I've stayed at Moon Palace twice: once in the fall of 2007, and again over 2009/2010 new years, a full week's stay both times (Sunrise side).
Both times I very much enjoyed the stay, and have no significant gripes from either visit. The place has the feel of a condominium neighborhood---not that there are kitchenettes or anything, but the campus is laid out around modestly-
sized three-story buildings with broad lawns between them, all fairly close to the beach. Both times I stayed, our room had a deep, jetted bath, balcony with a partial view of the water, and a liquor cabinet with full-sized bottles
of rum, whiskey, vodka, and tequila, as well as a small fridge with sodas, juices, and Mexican beer, all of which were re-stocked daily. A bottle of decent red wine was waiting for us upon arrival, and could be re-stocked on demand via
Moon Palace is vast---you could easily spend a half day wandering its extents. Other than exploring though, the tendency is to camp out at a spot along the edge of the nearest pool. There, you will be serviced by polite, friendly, and
attentive staff, and food and drink are never far away. Despite the fact that the resort is so huge, I did not feel overwhelmed because it's so spread out and each 'neighborhood' is fairly separate and distinct.
The beach is unimpressive---not bad for an hour or two of wind surfing or for evening cocktails, but sea weed prevents its use for swimming, snorkeling, and other aquatic activities. It's main function is to make you feel like you're at
the seaside, which it does well, with pleasant sea breezes constantly gracing its environs.
Moon Palace was cut out of coastal jungle in the middle of nowhere, and as a result it's not very good for coming and going or getting out on your own. The typical mode of operation seems to be to sequester oneself at the resort, and
then take a few guided tours (with extra expense attached). If you want to do something on your own, you pretty much have to hire a taxi, and go quite a few miles before you get to anything interesting. There's simply no wandering off
and taking public transportation---it's a couple mile walk to the nearest road, during which you'll subject yourself to astonished looks from staff and possibly even exposure to wild animals.
Overall I found the food to be varied, and generally quite good. However, I most enjoyed the food that was cooked on demand for me at the buffets, both by the pool and at the breakfast bars (e.g. - in the afternoons I enjoyed wandering
over to the area between the pool and the sea, and ordering various combinations of fish tacos, which were prepared for me as I watched). In the evenings, some of the restaurants had waits of up to an hour.
Overall I found the staff to be pleasant, cheerful, and always wanting to please. I tipped only occasionally, never felt like it was expected, and never felt like good service was conditional on tipping.
I haven't stayed anywhere else yet on the Yucatan (although I'll be going to Akumal for Christmas this year), but while staying at Moon Palace I have done single-day visits to Isla Mujeres Palace, Sun Palace, and Payacar Palace. In
contrast to those other resorts, I liked that Moon Palace didn't feel so much like a hotel as it did a small town, and generally it was always quiet and peaceful when I returned to our room.
I didn't play golf or use the spa, so I can't speak to those notable features.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Cancun's tranquil south shore, this resort offers 2,433 accommodations with double Jacuzzi, 24 hr. room service and balconies. The excitement begins with two large lagoon-style pools with Jacuzzis and swim-up bars. The state-of-the-art Spa and Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, located by the Golf Club House, offer a perfect getaway for guest. This all-inclusive resort has something for everyone, including a kid's club, disco, 13 restaurants, 12 bars and water sports. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Moon Palace Hotel
- Moon Palace Cancun Mexico
- Cancun Moon Palace Resort
- Moon Palace Mexico