Once we arrived at the airport, we ignored all the people trying to talk to us (be careful of these people if you have already booked your shuttle; listen to the other reviews) & went outside where we looked for our shuttle. We used Cancun Shuttle - this is the 2nd time we used them & they are very reliable. The resort is about 50 minutes from the airport. When we arrived we were greeted with cold towels to wipe the grime off our hands. We went with another family. Just before you get into the resort you actually enter a gated community. This is great because you can walk/bike around the shops, marina & area & feel perfectly safe. There are several hotels in the gated community.
Restaurants: Oceana was horrible - even the staff says it’s not the best. The food combinations were weird (Pumpkin with seafood, quail eggs, etc) and the service was slow. Portofino (Italian), El Patio (Mexican) & Gohan (sushi) were good. Gohan’s service was REALLY slow - order all your rolls at once so you don’t have to wait long for each order. El Patio was real Mexican cuisine - not Tex Mex.
Rooms: rooms on the 2nd floor were a decent size. The room with the double beds had 1 sink & a tub (instead of a walk-in shower). The sheets, curtains & towels seemed a bit worn - but clean. Not enough lighting in the rooms though. One day we left the safe wide open with our cash & passports - it was still there exactly as we left it - TRUSTWORTHY HOUSEKEEPING - KUDOS.
PROS: The adults-only area was a nice break from the central pool area. (One day the hot tub was cold, but it was fine the next day.) There is a Dolphin Discovery Cove right on the property, so for a price you can swim with the dolphins & manatees. Although we didn’t use it the Kid’s Club looked like they were having a great time. Nightly shows were entertaining. They had servers right in the beach area so we never had to get up to get food or drinks - tips help the service, but everyone was very friendly. From the beach you can see the hotel pool, so it was safe for the kids to go back & forth. They had free catamaran rides & kayaking - which my husband & teenage son did. They had a heated pool for the kids - it was packed. There is a walk-up beachside grill, so the kids could easily order a burger & fries without an adult present.
CONS: The front desk seemed incapable of helping us - we were always sent to the Concierge or told to come back. It was irritating. But it was Thanksgiving week & there were 4 weddings, so they were booked. The rooms on the 2nd floor in the main hallway is really loud because of all the rooms down the corridor or the theater at the end of the hallway. Try another floor, if you can. Entertainment staff was great - GABO is awesome (Thanks for a fun sand turkey building contest)! But the activities either didn’t start on time or the locations changed and it was frustrating for our kids. Beach area was nice, but really small. The breakfast buffet was too small & seemed to run out of certain foods often so get there before 9:00 AM. You can get a handmade omelet if you want to wait 10-15 minutes in line. SPA was not good. Very dark, small & the outdoor hot tub is located right next to the Kid’s Club. Not sure about the spa services though.
Not buggy at all this time of year. Overall a fun experience.