The beachfront Grand Oasis Tulum, formerly known as Be Live Grand Riviera Maya and now referred to by Oasis as “the calm resort”, is situated just south of Akumal (guests can either walk one hr. north or take a five-minute colectivo or taxi ride into town). The resort setting is a special treat for snorkelers–since the reef is only a third of a mile from shore, abundant marine life including turtles and rays can be seen in the clear, generally calm waters right off the beach. Snorkelers wanting additional nearby opportunities can either head up to Akumal for world class snorkeling with sea turtles, or walk 20 min. south on the Bahia Principe property and snorkel there as well. Not into snorkeling? The pier is available for guests to view some of the fish which congregate around the pilings.
While Grand Oasis Tulum used to be an upgraded section within Oasis Tulum, the parent company recently decided to combine them both for a more seamless resort experience (the entire resort is now called Grand Oasis Tulum). The most current upgraded section within the entire property is the beachfront Sian Ka’an section with in-room Jacuzzi tubs, updated furnishings, and several complimentary amenities which cost extra for non-upgraded guests. The “budget” section of the entire resort is (and always has been) known as the “Casa Club” or “Fun rooms” (always bring a copy of the original booking confirmation to help ensure appropriate room assignment). Since the Casa Club is a ten-min. walk west of the beach, golf carts are available to provide transportation to and fro along with complimentary bicycle use–the Casa Club is undergoing a renovation which may improve its appeal. Guests staying in this section should be aware that resort accessibility is limited and not all restaurants and bars can be utilized. NOTE: While Canadian guests, particularly those who book through Sunwing, often seem to be unknowingly assigned to the Casa Club guest rooms, guests from other countries can be placed in this section as well when the resort is overbooked.
While the Casa Club has its own lobby and check-in area, guests checking in at the main Grand Oasis Tulum lobby will find modern design touches and funky yet comfortable armchair choices. Mixed horizontal pillar and wall stripes blend nicely with polka-dotted fabrics, dark marble flooring, and pops of orange color; notice the leafless fluorescent orange tree, a trademark Oasis symbol used in many common areas in their resorts.
A nearby martini piano bar completes the interior space while large windows allow a partial view of the adults-only infinity pool with swim-up bar. This pool is only steps from the beach and offers loungers with palm trees for natural shade in the mornings; since the surrounding buildings provide shade in the afternoon, guests can easily move back and forth from the beach to work on their tan and get out of the sun when necessary.
If the adults-only infinity pool doesn’t appeal, there are several more pools to choose from including the following:
- the “spa pool” which is located on the non-beach side of the infinity pool. This pool has swan/cervical jets, a fountain, and an in-pool Jacuzzi. There is a flight of stairs which leads down from the infinity pool to this area.
- the “Grand pool” in the midst of the Sian Ka’an, Tulum, and Yaakun guest room buildings on the north side of the resort. This pool has swan/cervical jets, waterfalls, an in-pool Jacuzzi (non-heated), loungers, and sundeck cabanas (free for Sian Ka’an guests).
- the largest pool is on the south side of the resort and was previously known as the “Oasis Tulum pool”. This pool also has a swim-up bar, sundeck cabanas (free for Sian Ka’an guests), loungers, and shade palapas.
- the beachfront “condo pool” is adjacent to the condo units with guest rooms #4112-4343. There is not much here in the way of pool amenities.
Other places to enjoy water amenities include the two oceanfront Jacuzzis (non-heated), and the multiple rooftop plunge pools at Café del Mar. The rooftop pools are a great way to cool off while enjoying ocean views from behind plexiglass panels which also serve as wind barriers; Café del Mar has comfortable seating areas and a fully stocked bar.
As previously mentioned, this is a great resort for snorkelers (best to bring one’s own equipment or be prepared to spend money on a rental), but not the best for ocean swimmers. Ocean entry can be somewhat rocky so be sure to bring water shoes. Loungers, cabanas (free for Sian Ka’an guests), and shade palapas line the beach with its soft sand while those who enjoy long beach walks can do so in either direction–bring sturdy shoes for the rougher bits though. Look for the onsite dive shop if interested in booking diving or snorkeling excursions; water sports enthusiasts can check out kayaks and paddle boards on the beach.
While it is called “the calm resort”, there are still various activities which are offered including two tennis courts, a multi-purpose sports court, a pitch ‘n putt, pool tables, foosball table, and sports bar over by the Casa Club area of the resort. The theater and other onsite venues hold evening entertainment options, but the resort does get quiet by 11 p.m.
The Grand Oasis Tulum has several additional perks they are offering for their guests–use of a Smart Car depending on availability, the opportunity to visit other Oasis resorts called the Oasis Runaway Program (notify the concierge which resort you would like to visit, transportation is extra), and a complimentary shuttle to Playa del Carmen which includes stops at a jewelry store and small tequila factory.
Since the Grand Oasis Tulum has “absorbed” Oasis Tulum, resort amenities are open to most guests unlike its previous policy. However, given the upgraded Sian Ka’an section and the budget section, Casa Club, potential guests should know there are still some restrictions in effect including the following:
Casa Club or “Fun Rooms”:
- guests have access to the buffet (Arrecifes), Mr. Wimpy snack bar, and three a la cartes (Sarape–Mexican food, Dos Lunas–Italian food, and Akeru Asia Lounge–sushi bar)
- guests have access to six bars (Sarape bar, Sarape swim-up bar, Akeru Beach Bar, theater bar, cigar bar, and the sports bar which happens to be in the Casa Club section of the resort). Domestic and select international brands of alcohol and house wines are included in the all-inclusive package.
- not eligible for the Oasis Runaway program
- not eligible for Café del Mar rooftop amenities
Grand Oasis Tulum Non-Upgraded Rooms (non-Sian Ka’an rooms):
- no private check-in/out
- no early check-in/late check-out
- extra cost for resort internet, in-room safe, and mini-bar daily refills
- no robe and slippers
- while all guests must pay insurance for the Smart Car rental, non-upgraded guests pay full rental fee
Grand Oasis Tulum is presently in a state of transition with the blending of the two resorts and, as such, should be expected to change a policy or two along the way. An example of this would be the cabanas around the property which used to be first-come first-served. Now it appears they are complimentary for Sian Ka’an guests but will be an extra charge for non-upgraded guests–this kind of policy change would seem to require cabana sign-ups, so inquire at check-in what the current procedure is if interested.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Snorkeling from the beach, rooftop bar/plunge pools, multiple pools, free lobby WiFi
Con: Extra amenity fees, not all rooms have balconies, room renovations needed, purchased WiFi good for one device only. Also, Canadian guests traveling via Sunwing seem to unknowingly get assigned a room in the Casa Club section–watch for overbookings as well.
Best Suited For: Couples, families with children ages 4-8, snorkelers
No. of Rooms: 275
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, small table and two chairs, non-digital safe, mini-bar (sometimes with only two water bottles, depending on room category), flat screen TV, telephone, ceiling fan, hairdryer, shower, and toiletries. Room service is from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has a delivery/service charge. While lobby WiFi is free, service in other resort areas is an extra cost. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories of the Casa Club as well as the Grand Oasis Tulum:
(Casa Club/Fun Rooms):
- Superior Casa Room: King or two dbl beds. Mini-bar consists of two water bottles daily.
- Superior Family Casa Room: Two dbl beds, living room area with sofa bed. Mini-bar consists of two water bottles daily.
- Family Casa Suite: Separate bedroom with king or two dbl beds, living room area with sofa bed. Mini-bar consists of two water bottles daily.
- NOTE: While upper floor rooms lack a balcony, ground floor rooms offer a terrace with two chairs and a table.
(Grand Oasis Tulum)
- Grand Garden View: King or two dbl beds, armchair and ottoman, alarm clock, tub/shower combo. Some rooms have balconies. Garden or pool view.
- Grand Pool View: King or two dbl beds, alarm clock, tub/shower combo. Some rooms have balconies.
- Grand Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, alarm clock, tub/shower combo. Ground floor rooms have a terrace with shade palapa and two loungers. Ocean view.
- Honeymoon Suite: King bed, alarm clock, tub/shower combo, upgraded furnishings. Balcony with ocean view.
- Oasis Sian Ka’an Club: King or two dbl beds, in-room Jacuzzi, upgraded furnishings, Bvlgari toiletries, mini-bar refilled daily, free room safe and resort WiFi, discounted Smart Car. There are five Master Suites within this category with more interior space. Oceanfront. NOTE: Not all Sian Ka’an rooms are on the ground floor; while upper rooms do not have a balcony, ground floor rooms have a terrace with shade palapa and two loungers steps from the beach.
- NOTE: Not all buildings have elevator access. The Sian Ka’an guest room building has one elevator.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Five pools (adults-only infinity pool with swim-up bar, spa pool, Grand Oasis Tulum pool, main Oasis Tulum pool with swim-up bar, and condo pool), multiple plunge pools at Café del Mar, two beachfront Jacuzzis (non-heated), spa with Temazcal, beauty salon, fitness center, bicycles, tennis courts/multi-purpose sports court/pitch ‘n putt/sports bar at the Casa Club area, dive shop, theater, pool and beach wait service, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), Smart Car use, complimentary shuttle service to/from Casa Club and main lobby, Oasis Runaway Program, complimentary shuttle to Playa del Carmen, concierge, gift shop, photo shop, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: Dining options vary according to the vacationer’s guest room category. Casa Club guests may eat at the buffet (Arrecifes), Mr. Wimpy’s snack bar, and three a la cartes including Italian (Dos Lunas), Mexican (Sarape), and sushi bar (Akeru Asia Lounge). Grand Oasis Tulum guests may eat at the buffet (Arrecifes), two snack bars (Mr. Wimpy’s and Hippie Chic’s Grill), and eight a la cartes including Mexican gourmet (Careyes–adults-only), Mexican (Sarape), Mexican Japanese fusion (Maki Taco), Italian (Dos Lunas), seafood (Cocoa), steak and grill (Al Sur), and two sushi bars (Nori and Akeru Asia Lounge). Reservations are required at all a la cartes with the exception of Sarape and the sushi bars (reservations can be made from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lobby on a daily basis). Grand guests also have access to Coffee and Me, a coffee and dessert bar, while the lobby hosts tea time at 5 p.m. There are nine bars including the lobby martini piano bar, two swim-up bars, rooftop bar, cigar bar, theater bar, Akeru bar, Sarape bar, and the sports bar over at the Casa Club section. Top-shelf liquor is an extra cost even for Sian Ka’an guests; some of the bars’ top-shelf liquor is actually on the top tier of displayed liquor bottles for easier identification of what costs extra. Ask the bartender to make sure.
Entertainment: There is nightly entertainment, but not all of it is shown in the theater. There are also poolside and beach performances, mariachi bands, and the sports bar at the Casa Club.