Grand Isla Navidad Resort
What We Love
- Access to the beach and the lagoon, plus a swimming pool and a swim-up bar
- The 27-hole championship golf course
- European feel, with spacious rooms and suites, and views of the pool and mountains
What To Know
- A $15 daily service charge will be collected upon checkout from Jetsetter
- Kids club onsite, but the better for couples and older families
- Closest airport is in Manzanillo, about 20 miles away
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Grand Bay combines Old World charm with unbeatable access to sand and sea. You can sip margaritas, relax on the beach, or take a dip in the protected lagoon or the rollicking Pacific Ocean. Sunsets and sunrises are especially lovely here, and thanks to four restaurants and 199 guestrooms, there’s space for families and couples alike to sprawl out and soak up the sun.
Bed & Bath
A French Provincial look prevails throughout the resort. Painted in peach and terra-cotta, guestrooms are a uniform 516 square feet and have balconies that overlook the lagoon, ocean and nearby mountains. Thoughtful extras include a welcome fruit and candy tray filled with local produce and house-made cookies, and the enormous marble bathrooms have tubs or showers.
The resort’s restaurants range from casual to gourmet and offer European, American and Mexican fare. There’s a flair for dramatic presentation at Antonio’s Restaurant; the tableside creation of the Caesar salad is as much about showmanship as cuisine. As you would expect, seafood is plentiful on the menus, and the soft, sweet Mexican breads and a breakfast of hearty chilaquiles are not to be missed. The center of activity during the hottest parts of the day is the swimming pool, which has a swim-up bar. There’s also a large hot tub at the main pool for adults. For kids there’s also a raft of fun activities at the Club de Niños, including crab hunting, ping-pong, movies and pool volleyball.
How to Get There
As part of a group attending to a wedding, I had the best service at La Plazuela restaurant by Gustavo Magaña. On the second day of luch, we were incorrectly informed about the a la carte menu. Gustavo was apologetic about the mistake made by another waitress and ensured we were threated with excellent service. He serviced our table more than one day during our stance at this resort, and he was "the best" in customer service. People like him makes you want to come back to this resort.
A guest from California
The hotel is beautiful! We drove in and got a bit confused driving through the Isla Navidad security gate. It confused us because on the outside it says "Grand Bay Hotel". The bell hops were very welcoming and offered us tips on the hotel grounds, restaurants in Barra de Navidad, and nearby beaches. After our welcome drinks, we headed to our room. The room was impeccably clean with fantastic views of the marina. The room had a coffee maker, water, mini fridge, TV, sitting area, couch, balcony, and a very comfortable bed. The spacious bathroom had a tub and shower, hair dryer, toilet and bidet.
The rate included a buffet breakfast that had everything you can think of, including a smoothie bar. Our server remembered us from the previous morning (we stayed 2 nights) and knew which one of us wanted coffee served. He was very attentive and made his rounds to make sure we were still doing ok.
There is a 24 hour ferry that takes you Barra and Colimilla and costs $30MN roundtrip. You pay on arrival. The restaurants in Colimilla close earlier than those in Barra. The offer jet ski rentals, canoes, and other water activities and tours, but we did not partake. They also have tennis courts, but I am not sure if they have rackets and balls to rent. Their beach area is very nice and we sat there one evening to enjoy the sunset.
The only disappointment was the two girls at the reception desk who were completely useless. I can't remember their names, but one of them wore glasses. I asked them to please help with the Bancomer ATM machine (behind the bell desk and in front of the reception) because it wasn't giving me cash. She asked the bell hop to help out and he said he had no idea how that works. Why ask the bell hop? We finally figured out on our own that you have to request smaller quantities in order for the ATM to work. The following day, we wanted to go to the pool but the towel person had left. I went to reception, which was a closer walk than going to the room, again the two useless girls. The one in the glasses told me to get it at the pool and I told her that the towel person was already gone. Long story short, I went to my room to get the towels. Aside from that, a wonderful stay.
We stayed April 4-11, 2018, first visit to the area. Sunwing reservation and trip. No issues with Sunwing flight. Transfer from hotel to resort. One stop at another hotel before departure to Grand Isla. Arrived at Isla and one luggage missing. After few minutes, concierge found that they dropped off in error at previous resort. Within two hours, luggage was returned. Excellent turn around and service on that point.
We were appointed room 700 (smoking allowed). It was the top floor, far corner - perfect location with view of Marina and great sunshine. Large room, king bed, table, sofa, coffee machine and clean bathroom (large as well). With Sunwing, mini-bar not included (so be careful). They only provide 2 small bottles of water per day free of charge, if need to take from mini-bar (39 pesos). At the marina, they have a convenience store that sells 1.5 littres for 20 pesos (fyi).
Wi-Fi very poor - hit or miss. Very disappointing.
Adult pool, located 10th floor (back side of resort) has no bar (closed). This was a shame given it looked quite relaxing, but far from regular main pool bar to run and get drinks. Very few Canadian/US travelers while we were there - seems to be focused on Mexican families.
Buffet Breakfast. Indicates 7am opening, but staff were not prepared to make you eggs at that time. We needed to request (another disappointment). FYI, even though you are on an all inclusive package, they provide you with a bill at the end of each meal for signing (with your names and room number printed). They don't charge in the end, but strange. No issues with this process given it's open to lots of different types of travelers (most are non-all inclusive). Food was good. Buffet is small (perhaps it was low season), but no concerns with choices or anything.
Antonio's: Service excellent. Beautiful atmosphere (very rich). Great great food. Lamb out of this world as well as Angus steak. Ambiance very romantic. Tremendously enjoyed our dinners here. Thank you.
Japanese Restaurant: Service extremely slow. It took 45 minutes after arriving and after having to ask where our entres were for them to be brought to us. Food arrived, no utensils. Main plate arrived (they didn't have what was on the menu so offered sord fish, which is fine) however it arrived tremendously undercooked. At that point, being very disappointed and hungry, we left and did not book any of our other reservations at that restaurant.
Lobby Bar opens at 5. This is where my biggest disappointment lies. Staff unfriendly. Sit around playing on their phones (as a group - 3 or 4 huddled together) paying no attention to customers. I found this behavior unacceptable for an establishment that rates themselves as top notch. They see your all inclusive bracelet and you are done - terrible service and very unfriendly. The piano player plays, which is relaxing, but after 7 nights, you'd think they'd liven up the place. When he was not playing, music videos played on the TV behind the bar (not great music either). We asked for bottled beer and were told we were not allowed because we were on an all inclusive plan - only draft. So they open a larger bottle (same exact beer) and poor it into glasses - very strange.
During our stay, it was extremely quiet. Very few people. Pool very cold - too cold to actually swim (my personal opinion). Weather however was absolutely fantastic (mid 40s entire week, not an ounce of rain).
Checkout was smooth, except the bill we received. I understand the mini-bar thing (it was clear in Sunwing description), however charges (although small 42 pesos for Antonio's did not reside well). Didn't bother to mention anything, cause it was minimal, but none-the-less, bothered me.
Reception/main attendant excellent service and behavior - Thank you.
I will not likely return only due to the fact that I don't typically go back to same resort after I've been, however if you are looking for a quiet holiday, a chance to reconnect with someone and don't mind the solitude, then I would recommend this resort.
Let’s start with the positives- this place is beautiful! Staff were friendly and most of them had some English. The included breakfast buffet had an incredible number of choices and everything I tried was delicious. The restaurant by the pool had delicious food that could be delivered to your pool lounger.
While the water taxi to Barra de Navidad isn’t included in the hotel price, for 30 pesos round trip with 24 hour service, it is an incredible value and allows many more choices to eat and shop. Tip: if stairs are difficult for you, go out the front door by the lobby and someone will drive you down to the water taxi via golf cart.
The hotel is built in several buildings going up the side of the hill, and so many times you cannot get somewhere directly. From our room on the 5th floor to the breakfast restaurant, also on the 5th floor, we had to go up to the 6th floor and then back down again. Friends who were on the 10th floor had to take 2 different elevators to get to the 6th floor (lobby level).
The inconsistent: Scuba is advertised as available. However no one I asked seemed to have any information and the closest PADI shop I was able to find was in Manzanillo which was time prohibitive for me. The resort has been renamed in the past few years but is still using old collateral, so items weren’t available or were made inconsistently- the same drink at the pool bar tasted and looked differently on 2 different days. We had dinner one night in the restaurant that has the breakfast and one half of our party had drink orders taken but never received them, and plates of food were brought and set at the serving station to get cold for long enough that someone got up and physically found a server to ask them if that was our food and get it delivered.
Some individuals checking in had a credit authorization placed on both people’s credit card, others only had 1 auth for much less money places. With credit card fraud always a concern these days, the practice of writing down the full credit card info including digits in the back to the pre-auth receipt did not inspire confidence, although nothing untoward happened to anyone I was traveling with.
We were on the bed&breakfast plan which included breakfast each day, so I cannot speak to the all-inclusive package.
We had our wedding here at Isla Navidad and all of our guests were amazed at the beauty of the place and loved the service. It’s truly a hidden gem. Everyone in the resort and even the nearby towns are so friendly and will go out of their way to show you around and make sure you have a good time. It’s a little isolated but that’s what makes it so special and relaxing. We had the best week and will definitely be coming back!