Wednesday,  February 21, 2024 2:16 PM 

The many faces of Oasis Hotels & Resorts

The many faces of Oasis Hotels & Resorts
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

PAX EXCLUSIVE: This month, Oasis Hotels and Resorts invited more than a dozen agents to show what’s new with a number of their Cancun properties.

Over the last couple of years they’ve spent millions on updates, while allowing each location to maintain its own flavour. Some of their properties have earned reputations for being spring break meccas, while others cater to business travellers or family fun. Here’s PAX’s quick guide for agents to know which is which.

Grand Oasis Pyramid and Grand Oasis: This all-inclusive was described as “two hotels on one resort,” and with a total of 1,744 rooms, this is the big one. The Grand Oasis rooms are located in four rectangular buildings, with the Pyramid in their centre. The standards and amenities vary between the two; the Pyramid is the “luxury” brand, and includes exclusive restaurants, upgraded mini-bar, and free WiFi. During February, March, and early April, this is party central for spring breakers: they once had Snoop Dogg perform on their beach-side stage. During low season it’s surprisingly quiet, and may be an option for clients who can handle a bit of drunken yelling in the halls at night.

Grand Oasis Sens: This is an adults only (21+) “open-minded” all-inclusive, with 417 rooms in two categories, and is billed as “the pleasure resort.” It has three pools, one facing the lagoon (and sunsets), the other two on the ocean side. There’s a topless area, the host for their Kinky nightclub is a drag queen, their parties often feature male and female go-go dancers, and the festivities often have themes, including a foam party, glow in the dark party, and “a big kids party” geared towards the kid in us all, with things like pinatas and tequila jello shots. Having said all that, during low season it was also very quiet, and the gustatory experience at their multi-course restaurant Benazuza was amazing.

Benazuza at Grand Oasis Sens

Oh! and Smart by Oasis: This is another case of two hotels, one resort, and one of Oasis’ smaller properties, with 177 rooms. Smart by Oasis is geared more towards the business traveller, with convenient touches like their “Coffee and Me” cafe. Each of the resorts listed here has one, but at this location its open 24 hours for early business travellers. Their gym can be made available after hours by request, and it includes WiFi (they are currently installing modems in all the rooms, so the WiFi will be “perfect.”) The view is nothing exciting, and be aware that the beach is a five-minute walk away, but the pool is beautiful, and with the white palate and designer wingback chairs, it has a very South Beach vibe (the common areas feature “ultra-hip” decor). Kids are allowed. Breakfast included.

Grand Oasis Palm and Oasis Palm: Again, this is two hotels (862 rooms total), one resort, with the Grand being the higher-end experience. For a kids-oriented vacation, this is the location to recommend to clients. They have a limited number of rooms with either an ocean theme or jungle theme, which adjoin to an adult room. Highlights include a pirate play area, supervised water slides (where you can leave kids, though parents need to stay on resort and check-in every hour unless they hire a babysitter), kid-friendly movies, crafts, video game room, nap room with bunk beds, and a kids-themed cafeteria. Adult-only areas abound. All-inclusive.

Grand Oasis Tulum: This all-inclusive is “The Calm Resort” (it says so right on their front sign). With only 270 rooms it’s a much smaller property than many of the others. It has a beautiful beach with corals/snorkeling just yards from shore. Their kids' zone is smaller than the Palm, and in my opinion ranks second-best of the properties we saw. In the last few months they’ve incorporated adult-only, family, and kids areas. It’s located in the midst of a jungle, so wildlife sightings may include critters like a sereque (which resembles a rabbit without a tail), iguanas or coatis. They have one wedding suite with a separate room for brides to get ready in, including a makeup area with a hook in the ceiling to hang a wedding dress. Their largest suites are big enough to accommodate a family, but request cots in advance as they can run out. Thirty minutes from Playa del Carmen.