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“Heaven on Earth!”

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Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun
Ranked #4 of 182 Hotels in Cancun
GreenLeadersGold level
Plymouth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2011

stayed at Live Aqua Tue 1-18 and departed Sun 1-23
We booked due to pictures online and reviews from trip advisor. This is the cleanest, best quality, thourough staff and most memorable stay I have ever had. I operate a Resort and come from a long history in the hospitality business. The attention to detail from the check-in, they come up to you and ask if you want an aromatherapy hand massage ( free) breathtaking guest rooms, plush beds and state of the art amenities. The food is all inclusive as well as the drinks. You do need to sign for your tabs but not to worry, it is all inclusive. No need to worry about getting sick from food, its so fresh, well prepared and the selections are amazing. Poolside getting drinks, if you want amazing service, please treat the staff in amazing and you will get the same in return. I found that giving a nice tip up front ( pesos or dollars) they greatly appreciate and will make sure your glass does not go dry. Please book a 5th floor room so you can enjoy the private lounge of drinks, snacks and appetizers. They treat you like royalty and make sure to ask for Mario, he makes the best drinks and is so much fun to chat with about the hotel and has great reccomendations for local restaurants. The spa we did not have time to use but I heard it was amazing from some other guests. If you want to enjoy the sauna, steam room or jacuzzis in the womens or men's side of the spa, the fee is $20 per day. Great workout facility with LifeFitness equippent, pleny of treadmills, two bikes, stair climber, some machines and free weights. They also have a personal trainer on site you can book in advance. They have cabanas by the pool and on the beach that you can reserve the night before and get the top of the line ultimate service. I cannot wait to stay again at the Live Aqua, this is now my favorite destination.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SherryTollette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2011

We had an amazing five nights and six days staying at Live Aqua. So much so, that we only left the resort for 30 minutes to check out the mall across the street. The all inclusive, which is new for the hotel since November, was fabulous - great food and drinks. We were looking for an alternative, more low-key experience to the big sprawling all-inclusive resort, and found it here. The hotel is chill and modern and easy to walk around (you can go from your pool to your room in five minutes, no matter where your room is).

The only thing that wasn't always great was the service. Starting from the odd approach to check-in (they sit with you on couches in the lobby), we weren't always sure what was going on. We were supposed to get an info package when we checked in, but didn't get it until the end of our second day (we figured most of it out by then on our own). We also couldn't believe that everything was included, since there were still prices on all the menus and we signed bills (I think this is mostly to track and allow for tipping) - this should be better communicated right up front. Some days we had amazing poolside service, then one day it was obvious they were short staffed - the bar and kitchen opened late (I guess there was another function going on), which shouldn't have impacted their service, but it did. However, all of this was only a slight hiccup in our trip and I heard it was a problem in other resorts too - maybe everywhere's a bit understaffed in the Cancun area these days.

We spent every day by the pool. They had many pools, including one huge heated pool. I was really impressed with the design of the pool area. We nabbed one of the beds (not the same as Cabanas, which they have for rent). The beds were free and were so comfy. Took our pool experience to the next level. We ordered the pool side food everyday for lunch. The tacos, nachos, pizza and guacamole were super yummy.

MB, the high-end restaurant was really good. We ate there almost every night. If you go, order the cocoa + cocoa for dessert - it will blow your mind. The other restaurants are good too. Azur, by the pool, was a step down from MB, but still tasty. The pasta was very good, desserts not so great. We only ate at the buffet in Siete for breakfast, but it was great. We had tostadas every morning and sampled the huge salsa selection every day. They also had a large selection of traditional breakfast options (omelets to order, bacon, french toast, etc.). We think the hotel could benefit from an additional restaurant for variety. Maybe a seafood grille and/or more traditional Mexican.

We had an ocean view room about four levels up. The view was amazing - you should always get a room with a view. We were happy being in the side building, with an angled view. Our room was clean with a spacious bathroom. I'm picky about cleanliness and it was all good. Our room was cleaned everyday and beds were turned down at night (except one night - see: inconsistent service). The inclusive mini bar was great. Had a good selection of soda, juice, beer and water (still and sparkling). We loved digging into the snacks when we came back from the pool before dinner. The only thing that was out of place was the really cheesy, low budget animations and videos they had running on the promo channel. They looked like something made in the mid-90s. Very odd, and totally off brand. Noise was o.k. The walls are very sound proof, but the doors are not and the stone tile hallways carried noise like you wouldn't believe. They also blast music on the grounds, which means you can't keep the door open at night to listen to the ocean sounds.

The location was great, but as I said, we didn't leave to explore much. It was 20 minutes to the airport, right on the beach and steps from some really great shopping. Not sure if there was any nightlife nearby. We weren't there to party.

We didn't use the spa, but they had a really nice outdoor space for massages. They also do pool side massages.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KDub403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williston, Vermont
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2011

I spent weeks researching hotels on here and other sites, and ended up booking Aqua 3 days before our trip, and actually got a really good package deal on Expedia. The research paid off, as we had a great experience here.
I had never been to an all-inclusive before, and my main concern was the food, as my girlfriend and I are somewhat of foodies, but the reviews here seemed positive so we went for it. I can honestly say the food, particularly for dinner at MB, is fantastic. There is room service available all the time, for breakfast there is a great buffet at Siete, lunch there are a couple of options including Siete and Azur the outdoor beachside restaurant, and Siete, Azur, or MB for dinner. We ate at MB every night except for one, and it's true that you should make reservations early. MB's chef is a James Beard award winner, and it shows - it's really fine dining. We had several dinners that would have been around $200 with wine, and the quality was consistent with the price, but with the all-inclusive plan it was all included. They also had a guest chef 5-course tasting menu one night that was phenomenal.
The rooms were clean and well-stocked with everything you need. Minibars have water, soda, beer, juice, and candy. There is an in-room safe large enough for a laptop and free wifi. Bathrooms were well-sized. We were initially in one of the cheapest rooms - all rooms have ocean view, but ours was on second floor so not much of a view of it. There was a small flood in our hallway the second night, so they upgraded us to a 7th floor oceanfront room, and the view from those rooms are amazing. The pools are all right in the same area, and are all pretty nice. There's an adults-only swimup bar pool, and a hot tub as well. The long rectangular pool and adjoining infinity pool are the prettiest. No problem getting a lounge chair in any area you want, including the beach, and there is beach/poolside bar and food service. The octopus ceviche is great. In the afternoon they bring out an old-fashioned popcorn machine and give out popcorn - lots of cute little touches like that.
The service everywhere was top notch - I haven't seen so many enthusiastic and smiling employees since I went to Disney World. They will do anything to make your stay better, and they make that clear. We got massages at the spa (not part of all-inclusive) and they were fantastic as well.
Really my only complaint was the flood outside our room, and having to change rooms in the middle of the night, but it was rectified and didn't really detract from our trip.
There are still a lot of places in the world I'd like to see, but if I ever make it back to Cancun, I would stay here again in a second.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jbsnapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2011

Usually, the hotel looks alot better in pictures online, than it actually is. This is why when u got to the hotel my jaw dropped. The lobby was gorgeous, I room was to tally new with a great view of the beach, and and amazing bathroom. The service was amazing, all the staff went out of it's way to make sure everything was perfect. The pool was amazing, there was 1 big pool that stretched out along the whole pool dck, and 7 more different colored pools in shape of circles all around. The resort was very kid friendly, except for one restaurant which didn't allow kids under 12 in. If you're going to stay here, make sure to get the all inclusive because it will pay off in a day if you're planing to eat mostly at the resort.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vallll34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakley, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2011

My husband and I traveled to this resort with a group on a trip that he earned for work. I had read all of the fabulous reviews regarding outstanding service and we were terribly disappointed. The trip was to be an all inclusive and this was not the case. We had to sign for everything we received, from the breakfast/lunch buffets to drinks on the beach and at the pool. This was a huge hassle especially when you wanted to get up and move somewhere but had to wait for the server to come back around (if they even did come back). The service at the restaurants was horiffic and most of the buffet food was cold, especially the eggs. At one of our meals no one would come to check on us for drinks and at another meal after we were seated no one came to check on us at all. We got ready to leave the table since no one came around and then they chased us down to sign! We decided to try room service since table side was terrible and that ended up just as bad. It took over an hour and a half after calling down twice to get our food and then of course it was cold. The restaurants/bars are made out to seem much nicer on the internet websites than they are. The AKA Wine and Mescal bar was a huge disappointment. It was very plain and uninviteful. I have been to other all inclusive resorts and they all had wonderful huge buffets (and no I am not a big eater - just like variety) with a very large variety of foods, you could also just come and go and sit wherever you wanted. There was not a very large selection of food, so for those that want more of a selection for food do not choose this resort. All I can say is thank goodness we did not pay for this trip or I would have been furious and if the group chooses this resort again we will decline the trip!!!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank BLF1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
liveaquaernesto, Manager at Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun, responded to this review, January 24, 2011
Good day,

First of all we would like to thank you for sharing your comments with us. The property IS an All Inclusive as the meals, beverages and activities are included in the guest daily rate; however due the fact that we opted for no using wrist bands to identify our guests (we consider this doesn´t reflect the quality and level of the Hotel) we need to have a form of control and we opted for the check signing system, which obviously being an All Inclusive doesn´t generate any charge. Regarding the lack of service you report, we do apologize on this and will pass your recommendations to our Food and Beverage manager, please notice that Staff by the pool. At Live Aqua Cancun we proud ourselves for the quality of food and beverages served thorough the Hotel as it is reflected in so many reviews (as you stated before) which unfortunately wasn´t your experience.

If we can be of any further assistance please let us know.

Best regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2011

Usually, hotel websites show rooms and facilities that look nothing like the real thing. But in this case, the website wasn't lying. The hotel facilities and rooms are gorgeous, and the staff goes out of its way to make sure that every request is met with graciousness and speed. That's why everyone in my family of four ( two older teens) agrees that this hotel was one of the best ones we've ever stayed at, in many years of traveling.

The hotel has been completely rebuilt after it was leveled by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and the effort put into this really shows. The grounds are beautiful, especially the beach, which has been fully restored and made much wider than it was before. When we visited, we never felt like we were on top of anyone. In fact, some days it was almost as if we had the beach to ourselves.

There are 8 pools, and I don't remember how many whirlpools, so again, guests have plenty of room to spread out.

The spa and gym are excellent,, too, unlike other resorts we've stayed at, where these are often poorly maintained. My only complaint is about the food. The hotel has recently gone AI, but only has three on-site restaurants. What that means is that you sometimes can't get a reservation at the more popular restaurant, MB's, at a reasonable time. Lunch at the pool restaurant is very good ( lots of grilled foods, menu changes daily,etc), but the food served at SIETE really needs an upgrade, and quick.

So, my overall recommendation is book a stay here before it becomes so popular that you can't get in. But plan on eating at least one or two meals outside the hotel. There are so many good restaurants close to the hotel ( Puerto Madero, an Argentinian steak house on the lagoon side is AMAZING!), and it would be shame to miss them.

Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank WWK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2011

The hotel started offering the all-inclusive option in November 2010, so consider that when reading older reviews.

Our three-night stay was excellent. For the most part, we felt as pampered as we had hoped. The hotel's Web site looks way too polished to reflect reality, but the photos and descriptions are pretty much on the money.

I'll summarize by pros vs. cons, especially compared to our frame of reference, the Royal in Playa del Carmen.

Pros:

The rooms are very nicely appointed with a spa-type decor. They are not nearly as large as the Royal's, being about the size and layout of a normal hotel room. They are luxurious, though, especially the bathrooms (several kinds of high-end soaps), the fully stocked refrigerator/minibar (no charge for consumed items), and the bedding. No rose petals or towel animals.

They have eight pools, all infinity type, and they were generally empty. There were plenty of lounge chairs. The beach is just a normal beach, not superbly groomed like the picture on their site. Nice, but nothing special.

The waterfront shopping center across the street is fun to walk around, even though it mostly contains the usual dull American chain outlets (Chili's, Borders, etc.)

Spa treatments were nice, although expensive. You get a free hand massage on arrival right in the check-in area.

The fitness center is very well equipped.

WiFi coverage in the room was good.

We enjoyed the restaurants, especially MB (ask for the five-course tasting menu since they forgot to offer it to us on all but our first night ). Food was better than at the Royal, with a massive breakfast buffet at Siete, pretty nice beach lunches at Azur (lots of ceviche), and creative items at MB (grilled shrimp with pork belly confit, whole snapper stuffed with pickled ginger with kim chee vegetables, etc.)

We booked an Aqua Club Oceanfront Room and that was a great decision -- there are only 26 of those and they have access to a lounge that's only for those rooms. It has its own concierge, has great food all day long from breakfast to late night, and there's always liquor, coffee, etc. Nice view, too. The concierge there made our dinner reservations, arranged taxis, etc. and they had nice cheeses, desserts, hot dishes, and some good brands of liquor (Chivas Regal, Makers Mark, and a huge assortment of tequila). There's no extra charge for anything. Highly recommended. We figured it wouldn't be all that useful since we were all-inclusive anyway, but this was the best part about our stay.

The staff were perfect, for the most part. It really did feel like a luxury resort where they would do anything to make your stay better.

The room service menu was extensive (filet mignon, fresh fish, etc.) and included in the all-inclusive plan. We didn't try it, but it seemed quite nice.

Cons:

The hotel now accepts children as guests, which does not seem appropriate given their marketing as a high-end spa experience. There are zero activities for those children, so they are going to be in the pools, restaurants, etc.

In general, this is a spa, not a resort. The "no activities" isn't just for the kids, there really isn't anything much to do on property except sunbathe and use the spa. It's an easy taxi or bus ride to other Cancun activities, but we were happy sitting in the sun.

Pool and beach service was not good at all. The Royal had a beach butler bringing around books, suntan lotions, etc. and excellent bar service. We were on our own at Aqua, with spotty bar service and nothing else. We sat for four hours by the pool one day and were never offered a drink or to have someone raise the umbrella, which we couldn't figure out how to do. This was a huge disappointment considering the level of service everywhere else and the amount of time most people spend poolside.

Bars in general seemed overwhelmed even when they had little business. It was sometimes hard to get a drink even when standing or sitting right in front of the bartender. The bartender told me it's because they have to run tabs for all guests, even the all-inclusive ones, and that takes a lot of time.

Every time you get a drink or get food, they ring it up on a receipt you have to sign, complete with the large prices ($25 for breakfast buffet, $6 for a soda). This not only slows everything down, especially at the bar, it's unnerving since you have to trust that you won't be charged for real. It worked out fine, but a card to swipe or even the typical wristband would have been easier all around since, according to the bartender I asked, 95% of guests are now on the all-inclusive plan.

They have only three restaurants and the menus don't seem to change, so I'd be wary of spending a week there as all-inclusive (a problem not limited to Aqua). You have to ask which restaurants are open when since both the printed list given at check-in and the TV's schedule are incorrect and didn't even match each other -- both indicated that Siete was open only for breakfast, for example, but it was also open at dinner (and vacant, maybe for that reason).

Staff don't wear name badges for some reason (the bartender said he thought that was kind of stupid). It would be nice to recognize them by name.

They didn't offer any kind of comment card or feedback mechanism.

They have a convention center and were running a couple of large ones while we were there. That may have been a good thing since those folks had their own activities and meals in the convention center, so the place seemed deserted, maybe for that reason.

Overall we would definitely return and the annoyances, especially the lack of poolside service, don't warrant anything less than a five-star rating from me. They may be working out some kinks from the all-inclusive switchover. Even as it stands, it's a great place.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank FussyCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun

Property: Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun
Address: Boulevard Kukulcan km 12.5 | Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico (Formerly Live Aqua Cancun All Inclusive)
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
#4 Business Hotel in Cancun
#4 Spa Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun 4.5*
Number of rooms: 371
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

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