The Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa is not the only Fiesta Americana hotel in the Cancun beach area, but it is indeed the best of them all. This is a Mexican-owned hotel chain, so some of their standards are not what we’re used to in the US, but it is a nice resort nonetheless. Very spacious, with a great beach and centrally located, the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach is a good choice for those who are looking for a 4-star hotel that has it all: beach, pool, spa, good restaurants, good bars and roomy accommodations.
The best feature the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach has to offer is its beach, which is sandy, generously sized and not crowded. The pool is great, very clean and has a kid-area that families with kids will be thankful for.
The staff is friendly and helpful but won’t go out of their way for you. The hotel is nice and the rooms in the newly renovated wing are quite luxurious (whenever you stay at this resort insist on the West wing, since the East wing is still in dire need of repairs). The food is very good, mostly their Mexican specialties, but it is seriously overpriced. In a nutshell, this is a place where you can have a good relaxing time, but is not a hotel for the picky traveler. For all this, we give the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort in Cancun a 4 star rating.
The Le Blanc Spa Resort is located in the heart of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, and is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in the area. It is indeed white (“blanc”) as its name indicates, and it is the best portrayal of a resort in the entire Cancun. Very chic, sophisticated and modern, yet quite peaceful and tranquil, this place will leave you speechless and you’ll want to come back for more year after year.
With a expansive white beach, a network of sparkling clean pools, top of the line restaurants and a sober elegant architecture, Le Blanc Resort is a delight to stay at. The rooms are extremely ample, the towels are soft and perfumed, the mattresses are soft as clouds… Its prices are quite steep, but in this place you do get what you pay for, mostly if you opt for their all inclusive packages. The food is delicious, the drinks are generous and well prepared, and the presentation is second to none. Heck, their food is so pretty that you won’t want to eat it so you don’t ruin its gorgeous decoration!
But something tops off Le Blanc Spa Resort’s awesome food, drinks and facilities, and it is its employees. A very young staff indeed, but obviously with lots of experience, these are the guys and gals that go the extra mile for you with a big smile on their faces, and leave you wondering with all other hotel employees in Cancun are not like the ones at Le Blanc. If you need a cab, they’ll run to get you one; if you need a refill, they’ll rush to it and come back with two; if you need extra pillows or blankets, they bring you a whole selection so you can pick the ones you like the best. The best part about the staff at this place, is that you get your own concierge, who will tend to your every need. Like of like in Dubai, but with a nice beach to go with it.
For its divine beach and pools, its second-to-none staff, its freshly cooked more than delicious food, perfectly prepared drinks and spotless buildings and open areas, we give Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun a well deserved 5 star rating!
Chances are you know the Beach Escape Villas by their previous names of Kin Ha Villas or Ambiance Villas. I have no idea why, but this quaint beach place keeps changing names at the rate of a new one every 2 years.
But no matter what it’s called, the Beach Escape Villas is an affordable, clean and very cute little place nested in one of Cancun’s best beaches: the Kin Ha beach (yes, there are several beaches along the Cancun strip, and not all of them are made alike). Living in Cancun, we always have visitors and sometimes there are too many to fit in our house, so we end up putting them in a hotel, and Beach Escape is usually our choice for this.
A complex of 4 or 5 buildings a mere three stories high, Beach Escape offers regular rooms and suites, all spacious and comfortable. They are sparingly decorated, but with their big balconies and wide sliding doors, one soon forgets about this and falls in love with the place. For long stays, it is highly advisable to splurge on a suite (usually $20 more per night), since they’re full apartments, with a fully functional kitchen, big living room and dining room and a master bedroom and bathroom with plenty of closet space.
Due to its intimate design, Beach Escape is NOT setup to offer All-Inclusive plans. They have a full service restaurant and a bar and snack tiki bar right on the beach, which serves full meals starting at 1PM. The food is quite tasty and their prices are reasonable. A full buffet breakfast is served every morning for about $11 per person, which plenty of hot and cold choices, freshly squeezed orange juice and an enormous selection of fresh fruit.
The piece de resistance at Beach Escape Villas is their beach. The whitest and cleanest in all of Cancun, this beach was voted one of the world’s best a few years back. Dotted with coconut trees and with a generous sand bar, it expands for over a mile, and its waters are so clear that you can clearly see your toes inside the water and the little swirl of sand they create with every step you take.
We recommend Beach Escape Villas for its wonderful beach and crystal clear waters, their oversized pool and relaxed atmosphere. But be prepared for its simple decor, older buildings and blah furniture. Despite this, we give Beach Escape a 4 star rating.
Secrets Maroma Beach Resort is a breathtaking beach paradise located in the Riviera Maya. Just 35 minutes from Cancun and 20 from the Cancun Airport, it’s not only conveniently located, but also far away enough from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Secluded, safe and all natural, Maroma Beach was voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches just a few years ago, and by golly, nothing has changed! It remains as unspoiled and pristine as if Colombus had never set foot on our continent.
Secrets Maroma Beach is an adults-only resort, but don’t read between lines… this is not a clothing optional place! They simply cater to couples who want to relax in their beautiful beach without having kids running around, and specialize in honeymooners.
We had the opportunity to spend 3 glorious days at Secrets Maroma Beach and enjoyed every second of them. The hotel is big and beautiful, with a Caribbean-inspired architecture. Rooms are very spacious, gorgeously decorated, with a well-thought design, and the beds… oh, the beds are so comfortable that you won’t want to get up in the morning! No matter where we looked, the hotel was extremely clean, and at all times of the day we saw staff taking care of the cleaning of both the beach and the buildings.
In addition to its splendid beach and cleanliness, there is another aspect that separates Secrets Maroma Beach Resort from the rest: its food. Yes, it is an all-inclusive hotel. No, the food will NOT disappoint! I don’t know where they got their chefs at, but kuddos to the person in charge of their selection, and to the chefs themselves, because their food was among the best we’ve had in Cancun and Riviera Maya, let alone at an all inclusive resort. Drinks are also included, and they’re plentiful and well made. They use only original liquor from the top brands (including real Cuban rum), and they’re not shy when pouring it into your mix drink. We drank plenty the first night of our stay and the following morning we had to sign of a hangover or a headache, something that is guaranteed to happen when your bartender uses substandard liquor. So go hungry and forget about your diet for the length of your stay, and drink plenty, because variety and quality go hand in hand at Maroma!
Speaking of bartenders, the staff at Maroma was extremely friendly, and they’ll go the extra mile to accommodate your requests. They anticipated our wishes, and made them come true within minutes, always with a smile.
As far as prices go, yes, Secrets Maroma Beach Resort is a little expensive, but you do get what you pay for, so why spoil your vacation staying at a median priced place that will leave you with a bittersweet taste, when you can have the vacation of a lifetime at Maroma? Also, their slightly higher price guarantees a more exclusive clientele.
For the beauty of their beach, the comfort and cleanliness of their hotel and the friendliness of their staff, we give Secrets Maroma Beach an enthusiastic 5 star; for the quality of their food and drinks, we’d love to give them a 6 star rating, but sadly 5 is our maximum. To put it in less words, grab your spouse and your appetite and go to Maroma, you’ll love it!
Photos of Secrets Maroma Beach Resort:
The Cancun Palace Hotel is a beautiful, centrally located all inclusive resort in the hotel zone of Cancun. It boasts a beautiful clean beach, white unspoiled sand, and a modern architecture that will raise your hopes. But the Cancun Palace is just another hotel in Cancun, no better no worse than your run of the mill all-inclusive. Let me elaborate:
The Cancun Palace is a relatively new hotel, clean, well taken care of, with several pools and bars. Its beach is sandy and sparkling clean (not all beaches in Cancun are made alike), its staff is courteous and even friendly at times, and in general you’ll find that you’ve made a good purchase.
Nevertheless, the food and drinks, which are included in your package, are rather uninteresting and even bad. Presentation of quite good but flavor and quality leave a lot to be desired. For lack of other way to put it, let’s say that the best food at the Cancun Palace lacks punch and the rest is below standards.
The rooms are nicely decorated and are very clean. The maids do a great job, and ours even left little chocolate bars on our pillows. The beds are quite comfortable but unless you are on one of the top floors, you’ll have a hard time sleeping because all the noise from the pool area will keep you awake until the wee hours.
This Cancun hotel sells itself as a family oriented place, and even devotes an entire pool to kids. But there is no kids club, and no staff assigned to watch the kids. For those parents who want to take a nap or have a drink while their kids are supervised by a hotel employee, this is not the place to go to. There are no toys or games or game room for children, and the kids pool was not as clean as one would expect.
In general we had a good but not a great time at the Cancun Palace Hotel. For its crappy food and lack of entertainment for children, which should be available at a place that labels itself at “Kids and Entertainment Resort”, we give the Cancun Palace a 3.5 star rating.
The Marriot Hotels have a good reputation and they certainly live by it in Cancun. There are 3 Marriot Hotels in Cancun: the Courtyard by Marriot in the Airport area, and the Marriot Casa Magna and the JW Marriot Cancun, both in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
If you love hotels with Spaniard architecture, great food and a pleasantly quiet atmosphere, in addition to one of the best beaches in the world, the Marriot Hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone are for you.
The JW Marriot is their flagship in the area, with very roomy suites, spacious and elegantly decorated rooms, one more star and a higher price. Its less expensive counterpart, the Marriot Casa Magna, is as grandiose of a hotel, but the price of the rooms is at least 25% lower, and the amenities are exactly the same! What’s more, both hotels are located side by side in a nice sandy beach in Cancun, and the only difference we found was that the rooms in the Casa Magna are a little smaller, with much smaller balconies. The pools are impressive and extremely clean, and the beach is combed every morning so you’ll be hard pressed to find any trash in it.
Service is excellent in the Cancun Marriot Hotels, and the staff will go out of their way to help you no matter what your needs. Breakfast is excellent, and for lunch and dinner they have plenty of restaurants to choose from, be it for Italian, American, Thai or Mexican food.
As for the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel, it is conveniently located less than 3 minutes from the Cancun Airport, and has a big sparkling clean pool and a relaxing jacuzzi which are mostly empty, so you’ll have the place to yourself. The staff is courteous but not as friendly as in the other Marriots, and the rooms are extremely spacious and comfortable. After day of swimming or shopping, you’ll be thankful for this hotel’s soft beds and its highly pressurized showers.
In our opinion both the Marriot Hotels in Cancun’s Hotel Zone deserve 5 Stars in our rating scale, while the Courtyard by the airport deserves a 4 Star.
Sea Adventure Resort is the newest water park in Cancun, and since its opening it has captivated children and adults alike. With a 3-pool system, a gigantic bucket that dumps tons of water on the unsuspecting visitor and a network of 4 full fledged water slides, this water park is a delight to visit, specially for parents of small kids. The pools are all under 1.5 feet deep, and they’re not made for swimming but for wading, so moms and dads can rest assured that their kids will never be in deep water. The slides are safe with tall side-guards and the landing is cushioned by water.
We visited Sea Adventure Resort four times this summer (we also had our son’s 6th birthday party there) and simply loved its slides, its pools and its cleanliness. In addition to the regular water activities, the park also offers free mini-golf, an area to play soccer and a basketball court. On Sundays they also have a puppet show and dancing contest. All food and drinks are included in the entrance fee (including alcoholic drinks), and although the buffet is nothing fancy, you get plenty to eat. The buffet usually consists of burgers (they’re great, highly recommended!), hot dogs, chicken nuggets, pasta, beef stew, chicken stew, rice, beans, french fries and salad. The food is more varied on weekends than weekdays but there’s also more people on weekends. Although the park is never packed and there’s never a wait to get on the slides, it is indeed a lot more peaceful on weekdays.
Sea Adventure Resort is, as its name indicates, a resort. Visitors to the water park don’t get access to the main hotel amenities, but if you have the time, it may be to your advantage to stay at the hotel as a guest. The reason? Hotel guests pay for 2 adults and get up to 2 children in their room for free. That includes obviously the hotel stay with its beach and pool, plus free access to the park, and all meals and drinks. At check in time, ask for reservations at their Ostras and Oysters restaurant, which serves excellent gourmet seafood a la carte.
The hotel rooms are decorated Mexican-style with big solid wooden furniture, comfortable beds, kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator, and they’re very spacious and clean. All rooms have safes, hair dryers and cable TV, but Internet is NOT included.
In a nutshell, if you have small children and would like to do something special for them while in Cancun, Sea Adventure Resort is the place to go for 1 or 2 days. Any longer than that and you may get bored since the beach is not the best in Cancun and there is not much else to do in the area (the resort is located in the Puerto Juarez area, not in the Cancun Hotel Zone).
The Hacienda Tres Rios Resort in Riviera Maya, is located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, on one of the area’s most desirable location. Nestled between three rivers, and perched right on the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, this oceanfront hotel is the best of the best, a true gem that awaits the visitor with open arms, delicious food and gorgeous Mexican architecture.
We had the pleasure of staying at the Hacienda Tres Rios for a family gathering and the place is so spectacularly beautiful that we had to extend our stay. There are no words to describe this ecologically-friendly resort and the level of service its staff offers, so let me try to do this point by point:
- The hotel itself: A brand new hotel with extremely spacious rooms, where the smallest is already a suite complete with jacuzzi in the terrace, and some with private pools. Built in the best Mexican hacienda style, its open air construction boasts magnificent arches and towers and its light colors make you feel welcome from the moment you set foot in its beautiful lobby.
- The food: oh, the food! We stayed on the all inclusive plan, and we were surprised by the gourmet food the Hacienda Tres Rios offers. Usually in all inclusive hotels the food is kind of run-of-the-mill, but not in this place. From grilled shrimp to brick oven pizzas, steaks, and Asian food, all the way to the most exquisite Mexican and Italian cuisine, we were never left wanting.
- The drinks: all drinks are made with the real deal. If you ask for a whiskey on the rocks, you get Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, Chivas Regal, etc. No matter what type of drink you may want, they have it, and the barman are not cheap with the liquor.
- The rooms: our bed at the Tres Rios was the most comfortable bed we slept on. To the point we asked what brand it was (for those of you who live in the Cancun area, these mattresses can be found at a company called ProEpta). The shower was delightfully strong with lots of pressure and hot water. The jacuzzi was sparkling clean, and even the toiletries were top of the line, leaving our skin soft and moisturized.
- The staff: everybody was extremely helpful, and not only courteous but really friendly. They were knowledgeable, tried to help at every turn no matter what we asked and their smiles were genuine. They seemed like a great bunch of happy people, and if you’ve ever stayed at a hotel where the employees are stiff and unfriendly, you know how much a good staff is worth.
Sadly our highest rating is 5 stars, but if we were to be fair, we’d give the Hacienda Tres Rios a 6 star rating for being the BEST HOTEL IN THE CANCUN AND RIVIERA MAYA AREA!
Cancun’s Golden Parnasus hotel was actually disappointing. We purchased a weekend-long stay All-Inclusive style, after our son repeatedly asked us to let him swim in the pirate ship pool (you can see it from the street). The price wasn’t bad at all: $300 for 3 adults and 1 child for 2 nights and 3 days, including all meals and drinks.
The Golden Parnasus hotel is a beautiful open-style place with 7 pools and a similar number of restaurants as well as 5 or 6 bars. The rooms are beautifully decorated, extremely clean and the beds are quite comfortable. It has a small sandy beach filled with concrete slabs that isn’t even worth visiting but that’s made up for all the pools it offers. One of them is exclusive to small children and is downstairs in the kids’ club house, where they also offer babysitting services included in your stay’s price. Not a bad deal at all.
For those with older kids and teenagers in their group, there is yet another pirate ship pool exclusively for these, complete with an entertainer who was actually quite energetic and fun.
Sadly, these pools were dirty to the point of having a layer of grease and bubbles on the corners. There were cigarrette butts all over the pool decks and the water in general lackedt that crystal clear inviting quality that invites you to jump in.
The food was average to poor but there were plenty of choices. I’d like to mention their main buffette, a grandious circular restaurant that offers every type of food you can think of. Despite the incredible variety available the food had barely any flavor. At the bars, the bartenders weren’t exactly friendly (in general the staff wasn’t very welcoming) and the drinks were watered down.
In general, the Golden Parnasus hotel is not worth your time and money. Our recommendation is that you stay somewhere else: Not recommended.