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Reviewed 18 February 2018

Review of the Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum – A Two (2) Star with Potential

This is a rather lengthy review of our recent stay at the Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum. This resort has a great deal of potential, but at present the negatives outweigh the positives.

Pros:
• The food at the restaurants, directly associated with the Sian Ka'an, produce some wonderful meals.
• Staff are friendly and try hard, but are severely overworked.

Cons:
• The aforementioned meals take over two hours to be served/consumed due to the incredible lack of waitstaff.
• Food at both the Italian and Mexican restaurants was poor – we ended up leaving and going to the buffet for dinner.
• Treatment on arrival was dismal as the reception staff advised that the room category, for which we paid extra, was not ‘available’ (see below).
• Waitstaff at the restaurants at the Grand Tulum resort (to which the Sian Ka'an was associated) was even more overworked and understaffed.

Narrative:

Rooms and Check-in: We (two couples) arrived in the evening and were immediately directed to the reception area. We produced or travel documents including the resort reservation that stated that we had paid for “Sian Kaan Ocean View Ai”. The person checking us in took our travel document and attached it to their paperwork. We were given our room key and the Bellman took us to our room. It turned out to be a ‘Pool View’ room which had a partial view of the pool, a great view of a large concrete pillar, and not even a glimpse of the beach or ocean. We immediately returned to the check-in desk and told the clerk that the room was not what we had paid for. We were told to come back in the morning; therefore, we retreated to our pool view room with the intent to deal with the issue in the morning.

The next morning, we went back and started the process again, this time with another staff member. We were told that the room was assigned by the category that was booked. We advised that we had booked an Ocean View room and that our travel document said as such. Strangely enough they could not find the document we had earlier produced. Fortunately, we had another copy which we produced, but kept our hand on the document. We were again advised that there we no Ocean View rooms available. We politely argued with the clerk, and were eventually advised that there was a room available, which we asked to see. We were led to the room by another Bellman who opened the door to show us the accommodation. Lo and behold the room was occupied. Needless to say, we were not interested in sharing a room with another couple so we returned to the reception area where we were again advised that there were no Ocean View rooms available. As this was day two of our vacation we gave up with the intent to deal with this on our return home.

We were later told by a ‘butler’ (more on this later) that they only had “four or five” Ocean View rooms which were regularly overbooked. There are many more Ocean View rooms than just the “four or five” quoted by the ‘butler’. It should be noted that the Ocean View rooms on the second and third floor do not have windows that open or balconies. They look out on the ocean but you cannot open a window to enjoy the breeze or hear the waves. The ground floor suites do have sliding glass doors that open out onto the beach (limiting the security if the room).

Restaurants: The Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum has some restaurants that are dedicated to Sian Ka'an guests and others that are shared with the Oasis Grand Tulum. All restaurants suffer with a severe lack of waitstaff. The lineups at the buffet restaurant (Arrecifes Terraza) were quite lengthy, due to the lack of staff to clear tables, etc. The other restaurants are as follows:

Sian Kaan guests only:
• Careyes (À la Carte Gourmet French-Mexican)
• Café del Mar (Signature Cuisine)
• Cocoa - Oyster Bar (À la Carte Seafood)
• The White Box (Mediterranean Gastrobar)

Shared with Oasis Grand Tulum guests:
• Dos Lunas (Italian Trattoria) – very poor food
• Akeru (Casual Sushi Bar)
• Hacienda Sarape (Casual Mexican cuisine) – very poor food
• Hippie Chic (Casual Grill, tacos and Tortas)
• Maki Taco (Casual Mexican Japanese fusion)
• Bites (Casual Snacks and Salads)

All of these restaurants suffer from the same issue – a dearth of waitstaff. The average time spent in one of these restaurants (other than the buffet) was well over two hours, even at lunch. We were advised, by a senior staff member, that they were well aware of these issues but that they were having a hard time hiring personnel. The main reason is apparently the distance between the resort and the nearest community – Playa del Carmen. There are a multitude of all-inclusive resorts between the Sian Ka'an and Playa del Carmen. Workers prefer to work close to home and avoid a lengthy commute. The only other nearby community, Tulum, has the same issues with distance and other employment opportunities.

That being said, there was some amazing food prepared by the Chefs responsible for the restaurants dedicated to guests at the Sian Ka'an. There is a huge potential for these restaurants, but they are nowhere near ready to cater to more clientele. It should be noted that some of the restaurants share one chef, hence the wait for meals can be excruciatingly long.

Other areas of concern also point to the lack of hired help. Further examples include:
• A lack of clean wine glasses – one lunch we asked for some red wine, our wine was poured into three glass, and one plastic, champagne glasses.
• Guests at the Sian Ka'an are provided with the services of, what the resort calls, a ‘butler’. The better term to use would be a concierge. These folks will, if they are around, reserve a meal at a restaurant, etc. The trouble is that there is one ‘butler’ assigned per building, and if he is on his day off it appears that no other ‘butler’ can help you. For the entire two weeks that we were at the resort we only saw our ‘butler’ once at his workstation. We tried to reserve some Bali Beds on a day when the ‘butler’ assigned to our building was enjoying a day off. No other ‘butler’ was able to do this simple task on our behalf.

Summary:
• Would I go to this resort again? No - Not until I saw some future reviews indicating that these issues had been addressed.
• Would I recommend this resort? No, not at this time.

Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank RustyQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018

This hotel is a great value for the price. Do not mistake it for a high end luxury hotel as it's not. It's basically two hotels next to each other: one is for families and the other is for adults only. We stayed at the adults only section. There are several sets of rooms. Building 2 has spectacular views of the ocean and the rooms have been fully renovated but there are no balconies or windows that open on floors 2 and 3. The patios on floor 1 open directly to the beach and sea. Building 5 is the one you see in the photos - the rooms are all fully renovated, with double sinks, separate stall showers and most of all, huge decks with a small plunge pool, jacuzzi, south beach style beach bed and two padded deck chairs. We love sitting outside so this was fabulous for us. When we wanted to see other vacationeers we either went over to the spa next to us or down to the pool or beach areas.

Service was great although easier if you walk to the concierge than wait for someone to pick up the phone. Rooms are kept clean, the linens are quality and the towels thick, plus all the amenities are provided.

As an all-inclusive for travelers who don't want to pay for Secrets or Sandals this is a great option. While the breakfast buffet is shared by the family and adults only resorts, there are two lunch options and 4 adult only dinner restaurant options. Do make reservations early in the morning though as the restaurants only take a limited number of reservations each night; otherwise you end up eating after 9pm or at the buffet.

The pools are not heated, but are refreshing when you are hot from sitting on the sun, or taking a long walk on the beach. The jacuzzi's likewize are not much warmer but they do have jets.

The nightly entertainment is held in a separate building and attended by both hotels. It starts early, at 8pm for that reason. By 10pm there is keroke or dancing and in the adults only main lounge there is a pianist, guitarist, or other musician providing music. Upstairs is the champagne bar, and the champagne is actually quite decent.

If you want to relax, are interested in being closer to Tulum and other area attractions including the turtle sanctuary at Akumal just up the road, then this is a great little quiet hotel to go to for a week. All ages were there our week, although I was surprised that the majority of folks were from Canada vs. the United States. Great for a romantic getaway, friends seeking a quiet venue, or a group that doesn't need a lot of nightlife.

Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank felix33442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OasisHotelResorts, Director General at The Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2018

Dear Guest,

We appreciate the time you have taken to share such nice and detailed comments about our Hotel.
We are happy to know you enjoyed our dining options, activities, shows, facilities and especially our excellent service. We will, of course, congratulate our staff for always being attentive, smiling, and helping you in everything they could and also we will talk to them to improve their effectiveness.
It is very pleasant for us to know that you had a great time and a wonderful vacation. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Kind regards,
Jorge Martínez.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018

My husband and I just got back from Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum after spending 10 wonderful days at this resort. From the time the bus dropped us off at the hotel, our butler Sergio was waiting to take us in for registration. We were brought drinks of our choice as we were filling out the paperwork. We received a beautiful room with a balcony overlooking the infinity pool that lead to the beach. From the beautiful lobby, lovely restaurants and the amazing beach the place was gorgeous. Sergio was wonderful and made all of our reservations to the various restaurants which were elegant and served excellent meals. We normally had our breakfast, lunch and dinner in one of these a la carte restaurants and enjoyed each course, which not only tasted delicious but was presented beautifully. They could use more staff to keep up with the demand, but overall the service was impeccable, and you could really appreciate just how hard everyone works to make your stay at this hotel memorable. The only complaint I would have is that the house wine is pretty awful and should be changed to a better choice. My husband spent most days snorkeling at the reef which was located right in front of our hotel, while I spent most days on the comfortable beach loungers around the pool and beach. The turquoise water and warm weather was absolutely perfect. We will definitely be returning next year.

P.S. Not quite sure where the negative reviews were coming from because Daniele
Di Mauro , who is the manager of the hotel, was very approachable and seemed to take care of any difficulties that seemed to arise from any complaints in a timely and efficient manner.

Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with ASUS 12 W8 IE Bookmark
4  Thank 964lpeacock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OasisHotelResorts, Director General at The Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2018

Dear Guest,

It makes us really happy to know that you had a good experience at the resort and that you enjoyed our food, the service and our beautiful beach. We appreciate the fact that you actually value the effort that we put in to our activities every day to make this paradise happen.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

Kind regards,
Jorge Martínez.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018

horrible experience, poor management and terrible service. one of the worst experiences i've ever had. we were a group of 9 couples, it was a 50th birthday celebration
the first day no basic info about the facility was givan not even in the welcome envelope. we did not know the kind of services offered or that there is a champagne lounge upstairs or that we had to reserve dinner for every night other wise we had to eat at the main buffet which i've seen better at a 4 star resort. the first night one of the ladies in our group planed a dinner for her husband birthday party which she requested prior to coming and through out the day up on arriving but the dinner was a disaster. even though she agreed to a fixed menue and to eat really late since we are a big group, and still they were unorganized and ill prepared, lamb and chicken came to the table uncooked, it was hours till we all ate, we all got our food at different times and we were the only table in that restaurant at the time. we paid extra for an ocean view room which meant a room without a balcony or any fresh air, big window over looking the ocean but fixed without an option to be open that was very damn strang. no ceiling fun just air condition. curtains that don't reach each other about 1 foot gap between them. poor water pressure in the shower and lack of hot water. the safe is poorly bolted to the floor and in the last couple of days we found that in 2 of our rooms mine being one of them that the safe could open just by pulling with little force leaving us venerable and when we called daniel who is one of the managers of the place and the most ineffective one at that. he did not think it's a big deal and got someone from maintenance to spray dw40 and that was the end of that as far as he was concerned.
dialing 0 will mostly get you no where, no one will answer. the resort was poorly stuffed most restaurants had only one waiter, so getting your food and drinks will take forever sometime hours. in the sushi bar and the specialty coffee shop endless lines & long waits. they have on the ground only 2 bars, lobby's bar being one of them 1 bartender in each of the 2 bars serving 2 pools 1 swim up bar and the beach area, 2 bartenders, in total serving about 108 rooms!! getting coffee at breakfast in the main buffet will sometime take 20 minutes one day we decided to just serve ourselves, which for some reason made one waiter be very rude to us. some waiters gave really bad service but most of the employees were nice and friendly but did not know english which made it challenging. they were doing the best they could.

the stuff in the front desk and management all of the issues and concerns we shared with them fell on deaf ears. they will brush us off with the promise of taking care of the issues but never following through. we could talk till we blue in the face not even one person there seemed to care so for the most parts we just gave up.
one of the managers supposedly booked us every night at 9pm to a restaurant so it will be easier on the stuff being so many of us but yet every night there was a problem with the reservations, they were not informed of us coming a lot of confusion, none of them were prepared for a group of 18 and the waite was longer it was really frustrating.
on our last day we had the whole day so the same manager daniel told us we get to keep the rooms till 1pm, but in returned each one of us needed to sign a document for the 1 o'clock check out, which was very odd. having read it, they wanted us to gives up the right to complain about the resort of sian ka'an at grand tulum and oasis resort in any social media, now and in the future.
out of the 18 of us the majority travel often and 4 to 5 times a year we travel to 5 stars all inclusive resorts our ages range from 45 to 55 years of age and we are a group of savvy travellers and have been around. for sure not recommended!!

Room tip: ask for a balcony. say fresh air is important
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Lizi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OasisHotelResorts, Director General at The Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2018

Dear Lizi,

We deeply regret the inconvenience that occurred during your stay with us.
We need some information in order to make a proper investigation regarding this and contact the corresponding departments and staff to verify the information. We would like for you to contact us at info@oasishoteles.com with the name at which the reservation was made, the dates you were staying and your room number to do a proper follow up of the situation.

Kind regards
Luis Martínez

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2018

We had a great time at this hotel--beautiful beach, and they have equipment available for snorkeling or kayaking. The staff was always friendly and helpful (William, Lino, Raul, Fabian, and many others). The room was spacious and clean (thank you, Maria). We enjoyed our meals at the various restaurants--our favorites were Cocoa, Careyes, and Cafe Del Mar--though we also enjoyed Dos Lunas, Hacienda Sarape, and Maki Taco. We even liked the buffet--great omelets at breakfast. There is a third-floor balcony overlooking the beach and ocean with lounge chairs, whirlpools, and it's own bar--this was our favorite place to escape. The entertainment was good, but not great--a lot of talented individuals who are perfecting their craft.

Room tip: We requested an ocean-view room, which we got. Our only disappointment was that we didn't have a balcony (just glass windows).
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank mjs55345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OasisHotelResorts, Director General at The Sian Ka'an at Grand Tulum, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind comments it is very rewarding to know that you enjoyed our facilities and tthe service, we will congratulate the members that you mencioned above for their outstanding service.
Again, thank you for sharing your experience. We hope to see you soon back again!

Kind regards,
Jorge Martínez.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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