Overall - it was amazing. Definitely made for a great honeymoon. Would recommend to others & come back again.
The airport was nice. We booked through USA Transfers for $55 roundtrip to Le Blanc. Our flight home was at 10am Saturday & they picked us up at 7:15am from the hotel. You could probably push that back 45min & be comfortable. We had enough time to eat, shop, & wait. There was no line at security (and they dont make you get naked!) & the airport is only 30min away.
The hotel is walking distance to a couple things. You can also take the city bus all over the hotel zone for only $1/person. With Le Blanc bracelets, you can get into all the palace resorts, but supposedly they can't come to Le Blanc. We walked south to the Beach Palace which wasn't nearly as impressive. Although, supposively there was a good bar at the top that we didn't hear about until afterwards, maybe thats why the bottom of the hotel looked dead. The opposite direction (north) is where some of the night clubs are - but we went too early to really see them in action. But there are some shopping areas - I got a cheap watch here because I didn't want to bring any of my nice ones which I regret not bringing. I really wanted to see the Moon Palace resort, but its a good 30min away. Supposedly we could walk to Beach Palace (or take the bus) & grab a shuttle to the Moon Palace at 11am or 1pm for free.
Pretty much everyone speaks english. It isn't the clearest, but you can usually figure out what they are saying.
We decided to tip while we were there - although we saw plenty of people that weren't. $1/bag, $1/drink, $2/room service, $5/breafast, $5/lunch, $10/dinner, $2/driver, $5/guide, 20% spa, $2/maid. Small bills are extremely hard to come by. It was pulling teeth trying to get small bills for my twenties. Even the hotel staff would reluctantly give me change...when I was basically going to give it right back to them. Maybe it is difficult for Mexico banks to get US currency in small bills, but it almost felt like I could open a business down there that would give US change for a fee. I was only able to acquire about $30-50 in ones before I left for Cancun. I probably was able to get another $20-30 in Cancun. I used almost all of those ones. Not to mention all of my fives & tens. I'd recommend bringing lots of small bills if you plan on tipping. I was purposely trying to only pay & get change in dollars so I didn't have to deal with any extra pesos when I got back home. I probably could have gotten a bunch of pesos in the beginning & been fine. Everyone accepted both. And the peso deal was almost always better because I guess exchanging dollars is a pain.
Shopping at the hotel is expensive. There's a small turtle in one of the shops for $300, that I swear I could have gotten at Chichen Itza for a peso. I guess they do that because you can use some of your resort credits here. If you are doing Chichen Itza - take lots of cash for the vendors & bargain with them. Our best deals by far were with the vendors of Chichen Itza. If you walk north from the hotel, there's a flea market. We didn't discover this until it was too late, but you may be able to get good deals there. There's also Mexican Outlets everywhere for souvenirs, but still pretty expensive compared to Chichen Itza. Sunscreen is at least double the price everywhere in Cancun - so make sure you bring plenty with you.
I'm going to spend a lot more space/time on this since we did a lot of them & I don't remember seeing a lot of feedback in the reviews about them. Beware that almost all excursions don't return until late in the afternoon no matter when they say you get back. So be careful of spa & dinner appointments before 7pm. Often the excursion will only last a couple hours but you'll spend another couple hours eating/waiting/shopping/driving. And because of daylight savings ending for us, it was almost always dark when we got back. I still recommend doing some, but if you want to enjoy the beach/pools, you may want to limit yourself to only a few excursions. Feel free to order a box lunch, towel, & bottled water before leaving for an excursion. I brought between $60-100 for each excursion. I never felt unsafe carrying our camera & the money around. If anything I might have brought more money so I could have purchased excursion upgrades or pictures. Almost every excursion charges an arm & a leg for pictures so be prepared. Every excursion offered free lockers except Chichen Itza.
With resort credits, we did the Dolphin Swim, Aquatwister/Jungle Tour, and Chichen Iza. We paid out of pocket for horseback riding & ziplining at Boca Del Puma.
The Aquatwister/Jungle Tour is at the same marina (Aquaworld) as the Paradise Snorkel (not on their website, but on their list at the hotel). Although the Aquatwister was fun - sharp turns on a speed boat - the jungle tour required a long ride on a crappy, wannabe jetski to & from the snorkel location. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't so windy/choppy & the weather was a little warmer. I was under the impression from everything I read that we would get a personal speed boat. We did see them at the marina & snorkel location, but it seemed like everyone in our group had to ride the "jetskis". Maybe they ran out? The snorkeling was good; our guide showed us a lobster, octopus, & eel. We had planned on doing the Paradise Snorkel the following day, but they seemed so similar, we cancelled it. This was probably the shortest excursion we went on. I think the pick up was 2pm & the drop off was 5pm. They gave us a free bottled water too. The Aquatwister guy took photos, but I forgot to even look at them or inquire about how much.
The Dolphin Swim is on the Isla Mujeres (small island off the coast of Cancun). It is no longer at Wet N Wild like it says on the website. There's also another palace resort on this island that is only a couple minutes from the Dolphin Swim location that you can take a cab for $6 one-way to get free food (although it wasn't even close to Le Blanc quality). Or you can order a box lunch before you leave the hotel. So you can avoid the VIP section & buffet they try to sell you on every 5 seconds if you want to do that. The ferry that takes you out there leaves pretty early & gets back pretty late. Our swim was at noon, so we spent a lot of time waiting for our turn. They have a pool, lounge chairs, & a bar. I recommend bringing/using sunscreen although the ticket from Le Blanc said you couldn't. The Dolphin Swim was pretty fun & lasted a good amount of time (45min-1hr?). They let you hold onto the fins & ride the dolphin for ~50ft. The group next to us got to stand on 2 dolphins while they swam through the water. That looked like a ton of fun & I wish I had investigated into paying for that while we were waiting our turn. They also have other animals there that you can pay to swim with - sharks, seals, etc. If we could do it again, we'd try to get an earlier dolphin swim time, so we could tour the island on a golf cart afterwards. I think the guy was saying a ferry left at 3pm & 5pm. Or maybe the 5pm ferry leaves from the island's downtown - which another ferry would take you to around 3pm as well. It was all a little confusing to be honest. Photos were $25/person for one (none together) or $40/person for all of them on a CD.
We were on the fence about Chichen Itza. We decided to go, but both of us regretted that decision. We were both under the impression you could walk on the ruins, but apparently that was discontinued 6 years ago. The ruins are neat & the guide was ok. We were the last pick up hotel for the bus, so all the seats were taken. Luckly this lady moved for my wife & I so we didn't have to spend 3 hours in isolation. On the way there & back, they make you stop for 30min at a rest area. On the way there, you stop for a lunch buffet. The food was ok & free, but they made you pay for drinks ($2). They also make you wait I guess depending on when your bus gets there (because there are several other buses). It felt like we waited a while until we got to sit down & eat. There's a "market" there but its pretty expensive. Afterwards you drive another 30min to get to the ruins. There are no lockers, so you even have to take your valuables with you or leave them on the bus. I didn't hear of anyone having a problem with them, but I'd be skeptical about bringing something expensive that you don't want to walk around with. The best thing about Chichen Itza are the vendors. One of the stores at Le Blanc has a small turtle for $300 that you could probably get for a peso from one of the vendors.
Le Blanc has a ziplining activity covered by resort credits, but the reservation guy didn't think it was very safe. There are SEVERAL places that do horseback riding, ziplinging, and ATVing. We chose to do one called Boca Del Puma because the reservation guy said it was close & wouldn't take long. It cost $70/person, we left at noon, and took us almost an hour to get there (not exactly close in my book). The horseback riding was fun - it was just my wife, the guide, & I. After horseback riding, we met up where the zipline course & cave entrance are. We just paid to do horseback riding, so the guy bargained with us to do ziplining which turned out to be a lot of fun. It definitely wasn't the safest zipline setup I've seen, but it was still a lot of fun. Very high, fast, & long. Afterwards they gave us chicken tamales & water. Then we swam in this underground cave system that had an entrance near the hut. Water was cold, but it was still pretty neat. Afterwards we took the horses back. While we were there another couple showed up, so our driver made us wait for them. We didn't wait very long, but they were staying at a resort that wasn't on the way to our resort so we had to go 20min out of our way to drop them off. Although the reservation guys said we'd be back at 4pm, we didn't get back until 6pm. Beware of scheduling spa appointments & dinner before 7pm during excursion days. My wife missed her 4pm spa appointment, but they were pretty nice about letting her reschedule it. Pictures were $15/person for one and $40 for all of them.
Everyone was extremely nice & helpful. No one ever lingered for their tip. No one ever tried to sell us on palace stuff eventhough we aren't palace members. They were able to cancel an excursion for us & get our resort credits back eventhough it was past the 24 hour people & the reservation desk was closed. We got there early so our room wasn't ready, so we hung out on the beach & at the pool. They brought our bags to our room. Where ever you sit at the pool or beach, they bring bottled water in ice buckets & put towels on your chairs. Staff comes by occassionally & asks if you want food or drinks. My wife missed her spa appointment because of an excursion & they let her reschedule it. They spend a lot of time going over the credits, excursions, and spa (maybe a little too much). All of the restaurant waiters were great. The room butlers were almost always on the move so it was hard to catch ours sometimes. But he was there enough were we were able to have our jacuzzi made with rose petals & champagne.
I wasn't a huge fan of the decor, but my wife liked it. Very modern, lots of white obviously. The whole place smells like a spa, so hope you enjoy the smell of scented candles/oils. We stayed Mon-Sat. Although the front desk said the hotel was full, it was definitely not crowded. We only had to wait for dinner on Friday night (can't speak for Saturday & Sunday night). Even Friday night the place still didn't seem crowded, just more active than usual. The only "nightclub" is on the 3rd floor. Its nice, and just like the hotel, wasn't very crowded at night. Saw a max of maybe 8 couples dancing Thursday night. They do have a convention center, so maybe a lot of people are there on business? I wish I could have my company sign me up =D The chairs around the pool weren't very comfortable in my opinion. The chairs on the beach and in the pool are the most comfortable. The ones in the pool get taken early since there are only 20 of them, but we never had a problem getting the other chairs around the pool. The fire show was really cool, we didn't see any of the other shows.
I booked a Royale Honeymoon Suite Ocean Front with travolcity. When we got there we were told it was on the 2nd floor. My wife asked for a higher floor, but they said they were completely booked. I'm glad we didn't switch rooms though, because it couldn't have been any better. The hotel is trianglar. And on each floor, there are 2 rooms on the tip of the triangle with windows on 2 sides all facing the ocean. Not much of a balcony unlike some of the ones on the top floor, but still really nice. Very clean. Lots of space. Cool lighting. Bed was very comfortable, slept like a rock. We didn't do the shades right the first night so the sun blazed in at like 6am, but we rectified that the next night. The shower is huge & has lots of faucets. Our jacuzzi was in the bathroom (I thought I saw some people's were in their room) with a huge window & easily fit both of us. They have a card slot near the door that is requires the door key to get all the lights working (took us a while to figure this out - thought our power wasn't working). It's basically a energy saving concept. Also they give you TONS of bottled water in your room. So if you drink water like a fish and/or afraid of drinking tap water, you'll be fine. They offered us bottled water everywhere - even on the excursions.
Amazing. Not a single thing I didn't enjoy. Even the buffet is amazing. My only complaint is that they don't have a buffet at night. So if you want something quick w/o sitting down in a restaurant, your best bet is room service - although that can take 20-30min. We stayed Mon-Sat. We had to wait 20min to sit down on Friday, but the other days we never had to wait. The only restaurant you have to reserve is the French one. We really enjoyed it, so I recommend getting this out of the way early so you can do it again if you want. Our least favorite was the asian restaurant, but it was still very good. We also ordered brushetta to our rooms 2 nights because we were hungry, but not dressed for dinner yet. Definitely a good decision.
Multiple couples from different hotels were not nearly as impressed with their resort's food as we were with Le Blanc's. One couple in particular was really annoyed they had to make reservations for every restaurant. I'm glad we only had to make reservations for one.
My wife is the expert on this area & I'll try to get her to update this post if TripAdvisor will let me. We did a couples massage on the first day. I thought it was good. My wife wasn't as impressed, but she has a lot more spa experience than myself. She even did another massage (to eat up credits) with a different person, and she still thought it was just ok. I don't think she would have done it again if it wasn't included in the credits.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Introducing the luxurious adults only Le Blanc Spa Resort - the transformation of all-inclusive into all-incredible. Created for the discerning traveler by one of Mexico's most celebrated designers, Le Blanc Spa Resort elevates the vacation experience with an uncompromising determination to exceed your every expectation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Blanc Cancun
- Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun
- Le Blanc Mexico
- La Blanc Cancun