I would highly recommend visitiing Xel-Ha. We stayed in Cancun so it was quite a drive for us, but it was well worth it. My husband and I had never snorkeled and wanted to experience that on our vacation to Cancun. I found this the best place to do it because, although the price seems expensive, it includes eveything (except for swimming with dolphins or scuba diving, which we were not interested in). Other tours that we did never included snorkeling. We ended up paying about $140.00 for both of us and we were given a locker, two towels, snorkeling equipment, life jackets, buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner and unlimited snacks and drinks througout the day. We were picked up at our hotel and dropped back off at our lobby. The only bad comments I would have is: If you eat a hamburger, do not eat the lettuce or tomatoe. After we returned home, my husband become sick and had to see the doctor and learned that he had an intestical parasite from fruits and vegetables and that is what we narrowed it down to. Other than that, we had a wonderful time at Xel-Ha. Not only did we snorkel, but we went tubing down the river they have and my husband jumped off a bluff they have, and they have a beautiful beach which we appreciated because our beach at Aquamarina was terrible. They have chairs and hammocks set up everywhere. Xel-Ha has our full recommendation.
GREAT for SPRING BREAK!
This was my first trip to Cancun (March 13-20) for SPRING BREAK! This hotel was perfect for my best friend and myself. The staff is excellent and very helpful. They have all sorts of activities around the pool during the day. We were able to meet so many people from all over. They were awesome about organizing groups to go to the clubs together. The clubs are a bit of a ways on the bus, but when it's only 60 cents its no biggie. The buses did make the location of the hotel (a ways from the larger party district of the hotel zone) a pain, but we got to know the area well enough and weren't too worried about it. La Boom is right across the street which is nice to go clubbing right by the hotel. You won't be able to get anyone from outside the hotel past security. They intercom each other when they don't see your wrist bands so beware! But overall the Aquamarina Beach was awesome for an afordable vacation!
ESPECIALLY for Spring Break! If any questions, feel free to contact me.
A nice little place... and SO MUCH FUN!
My best friend and I stayed at the Aquamarina Beach hotel from Jan 3rd - Jan 10th 2004. We are two 18-year old girls, we are in college and running a little low on cash, so we were looking for something cheap.
We read about the aquamarina, and heard that it was a "nice little place - good for a party" and it turned out to be exactly that. We booked the trip VERY last minute, and we really weren't expecting it to be that great. The first night we arrived (around 3:00 AM) we had a little bit of trouble getting our room. They had apparently over-booked for that night, but they were very polite about everything and they tried their best to make us happy, so they sent us to the hotel next-door (The Carousel?). The Carousel was probably the worst part of my trip. It was very late, I was tired, and the man at the front desk wanted my credit card. I told him that he should have it all figured out with Aquamarina, and eventually he gave in after a long argument, but we ended up with an awful room. The next morning we headed back over to Aquamarina and were given our room immediately. They gave us a superior ocean view room and a free bottle of champagne for our inconvenience. The bellboys were very nice and were always there to take our luggage for us (although a tip is expected of course). Our room was very clean and tidy, although the beds were pretty hard, and the pillows lifted our heads about two feet in the air. Overall we were happy with the room though, and we didn't spend much time in there anyway. On our first day we met our trip advisor in the lobby for a group meeting. She gave us some maps and some information, and sent us on our way. We put on our swimsuits and headed straight to the pool for drinks. The pool area is also very nice, and even though the pool is very cold, its nice for cooling off. The jaccuzi (it's on the second level) is barely even luke warm, so we didn't use it at all. The beach at this hotel is awful. The water is very calm and doesn't have any waves unless a boat goes by, so the water isn't very good for swimming, but we expected this before we even got to the hotel. The sand is rocky, and it's hard to even walk into the water, but this really wasn't a big deal to us, because we ended up taking the bus (6 pesos) down the main hotel strip and we found a better beach in front of the Marriott hotel. (By the way: don't waste your money on a cab - the buses are so cheap and so easy to use because there is basically only one bus route). We ended up spending most of our time at the pool, which has has a swim-up bar, and there is also a snack bar right next to the pool. Their hamburgers aren't quite like they are here at home, and the hotdogs were pretty much raw, but everything tasted alright.
The dinner buffet was a little bit different every night. The food wasn't the greatest, but it was edible and I never really got tired of the selection. I suggest going right at 6:00 when the buffet first opens - otherwise you will probably end up eating cold food. We tried the A La Carte restaurant one night - the caesar salad consisted of three very large pieces of lettuce, and the chicken tasted so sweet it was like eating candy. The meal was alright, but it was small and we both felt hungry after our meal, so we headed back to the buffet :) On our first night we heard about a group of people from the hotel going to La Boom - a nightclub just across the street. We dressed up a bit and headed down to the lobby bar for some drinks, and we met four girls from Boston and quickly became friends with them. In the following days we also met four guys from Wichita Falls, four guys from Dallas, and I think there were a couple older guys from Britain as well. I absolutely loved all those Texas boys! We all went out that night (which turned out to be ladies night at La Boom - ladies drink free) and we had a blast. Each night the entertainment crew takes a group of people from the hotel out to a different nightclub. The entertainment crew is amazing (especially Jesus - he seriously knows how to party and we fell in love with him by the end of the week) and our trip definetly wouldn't have been the same without them. They really know how to take care of you when you are out at the clubs - they watch out for you, but they still make sure that you have an awesome time. Throughout our trip we went to La Boom, Senor Frogs, and Carlos N' Charlie's. Senor Frogs was by far the best one that we visited (mainly because it was live reggae night, and we went with such a huge group of ppl), but we also heard that Coco Bongo's was alot of fun as well. Carlos N' Charlie's was more of a pub atmosphere, and a bit of an older crowd, but it was still a very fun place to go to. My friend and I decided to go on one excursion on our trip, and we chose the Catamaran to Isla Mujeres for $40 US/person. This excursion was so relaxing and beautiful. The boat ride was amazing, the snorkelling was very good, the buffet lunch that was included was excellent, and Isla Mujeres is literally like heaven on earth. We just layed on the beach there for about four hours, listening to The Beatles music playing at one of the hotels off in the distance. It was definetly worth the $40, and I would highly recommend this excursion. Overall we had a really good time on our trip. We met so many people, and we are still in contact with many of them through email (if any of you remember us two girls from Canada, please send an email!) The hotel is perfect for any age group, except maybe for old retired people who just want to relax. This is more of a fun hotel, good for couples who like to party, college students looking for a good deal, or families who want a nice place to take their kids. There are lots of things to do around the hotel, like mini-golf, and they even had a few games of bingo on the rainy day that we had. The fun factor definetly made up for all the little things that we weren't happy about (food, beach, pillows), and I can honestly say that I would come back to this hotel.
A Great Get Away
After reading some reviews for this hotel, we were prepared for the worst. Luckily we were pleasantly surprised. Granted this is not a 5 star resort, but it was nice for the money. The food was decent, and of course how can you go wrong with unlimited alcohol. The only drawback to our trip is since it was Spring Break time, there were lots of college kids, we definitely felt old. It was still fun, and I'd definitely stay at the Aquamarina again.
Had A Blast!
6 Of us girls just returned on 1/20 from the Aquamarina. Our ages ranged from 17-42 and we all had the greatest time. We had asked to have rooms near each other & when checking in we were informed that we had been upgraded to a 2-story suite at no extra charge. It was beautiful and had a wonderful view of the ocean and pool area. The grounds were well kept and the staff were the greatest. We went all inclusive and definitely got our moneys worth in food & drink. The bartenders were wonderful & the drinks were definitely not watered down. We knew going in that the beach wasn't the greatest, but it is still a site to see. We have nothing negative to say about our stay, it was as perfect as anyone could hope for. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me.
This was our first trip to Cancun and I have to say it was definitely a blast!! Our hotel was a little on the cheap side, but you get what you pay for. The food was certainly nothing to brag about, but it wasn't that bad. The staff there was excellent - I'd watch out for Ismael though - he likes to spike your drinks! The rooms were so so, the beds were a little hard and you don't have much of a tv selection, but who goes on to Cancun to sit in a hotel room? The beach was nice and clean, although the water wasn't terribly inviting since you had a marina right out front, but you can take the bus for 6 pesos down to the public beach and enjoy the rolling waves over there. I am so glad we spent a little less on the all inclusive so that we didn't feel bad about going out to a restaraunt, or on a boat cruise. I would definitely recommend the Aquamarina for anyone wanting an inexpensive holiday. Just don't go with high expectations - it is only a 3 star hotel.
Glad we were there just 1 night
My husband and I had stayed for 1 week at our timeshare at Park Royal Piramides then moved to Aquamarina Hotel our last night. Summary: you get what you pay for. We chose it because of it's lower price ($115+tax), its good reviews on trip advisor, and to try a different side of the Cancun area. We did not do the all-inclusive. Overall, the beach was dirty and small - due to the fact that a marina is right there. The pool's sound system sounded awful and was more noise than music. There was no hot water in the morning - only lukewarm. The refrigerator was not plugged in and smelled moldy. The area around the hotel is relatively desolate, compared to the hotel zone further from town. You need to take the bus to get to the real fun places & clubs. This place is suitable for the college students on a budget. But for those who can afford the extra $75-$100 to stay at the Hyatt or another fine hotel, it's worth the extra money.
2nd trip to Cancun
This was our 2nd trip within the last year to Cancun. Our first trip was to Gran Caribe which was an excellent trip/hotel and prompted us to come back this second time within 1 year. We did not buy as many of the packages as we wanted but still had an excellent time and were very happy with the hotel we stayed in and the packages we had bought at Gran Caribe. We went threw Funjet Vacations for the first and second trip.I will talk a little about the hotel first. We stayed at Aquamarina Beech Hotel in Cancun from 29 Feb 2004 Â 7 Mar 2004. Comparing the Gran Caribe and the Aquamarina I can tell you to spend a little extra to stay in a bigger and higher rated hotel in Mexico. I would say the staff was great at Aquamarina but the facility was not very nice. We had no view of the ocean and the beach was not really a beach. We had the all inclusive package which is what I suggest to anyone who goes to Cancun to have. The variety of food we got was not very good and the food was a bit greasy. The swimming pool was small and there were very few activities planned by the staff to keep people motivated. All the alcohol was cheap not like the Gran Caribe where they at least had some of the good name brand Mexican alcohol. Bartenders were great though. About 3 days into our trip the hotel we had some people knock on the door and spray our room with bug spray which we didnÂ t think anything about. About 3 days before we went home we started to get bites on our body from what we thought were mosquitoes. We were still getting new bites on our skin after we got home back in Houston and figured out the hotel had FLEAS IN THE BEDS. They didnÂ t change our sheets the whole 7 days we were there which probably didnÂ t help to get rid of this problem. We counted about 40 flea bites between the both of us so far. The Air Conditioners were very loud and you could not hear the T.V. unless you turned it way up. You got about 12 channels on the T.V. One night we had out neighbors complained because we were watching T.V. at 11PM and they could hear it threw the adjoining door. Your neighbors can hear just about everything threw this door. The room was small and had no bathtub.I will talk about some of the packages/trips we bought and took at this time. Last time we were in Cancun we bought our trips threw Funjet and paid more than if we had shopped around so we thought we would do that this time. This was a mistake. We went out the first night and stopped at a stand down an alley in front of Coco Bongo. A guy named ELIAS who was working for Sunset Lagoon/ Sunset Royal Hotels sold us some packages and set us up to tour one of the hotels to buy a timeshare. Buying these timeshares is such a joke. You pay $60k for a 2 bedroom timeshare then you pay $411 every time you visit for 1 week? Most of the hotels cost less than $411 to stay in for 1 week. We sat at this presentation and were bombarded by 3 separate people to try and pay for one of these timeshares. My fiancÃ© Carina found some pubic hair in her eggs at this resort also. My recommendation is to not buy any packages from anyone trying to sell for Sunset Lagoon Hotel, Marina and Spa and Sunset Royal Hotel. They will try to get you to go to one of these Â demonstrationsÂ which is a waste of your time and vacation. They also try to give you some type of incentive to go like a 2 for one package. If you go to this stand we went to which is down the alley way from Coco Bongo across from a large taco restaurant with bright yellow signs then just get the best prices you can on paper and take them back to your hotel and see if they will beat or match the prices with Funjet or whoever your representative is at the hotel you are staying. We had a bad time dealing with this ELIAS character. My fiancÃ© speaks fluent Spanish and this guy messed up our vacation on several occasions with excuses that were lies. We had to track this guy down at least 3 times to find out why when we went to do several of our tours that he had supposedly scheduled for us was either not paid for or was rescheduled for a different time. This is why I say get the prices from these stands and go back to your hotel. If there is a problem the representative is in the lobby most of the day and can assist you with your problems. We wasted a TON of TIME trying to track this ELIAS character down. We finally asked for a refund on our last trip and he kept 10% because he said that he paid 10% for a reservation which when we went to see the guy he made the reservation with said ELIAS put $0 money down. The trips we went on were great but none of these trips are run threw Sunset Lagoon/Sunset Royal. They were just selling these packages which you could buy from your representative at the hotel. You have to do the Captain Hook, Xel Ha(all inclusive) and Cozumel snorkeling trips. They were all a blast!!We found out some interesting info the hard way also. A lot of the Sterling Silver jewelry you buy is only Sterling Silver coated. If you think you are buying a nice bracelet in Cancun more than likely it is only dipped in Sterling Silver. They make the bracelet in Copper or Brass to match the weight of Sterling Silver and then they coat it with Silver. It is hard to spot this. So my suggestion is donÂ t buy any Sterling Silver from Cancun unless it is thin or small in size because it is too much trouble for them to dip something small in Sterling Silver rather than just make it in Silver.If you have any other questions please donÂ t hesitate to email me.
My friend is trying to book accomodation in Cancun, but is at a loss which is the best one to go with. She and her husband are going to be in Cancun for 5 days and have been looking at the Gran COsta Real resort, Aquamarina beach hotel, Ambience Villas, or any other recommendations. They have a preference for a room with a small kitchenette, but definately want to try the local cuisine.
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks in advance
RE: Accomodation decision
There really isn't any "local cuisine" in Cancun. It's all fast food, expensive mex/american restuarants. Go downtown if you want to eat anything real.
RE: RE: Accomodation decision
Any ideas for accomodation?
RE: RE: Accomodation decision
I just returned from a three night weekend stay at Aquamarina Beach Resort. There are several large nightclubs nearby, but not much else. The noise from the street did not carry to our ocean-facing rooms. They were rather quiet, actually. The hotel is three star all the way. Not great, but not bad. It is clean and the staff are friendly and speak sufficient english. We did not have a kitchenette, so cannot speak to those facilities, but we would recommend it to anyone on a budget whose expectations were not very high. We ate in restaurants downtown, about 10 minutes in a taxi, and 10 USD. We avoided the more tourist areas on the main road, Kukulkan. We also took the ferry from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres. Playa Norte there is lovely and the shops by the port have many lovely things at better prices than the mainland. We could have walked to the nearby Embarcadero port, but the trip was 15 per person each way, or $60, where the trip by taxi to puerto juarez was $10 each way and the ferry was $7 each round trip, so $34. If you want to know more about Aquamarina, email me at email@example.com.