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“Wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort

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Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Boulevard Kukulcan KM 14 Manzana 53 Lote 37 1 | Hotel Zone, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 172 hotels in Cancun
windsor
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

What a wonderful experience at Sandos Luxury Cancun. I haven't been to Cancun in 15 years always preferring the Mayan Riviera. I am a Travel Consultant and will give my most honest review. The food was superb... the best .... actually and I have stayed at the Iberostar Grand, Zoetry and Secrets Resorts which are all know for excellent food, service and rooms (and many other resorts as well) and we must say, the food exceeded all. The service was on par with the other luxury resorts and exceeded many. Our room was heaven as it was a suite however all rooms were quite high on our list of excellence. No complaints of the lack of sun in the late afternoon as we had full sun until 3:30 and there were plenty of areas to catch the sun around the pools afterwards if so desired. It was walking distance to excellent shopping. The beach is fabulous.

The only area of concern would be if you live the country and are used to quiet like we are, then you may want to request a room on the side that faces the Golden Parnassus as the other side facing Secrets is a little noisy from the water purification system and air conditioners though it didn't seem to bother most guests.

Thank you Sandos for an excellent vacation.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the Golden Parnassus are quieter.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
Web Relations C, General Manager at Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback on this important forum for travelers.
It is a true pleasure for us to know that we could exceed your expectations with our Total Gourmet Experience, which we take pride as we carry our dedication in every dish. Our culinary offering includes breakfast buffet, juicetherapy, theme lunch and dinner, and Modern Cuisine with a touch of Molecular Gastronomy.

We hope to welcome you back in a near future for another wonderful stay at Sandos Cancún.

Best regards!
Martina Rodríguez
Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Breckenridge, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

My husband and I decided to try sands because tripadvisor listed them as number two in cancan, above our all time favorite Live Aqua. Just got back. Unless something really bad has happened to Live Aqua, that ranking is very strange and not accurate.

Pros: general manager Jonathan deserves the number two ranking all by himself. Expedia messed up our reservation and we had no room the first night, and Jonathan not only called them himself from a hotel phone ($.99/minute and bad connection on my cell) but stood right there with us for 2 1/2 hours while Expedia corrected their error. He upgraded us the next day to a delux room with a balcony instead of the superior room we booked (which does NOT come with a view or balcony) and threw in a gold armband.
BBQ lobster tails and shrimp at the pool every day, incredible, unlimited
Soft beds and pillows
Wonderful, happy staff, mostly
Cons: Can't swim in ocean, too roughy, just as prior comments warned, so my bad
A/C in room doesn't really cool the room but close, but bigger issue is musty, sticky
High humidity that makes everything smell like a basement and gave me bronchitis. Lobby and restaurants not air conditioned. This was a deal breaker for me.
Pools heated most days, not sure why, but with very hot sun water was painful on a sunburn and way too hot to use. Some ams it was cool and ok. Probably great at night.
Weird, but alarm on clock radio went off in middle of the night and impossible to silence so we unplugged it. Heard others also go off all the time in neighboring rooms all week. Seems like it would be easy to replace these things but they don't.
Ok here's the worst situation that will keep us from returning: worst towel wars reserving umbrellas EVER in any hotel we have ever visited, and that's about 20. There are 14 beach umbrellas and 54 lounge chairs, pool is worse, and I tried getting up at 8, then 7:30, then 7 then gave up, trying to reserve a chair with shade. I don't know what time these people get up but I quit. Every chair under an umbrella was gone already, of course with no people appearing till noon but tons of books, towels, bags, etc. lots of cabanas but also always taken and attendants couldn't verify gold bands till the people finally showed up, and usually they had red bands. A few times they were asked to move, but often the attendants would say people with red bands had suites. They don't. So really hard to find shade. We saw more than one verbal fight between people who reserved chairs and the people who just moved their stuff when nobody showed up till 11or 12. Also saw one lady crying and angry because she had allegedly been "robbed" while at lunch. Very weird for such a highly rated hotel. You'd think they would just invest in more umbrellas. Also, management only lined up their rows of chairs on a small part of the beautiful beach, leaving 2/3 of it for without chairs. Three rows of beach chairs about 6" apart, mostly unshaded.

Room Tip: Pay for deluxe to get a balcony, pool side and ask for gold band
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

My fiance and I stayed at Sandos with his parents for 3 days recently. While the hotel is certainly nicely appointed, our experience upon arrival left a bit to be desired. The entry is completely unremarkable and easy to drive by as it is actually behind another resort. There is an alleyway that seems to serve the Secrets (next door) and the Sandos. Unfortunately this "alley" is not clearly marked. This is no issue if you are arriving by taxi, but trust me, your arrival will be underwhelming compared to many of the other resorts in the area. At check-in we were handed warm towels and glasses of champagne. This was much appreciated after a long morning traveling from points elsewhere in Mexico. Upon arrival to the room, however, we were rather disappointed to find that despite an upgrade we had a view of the driveway and 2 double beds. We booked through Orbitz and had requested an upgrade in room quality during that check-out process (ocean view, larger room). When we questioned the front desk about the double beds we were told that we should have indicated that we wanted a king bed in our reservation. This would have been great if Orbitz had a comments section at this point in check-out, but unfortunately it did not. This may be more of a fault with Orbitz than the hotel, but they were unable to fulfill our request for a room switch and were rather unapologetic. We were also told that our room did technically have an ocean view as you could see the beach from the right side of the balcony. Something to take into consideration: this hotel is situated adjacent to the beach. There are only a handful of rooms that actually face the ocean. If you are on the back half of the hotel, you are in for a less than spectacular view. While the bathroom was quite large and contained Molton Brown toiletries, the glass shower door did not appear to be cleaned. There were water spots on it to the point that it was noticeably cloudy. As someone who lives in an area with hard water, these are not that difficult to clean and showed a lack of thoroughness in the cleaning of the room that left me slightly uneasy. It should be noted that we arrived around 6:30, so well after check-in time. We then discovered that the remote control was not working for the television. No one comes to Cancun to watch television, but you at least expect these things to have already been checked before arrival. To add to the mounting disappointment I was feeling at this "Luxury Experience" resort, our room did not contain ANY information about the hotel. When I went down to the concierge to find out about the different amenities, etc. he kept referring to a magazine that serves as their hotel manual. When I told him that we did not have this in our room, he said that we should, every room has one. I explained that we definitely did not. This and the remote issue were addressed within the hour, so response from the hotel staff was good, but I generally don't feel that I should have to make 3 trips down to reception within the first hour of my being at a luxury hotel to have issues addressed. The main reason I had to make the trips down to the lobby in person is the switchboard is basically non-responsive. The phone has no pre-set dials and I was told by reception to simply dial 0 and any questions or requests I had would be addressed. This would be fine except for the fact that no one ever picked up the call. At several different points during our stay my fiance and I dialed 0 and never got an answer, despite waiting about 2-3 minutes before hanging up. We ended up going to the lobby each and every time. Housekeeping on the whole seemed a little disorganized-each day our room was left a slightly different way-you got the sense that there was no set standard as to how the room should be attended to. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just noticeable.
Overall though, I would say that our stay was enjoyable. The hotel decor and feel is more in keeping with a NYC or Miami vibe than Cancun. The food is fine, but I wouldn't agree with the raves we read in reviews prior to booking. It was good, the buffets were extensive, but it was not great and not even the best I've had in Cancun. We did have a fun experience at Gaijin, a teppanyaki restaurant, and our chef, Daniel was very entertaining. I also would like to mention Mario, a waiter who we saw daily at Zango, the buffet restaurant. Mario was lovely, engaging in conversation with my fiance and his parents and giving us great recommendations for things to do in the area. He also gave us excellent directions on the best way to get to Chichen Itza.
The service as a whole was very good. Waiters on the beach and pool area were attentive and friendly. The entire pool/beach area is great. As that is where we spent most of our time, we did enjoy the majority of our experience at Sandos. Unfortunately a rocky first couple of hours did a lot of damage to my feeling about the hotel as a "luxury experience" resort. If you are looking for a good hotel with decent food and a fabulous pool area, come to Sandos. But I would have to question their claim that they are one of only 3 luxury hotels in the Hotel Zone. A large bathroom and Molton Brown toiletries does not a luxury experience make.

Room Tip: If you book through a third party, follow up by calling the hotel directly to request a room with a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I found this hotel to be "OK." The service around the pools and at the beach during the daytime was very good. The spa, fitness center, and rooms were nice as well. The front desk and front lobby were helpful, and they did have champagne ready when we arrived. I cannot say the same about the service at the restaurants as each night it seemed we were calling our waitstaff over to order more drinks, fill up our water, or ask when the food would be out. It seems at night the overall level of service drastically dipped. The quality of the food was just OK as well, but I suppose that is to be expected with an all inclusive deal. Overall we enjoyed our stay but would likely choose another resort if returning to Cancun.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I came here with my wife for a 3 day weekend to get away from the fast pace and long hours of the hospital so after reading the reviews with the time I had available we decided to go to the Sandos resort. Here is my breakdown of the stay.

Check-in
When we arrived to the hotel the bellman was very courteous and welcomed us to the hotel as he unloaded our bags from the taxi. When we got to the check-in area they had our room ready and when we were going over the details they had given us a deluxe room but we had booked a promotion where we had paid for the deluxe but were supposed to get upgraded one level up but they did not mention that to us during check in. We inquired about what happened to the upgrade and the lady said they were all full and they couldn't upgrade us. I was fine with that and let it go since we were only there for a few days. She gave us the "gold "band which apparently gives access to cabanas at the pool and beach and spa amenities. Apparently the red and black bands are not supposed to get the cabanas without an extra charge BUT this was not the case as you read on.

Room
The Room we got had a partial ocean on one side and bay view on the other side with a balcony. The room is very spacious. The bed we had was a king and it was a firm mattress which I liked as I tend to have more back issues with pillow tops. The room is also equipped with a nice flat screen , safe, robes, and a mini bar which has some beers, candies, and sodas. The Mini bar seems to be a common complaint on trip advisor and I found this to be true on our trip as well. We had the mini bar restocked the first day but not on days 2 and 3. The bathroom is big but I did not like the layout of the bathroom at all. The shower is on the same area as the rest of the bathroom and only seperated by a curtain.It also does not have a fixed shower head and has the ones that you hold in your hand and has a small shower head. It is not very convenient and you don't have the option of placing it on the fixture for stationary shower use as it will not stay and the shower head will only face the wall.

The Food
They have an abundance of seafood which is very fresh! I enjoyed the seafood that they had and it was very refreshing to have ceviche, sashimi , lobster available. That said, the seasons restaurant does not change it's menu and after the first day it becomes unappetizing if you are on a week long trip though we thought it was ok for our length of stay( 3 days). The zango restaurant serves the breakfast and breakfast was pretty good ( actually the best meal in this restaurant is the breakfast). The lunch and dinners were disappointing. The japanese hibachi restaurant I would have to say was the most enjoyable though this is the only one that requires reservation ( rightfully so, as there is limited seating and for the show). One thing I really enjoyed was for breakfast at the snack restaurant by the pool offers breakfast smoothies such as the iron man, or popeye for the health conscious! I think the food was overall was ok though I wish they had some more local cuisine.

Service
The service at the hotel was the very good and enjoyed the staff very much. They were all very helpful most of the time with our requests. Sometimes they were a little slow especially at the snack restaurant by the pool. The one issue I did have was that I saw the staff reserving cabanas in the morning by placing books and clothing on them for assumingly the people that tipped them to do that. I was waking up at 630 am in order to secure the cabana or even a prime seat in front of the beach because otherwise it was hard getting a seat after 9 am though there were empty cabanas and seats that were just reserved for people who have not even arrived yet..they also did not stop people from reserving multiple cabanas as I had seen a couple people who reserved the entire set of cabanas on the lower pool for her family and friends without a word from the staff. ( not to mention also that she had a red band)..... That brings me back to the "band" situation. I assumed that it would be relatively easy to get a cabana as it was for those with the Gold band but saw that anyone could actually get a cabana and no extra charges were assessed to those with the red band. It essentially made those people who paid for suites without any extra privileges than those who booked the lowest category rooms.

Activities

They had a variety of activities during the day and had a cocktail reception during our stay which we enjoyed as well. The activities at night seemed to be lack and the bar was empty without much to do.

Spa/ fitness
This is probably the best part of this hotel! They have plenty of machines to work out on and they have a tennis court on the roof. The spa has hydrotherapy, steam room, sauna, and a relaxation room to unwind which was very nice. The massage I received while I was there was excellent! The technique of my masseuse Josephina was very good and I was very relaxed after my massage. I would definitely recommend a massage as they were very well priced as well. I wish I had known about the prices beforehand as I would have booked one every day!!!

Overall impression

It was a good stay though not a 5 star and definitely needs to work on some things to get up to the # 2 spot on trip advisor. It is a small property and very limited options for eating. I did not like the bathroom in the deluxe and would want a shower with a waterfall shower head or even a standard shower head and if that would mean having to get a suite then it might be worth it. It would make for a better experience if the staff does not reserve cabanas on behalf of guests as that puts an unfair advantage as well as letting guests reserve more than one cabana. Gold bracelets should be more than for show . If the cabanas are for gold then enforce it. We noticed the common complaint of the hotel not giving upgrades as advertised by promotions.... as we were checking out and noticed someone checking in who also thought was getting upgraded ended up getting told the hotel was full and given the "gold" band which made me feel like we were taken and that the gold band was more of a PR gimmick than an actual benefit. Lastly, Replace the minibar daily as well. This is an AI and the drinks are free anyways so might as well just restock them.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

The hotel is very good to have a rest. If you are looking for fun and attractions, it is definitely not the place to stay. All staff are very friendly, responsive and ready to serve. For the purpose of my trip, it was wonderful! The pool is a delight. The room was below expectations, but the mattress was very good. I loved the main restaurant food.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We just got back from having a wonderful time at this hotel. The hotel is fantastic. The people that work there are extremely nice and very interested in ensuring we had a good time. Essentially, it seems they kept everything about the Le Meridien concept -- the decor, the excellent cuisine, and the fantastic service -- but turned the hotel into an all-inclusive which makes everything more accessible for the customer.

The hotel is very serious about security and actually wouldn't let our shuttle bus in until they confirmed we were staying there, which was reassuring given the recent events in downtown Cancun. We were greeted with a glass of champagne while they readied our room and the pool and beach were just a few steps from the lobby.

I think the major strengths that separate this hotel from the other places we've stayed in Cancun was the "boutique hotel" feel -- it is not a vast resort where you have to walk miles to get from your room to the beach, it's very manageable -- and the service of the staff. They were very dedicated to making sure we had a great time. Also, I was very impressed with the quality of the gym. They had a large variety of equipment that was more useful for a cardio or weights workout than I had seen at a much bigger resort we stayed in last year in Cancun.

Overall, we had a great experience and would recommend this hotel to anyone without reservation.

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side get less sun because they are blocked by the Secrets Resort nextdoor - a beh...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort

Address: Boulevard Kukulcan KM 14 Manzana 53 Lote 37 1 | Hotel Zone, Cancun 77500, Mexico
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 Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 172 hotels in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A refined and yet welcoming sense of personal service pervades Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort. Our guests enjoy an intimate setting on the sands of Cancun, combining a great all inclusive Total Gourmet Experience with pleasure and relax in 187 rooms, 26 suites. The visitors may enjoy a world-class spa with fitness center, two fine-dining restaurants, three tiered pools, and the Caribbean beach with private cabanas and beachside attendants. ... more   less 
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