I agree wholeheartedly with crochic's review below. Our family of 3 (2 adults, one pre-teen) were there around the same time. As she stated there was a small select group of grown adults trying to relive their college party days and they stood out like a sore thumb, as did anyone wearing obscene t-shirts like you'd see in the hotel zone. Grow up people. This hotel is for mature adults (young and old), couples, families, who want a relaxing vacation. There were mostly Americans, Canadians, Mexican, British, and Japanese guests during our stay. You can participate in the activities with the lively and friendly activities staff or just hang out and relax. The hotel was very full when we were there since it was president's weekend and winter break for some of the schools. There were a lot of families but no out of control kids. There are plenty of pools and loungers. Some did 'save' their chairs early in the morning, but it was unnecessary. You could still always find loungers with umbrellas or under a palm tree for shade. The beach beds were all 'saved' early in the morning, but you can usually find them abandoned by mid-afternoon. The first few days we couldn't find good service by the pool sitting closest to the steak house, but by the end of our stay they seemed to have worked it out better. I think they hadn't planned well for the increased number of guests. Oscar was our pool server at the end of our stay and once we found him we stayed every day in his area. He was awesome, as was Linda. They worked so hard and were so incredibly busy. This is the one thing that the hotel needs to improve upon, when it gets busy they need more servers to keep up with the demand, I don't blame the servers at all.
When we were there they had changed Zama to a buffet breakfast and buffet dinner, and the steak house had a buffet lunch with grilled burgers, hot dogs, flank steak, hot wings, fries, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and dessert. Breakfast at Davino had more variety, opened at 6:30am, and was more crowded by 8am. Breakfast at Zama opened at 8am with less variety and less people, but the basics were there (eggs in buffet and also omelets made to order, french toast and/or pancakes, sausage, black beans, chilaquiles, potatoes, usually some chicken or pork dish, veggies, mexican pastries, toast, yogurt, fresh fruit, fresh juices, etc). We tried both and preferred the food at Davino but the open air atmosphere and service at Zama if we could wait till 8am. For lunch we really enjoyed the food from the Bite bar around the pool. Incredible ceviche veracruz!! We thought the Cuban themed buffet on Thursday (or was it Friday? lol) was excellent. I thought the room service menu was lacking, but the cheesecake was good :). There were a couple days where we didn't get water stocked in our room, but room service could bring it no problem.
It was nice to have the dinner buffet option since the restaurants often had very long waits, and the food was usually very good if you went early. If you were not at Hiroshi at 5:30pm to wait for it to open at 6pm, you were in for an hour or 2 hour wait since there's only like 12 tables and it takes them a while to clear them once people leave. But if you have the all inclusive, you could eat a small early dinner at the buffet and go for sushi for a late snack! (I gained 4 lbs in a week). By 10pm there was usually no wait. We went to Davino's one night and the wait was too long for us, so we ended up going next door to the open air Bite Bar for pizza instead. You have to go with the flow and not get your panties in a wad or expect instant gratification. In Mexico there is a different idea of time and no one is in a hurry.
As far as the water smell that some reviewers complained about, we were in tower 1, and when you first turn on the tap there is a very very slight sulfur smell (like a match), but it wasn't strong at all and not an issue. I used the tap water to brush my teeth, didn't worry about ingesting water from the shower or pools, and didn't get sick once. The room was gorgeous and all the beds comfortable (even the Murphy). It was great to have the washer and dryer in the room so we could pack light (brought some of those travel detergent packs with us). The grounds were beautiful and well kept. The main pool while unheated was warmer than the others, and there were a surprising number of hot tubs. There were also plenty of clean and well maintained bathrooms around the pools and in the restaurants. The great gym had a trainer to help you which was a very nice touch. The place was full but didn't feel crowded and we met a lot of friendly people.
We decided to create our own excursion and rented a car through the hotel travel agency for $48 for 24 hours. This was very convenient, but in hindsight it would have been a better idea to rent one for the week since it would have been only around $100 for the week from the airport car rental places, and then we could have ventured out more often. We really wanted to visit Holbox. It's easy to find the ruins and other towns south of Cancun - it's a straight shot on the toll road to chichenitza and ek balam, and roads are very well marked and driving is the same as in the states, people don't drive crazy especially since there's so many speed bumps. Visiting the colonial town of Valladolid and swimming in the cenotes was a treat. Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful, even with the language barrier.
I can't wait to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This beachfront luxury resort is located in the pristine beaches of Playa Mujeres, about 25 minutes north hotel zone and 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport. The new Villa del Palmar Cancun offers a range of possibilities for fun and relaxation that will make your holiday truly unforgettable. The complex offers amazing 5-star service, extravagant amenities and plenty of activities to keep your adventurous side entertained. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Del Palmar Cancun Hotel Playa Mujeres