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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort – Our Opinion

We really enjoyed this week’s stay at the Hilton resort here in Cancun, Mexico. As with any resort hotel stay, there are both good and bad things to say about them. In addition, among the other Hilton properties that we have stayed at – we most closely associate this with the Hilton Hawaiian Village from a comparison perspective.

Not a bad view from our Hotel Room in the Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort

Overall, this is a very good resort and is worth considering for any vacation. Especially if you want to stay close to the beach, pool, or do a lot of activities outside the Center of Cancun.

The concierge staff here makes that stay at the Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort that much better. At every opportunity, including before one even arrives – they take very good care of you. We were able to have questions answered, opinions provided on tour options, and reservations made in very quick order. This staff is definitely a huge plus for this hotel.

The beach and pools are perhaps the best part about the resort. They are huge, spacious, and there is plenty of available space poolside in and out of the sun. Shaded cabanas both by the pool and by the beach are free without any charges in a first-come-first-serve manner. This is a big advantage that this property has over the Hilton Hawaiian Village where space, including shade is tough to come by even during the slow season. And if in Hawaii you want to spend the day on the beach, expect to shell out $50 for a couple of chairs and an umbrella. The poolside service staff and bar are relatively timely and friendly which is not always the case at resorts. And, there are a bunch of activities all poolside during the day for kids and adults alike including water aerobics, water volleyball, and ping-pong.

In terms of the property, restaurants, and rooms – they are all relatively expansive and impressive – as the hotel is somewhat of a sprawling mega-resort. The rooms themselves are fairly typical Hilton rooms with all the standard amenities, standard United States plugs, and generally over-sized balconies. The restaurants serve a variety of inter-continental foods including Sushi, Italian, Mexican, and American flavors.

If you want to take a little time to look at the negatives of the resort, here they are:

1. Distance from Cancun Central forces a bus ride ($1.30 for two each way) or a cab ride ($10 each way) to get anywhere without walking approximately 4-5 km (2-3 miles). It can be somewhat inconvenient.
2. Rooms and hallways can be very loud, especially in the upgrade wing. Because of the Mexican themes with the use of all tile and marble flooring in rooms and hallways you hear everything that goes on in the hallway as well as potentially everything above you such as chair moving. That means if someone comes in loudly and shuts their door at 2:00am, you are likely to hear it. The best way we found to mitigate this was by making sure the fan in our room was running on high anytime we are in there. The only way to fix this would to be change the setup of the rooms and hallways with materials that better absorb sound.
3. The free breakfast that HHonors Gold or Diamond members receive is only the continental buffet. This is the way that Hilton Hawaiian Village used to be and after a lot of complaints did away with this as well as the tip not being included. Having to upgrade for “meat” or other items seems a lot like hitting people up for nickels and dimes. It should just be a free breakfast.
4. Linens are clean, but not always “clean”. What we mean by this is that mainly the towels will have some stains on them. They are definitely clean, but do not appear to be as “new” because of some stains from water, rust or what have you. Normally you would expect these to be re-bleached or thrown out.

Other than those, the Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort is an excellent place to spend your vacation – on par with a resort like the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Hawaii. In some areas it is better and other areas it is not. However, definitely an enjoyable place to spend the week – even better if it is free with HHonors points!