The ride from the Airport is a bit .. long (scary). We booked through cheapcarribian.com and they were wonderful. Transportation was efficient and the staff was friendly.
Upon arrival at the Villa del Palmer we were greeted with tropical beverages and smiles. We had been traveling all day and just wanted to sit down and eat .. which we did. I could not understand why the "concierge" did not want the bellman to take care of getting our luggage to our room while we ate. I later discovered it is because the "concierge" was really a sales person rather than an employee dedicated to helping guests.
The rooms are beautiful, the pools are lovely and fun and not over crowded. The beach is very nice. The infinity pool has signs around it restricting it to "elite guests" - which we ignored. It was a bit off putting. If you have the misfortune to take the time-share tour, you will understand what they mean by delete members.
We were initially very impressed by the property. In fact, unlike countless other trips where we were offered time share tours, we decided to give this want to try. They promised to hours maximum and when our salesperson began the tour he indicated one hour, at most 90 min. we reminded him that our children were in the kids club and we had a limited time. He began the tour, taking Us on the property and then showing us the "elite" suite. In the middle of the tour, we had to stop the pickup our children as kids club closed down for the lunch hour. We were very impressed with the various rooms and especially with the elite suite.When we sat down to talk price is when things became dramatically uncomfortable. The 90 min. tour extended for over 3 hours and when I told them that my children needed to eat lunch they kept pushing for a deal. Finally, they let my wife and children leave and asked me to take 5 min. and complete a review of the tour. Little that I know that this was one final sales pitch. Unfortunately, I could not leave as they would not let me purchase the excursion tickets unless I completed the time-share pitch. This left me dealing with them for another 45 min., not as a quality review but as a final additional sales pitch. When I finally escaped the time-share hell I had to stand in line for another hour to purchase the excursion tickets at a reduced price. Unfortunately, that experience diminished the otherwise near-perfect resort.
As our stay continued, I noticed that the service was either excellent or nonexistent. Some of the staff bent over backwards to take care of us, others could not be bothered. The one thing that very much bothered me at this "all-inclusive resort" was the constant obligation to tip if you wanted actual service. We generally tip very well and I can honestly say we went through several hundred dollars in singles during the week. While I believe that excellent service should be recognized, I also firmly believed that nonexistent service should not be rewarded. Unfortunately, the attitude we encountered with some of the staff left a lot to be desired.
The one thing that bothered me with regard to the grounds, until I figured a way around it, was the fact that everybody would simply put towels on chairs around the pool to reserve them all day while never sitting in them. I figured, if you can't beat them, join them. Consequently, when I woke up early I would walk down to the pool and placed towels on chairs and a prime area. I am not a fan of this type of thing but figured I wanted seats near were my kids would be playing in the pool.
I must say that the food was excellent. The sushi restaurant and the steakhouse were both first class. The Mediterranean restaurant was excellent and the every day/centrally located breakfast or lunch place was adequate. One suggestion is that if they have people taking orders for fresh made months, make sure the people understand what is being ordered. Out of 6 orders for an egg white, on consecutive days, I can safely say that they got the order correct once.I do realize that we were in Mexico, but if you're going to targets American visitors make sure the person taking the food order can understand English.
All said, we would consider returning but will probably shop around for a property closer to the airport and less tip driven.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Del Palmar Cancun Hotel Playa Mujeres