The Grand at Moon Palace: What does it REALLY include?

So we just got back from The Grand at Moon Palace, an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, and I have two VERY important words for you: FREE MARGARITAS. I shit you not. They were FREEEEE… unless you consider the fact that you paid a crapload to go there in the first place. So are they really free? No. But do they seem free once you’re there? Abso-F’ing-lutely. And that is an awesome feeling on vacation. 

Yup, this was our first time at an all-inclusive resort like this, and if you’ve ever considered one, I highly recommend reading THIS post. Not someone else’s post who’s paid to write a review or only writes the good stuff. Nope, you know me… I’m HONEST. I like my churros sugarcoated, not my blog posts.  

So here goes. Here are ten things you’ll get when you visit the Grand at Moon Palace:

1. A HUMONGOUS resort

Like seriously, if size matters, this place wins. At first, I was like aggghh, I don’t even know where the beach is. But after about 12 hours, I started to get the hang of the place. I highly recommend taking a walk from one pool to the next just to get the lay of the land. I also recommend getting a drink at every bar you pass along the way.

2. FREE food!!!!

Free buffets, free gelato, free sit-down dinners, free poolside ice cream, etc etc etc. Seriously, you never have to think about the price of anything. Which is awesome because it means your kids will never get hangry and they can try all kinds of new stuff.

WAITOR: Would you like to see the dessert menu tonight?

ME: Nope. We’ll just take one of everything!

And don’t feel guilty for doing it. You PAID for it.

3. An okay water park

Is this the best water park we’ve ever gone to? Not at all. But did Holden love having a water park right outside his hotel room? He sure did. Here is the honest truth about this water park.

If you have little kids, the splash pads look awesome. If you have medium-bigger kids, the rides are limited but fun. There’s a good-size lazy river full of urine, uhhh, I mean water, and there are 2 waterslides. I mean technically speaking there are 6, but the 2 tube ones are the same and the 4 raft ones are the same, so really there are 2 different slides. P.S. If you look up the resort, a lot of older videos and pictures show many waterslides that aren’t there anymore. Don’t be fooled. 

FYIs about the tube slides:

A. It’s a 2-seater tube, so your kid will need a partner. If you have an only child, go have some unprotected sex right now so you don’t have to ride it with your kid 20,000 times.

B. Close your eyes before the sprayers or they might dislodge your eyeballs.

C. 90% of the riders do not make it over the hump at the bottom, so you will probably have to climb out of the raft in the middle of the waterslide. It just adds an element of hilarity to this ride.

Holden pulling his grandma over the hump!

We miraculously made it over the hump the 1st time, but I got stuck every time after that.

FYIs about the raft slides:

If you like having a firehose sprayed straight in your face, you are going to LOVE these slides. I highly recommend keeping your eyes closed. On second thought, keep all orifices closed so you don’t get a full-body enema. 

P.S. The cement at the waterpark is a lawsuit waiting to happen. It is slippery AF. Be careful. Seriously, I saw so many people wipe out, they could literally film an entire episode of AFV there. 

4. A Sports and Fun Pool (exactly what it sounds like!)

If you have older kids, the sports and fun pool is AWESOME. You just pop open your resort app (yes, the resort has its own app!) and you can see the scheduled activities for each day. A water balloon volleyball game, a mechanical bull, daily bingo, even workout classes in the pool. Like they literally put the spinning bikes IN the water!!!! And they had a yoga class on paddleboards! You can drink a pina colada and work off your pina colada at the same time. Don’t try that at home, people. Seriously, I did it at 24-Hour Fitness, and the instructor kept giving me funny looks.  

5. A SHIT TON of people if you go over a holiday break

So here’s the thing, when you go online, you’ll see a video of a pristine resort with a few people frolicking in turquoise pools. Ennnh, not if you go over Christmas break. This place was a madhouse. When we stepped into the lobby, I was like holy crap, someone get me a paper bag to breathe into. Instead, this guy handed me a margarita and everything got better immediately. But seriously, if you go over a break, pack your patience, people. Checking in might take a while, your room might not get cleaned unless you call housekeeping, and be sure to reserve your pool seats by 10am every day. But hey, you’re on vacation in Mexico so who’s complaining?

6. Restaurants out the wazoo (and I don’t mean that in a Montezuma’s Revenge kinda way)

There were soooo many awesome restaurants to choose from. Mexican, Italian, Asian, Indian, a steakhouse, etc. The breakfast buffet was GREAT, especially the chilaquiles (breakfast nachos!!!!). My hubby and I loved Riviera Maya (on the golf course so it’s peaceful). And our family loved Los Tacos (a poolside restaurant!). P.S. The gelato place is amazing (don’t miss the homemade crepes and macaroons).

Zoey tried (and LOVED) pork bao buns at a restaurant called Jade.

Riviera Maya had welcome margaritas and freshly made tortillas!

A couple of FYIs:

We drank the water, had ice in our drinks, and had zero problems. Muhahahaha, the revenge is on you, Montezuma.

Most of the restaurants do not take reservations. A few of them do, but they were booked solid. Someone we know was able to get a reservation by slipping the host a Micky. Wait, not a Micky. A Jackson or a Hamilton. Anyways, some bill of money. But we just made sure to get to restaurants by like 5:45 to beat the rush, otherwise, it was like an 1 ½ hour wait (not an exaggeration).

7. A Kids’ club

I have no F’ing idea what it looks like. You guys, something glorious happened on this trip. My kids are finally old enough to walk around without me, so they went into this huge building and never came out. Well, eventually they did. But they disappeared for an hour or two. Supposedly there’s a ropes course, bumper cars, a soccer simulator, miniature golf and a bunch of other awesome stuff I never saw. I’m mean sure your kids will probably come out with ebola, but you’ll get a few hours to yourself. #worthit 

8. A gorgeous room

The rooms are fantabulous! And HUGE. My friend had two nice rollaway beds brought into theirs and they were able put them on the lower level so the kids were apart from the adults. Amazing! And the room has a Nespresso maker, a drawer with snacks, and a fully-stocked fridge. Just don’t drink the stuff that looks like sparkling water because it is not sparkling water and I spit it across the room. 

What the room looks like on their website

Reality! Pretty close to their picture!

Why am I not showing up in the reflection?!!! Creeeepyyyy.

9. Bars bars bars and more bars

There’s a bar pretty much everywhere you look. And twice as many once you’re seeing double. I lovvvvved the mango margarita, and my kids lovvvved the mango tangos. I also had a mudslide at the lobby bar that was deeeeelicious. Almost every pool has a swim-up bar, and there’s a speakeasy downstairs that’s pretty cool. And don’t forget to tip your bartender (and housekeepers, waitstaff, golf cart drivers, etc!). Tipping isn’t mandatory… but neither is being a nice person.

Did people look at me funny when I licked the glass clean? Yes. Did I care? No.


P.S. Stop at the bank before you go to pick up a stack of ones for tips. The people who work at the resort are ridiculously nice and they work their tails off. I figure if I can afford a vacation like this, I can afford to say thank you.

I feel like I robbed a bank!

10. Insanity at the airport

Remember how I said to pack your patience at the beginning? Well, get it out again because holy crap is the airport a shitshow. At least it was on Christmas Eve when we flew out. If you see an empty seat in the terminal, sit down immediately because you might not see another one. If you need to go to the bathroom, go early because the line was 30 people long the entire time. And don’t forget to grab sandwiches and macaroons from the resort to bring with you to the airport. I’m sure the airport food is fine, but I’ll tell you what it’s not. Free.

A picture of immigration on the way in. It went surprisingly fast! I’d say about 20-30 minutes.

And don’t forget to pick up some of our favorite water!

And like pretty much every vacation we go on, I have one major complaint. It had to end and we had to go back to reality! I hope you enjoyed my very honest review of The Grand at Moon Palace, and if you want more honest reviews, please support this post. Muchas gracias! 

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There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Karin at 8:15 pm

    We went to Hootiefest last year at Sunrise and absolutely LOVED it!

  2. Laura at 5:42 pm

    We were at The Grand the same time as you!! The main building felt like a shopping mail on Black Friday! ¡Holy Oleo Batman! This was our 3rd trip to The Grand — always the same week. It has never been like that before. Too stressful! Not sure if we will go back!