Cancun Hotels offer a wide range of accommodations from 5-Star to the thatched roof, family to swingers. I’ve put together lots of photos and info on the most popular of the area’s hotels and resorts along with some lesser-known “hide-aways”. From the rowdy Cancun Krystal to the elegant Cancun Ritz, you’ll find something in your price range that fits your mood and personality. “No comprendes tu el Espanol?” …No Problemo! Everyone in the Cancun hotel zone speaks English.
Trendy shops to rival Rodeo Drive, 3 tiered Cancun nightclubs with the newest sound systems and overpriced international restaurants are mixed in among these monstrous marvels of hospitality along Kukulcan Boulevard which runs the full length of Cancun island.
Caesar’s Park Cancun Beach and Golf Resort, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach, the Ritz Carlton (rated #4 in the world) and Le Meridien Cancun offer fully equipped business centers for meetings, conferences, or conventions.
Most of the 200+ hotels and Cancun resorts are all-inclusive so, you can leave your wallet stashed in the hotel safe.
If you prefer a more “native” experience”, Cancun City, is somewhat removed from “The Strip” and less expensive with its “mom and pop” bungalows, bed and breakfast, and smaller (and older) hotels and apartments. And, if you speak “un poco” of Spanish, you’ll be just fine there.
Popular Beachfront Hotels
- Le Blanc (Rated #1)
- Crown Paradise
- Paradisus Riviera
- Cancun Palace
- Moon Palace
- Gran Melia
Le Blanc Spa Resort
The Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun ($446 – $788) (one of the Palace Resorts chain) is rated #1 for a reason – service. With almost as many staff as guests waiting on you hand and foot, some Cancun vacationers complain of “butler withdrawal” after leaving. The service at Le Blanc can be a bit over the top at times, as when they insist on carrying your plate from the buffet to your table.
Twenty-five minutes from the Cancun airport, Le Blanc resort offers 260 air-conditioned rooms with either an ocean or lagoon view, balcony, double Jacuzzi, flat-screen LCD TV with satellite and a well-stocked mini-bar. There are five international restaurants and five bar/lounges, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a fitness center.
Oozing quality, you are welcomed to Le Blanc with a refreshing, cool, wash-cloth and a coconut cocktail. Check-in is simple and easy. You’ll be asked for a credit card for “incidentals” (…at an all-inclusive?). The reservations desk will hit you up with the “vacation bucks” promotion (yep, timeshare). Timeshare members get first dibs on the ocean-front views. Don’t expect to be wowed by the size of the rooms. By most accounts, they are very small, and not a “transcendental experience”.
Each floor has a butler/elevator operator who will unpack your bags, put your clothes away, and take any items that need pressing. Your bath is drawn every night with a choice of aromatic salts and hot oils from a holistic menu. The “turn down” service comes with candles, rose petals and “lavender pillows”. The beds are reported the most comfortably in Cancun. The room service is 24/7.
The Le Blanc Cancun is very quiet and reserved – an adults-only zen-like retreat (the music will put you to sleep), simple yet elegant decor, Bulgari toiletries, and amazing aromas. All calls from your hotel room are free to the continental U.S., Canada, and within Mexico. Wi-fi on hotel computers is also free. Located in the center of the hotel zone, you are within a 15-minute walk to almost anywhere that’s anywhere – downtown, Cancun nightclubs, shopping, restaurants. Le Blanc hotel guests can use the facilities of any of the other Palace resort properties, but not vice-versa.
The weather forecast posted in the lobby is always the same – “partly cloudy, 60% chance of rain” – whether you’re in the middle of a hurricane or under the scorching sun (forget about “truth in advertising” in Mexico).
Daily entertainment is over by 11:00 pm. If you come to Cancun to party, don’t stay here. The management will close the bars if things get too noisy. The night-time activities are considered “lame” as are the shows. The bars have “top shelf” liquor but you have to ask for it by name. Try a “Dirty Monkey” or “Miami Vice”. The beer selection is good for an all-inclusive with Coors Light, Dos XX, Modelo, and Tecate Light. With a swim-up bar, you can stay on the pool all day and hope that someone who knows CPR can fish you out.
The restaurants include Italian, French, Asian, and International with a sommelier to help with the wine. The soups are excellent as are the mind-boggling selection of petit-fours. You’ll find plenty of duck, filet mignon, porterhouse, T-bone, pork chops, shrimp, scallops and grilled octopus, etc. The Italian gets rave reviews as does the French 7-course tasting menu, but the Asian chef apparently gets carried away with the fish sauce on occasion. The restaurants are “made to order” with maitre’ds, truffles, flaming desserts, and coffees, etc. The breakfast buffet offers lots of fresh fruit, an omelet station, and a pancake and waffle station. The lunch buffet is considered by some as the best meal of the day. The “dining on the beach” experience gets good reviews (you can watch sea-turtles laying eggs while you eat). The restaurants’ guests are required to dress in “Casual Elegance”. Ladies can wear skirts or long pants and dress shoes. Gentlemen can wear long pants, collared shirts, and dress shoes. Jeans are not permitted. Reservations are not required.
The main pool overlooks the sea. Another pool for volleyball, water aerobics, etc is on the lagoon side. Both have swim-up bars. There is also a lap pool on the third floor where you can order wood-fired pizzas and a “cocktail” pool on the lower level. There are no cabana beds around the pools, however, the lounges are comfy and unlike other hotels, you don’t have to get up at 6am to “reserve” one. You can order pizza, steaks, hot dogs, nachos, club sandwiches, burgers and pretty much anything else at the pools all day long. A short walk past hotel employees sifting the sand finds you at a small cove where the snorkeling is good. The water is clear and there are no waves. There is, however, no catamarans, kayaks nor snorkeling equipment.
The spa is open to all guests. Hydrotherapy and messages are excellent but pricey, however, the “vacation bucks (timeshare members)” get a significant discount. The holistic therapies claim ancient healing rituals of fragrant oils and aromatic spices and herbs. Pamper yourself to facials, Shiatsu massage, underwater massage therapy, body wraps, seaweed scrubs, hydro-reflexology, aromatherapy, manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling. The spa’s signature treatment, the 50-minute Steam-Vichy Rain Journey, features an exfoliation, an aromatic body mask, and a Vichy Rainshower. There are classes in yoga and pilates, and the gym is furnished with the latest equipment including elliptical machines.
The Le Blanc hotel schedules tours to Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Xcaret, swim with dolphins, horseback riding, deep-sea fishing, Mexican rodeo, and a lobster dinner cruise. The resort is located near three of the best championship Cancun golf courses in Mexico.
Crown Paradise Cancun
The Crown Paradise Cancun Five-Star all-inclusive resort allows up to 3 kids (under 12) to stay, eat, and play FREE when accompanied by both parents. The unique architecture of the Cancun Crown Paradise Club enables all guests to enjoy the sights of the Caribbean while providing open atriums of lush tropical vegetation. Of course, this would not be “Paradise” without some of the finest Cancun sugar-sand beaches, Windex-hued waters, and 250 tropical days of sunshine per year.
The hotel is known for its adult-supervised Kids’ Mini Club, open from 9AM to 5PM daily. The Crown Paradise Club offers many recreational activities; such as bike rentals, tennis, catamarans, and free daily shuttles to local Marina Aqua World. You’re also conveniently located to the most popular Cancun restaurants, shopping, entertainment centers, and Cancun nightclubs. The Crown Paradise Cancun is also a wonderful resort for honeymooners with 5 floors reserved for couples only.
Paradisus Riviera all-inclusive resort means more than just food galore, unlimited drinks, and no tipping. It also means terraced rooms with king-size beds, and one of the best beaches on the Mayan Riviera.
Situated on an incredible 5,000-foot pure white, sugar-sand beach about 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, the Paradisus Riviera offers 500 guest suites, 96 ocean-view Superior Suites with private jacuzzis, and four first-class Ambassador Suites located in 14 three-story bungalows.
The Paradisus resort features four swimming pools (one spa pool, one for children, one for activities and one lake-form), six restaurants, four bars, the Entertainment Theater with different shows nightly, and a spa.
All suites measure 500 square feet and include a private terrace or balcony, private bathroom with hair-dryer, individually controlled air-conditioning, ceiling fan, satellite color TV, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock with radio, mini-bar (re-filled daily), and in-room safety deposit box. Two rooms have been specially adapted for wheelchair accessibility and the entire hotel complex is wheelchair accessible.
Revive Spa at Paradisus Riviera Cancun houses a beauty parlor and fitness center with weights, training bikes, and Stairmasters).
Additionally, there are separate men’s and women’s locker rooms with saunas, a Turkish bath and covered, open-air whirlpools and four treatment rooms – two inside, one in an outside palapa and another beachside.
The Nautical Center at Paradisus Riviera offers the following water sports free of charge: kayaks, canoes, windsurf, water bikes, sunfish sailing, and snorkeling.
Cancun Palace Resort ($318 – $523) all-inclusive with its 560 rooms and suites is located half an hour from the Cancun airport on one of the most beautiful turquoise beaches in the Caribbean, near Cancun’s most important shopping and party centers. The hotel smells of fresh flowers, and the decor is modern and chic. Cancun Palace is one of the chains of 9 Palace Resorts in the Yucatan. As a guest at one you can enjoy the services of all the Palace properties (sorry, Aventura Palace and Le Blanc are adults only and not included). The public bus runs 24 hours with quick trips to downtown shopping or a night out in world-class Cancun nightclubs for less than a buck.
Relax at one of the Palace Cancun pool bars with your favorite pick-me-up, then dine from an extensive selection of Mexican and international dishes at the Palace’s 4 restaurants. If you’re feeling energetic, all the non-motorized water sports are included in your package, the 36-hole mini-golf is fun for adults and kids alike, and, you can play tennis into the night at one of the lighted tennis courts. Work off the extra buffet calories spinning in the gym, and join in the water aerobics classes.
The Infinity pool is large and heated, with 2 swim-up bars and a spectacular view of the ocean. Even when the hotel is crowded, you will have no trouble finding a lounger near the pool. Sun umbrellas are available to VIP guests. Enjoy room service and have a private breakfast on your balcony. A wedding coordinator is onsite to plan every little detail of your “once-in-a-lifetime”. Make free unlimited calls to the US, Canada, and Mexico. The kids will love the Kids’ Club with its trampoline, big foamy blocks, and an air-hockey table. The Kids’ Club pool is not heated. Cancun Palace has a conference center for meetings large or small.
Guests complain about a lack of nightlife at the hotel even though shows and activities are conducted every night at the theater or the lobby bar (“anything can happen” show, a Michael Jackson impersonator, and others). The lobby bar, which has a band, frequently hosts children’s shows in the evening, which leaves adults to twiddle their thumbs. The pools have their “fire shows”.
The Concierge Level upgrade at $150 per night is located on a higher floor with better ocean views that comes with aromatherapy every morning, and petit fours every evening. You can not upgrade to Concierge Level if you have children with you. As with most hotels in Mexico (and Mexican homes), there is no carpeting, and construction is of hard materials (cement, marble, etc.) which mean NO soundproofing. The Premier room upgrade at $105 per night gives you a free manicure, pedicure, and 20-mins. Back massage, a pillow menu, aromatherapy service, and $1500 to spend on tours and spa treatments. The family deluxe suite upgrade at $100 per night comes with 2 connected rooms with two double beds, 2 baths, and 2 jacuzzis. The beds are soft and comfy, pillows fluffy, and the showers are big and sexy. Use the vacation dollars to upgrade to the next level and get a better view of the ocean and property. Upgrades also come with two 30 minute massages, and room service from the restaurants instead of just a room service menu. Some guest prefers Lagoon view rooms for the afternoon sun and sunsets, after mornings on the beach and at the pool.
Moon Palace has a golf course, but, the Riviera Course is much tougher because the back nine is narrower and affected by the sea breezes. You will need lots of “balls”, and they are expensive at the course – $20 for a sleeve of Pro V’s. Cancun golf at Hilton’s Pok Ta Pok is considered the best by many duffers.
Activities include a zip line, rent ATV’s, the jungle tour (small, motorized boats and snorkeling on the reef), parasailing at Waterworld, Swim with Dolphins at Wet and Wild, and more. Many attractions in Cancun don’t allow personal cameras, so you have to take advantage of some type of video/photos program at ridiculous prices. You can use “credit dollars” for the Memories Photos program ($630) at the hotel for some fine family pics.
El Mercado is the main buffet with a popular breakfast selection. It is connected to Leonardo’s so you can sit in either. Reservations for the Teppanyaki tables are made hereafter 11:30AM. Leonardo’s, with a tasty salmon and a good rack of lamb, offers an Italian menu for dinner only, no reservations required. Miyako is (Asian) cuisine requiring reservations for the Teppanyaki tables. Order sushi as at appetizer. The Hibachi chefs do their show with corny jokes, knife tricks, etc, while preparing your meal. Frida’s with a Mexican flare serves up paella, and grilled pizza (which is what the kids care about). Lunch is a buffet, dinner is à la carte. The Steak restaurant lets you dine outside. Order your favorite cuts – ribeye, strip, etc,. Although the Steak restaurant offers patio dining, the cuts in the Asian restaurant are considered superior. The Asian restaurant also serves beef skewers, chicken, egg rolls, etc. the Hibachi tables never fail to delight the guests.
After a lovely champagne check-in has softened you up (you’re also tired from the flight), you’ll be handed over to a professional arm-twister … uh, “vacation planner” to sign you up for the “VIP tour” (TimeShare, always TimeShare). If you’re not responding to your “planner”, you’ll be handed over to a manager? (much like you experience when buying a car). And, much like a car dealer, the longer you hold out the better deal you’ll get. But remember, you’ll be bone tired. Cancun Palace will offer lots of credit dollars ($1500 for example) to be used on room upgrades, tours, massages, manicures/pedicures at the spa ($300), photos, haircuts, transport for your flight out (limo@$230), wedding planning, etc. Your planners will be happy to arrange the details of Cancun tours to chic, artsy Playa del Carmen, or the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza, etc. You’ll find that $1500 doesn’t go far in Cancun.
Cancun Moon Palace Resort
Cancun Moon Palace resort is all-inclusive, all luxury and all fun – very secluded yet close to all major attractions, shopping, and world-class Cancun nightclubs.
As a guest of the Cancun Moon Palace Resort, you’re welcome to enjoy the amenities, services, food and drink at all other Palace Resorts with inter-hotel shuttle transportation provided 5 times daily. Adults only Le Blanc and Aventura Palace are not part of this deal.
Between the powdery snow-white talc beach and 50 acres of lush tropical jungle, the Moon Palace enjoys the clearest, bluest waters of the Caribbean. Yet, your only minutes from famous Mayan ruins such as Tulum and the bohemian arts community of Playa del Carmen.
All 2,031 air-conditioned guest rooms open to the sea from their own private balconies, with over-sized bathrooms with shower, full-length mirror, built-in hair dryers, 25″ color TV via satellite, direct-dial telephones, in-room safes, coffee makers and bottled purified water.
The Moon Palace also offers 420 spacious Superior Deluxe rooms with in-suite Grecian-style double jacuzzi. Cancun Moon Palace has 4 indoor and outdoor bars and 3 restaurants, featuring a traditional Mexican restaurant and an American style “a la carte” with steak and seafood barbecued to perfection.
Party the night away with live entertainment nightly, featuring a fabulous discotheque, outdoor amphitheater and indoor and outdoor pools with jacuzzi.
To get you in shape during your Cancun vacation, the Moon Palace provides daily exercise and social activities, 2 lighted tennis courts, basketball court, beach-front reef snorkeling, dive tank with introductory dive lessons, non-motorized water sports such as sailing, water tricycles, kayaking and unlimited use of bicycles and rollerblades.
Cancun Gran Melia Resort Spa
Cancun Gran Melia Resort Spa and Convention Center is for those who want to be pampered. You’ll enjoy a level of luxury and relaxation for which the resort is famous. A sheer black marble wall and a waterfall flank the Cancun Gran Melia resort’s boldly modern version of a Mayan temple. The ultra-chic atrium has lush tropical flora dappled with sunlight. Ivory, dusty-pink, and light-blue hues brighten rooms (all with private balconies or terraces), and ivory-lacquered furniture and wall-to-wall carpeting make them opulent.
The Gran Melia Cancun is one of the largest hotels in the area and houses a convention center and six meeting halls – don’t come expecting an intimate ambiance. The Gran Melia Cancun has over 700 rooms with private terraces and views overlooking either the Caribbean Sea or Nichupte lagoon. Many guests favor the lagoon side for the afternoon sunsets.
Golf at the on-site 9-hole par-3 executive Cancun golf course, then choose from five restaurants when you’re ready to dine. The Gran Melia has the only complete “full service” spa in Cancun, where guests can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere in the saunas and jacuzzis, and the massages that are given in air-conditioned cabins.
Located 10 minutes from Cancun’s finest shopping area, and hottest Cancun nightclubs, 15 minutes from the Cancun airport, and half an hour to Playa del Carmen, the Gran Melia provides:
• minibar • private beach • restaurant • 24-hour room service • television • money exchange • parking • safe deposit • bar • computer facilities • hairdresser • Internet access • swimming pool • disabled access • business facilities • childcare facilities • solarium • air conditioning • sauna • whirlpool • car-hire facilities • Non-Smoking Rooms • fitness club Maximum of 3 Adults Per Room Kids 12 & under stay free in an adult room in existing bedding.