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“Consistently Great (and Improving)” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sun Palace

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Sun Palace
Ranked #11 of 181 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Consistently Great (and Improving)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

This was our third time to Sun Palace as we're members (don't get me started...) and this resort has always been very nice. This year they've made some significant changes to the food, liquor and wine (still mediocre).

The menus in the restaurant have undergone a makeover for the better and they've tried to class things up by providing a violin player for music during dinner at the Italian restaurant. Unforunately, while she plays quite well she has no concept of volume and getting blasted by violin music (to the point where it became difficult to talk) detracted from the experience.

On the flip side the mariachi band was quite good (I know shocking!) as they played and sang in the background without intruding on your meal AND this year they stopped them from roaming to your individual table (where you basically paid them to leave you alone).

The rooms remain very nice (even though we had to move because the jacuzzi in the room above ours began to leak and ruined the ceiling in our room). Because the resort is heavily covered in marble and stone the hallways get very noisy and the cleaning staff sometimes starts early (we've learned that placing a bath towel at the base of the door helps deaden the sound) and you will get the occasional party crowd talking/yelling/laughing loudly later at night but overall it didn't detract from the experience.

The Chef's dinner was average at best, if you've got extra points go ahead but dont expect anything spectacular.

Drink service on the beach remains spotty but then the resort looks like it only had two wait staff for the whole beach area which resulted in multiple forgotten orders and a very long time for beverages to arrive (we gave up several times and just walked to the bar).

My wife had several treatments at the spa and enjoyed every one of them.

Service remains awesome, the resort spotless, the beach beautiful and the overall experience wonderful. Jamie and Martin out front and Consuela Estrella in the bar provided amazing service (it's people like that that make you want to come back).

Note that they let it slip that the lobby will be renovated this year (it really could use an update) after high season so be sure to check if there is construction going on.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MandWS-MN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Thank you for your kind words and observations.

From other reviews I can see you are a very discerning customer with definite opinions. We are always on our toes trying to improve our product.

Our goal with you will be to convert you to a five point lover of Sun Palace. Oh! And remodelling of the lobby does not enttail construction.

Sincerely,
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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 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,720)
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Minneapolis
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

Others have provided detailed reviews so I'll limit my comments. You have to look hard to find something to be unhappy about here. Our room #505 (Concierge Level) was spacious as was the deck and the view was spectacular - always clean throughout the week. There are some rooms on the lower levels that don't look out to the water but I would presume they are used only when the place is at capacity.

We did not use our credits beyond the spa so don't feel pressured to blow a day on an excursion just because they offer credits. Many have commented on being pressured to attend a couple of hours on a presentation to buy - just say no. Our personal concierge, Martin, was the best and he took care of us. Actually everyone, at all levels in all capacities, were helpful, courteous, and genuinely warm.

We took our own day trip to Isla Mujeres via the bus ($1 USD), and then took the ferry. We shopped, had lunch at Isla Mujeres Palace (Very Sleepy place), and had a taxi give a tour of the island for $20. I would not take the all day tour from Sun Palace - on our own we left at 10 and got back at 2:30 PM.

Most of our time was spent on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. The beach is fabulous, and there is plenty of sun to find until about 5 PM. The beach service was fantastic. Two different lifeguards help you out with umbrellas and chairs. Beach cocktail and snack service was excellent - Mauricio, Viktor, and the two ladies (sorry cannot remember your names) provided excellent service all week.

Recommend shopping at the malls (La Isla and Kukulcan) as it is 4 minute bus ride and plenty of stores - would stay away from the open market.

One last thing. Some reviewers have indicated that "tips are included" in this all-inclusive resort. I don't know how that arrangement works but I know for sure the people that waited on me provided OUTSTANDING service so I tipped. Make their day as the service is second to none!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
I so enjoyed your survey!!

Seeing the glass half empty or half full. This makes the difference. Your comments on the room, on our appointing the best rooms whenever possible, which we do. Your description of how you visited Isla Mujeres and in general the way you lived your trip are so refreshing. You certainly have the gift of experiencing in a direct, uncomplicated manner which can only bring satisfaction on anything you do. A rare and precious gift.

I envy and applaud you. You must come back so I may meet with you.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

With my best wishes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

The room was awesome and the staff bent over backwards to give us a great experience. I wish there was a 4.5 rating option. The things that we did not like were that the pool (and most of the beach) is completely shaded by 2pm before DST. Also, the food is not great overall. We found a few good things to eat, but were tired of them by the 4th day of our stay. Also, they were fixing up the exterior during spring break. It would seem that should be done in the off season.

The activities staff tried to get things going during the day but often only us and another couple were interested in volleyball or whatever but that may have just been a fluke. The evening events were expectedly silly but fun. It would be nice if they had a DJ and some "cool" music from maybe 10pm until at least midnight. And the lack of good coffee and desserts impacted my rating.

Our dinner on the beach had to be brought to the covered patio, understandable due to weather. The Chef's Dinner was much better than expected. And dinner music was actually excellent.

We had a great time playing volleyball with Javier, Vanessa, Francisco and Raul. Eddy was very entertaining during the evening shows! There was a great waitress in the bar each night of our stay, but we forgot to get her name.

We did enjoy the spa service (holistic couples' massage) and trip to a club using resort credits. Even though the weather was not great, we had a really good time overall.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank txbikegrrl1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Your title is very nice. Thank you.

Yes, there have been several comments on the position of the sun. While we do have direct exposure from 6 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, as the year progresses we will have more. As you point out, the activities staff is always trying to get people into their several activites. However, they have to be careful of the type of guests we have at any given day, that is, we will not do the same things when we have a more mature crowd because they are more oriented to rest, relaxation and background music. This also goes for the night activities. If we miss judgement, we will have noise complaints. Given that we are 20 minutes away from the disco scene by bus, we err on the side of caution.

I am sorry you also found our food selection wanting. The dates you were with us we had bad weather, either rain or too much wind. This entails adjourning to our closed restaurants where we do offer all of our menus but understandably not the change in scenery and ambiance you may have expected. Hopefully by the end of this year we will be able to offer one more closed restaurant.

We thank you for your choice of Sun Palace and ask you to consider visiting us again to improve our standing with you.

Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maricopa, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

My husband andI visited in August and we are both looking forward to our upcoming return in May. The resort is wonderful!! Great drinks, great food and phenomenal service everywhere we went in the hotel.

I've seen some of the reviews that talk about the shade coming over the pool areas in the afternoon. To me, this is actually a plus as the sun and the heat would get a bit bunch in the afternoon and it allowed for us to cool off a bit and avoid frying the skin too bad!!

The Mexican restaurant (the Alamo) was our favorite restaurant as we both love Mexican food. The waiters learned to keep our tequila coming without us even asking. We felt silly, but we actually cancelled our dinner on the beach because we wanted to return to the Mexican restaurant. The other restaurants, especially the outdoor Asian restaurant, we're very good.

The room was beautiful and the jacuzzi tub was awesome. Ocean view was great and the bed was very comfortable.

Not tons of nightlife at this resort, but enough for us and you're always able to visit other palace . resorts for some extra entertainment. Karaoke was fun on the night that they had it and the staff in the lobby bar are great at night. Overall, it's a quiet resort that suits us well.

Overall, very highly recommend this resort to any couples headin to Cancun. We cannot wait for our return visit!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank copaK567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Cloud, MN
Level Contributor
84 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

It had been seven years since we last stayed at Sun Palace--we stayed away too long--what were we thinking?!
Check in was speedy; we were able to use our points to upgrade to a concierge level. Initially we were told none were available and then two minutes later, we were upgraded, perhaps because we own weeks at Palace Resorts.
We ate breakfast every morning at the Alamo restaurant and the food is good. The chefs will make omelets as you like. The food is fresh and plentiful; salmon at breakfast is wonderful.
We enjoyed rock n roll from the 60s during our meal; I miss music by the Buckinghams.
Most lunches we ate at the outdoor grill by the upper level pool; the guacamole and salsa are fresh and taste great on a burger. We ate lunch once at the Alamo; it was great to have fresh seafood at lunch.
We only ate dinner at the Italian restaurant and the Thai restaurant. Juan Carlos is the best waiter at the Italian rest.; Omar will help you use up your points on the wine list. We recommend the white reserve chard from Chile, but ask for it to be chilled before Omar opens it. He served it at room temp and then put it in an ice bucket. It tasted much better chilled. Omar will also decant a delicious Mexican red for you; "it helps the wine to relax" he explained.
One night we went to eat at Momo at the Moon Palace; the trip is worth it if you like Japanese food. One tip: if you like Hibachi style dining, make a reservation days in advance because trying to get a seat the day of is too late (unless you want to eat at 9:30 pm).
We also recommend the romantic dinner for two on the beach and the private chef's dinner.
My wife and I worked out every day at the gym; three treadmills, three elliptical machines, three bikes, free weights and weight machines. I wish they would put up a couple signs reminding people to clean off their machines.
I would like to thank the outstanding employees of Sun Palace: Chief Exec. Chef Edgar, Francisco and Vaness in activities, bartenders Jose, Juanito, and Mr. X, beach attendants like Maurisio, etc. (I have forgotten some names--I was over served.)
Finally it was great to meet and have a conversation with the General Manager, Pablo Winkler.
Our stay was too short, but we will return.

Room Tip: We recommend concierge room 433.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Palladin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

This Hotel is absolutely beautiful, It is very romantic and the rooms are very nice and clean. The food is pretty good. While we were eating they came by to our table to seranade us, it was so lovely.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mtgreen96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago Area
Level Contributor
100 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

My wife and I spent another memorable week at the Sun Palace. As I’ve said in previous reviews, the Sun Palace is not for everyone. It is a laid back adults only intimate and friendly boutique like resort. If you’re looking for a place with a lot of activities, chances are you will be disappointed if you stay at the Sun Palace. That being said, there are activities and evening shows, weather permitting.

Last year we stayed in a room 411 which is a concierge room. This year we stayed in room 511, also a concierge room. The concierge rooms are located on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors. I believe the concierge rooms are slightly larger than the deluxe Jacuzzi rooms. I really don’t think that there is a room with a bad view. All rooms have balconies. I think some of the rooms on the 1st floor have larger balconies with lounge chairs that you can use for sun bathing but I don’t know if the room size is smaller.

I cannot say enough good things about the staff, from the maids all the way up to Pablo Winkler, the resort manager. As with our stay last year, Pamela Luna, who was recently promoted, was very instrumental in making our stay so enjoyable and memorable. As she did last year, she went out of her way to make our stay special. I believe, when given the opportunity, she probably does the same for other guests too.

It’s also worth mentioning that we saw more than one instance where guests behaved badly just because they thought they were entitled to something that they really weren’t. These are the type of guest that the staff probably finds it difficult to go out of their way for. All of the staff works very hard and deserves the respect of the guests. They are humans and equal to any guest no matter who the guest may be.

The restaurant choices are somewhat limited but the food is very good to excellent. We decided to get room service for breakfast all but two times. Last year I overdid the bacon at the breakfast buffet so ordering breakfast the night before allowed us to make healthier choices without the bacon staring me in the face. Room service was very punctual and the food that was to be warm was always warm and the food that was cold was always cold. The room service person always went through all of the food with us to make sure that whatever we ordered was there. If something wasn’t there, they would go get it, even if it was just butter and bring it back in five minutes or so. The couple of times we did go down to the breakfast buffet, we were greeted by a couple of the same servers that had served us the year before, Merisol being one of them. She is one of those persons that lights up a room when she’s in it. The lunch buffet was very good with a decent selection of beef, chicken and fish that the chef would cook to order along with a relatively decent variety of pre-prepared foods. We especially liked the desserts and fresh fruits.

Because of the great service at the lobby bar, we spent a fair amount of time there. I usually drink vodka and 7up or margaritas. For grins, I tried Don Julio Blanco and Tonic Water and to my surprise, I found it extremely refreshing. So that ended up being my drink of choice for the rest of our stay.

Last year, we spent most of the time on lounge chairs by the quiet pool. This year, we spent almost all of our time on the beach in the concierge area where the service was very attentive. The lounge chairs were comfortable and when we asked for an umbrella, one was brought out and placed where we wanted it. The non-concierge area’s lounge chairs were the same. Four out of the seven days that we were at the Sun Palace were sunny and warm. The other three days varied from one day of rain and two days of partly sunny, cool and windy weather. The rainy day was enjoyed in the lobby bar, chatting with other guests and the bartenders.

One of the many things we enjoy while on vacation is a chance to meet people from other areas. I think our favorite people were Randy and Vivian from Canada. We golfed with them at the Riviera Cancun Golf Course and really enjoyed their company. I hope we get to see them again.

A dinner on the beach is part of the concierge package and we took advantage of it our last evening at the Sun Palace. The beach dinner can be hit or miss because of the weather but we lucked out since there was very little wind. The dinner had the accompaniment by a father and two daughter trio called Los Ornelas, the same musicians that performed at the Sun Palace last year. They are very very good, performing their own classical Mexican music as well as cover songs. The father is an excellent guitar player.

The only major negative is the plumbing. The sound of the water draining out of the Jacuzzi above us was very loud but I fixed that by putting a towel over the drain and overflow of our Jacuzzi which muffled the sound enough to make it unobjectionable. The water temperature in the shower seemed to vary due to others using hot or cold water. All things considered, these were very minor and tolerable issues.

The spa isn't anything to write home about when compared to the Moon Palace or the Aventura Spa Palace or LeBlanc. I enjoy these other spas much more because the hydrotherapy is so much better. The hydrotherapy area of the Sun Palace Spa is coed. The whirlpool is cool, not warm which is a bummer to me. However the spa treatments are all excellent. I would consider them expensive we weren't able to use our resort credits plus 11% billable taxes. While at the Aventura Spa Palace (now changing to a Hard Rock Resort) the week before our stay at the Sun Palace, we were able to use all of our resort credits at the Spa. At the other Palace Resorts, you're only allowed to use $300 of your resort credits at the spa.

Even though "all inclusive" supposedly includes tips, keep in mind that for the most part the staff is paid very little by American, Canadian, European or Asian standards so go ahead and tip them. They appreciate it.

I wish I could remember all of the staff’s names. Suffice it to say that I cannot remember all of their names. Jesus, Angel are two that come to mind though. We will be returning to the Sun Palace next year if we can. They are like family to us and we don’t get tired of seeing family and enjoying their company.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank robby-d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sun Palace

Property: Sun Palace
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 20 | Zona Hotelera, 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 Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#11 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#17 Family Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sun Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the first couples' only resort in Cancun, Sun Palace is the perfect retreat from the every day stress. This oasis for couples lies along the coast overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Conveniently located at just 15 minutes from the airport, this property provides service and amenities of the highest level. We invite you to enjoy this old favorite in a whole new way. A stunning coast line serves as a dramatic backdrop for this recently renovated resort featuring 252 richly appointed guestrooms. Five restaurants and three bars cater to a full range of tastes and moods. Golf enthusiasts can play all year round at the nearby Moon Spa & Golf Club which houses the only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Cancun. Expert hands deliver spa services to those who seek a serene and rejuvenating experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Palace Hotel Cancun
Cancun Sun Palace

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