As a NYer, I admit that I can be a bit of a food/resort snob. This was my 4th trip to Cancun albeit not for the last 13 years and didn't really know what to expect. I always have high expectations for my vacations but was leery of an all inclusive. Let me just say that my boyfriend and I experienced our own version of 'shock and awe'. From the moment that we entered the hotel, it smelled like relazation and luxury....If you go, you'll know what I mean. From the moment that we stepped up to check in, we were taken care of in ways that I had not experienced in any city. My boyfriend decided to upgrade us to a suite which includes a daily cabana, a great respite from the tropical sun and normally $80/day for a regular room. The daily cabana also included a 20 minute daily reflexology foot massage which, as a retail manager, was worth it even by itself.
We received hand massages, GREAT job Jessica, upon check in and they easily accommodated us in changing into our swimsuits in the spa as our room was not yet ready.
From the moment you walk out the back doors towards the pool, you see all blue...where the pool seamlessly drops into the ocean. So very many colors of blue, it was truly a delight for the eyes. I admit, I am more of a pool person than a beach person, but the grounds were meticulous and well maintained the sound of the ocean drew me right out onto the sand. It was a beautiful day! We decided to have lunch at Azur which is their pooliside restaurant where we had some much deserved margaritas and some yummy tacos before shedding our clothes and literally melting into the main pool and were already mentally booking our next trip.
When we got up to our suite, we noticed that we had 2 balconies and 2 full bathrooms. My boyfriend and I live in NYC...where a 2nd bathroom is a fantasy! He immediately upacked in the 2nd bathroom and claimed it as his own. After enjoying the view from our balcony(ies), we showered (sub par shower heads for such a deluxe property) ,we then walked up to the Aqua Club which is private and included in the suite upgrade. The club is on the 5th floor and has an all glass balcony where we caught a gorgeous sunset while enjoying a cocktail. This was only day 1!!!
I could go on and on about the place, but I did want to mention the food as this is always an important part of a vacay and almost always disappointing in an all inclusive. While most of the restaurants are quite good, there were a few experiences that stood out. MB was ok, we didn't eat there more than once and always opted for the buffet breakfast. What I found odd was that there was only fresh mango on the 1st day that we had breakfast. I LOVE mango and it defines the tropics for me.....The 2nd breakfast, there wasn't any and I had asked about it to 1 of the roaming staff. He walked away and returned with a fully sliced mango (and some fresh salmon) just for me! We made reservations at the 'Hidden Garden' where we had a very nice meal and ate possibly 1 of the biggest servings of tuna that I had ever seen on a plate....easily 8 ounces of meat. on this night we didn't like the offering of their desserts so we went back over to Azur for the Chocolate Bomb cake that we had the first night. When we arrived and were seated, the dessert was not on the menu (they change every day (YAY)). My boyfriend mentioned to the waiter that we were craving something chocolatey and the waiter apologized then walked away. He returned about 3 minutes later to let us know that he was having brownies prepared just for us and asked what kind of ice cream we would like with it!!! Awesome! 1 night we ordered room service as I had too much tequila 1 day and though I never order steak, I ordered the filet mignon, big chance I know. Let me just say that I sliced it with a regular knife and it was delicious! Our best meal came on our last night when we had dinner at Azur. Though not really a pasta eater, they offered a dish with sauteed chicken, mushrooms and truffle that I ordered! I ate the entire plate as I LOVE anything with truffle. Al dente pasta and delicious sauce.
Perhaps out best experience was at the fish restaurant on the mid level of the beach, I don't remember the name. We met our server, Martha, who was amazing to us. I spoke to her in Spanish (I was practicing) and she replied with interest in teaching me the proper words for items. It's a small menu but truly delicious tacos(shrimp al pastor) and tostadas (tuna). Martha was so engaging and wonderful she hugged us when we left (after eating there 2 other times) and said that she had hoped to see us soon.
I also wanted to mention that I had informed them that my trip was an anniversary celebration. I was simply hoping for an upgade to an ocean view room. Here's what they actually did;
On our second night, they sent champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to our room which was so very sweet! On our 3rd night, they prepared our room, when we were at the Hidden Garden for dinner. We walked into the main part of our suite, turned the corner to the bedroom and we were shocked!!! The room was sprinkled with rose petals and lit with candles, They put a heart on our bed with petals and drew a bubble bath for us!!!!!!! WHAT????? Unreal!!! NEVER, EVER treated like this before. Just amazingly thoughtful and romantic. We heard a similar story from people that we met who were there for a bday. They checked into their room that was covered in balloons and confetti that was spelled out as Happy Bday on their floor. They even had a small cake with a candle.....If you want to talk about above and beyond!!!
Which brings me to my last critique and quite possibly the reason why they were voted the #1 resort.....
The staff are quite possibly THE MOST incredible people I have ever met in my travels. They tend to you as if you are in their home and they never want you to leave. They are always smiling and give you their undivided attention. They are warm, friendly, almost loving in the way they treat total strangers like family. You can tell that they love what they do and if they don't, they are excellent fakers! From the staff that hands you your pool towels (Lorena was super!), to the wait staff (Hugo, Martha, Almovar...I wished I had written down the rest, they ALL deserve recognition) to the amazing management, I wish there was a way to bottle what the feel and bring it back to NYC! In my humble opinion, 7 star service!!!!
I know that this is a long review but I truly can't say enough about this place and I want eveyone who is willing to listen to know!
This is a first class experience. Don't go expecting the Ritz Carlton.....But DO go knowing that you will have the very best service experience of your life!
- 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