Though it’s not our favorite beach resort on the island, the Gran Melía does have some good points. It offers not one but two lovely pools, one of which is a handsome free-form pool with ocean views and a swim up bar (the other is usually quieter and is surrounded by cabanas). Rooms are quite spacious and have island flair (lots of mahogany woods, colorful walls, handsome furnishings) though the upkeep on the non-deluxe rooms could be improved (we’d suggest a renovation). The resort, which encompasses two nice golf courses and has expansive and lushly landscaped open areas (you have both the rainforest and the beach here), is eye-candy in spots. And those who like to keep busy will find more than enough to do here, from yoga classes, to watersports to merengue lessons to visits to the Melía’s top-notch spa. All that being said there are some major disappointments, which range from the rocky, sub-standard beach to the uninspired food in the restaurants. And because the resort is relatively remote, guests without cars can feel a bit trapped here. Bottom line: If you get a great deal through a package (and the property works with many packagers), this could be a good choice, but don’t go at the published rates.