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“Excellent vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa del Palmar Cancun Beach Resort & Spa

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Villa del Palmar Cancun Beach Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Carr Punta Sam Km 5.2, Playa Mujeres 77400, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Playa Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Somerdale
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful resort. Beach, pools, jacuzzis, restaurants... What more could you ask for all at one place? We only stayed for 3 nights, so we had no need to leave the resort. Food was very good, service was great. Would recommend highly. Perfect for couples who want to relax.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2,396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,037)
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English first
Williamsville, NY
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

The resort is a $30.00 cab ride from the hotel zone. It is in the middle of nowhere. The room was pleasant and the onsite restaurants are fine.
There are really no activities and they do not provide transportation to any of the interesting and fun sites; only to a crummy flea market. It appears that they don't want you to know what you are missing by not being in the hotel zone..

I'd not stay here and recommend you avoid this place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

The Good:
3 year old hotel so nothing is old or worn-out…feels new
Very nice clean 2 room suite…with kitchen, w/d, 2 baths…like an apartment
Lovely well-maintined pools, beach, grounds
The spa was great and staff were well trained
Staff were pretty nice and helpful*
* see The Overcharge and The Weird below for caveats

The Annoying:

Icky time-share "concierges" hound you to take lame 1.5 tours of hotel you are trying to relax at…AVOID THEM! Hard to do bc they sit right next to front desk.

The Rip Off:

We had to pay a staggering $247 per day for 2 adults and 2 kids for all inclusive food/drink package…this would be fine but the FOOD IS AVERAGE and DRINKS ARE TERRIBLE and babies don't really eat a lot! If you like your guacamole squeezed out of tube with a bitter after taste and the worst margaritas ever…this is the place for you! There is no way you can get your money's worth if you have to pay this insane charge…you almost feel like you have to gorge bc you are being ripped off at $247 per day! But there is no way you can win…they give you a bill to sign at the end of each meal where you see how much it costs…so e.g. worst sushi dinner ever $112! Not one day did our food/drink tabs add up to $247. AVOID THE ALL INCLUSIVE FOOD CHARGE!

Sidenote:Technically you don't have to tip (it's all inclusive, right) but you do anyway bc you feel bad for the staff who generally tried to please as they bring you terrible food and drinks. You will be charged at the end for all these tips…not a big deal, but the only thing to do here is eat and drink since you are miles from town…it adds up. Breakfast buffets were good, but who can't cut up fruit and make scrambled eggs and bacon?


The Weird:

I left a pair of sunglasses in the gym…there was no one there but the gym attendant. We came back to get them a few minutes later (I left them near the gym mat we used) and the attendant who had picked up the gym mat where I left my sunglasses said they didn't find them. Pretty sure that attendant pocked them. *Helpful hotel security accused me of having them on my head by showing me a surveillance video of me leaving the gym without them on our head. WEIRD! Losing sunglasses isn't a big deal…but I knew exactly where I left them in an empty hotel gym you have to sign in to use and I went back 5 mins later to go get them…not the kind of place I want to go to again.

The Overcharge:

We ordered a van to take us to the airport…he arrived at 8:15, we had asked for 8:30. We were not ready…two kids, tons of luggage, etc…the bell boy who came to get our bags is freaking us out telling us we have to hurry the van won't wait…keep in mind we are paying $50-$60 for a ride that takes 25 mins to the airport 14 miles away. The average salary in Mexico is $5 per day. We got down to the lobby a little after 8:30 and the *helpful front desk tells us that they can't refund the charge for the van that is NOT taking us to the airport bc we werent ready? Huh? He showed up 15 mins early and we are late? Crazy…I tell the front desk "that's OK, I'll dispute the charge with VISA as soon as I get home" and then she says "If you do that, then I'll have to pay for it…they'll take it out of my pay." So…that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me…the place is nice, but super artificial and weird. VISA refunded the hotel's baseless charge by the way!

Room Tip: The rooms are numbered in a weird way…3006 is a ground floor…3706 would be the same room but on the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

Loved this resort. The front desk was very accommodating when some issues arose when I first arrived. Also, the rooms were nothing less than heaven. I had a view of the ocean and the time of year I went, November, allowed for a great breeze throughout the day and night with the balcony doors open. The number of pools were just right and the restaurants were great. The only issue I had was with the request to view their timeshares. From the moment I arrived, every time I went to the concierge desk I was continuously asked to view the timeshares, which would allow for discounted excursions during my trip. When I finally declined, I didn't feel as is the concierge service was as helpful. That said, I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Definitely request an ocean view room and ask for a room somewhere on the top 5 floors. It allows fo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed at VDP for our 25th wedding anniversary over Valenitne's Day and had a very relaxing stay. The weather was a perfect 82 degrees, however it is very breezy so ladies, be prepared to have messy hair and watch your skirts! This was our 5th trip to the Quintana Roo area, and our first with VDP so we had previous all-inclusive (AI) experiences to help define our vacation needs as well as to base our review. We found VDP to be right up there with other places we have stayed. The grounds are beautifully manicured and the rooms are luxuriously decorated and equipped with everything you need from 4 fluffy towels, hair dryer, shampoos & lotions, TV, A/C, lots of closet and drawer space, ceiling fan, plush bedding with a wide variety of pillows and levels fluffiness to choose from, to a kitchen bar area with sink, fridge, microwave, and dishes in case you're not taking advantage of the all-inclusive option and need to buy and prepare your own food. There is even a market on the property to purchase most of the food and sundries needed for a stay of several days. The city is a $30 cab ride if you want to purchase more items for a longer stay. The larger suites have washer/dryer units and full dining tables with plenty of chairs and additonal seating for families or larger groups. Rooms come with a balcony that has outdoor seating including a hammock large enough for two. Our only disappointment with the room was the tub/shower. Although elegant and tiled, it was very deep and could be difficult to climb over the edges if you are short or have knee, back, hip problems. The only way to get a walk-in shower is to upgrade your room choice which we were told wasn't available because of the Valentine's Day/President's Day holiday caused them to be sold out, even though we expressed several times that we were celebrating a significant anniversary. This was also another disappointment because our travel agent made an effort to specify our anniversary in the reservations, and we mentioned it several times during our stay to management and staff, and yet there was no recognition of the event. Not even a Valentine's Day nod with a flower or chocolate to any of the hotel guests. But you must remember, you're in a foreign country and if they do not recognize the event, then it is likely to pass without notice. Although we didn't travel with children, there were a lot (!) of families at this resort. There is a kids center and youth activities during the day and a fun pool area, but kids were everywhere at this resort not just the kids areas. There was an entertainment show every night ranging from karaoke to a fire dance with buffet dinners that varied each night. This was a nice way to meet other travelers and was a good option when reservations weren't available in the restaurants. Tip: Be sure to make dinner reseravations days ahead (no-later-than that morning) or you won't be seated before 9:30 p.m. There are several pools and pool temps were kept cool but refreshing once you get past the groin and/or bust areas! There are plenty of lounge chairs, umbrellas and shade areas and we only occasionally saw the towel game in effect. We found the food to be very good whether it was from the buffets, pool bar, poolside, or sit down restaurants. Both breakfast buffets offer omlet bars and other egg options with a variety of potatoes, meats and beans, breads/rolls/pastries, fruits and vegetables, cold cereals and oatmeal with toppings, and even pancakes with a variety of honeys and syrups. Another tip: although sausage was available directly from the buffet servings trays, you must ask for bacon from your waiter or from the omlet bar chef. Lunches and snacks were plentiful and portions were much larger than we've experienced at other resorts. For dinner, Davinos offers Mediterranean food (delicious greek salads and baklava) with Italian influences such as pastas with tomato sauces. Zama offers Mexican food (not Americanized Mexican food, so know the difference), Hiroshi has very good sushi and Japanese but also offers chicken, beef and shrimp, as well as delicious vegetables tempura. La Casona STK is primarily a steak house but not what most people consider a steak house so again, be sure to do a little homework before you go. We ate here twice because it was so good. All restaurants had plenty of side dish options and a good variety of deserts. We highly recommend the all-inclusive option as it allows you to choose as many dishes as you'd like and not feel restricted to one dish or feeling that you can't try something because of your budget. If you want a shrimp dish, a side dish, the chicken something-or-other and soup, you can! If your partner wants the beef, salad, and soup, and also the pasta, they can! And why stop at two desert choices when you can order as many as you want?? We watched a couple at the Bite Bar (poolside) order chips&salsa, a BLT, and a nacho plate with sodas. Then they he ordered a hamburger and fries and she ordered a salad and pizza. They snacked off each others plates and were still eating and ordering as we left! The AI option is also great if you consume alcohol as you can order any drink you'd like at the pools including fun drinks like dirty monkey/cancun beach/pina colada/mexican flag, mimosas or bloody mary at breakfast (as well as coffee, tea, juices, etc.), wine with dinner, cocktails and tequila shots anytime, and beer all day long! Another tip: remember your insulated mug for poolside. And with the AI option, this resort offers 24-hr room service. This is nice when you've spent all day by the pool and are too tired and sundrenched to shower and dress for a restaurant, or especially if you've been away from the resort on an excursion all day and get in late. Room service is also great if you want to sleep in late and order in and laze around your comfy room and not have to get fussed up just to head to pool for the day. To celebrate our anniversary we enjoyed a 50 minute couples massage that was great! It included time in the steam room with a dip in the ice cold plunge pool if you wish, a refreshing jacuzzi, and then the massage followed by choices of mineral water drinks and time to relax under shaded palapas before changing clothes and stepping back into the rest of your relaxing vacation. We were there a little over 2 hours and never felt rushed. Treat yourself. You won't be sorry. The spa also offered mani/pedi's and several other treatments at reasonable prices. Please consider tipping all of the staff even though it is advertised that tipping is included. All of the staff, from maids to bellmen, spa staff to groundskeepers, and pool servers to restaurant staff, they all work very hard and are so grateful for your business and your recognition that they are making your stay all it can be. Tip: say please and thank you, and Hola (hello) every chance you can. They will cover their heart each time they greet you and you should respect them in return. However, be aware that the concierge can be VERY pushy. They are there to help you plan things to do both on the property and away from the resort, but they really push the time-share tour. The tour is a great way to get more bang for your buck with the excursion tours, golf packages and spa services. Just be sure to present them with all of the things you want to take advantage of and then let them woo you with the package prices they can swing. You'll be amazed at what they'll cut in order for you to sit through a 90-minute presentation. Then if you're not interested, just say so and they back off. You may also find it bothersome to continually be asked for your room number and to wait to sign the check (reciept) after each drink or meal, but it is their way of tracking inventory because not everyone is on the AI plan. Just be patient, and follow their rules. Remember, you're in their country, and you're on vacation, go with the flow. And don't worry that you're being charged when on the AI plan just because you are signing. It will not appear on your bill unless it is not included in your original plan. Wi-Fi is available but only if you sign up and pay per day. Once you log on and create a password, you are charged $10/day. When you log on the next day, it will ask you whether you want to accept the next $10 charge to log-in for another 24 hrs. However, there is a free computer set up at the registration desk in the lobby available 24/7 to quickly check/send messages but be conscious of others waiting in line. We took the cargo ferry which is literally right next door to the resort over to Isla Mujares which is a 4-mile long island where you can rent mopeds, golf carts or taxis to explore the island. There are plenty of departure times allowing adequate time to spend on the island. There are a some luxury hotels and public beaches with few attractions and a main street with souvinier shops, local restaurants and bars. Another tip: Bargain for your trinkets. One shopkeeper reminded me that she was her own boss and what she sells you today will feed her family tonight. A silver bracelet and hair clip that started out over $100 US ended up costing $35. Other bracelets/hair clips and T-shirts were low cost, but we noticed missing stones or defective seams so check quality before purchase. The cargo ferry was $4/person or $7 for 2. You are loading with cars and trucks going over to service the island. One ferry had indoor seating and a little standing room around the outside, the other had a large open seating area on top completely open to the elements (wind/sun/rain). There is also a people ferry several miles away which requires a cab ride ($$) and more strict departure times. The golf carts were fun but gutless. Remember, you're on Mexican time so slow down and enjoy, and consider renting it for more than one hour so you have time to explore and not be rushed. Also, the carts/mopeds sell out quickly with the arrival of each ferry, so just begin shopping or have a beer and then the one-hour rentals will start returning and lots of carts/mopeds will be turned in. Here are a few other suggestions to make your stay at VDP, or any resort in the Quintana Roo area worthwhile: Research your trip and make a list of the things you want/expect of your stay, pay attention to the amenties offered, read reviews on Tripadvisor, and remember you are in a foreign country whose skills and abilities may well differ from home. We have found the staff at each of the resorts we've stayed in to be very humble and polite workers. Ask right off they speak english and be polite if they don't. Just find someone else or ask another traveller. They truly do appreciate your business and want you to enjoy your stay and to have you back again. They rely on your return business and the possibility of you recommending others to visit. Consider the AI option if you want a more carefree vacation, or the standard plan if you are worried about a budget or consuming enough food/drinks to balance the cost.

Room Tip: The floors are all tile so they can be cold and noisy. I always travel with earplugs for a sound nig...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanuet, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

After reading a mix of reviews, I figured I would add my experience to the mix. The vacation was awesome. Everything from the memory foam beds, to the service, and the privacy and overall feeling of getting away from it all. I am reluctant to share just how great it was as I don't want it to become too popular, then I might just have to get up early to reserve my chairs! The resort was at full capacity for the Presidents week, but you'd never know it. Plenty of chairs, pools, restaurants, and activities so you were never in a crowd. Beach volleyball was the most fun, and kayaks and stand up paddle boards too. Restaurants were good to excellent, with Davino being my favorite. Breakfast was superb, and dinner even better. Excellent wine selections with some really surprising good mexican wines.

The 2 bedroom villa was beyond comfortable and beautiful. Hammock and dining table and loungers on your private deck. Every room has an excellent view as the resort is horse shoe shaped facing the bay of Muheres, with Isla Mujeres in view off in the distance. Don't miss the chance to travel to the island for a day of shopping and the most beautiful beaches ever. Take the fast ferry in Puerto Juarez, just 15 minutes and $15 round trip. A minivan passes by the resort and takes you there for 7 pesos per person, about seventy cents. Bring pesos to the island, as the conversion rates were better in Cancun than on Isla Mujeres, about 13 to 1 vs 10 to 1.

Villa Palmar is outside of the hotel zone about 20 minutes north by car, so the beach is all yours. Private, with just one or two vendors passing through, and rarely anyone from outside the resort walking by. There was never a crowd situation, with lots and lots of beach to share. Some sea weed in the water, and the sand was awesome, the kind that never gets hot! Loved that. It was soft like baby powder. The water is clean and clear and just right temperature; refreshing but not cold.

We tried the spa and it was excellent. A free 5 minute massage on the beach helped us select our masseuse. Spa treatments are either on the beach, or at the secluded spa area, with its own suana, hot tub, whirlpool, aromatherapy, and more. You are encouraged to arrive an hour before your session to use all the extras at the spa.

My kids are older now, but there was a kids club and hair braiding, pottery painting, and fun activities for the little ones, and the staff appeared to be very attentive.

We had the option to do all inclusive, or just pay as you go, which we chose to do. Prices were very reasonable, especially for a resort. The onsite market and deli was excellent for stocking the room, which came with a fully equipped kitchen. We even had our own washer and dryer, so we could launder our clothes easily, making it easy to pack light for this trip.

The service, ah, the service. From pool to beach, the service was excellent. Servers literally ran with full trays of drinks and food! Beach bar with swing chairs was great.

It is a 'vacation club' or timeshare, and you will see people touring the site in the AM hours only. It was not a problem to me, and there was no hard sell sales pitch for guests either like some other places I have stayed.

Daily maid service was excellent. There is a daily charge of $3.50 added on to your bill.

Of special interest to some would be the Japanese toilet seats in the rest rooms outside the Japanese themed restaurant. They were very neat to say the least!

Check in and check out was a breeze, with most staff speaking English fairly well. I did not come across a rude staff member all week, in fact I was greeted with a hand over the heart and an Hola each time. The theme among the staff is "it is my pleasure".

I would certainly return, and heartily recommend the resort to families and couples seeking an out of the hotel zone week of relaxation, water activites, beach time, and great food and drink. If you want to party and be at a 24 hour beach rave, this is not the place for you; check in at the Oasis instead. If a day on the beach, swimming, beach volleyball, dinner and show, and a luxurious room are what you like, stay here.

Room Tip: not a bad room in the resort as far as I could tell.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

We stayed here for five days. The hotel is the most beautiful place we've ever stayed. The breakfast buffets were outstanding. The beach is private and no vendors to deal with. The pools were clean and the whole grounds were well maintained. It was more than we'd expected.

Room Tip: Our room overlooked the garden area and some pools. We were on 2nd floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa del Palmar Cancun Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Carr Punta Sam Km 5.2, Playa Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Playa Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Villa del Palmar Cancun Beach Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 415
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beachfront luxury resort is located in the pristine beaches of Playa Mujeres, about 25 minutes north hotel zone and 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport. The new Villa del Palmar Cancun offers a range of possibilities for fun and relaxation that will make your holiday truly unforgettable. The complex offers amazing 5-star service, extravagant amenities and plenty of activities to keep your adventurous side entertained. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Del Palmar Cancun Hotel Playa Mujeres

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