Before I get into specifics, just a little quick info about my husband and I. We have been to Cancun/Riviera Maya several times and stayed in boutique to large resorts, but this was our first time ever staying in an all-inclusive. Additionally, we got a really great rate when we booked so we went with the Royal Service option which plays a large part of our perspective. Also, we were here during low-season which might have been a factor in both the good and not-so-good aspects.
For the price we paid and how we used it, it was well worth it. One of the main reasons we chose this hotel besides the value was the fact that it didn’t seem like finding lounge chairs would be an issue and that those in RS get to have bali beds for 2 days of their stay. These beds were awesome- comfortable and with great views of the ocean or pool and easy access to ocean, pool, bathrooms and restaurant/bar. Not only that, during low season, we pretty much could use the beds for every day of our stay if we wanted and be able to choose from some of the best located beds. Additionally, RS had a special menu to get lunch or a snack from which was both delicious and convenient.
The other aspect that RS was useful for us was the butler/concierge service. We used this and the cell phone they provided on many occasions… everything from booking dinner reservations to changing out money to finding a box to mail a package. Overall, it made many things a lot easier and our butler, Erik, was really nice and professional.
RS also is in its own building and has breakfast, snacks, alcohol and coffee offered throughout the day. Everything there is also available at the main buffet but it can be convenient if you want to grab something on the way to your room, have something closer by or to enjoy a more private and relaxing atmosphere.
The $1,000 resort credits offered isn’t really that great of a deal. We had to ask for these towards the end of the checkout process when it was clear they weren’t going to be offered. I even had to show her the paper from my email showing we get that so with our experience either they didn’t have it in their system or they really just don’t want to offer it.
We tried to use the $300 room upgrade to upgrade from the deluxe room to a larger luxury or one bedroom but the costs were still too high for us to want to do it ($120 night for one bedroom, $60 for luxury). The girl checking us in said their system wasn’t working so those figures were her best guess and might not have been 100% accurate… really I think they already had our room ready and just didn’t want to bother changing it.
Since we couldn’t use that, the only other ones I was interested in were for massages and the restaurant Tempo. The massage coupons were 3 $50 coupons that could each be used per service so with only getting $50 off, the massages were still too expensive so I didn’t use that. That left us with just the Tempo coupon. It was $150 at the restaurant but only towards food- not alcohol or any other beverages- not even water! Still the food was so good, and we did enjoy having that coupon for use.
I think the resort credits offering could be improved in several ways: making sure guests eligible for it are offered them before giving the room; combining the massage coupons into one $150 coupon and for Tempo to include non-alcoholic beverages. If you are going to offer this to guests, you should do it in a more complete and valuable way rather than making it come across as a gimmick to help guests book with you and your services.
We were able to check-in a couple hours early, so that was really great! Additionally, we had previously requested a room on a higher floor and were given that so that was nice. The whole check-in process probably took about 45 minutes. We were brought to the private RS check-in and given welcome drinks and offered cool towels. From being dropped off at the door to getting to the RS check-in, it seemed smooth and organized for the most part.
The room we reserved and were given was a little small, but overall not bad. It was decorated nice and was comfortable. Things that I know would be hard to change but that I have preferred more in other hotels include: wishing the shower and bath were separate and wishing the balcony rail could be seen through more. To enjoy the beautiful ocean view, you have stand versus enjoying it from the lounge chair.
Also, there was only one lounge chair and a small side table on the very large balcony. In the least, an additional lounge chair and maybe even a table and chairs to enjoy coffee or something would have been nice.
Overall, the room was perfectly fine but there was nothing really special or spectacular that stood out about it.
We only stayed in the RS section so we didn’t have any experience with the main more active pool. They have the RS pool, the main active pool, a more quiet pool section and a kids pool section. The RS pool was definitely quiet and relaxing. People kept to themselves mostly so if you are looking to make new friends or have more of a party atmosphere, the other might be better. As previously mentioned, the bali beds are amazing… perfect way to relax, eat lunch, tan, read or just feel the ocean breeze and listen to the waves. Loved it!
The pool is fairly deep. I am 5’8, and the water in most parts came up to my shoulders. For me, this was perfect because I like it deeper and to be able to swim, but I can see how that might bother some folks.
The ocean was perfect for swimming in my opinion. We never had any days that were too rough. There were waves but they were not very big, and there were sections that were a little deeper but also plenty of shallow parts. It was fun and perfect for swimming. I could even see lots of fish swimming around me at times. I think children could definitely swim here with some supervision.
I saw plenty of lounge chairs and palapas on the beach on both the RS side and the main side.
Most of the restaurants require reservations- Naos (buffet) and Blue Agave (taco place) did not. The reservation process became a little annoying for us at times because we were sometimes needing to change plans last minute or even reservations we had ahead of time because my husband had friends in the area we would do things with outside of the resort. During low-season at least, it seemed at least 2 restaurants would be closed a night but they would not decide which 2 until the day before or the day of. So it kind of made planning difficult, especially if plans changed at the last minute. I think it could be improved by losing the reservation process altogether or at least setting a schedule of what is opened every night by the week and publishing that for the guests. Still, our butler did everything he could to help us with process and to get us in to places so that was certainly appreciated.
The buffet has a pretty good variety and is offered from the morning through the night. For me, it was okay- didn’t love it or hate it, but my husband seemed to enjoy it. Blue Agave has a small menu of snack type items such as tacos and quesadillas. The poblano chili quesadilla was our favorite! We enjoyed Mole a lot too. Our first night we had Market Grill, it was okay. We are not sushi people, but thought we would give Bana a try. I think if you like sushi, you would enjoy Bana, but if you don’t, probably skip it as sushi is pretty much the only thing offered. I would have liked to have seen a couple of other dish options offered there for the non-sushi people. The last restaurant we tried was Tempo, which is not included. However, we used the $150 credit towards the dinner. We were only offered the tasting menu so I think that is the only option with the coupon, but boy was that some good food. It was very filling too. The desserts were the perfect ending to the meal- soooo good. Please note for Tempo and the use of the coupons, you cannot use it towards any beverages and they are not included. You will have to pay for alcohol, sodas and even water.
We loved having room service! We ordered breakfast several times, and it was so nice having it in our room while getting ready or just waking up. It’s not a huge menu, but I think there are plenty of options to pick from. It never took too long either.
RS offers guests the La Palapa restaurant for lunch. I loved the food here! So good and so convenient. I was really glad to have the options available they offered for lunch while spending days at the beach/pool.
Another note, pretty much to have steak or lobster, you had to pay extra for it. I was expecting that for lobster but not so much for steak. But all of the tables in the restaurants had a little card listing different types of steaks and lobster with the prices. That was a little disappointing.
I don’t really drink that much, but my husband was pleased with the alcohol offerings. However, when I do drink, I usually like some kind of fruity or sweet drink. But since I rarely drink, I don’t really know drinks besides the basic pina colada, mojito or margarita. So it would have been nice to see a cocktail menu somewhere but that is not something they offered. So I only tried what I knew. I think offering a cocktail menu would be another improvement that could be made.
Service at the hotel was really good. You can definitely tell pleasing the guest is high on the list. There were a couple of bad moments, but nothing worth mentioning. Overall, everyone was friendly and willing to help. For us, our butlers, the pool concierge and pool waiters really stood out.
Also, maid service was excellent. They seemed to figure out what our schedule usually was and usually never disturbed us to clean the room for the day or to do the turndown service. It was always so clean and well taken care of. Also, our fridge remained stocked throughout our stay.
Wifi was good in our room and throughout the resort.
Hotel is big, but definitely not so big that walking from one spot to the other is a problem. We enjoyed it actually. I can see how it might be a problem for elderly.
If you are looking for a super lively, party atmosphere, probably this isn’t the place. However, we didn’t see the main pool, just RS. Also, we could hear entertainment in the main pyramid one night while dining, but I don’t think it lasts very long or was a huge production. I think we were told in low season, they have it 3 nights a week.
They offer day and night passes if you have outside guests you want to spend time with you. Day was 10 am- 6 pm and night 6 pm to 2 am. It was $70 per adult and $35 a child and included regular all-inclusive access. Having this option was nice, but I think there should be another time frame that would allow people to both swim in the day and dine at night… or even a full pass without the room.
When leaving, my husband called for the price of a taxi to the airport and they told him $25. However, once at the airport, the driver told him and showed him a paper for $35. This was the taxi that the hotel called for us. I think what the hotel says and the driver says should be consistent, however it wasn’t a shocking thing to happen. I recommend asking the driver what he charges before leaving the hotel if you use a taxi.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Timeless Luxury with an Avant-Garde Flair Evocative of an ancient Mayan civilization; lavish architecture that rises into the sky and slips back into the sandy Cancun shore. Gran Meliá Cancun Resort is a 5-star, AAA 4-diamond beachfront resort, voluminous as it is elegant, decadent as it is distinguished. Gran Meliá Cancun's five majestic pyramids decorate this timelessly-tropical scene, revealing a backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. Four spectacular pools, luxurious guestrooms, dining and the hotel's renowned YHI Spa, one of the most prestigious in the world, are only a taste of a bold collection of services and amenities offered at this sleek, seductive and luxurious Cancun resort paradise. Positioned, carefully, in Cancun's Hotel Zone, Gran Meliá Cancun luxury hotel is within 5 minutes from the city's premier shopping centers, 15 minutes from the International Airport, and immediate proximity to the downtown and many exciting entertainment venues. A 9-hole, par 3 executive golf course, three lavish pools, and the signature YHI Spa offer the discerning guest a definitive means to leisure. Experience a hotel that radiates the beauty of the Yucatán Peninsula, and the privilege and compassion of Gran Meliá, premiere Cancun resorts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Melia Cancun Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Gran Melia
- Grand Melia Cancun
- Melia Cancun