For our second night in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we opted to stay at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. I currently have status with Hyatt so I wanted to do a little Hyatt hotel hopping while we were there. We stayed at the Thompson Playa del Carmen the first night which was pretty interesting so make sure you read about it here if you’re thinking about booking. Originally. we were planning on staying all three nights at Thompson but so glad that we moved because the Grand Hyatt was a truly amazing resort.
COST OF STAYING AT THE GRAND HYATT PLAYA DEL CARMEN
For this property, I had the choice of either paying the regular rate or booking on Hyatt points. This hotel is a Category 6 hotel so it would have cost me 25,000 points. In my mind, I don’t think spending 25,000 points is worth it when a regular room only costs $230 ($310 after fees/taxes). If I’m going to be redeeming 25,000 points, I hope to be saving around $450-$500. So, for this night, I opted to pay the regular room rate. Also, since I now have my Globalist status, I don’t have to pay any resorts fees on eligible rates so I get to save a little bit of money there too.
REVIEW OF THE GRAND HYATT PLAYA DEL CARMEN
// LOCATION //
The hotel is located a little further away from where all the restaurants and clubs are, but still a manageable 10-minute walk if you want to go to the city center. Unlike the Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House, this hotel fronts the beach so you will have beach access. With that being said, the beach portion is very small. I would say there’s probably only 10′ feet of beach/sand from the edge of the hotel to the edge of the water.
Also, the hotel is right next to Coralina Beach Club if you’re looking for someplace to party and day drink. We can actually see the day club from our unit but it’s not part of the Grand Hyatt. You’ll actually have to exit the hotel and walk around to get to the entrance of the club. We did go visit but it was kind of dead. We didn’t have to pay cover and got a free table. The only requirement was that we had to spend a certain amount on food which we were planning on doing anyway. I assume we got in for free because it wasn’t busy. If you plan on going on a busy day, be prepared to maybe pay a cover.
// ROOM //
Since we got upgraded to a suite (more info down below), we got to stay in this magnificent room on the top floor facing the ocean. There were no rooms below us and no rooms above us. The portion that we were on made this kind of bridge that connected both sides together which I thought was very cool. The room consisted of a bedroom, living room, bathroom, walk-in shower, bathtub, and outdoor patio. The outdoor patio is where you’ll probably be spending most of your time.
// FOOD //
Alas, we did not get to enjoy any of the restaurants at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. We really wanted to try The Grill at 1-26 but they were close the night we were there. We ended up going back into town to have dinner since none of the other restaurants on-site sounded that interesting. However, we did go to La Cocina for afternoon drinks and breakfast the next day. I’ll go into more detail down below since it has more to do with my Hyatt benefits.
// POOL + SPA //
I would say that the pool and spa are the stars of the show at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. There are so many different pools that you can go out and explore that it makes you feel like a little kid again. Also, when I saw pictures of this spa, I definitely wanted to go and check it out. The prices also weren’t that bad in comparison to what you would have to pay at a hotel spa in the states. If I remember correctly, an 80-minute massage was about $120 USD. Back at home, this would easily be $300.
// SERVICE //
The service here was top-notch from check-in to check-out. Especially the servers at La Cocina. They were very polite and super attentive whenever we needed something. The spa attendants were also great. They let us check out the spa before we committed to booking which I thought was really good customer service. Overall, it seemed that everybody knew what they were doing and there were no mishaps during our stay.
// COVID //
At the time of this post, you are required to show proof of a negative covid test (antigen or PCR) taken 72 hours or less before your return U.S flight. If you are staying at the Grand Hyatt for at least three nights, they will provide two complementary antigen tests. If you are not staying three nights or have more than two people, each antigen test is $35+ tax. Please check with your airline what test you are required to take. We flew Alaska Airlines and were only required to do the basic antigen test. If you are required to do the more comprehensive PCR, just note that it’s more expensive at around $125/test. You can find more info on this flyer here.
WHO SHOULD STAY AT THE GRAND HYATT PLAYA DEL CARMEN?
You should stay here if you are a couple or a family or even if you’re with friends. This hotel is much quieter than the loud party noise that you’d get at the Thompson. This hotel is huge so there’s a lot of places for you to roam around and explore. There’s even an adult pool away from the kid pools if you want to be in your own separate area. I think this is an all-around great hotel/resort that anyone can enjoy.
HYATT STATUS BENEFITS – GLOBALIST
An interesting story to this is that when we were at Thompson (the day before), I was a Hyatt Explorist (middle tier). The day we checked out, I noticed that I finally reached my Hyatt Globalist (top tier) status. I knew my status was going to change soon since I took a trip the week before but my nights hadn’t been credited to my account yet. I was hoping and praying that it would kick in by the time we stayed at the Thompson but it didn’t. Luckily though, it did kick in for the rest of our trip so I was extremely happy with that.
I called the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen right when I found out to make sure that their system was updated to show that I was a Globalist. Even though we were checking into the hotel in a couple of hours, I still wanted to make sure to hopefully get a better room upgrade. The person who picked up the phone was super nice and courteous and he immediately updated the system with my Globalist status. He also informed me that I’ve been upgraded to a suite and it reflected on my Hyatt app immediately. At this point, I was ecstatic. Let’s get this vacation going!
// UPGRADE //
Originally, we booked a regular room with a King Bed. I noticed beforehand on my Hyatt app that they upgraded me to a “King Bed with Partial Ocean View” when I had my Explorist status. In my opinion, I don’t think it was that amazing of an upgrade. There were a lot of rooms that could have been a better upgrade like the ones with plunge pools on the balcony or rooms where there’s a swim-up pool. The Partial Ocean View room felt more like an upgrade for the Discoverist (lowest tier) status than an Explorist (middle tier) but that’s just my opinion.
Once they updated their system to my Globalist (highest tier) status, we were able to be upgraded to Grand Suite King (Room 545). There are 314 rooms and only 36 suites. I’ve heard that it’s actually really hard to get upgraded to a suite since there are only a few so I felt extremely lucky. Also, it could be that we were just staying one night so it’s easier for them to upgrade us to a nicer suite. I’m not sure what the other suites look like but I thought we probably had one of the best suites on the property. We were on the top floor and dead center so we had unobstructed views of the ocean and could see everything happening beneath us.
// GLOBALIST BREAKFAST //
By being a Hyatt Globalist, you are supposed to get some sort of free breakfast. Since the Grand Club was not operating during our stay due to COVID, our breakfast benefit was replaced with the buffet at La Cocina. Usually, I would be ecstatic for a buffet, but I think this place missed the mark. The food was bland and nothing was really hot or cold. The only good thing I would say was our service. All of our servers were very nice and super fast.
// CLUB ACCESS //
Again, the Grand Club Lounge was not open during our stay due to COVID so all of our benefits were honored at La Cocina. This was really a bummer since I was actually looking forward to the lounge. Usually, we would go for cocktail hour and get a couple of light snacks before dinner. Since it was closed, they told us that we could order drinks from La Cocina instead.
I thought this was a fair trade until the waiter dropped us a check at the end. Everything was free but they did leave what the total amount would have been if you were actually going to pay for it. Essentially, it was for you to know how much you are supposed to tip. I thought this wasn’t really fair since if we were at the lounge, we would be serving ourselves. Either way, we tipped and went on our way. If anyone is thinking of doing the cocktail hour though, I would suggest skipping it. The wines were horrible. If you want hard liquor then it might be worth it.
// WAIVED RESORT FEES //
I can confirm that they waved the resort fees. As a matter of fact, I found out later that they waived the parking fee too. Usually, Globalists only get waived parking fees when you book with points so I was surprised that they waived it for my paid stay. Or maybe it was just a mistake but it made me happy either way!
// LATE CHECK-OUT //
As a Globalist, you usually get late check-out until 4:00 pm. Unfortunately, since we had a suite, they needed our room back and could only give us until 2:00 pm. They did offer us a regular room though where we can leave all of our stuff and have someplace to rest and change until 6:00 pm. I thought this was very generous of them! I’ve never been offered this before and thought how amazing it was for them to even suggest. We ended up not needing the extra room since check-in time was 3:00 pm at our next hotel anyways.
The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen exceeded my expectations and more. I can’t believe how amazing the property is and how great of a room we got. I absolutely love the amenities on-site and wish I had more time to enjoy them. I will definitely be back here again and hopefully, stay for a longer period of time. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!