Just came back last week (Feb 2014). Our stay was a mixed experience. We were checked in quickly by the manager, very pleasant, and upgraded to an ocean view room with balcony, at no extra charge. The reception desk (?) was a floating glass table. Manager had a small lap top computer and a pencil box. Behind him was a wall covered in what looked to be tin foil. What had we got ourselves into?
We got in the teeniest elevator ever (on day 2 it didn't work and we were on the 6th floor). Our room was a lovely surprise. It was bright and clean. Fresh rose petals formed a heart on the bed (which was very comfortable) and our view....amazing blue water. So glad we asked not to be placed in a Lagoon room. It may have got the sunsets but it would have been noisy for sure. Our sliding door was hard to push open. It needed some attention but oh what a view!
We changed into bathing suits and went down to check out the property. One pool, but very clean. The use of the shallow pool near the restaurant had once been a place to have a meal but was now no longer used for that purpose. There was a definite lack of umbrellas and loungers. A number of the loungers were covered in a speckled dark....mold? Not sure. Everyone understandably laid on towels provided by the hotel...if you could get them. We waited for 20 minutes for the empty towel shelf to be filled.
The beach is beautiful!!! We were told by another hotel quest that if we were to walk south about 20 min down the beach we could swim in much calmer water. We did that and we swam with angel fish around us. That was great. We also chose to walk down the beach after dark the weather was so warm. We took in a fire dance show at a higher end resort down the beach. There is no night life or evening entertainment at the Bel Air. We weren't particularly concerned about that.
The beach at the Bel Air did have a life guard. Usually the beach was flagged with red meaning dangerous water. I am a strong swimmer and was whistled in by the guard and he explained to me that a short distance out the water got extremely deep and the undertow would drag me down. I was cautious after that for sure.
Staff around the pool was very limited and overworked. One lady (Meresilla?? I know that's not quite right) but she tried her best to bring food and drinks guests ordered. Only one bartender outside and a couple of runners for the entire hotel was the reason for long waits. For a couple of hrs in the afternoon there was an outside food station. I waited 40 min for a hamburger that was inedible. It tasted like sausage to me. The nachos on the other hand and the chicken wings were really good!
There was only 1 restaurant building and it was split in two offering different menus. Not much English was understood. If Hector was on shift (a supervisor maybe? but he created mayhem for the staff as there seemed to be little communication between them) he promised the moon and under delivered. He would offer an unset table saying that it would be set by the time we came back from the buffet. Not. No silverware, sometimes you would get coffee or juice that you had asked for by the time you returned to your table but usually not. Ordering in either side was an interesting experience at best. We had taken the
all inclusive option. By the final night I opted to skip dinner I just couldn't do that menu one more time as it was limited and unchanging. We tried sitting at the low tables on round marshmallow chairs about 14" from the ground at the Martini and Sushi bar . We were the only quests at the time. Everything on the menu had cream cheese in it...but what I had there was a better choice than the alternative food choices. The sushi bar looked onto an underused courtyard. There were randomly placed red balls with indentations to sit it on. No back support at all. My favorite part of the hotel were the blowing sheer curtains that surrounded this court yard. There was always a lovely breeze from the pool deck into the hotel. The courtyard kind of had a Turkish feel to it mixed with an attempt at modernistic additions....like the red balls.
We met some great people staying at this resort. Some tried to change hotels but could not find anything within reason. We were glad they stayed even if it was by default.
I should mention that even though we had the all inclusive plan every bill for food/drink had to be signed for. Way too much work for the staff. We usually took a few one dollar bills with us when we ate to show our appreciation when we were served. I might add the restaurant/food choices were never explained to us at check in. It was a little confusing at first as to why we were signing a bill each time we ordered.
Checking out was easy. Thank you Samuel. While we were waiting for our cab at the front entrance bell boy station we noticed a weigh scale to check our baggage weight for our flight.
We were told it came with a cost so we declined as we hadn't made any purchases during our stay and were certain we were OK for baggage weight. The same bell boy used a hand held scale 10 min later when we opted not to pay pesos to weigh...no charge. (But he was friendly)
All in all I will sum up our stay has unusual. The hotel was certainly overrated and needed updating. Sometimes the fountain by the sushi bar operated sometimes not. The sunset bar on our floor sounded romantic. We giggled when we found out it was a few swivel bar chairs placed in the hall at open windows. Yes, you could admire the sunset and the lagoon and the convenience store and the laundry facilities for the hotel...lol Complimentary champagne and canapes (cookies actually) were served there for a short time at sunset each day.
We went to Cancun for the amazing colors of the Caribbean and were not disappointed in the water view or the beautiful white sand. We would choose to stay elsewhere next time mainly because of the lack of food choices in the restaurant. We honestly are not fussy eaters but the meals were not very good. If you choose to eat in the restaurant pick the Italian side. At least an effort was made for sure. Even if the food trays would come out and the servers would have to go to several tables before the food was delivered to the correct guest. Warning...don't order ice cream. It always showed up as lemon or vanilla soup, but the brownie was good. lol
Will we return to Mexico?. Absolutely yes. Our accommodations will be different though.
We did not check out the spa services offered at all so I can offer no opinion on that. A photo session could also be booked from the lobby if anyone was interested. We didn't do that either, but it may have been fun to take more memories home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Where body, mind and spirit become one. The Bel Air Collection Hotel & Spa enhances your meditation and serenity, where everything is dedicated to your wellness and to completely restoring your body, mind and spirit. The Bel Air Collection follows a hip and minimalist trend, for those who are looking for a relaxing and romantic experience. 10 Minutes from the airport and just 15 minutes from the commercial zone, restaurants and the exciting Cancun's nightlife. *Adults oriented. Children 12 years old and up are welcomed ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Cancun Hotel Cancun
- Bel Air Collection Resort And Spa Cancun
- Bel Air Collection Hotel Cancun
- Bel Air Cancun
- Bel Air Collection Cancun