My wife and I stayed from 4/24 until 4/30 for 6 nights of absolute magic. This was our second visit, the first being in August of last year. Below I have shared a somewhat long-winded review if interested. The cliff-notes version though is that bang-for-buck, a good choice all around. We have an attachment to this hotel now that is almost indescribable.
If you want coordinated day-to-day excursions and activities that consume hours of the day then this resort is not for you. Or you need to understand that you will have to be responsible for setting them up yourself thru your travel agent or the hotel staff as off-site activities at your cost.
If you want days of quiet relaxation pool or ocean-side, and pampering by a highly attentive staff, and evenings of fine quiet dining then you may want to strongly consider a visit.
And now the details,,,
Arrival: We arrived before noon and our room was ready even that early, which was a pleasant surprise. Having Aqua Club accommodations allows for the pampering in general to begin a bit early as the check-in process occurs in the 5th floor lounge versus the lobby area which is used by the bulk of the public. But I honestly expect from the general feel of that lobby area, that check-in was also quite lovely there. Nancy offered hand massages and explained activities and the general “lay-of-the-land. We were furnished a 2-queen room option but worked it out so we could get a king for the last 1/3 of our stay. They were at full capacity with a lovely group from the UK so they simply did the best that they could. We received no attempts to market timeshares or otherwise.
Hotel: The overall ambience you have likely read about over and over. Serene/Zen-Like/Blissfull etc etc. I can see how there could be a degree of negativity from some people about the scent from the aroma-therapy generators, but LA unquestionably touts itself as a premier Spa Resort, and aroma therapy is simply a product of that type of environment. It does not permeate the individual rooms, so those with more sensitive sniffers will have a fortress of solitude. And of course once outdoors, it is just clean beach air. The hotel is immaculate everywhere. The entire cleaning staff is to be highly commended for their diligence and attention to detail. WiFi is hit-or-miss. There are good and bad spots. I would consider this one of the few areas where there may be room for improvement. I do wonder somewhat about the “moat” on the east (beach) side of the hotel exit which is architecturally quite grand in scale, but is simply not used. This was intended to be a substantial water/lighting effect. When you walk out the East exit, towards the beach, you will understand immediately what this comment means. Not a detraction, but it could certainly be a huge ambiance improvement to this exiting sequence.
Guest Mix: As an adult-only experience this obviously eliminates the loud playing child-factor (I love children). That however does not preclude the loud horse-playing intoxicated factor. But there is something about this place that makes it so that this type of behavior is pretty much non-existent. Ages of couples and groups range all across the board. People generally just seem content to relax either pool or ocean side. You will see couples taking strolls constantly, not really going anywhere. We are rather quiet and personal people but we found that striking conversations with others at this resort was always a pleasant and easy experience. We left with many personal contact emails to people we genuinely would enjoy staying in touch with. A special shout-out to Dub/Caroline, Cheryl/Dena/Kali, Nigel/Julia, and Melissa/Darryl !!! There were many others, but I simply could remember all the names under ahem, a slight case of mild intoxication periodically.
Drinks: On top of there being numerous locations for drink options, there is staff pool-side (and on the beach) constantly moving about. Any of them are 100% willing to take your drink order. Either way, there are service bars at 7 locations by my estimation. In front of Azur (by the pools) is probably the busiest one. There is a swim-up bar pool. The Sea Corner restaurant has a very small bar (mostly used by wait-staff. The fairly well hidden swing-bar (not swinger’s bar), with fun seating! Just be careful if your bottom is wet, they are a good jump up to get into and it can be slippery. Then inside is a currently un-named bar in front of Siete. Pretty sure it used to be called the Aka Bar. And last but certainly not least is Egos. All but Egos and Aka should be expected to be closed by 9-10 pm and maybe earlier in some cases. Aka closes at about 11 and Egos I think stays open until around 1am. To some degree this all depends on how busy they are. And for you folks with Aqua Club access, the bar there is fully stocked but does close at about 10pm. If you are a time-sensitive drinker, I recommend dialing in the opening/closing times for all of these during your introduction to the hotel by the reception personnel. The times tend to switch around depending on a variety of things (in my opinion). I see many comments about watered down alcohol, wine, and even beer as I have perused comments over the past year and a half. So I was very conscious of quantity, type, and timing of drinks this time for myself. I will assure you that relative to a night on the town back here in the good ole’ US of A, I experience very similar levels of “enjoyment” from my spirits at any/all of there 7 locations. They have top-shelf, and will likely not offer it, but will certainly give you whatever you ask for (if of course they carry that specific brand).
Staff: There simply is not enough that can be said for the staff. They all do everything they can to be as helpful as possible. There are plenty of reviews on this site that support this statement. Nancy was absolutely perfect for check-in. Alejandro the MB Manager knew that one night I only wanted the Habanaro Soup, but couldn’t wait in the line to get a table as we had other plans overall, so he personally brought it to me at the adjacent bar area. I never asked him to do that and was just having a cocktail with my wife. Alfredo at Azur was most accommodating. Jesus at Siete for breakfast was wonderful and attentive. Oscar manages both the Azur in the day and Siete in the morning. No clue how he gets sleep. I joked with him one afternoon about how I enjoy heavy spicing (hot) and he said he would make me a special breakfast the next day. Not only did he remember that conversation that next morning, but he personally escorted us to our table and prepared me a traditional dish that exceeded my wildest expectations. And without question, two gentlemen who both my wife and I now honestly consider friends are Herman and David who are tasked with pool service. They not only did their job, but taught us much about their culture, word pronunciation, shared tips about the area, and just generally went above and beyond the requirements of their job. I only hope some of the staff does read these comments online and know that they are an amazing team. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of them. Their management should be very proud of them all. Tip them well. Oh yes – I cannot forget Billy, Goya, and Tita the macaws! They were amazingly gentle creatures and a joy to watch fly about the resort periodically.
Meals: LA’s attention to preparation and presentation is top notch across the board. I cannot think of a single meal we had that was not impeccably thought thru. If I had to find a fault, I suppose I would suggest that the flank steak could have been a bit more tender, but that is a reach as I may had just had a tougher cut. Certainly it was not a situation where I felt I should refuse the meal on that occasion. MB being the most luxurious does serve small portions. If that may be a concern for you (it was for me) just order two entrees. There is absolutely no hesitation whatsoever about that. And yes – their Habanaro Soup is amazing! The chef emailed me the recipe for it and I am very excited to try it myself. Now I just have to figure out where to get habanaro's! Food is very much subject, but if you are adventurous, try anything/everything – that is my best advice. And also ask for anything you don’t see on the menu. If they have the base ingredients, I am fairly certain they will make it. Room service is a must! Pick up the phone and just tell them what you want. We never really bothered to use the menu. Eggs Benedict and French Toast on the balcony is not a bad way to start your day! One sad note – the basic coffee is actually quite atrocious. Sorry LA. But keep in mind the Café/gift shop at the Pool Level of the hotel. It is included in your cost to be at this hotel and has cappuccino, lattes, etc etc. Not so great for the waist but whatever. Pretty sure the teeshirts and such are not inclusive, so pay for those!
Room: We recommend the Aqua Club highly. I can see where it is not worth the extra costs though. The perk of the 5th floor lounge was a pleasant experience, so if you have the $$$ go for it. The Suites are all a comfort-tier (or more) above the Aqua Club Rooms and cost more, we do not go for those because of cost limitations on our end. But again, if you have the money. The suites give you the cabanas ($80 per day if you don’t have a suite) and also access to that same 5th floor lounge. The lounge offers plentiful light fare for breakfast and transitions to beer, liquor and appetizers at noon thru there closing time of 10pm (I think). There is also a seating balcony on the west side of the hotel in this area that allows for amazing views of the sunset that you do not have access to from the individual rooms.
Activities/Entertainment: There are many negative comments in the past regarding a lack of activities at this hotel. I think they are slowly reacting to that and are now providing a variety of scheduled events (in my opinion). Between the fire show, magic show, tequila tasting, guacamole classes, volleyball and a couple others I cannot recall right now, we found we had our fill of “events” and otherwise used our time for relaxation, strolls, chats with new friends, picture taking, kite flying (yes, I brought a sport kite and it worked out well for me), eating, etc etc. If you are looking for more substantial activities, then LA simply is not for you.
Pools/Beach: Pools are without compare. They start out pretty cool to the touch but warm up considerably as the day goes on. Varying temps is a nice touch. I have never been to a hotel (especially on the beach) where I was content to just sit at the pools. This place has that effect. You can meet so many interesting people that way. There was/is some sort of towel card system in place that I think it was basically discontinued in the middle of our visit. It worked out fine for us either way, but they appear to just have towels at the ready right now. Yes, people “poach” chairs. Lounge chairs adjacent to the umbrellas are prime real estate. They are claimed by leaving your beach bags. towels, shoes, whatever on them early in the day. It is a bummer for late risers to come down ready for the pool only to see seating you want being occupied not be a person, but by a flip-flop for the next 2 hours. Personally, I think the proper solution is to simply not allow this. The result would be that the best seats go to the people who go to the pools (to stay) the earliest. It is a difficult situation to address. There can only be so many seats around the pool and they really do maximize it. The beach and ocean are absolutely beautiful. Soft white sand and crystal clear water. Be advised that the ocean in Cancun has a substantial undertow. While it is well guarded, be careful.
If you decide on this hotel I hope you enjoy your ecperience as much as we did. I see this being a resort we will return to many times. I believe I have pics of most of the menus and if interested send me a personal message and I will send them to you. Just have to dig them out of the various media devices we recorded on. But a few pics are attached here that were easily accesible to me at the moment. -Enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Live Aqua Cancun, a welcoming place, where being is the first part of feeling. Your senses work together. It's a prism of colors, eclectic rhythms, and seductive details. Enjoy the fusion of idyllic days and energizing nights. It is a monument to your arrival to this Cancun Spa Resort. This sophisticated beachfront resort lies along white sand beaches, across the street from La Isla Shopping Mall and walking distance from some of the best restaurants and shopping malls in the city. Exotic drinks, barefoot luxury and activities overlooking the resort's 8 infinity pools are just part of the exquisite details within our All Inclusive concept. Music worships you at every step, with changes in rhythms that match the emotions you feel and the space around you. The sound is never the same, but always relaxing, exciting and harmonic. Arriving, leaving, just belonging makes you sigh with peace. The Aqua aroma seeps into every nook and cranny up to the sky, down to the sea. Return to yourself. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Live Aqua Cancun All Inclusive Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Aqua Hotel
- Aqua Hotel Cancun
- Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua