All-inclusive in Cancun
January 5, 2011 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good all-inclusive in Cancun (or nearby)? I'd love especially to hear from people who have had good experiences somewhere recently. Most important criterion: it must be truly all-inclusive! We don't want to face any unexpected costs.

I'm heading to Cancun with a couple of friends in February, and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I've been looking on TripAdvisor, etc, and a lot of places seem to be not quite all-inclusive -- people talk about having to pay for drinks over a certain number, or not being able to get drinks by the pool, etc.

Our ideal place would be adult-only (though that's not a deal-breaker), and, since, we're likely to spend most of our time reading by the pool or beach, would be somewhere where it's not too tough to get a beach chair (or a drink at the beach). We don't need to be right in Cancun if there's a better place a little farther away.

We're coming from Boston and will be 3 to a room, and our budget is about $1000 each.


(We went to a great place a couple of years ago, but it doesn't seem to be offering any deals at the moment.)
posted by cider to Travel & Transportation around Cancun, Mexico (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I loved our honeymoon at the Excellence Playa Mujeres. The resort itself is beautiful, with great beaches and views, and attractive architecture.

Adults-only, drinks served for free whenever and wherever you want them, and good food available at all hours. I think we may have paid once or twice to have a bottle of champ delivered to our room, but we could have walked over to the all-inclusive lounge at any time to get it free by the glass.

We had no trouble snagging chairs by the pools, as I recall. We were there in early July, though, with temps hovering around 100F. It's likely more crowded this time of year.

Let me know if you have any questions about the place!
posted by Fred Mars at 9:46 AM on January 5, 2011

Just a sidenote but its worth checking out all inclusives in Playa Del Carmen. You'll probably get a better deal and its absolutely beautiful. Playa is about an hour south of Cancun but you can get transfers. You will be close to a ton of attractions, Xcaret, Tulum, cenotes, etc. 5th avenue has lots of shopping. You are a 30 minute ferry ride away from Cozumel if that interests you. The Mayan Riviera seems to be a quickly growing alternative to Cancun.

We have stayed at the RIU Playacar and there were no issues with drink limits or extra charges. They gave us free bottles of Evian in our room and there was tequila/beer restocked daily. I don't remember what we paid so it may/may not be in your budget but do a quick Playa del Carmen search and see what comes up. I have stayed in Cancun also but found Playa to be more relaxing, international and less focused on catering to American college students looking to hit the clubs.
posted by halseyaa at 9:56 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Family had a great time at the Iberostar in Playa Paraiso. It's a huge complex with six resorts or so, and you can eat/drink/etc. at any of the ones "below" your level. Only the highest end is adults-only though. Didn't mention anything about extra fees, just raved about the endless drinks. Also you can use your wristband at the other Iberostar in Playa del Carmen for free food/drinks.
posted by smackfu at 10:40 AM on January 5, 2011

Just a sidenote but its worth checking out all inclusives in Playa Del Carmen.

We stayed at the Royal in Playa Del Carmen in summer '09 and the all-inclusive was totally legit. Our room came equipped with four bottles of liquor, drinks were brought to us constantly in the pool (or we could swim up to the bar), even the food at four or five restaurants was totally free. And (iirc) room service was free! There were no gotchas.

The pool was so nice and relaxing that we literally never bothered going to the beach which was about 100 ft past the pool, so I can't comment on the drinks service there.

Also, no kids allowed.

The only money we spent was on a couples' massage and several outings (swimming with dolphins and snorkeling.)
posted by callmejay at 11:17 AM on January 5, 2011

(I should add virtually everyone there was a newlywed, so take that into account.)
posted by callmejay at 11:18 AM on January 5, 2011

Secrets Maroma has everything you listed. Went there last spring with a group of adults and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Great service, no attitude, never "took out the card." Drinks/food on the beach/at the pool. Dancing/ bike rides. They even had a "fire show" one night. The spa is extra.
posted by mrmarley at 11:55 AM on January 5, 2011

i stayed at the RIU Yucatan in playa del carmen last februqry. Everything on the grounds of the resort was paid for. Any side trips (Xelha, Tulum) were extra. The room i stayed in even had an in-room shot dispenser with rum, gin, tequila, an vodka in it along with the fridge that was restocked daily. Five bars on the grounds, including two swim-ups and one that was open like 21 hours per day.

On preview, what callmyjay said.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:42 PM on January 5, 2011

whoops. callmejay.
and February.

posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:51 PM on January 5, 2011

I haven't personally been there, but I have heard nothing but incredible things about Dreams in Cancun from multiple groups who have been. Have fun!
posted by firei at 3:56 PM on January 5, 2011

Seconding the Royal Playa Del Carmen. We went there for a vacation this past summer and it has everything you're looking for. We made good use of the swim-up bar and bar in the room. I think it's regularly a little pricy, but my friend used a website where you can "sublet" other people's timeshares, and we got a huge discount.
posted by mikeweeney at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2011

I stayed at Club Med Cancun a couple years ago. I really liked it. The food was excellent (think French meets Mexican). As I recall, drinks were included (including some decent European stuff, like Campari). They had service at the beach. Bottles of wine were extra (and bad, don't bother).

One aspect about it that I enjoyed was it's location. Basically, it's at the end of the beach, at a point. The first benefit was the relative lack of traffic on our beach from other resorts. The second benefit was the fact that the point very effectively sheltered our beach from heavy surf. I never had trouble getting a spot at the beach. Plus, I love the covered "beds" right on the beach. Heaven.

Here's a link to some pictures. Most of them were taken at the resort

Granted, it was a LGBT chartered week--so no children during my stay. I can't speak to that. The clientele who were leaving when I arrived appeared to be mostly European. YMHYOO about whether that's good or bad.
posted by robabroad at 1:46 PM on January 6, 2011

Went to Secrets Capri about 3-4 years back with my girlfriend at the time. Absolutely amazing. Adults-only, all inclusive. You had to get out pretty early to get a covered beach spot, but we didn't have any trouble finding a spot by the pool. Enough restaurant on-site to have variety during your trip, make reservations when you arrive. We took day-trips to Tulum, Chichen Itza... swam in a cenote on a stop on the way back.
posted by miasma at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice, everyone! We ended up going to Live Aqua in Cancun, and it was very nice -- the beach was gorgeous, and it wasn't hard to get a chair if you went out fairly early to claim one with a towel. It was definitely all-inclusive (including 24 hour room service and minibar, which were two nice touches) and mostly adults. The food ranged from okay at the buffet to fantastic at the restaurants.

My only complaint was that they seemed a bit disorganized -- for example, we were checked into a room with one king-sized bed initially, even though there were three of us, and it was really hard to figure out who we should be asking to get that fixed; I had also emailed ahead for a dinner reservation and it got misplaced. Other than that, though, I would definitely recommend it, especially for people who are looking for a low-key, relaxed atmosphere.
posted by cider at 8:21 AM on February 23, 2011

« Older Revealing hidden CD tracks   |   Help Me Manage My Games Collection Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.