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“Love the place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sun Palace

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Sun Palace
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Blvd. Kukulcan Km 20 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #4 of 177 Hotels in Cancun
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Love the place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2005

We stayed at the Sun Palace from April 23 to April 30. This was our second time there. We liked it so much the first time that we brought friends this year. The four of us will be going back next year as well.

2005 was even better than 2004. The principal improvement was that they redid the lunch area and the lunch menu as well. Lunch in 2004 was the weakest meal. In 2005 it was as good as breakfast and dinner, which are themselves great. The professional entertainment was also much improved and was held outdoors every other night. It is over by 10:00pm. There are no nightclubs although you can stay late in the lobby bar after casino night, welcome night and karaoke night which are held on the nights when there is no professional entertainment. We have never experienced any noise coming from anywhere that in any way kept us up. Another new feature is the liquor dispenser on the wall in each room. Put your glass under one of the dispensers, push up and get a shot of Tequila, Rum, Spanish Brandy or Scotch. This is totally free, as it the constant refilling of the refrigerator with beer, soda and water. There is also 24 hour a day unlimited all-inclusive room service. Often before dinner, I would get a shrimp cocktail delivered to the room. Speaking of restaurants, there was a new one this year, Le Bistro, giving you four choices of where to eat dinner each night. Yes there is no Taco Bell type food and you will be disappointed if that is what you think is genuinely Mexican. However, please let me assure you there is more than enough Mexican food to go around. I had so many different types of foods that I had never seen before and which I will never see in a Tex-Mex restaurant in the states. I understand that they will be closing the resort in September for two months to do further upgrades. I can't imagine what they could do to make it better but I am anxiously awaiting finding out next year.

The comments about sewage smells, spiders, bad food, etc. are simply untrue. I should know about sewage, I run a 16 million gallon per day sewage treatment plant. If there were a sewage smell, I would have noticed it. I also run a water system that serves 50,000 people. In Cancun you can drink the water. Their water comes from deep underground wells just like in my town and is purified - not only the water from the tap but also the ice in the drinks and the water used to wash the salads. There is no brown water. I've never seen one insect in 13 days at the resort, not even a mosquito, and never heard of one person becoming ill. I also should mention that across the road from the hotel is an area where you can use a sailboat or a paddleboat, free of course. They will even give you free scuba diving lessons.

The staff is the friendliest I have ever encountered anywhere. We have traveled numerous times to Europe, the Islands and all over the US. There is no better service than at the Sun Palace. Gabriella and Italia, two of the hostesses, Arlene, one of the beach waitresses (yes they bring drinks to you on the beach all day), Martin, a bellhop and Antonio, a host, deserve special notice although that is really unfair since everyone is so attentive and helpful. I would recommend bringing a stack of dollar bills and some fives for tipping. While no tipping at all is required and while you will receive the same excellent service whether or not you tip, I feel, personally, that you should tip the even though you are at an all-inclusive resort. Only my opinion, your call. Try the Mayan coffee after dinner. It is en fuego. One night they had churros as one of the many deserts at one of the outdoor restaurants. Since my wife is half Spanish and since churros are eaten with hot chocolate in Spain, we asked if we could get some. Guess what, hot chocolate appeared in April in Cancun. That is the kind of service you will receive. By the way, the prices in the jewelry store and the gift shop at the hotel are cheaper than at the shopping malls.

The resort is immaculately clean. The tile floors in the rooms are swept and washed every day. There is a constant parade of staff sweeping the steps, doing touch up painting, etc. Hell, they even clean the beach every morning. Speaking of which, there are a few rocks that come and go each day as the tides move the sand. However, there are always good stretches of beach to swim in without worrying about any rocks.

In conclusion, this is one of the best resorts we have ever been to. Go and enjoy.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Salt Lake City, UT
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2005

I must say that, after the reading several negative reviews in a row, I began to wonder if they were legitimate. But I know that one or two bad experiences can really affect your overall attitude about a stay, so maybe they are, but our experience was excellent. I agree with everything the person from Las Vegas said, so I will try not to repeat too much. After reading all of the reviews on the Sun Palace (and some other resorts), I have concluded that most people's reviews are largely based on expectations and whether they believe they received good value for what they paid. I definitely believe that we received good value and that our expectations were met or exceeded. A couple of caveats. First my wife and I like to travel, and occasionally my work has paid for some very nice hotels, but typically, when on our own, we are perfectly content with the nicer Marriotts or Hiltons, or even a nice bed and breakfast. In other words, we do not need a fancy hotel experience to enjoy ourselves. Second, we are RCI members and traded our timeshare for the Sun Palace. This may affect our review since (1) we only paid for the all inclusive part and (2) most timeshare exchanges are not going to be luxurious accommodations. For this reason, I continually tried to lower my wife's expectations of the Sun Palace before arrival. As a consequence, she totally loved the hotel. Somewhat comically, I, on the other hand, found myself continually looking for problems to report back to the tripadvisor readers. However, I found very few and they were very minor. Everyone agrees that the service is exceptional – employees often asking you if you needed anything else. The common areas are clean and very nice -- smaller but Hilton type quality. To me, the lobby, the bar and the restaurants looked newer than those at the Cancun Palace and the Beach Palace. We had the choice of two rooms and were told to go look at them before deciding. We chose the one with a large balcony although we did not use it for more than a three hours total on this busy trip. However, we have stayed in B&B's with the in-room hot tub, so there was less novelty to that room. So it's a toss up on which room I would choose again. The room with the hot tub was larger and had a sitting area, but the balcony rooms varied in size as well. We had a smaller room, about the size of a normal hotel room (but a huge deck) and furnished nicely but not fancy. Definitely the best view we have ever had. The room was clean and I never saw a bug in the whole hotel except a couple of ants (and I was looking). Given the hotel and the location, the room is something you would expect to pay $250+ night in Hawaii in the off-season. It was not crowded at all. In fact, we liked the initmacy of the smaller hotel. The beach was beautiful. The water is warm. Only a couple of rocks on the very south end of the beach, nothing like some of the rocky beaches at hotels south of the Sun. The waves at the Beach and Cancun Palaces broke farther from shore so the closer water was calmer (and maybe a little shallower), good for wading. The Sun Palace would have been better for body surfing. The pool was smaller than the Cancun Palace but less crowded as well. The bed was fine. Room service was great. Some areas of the hotel (such as parts of the corridors) could have used a little paint, but again, I couldn't help looking for problems to report. There are some places in Cancun on the street that have a little sewer smell but I have noticed the same thing in New York in the summer. It was not anything to worry about and I did not smell any problems at the hotel itself. The food was good. Not every meal was something to rave about (other than Friday's Italian menu which was awesome). But certainly as good as I would expect at home for $25+ each if you include drinks and dessert. The steak was excellent. Breakfast was excellent. I would expect to pay $15+ each for a similar hotel breakfast buffet in the States. We ate two lunches at the Beach Palace and one dinner at the nice restaurant at the Cancun Palace. All were good. We can't comment on the entertainment as we are early to bed people. There was a good mix of ages but not a lot of younger children. The only other problem we had was some noise a couple of nights. Not from the bar; it sounded like construction noise. I would not worry about the Sun's location at the south of the hotel zone. We would have ended up taking buses no matter where we stayed as the layout of the island is not condusive to walking between places. I will post some other comments about our trip on the forum. I am sure there are other fine properties along the hotel zone and I don't know how the costs compare. But I would definitely recommend the Sun Palace to friends who wanted a clean, upscale, smaller, quiet hotel with good food, a great staff, a beautiful beach and other sister hotels to provide variety.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
St. Louis, Missouri
1 review
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2005

My fiance and I have just returned from Cancun, Mexico, staying at the fabulous Sun Palace resort from 5/19-5/22 and I couldn't wait to share our experiences with others.

I have never stayed in Mexico before because my previous one day visits to Cozumel and Tijuana sort of left me unimpressed about spending several days in Mexico. Since it was my birthday weekend and I didn't want to go to Las Vegas again, we decided to give Cancun a try.

After reading dozens of hotel and resort reviews on-line and in travel magazines, I finally decided to stay at the Sun Palace. The things that sold me on the Sun Palace over the many other options were its consistently high reviews from people who stayed there, the virtual tours of the rooms and facilities, its all-inclusive option and its location just outside of the hectic and noisy hotel zone, yet easily accessible by bus or cab, if required.

When we arrived to the hotel from the airport, we got a good feeling right from the start. The bellman was extremely friendly and when we entered the lobby it was not overly fancy, but it was exceptionally clean. The staff welcomed us by name and presented us with a glass of champagne and orange juice, which was very tasty.

The registration went smoothly and we were lead to our room. We were very impressed with the room, it was so clean with marble everywhere and a huge jaccuzzi in the room. There was an in-room bar service, beautiful ocean view with the waves crashing rhythmically, but no balcony. With such a beautiful view of the ocean, we decided that we had to have a balcony room. We requested one and they immediately changed it and then we were truly in heaven. (It is a good idea to have $20-30 in ones for tipping. The waiters and bellmen work hard all day and are poor relative to us as tourists. It's not much but they apprieciate the gesture and you'll feel good yourself.)

The food was good for an all-inclusive and there was enough variety to keep just about anyone satisfied. From chicken, hamburgers and Mexican dishes to filet mignon, shrimp and octopus, they had a very nice spread of foods. I'm upset that we missed the evening barbeque by the pool, but I know that it was good too. I think that all-inclusive options are excellent, if you are going to stay at a certain place for at least a week, because it takes the stress out of eating while on vacation. The resturants were clean, the food was good and the staff was very friendly. What else could you ask for when travelling?

There are daily activities at the Sun Palace, nothing really spectacular: pool volleyball, bingo, exercise classes, etc., but they give you something to do if you want to. The evening entertainment leaves something to be desired, but after a few strong drinks, they sounded like top recording artists. This resort is definitely not the place for young, party animals who want to get sloppy drunk and rowdy. If you want a clean, romantic, beautiful, peaceful environment to be with your loved one, then the Sun Palace is almost perfect.

When we return to Cancun in the future, we will not hesitate in staying at the Sun Palace first. Hopefully, the party animals will stay up the hotel strip and keep the Sun Palace as serene and romantic as it is.

Was this review helpful? Yes 31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro Oregon
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

My husband, 16year old daughter and 13 year old son just returned from the sun and had a wonderful time. The staff went out of the way to make everything great. We had a junior suite that overlooked the pool and ocean the sofa made into a bed which was great with 2 teens. When we first got there we were greeted with smiles and given a cool clothe and drink to cool down after trip from airport. We arrived on a monday around 11:am and were given are room right away which was a very nice suprise. The resort was kept very clean the only down side would have to be the variety of food but what was available was very good. The beach was very nice and we had no major problems with rocks. This is a very laid back resort and a nice place to relax my teens loved the pool tables and were able to play anytime they wanted since it was not crowded. We were treated like Royalty and will return to the Palace Resorts.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
1 review
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2005

I'm suprised at the negative reviews because we loved the Sun Palace. The entire hotel was very clean, our room very clean as well. No bad smells anywhere. The food was good, nice variety. We also went to the Cancun Palace to eat one night and that was very good as well. The mixed drinks were weak, and the wine selection was not very good, thats probably the only negative thing I can think of. The beach was beautiful, the pool was great. Its a small, quiet hotel, compared to the Cancun Palace which was much larger and livelier, but I think the Sun Palace is a better place to be with children. We went on one tour, the Tulum and Xpu Ha Palace tour, which we really enjoyed. The service at the Sun Palace was excellent.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2005

My husband and I did so much research before this trip and read quite a few reviews. I hope this one helps you. We orginally were going to stay at Dreams, however two days before our trip we found out that the pool was under construction. We are so grateful that happened because we ended up staying at the Sun Palace. We can not say enough good things about this all-inclusive resort. Every single staff member were not only friendly but went out of their way to make every minute of our stay memorable. We arrived May 5th about 9:30pm, we checked in and were offered our choice of two rooms, one with a jacuzzi or a room with a balcony. We were allowed to check out both rooms and decided that even though we would have enjoyed a very romantic time in the jacuzzi we wanted the balcony over looking the beautiful ocean. We immediatly went downstairs to one of their resturants where we had one of many wonderful meals. Afterwards we went for a walk along the beach and actually found a quite large shell, ones you would find in the store for sale. That was a truely amazing find, especially since it was so dark outside. The next day we tried their buffet breakfest. Wasn't too thrilled about the breakfest, although I am known to be one of the pickest eaters in the world, just ask my mother. My husband liked the food, they had a huge selection of fruits, yogarts, they had eggs, bacon, waffles, french toast, made to order omelets, sounds good right? Well, like I said I am very picky and like my eggs cooked just right, but to the regular person this would be considered a wonderful buffet. After breakfest we decided to get our suits on and head to the beach. The Sun Palace beach is by far the very best, it is a very nice stretch of beach and after walking up and down the coast, which by the end killed our legs, we were telling ourselves how lucky we were to have stayed at the Sun Palace. The water was a crystal clear blue, and the sand was so soft it was the most unbelievable experience. We even tried the pool which was overlooking the ocean and the view of the coast line. The pool is heated so it was always perfect. They even have an indoor pool that is heated and was so great to swim in. I think we were the only ones that ever did swim in the indoor pool in the evening. For lunch we went to the Cancun Palace which was in their outdoor hut overlooking the ocean and pool area. The Cancun Palace was always having some sort of pool game going on when we were there and the crows seemed much younger and more outgoing that where we were staying. The Sun Palace by far though has the best beach and views. Each night they have some type of event going on, twice there was this dance troop that came and danced outside near the pool area. One night was movie night which no one but my husband and I showed up for then left, and then our most favorite was game night, or welcome night where the staff of entertainment gets everyone together to play games, one was even a drinking game, but nothing too college studentish if you know what I mean. Anyway's there was this couples game that my husband and I participated in that used balloons, well I won't ruin in but tell you everyone was laughing and having a great time so don't miss Welcome night. Too bad that was our last night there, we met a lot of people finally and we didn't get a chance to do anything with them. We were a little disappointed because we are 31 & 32 years of age and were really looking forward to meeting people, like we had read in so many reviews, however during our stay it was mostly older people and some families with young children so we really didn't fit in, but on our last day a swarm of young people started to arrive and I guess we just had bad timing for that, but all in all we had a blast. We tried every type of mixed drink you could try, tried all sorts of items on the menu and had the best time of our lifes. We did take the tour to Tulum and Xel-ha that was included in our all-inclusive package. We had a great time, however then did stop at a tourist trap on the way where everything was overpriced no matter how much you haggled, so I don't suggest that you buy anything there, you can always go to the Mexican Market which is off the bus line north of Congo Bongo, in an orangish, pinkish building, there you can actually get a bargin by haggling. We also went swimming with the Dolphins at Wet-n-Wild and it was unbelievable. It is well worth the money to buy the video that they take of your while you are swimming with them. We also went snorkling and danced at Dady O's. We never took a taxi anywhere, take the bus, it is very easy and if you are worried about where to get off just tell the bus driver where you are going. Cancun is so romantic, has the best beaches, and so many things to see and do we can't wait to go back. Stay at the Sun Palace and you will truely be happy that you did. The rooms were always kept clean, very comfortable, always something to do, whether it is swimming, playing pool or ping pong or going to their salon to get a massage (make sure you get a full body massage it was by far the best massage I have ever received). As far as tipping, yes, just like where you are from you tip for great service therefore you will want to tip just like you do at home. I hope this review wasn't too long, but I wanted to give you as much info as possible. Stay at the Sun Palace, you won't be sorry, only sorry that eventually you will have to leave, that was my most sad day. I can't wait to go back and will always stay at the Sun Palace. By the way we did check out Dreams, we took a tour and what horrible service, the staff were very rude and even though the lobby was nice the rest of the grounds and their beach was the worst, so glad we didn't stay there. So you have it from us who are from Las Vegas, where we are comparing this stay to hotels like the Bellogio, or JW Marriott, the Sun Palace was the best in Cancun so pay the extra money, you will find all of it was worth it.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2005

My family and I just returned from a stay at the sun palace and we're sorry we ever left home. The resort is way overrated.

Upon arrival after a late flight, we had to wait to check into our rooms. When we finally checked into the rooms they were dirty and looked as though they had not been cleaned for ages!

When we finally tried to retire to bed, we pulled back the covers to discover a spider and the sheets were soiled.

We had to wait about an hour longer for someone to come and change the sheets.

Sleeping at night was almost non existent as it was VERY noisy because of the nightclubs.

Outside whether you were at the beach or the pool there is an everpresent smell of sewage. This does not make for an enjoyable vacation.

We would not recommend the Sun Palace. Travelers would be better off at Aventuras, Xpu Ha or Moon Palace. Xpu Ha was absolutely delightful and we had wished that our stay had been booked at this palace resort.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sun Palace

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 20 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#18 Family Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sun Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the first couples' only resort in Cancun, Sun Palace is the perfect retreat from the every day stress. This oasis for couples lies along the coast overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Conveniently located at just 15 minutes from the airport, this property provides service and amenities of the highest level. We invite you to enjoy this old favorite in a whole new way. A stunning coast line serves as a dramatic backdrop for this recently renovated resort featuring 252 richly appointed guestrooms. Five restaurants and three bars cater to a full range of tastes and moods. Golf enthusiasts can play all year round at the nearby Moon Spa & Golf Club which houses the only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Cancun. Expert hands deliver spa services to those who seek a serene and rejuvenating experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Palace Hotel Cancun
Cancun Sun Palace

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