This premier all inclusive 5 star hotel and spa is brand new and has only been open 6-7 weeks and has some growing pains. My husband Rolf and I(Lynn) are Canadians and have been married 33 years. Although it was my second trip to Cancun, it was my husband first to Cancun. Cancun is a very busy place and never lacks for things to do.
If possible avoid travel on the weekend to Cancun, on the Sat. we arrived Cancun airport processed 20,000 people threw their airport. Customs and Immigrations was a 1½ hour wait. Twelve planes arrived the same time and people were lined upstairs and all over downstairs to clear immigration. At one point that Sat. 20 planes arrived at the same time. I guess this is normal for Cancun airport. In 2005 they are building a new airport south of Tulum to fix this problem. Ignore all people in airport offering maps etc. as they are timeshare. Pick up shuttle taxi for $9 per person outside baggage door.
Check-in and Rooms:
Check in was simple but they take you into another room and ask you questions and avoid this for another day as they are actually timeshare. We did get two free tours which were excellent out of this. The hotel is L-shaped with the inside L facing the pool/ocean. The short outside L faces the lagoon and street which has buses running up and down 4 lane road there. The long side of the L faces another hotel so you are left looking at a solid wall for a view. Lots of people trying to change room to ocean view which they seem to want $30 a day as they considered this a up-graded room. We did have an ocean view room with no additional charge but it was an adjoining room 8434.
The hotel is very upscale in general was super and very grand with lots of marble and has only been open 6-7 weeks. Halls in hotel could be more impressive. Very well kept, clean but could be more organized. The staff was lacking in information but most spoke English very well. This is a small complex with lots of concrete and no shade or gardens. They were very few children at this resort. They have a free internet room with two computers next to the theater and beside the washroom near the front lobby.
These were super. Very uniquely designed with a swim-up bar, chairs are at a shortage and not enough to go around and no shade. The entertainment staff did a good job of entertaining the guests throughout the day with a variety of activities. For those who wanted it quiet, there is a second pool area with Jacuzzi but no shade here . They have massages available for $35 a half hour.
The beach was nice and clean but small/narrow only 40 ft in depth. The surf was rough red flags up all but one day while we were there due to the strong breezes throughout the day. People seem to swim with red flags up although the undertow is quite strong. They is shade down on the beach after 2pm in the afternoon. The sand was soft and hard to walk on. There was also a lack of lawn chairs on the beach. You can rent jet boats or go pay to go para sailing. Water sports was non existent as the ocean is too rough. You can go over to the lagoon and use kayaks, pedal boats there.
The weather was great at this time of year. Highs in the mid 80’s(25-30C) and lows in the high 50’s in early morn or late evening so bring a sweater or jacket.
Food and drinks:
This is an all-inclusive resort and there was plenty of food and drink to be had. We enjoyed all the restaurants but Club Solaris buffet style was noisy. Marco Polo Restaurant was a menu choice and quieter. The other outdoor restaurant was often very windy. Food served included fresh cooked turkey, roast beef, pork, grouper, salmon & also they had a lobster Sat. They have a outdoor grill with pizza, burgers and hot dogs. A deli restaurant also made up sandwiches but couldn’t seem to determine when this was open as only open once in the whole week we were there. The hotel provides room service for any meal which was free and a nice added feature. Be sure to ask for a Rum Runner or Sex on the Beach both excellent drinks. You can also go to the Royal Solaris Cancun 5 minutes away and use their restaurants and facilities. We went to the Marco Polo Restaurant overlooking the ocean but crowded(15 min wait for lunch) and not much food selection.
They hold buffet dinner/theater parties Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the theater near the elevators and store but not clearly marked. Monday was Mexican night with excellent food and dancers for entertainment. Wednesday was a Cirque d’le and Friday was a Tropical theme. They had huge rotating ice sculpture in the food. One night they had a surprise night but was audience participation and not that great. You could also go to Carlos and Charlie and dine on Thursdays but avoid if possible. They take you on a bus at 6:00pm and serve you a buffet dinner which isn’t very good and doesn’t include your drinks. They bring you back at 10:30 at night. Lots of complaining about this meal and of people took the local bus back themselves to the hotel. The hotel also have nightly entertainment two singers with music in the lobby bar which is very nice.
The hotel provided two tours free. One was on the Sunday a tour of the lagoon in a large boat from 1pm to 3pm. One on Monday a tour down the coast to south of Tulum to a Mayan village, a tour of the jungle and free zip line rides and canoe rides. This tour also included a delicious lunch and time at resort on the Mexican Rivera. We left 7:30am and returned 5pm. I think these were put on by the timeshare people but was great .We took our own tour to Isla Mujeres. You can catch the bus in front of the hotel but make sure it says Puerto Juarez. They run every 15 minutes and usually have Isla Mujeres written across the top or side of bus in green. Take this bus for 10 minutes pass the bus depot downtown Cancun, do not get off at other locations to go to the island as they are double the price of Puerto Juarez. The ferry runs every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour and cost $7.00 return. On island you can rent a golf cart for $45 a day but be sure to take your driver’s license. Island is only 5 miles long and has some beautiful scenery and beaches. Lots of shopping stores where the ferry land and also a very scenic beach within walking distance.
They run up and down the hotel strip every 2 or 3 minutes and only cost 6.5 peos or $1.00 U.S. One bus runs to Wal-Mart and is marked as such and you can also do Market 28(cheap flea market) the same time. If you forget anything the Wal-mart will have it and their liquor is cheaper than the duty free. A bottle of Kahlua was $8.88 at Walmart and duty free wanted $12 for same bottle. Another bus is marked Puerto Juarez and it will take you to the ferry to Isla Mujeres. There are no transfers available you have to pay again to get onto another bus. You can also go down the coast to Playa de Carmen that runs every 15 minutes from the main bus terminal downtown Cancun but be sure to take a first class bus. From Playa de Carmen you can get the ferry to Cozumel.
Summary: We had a great time at this resort. It is close (10 minutes) from the airport and it exceeded all of our expectations. The front desk does need some expertise which will come after it has been opened longer.
Any questions please feel free to contact me at Lynn002@hotmail.com