My extended family (14 people) stayed for six days over the Thanksgiving Break. We were comprised of three families in total, with 8 kids ranging from ages 10-16), and had decided on the Condesa based mostly on the excellent Tripadvisor reviews. We were not disappointed. We booked our vacation through Expedia.
Our airport to hotel transfer was by Best Day, which had its people immediate outside the
Terminal. Do not stop by the little Best Day booth inside the terminal, as they will only direct you to porters who will carry your bag for 30 yards to the Best Day rep standing outside, and then demand a tip. The Best Day reps will be in uniform, and will have clipboards - very easy to spot.
As we were a large party, Best Day call for a large shuttle that could accommodate all of us. 14 people is the largest amount any of their vehicles can accommodate.
We chose this hotel based on it being affordable to all three families. As such, it would be unfair to compare it to some of the luxury resorts. However, amongst its peers at this price point, it surely is at the top.
We arrived at the hotel at noon, and 4 of the five rooms were ready. We had reserved deluxe ocean suite. At the checkin, the clerk tried to upsell us to a better oceanfront room. I found this offputting, and told them so. Our rooms, while considered oceanfront, were indeed not, as the entire pool complex was between us and the ocean. To get to true oceanfront was going to cost another $150 per night. Wasn't going to happen.
I had contacted the hotel two months before to arrange to have all the rooms next to each other, since the plan (for two of the families) was to have the older kids bunk together so that the adults could have their own room. I was told to contact the hotel one week prior, and sent off an email. After not hearing back within a couple of days, I called directly and spoke to the very nice, and extremely courteous, guest services manager. He said that as a matter of policy, he could not promise that our request would be accommodated, but noted he would try his best. Indeed, we were delighted to find all of our rooms were next to each other on the six floor, with splendid views of the ocean. Was it oceanfront? Nope. For our purposes, it was fine. If it were just my wife and I, it would have been disappointing to be that far away, and I would have arranged to change rooms.
There were nice personalized welcoming touches for all of us. The rooms are moderately sized and furnished, with a rather firm mattress that some would find uncomfortable. It was fine for us. Many of the rooms had a small balcony with chairs (ours did not, but our kids room did). You may want to inquire upon check-in if that is your thing. As we enjoy reading on the balcony late afternoons or evenings, that mattered to us, but we simply used the boys' balcony.
The restaurants do not take reservations. However, I found that, without exception, we were able to arrange for a reservation at every restaurant by simply me going there early afternoon and making the request. After getting the RSVP, I always gave the hostess a tip. It wasn't asked for, but was always accepted with thanks. I found the restaurants to be above average, with the Asian restaurant outstanding. They have been previously reviewed, so no need to duplicate here. Service was amazing. Waiters were attendant, and, most importantly, friendly and ever-smiling. We felt welcome. I can't say enough about how wonderfully the entire staff treated us, and this was the most significant factor in my hotel rating.
Our routine was to spend the mornings by the pool, and the afternoon on the beach. There were drink waiters at both places who were efficient in getting my wife her frozen concoctions. Our policy is to tip a dollar for every time we were brought drinks. I don't think non tippers were treated any differently, at least that I could see. Always make sure you ask for their top shelf liquor, otherwise you will get rail. There is certainly a difference in taste, but there is, more importantly, a difference in sugar content and the next day impact. One negative here - the beach chairs are exceedingly uncomfortable, and there is no pad on them. There are pads on the pool chairs. More enterprising people tried to bring pool chairs down to the beach, and those that weren't stopped were better off...
The room, the hotel, the grounds and the beach were spotless. In fact, walking on the beach past other resorts we saw trash, litter and seaweed in abundance. Amazing how the Condesa pulls this off.
The kids had a wonderful time. The activities folks soon knew them by name, and would come look for them for beach and pool volleyball, water polo, etc. The men in our group joined them on the beach every day for hours of volleyball The "teen club" was a room that had an Xbox, a tv room and a ping pong table. Our kids spent little time there. There were not many other kids in the same age group as ours, which, had we been a smaller group, likely would have been disappointing to my own kids.
We did one excursion - snorkeling. We were able to negotiate a nice discount from the vendor next to the pool, and took the option to leave from the dock across the street from the hotel. We were brought to a reef about 30 minutes by boat. We've snorkeled at much nice reefs than the one to which we were brought, but we still had fun. The kids were permitted to each take a turn driving the boat, and got to jump off the top deck after snorkeling. It's the little things that make the best memories.
One morning a masseuse came by my chair and offered a sample massage. Sold!! So I spent $95 for a Swedish massage that evening. A very relaxing and professional massage, and worth every dollar to get my old bones back on the volleyball court the next day.
One significant negative. One of our party left a beach bag on a couch in the lobby tv lounge after watching football. When she went back to retrieve it, the bag (and her camera and video camera therein) were gone. The hotel management was responsive, but said neither of the two video surveillance cameras caught the theft. They said they would have the maids staff look for the stolen property, as they were literally in every room in the resort, but the bag was never recovered. To be fair, there is a daily newsletter of daily resort updates and events that always warns against leaving valuables behind. Impossible to know whether it was an employee or guest who took it. Just a bummer.
One anecdote. On the first day of beach volleyballI, one of the activities folks (Margarita) walked up to a gentlemen who had just arrived and greeted him with a hug and a teasing "hope your volleyball game has improved." turns out he was a returning guest from a year earlier, and she had recognized him and greeted him like an old friend. This sort of attitude is what distinguishes Condesa from its peers. I would, without hesitation, take my family back to this resort and likely will (although If I wanted a higher end, romantic resort with my spouse, I would go elsewhere, but that is an apple to oranges sort of comparison).
A wonderful trip, and our thanks to the resort and its staff for making it so.
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- Also Known As:
- Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All Inclusive Hotel Cancun
- Fiesta Americana Cancun
- Cancun Fiesta Americana Resort
- Fiesta Americana Condessa Cancun