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“Rough Start, Strong Finish - I would return” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort

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Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal 307 Km 340, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #17 of 174 hotels in Cancun
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Rough Start, Strong Finish - I would return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My husband, 12 year old son and I spent 7 days at Moon Palace in Nuzic. The resort is only 15 minutes from the airport so we were the first stop. Our flight was delayed so we arrived at night and barely in time to see the Usher concert that was held at the resort on Dec. 29. It felt like we were in the Amazing Race. We had booked a suite at Sunrise but learned upon arrival that they switched us to Nuzic so this was confusing and initially disappointing. Our tickets were not at the front desk. We were advised we had less than 10 minutes to take another bus to pick up our tickets and then get to the concert.

The seats at the concert were great and the show was impressive. Returning to the hotel was a challenge - we had an almost 2 hour wait in a very long line to get back to the hotel. We found our room in Nuzic late at night and were surprised how far it was from everything and that we were given two small beds. We were starving and ordered room service. The burgers were cold. We were off to a rough start.

I got up early the next day to improve things. Gustova at the front desk switched us to a better room in Nuzic that was located closer to the Grand lobby and the beach. We also got a king bed and roll away for my son. Much better, the room was lovely and in a better locale.

TIP - I booked all excursions and services with guest services asap to leverage my $1500 credit. I chose Chichen Itza (worth the drive - 5.5 hours in bus, 1.5 lunch/gift shop, 3 hour tour), Wet N Wild (Francisco was an excellent host - take the boat vs the bus), Swimming with Dolphins (our trainer Omar was great), spa services (good facials), and upgraded our wine. This process took about an hour and some patience. The computer systems are slower than what we are all used to. That said, it wasn't a big deal. You can't make a call to book certain reservations - they have an "old school process". For New Year's we had to go to the convention centre, line up and select our seats in the ballroom. Again, no biggie, but we are used to doing more by phone.

TIP - Make your dinner reservations at La Trattoria (Italian) and Bambu (Asian) upon arrival. You can do this by phone. Dress code requires men in long pants and collared shirts. A van or golf cart will get you to these restaurants. Both are excellent.

TIP - Go to Beach Palace on one of the 12 or 2 pm courtesy shuttles from Nuzic or Sunrise. Arrive 30 mins early to make sure you get a spot in the bus. This way, you have four hours to see the Cancun strip, shop, jump in the ocean (you can't swim in the ocean at Moon Palace) and check out their sister hotel. They have a slide for young kids. You can eat and drink for free too. Be sure to go to the roof top patio for a swim, drink and food.

RESTAURANTS
Breakfast - El Caribeno, Grand
Lunch - I preferred grabbing BBQ near the pools at Nuzic or nachos at Los Tacos if I didn't want to leave the pool.
Dinner - #1 Bambu, #2 Arrecifes (Brazilian - cut meat at the table), #3 La Trattoria, #4 El Caribeno, #5 Bugamblias

I brought 100 - 1 dollar bills and tipped for good service. While it is all-inclusive - servers, maids, bell hops and drivers rely on tips to supplement their income. I didn't always tip for buffet restaurants unless the service was extraordinary.

I was disappointed that our Sunwing rep was not available when I popped by several times. Our Sunwing transportation was also 45 minutes late to take us back to the airport. This is not related to the hotel though.

The Palace people are really nice and want to make you happy. I saw some angry tourists who were negative about things (ie. cold room service - stop ordering it then... the restaurant food is good). I think those are the same kind of people that are angry in life. A vacation is what you make it. We had a rough start. Moon Palace did what they could to make our stay enjoyable. Once you get used to the resort, it isn't so big or overwhelming even with 2,000 rooms.

I would return. We had so much fun.

Negative - you can't swim in the ocean (but you can go to Beach Palace) but they have many pools
Positive - this place offers every type of resort all-in-one... take a 3 min bus ride to a different pool, entertainment, restaurant - lots of variety.

Room Tip: Sunrise - if you like action and want to be near activities - can be noisy. Has hammocks. Nuzic - c...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Calgary
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We just arrived home from our 2 week family vacation at Moon Palace.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of the staff that literally catered to our every request. A special thank you to Angel Gonzalez Viana! The food was as good as any Five Star Restaurant in downtown Calgary. Most notable -BAMBU,TRATTORIA,MOMO,ARRECIFES,EL CARIBEÑO. If you plan on going over the Christmas holidays, the "high season" cost is more than worth your money. Included is a Christmas Dinner Gala and New Years Eve Gala (sit down filet and lobster 5 course meal for 5000 people with great entertainment). They know how to do it up right! The Golf Course is spectacular. The Spa is wonderful as well! We are already counting down the days until our vacation there this year!
Lance and Angie S. Calgary AB.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My family and spent our third Christmas at Moon Palace and it did not disappoint! As always the service was fabulous. The highlights were our breakfast staff at Caribeno (Luis Cario, Mario Gomez, Calros Ceh, and Jorge Jibran) who knew our order after our first day there. They were all very kind and fun to be around.

The resort filled up after Christmas, probably for the Usher concert and New Years. All of the restaurants were great! Our least favorite was Arrifeces (the Brazilian Steakhouse) the service wasn't the greatest there and the meat was not to our liking (this was our favorite restaurant our first year there). La Trattoria was great once again and Momo's hibachi tables were impressive and pretty much the same quality you would find back home.

One minus: We didn't have a problem making reservations at the restaurants, but heard from many people who were not able to get in the whole week they were there. It was upsetting to go to those restaurants and see empty tables. I think Palace should implement a "no-show" fee for those people who don't show up for a reservation and don't cancel. There were a lot of people wanting to try those places that could have if there was a policy in place.

I love Moon Palace!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avon Lake, Ohio
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

If this had been our first trip to Cancun, I'd not be in a hurry to ever go back. We were hesistant as to the quality of the beach, but nothing prepared us for the unsightly conditions. Living on Lake Erie, I feel the lake water was more inviting. I do understand that is a sign of a healthy marine habitat, but definitely not usable.

We also noticed an inordinate amount of room service trash/plates being left outside of rooms for hours upon hours. Considering the wildlife in abundance, probably not the wisest of practices. Around the pool area, we noticed numerous times when servers would walk by trash. I understand not wanting to continually clean up, but this made for swarms of seagulls to constantly be diving at patrons; neither sanitary nor safe.

Power went out on New Year's Day and was out for over 5 hours. When we inquired as to when we might expect a restoration of service, we were told most of Cancun was out out. We later found out this was not the case and quite a frequent occurrence at the Moon Palace.

Our room was set up for small children. We appreciated the child-size bathrobes, slippers, and fridge stocked with chocolate milk and juice, but wanted something more adult apporpriate. We had to call down for more appropriate beverages daily and met some resistance from the staff when calling.

We were so disappointed that we requested a transfer to the Beach Palace. We were told, for 2 days, there was no availability. I finally did an Internet search and found that there were, indeed, rooms available. It was only after demanding to speak with the manager that we were able to facilitate a transfer. (I will post that wonderful stay on the Beach Palace area.)

The Moon Palace may suffice for some travelers, but we were sorely disappointed.

Pros-
Dolphin swim on-site
Pool-side activities
Usher concert was complimentary
Assortment of restaurants

Cons-
Water quality beachside
Staff seemed "put upon" for service
Room service wait times (up to over an hour)
Internet is extremely spotty
Too far from hotel zone

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NormaGranados, Public Relations Manager at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
We are very disappointed to hear you were not completely satisfied with your stay. We work very hard to provide top-rated services and amenities as expressed by so many in previous reviews. We understand that vacations are very important, therefore we will take all the feedback you shared into consideration. We thank you for bringing this to our attention. Norma Granados
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basildon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Although the resort is large, there is plenty to do, the golf is excellent and well kept.
The staff very polite and helpful. The only negative are the trips booked with room credits, the food available on these trips is poor at best. Avoid Isla mujeres unless you want to snorkel or scuba, as the beach is better at the hotel. Spa was very nice, pools big and resort very clean.
We had a very enjoyable trip and would return to palace resorts again.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stumbled across Moon Palace 7 years ago and what a stumble it turned out to be.We've been back every year since. If you want a place to take the family and leave the kids to their own devices, look no further. Palace are currently investing $50m upgrading the resort and what a difference its making. New flowrider surf machine, teen arcade,mini golf, dolphinarium, 27 hole golf course for him, huge SPA for her, not to mention all the various restaurants and entertainment in resort and all included in the cost of the holiday. I would reccommend this place to anyone looking for a great family getaway for a great price (best prices booked through members like myself!) Go on, you know you want to....................

Room Tip: Stay in Moon Grand for the extra space, stay in Sunrise for the newly refurbished rooms and a bit of...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The amenities are good enough, most of the staff (except for front desk staff) try hard to make things work, but the inefficient processes for scheduling activities combined with the staggering number of guests makes for a really disappointing vacation. It's great to have a resort large enough to support a FlowRider and the Dolphin Experience, but all in all, the trip was not worth it.

Room Tip: The property is huge. We were far from the pool which at first we thought was a bother, but in talki...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NormaGranados, Public Relations Manager at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We will take your feedback into consideration and we apologize for not being able to completely satisfy you during your visit with us. We hope you give us another opportunity to get it right the next time around.

Norma Granados
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Km 340, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#10 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#14 Family Hotel in Cancun
#16 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#17 Business Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort 4.5*
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

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