Stayed last week in April, 2013 in Club Lounge Ocean Front for 5 nights. We were there for our anniversary. We travel globally quite often and are Ritz Carlton Gold Status members. Whenever possible, we stay at an RC. We hold all RCs to the level of quality we experience at our favorite property - the RC in Grand Cayman.
RC Cancun is in the southern Part of the Hotel Zone, surrounded by all inclusives. You do not get the full impact of the property from the street as it is on a back road that is rather seedy. The grounds are well manicured, the driveway is quite steep and a hard climb on foot. Most places you will need to go you will need to take a cab. A Cab into downtown Cancun ranges from $15-$25 USD depending on your driver. The property is about 25 minutes by car from Cancun airport.
The resort prefers resort casual/resort elegant clothing. We did see a few people doing the "American Tourist" dress with a wet bathing suite and flip flops trying to walk around the hotel, however, this was NOT the norm. Wear a cover up, wear a shirt - no matter how good you look in a bathing suit! LOL
Greeting and Checkin:
We were greeted warmly, I was presented with a rose from the gate guide. The Bellman (Ruben) was amazing, filled with information and really made us feel welcome. (Note - he provided great information throughout our stay). We arrived very early (9:45 am) but were promptly escorted by Ruben to the Club level, greeted warmly there as well. The Club Level checkin and concierge are on the 8th floor (top floor for most of property). There are two concierge desks that always had at least one person avialable so no wait. Be it known, you do NOT check out here. We were brought Mimosas to sip during our checkin (our room was already paid for so we just needed to go through the Club Level amenities, receive our room key and be escorted to our room). It was definitely a comfortable process and even though we were early, we were all settled in and sipping our Mimosas on our balcony by 10:30 AM
We were in room 8041 - right down the hall form the Club Lounge and elevators. It was "ocean front". This means it faces the ocean BUT the pool area is directly below you - not truly "ocean front". BE WARNED: the RC in Cancun is smoke free EXCEPT at the pool area and beach, the lobby bar balcony and of course out front. This is the first time that i have been forbidden to smoke on the balcony of my room - if we would have been told this (or it would have been posted) this would have influenced our decision on staying at this property (i.e. we would not have). It is NOT convenient to traipse through the hotel at all hours of the day and night to have a smoke (yes, smoking is still legal LOL) and this is why we always travel to hotels that provide balconies (we NEVER smoke indoors). This is a very big negative for us as all our other RCs that are non smoking DO allow smoking on the balconies. This needs to be expressly noted on all balcony rooms.
All rooms are supposedly ocean view/ocean front with balcony. Some balconies are smaller than others (shocked the club balconies were smaller than standard balconies, some of which had full size loungers).
The overall decor is typical Ritz, and it was very nice, but a little worn - dated is not the right word as RC usually does have what some people would call stuffy decor, it is not dated. But seriously, some of this stuff is pretty old. The furniture was in great to good condition (the bed was wobbly, the drawers fell out of the dresser, a few stains, etc)
The bed was comfortable but DEF needs to be replaced. The pillows were kinda tired and mushy.
The ipod dock is a nice touch, however, it is for a large pin connector and not the new connectors (bring an adaptor)
The rooms require real keys (no key cards) and the safe is also key based (no code). This requires some awkward key juggling on property (we have to carry at least two big metal keys with us at all times). THIS is dated LOL
The bathroom lighting could be updated a bit, as it was a little dull. And why wont anyone put a simple decent size shelf in the shower in ANY hotel LOL
Any room with a connecting door (as ours had) expect LOTS of noise from the connecting room as the door is NOT soundproof. If you get one of these rooms, try and get relocated. We were lucky enough to have front row seats to some southern couple who apparently hated each other but thought it was a good idea to spend a week in a hotel room together.
Overall, we enjoyed our room. Most people would rate it a solid B+. Our rating compared to other RCs, i give it a B-.
The Club Level:
The Club is very large compared to many RCs i have stayed at. However, they do NOT have alcohol self-serve during the day and you have to get someone to go get it for you (i understand as in Cancun and many of the people we encountered during our visit, they would have been stuffing their beach bags with anything free ;))
The food presentations were wonderful and Maria and David provided top notch service during
our whole stay.
We prefer to stay on club level due to the extra ammenties and ease of breakfast, quick drink or snack, the concierge service, the internet....
In the evening we always dropped in for a nightcap.
Overall a SOLID A!
The good the bad and the ugly.....
The pools are large, many chairs with space to move and an expansive area that also includes a nice hot tub, a bar/restaurant/Aquatour Desk and bathrooms. Beautiful views of the ocean. There is a large two level pool and one smaller pool that is deeper than the others in a seperate area. They do advertise these pools are heated, however, we did not really notice a difference.
DO NOT fall for the "quiet pool" line - there is no "quiet pool" and there are children and loud peeps at each one.
Even though there are lots of chairs, there is a limited number of umbrellas. This causes issues if you do not arrive at the pool before 10:30am, you will be SOL on the weekends
The ground gets VERY hot in the sun, so make sure you have shoes to get around.
Unlike other beach front RCs this one does not provide free water toys, etc. You must pay through aqua tours for anything and for most beach activities such as parasailing and jet skiing its a bit of a walk down the beach. The prices are VERY reasonable.
Pool area A- on weekdays/D on Weekends (see service below)
The beach is a decent size, however, there is a big drop off from the beach area to the water. The water when we were there was VERY rough (Red Flag days each day) but very warm and fairly clear. The RC provides plenty of loungers, a few with covers and of course lots of cabanas.
Even though they say they keep the annoying beach walker/sellers away - this is far from true. I could not be on the beach 5 minutes without being approached by people trying to sell me cheap jewelry, dresses, hats, conch shells (which they blew on the entire time). Very very annoying.
Beach rating - C
We had originally booked a cabana for saturday and sunday. After our experience on Saturday we canceled for Sunday. They try and cram too much into it, service was awful, the beach hawkers were very annoying and constant. The cabanas are close to each other and on each side of us were parites with 10+ people yelling and being very noisy (after seeing other ones this was fairly common on the weekend).
We waited 45 minutes for someone to come take our order for drinks. Once that was placed it was another 30 mintues till we actually got the drinks (by that time i had already walked to the bar and purhcased others). Our server came to us 3 times from 10am till 3pm. For $100 i expect much higher levels of service. I expect more than one person dealing with the people renting cabanas - we saw many people in standard lounges on the beach getting faster and more pleasant service. We finally got our server to come over in order to tell him that we were leaving early and he had the audacity to give us a hard time. We immediately went to the concierge in the club and canceled for Sunday.
Cabana Rating - D
This was all over the place - there was a night and day difference between weekday service and weekend service at the POOL area. Within the hotel, service was almost always at the a to A+ range - always a smile, always an answer, always made to feel like home. The Pool - it felt like there were two companies running it (one on weekday one on weekend). During Thursday/Friday of our visit, we were looked after very well - from cold towels, checking on our drinks, telling us about the property and area, making welcomed chit chat, etc. On the weekend - i was APPAULED at the service level. ON Sunday, we actually had people roll their eyes at us when we asked for chairs with an umbrella, had to practically tackle people to get service, was told "oh your servers name is... when trying to get a drink (pointing out to this person that if i could FIND my server in the past 25 minutes, i would not be bothering THEM), no cooling towels, no menus, no fresh towels... we spent 2.5 hours listening to this horrible families child BAWLING at the top of their lungs, their other children were playing tag football in the pool (hitting people with the football, splashing and yelling and generally annoying people) as well as dumping their empty cans and paper bags INTO the pool all within view of the pool managers desk and the people working there - I was completely disgusted that Sunday. Monday the service level was much better (Jose at the smaller pool) however, still no cold towels/coconut offerings or menus. On the weekends we did have to take our empty drink glasses back to the bar on our own as they were attracking ants and blowing all over the place and no one was coming by to grab empties. again - not anywhere near what i expect from RC
If i was an inspector, my visit to the pool alone would have lost the RC in Cancun their star rating without a doubt.
Ruben (Bellman), Maria and David (Club Level), Blanca (Lobby Bar) were PHENOMENAL!!!
Service at Hotel: A
Service at Pool on Weekend: F
Service at Pool on Weekdays: B
The food at the pool bar is decent and yummy. We also ate at Casitas (on the beach) - was very nice with very good service. The club level food is very good (different every day). We at off property all other times (Harrys (BEST MEAL) and Hacienda Sisal down the road).
1 - Taxis do NOT use meters, so what you will be charged can vary - find out the charge before you take off.
2 - Taxis are not required to drop you off where you want (a taxi driver that speaks English at hotel suddenly cannot speak it once they leave the resort) have someone write down where you need to go in spanish and have one of the doormen or bellmen confirm with the driver where you are going
3 - If you know what time you will be leaving your destination, ask taxi driver to come back, with a good tip, they will
4 - there is Harry's Steakhouse (AMAZING) and Hacienda Sisal within walking distance of the hotel - make the time to go to Harrys ESP for a sunset dinner!!!! other than that, there is NOTHING to do in the area and you will need a taxi.
5 - the area does not seem dangerous at all, and we felt safe walking around to the restaurants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Considered one of the most elegant resorts in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, reflects Mexico's rich architectural heritage in an atmosphere of magnificent sophistication. Minutes from many lively and leisurely attractions, our Cancun hotel resort features 363 guestrooms overlooking the sea, a 1,200-foot beach, sculpted outdoor swimming pools, a full service Spa, an impressive Culinary Center and award winning restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ritz-Carlton Cancun Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Cancun