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“The Grand vs Nizuc and Sunrise”
Review of Moon Palace Cancun

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Moon Palace Cancun
Ranked #24 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 21, 2010

We have visited with members three times, each time we stayed at Sunrise, this time we stayed at the "Grand" which is for members only! We spent a considerable amount of our valuable vacation time waiting for a bus or van to transport us to Sunrise to eat or to the Spa & Golf area. The Grand is not complete and checking in was in one of the rooms, no lobby! Our first room over looked the uncompleted part of the Grand, we asked for another room and ended up on ground floor overlooking the brush. The design of the rooms are beautiful and spacious, with open steps down to the spa tub and patio area, but I felt like one of the Iguanas in a cave, the patio area is stoned in with an archway so you can only look one way, no ocean views.

We had an unexpected power outage from 11 am till 11 pm which proved to be interesting with lack of communication with staff, no candles, no phone, no flashlights. Major safety concerns with the open stairway. We found out the next day that other guests were offered the night at Nizuc till the power came back on.

The staff of Moon Palace has been cut from 3000 to 1500 and it shows. The service is not what it use to be. If you plan on purchasing clothing in any of the Moon Palace stores you better be an x-small or small or you are out of luck. This includes the golf shop!

I am very fond of Moon Palace and will go again in a heart beat but we will ask for the Sunrise, pack a flashlight and hope they get a better way to move people from one area to the next.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank pouch57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17,469 - 17,475 of 22,291 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2010

Had a great time at Moon Palace and enjoyed the golf, spa, beach, restaurants, shops and grounds. Stayed at the Grand section in presidential suite, two couples, and it was beautiful. Made golf reservations and golfed for seven days. Tough courses but very pretty and had a wonderful time. Beach did not have seaweed and workers were cleaning up the area to be sure it was clean. Sat on lounge and workers came around asking us if we wanted anything to drink and brought us bottled water. Beach was sandy and water was so nice and warm that I could have stayed in it for hours. I had read reviews that pool was cold but not the case when I was there. Many people were in the water enjoying the pool . Had massage, facial, manicure and pedicure at spa and loved the experience. Ate at Mexican restaurant, Italian, Japanese and food was fine. I am not a fish eater and at one restaurant my husband and friend said their fish could have been better, we are from Florida and fish there is always great. The Moon Palace is huge and there are buses and vans that take you around to different places. Bus music was too loud and air cond. was too cold on the bus. Occupancy was low, about 30% and there were a few times when service was slow. The bath towels could have been fluffier, bathroom was huge and gorgeous. My husband said his drinks were a little weak, so order a double to get a regular. Breakfast every day was so good, had them make omelets at omelet station and oatmeal was great. You always hear about food poisoning in Mexico hotels but were fine and no one got ill and ate everything. Drank bottled water. Bring a lot of dollars for tipping, seems like you do that a lot. They come in to make up your room at different times and you can use do not disturb sign to keep maid out. Remember to wear your sunscreen, saw a lot of red skin there. The grounds were clean and pretty. Saw a lady on crutches and she told us she had slipped and fallen and had broken her leg, ugh. Do not know where she slipped, on stairs? So be careful on all steps and marble floors. No 4 inch heels. We plan on returning next year to Moon Palace and hope trip will be as memorable as our first one there.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank virgogolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2010

Just returned from the Moon Palace on March 19th.

After reading all the reviews I can concur with some complaints but there are also some very good things. As a commercial pilot I am in and out of Cancun twice a week.
I am the first to agree, that the airport is a disaster both from a passengers standpoint and from the flight deck. Gone are the days of a couple flights an hour. I remember flying into Cancun in the 80's and having only 4 aircraft at the terminal. Now arrivals are 2 minutes apart throughout the day and its regular to see 40 aircraft at the gates or ramps.
Its as busy as DTW MCO or YYZ on most days in Jan thru March.

Theres no problem handling the aircraft in the air, on the ramp things can be dicy and waits for gates are common place, the problem is moving passengers through the airport. Luggage handling is OK but getting through customs is often a disaster. Last weekend we deplaned in no time, arrived at baggage quickly and ran into over what I would conservatively estimate as 1500 people in line for customs. Now before you think I am exaggerating think again, 9 aircraft arriving at the same time with 150 people minumum on 6 and 3 from Europe with 250 plus you can see how quickly it adds up.
Sheer madness is the only way to explain it. Mexican Customs even with its red light green light system can not handle the capacity anymore. People get upset quickly.

Bottom line is the arrival procedure on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday is a mess, so just expect it. This is not a North American airport even though it tries to be. Cancun is only getting worse for air travel.

So enough about the airport. No matter what hotel your going to in Cancun, everyone runs the risk of a bad airport experience.

Moon Palace

We stayed at the Nizuc side. The Hotel was 30% full which in previous years would be unheard of. Cancun and the Mayan are saturated with too many hotels for the current economy.
Hotel was clean and the grounds were immaculate as usual. The staff was extremely pleasant and motivated to help.
The Nizuc side was quiet with mostly young families.
There was never a fight for a lounge chair near a pool or at the beach.
You could have chairs at both if you wished.
People who complain about the beach should think twice.
The beach in Cancun has the touquoise blue green water and waves.
If thats what you want do not goto the moon palace.
But be cautioned if you stay in Cancun proper you may find the beach too wavy and red flagged most of your stay.

The beach at the moon is a "natural" beach. Yes it still has the white sand, but the water is mostly full of sea weed beds.
BONUS, you get to see, sea life.
You can walk the beach for 2 miles south before running into anything.
The water is almost always calm so you dont need to panick about your kids getting sucked out to sea.
This week we had Rays right at the shore every day, we had 2 days with sea turtles swimming by, everyday had Snook hunting the shallows and the shorebirds on the beach were numerous. Sorry, but you dont get that in Cancun.
If you like to walk the beach and even deserted beach then this is the place.

Pools, clean, cold and huge, enough said.

If you like to walk, this is your resort.
You can walk for hours if you want. There are several nature trails and ocean side paths.


There several a la cartes and buffets.

The buffets for breakfast are fine.
Lunch is OK
Dinner, it all depends.
I like to put it this way. There are so many choices at the buffets, even as a "whiner" should be able to find something.

A la Cartes

Italian Restaurant at the golf course is good.
* it was the only restaurant that had a wait time.
** But you can sit on outside deck, have a few drinks and snatch some snacks from the golf course bar while you wait.

Carribean Restaurant at Moon Grand was terrible.
4 people at are table couldnt get one decent meal.
Jambalaya didnt even resemble what Jambalaya is supposed to be.
Everyone who ate Grouper was sick the next day??????

Brazilian Restaurant at Nizuc was good

Steakhouse at Sunrise was not what you would consider a steakhouse.
It wouldnt even touch a Sizzler in the states.
Service was good, but you just cant get a good steak in Mexico.
The beef was susbstandard. If you expect a Mortons or Ruths Chris, do not go there.

Bottom Line, the food at the Moon Palace is OK, but not great.
Its nowhere near a medium rate Cruise line.
But you can find something good to eat if you look.

Stay away from the Palace Premier guys unless you want the gifts. They are the guys in light green pants with khaki colored shirts that are just off to the right when you walk into the lobby. They will be on you like sharks. They work for Palace resorts and try and tell you they are not time share people. This is a ruse. They want you to take their 90 min presentation and will promise you all kinds of things. They are trying to sell you a vacation club membership for 25 years. Now if you can stomach their high pressure sales tactics for free golf or a day at the spa then it may be worthwhile.
They will lie to you about the true gifts you will get and you often can negotiate a better deal for golf or a spa day anyways.
I suffered through it for 3 free rounds of golf. First they started out asking for $43,000 and when I walked out it was $26,000. They will bring in the manager with the new deal that is only open to you ,Just say NO.

Golf - the course is always is great shape and has a nice layout and as a 2 hcp I can tell you it plays long from the blacks. Usually very quiet and moves at a good pace.


Mostly Palace Premier Club bargain tours. Look closely before you take a free tour.
They are run by the a/m palace vacation club people
You dont want to spend 3hrs on a bus there for a 2hr stay then 3 hours back.
You can often book your own tour, have control of your time, and have a better time.

If you are just looking for a nice quiet place with OK food and cleanliness then the Moon is the place.

Its safe which when considering Cancun nowadays is a bonus.

Its not the Moon of 10 years ago.
But its still ok and most people will have a good time if you go into it with reasonable expectations.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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11  Thank TravellingSnowbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

From the moment we checked in with our group (who are members, and we went on one of their weeks) we were greeted with a flower, a glass of Champaign, big smiles and a friendly "Welcome Home".
Our room ended up being on the Sunrise side - room 3633. We had a beautiful garden view and could see a little bit of the ocean. We had a nice private balcony. We were missing our hammock but one of the couples we traveled with gave up theirs for us :)
The room was large and clean. Beautiful marble floors and huge 2 person marble shower. (We did with for a fan in the bathroom! The shower steamed it up quick!) The liquor cabinet was well stocked as well as the fridge - much to our delight :) There was a bottle of wine on our desk and some apples at check in and every day after the maid cleaned. The Jacuzzi was fabulous and had great "seats" to relax in. A definite plus!
The service was outstanding. We ate at Bugambilias, right off the main lobby, for breakfast daily - OH MY GOSH.. the omelet bar, juice and smoothie bar, and waffle bar are a must every morning. And Bernardo, our waiter was the best ever. He had mimosas and the "green juice" we loved from the juice bar waiting for us the second we walked in. He was the kindest person! Highly recommended. I do hope he is there when we can make it back! Bernardo if you can see this "Hello from the Robertson's!"
We also loved the Momonohana for excellent sushi and oriental - yum! The restaurant on the golf course was elegant and the food was outstanding. We stayed for a whole week, and didn’t get to try all the restaurants on site! None of them disappointed. The Brazilian was a meat lover’s dream come true.
The beach was pretty, but it did not have the turquoise water and waves Beach Palace had. The beach did have seaweed, but there were tractors there to comb it all throughout the day. It was still lovely.
My husband and I could not believe how much was included in the all inclusive package. We took the boat trip to Isla Mujeres. It was a fun day! We also did the zip line excursion. Very fun and a very short bus ride.
We also did a day trip to Beach Palace and that was certainly a highlight - the water was beyond gorgeous.. Never have I seen anything like that! The Beach Palace has spectacular views from the pool/ hot tub deck on the roof. A must see.
The only complaints we have about the Moon was the walls are concrete and carry all sounds. It’s quite noisy late at night with people returning to their rooms and early in the morning. Pack a fan for some white noise! And we wish they heated the pools during the cooler weather. We went the first week of March 2010 - and just happened to have a chilly and EXTREMELY windy week. The highs were in the low 70ies and the lows were low 60ies to mid 50ies. The pool water was COLD. We only swam once and that was to enjoy the swim up bars (how cool they are!) And outdoor hot tubs would have been a wonderful addition, for the chilly nights. All in all, the resort is a 5 star resort. We loved it and certainly want to come back, and become member so that we can bring our friends!
Pack a fan or something for "white noise" so your sleep isn’t interrupted.
Pack a couple sweatshirts for night!
Try Bugambilias for Breakfast, and ask for Bernardo, and tell him "Hi" from the Robertsons :) !
Visit Beach Palace for turquoise waters
Try the included zip line tour
The Micheal Jackson show was wonderful! See it!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank LittleCountryBmpkn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

This is a very large all inclusive resort that works well for groups. There are numerous choices for dining, swimming, and nightly entertainment. The rooms are large and spacious with comfortable beds. The food is similar to a cruise ship with buffet options as well as restaurants. The food is slightly better than average, but not out of this world. The check in process is a nightmare for a large group, but works well for smaller parties. The tours that are included are good, but they take ALL DAY and the bus we rode on did not have adequate air conditioning. Check out is also cumbersome...this place needs to get a handle on this function. Housekeeping and room service and engineering were excellent.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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1  Thank karenga65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

Me and my husband stayed at the Moon Palace from 15th Feb for 2 weeks and got married there. We had the free wedding with Thomsons. The wedding centre and coordinators are fantastic and really know their stuff, everything was taken care of. We were a little dissapointed as we did not get a choice of wedding location or restaurant but it was still all lovely, even though the weather was not great. Me and my bridesmaids had our hair done at the Golf Spa and I was extremely impressed. Warning - the flowers are ridiculously expensive!!! Example - single rose button hole $22 and brides bouquet $140 for about a dozen roses!
The rooms are great, flat screen tv, ipod docking station etc and fridge was always well stocked. We stayed in Nizuc and enjoyed walking around - this place is big but it only takes 10 minutes or so to walk the length of the place along the front but there are plenty of golf carts and a shuttle bus service running between sections.
We had very long waits a few times for restaurants. You can't reserve and if you go after 19:15 you can wait anything up to 2 hours for a table for some restaurants. We just stayed in the lobby bar and had a drink and eat popcorn whilst we waited though. We enjoyed the brazillian and japanese the most. The chinese wasn't great. We found the service varied immensley from restaurant to restaurant and they did seem short on staff on occasion. We eat breakfast in Le Mangler in Nizuc every day and could not fault it - great selection. Room service was excellent and free!
Unfortunately, my husband started to become a little ill a couple of days before we left and fell extremely ill after we got home. We found out yesterday he has salmonella poisioning. We think it may have been from the Steak House. I have read a few other people on here mentioning sickness etc - guess it should make you think twice.
The pools are nice and we managed to get sun loungers by the pools and on the beach quite easily. The weather was not great though which was a shame. We didn't really watch any shows.
We used the free bus to the hotel zone and visited the Sun Palace and Beach Palace which were amazing. The Beach Palace were so happy to have us visiting as they said the don't get many english - we found the service in these hotels much better than the Moon Palace to be honest and we were only visiting for a few hours!
Overall, we enjoyed our time at the Moon Palace however at times the service wasn't brilliant (but not bad) and the food was quite mediocre (although we certainly didn't starve!). We did spend a lot of money on this holiday, we have experienced better hotels worldwide for less.
If you have any questions please get in touch!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jonesy191080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2010

March 6 - 12
We were in a large group of adults and kids. We had a horrifying experience at the airport. It was mass confusion. People were passing out, pushing and shoving. We stood in the customs line for 3 hours. There was not an agent in sight to organize the chaos. It took 1.5 hours to find our luggage which had been placed with 1000's of other large black suitcases from different airlines and flights. That was the worst part of our trip. Once we checked into the Moon Palace it all turned around. Our room was tight for 2 adults and 2 teenagers, and we were able to upgrade to a family suite (for a fee of course). The resort was only 20 to 30% full. Never a line for any restaurant, plenty of empty lounge chairs at pool. Pool was chilly, but felt good once in. The swim up bar on the Sunrise side was great. Udi was our drink waitress at the pool, she was awesome and very friendly. We all thought the buffets in Sunrise were great. Everyone found somethin they liked. Our favorite night was Mexican night in Bugalbia (sp). The golf course restaurant was maybe average at best. (other reviewers said it was good) The Michael Jackson show was good, and karaoke night was fun.
The only negative comments; matresses were hard, was difficult to get to the other side of resort, the darn birds were very loud in the early morning....can't do much about that.
We did the ATV tour and parasailing. Kids seemed to enjoy both. No one really bothered us about time share. Staff was courteous and room service was quick.
We stayed pool side, so the seaweed situation didn't bother us. The ocean and sand were beautiful to look at. No swimming as red flag was up all week.
We would definately go back again!

  • Stayed: March 2010
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3  Thank happyinvaVa
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

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
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
#20 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#23 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range: $326 - $829 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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