TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
FUN RESORT TOWN FEEL
We visited Maeva 7 years ago, and I had loved my stay. Since then it changed owners and became Gran Festival, and it was said the place was not as well run anymore. I have to say, I loved it as much as the first time. Gran Festival is a very active resort. It is spread out over a large piece of land, and it feels like walking around a little village. We had a great room, all the way on top of the hill with a large balcony and a fabulous view of the beach. The room was simple, quiet and tempered. We arrived on Wednesday and the resort was fairly quiet. The food at the restaurant was plenty, with a great variety and nice waiters, especially the one that served us for breakfast. He was super friendly and very attentive. For breakfast, I loved the freshly cooked to order omelettes and all the fun fruit and vegetable juices. They filter their own water, so all the juices were safe to drink. The snack bar was open, as well as all the bars around. The adult pool is super cozy and private, and I love the beds. You can also get an onsite massage. We had a wonderful bartender, his name is Hektor. He was warm, very friendly, super cute and speaks English very well, which helped me a lot. :) he also served some wicked margaritas. Overall, I'd say this resort is mostly frequented by Latin families, so I am not sure how well the staff actually speaks English. My favorite place is Maeva beach. You can walk for a few miles either way. The waves can be wicked, extremely large and dangerous. I would say swimming in the ocean is not for the faint-hearted, but if you love the waves like I do, it is super fun.The water is warm and pleasant. Gran Festival offers a lot of activities for kids and adults. They have a children's pool, a large family pool, an adult only pool, water slides, a zip line and a large soccer field. Every day at 5pm they play Volleyball games on the cement court, however you can also play beach Volleyball on a sand court. In the morning they offer water aerobics and salsa lessons, all taught by fun, young and energetic staff. There is a different show every evening. The shows are very entertaining. Laced with a lot of sexy dancing and the special Mexican humor, they are fun to watch. After the show, they open the bar for dancing, and on the weekend, they also open the disco. Everything is within short walking distances, so you can have a lot of action without having to take a taxi anywhere. I also love the vendors across the street. They have some great souvenirs to take home. I preferred our time during the week, as it gets very crowded during the weekend. I have one negative, and that was the maid service. The lady was not very friendly, and even though we tipped her generously, she never cleaned the room, she neglected to leave water and overall did a very lousy job. This is my reason for only giving the four stars. But overall, it was an amazing vacation - fun, relaxing, active and entertaining.
Amazing amazing amazing!!
When we were booking our trip the reviews for this resort weren't as great but after our 7 day stay there we believe it should be 10 stars not just 3.. The kids were sad to leave and began crying. There's everything one could need on a vacation all in the resort, and even though you are able to leave and explore the city. It's very organized, safe and always a great time, whether it's 11 am or 8 pm. We became friends with many of the other tourists that were visiting from many places and even the workers! It feels like a home and you never feel uncomfortable there. It was one of the best trips we've ever been on and we would come back here in a heart beat. The room was great, always clean and smelt great always. The only downfall would be that there isn't wifi everywhere around the resort and the mosquitos (which you can't control) but this is a trip of a lifetime. There was never a dull moment, even with me being a single dad with 5 kids on this trip.. The crew was very helpful, even sunwing representatives were great as soon as you arrive! We can't wait to come back! Everyone should be choosing this resort as their number 1 vacation place.
My husband and I spent 1 week from March 3-10 at the Gran Festivall. I read a lot of the reviews before booking and I thought I'd be OK with some of the points mentionned ...but after living them - I wasn't.
I'd rather give information on what we saw rather then my opinion as I feel that's relative to each, we did meet one other couple from Canada with a child and they loved their stay at the hotel.
We arrived on a Thursday; very little guests until the locals arrived on Friday for the weekend. We felt that the hotel was more local mexican oriented as not a lot of staff spoke english (we meet 3), which is OK until you need sometime more than a drink.
No one of the entertainment staff ever came to us asking to join them playing sports. They would go around talking to the guests and as soon as they knew we we're not fluent in Spanish...they never came to talk to us for the rest of our stay.
One bedroom villa concept compared to the regular hotel room; more space, 2 bathrooms, kitchen table, mini-fridge (we requested one at check-in), 2 single beds that can be used as sofas, mini patio.
We did get bed tics/bugs bites, we didn't request a new room as we weren't not sure if they would understand us and we might have the same issue with a new villa. I slept with socks :-).
Friday, Saturday, Sunday; all the buffet/snack bar were opened. The rest of the week; one at the pool and one at the beach - no snack bar if you're hungry outside the buffet time.
Night Entertainment: we stay about 30 minutes if the show as we didn't understand...they only spoke spanish
Big pool; a little bit under 5 feet and there's a deep end. A lot of the lounge chairs are broken. We visited the adult pool but didn't stay there as workers were working on the hot tub.
Food; you won't be dissapointed if you like mexican food, there's a lot.
We ate at the Italian restaurant " Ã la carte" on our last evening - Italian food was a nice change from Mexican food
It's a nice walk to the beach over the bridge, waves were pretty strong, my husband had a good time in the water. Some locals brought their boards to surf
The resort is huge, a lot of tennis courts, there's a basketball court, a soccer field, Zip Line and slides. We didn't try any of these.
The WIFI is at the lobby only, there's a lot of mosquitos around that area any time of day/night. Make sure you bring repelent. We thought the mosquitos would come out once the sun was down...NOPE - around 6pm until the morning
We took the bus into town (around 45 minutes), we walked around and had lunch. A lot of flea markets and I did see 2 fabric stores (to my delight).
There's a Walmart on your way into the city if ever you want to buy something.(We bought booze as there's no duty free at the airport), snacks, souvenirs...
I needed to eat something else besides the buffet food; we tried VIPS (like Denny's) and El Vaquero (Steakhouse; be aware that it's closed on Monday which is the reason we tried VIPS). Good food (both close to the Walmart).
There's an area called La Boquita, lots of beachside restaurants and flea markets.
We decided to take a cab (70 pesos) to get there as we were told it would be a bit far by bus. We walked it back to the hotel so we could have easily walk there. Sad we didn't know about this place earlier as we we're have gone a one more time.
I did have an incident; I dropped my earring in the bathroom sink drain...my husband went to the lobby hoping someone would understand the issue. Someone came right away even if it was around 9pm and got my earring.
The Sunwing rep Francisco was very nice and helpfull with translation or questionns when we needed it.
Loved our stay
We loved our two week stay at Gran Festivall Resort in Manzanillo Mexico. Would I return for another visit? Without hesitation. Would I recommend it to friends and families? I would.
Of course, when we booked two weeks at this establishment we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into but we are very happy with the outcome.
At first glance the place appears a little run-down: floor tiles are worn, taps drip, and the A.C. is noisy at times. However, these impressions quickly became insignificant because the service and friendliness of the staff are so exceptional. It seems the quality of accommodation is a bit "hit or miss." We were okay with our unit but we met other people who asked to be moved to other units (mold or accessibility issues).
The resort mostly caters to Mexican families that drive down from Guadalajara: babies, children, parents and grandparents. We were struck by how well behaved the Mexican children are (we haven't witnessed one temper tantrum) and how attentive and affectionate the Mexican parents are. ðŸ˜Š
The main pool is at least 50 meters and L-shaped, and there is a smaller "adults only" pool where some hang-out and drink, but is also quite swimmable. A special nod to Fernando, the bar tender, who was always attentive and good-humoured. We heard from other guests that the tennis courts are world-class and one couple we spoke with visit annually just to play tennis.
We met several fellow Canadians who are repeat visitors to the resort. One retired couple were staying for a month for the twelfth year in a row. Another family was paying their fifth visit because there are so many activities for the children and the value for money is so good.
The Pacific Ocean is across the street, reachable by an overpass. Get there early if you want a seat under an umbrella. Vendors selling everything from jewelry to coffee cups to sun dresses walk up and down the beach, but they aren't aggressive and they move on when you nod "no". That said, being continuously interrupted does get wearing after a few days and we stopped visiting the beach except for our morning walk.
And the food! OMG, delicious. There is a lunch restaurant on the beach that serves wonderful fresh seafood. There is a big Mexican buffet open on the weekends when the place gets busy, and a smaller buffet through the week with oodles of fresh fruit, veggies, tacos, beans, pasta, stew, tamales, etc. Finally there is a more upscale Italian restaurant named Confetti when you want something a little special.
One day we took the local bus into Manzanillo Center. Buskers get on for a few stops entertaining the commuters. We were preached to, there was a guitarist singing off-key and then a couple of young men in clown makeup doing a skit. One has to admire the entrepreneurial spirit of these people.
The only downside for me is that I attract those nasty little mosquitos. My partner doesn't have a single bite, while my legs are covered with toonie-sized itchy welts. They find that micro spot the insect repellant missed. ðŸ˜¢
Finally, the climate here on the Pacific coast is so very pleasant: a steady 30 degrees with a gentle breeze off the ocean so you never feel uncomfortable. You'd better believe we'll be visiting this part of the world again.
Left after 1st night
We travelled to Manzanillo from Feb 10 - 17, 2016 and booked through Sunwing at the Gran Festival Resort knowing that it was not the best resort to go to (just read some of the reviews, but we received such a great deal (820 CDN each). All that being said, this place is terrible (of what I saw of it). We were placed in room 127; there is a terrible sewer smell in this unit that comes and goes; black mold around the air conditioning and the beautiful view is of the tennis court fence! The bathrooms (there are 2 of them) are old and tiles are chipped; there was no fridge in the unit. The bed was decent and clean. There were not very many other Canadians staying there and of the few couples that we met; they had booked for 2 weeks and had said "we are making the best of it". We arrived later in the afternoon and once they took us to our room, started walking around the complex. I like walking as much as anyone, but when it is 30 degrees and hotter out, it gets a little tiring. There is a lot of walking involved here - I mean a lot of walking!! We had a snack at the main pool snack bar, a piece of cold pizza and attempted a burger that had been sitting out for who knows how long! The staff were constantly asking us if we wanted another drink. We found the adult pool which I have to say is the best part of this resort. A small bar there with a great bartender, Fernando, who speaks very good english, so if you decide to stay here, go there and get whatever information you need. Most of the other staff on the resort speak very little english and some of the front desk staff are a little rude!
Long story short - we met with the Sunwing rep the next morning and asked to be transferred. Sunwing did transfer us but we couldn't move until the following day, so we stayed here 2 nights.
The beach restaurant had some great fried fish the afternoon we were there. But there were absolutely no seats in the Gran Festival area, so we were hustled down to another area, where we had to pay a couple of bucks for each beer we had (which is not really the idea of an all inclusive). The waves and beach in this area are fantastatic!!
I would never book this resort again and unless you are a family with children I don't know why you would come here. It is very Mexican oriented resort and a very large resort! Never saw the water slides or zip line being used for the 2 days we were there!
Be smart - book the Tesoro Hotel or some where else!
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