than I have ever met in my life and I lived in Minnesota for a little bit as a youngster.

Airport Transfer and Checking In

My friend L and I were picked up at the airport by the transfer shuttle. It was easy and painless. The driver took us to the main check in desk, which apparently was not where we were supposed to check in. We were shuttled through the resort on a nifty little trolley to the wrong check in desk again.

Once we finally got on our way to the right check in desk, checking in was a breeze. We received our room keys in the form of highly (read: not) fashionable bracelets and we got on a different trolley to our suite.

Upgrade baby!

The Room

we got a king bed

The room was really nice amazing!

A small hallway with the bathroom opened up to an open space with a large king size bed. On the opposite side of the bed was a sitting area with a coffee table and sofa. Beyond that was our balcony with a view of a concrete skeleton of a building. It wasn’t really that creepy, though. At the foot of the bed was a decent sized TV with channels in Spanish and English.

The bathroom was very spacious. A large bubble tub took up one end of the bathroom. On the other side was a toilet room with it’s own private door and a shower.

However, odds are you aren’t going to travel all the way to Mexico just to spend your days cooped up inside. Get out and enjoy the sun!

Room Service

If you have never experienced room service before, I would highly recommend getting it here. It takes about the same time as going to one of the many restaurants on the resort. It’s also the same price as all the restaurants on the resort.

So kick back, order breakfast or pizza, watch some TV and enjoy the good life.

The Resort

The resort is massive. And by massive, I mean larger than my college campus. The resort had a system of trolley’s that was kinda super fun to ride. It is extra fun when you get a talkative trolley driver and he is willing to let you practice your out of practice Spanish on him. Just remember to let him practice the English he is learning on you. Be nice and help him if he makes a mistake.

The resort also has wooden walking paths throughout. If you choose to go that route you feel like you are walking through secret jungle paths. It’s pretty cool. You can also get lost at night if you don’t know where in the resort you are. I promise it’s not that sketchy getting lost. And it feels like you are lost in a tropical jungle.

The Pool

The main pool structure is beyond impressive. It’s about three massive pools cascading together to create one giant body of artificial water.

Our favorite pool bar before it opened
Our favorite pool bar before it opened

Throughout the different pool areas, there are pool bars. Every pool bar throughout the resort has a happy hour that lasts for a couple hours. The best time to get your drink on is during happy hour.


There is a special desk dedicated to booking trips outside the resort. L and I booked three different excursions. A snorkel tour, Chichen Itza, and Rio Secreto.


We booked the Original Snorkeling Adventure. There was a total of four different snorkeling spots and a delicious meal served midday. I think this was probably the best food I had while we were in Mexico.

The second tour was to Chichen Itza. A must do for anyone traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula. The history there is incredible. Be sure to wander around the grounds and take some official white girl photos. Be prepared to stop at tourist traps where they expect you to buy touristy stuff, like your name carved on a necklace in Mayan. After the touristy stop, you get the chance to swim in a cenote or sinkhole.

chichen Itza

The last tour was the coolest of them. The excursion spoke to my inner geologist as we made our way deeper and deeper into an underground river that carved a cave. Personal cameras are not allowed in the cave. However, each tour has a dedicated photographer that will take photos for you. It is worth it to buy the pictures at the end of the tour.


Tips and Things to Remember

Mexico uses Pesos and not Dollars. However they symbol for Pesos is $, just like for dollars. So don’t freak out when you see a bottle of water costs $60.

Find a friend to order Happy Hour drinks with. Then you can trade your second drink and try more alcohol for the same price. It’s a win win.

Drink a lot of water.

You can drink the water here. Many of the resorts spend a lot of money putting in extreme filtration systems so their guests don’t get a case of Montezuma’s Revenge. Just remember to be wary of water outside the resort. Especially when out on excursions. Only drink water from a bottle then.

If you have a waiter that goes above and beyond and is so incredible, consider leaving them a tip. You just might make their day.

Remember that you have to book a time slot for your shuttle to and from the airport when you are coming and going. If not, you won’t get a ride.

Have you ever stayed at a resort in Mexico?

How many Minnesotan’s did you meet in the pool?

Would you consider staying here?

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