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Grand Oasis Tulum 4.5

Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Conveniently located between Highway 307 and a beautiful stretch of beach
  • Rooms are contemporary, spacious, and have pool, garden, or beach views
  • Some rooms feature upscale decor, spa showers, luxury toiletries, and private beach decks
  • Five pools (two with swim-up bars), two dipping pools, and private beach area
  • Small buffet spot, three snack bars, six a la carte restaurants, and sushi bar
  • Eight bars, including beach and pool bars; late-night disco; and coffee shop
  • Moderate-size spa with body treatments, sauna, and traditional Mayan sweat lodge
  • Nonreciprocal access to neighboring Oasis Tulum; Grand-only pools, dining, and beach area
  • Casa Club features bar, snacks, separate pool, table sports, and lounge area
  • Kids' club with snacking area, playground, and activities (in Oasis Tulum)
  • Small gym (next door), tennis and basketball courts, Smartcar rental, and shop
  • Free parking and push bike rental

Cons

  • Hotel is actually 20 minutes from Tulum
  • Beach has large clumps of seaweed between the sand and sea
  • Many features are located on the less attractive Oasis Tulum side
  • Fee for extra minibar items, Wi-Fi, room service, and use of tennis courts

Bottom Line

The 112-room, all-inclusive Grand Oasis Tulum is the luxurious sister of neighboring Oasis Tulum. Over half of the simple, modern rooms face the garden, but the real gems are the few Ocean Front Rooms sporting personal beach decks, hot tubs, and chic decor. Most of the 10 restaurants and bars (and most of the crowds) are located between the sister resorts, leaving the Grand Oasis’ exclusive areas (especially the private beach club) feeling delightfully relaxed and spacious. The full-service spa, large Casa Club sports lounge, and easy Smartcar rentals don’t hurt either, but fees for Internet, room service, and a few other extras do sting.

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Scene

Small but uncongested with an upscale look and relaxing vibe

The Grand lobby reflects the upscale look (but relaxed vibe) of the resort

Once inside the gates, guests are led down a long driveway -- past the Casa Club, driving range, putting green, and tennis courts. At the end of the road, guests keep straight for Grand Tulum, or turn left for Oasis Tulum (the neighboring, less luxurious sister resort). You can already see the differences between the two properties: the Grand Oasis entrance is, well, grander. It features a semi-circle driveway with covered entrance, black marble steps, waiting porters, and lounge chairs, making the entrance to the Oasis seem like a bit of an afterthought. The Grand's lobby is large with upscale, hip decor found in the polka-dot couches, sleek marble tiles, and chic wood furniture. There's a martini piano bar in the back, and a wall full of glass giving guests a peekaboo glance at the Grand-only infinity pool and swim-up bar. The vibe here is relaxed, quiet, and uncrowded; the premises are modern and clean. 

If you've got the money to spare, upgrading to the Grand side of the resort is worth it, if for nothing else than the amazing rooftop Cafe del Mar terrace bar, though the Grand's added serenity found within the exclusive pool, beach, and dining areas is worth every penny for those looking to really relax. 

Location

A straight shot from the airport, but still 20 minutes from Tulum

Map of Grand Oasis Tulum

Located directly off of Highway 307, just over an hour and 15 minutes south of Cancun (you’ll need to flip a U-turn to access its northbound entrance), Grand Oasis Tulum is clearly marked by a geometrical turquoise tower. (Note that the sign only reads “Oasis Tulum.") Despite its name, the resort is actually located in Akumal, about 20 minutes north of the beachside ruins of Tulum. The exit to Playa del Carmen is 30 minutes north, but budget extra time for traffic, especially if you are planning on hitting the downtown area. Popular parks such as Xplor, Xel-Ha, and Xcaret dot the freeway between Playa del Carmen and Cancun and are easy to spot from the road. 

Rooms

High discrepancy between rooms; your best bets are in the Sian Ka'an building

The whirpool in the exceptional Grand Sian Ka'an Room with Ocean View

Grand Oasis’ 112 room are divided between three separate buildings: Tulum, Yaakun, and the uber-luxe Sian Ka’an. While rooms in the garden- and pool-facing Tulum and Yaakun are clean and contemporary, the minimally upscale and slightly hodgepodge decor may be slightly disappointing for this caliber of property. However, Sian Ka’an’s handful of Ocean Front Rooms do not disappoint; dark brown furniture, smooth tile floors, spa showers, fluffy linens, and deluxe toiletries are just the start. Ground-level rooms here have in-room whirlpools, personal beach decks with loungers, and a roped-off soft sand beach area right out their terrace doors.

All rooms have chock-full minibars (with limited free refills), flat-screen TVs, private outdoor spaces with garden, ocean, or pool views, and iPod docking clocks.

Food

Tons of dining options day and night, plus exclusive a la carte restaurants

Sushi available daily at the Akeru Asia Lounge

Grand Oasis Tulum shares a surprisingly small buffet, three snack bars, a sushi lounge, and three a la carte spots with Oasis Tulum, but only Grand Oasis guests are privy to the menus and seats at three additional a la cartes – Terrazza Careyes (serving lunch), Arrecifes Steak and Buffet, and Careyes (gourmet Mexican). Dinner reservations are needed at Careyes, Al Sur (Mediterranean), Dos Lunas (Italian), and Arrecifes Steak and Buffet -- although, there’s a grill set up outside on the terrace serving up similar fare to both resorts, without reservations or Grand wristbands. Walk-ins are welcome at the Sarapes Mexican on the Oasis side. Dos Lunas is open briefly for breakfast, and there are three snack bars and a sushi bar open for lunch if you aren’t feeling the buffet.

Drinks

Bars and cafes galore, including a fabulous rooftop terrace bar

Rooftop terrace bar Cafe del Mar has dipping pools and sea views

A large selection of bars help ensure that Grand Oasis guests never go thirsty. In addition to the five bars -- Sport Bar, Nori (pool bar), Arkeru Asian Lounge (beach bar), a lobby bar, and Sarape Bar -- shared with neighboring Oasis guests, there are also several bars open exclusively to Grand Oasis guests: the Beach Bar (swim-up pool bar), Martini Piano Bar (in the lobby), and an amazing and huge rooftop bar, Cafe del Mar, complete with dipping pools and sweeping sea views. There’s also a coffee bar open from early morning to late night and a nighttime dance club. While all Grand Oasis-only bars are usually always staffed, this is not always the case at the spots next door.  

Beach

Large stretch of sand and turquoise waters, plus a small but beautiful exclusive section 

The Oasis side of the bach has large clumps of seaweed between the sand and sea

Grand Oasis Tulum guests have the privilege of using their own exclusive Beach Club area or snagging one of the many loungers on the Oasis side of resort.  Whether nature or nurture, the beach on the Grand side has decidedly fewer clumps of seaweed, impossibly soft sands, and easy access to the two relaxing hammocks stretched out on the small pier. This side of the beach is smaller, but much less crowded as only Grand guests can grab a loungers or slide under the shade of a rustling palm-frond palapa.

Pools

Multiple pools and sun lounging space, but no heated whirlpools

Swim-up bar Nori is located at the main pool on the Oasis side

In addition to the pools shared with the Oasis property, Grand Oasis has its own exclusive pools. Just outside the back of the lobby, a long infinity pool stretches toward the beach sands. A few loungers are here as well as Beach Bar, a small swim-up bar with pool seating. The back end of this pool falls a few feet down into a calm, fountain pool outside of the spa building. Just a few feet away lies the Grand Oasis’ main pool. Here, guests can find a towel kiosk, hydro-massage spouts, a fountain, non-heated bubbling whirlpool, a handful of cabanas, lots of loungers, and plenty of garden shade along the edges.

The Oasis side’s main pool is a fairly large pool with fountains, swim-up bar, activities, and shallow area for kids or dipping. There are a few cabanas with gauzy white fabric canopies, but mostly blue and white woven vinyl loungers and, near Coffee & Me and the Sarape Bar and Restaurant, rustling palapa huts. Grand Oasis guests also share two small dipping pools by the Asian lounge and a zig-zag pool over by the condos that lacks loungers.

Physical Activities

Casa Club sports lounge, plus tennis and golf facilities (for a fee)

Plenty of physical fitness facilities on-site, such as tennis courts

While many people come to Oasis Tulum to relax, especially by the beach, the resort is well-equipped for active guests as well. On the Oasis property there is a small gym with machines and weights and a stash of push bikes guests can grab and ride up to the Casa Club or sports area. Although guests can use the ping-pong, foosball, and basketball courts for free, it costs extra to partake in a game of tennis or swing at the driving range and putting green (both which are a bit lacking). The Casa Club is also home to an additional pool, Sports Bar, and Wimpy’s snack bar.

Features

Full service spa, car rental, and kids' club -- but fee for Wi-Fi

The full service spa includes a traditional sweat lodge-style Mayan sauna

Though a small space for servicing two resorts, the spa has a wide selection of body, beauty, and massage treatments, a sauna, and a traditional sweat lodge-style Mayan sauna. Family-friendly features include a decent-size Kids' Club just off of the main pool area on the Oasis side. Kids have a playground area near the gym, an indoor/outdoor activity center with computers, games, and crafts, and a special “kids only” snack spot.

If you’ve forgotten any sundries at home, or want to shop for a few souvenirs, there’s a small Tobacco and gift shop located just behind the lobby. Smartcars are available for rent directly from the hotel, and free push bikes are racked out front for easy peddling up to the Casa Club.

Parking is free (and a little bit of a hike), though Wi-Fi will cost you.

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Address

Km 251 Carret. Chetumal - Pto. Juarez, Akumal, Riviera Maya 77780, Mexico

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