Cancun Resort Reviews – Mexico Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews

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Reviews posted on this page
Beach Palace – Cancun Reviews Posted – 1
Dos Playas – Cancun Reviews Posted – 1
El Pueblito – Cancun Reviews Posted – 1
Gran Costa Real Hotel – Cancun Reviews Posted – 1
Oasis Cancun Reviews Posted – 4

Gran Costa Real Hotel Ken ~ Grafton, MA

April 2005

Mexican Vacation: After Action Report

0230 (Boston/Eastern time): Check-in at Boston’s Logan Airport for flight to Cancun, Mexico. TNT Travel agent offers upgrade from Coach to First Class for just an additional $198.00 for both my Lady and me. We buy it.

0350: Airborne aboard a Primaris Airline B-757, enroute to Cancun. My first trip to Mexico since visiting border town long ago while in Navy flight training.

0505: Movie starts. Unfortunately, airline has forgotten to electronically connect first class seats, so headphones do not work. Watch silent movie for several minutes while saying unkind things about TNT. Take out book.

0520: First class breakfast: muffin and Fruit Loops. They must be getting dog food in Coach.

0530: Coach is getting bagels and cream cheese. We ask for same.

0945 (Mexican/Central time): After clearing customs, shuttle arrives at Gran Costa Real Hotel in Cancun, an alleged “5 Star” hotel. We bought the “all inclusive” package – meals, drinks, tips all paid for up front. We descend into Rap Hell. We were assured by TNT that “spring break is over.” It isn’t. The place is elbow-to-backside with drunken college students, many having assumed the horizontal, gravity-challenged position. Vulgar rap music blares from speakers making conversation almost impossible. Our room won’t be ready (disinfected?) until 1500, so my Lady and I spend five hours trying not to trip over drunks and cringing at the “music.” It’s raining, so we huddle in the lounge in a far corner. Smokers are everywhere (mostly college age women; what do they think is attractive about smoking?) and foul cigarette smoke blankets the room and grounds.

2130: Having checked-in and had dinner, go to bed when loud, pounding rock music wakes us up. Every night at 2100 the hotel has a “show” at poolside, outside of everyone’s room, with pounding-loud music. Lie awake until past 2200, cursing travel agent. Bedroom and bath are comfortable, at least.

Sunday, 3 April 2005

0820: Breakfast at one of hotel’s four restaurants. Staff friendly and attentive – high marks. Order eggs over steak. Get raw eggs over thin steak, all covered with a disgusting green sauce. Inedible. Have to be more careful ordering food here.

0930 – 1600: Hit the beach and the beach hits back. Small beach is crowded and Volkswagen-sized speakers are bellowing-our rap “music.” My lady asks for the volume to be lowered. Ten minutes later it is increased to its previous painful level. Food is served on beach – not bad – lots or beer and margaritas help dull the music. Water cold, lots of seaweed. Sand dirty with cigarette butts and other debris. Staff keeps coming with drinks, however, to dull the pain. Lots of boating in bay, dive boats coming and going, parachute pulls behind boats.

1840: We hit the second restaurant. Excellent fish and steak dinners. Must remember to tell staff “sauce on the side.”

1940: Drinks at pool-side open bar. Approached by staffer who offers us a visit to a sister hotel – Gran Caribe Real – for next day free breakfast and tour. Offers $50 gift certificate, which my Lady parlays into a $100 gift certificate and Mexican Gift Basket. Tour is promised to last under 90 minutes.

2103: In room when 100 Decibel Theater starts for the night outside – curse travel agent yet again and leave room for another manhattan.

Monday, 4 April 2005

0815: Catch a cab for Gran Caribe Real Hotel for breakfast and tour. After breakfast we find ourselves locked in a room with a salesman who is intent upon selling us 100 weeks of vacation at the hotel chain for $ 38,800. We are polite and reply that we did not come there to buy anything and do not want to purchase any weeks. Guy is relentless but we remain politely uninterested – so – his boss comes over and launches a new attack. 200 weeks for $ 38,800 – 50 weeks for $ 19,000 – he won’t quit and I announce we are way over the 90 minute window and we want to leave. Instead, he brings HIS boss over and cranks-up the pressure. No more pretense of politeness, just bald sales. We stand to leave and he says, “Sit down. I’m not finished. Show me some respect!” That’s it. I put on my Navy hat, stand up, tell him to STFU, and order him to take us back to the lobby. Instead, he gets up and dismisses us to find our way back to the lobby by ourselves. Once back at the lobby they are reluctant to give us our gift certificate and basket until my Lady chews them a new collective anus. We leave with the gifts and a bad taste in our mouths.

1110: Back at our hotel and just in time for the Really, Really, Loud Music to recommence for the day. We ask to have the volume dropped and in response are told they “cannot lower the volume for just one guest.” I flee to the room but noise follows. My Lady toughs it out on the beach, a dedicated sun worshipper.

1810: Have very good dinners of steak and lobster tail, followed by cocktails at the beach bar, watch the stars, very romantic. Music is off for a while. Listen to drunken British Dianna Ross female impersonator sing Motown songs before falling off the bar, over the bar’s side rail, and down onto the beach. He issues one surprised, “Aawwkk!” as he disappears from view to a chorus of appreciative clapping and cat-calls. Several minutes later he reappears, a little shaky but unbowed. Resumes show tune cavalcade.

2100: 100 Decibel Theater reopens for the night. Have another manhattan. Think-up new names to call travel agent.

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

0710: In lobby, my Lady reiterates her great displeasure about the constant booming music. Staffer listens attentively. I mention I am going to write a web report upon our experience and that seems to get his undivided attention. Have good buffet breakfast, cooked to order. High marks for the food and staff here, at any rate. But a 5 Star hotel this ain’t. Three?

0800-1130: Beach quiet for a change. Someone is raking beach after my Lady’s earlier complaint about it. Peaceful, sunny.

1130: Rap Monster returns.

1210: Lunch on beach. Good club sandwiches.

1230: New development: The Battle of the Hotels shatters the beach. Hotel across the bay cranks-up punishingly-loud music that hammers our beach. As if in response, our beach cranks-up their music. Entire bay is now awash in screeching, discordant, conflicting music. This really sucks!! To add insult to injury, our hotel’s Sports Coordinator takes this opportunity to get on her Mr. Microphone. It’s become clear that there is just one window of quite during a day here, from about 2200 to 0700. Must warn others!! The music and booming is so loud that normal conversation on our beach is difficult. On the other beach the sound must be life-threatening.

1830: Stumble, dazed, to dinner. Restaurant has unmarked stone terraces along the floor. My Lady falls off one as she crosses the floor. Pretty banged-up, can’t walk without help. Back to room, lots of ice on bumps. I bring-back dinner in a bag. We drink sambucca and listen to 100 db theater. Another unpleasant holiday surprise at the Real.

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

0815: I help my Lady hobble down to breakfast. Good eggs and trimmings made to order. Lots of fresh fruit. Just lettuce for salad. Mexicans don’t seem to have gotten aboard the veggie wagon. Staff gracious and efficient as always. Tips are part of all-inclusive, but staff very appreciative of an extra dollar here and there. Last of the college bums seem to have departed.

0850-1200: Beach has been groomed again. Water has warmed and has been cleaned of most seaweed. Tranquil for several hours – then – Battle of the Hotel Bands starts again. We are serenaded by a tender song in which a woman with a Spanish accent warns her boyfriend, “No fornicating with no other women!” or else. We know sound volume propagates logarithmically, so if we can’t clearly hear each other talk on our beach, they must be dropping dead from the music on the other beach. Our hotel – never the shrinking violet – returns the salvo with salsa music, but at a slightly lower volume. Cancun is the noisiest place I’ve ever been, including the BOQ at NAS North Island, CA, which was 300 yards from the approach end of the long runway – the one used by A-3s and A-5s 24/7 for quals. A new “instrument” has joined the din – power paint-chippers wielded by workmen on the pier 100 yards away. Lovely musical counterpoint.

1830: Excellent dinners of chicken enchiladas and baked fish. Food still great.

1930-2100: Drinks at beach bar. We meet another couple who paid 1/5 (one-fifth) what we paid to TNT for the same vacation. Bummer.

Thursday, 7 April 2005

0815: Bus picks me up for much anticipated trip to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. My Lady still cannot walk without pain and so stays behind to get some sun. Studied site in college. Mayan Empire lasted over a thousand years, then collapsed between AD 1430 and 1450 for reasons speculated but unknown. Bus is full of Americans and Canadians. Staff friendly and helpful. We have been told by TNT Travel to expect a two-hour drive each way. The toilet is under an alcove, cylindrical, and perhaps 40 inches wide. You sort of stand over the toilet and move a clamshell-shaped door around you into place, leaving your knees up at your chin when you try to sit. We are instructed that toilet on board is “for emergency use only.” That’s a Roger. When I ask to confirm the travel time, the staffer laughs and turns away. As the last hotel pickup, my seat is next to the toilet. Joy. About 2 ½ hours into the trip, we stop at a Mayan village where the people chose to live just as they did in the 15th century. Thatch huts with stone floors, sleeping hammocks slung during the day, a shallow community well, no electricity or gas. Mexican government subsidizes them and delivers pallets of dried corn, which they make into tortillas. Kids seem happy enough. They speak Mayan, with Spanish as a second language. We are told there are 42 languages spoken in Mexico. A look at California in 20 years? Staff serves soft drinks and fruit. Drive continues and “emergency” toilet gets a work-out on the way. Lucky me.

1205: The “two hour drive” ends as we arrive at Chichen Itza. We have three hours on site. We get a nearly two-hour tour from a very knowledgeable staffer who’s an historian. Great stuff! Studied it long ago as an anthro major in college but this is the real thing! Very hot; about 100 degrees in the sun and the ground is a baked, dusty dirt. Several in group drop out. An ambulance collects a victim from another group. Trails are packed with vendors selling souvenirs and geegaws. Very aggressive. Reminds me of the salesmen at Gran Caribe Real. Take about 40 pictures of site. Guide says we can climb main pyramid at our own risk. “If you fall off the pyramid (91 stone steps from the top), you get to lie there until you get up. There will be no lawyers filing any suits here. This is Mexico.” I crane my neck, looking up to the top and see many people, obviously exhausted and overweight, sagging against the top wall and looking despairingly back down the steps and wondering how the hell they are ever going to make it back to the ground. I decide not to make the climb.

1420: Tour’s over. I’m fried and meander back to main building where I find some shade and buy a snow cone ($2.50). These people know a marketing opportunity when they see one. Building is full of dazed, over-heated Americans and Europeans stumbling around in the heat, hair disheveled, clothing askew and untucked, sunburned to a crispy red. At least I wore sun block and a hat. Feels good just to eat my snow cone in the shade.

1515: Bus departs site, loaded with fried, tired tourists. “Emergency toilet” is in constant use and overflows. Every time someone pries-open the clamshell door and emerges, a belch of hot, putrid diarrhea-and piss smell issues forth. I flash back to rough flights in Navy P-3s where the “toilet” is a bucket. Bus suspension is not the best, nor is the Mexican “highway.”

1530: Bus stops for lunch. It’s 90 degrees in the restaurant, so most pass on the offering of hot soup and tamales. I have lettuce and watermelon as the sweat pours down my face and back. I take off my cap to wipe my head with napkins. A group of locals does a dance with bottles on their heads.

1630: Bus departs restaurant.

1640: I realize I’ve left my favorite Stargate SG-1 hat at the restaurant. Rough ride continues. Toilet gets more fouled. Beer and soft drinks served. The bus’ air conditioning is good. Sweat starts to cool.

1925: Arrive back at Gran Costa Real. Last stop. I stumble off bus. My Lady is waiting for me at the bus stop. Shower time. Ahhh!

2015: My Lady and I have dinner. Texmex night. Not bad.

2110: Collapse into bed after visiting gift shop. Mission Chichen Itza complete.

Friday, 8 April 2005

0700: Another excellent breakfast cooked to order. I’ve gained several pounds this week for sure.

0750-1030: Hit the beach again. It has again been groomed and packed down and it’s quiet.

1030: Loud music resumes, but it’s salsa instead of rock or that vile rap. Great weather continues. Since Sunday it’s been high 80s and clear and very breezy. Ultralight airplanes constantly circle the bay, towing banners. These light aircraft come across the beach with 30 and 40 degree crab angles into the wind to track straight along their intended routes. Looks like great fun.

1215: Club sandwiches on the beach.

1250-1330: More beach, then yesterday catches up with me and its time for a nap in the cool room.

1530: Lady bustles in. She won at bingo (naturally) and her prize is a t-shirt that proclaims, “I found the G-Spot!” (we’re told it’s a local night club). Won’t be wearing that one in front of the grandchildren.

1540: The Big Giant Sports Voice starts up at poolside.

1600: Time to start packing for trip home.

1840: Dinner at Maria’s (best restaurant at hotel). Staff makes crepe rose for my Lady, then serenades her with guitar and song. We get personalized special cheesecake slices. Most excellent!

2100: Drinks with new Canadian acquaintances. When she learns I’m retired US Navy she becomes very quiet.

Saturday, 9 April 2005

0655: Arrive at Cancun Airport for 0845 flight home. Get hosed for $9.00 for breakfast sandwich. Boarding is late again (Primaris Airline again). First class passengers are told to go to the back of the line for boarding. The legend continues. Finally board at 0940. And wait. And wait.

We are told that flight is being delayed for “paperwork.” More waiting. More waiting. Captain makes numerous trips off and back onto aircraft. Looks chagrined. Announcement: aircraft must be pushed to another gate while we wait. More waiting.

1105: Start engines. Weak cheer from passengers, along with several Navy words not suitable for a family magazine. As we taxi, crewmember tells me what happened. Mexicans demanded bribe to release aircraft (in an era of terrorism threats). Crew refused. Mexicans then charged flight attendants with stealing from duty free shop and demanded to board aircraft for arrests. Attendants had not been off aircraft since it arrived. Captain told them to make love to themselves. Time passed. Mexicans then announced that they were not sure crew was properly qualified or that they were US citizens; demanded copies of all crew passports and crewmembers’ flying licenses. This is unlawful and crew refused. More time passed. Finally, Mexicans reached an agreement with airline’s Las Vegas office (paid a bribe) and aircraft is released. This comes upon the week’s news that Cancun police have been arresting American tourists who have driven to Cancun and have forced them to drive to ATMs, withdraw money, and give it to them (the cops). We have such good friends south of the border.

1130: Movie time. Surprise. These first class seats don’t work, either, so we cannot plug-in our earphones again.

1210: First class lunch. Same one as breakfast on trip down. My Lady and I dine on chicken wings scavenged from hotel snack bar night before.

1545 (Boston Time): Land at Logan Airport. First Class is held on board while rest of passengers deplane (at least airline is consistent). Clear customs and immigration, get baggage, head for car, then home. Even Boston feels like coming home after our Mexican Adventure. I doubt we’ll be returning to Mexico. I wouldn’t recommend visitng Mexico to anyone else.

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Beach Palace Pat ~ Maryland USA

January 2005

Just returned from 4 days at the oldest of the all-inclusive Palace Resorts in Canun, Beach Palace. I chose the resort because the reviews were good, it is centrally located on the hotel zone strip, and because it has a nice beach. Once of the nicest things about the resort is its small size—you won’t get lost in the crowd and you get to know some of the staff. The beach was wonderful and swimming was good for the most part although yellow and red flags were posted about half of the time we were there. The resort lifeguard is good about keeping kids especially out of the red flag waters. The food was decent, especially the breakfast and lunch buffets. There is only one location for breakfast and lunch and there were lots of choices for both. While the rooms are showing their age (the resort is due for a remodeling soon) they were clean, everything was in working order and the maid service was superb.

The layout of the large "junior suites" which make up most of the available rooms is nice. We had an oceanfront balcony, two double beds and then a step up to a seating area with sofa bed, a dry bar and a refrigerator. The fridge was stocked with bottled water, sodas and beer and was refilled daily. The bath wasn’t large but had a nice working jacuzzi tub. A nice surprise was that you could order room service if you didn’t feel like going downstairs for meals. Lots of options for walking…just two properties down the beach is the only oceanfront Mayan ruin in Cancun and you are in walking distance of two shopping centers. The shops in the hotel were adequate and sold liquor, souvenirs magazines, snacks, etc. The staff were warm and friendly and most spoke more than a little English. There was a nice game area near the lobby bar with pool tables, x-box video games, air hockey, ping pong and foosball (although they had no ball for this one). Security is good–there was a guard patrolling the beach every day.

You don’t get a lot of information about the resort at check-in and the clerk that assisted us wasn’t very helpful. We were handed an envelope with a single photocopied information sheet, two towel cards and two room keys (even though there were 3 of us). We had to go back to request a key and towel pass for our son. We had some trouble figuring out the room safe. It was an older key type and a little rusty. We weren’t sure if the stocked fridge was included (it was). Not many English languague TV channels available and the room TVs are small. Dinner at either of the two restaurants did not offer enough choices, especially for my picky teenage son. The elevators are small and slow. Like at most Mexican resorts, the pool is not heated and too cold for my taste but the ocean water was warm enough. The pool is rather small and there is no pool jacuzzi. The beach has only about 10 palapas, and people would "reserve" them by throwing towels and other items on the chairs under them early each day. They have a lot of those molded one piece plastic lounge chairs on the beach, but only a few chaises with cushions. We ended up moving chaises from the pool to the beach most days and no one minded. We could usually find shade behind the already claimed palapas. While the Palace resorts allow you to use facilities at any of their locations, there was no shuttle bus to take you to the other resorts and they were all too far away to walk to.

The exercise room was really out-dated with just a few treadmills, a stationery bike and some Universal style weight machines. There is a tennis court out front and they will loan you rackets, but you have to buy your own balls. The entertainment was so-so. They would spend hours setting up each night and it never started on time. The bars served XX draft which was fine, and they were good with the usual resort drinks, but if you wanted something else—for instance a gin & tonic, that was more of a challenge. My husband asked our dinner waiter one night for a Tanqueray & tonic, which we explained to him was gin. He got the manager and they came up with some Beefeaters, which was fine. But there were very few top shelf choices. I never can understand why I can’t get Kahlua at these places! It’s one of Mexico’s best-known products, but I got served an inferior brand instead. You’re best sticking with their tropical mixed drinks—you don’t notice the cheap liquor as much. I don’t fault the staff for this—they are working with what they’ve been given and go out of their way to please. The worst experience by far was the pressure sales tactics of their "Palace club" vacation reps. They called and called until we agreed to stop by their desk. My husband managed to negotiate a free round of golf at Moon Palace in exchange for agreeing to listen to a 90-minute pitch along with RT cab fare to Moon Palace. The 90 minutes turned into more like 3 hours including the trip there and as it turned out, there were no tee times at the MP course, so he had to go to PlayaCar instead which was much further away. If you decide to subject yourself to this, make sure you get vouchers for what they promise in advance and if it includes golf, get a tee time first. Also, time them and don’t let them get away with 3 hours!

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Dos Playas Nancy ~ Halifax, Nova Scotia

April 2005

Booking 2 weeks prior to departure from Halifax we weren’t sure what to expect as this resort was classified as a 2 1/2 or 3 star.

From the moment we arrived at the resort everything went well. Our room was incredibly clean, the bed was as good as my new bed home and the service was wonderful. You don’t have the variety of food of a 5 star but no one got sick and the meat and fish were delicious. Nothing was greasy and all the food was relatively healthy. The grounds area was well maintained and the staff were wonderful. The drinks were as good as the ones I had in Cuba.

The beach was incredible and the smallnest of the resort made it friendly and personal. Bus stop was outside the resort and they run every 5 minutes 24/day. Busing to the hotel zone and downtown was simple and we went each afternoon to a different shopping area. The entertainment staff were incredible. They ensured each night there was somewhere different and exciting to go. As well they stayed with us throughout the evening.

If ever I go back to Cancun, and I will, I will definitely stay at the same resort. If you are looking for a 5 star this is not the place. The rooms have been renovated and are wonderful. I would ‘highly’ recommend this resort for those who want a nice place to stay and then you can spend all that ‘extra’ money on other things in Mexico that are worth doing. Enjoy your stay, we sure did!

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El Pueblito – Cancun Nicole ~ Canada

March 2005

I would like to provide my comments on the El Publito Hotel for the week of February 28th to March 7th. We were three families, which included 5 children aged 9 through 16 and a set of grand-parents. We arrived at 9:30 pm at the hotel and what a reception! The lobby was filled with a whole bunch of drunken students – it was a lovely first impression. They then gave us rooms (all seperated) in the dungeon, as we call it – where all of the students are housed. My parents which are in their 60 where housed on the fourth floor. Once we saw our lovely rooms, we set our baggage down and tried to get something to eat – we were starving. Of course the buffet was closed and all they could offer us was the little bit of food they had in the bar. As it turns out as you can imagine, we didn’t eat very much and tried to go to sleep. Of course, once we fell asleep, the students came back from their drinking expeditions around 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning and believe me, we knew they were back!!!!!!!!!!!

The next morning (oh by the way – I think the students knew we were awake at 7:00 as I did not spare them any mercy as they spared me none the night before) we were all changed into the quieter and nicer section of the hotel. Thank god! The reception guy was very helpful and very considerate to our needs.

As for the hotel in general, the grounds are nice and they are trying to fix up the hotel to make it nicer. They are always painting and cleaning up, the pools are small and not clean as the students are always throwing their drinks in the pool. The animation during the day leaves something to be desired (they play only rap music all of the time). It would have been nice if they could have realized that there were families and older people staying at the resort also and not only drunken students. The games they played were also not geered for kids to see. I am sure my kids will remember lots of things that they saw at this hotel for years to come (and not memories I would want them to keep. At times, my 10 year old daughter was scared to see the students and how they acted. I for one was embarassed to see that alot of the students were Canadians.

As for the food, I think this is the first vacation where I lost weight instead of gained weight. It was not so good, not much choice, or always the same choices and they always ran out of everything. Everything was watered down. One evening I got pissed off and boy you should have seen they running to fill up the empty pans!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The drinks were so so. You should have seen the way they washed or rather rinsed the glasses. I am still having nightmares about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But thank god the weather was excellent (of course this has nothing to do with the hotel) – it figures that was why is was so nice…………..

To conclude, I was about as impressed with the check out as I was with the check-in. The reception guy was not as friendly or helpful as the check-in guy and they cut your bracelet at noon. Then the rest of the day, they give you a hard time when you want drinks, etc. etc. , and especially the kids.

What a place – they have a long way to go before it ever has a chance of becoming a good place to stay. Good luck El Publito.

As you can see, this was not one of the better places I have ever stayed. I now know that anything under a 4 star is not for me.

I would not recommend this hotel to anyone (except for you the drunken students). ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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August 2005

I just got back from the Oasis Cancun and would like to post this review, as I had the most horrible experience and would like to advise others who might be interested in staying there of what to expect. Please see my review below:

"Do not go here!… unless you want terrible service and horrible food! My friends and I just returned from 4 days/3 nights (Aug 26-29th) at the Oasis Cancun. Before going, I had read most of the reviews and was a bit concerned about the resort but decided to keep an open mind- as I had stayed here before, about 4 years ago and thought it was a fairly decent place (also I travel fairly often and know that you must keep an open mind as everyone’s experience is quite different). However, definitely listen to the reviews! This place was definitely NOT the same place I stayed at 4 years ago. (I remember the rooms and the grounds being very nice, the service being good and the food being okay, considering this was an all-inclusive resort.)

Where do I begin: (i) The service from beginning to end was just terrible! This was by far one of the most unaccommodating places with the slowest possible service I have ever received! The staff here definitely has absolutely no problem displaying their apathy or disregard for the guests. For example, it took about 1/2 an hour to check out- when there was no one waiting to check out but you! I had gone to the check-out area, where I was told the 1 person helping out a couple check-in was the person that would help me, as he proceeded to help guest who were behind me. I was in a rush, as I was trying to catch my transfer to the airport- so after waiting about 15min, I went back up to the same person (as the check-in person, who was still helping the same couple check-in was still checking them in was still unavailable) and told him I would be late for my ride to the airport. He then just casually told me that he was helping someone else and would help me when he was done, or his colleague (who was still checking in the same couple!) would help me when he was done. Needless to say, my friends and I missed our transfer to the airport which the hotel would do nothing about- and we ended up having to pay $40 out of pocket!.

(ii) The food was horrible and actually, as a result of eating on the resort- 5 out of 6 of us ended up having stomach problems for most of our stay! (Let’s just say most of us saw more of the restrooms on the resort then anywhere else- which was actually also far from pleasant, as I had an encounter with some feces in the bathroom floor, in the public restrooms on the resort …) Your choice of food was also very slim and of course when you went to the a la cart restaurants, service could not have been any slower!… I kid you not that we ended up having a 3 hour meal!- while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes… Oh!- and stay away from the burgers! (We weren’t sure what kind of meat it was… hmmm- very questionable…)

(iii) The reviews about the rooms being completely random were right on. The room I stayed in was fine, except when we left the AC off because it would get too cold (the AC would only stay at one temp of about 50 degrees at all times even when we tried to keep it down- which was unbearably cold at times) was a bit moldy and musty. However, my friends’ room (along with having the same AC problem as us) had some additional problems. They had dirty linens, along with a furry visitor for the wkend… a huge hairy cockroach!

(iv) The Oasis Cancun advertises that they have a gym, but what they don’t tell you is that the last time they updated it was back in the 70s! The equipment was just so old, it was unusable. Note, there is a very nice recently renovated gym at the Grand Oasis- which is part of the same property, but are only able to use these nice updated facilities if you are staying at the Grand Oasis (which is 1 building that serves as the center of the property, with the buildings that make up the Oasis Cancun on both sides of the Grand Oasis). I understand that if you pay more to stay at a better property, you should get better amenities; however, this was a bit extreme. The Best Westerns probably have better gym facilities.

I would definitely NOT EVER recommend this place to anyone and will never be returning there myself. Although, I will have to say that the beach itself was very nice- although the water was very rough (I’m sure due to Katrina) when we were there so could not enjoy it as much."

Thank you

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Oasis Cancun John and K ~ PA.

June 2005

My wife and I have traveled to numerous resorts throughout the Caribbean and we have one outstanding comment to make about the Oasis Cancun. If you are middle aged don’t stay here. We were placed in a musty, dingy ground floor room . There were ants all over the dresser and floor. Keep your luggage off the floor. We wanted to move but they just sprayed insecticide. It did not help. The bugs returned. The last straw was the huge cockroach that was in the bathroom in the middle of the night. The only way to get your room changed was to visit their "time share" and put this towards an upgrade. They pose as hotel employees, but, are only there to sell time share.

There are no mini bars or hairdryers in the rooms, they do not even provide drinking water. There were absolutely no activities around the pool during the day and the only thing you could do at night was drink at the ONE bar that was open. The breakfast buffets were lousy. Eggs were runny, breads and rolls were stale, hot food was cold and cold food was warm. We ate omelets every day . They were the only palatable breakfast items. Specialty restaurants were above the norm but the waiters did expect tips even though all inclusive.

The beach and water were gorgeous but the lifeguards are not on the ball. A teenager drowned the day before we arrived and when I was in trouble, I was saved by two swimmers nearby.

The highlight of the trip was the optional Swedish massage my wife and I received. The girls are experts in their field. It was so beneficial and I highly recommend this treatment.

Bottom line. If you are a teenager between the ages of 18 and 21 this place is for you. Just be sure you are responsible and parents know that nobody is looking out for them. If you are anyone else, save your money and go to a nice place because this one is not worth it.

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Oasis Cancun Loi from Toronto

January 2005

Oasis Cancun, Cancun Mexico January 05 – January 12 2005

Booked Through itravel2000 for Sunquest.

This was my first visit to Cancun and pretty excited to go. The flight was uneventful, but the only gripe was the Skyservice seating was kinda tight. I’ve been on many planes before, but these ones seemed really small. We arrived at the resort lobby around 9:30pm.

Check in didn’t take too long at all. They gave us the room keys and a map and off we went. The room we received was in phase II. This building had a very ‘dorm’ like atmosphere since there seemed to be a lot of younger people and a bit noisier. I’m in my late 20’s so I’m just beyond my university phase. It was difficult to sleep since people were partying and making noise throughout the night. The next day we asked to move to a different room with an oceanview and they were accommodating. We got the room within a few hours of our request. The oceanview room was much more relaxing and it seemed to be more clean.

The beaches adjoining the resort are very nice, white coral sand with blue water. The water was very wavy so red flags were up the entire week we were there so it meant no swimming. But you can go stand in the water and enjoy the waves with a bit of caution.

The food on the resort was not horrible as reported by many of the reviews I have read. It was actually quite good. It was not ‘gourmet’ but I didn’t expect it be since I didn’t stay at the Grand Oasis. The best food I found was at the Galera, dinner time had some long waits though. We waited 30 mins to 1 hr sometimes, but it’s worth the wait. If you want something quick check out the buffets. The buffet at Taklish was better than Tunkul. The Sarape Grill had very good service but the food wasn’t as good as the Galera. But it’s nice to have variety though. Try things out once and see for yourself.

We saw a few shows at the hotel as well. They are quick shows but entertaining. Usually begin around 9pm until 10:30 or 11pm.

The resort itself is fun, but you’ll be missing a lot if you just stay there. I went on 4 separate excursions. 3 were full day and one was a nice cruise and show.

A thing to keep in mind is that you can book your excursions at the hotel or if you want to save 20-30% book it elsewhere. We booked ours at a place near the bus terminal downtown. The gentleman was very nice and not pushy at all. His prices were less expensive than the hotel’s travel agency and we got further discounts because we got 4 trips through him. He even gave us a card for 2 free beers at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Another good thing is that we didn’t have to pay for the trips all at once. He required just a small deposit and we paid the rest on the day of the trip.

Our first trip was to Chichen Itza. A bus picked us up at 7:00am at the hotel lobby and brought us to a central departure site. This is were we paid the balance of the money for the tickets. We had a very nice tour of the ruins by a local Mayan. Very knowledgable and entertaining. Then we had some free time to climb to the top of the large pyramid. The view is incredible up there, but you have to be very careful going up and down, the steps are narrow. There are a lot of locals there trying to sell you their souvenirs, be prepared to haggle. We got some really good deals there. After the visit at Chichen Itza we were driven to a place to have a late buffet lunch and short dance performance. Then we were given the option to go see an underground cavern (an was an extra 60 pesos for this quick visit), very unique though. The bus dropped us off at the hotel after the drive back at around 7pm. So a very long day but very enjoyable.

Our next trip was to Tulum and Xel-Ha. Tulum is another unique site with ruins. It didn’t at first look as impressive as Chichen Itza but the tourguide shed some light on the buildings and it was actually fun as well. Xel-Ha is an ecological park with a huge lagoon for snorkeling and relaxation. We didn’t get the all inclusive for the trip but we wished we had. The all inclusive was an extra 200 pesos per person, which allows you to eat and drink all day and well as have your snorkeling gear, inner tubes, lockers and towels included as well.
On the third day we took the evening cruise to Isla Mujeres for a the Carribean Carnival show. Very very entertaining and fun. What makes it so enjoyable is the staff on the cruise. The staff jobs include waiter, on board entertainer, on the island waiter and entertainers in the Caribbean show as well. Those guys had so much energy it was insane. Get ready to dance a lot that evening. The show on the island it self was entertaining as well, with local dancers. The crowd was involved quite a lot too. One of the most fun evenings we had there.

Our last trip was an all inclusive day trip to Isla Mujeres. This trip we could have done without. It’s probably more enjoyable to hop on a ferry and explore the island yourself on a rented golfcart or motorscooter. The entertainment was kinda dull, the snorkeling was not as nice as Xel-Ha. There didn’t appear to be many deals to be had on the island either. The t-shirts were a rip off there. We probably would have enjoyed a trip to Xcaret more.

Other notes. The best exchange we saw was 11.08 pesos to 1 USD, the hotel only offered 10.50 We usually exchanged a little bit at a time, because some stores offer a little better exchange when you pay in USD. Basically if a price is 100 pesos or 10 USD. Pay in pesos. I found it better to barter In pesos.

Beer is cheaper than water down there. A lot of downtown places sell beer for 10 pesos a bottle. But then again drink all you want at the Oasis. Try the Miami Vice.

The buses are very quick and efficient down there. Usually an R-1 bus comes by every 3 minutes or so. R-1 goes through hotel zone and downtown. An R-2 bus comes by a little less frequently, but this is the bus you need to take to go to Market 28. A great flea market. Let the bus driver know where you would like to go and they’ll stop there.

6.5 pesos per person for bus fare. 13 pesos for 2 people etc. If you pay in pesos the bus driver will give you change. If you give them 1 USD no change given. Taxis I found too expensive. The guy wanted 140 pesos to go from Market 28 to the Oasis Cancun. The buses are cheap and effiencient.

The Oasis Cancun is the perfect spot for young crowd, but if you want to have a bit quieter setting ask for a room in phase 1.

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January 2005

Flight to Cancun
We departed on December 25th with Jetsgo. The plane was delayed for 3 to 4 hours. We were moved to 4 different gates at the airport because the airline could not figure out a gate that can board their passengers. We spent X’mas day walking around the airport. There was no apology from the staff at Jetsgo. Instead, they told us that this is normal and we should just sit tight and wait.

At the courtesy from Sunwing, Jetsgo served us food on the flight. It’s a freezing cold piece of chicken that certainlly did not make us full after waiting at the airport all day.

Finally, we arrived at Cancun at almost 11 pm. We missed our x’mas dinner at the hotel. All the restaurants were closed except for a snack bar. So, we were forced to eat burgers and fries for x’mas at a snack bar.

Filthy Hotel Room
When we finally got to our room, the hotel room was filthy. There was no air conditioning. The room smelled with dirt and grass on the floor. The toilet did not flush. The TV did not work. The phone did not work. It was so riduculous that they put a phone on the table. However, the phone is not plugged in… and there is no cable to plug it in. They also put a TV on the counter unplugged. If you plug it in, you will get static…Even the remote control for the non-functional tv is broken, falling apart and held together by tapes. Everything was filthy in the room.

The next day, we went to the front desk, demanding a change of room. They told us that there was no vacancy and promised that they would change it the next day.

The next day, we went back. Again, they refused to change the room for us because there was no vacancy. The staff were rude and uncooperative. One of the guys even pretended to be a manager even though he was not! We persisted our compalint, and they finally agreed to move us. We went back to our room, got all the lugguges ourselves. We walked down two floors all the way to the other side of the hotel building. The room turned out to have ONE king size bed for the three of us who are staying in there.

So, we went back to the front desk, argued with them again. After about 10 mins of explanations, they finally figured out what we wanted. They gave us another key to another room. There was no apology.

So, we went back to the room, took our luggages. We walked the stairs up one floor and walked back to the other end of the building again. This time, we got an ocean view room with 2 double beds. That night, we found that the air-conditioning leaked. We had water all over the floor and we had to turn off the air conditioning.

I spent half of my time for the first three days to get a good room to stay in. The staff were not helpful at all. They are rude and has no idea what they are doing. In the end, I got a leaky room. I got so tired of it that I just decided to give up ‘cuz I do not want to argue with the staff again.

No service from Sunwing Agent During all this, the Sunwing agent was no where to be found. He was supposed to meet us at the hotel the day after we arrived. He was not there and no one knew where he was. He did not provide us with any assistance. I found him on the last day in order to get information about the flight back to Toronto. He gave us wrong information about where and when the bus would be picking us up to go to the airport. We almost missed our bus because of this.

General Appearance in the Hotel
The lobby and the public facilities are absolutely beautiful at the hotel. However, when you look closer, the hotel is really falling apart. There are holes everywhere. All the rooms leak in one way or another. You constantly see staff trying to sweep water out of flooded hotel rooms. The elevator is at the end of its life. I am constantly afraid that it may fall out of a cable when I ride it. The elevator jerks so much when it starts up that it hurts your back.

Services by Hotel Staff
Service was absolutely horrible. They are slow. If you order a drink from a restaurant, it takes 30 min before they will deliver it. It’s better to go get it yourself. A couple of times, a restaurant host will tell me that there is no space left at the resturant while you can clearly see that they have empty tables. They would tell you to go to another restaurant. If you persist and tell them you would wait, they would give you a table within 10 minutes. I don’t know why they do this… never understood it.

The food is absolutely horrible. You don’t want to eat or smell it after spending 2 days eating the food. The food is also dirty. By the 4th day, my entire family was sick from food poisoning. We vomitted and had diarrhea. We only ate at the hotel and we only drank bottled water plus their drinks there.

Threatened by Jetsgo Representative at Cancun Airport
While at the airport, waiting to get to the check-in counter,we had a dispute with the Jetsgo representative. We complained over the way he handled the lineups. He yelled at us, and told us to shut up. He exhibited very aggressive body language. As we persisted the complain, he threatened us by telling our group that we are not allowed to board the plane. He denied us from boarding because we questioned the way he worked, not because we were a threat to other passengers.

He also demanded our names and threatened that we would be black-listed by Jetsgo, and would never be allowed to fly with the airline again. (Not that I really want to…) Consequently, our group was isolated, fenced off by the railings, forming our own line. All the people behind us were allowed to go to the counter to checkin. None of the other staff at the airport would allow us to check in because they are all taking order from this representative. No one would assist us to find a supervisor. We were not able to check in until an agent from Sunwing interfered, urging us to go to the counter regardless.

The Flight Back
I was hoping my flight back would be uneventful. There was no water in the washroom to wash our hands because it was broken. We had to use hand sanitizer. They didn’t have any hot water, so consequently, we had no tea or coffee. They served us the icy cold chicken again and was kind enough to include one glass of water with it. When we asked for a second glass, we were told that we had to order from the menu and pay. (Unbelievable)

I have paid the premium price to have a vacation to celebrate my parent’sanniversary during x’mas. I expected good service and be treated with respect. Instead, we got poor service by the airline, the hotel and your staff at Cancun. We truly had an experience from hell. I am writing this review to hope that this does not happen to anyone again.

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Last updated: June 4, 2006

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