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“Annual Girls Trip aka YaYa”
Review of Moon Palace Cancun

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Moon Palace Cancun
Ranked #22 of 175 Hotels in Cancun
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Lithia, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Annual Girls Trip aka YaYa”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

My friends and I stayed at the Moon Palace Resort April 17-21. This was our 11th year to do our annual girls trip, aka YaYa. I must say, this might have been my favorite YaYa trip and we have been to some very nice places. Even though, we typically go somewhere different every year, we all agreed that we would be perfectly happy to make the Moon Palace our destination every year moving forward. It is very close to the airport. When you walk in the lobby, it smells like a lovely spa and you feel the blast of fantastic air conditioning. They greet you with a glass of champagne during check-in. The staff bends over backwards to provide you with outstanding service. The food is great! There are numerous options. We loved Momo, Los Caporales and Trattoria for dinner. Our breakfast buffet behind the lobby in the Sunrise building was also very good. We also enjoyed the Sweet coffee shop at Nizuc and fresh customized pizza by the pool. One night, we went to Nizuc to see the Circus show. It was surprisingly entertaining. The Disco had a great look, but the DJ's really shouldn't play the same soundtrack every night. The drinks were always good with top shelf liquor available. (Fantastic Mojitos). The spa is very nice and my massage was great. Would have loved to have spent more time there. I hope to come back with my friends and would also love to bring my husband and boys for Spring Break.

Room Tip: We had a beautiful view in the Sunrise section, but it was a little noisier with construction around...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kcwineforme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

This was our fourth trip to Moon Palace Grand and we cannot wait to go back again! We have been there as a couple, with our children and grandchildren for our 40th Wedding anniversary and now we have just returned from a week with six friends. As I read negative reviews of this resort on this web site it is a though I am hearing about a completely different resort!
This was the first time our friends had been there and they could not stop thanking us for bringing them to such a fabulous place! As always, the room was spectacular, the restaurants lovely and the pool and activities just what a vacationer needs. Maria Mercedes at the pool could not have been more helpful! Our glasses were never empty, our food requests met with speed and a smile. This is two years in a row she has proved she is the best!Lets talk about our concierge Claudia! This young woman bent over backwards to meet our every request successfully. From decorating our room for a "surprise birthday party"., to collaborating with my husband on a "dinner under the stars" with a special menu as a continuation of the birthday party she was a treasure.
I do have one complaint. When your vacation planner turns from a person welcoming you to the resort to a high pressure salesperson it is annoying. We are owners but she insisted we had to attend "an update" when we tried to put it off for a day or two she would not allow that to happen. This was a group of eight that had been up since three in the morning traveling and a high pressure sales person was the last thing we needed. I feel Moon Palace is making a mistake in insisting on your attending this presentation the day after you arrive. One of our friends after being at the resort three days, seeing all it had to offer, is now talking about possibly going back to consider a purchase. Do not allow yourselves to feel pressured into something you do not want to do.
That being said, if you want to be pampered in wonderful surroundings spend time at Moon Palace. You will not want to leave!

Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Florence N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Everything exceeded our expectations. The staff were always very eager to help. The location and grounds are much better than the resort pictures. I cannot wait to return with my spouse again. Our company picked this report...wow... I was pleasantly surprised to see all our the activities- pool, dancing, teen lounge, etc for the children. The food and drinks were everywhere and easy to find.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cboyd67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

There is not enough wonderful things I can say about this resort!!! The rooms are amazing and the service is unparalleled. We stayed at Moon Grand but this was the 10th time at this resort and we have also stayed at Sunrise section before. There is a reason we keep coming back to this resort. It is simply amazing and the best deal for your money. The Sunrise lobby has ben newly renovated and is beautiful. Although there is construction at Moon Grand, we were facing it and never heard anything. It did not hamper our vacation at all. There is so much to do and see and never have we been bored.

The Italian restaurant at the golf course is 5 star quality. The hibachi grills at Momo is not only entertaining but delicious food. When you go to the brazillian restaurant, make sure you finish it off with a Mayan coffee. It is a show in itself to watch them make it with fire. My favorite lunch is the steak tacos at Los Tacos. It may be a trip but it is worth it and the scenery getting there is beautiful. Moon Palace makes their own ice cream on premises and it is amazing (especially the coconut ice cream) so it is awesome that they opened a brand new ice cream parlor this week.

We spend our pool time with some of the best staff who feel like family to us. The drinks made for us at the swim up bar by MIGUEL CAN MANZENERO were amazing! He makes THE BEST Bahama Mamas ever! Our waiter LUIS at Grand Moon kept the drinks coming and even ran to Los Tacos (quite a distance) for us to get us some lunch, he has been our waiter on other trips and remembers us and has always taken good care of us as well as his partner ELENA ORNELAS. The entertainment staff, the Triple A team, ALFREDO, ALEJANDRO and ALONZO ALEC made our days at the pool memorable. Every evening we stopped by the rooftop bar either on the way to dinner or after which is beautiful and a very calm relaxing atmosphere. The staff at this bar are my ALL TIME FAVORITE, MIGUEL, who we have gotten to know over the years when he got married and had his baby boy last year. It was nice to see him and pictures of his son. JUANITA MORENO at the rooftop bar is our favorite waitress in the whole resort. She is so much fun and has always made sure we were taken care of and our drinks were full. Like I said, these people are like family.

The Romantic Dinner was amazing. The staff set up beautiful tables on the beach with fire pits. There was music and candlelight as well as the full moon to set the ambiance. As I said the service is what makes this vacation so spectacular and our waiter at the Romantic dinner, JOSE DAMIAN MORENO CAB made our night very special. He was so much fun and even stepped in as my date ;-) when my husband went to toast some marshmallows in the fire. He kept our glasses filled and taught us spanish. He was amazing.

If you want a great vacation, I highly recommend Moon Palace. Remember...YOUR vacation is what YOU make it and some people are just plain miserable. Many of the guest were talking at the pool one day and could not believe that anyone could write a bad review on this place. The comments you may read on the beach having seaweed is so miniscule compared to everything else. Yes there is some seaweed on the beach....DUH, its a beach!!! Moon Palace has so much to offer, I have already booked my next vacation there...for the 11th time ;-). Must be something awesome about it if they have so many repeat guests???? Have an awesome vacation!

Room Tip: All rooms are great it depends on what you want: Sunrise for kids (rooms are good size balcony is...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Bottom Line:
Would I recommend it? Yes.

We had a very fun time at Moon Palace, but the experience was not even close to Vallarta Palace (which is now Hard Rock). We would consider returning to a different Palace resort, but as for Moon Palace, we've been-there-done-that. Would we recommend it to others? Sure, but during the off season with discount prices. And they have to know how to play the resort credit game to get the best deal, and tip some bartenders up front to get good drink service.

== NEUTRAL ==
Grounds and View - the grounds were well tended to, the grass was cut, no weeds, shrubs trimmed, and so forth. The ocean view from our room was nice, though the beach had perpetual seaweed washing up. I don't really care.
Drinks - all bars have Dos Equis, many have Sol, and those are your beer options. In the room you will also find Coors Light and Heineken in your in-room fridge. Mixed drinks tend to be watered down and served with bottom shelf liquor unless you specify otherwise - and I recommend watching the drink preparation, or they might forget about that top-shelf request. They might also put half a shot of top-shelf liquor, then the rest is bottom shelf. Maybe I needed to tip up front to avoid these tactics?
Resort Credit - I like the resort credits, but they are a game. You have to figure out how to maximize their use without getting nickeled and dimed. In an effort to make more money, they now make you pay 11% taxes/fees on your Resort Credit use. I know that this is just a way to make more money, because I know someone whose taxes/fees were comp'd by the hotel. Next there is the high-pressure booking agent who tries to upsell you on tours so that he can get a bigger commission (but if you don't book the more expensive tours, you may not get maximum use of your credits). Next are the limits on the Spa, Dolphin Swim (some months), jewelry, and so forth. When you hit these artificial limits on these items, if you want more, everything is way overpriced. Low price jewelry does not qualify for the credit because they don't want to give you anything free - you have to purchase the overpriced jewelry so that after the resort credit the price & value are “fair".
Chichen Itza Tour - you feel like you have to do this tour because you need to seem *some* authentic culture, right? First, it is all day, and you spend 5 hours on the bus. We spent 30 minutes sitting on the bus waiting for late couples on both ends of the trip. The bus was clean, maintained and comfortable. As the bus ride started, Jerry our tour guide said that rather than letting us sleep in peace, he was going to speak for the entire duration of our bus ride. He is nice, I think he used to teach 4th grade, because he repeats things several times. He delivered 30 minutes of history, then a couple hours of sales pitches. First he tries to sell you this personal Mayan calendar - the money goes to build schools. Then he tries to sell you silver Mayan pendants - again benefiting the Mayan tribes. Note that while a buffet lunch is included, drinks are not. The bus driver stocked up on Wal-Mart water, soda, beer, and Gatorade - at comparably reasonable prices. When arriving for lunch, they ask you to pose for a picture that supposedly helps kids go to college, then they put the picture on a small flask of Mayan liquor, and try to sell that to you. They make you wait in a store for 30 minutes before allowing you to enter for lunch. The buffet has Mexican, spaghetti, onion rings, and it disappears quickly leaving you hungry. I recommend the chicken mole and the flan. Another 30 minutes of bus ride and you are at the site. Jerry provided extremely detailed history of everything while we roasted in the sun rather than shade. It is a beautiful site, though it is covered by folks trying to sell you junk. Everyone takes dollars, but pesos give a better conversion. The gift shop at the entrance had better prices on most items, but not all items were available there. Luckily the bus ride back was quiet until we got to the resort and they begged for tips yet again. This is an all-day event, we returned at 7-ish.
== GOOD ==
*Dolphin Swim - this was our favorite activity by far. Bring $25 cash deposit for the lockers to store your stuff. Touch the dolphins, kiss them, hold them like a baby, shake their flippers, and then ride them. Then experience the craziest prices for pictures (see the BAD below).
*Sky Bar - the atmosphere is upscale, but not pretentious. They have tasty specialty drinks and martinis.
*Momo - get the hibachi. We had to wait 2 hours (in the Sky Bar), but it was worth it. The food was the highest quality that we had at the resort. It was tasty and fresh. The service was slow, but the show was very good.
* Spa Massage – Go to the spa early, and enjoy steam room, dry sauna, and Jacuzzi services. Miranda Lopez delivered an excellent deep Shiatsu massage that included my tibialis and IT band. Most missuses aren’t that daring. Afterwards they have a shower, comb, and Axe body spray to freshen up.
* Zip Line - I'm talking about the one that is included in resort credits, not the upsell. The tour guide says that this is a new zip line tour that started in 2013 because the old one shut down. They make you wake up early, boarding the bus at 7:20am. They want you to be there at 7:00am, but they *NEVER* leave early, so don't show up early unless you like sitting on busses and waiting. The bus ride to the site is about 30 minutes. The zip line tour also offers "upgrades" to ride horses, ride ATVs ($60/person), or swim in the cenote (limestone cave with clear spring water) for $20/person. These upgrades are cash only - they'll wait for you to get the cash from your hotel room later. Note that if you don't upgrade, they make you sit under a canopy twiddling your thumbs waiting for the folks who upgraded. The tour guide pitches the ATVs as "brand new Hondas", but they are 5 - 10 years old, beat up, leaking oil & exhaust. We did the ATVs at my wife's insistence - the trail was very rocky, and we almost hit the trees on the side several times. The good about the ATVs is that when we were done, we got a personal zip line tour (because the other group had finished). They use high quality Petzl harnesses, and a joke of a helmet. The zip lines went through the Cancun jungle, which is pretty boring compared to Puerto Vallarta. Afterwards they let us dangle our feet in the cenote for free. The water was cold and clear, though it looked like there was a film of sunscreen on top. The picture CD here was affordable, we paid $10/person. Later, after spending all of this cash, the tour guide again asked us for tips. We liked that we were back at the hotel by lunch.
== BAD ==
* Room Upgrade - The hotel was at less than 50% capacity, but they refused to upgrade us to Concierge rooms telling us that none were available. Later one of our friends did get the Concierge room upgrade (after finding roaches in their room). I guess 1 became available...
* Dolphin Swim Pictures - They wanted something like $69 per person or $50 per person in a large group. Their special deal for us was $225 for pictures of 5 people. We walked. If the prices were high, but not outrageous, they would make more money because everyone would buy them and nobody would have negative feelings walking out. Leave your customers happy for coming, not feeling cheated.
* Shuttle to other Palace resorts - apparently the shuttle to Beach Palace was cancelled because it was reserved for a private event. We were told to take a taxi for $35 each way. $70 to see Sun Palace? We had other things to do...
* Los Tacos - After reading the rave reviews, we had to try it. It began great with them pulling together tables, pulling over the menu (on a chalkboard), getting us 2 rounds of drinks. But after we placed our order, it was like they forgot about us. The chips, salsa, and guacamole didn't appear for over 20 minutes. The meal arrived perhaps 15 minutes later, but they forgot 1 of the entrees. The pork was overcooked and dry, the guacamole was pre-packaged, and the cheese on the nachos was from a can, like the cheese from 7-11 and concert nachos...
* Wedding Gazebo - the one with the cross at Nizuc. When walking by it), it *always* smelled like poo. I don't know if there is septic there or what, but all 5 days of our stay, walking by poo smell.
* Tipping on Tours - on every tour we took, the tour guide gave a speech about how their salary wasn't included in the tour - they worked for tips. He put out separate tip jars for both the bus driver and himself saying that they took tips separately. I wasn't a fan of this.
* Tipping at the Resort - This place is all-inclusive, I shouldn't need to tip unless I receive extraordinary service. However, the room service delivery almost always tried to work for tips, telling stories, trying to teach me Maya, and so forth. Please don't try to guilt me into tipping. Deliver extraordinary service, and then I'll tip. At the bars, it seems like folks who tipped up front received the excellent service, and the rest of us, ho-hum service. Ask for top shelf liquor, and many (not all) bartenders' body language was like they might get in trouble, and they tried to skimp on the liquor and use extra ice and mixer.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank UnhandledException
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Usually I am nto a writer of reviews, but I visited this resort last month was so disappointed, I had to write one. I am a Palace Premier member (big mistake - don't do it!) and had gone to this resort in 2009. I was pleased with it then, but things have slipped.

Most of the staff seems to try hard enough, the trouble is, they don't know what to do to take care of certain issues. I had a problem with my resort credits, and you would have thought it was the most complex thing in the world to resolve. Three of four people, calling this department and that, all while I was trying to check out and catch my plane. Not good Palace!

At times, the staff seemed confused, disorganized, and stressed out. We looked around, and it didn't even seem to be that busy. Had to get up and get my own coffee refill several times, and there at most 4 other table around us with people.

The resort itself is huge, and we stayed in the Grand section. Another big blunder by Palace - our room selection, booked months before, was not there when we arrived. That took 45 minutes and the fellow helping us did his best, but the only saving grace was the manager of the Grande section. She is very good, and if Palace loses her, they would really be at a huge loss. She's about the only thing holding it all together. So after fighting to get a room remotely close to what we originally were promised, out room looked over the swamp and neighboring hotel construction. How romantic. Waking up in the morning to jackhammers - love it! Not!

Food was fair. We used resort credits to get upgraded wine every night as we enjoy a glass or two on the balcony. Problem there was actaully finding anything decent in stock. The "stock" wine is a headache waiting to happen. You would think a resort as large as Palace, and been around as long as they have, could get it togehter on the food and wine part of it all. Come on now - stock up accordingly! We tried to order some cheeses, like a cheese plate, and we know they had good cheeses available, but three night we got sliced deli cheeses and a cracker. What a joke.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Palace needs to simplify the booking process and the accountability process. Managers practically have no authority without calling some corporate office somewhere, leaving the customer to try to explain what he/she need, have the staff try to communicate that to whomever they are ordered to, and back and forth it goes - eventually leading to a lot of frustration.

The people working there are lovely - I don;t blame them. They are pleasant, friendly, mostly eager to help if they can. I blame Palace Resorts corporate. You should be listening load and clear - I cannot recommend your resort to anyone. Get it together, empower your satff and get rid of the rediculous red tape you impose on your customers. It's really shameful. It is like it is a "privilege" to be at resort so deal with with type of attitude. Got news for you - we all have a lot of choice. Mine is not with you - and I'm a member! Oh, if I could turn back time!

Room Tip: Grand is quietest section of hotel - if the jackhammer from all the construction isn;t blasting!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank beezm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada, Kentucky
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2013

This was a return trip to the area. Distance from the airport was perfect - 10 mins. As others have said, this a large resort but contrary to some reviews - the walking distances aren't that bad. We stayed in Nizuc (beside the miniature golf) and liked the proximity to everything. The resort credits were appreciated and useful - used for the dolphin swim (kids loved it) and the wet n wild park (fun but stay was too long for us so took readily available taxi back to resort for 300 pesos - very safe and courteous - don't be afraid to use). Plenty of food choices and good quality restaurants, especially appreciated plenty of mexican food. Los tacos at the Grand Pool is a great choice for lunch or tapas. Used room service regularly and they brought a bottle of house wine on demand - sweet. No complaints with housekeeping - we all know a tip goes a long way. Recommend taking free shuttle to Beach palace resort (on Cancun hotel strip) for a great beach and waves - also enjoyed easy access to lounge chairs - provided on request.

One negative of Moon Palace is the annoying "towel game" to reserve lounge chairs. People need to get a life - don't need to reserve a chair all day for the 2 hours you may use it - can't we share! if you want to play the game bring something to tie on the chairs and get up at 5:00am. Would return, just looking for a carry-on lounge chair.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank the4bs_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moon Palace Cancun

Property: Moon Palace Cancun
Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km. 36.5, Cancun 77500, Mexico (Formerly The Grand at Moon Palace)
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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#9 Business Hotel in Cancun
#13 Family Hotel in Cancun
#19 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#21 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Moon Palace Cancun 4.5*
Number of rooms: 2433
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Cancun's tranquil south shore, this resort offers more than 2,000 accommodations, each with double whirlpool tubs, 24-hour room service and balconies. The state-of-the-art Awe Spa and Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, located by the Golf Club House, offer a perfect getaway for guest. This all-inclusive resort has something for everyone, including a kid's club, nightclub, 14 restaurants, bars and water sports. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moon Palace Hotel
Moon Palace Cancun Mexico
Cancun Moon Palace Resort
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
Moon Palace Mexico

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