What I Liked
A new hotel
My room was large with big windows and a good view
My bathroom was big and good shower
The air conditioning was very effective
Reasonable speed internet (via a cable that they had to set up especially for me – Wi-Fi didn’t work).
A desk to work at with good lighting
The hotel is very clean
TV with CNN in English and 2 English language TV stations – bit limited but OK
The safe in the room was easy to use.
What I Didn’t Like
Being Able to Hear My Neighbours At various points I have heard people staying in the rooms either side very clearly. The German guy (on one side) had a cough and I could clearly hear him coughing and tell that he and his wife were speaking German. I could hear the TV and ordinary conversations. At 2am I heard a great deal more despite my earplugs. I guess there is a rule that what is annoying at 8pm is very annoying at 2am. The Spanish speaking couple on the other side liked the TV and came in late. One night he drank too much and was ill in the bathroom. I heard this in detail. This is very poor sound insulation - yet this is a new hotel! And with all the windows closed.
Breakfast. I bought a room (for $140 per night – it was claimed that this was a special introductory rate) that included continental breakfast. Breakfast is served in a restaurant that involves going outside, up an elevator, across a large empty room and up a flight of stairs. The restaurant was very elegant with linen table clothes and overstuffed chairs. However, the choice of food is very limited. There were 3 choices: Kellogg’s cereal in boxes, fruit and sugary buns. Not much of any of it. To drink there is one type of juice (not freshly squeezed) and coffee. The coffee is a thing in its own right. The head waiter guards the coffee as though it is gold: he clearly resented me pouring myself a second cup. On 2 days the coffee was lukewarm. On one day the sugary buns were clearly the leftovers from the day before. On one day only one type of fruit was on offer. Fruit in the local Wal-Mart costs $0.30 a lb. and there is a good selection of it. Sugary buns (many better than the ones in the hotel) are $0.10 each – so it can’t really be a cost saving measure to not have much food. But, the head waiter is keen to offer a cooked breakfast at additional charge and I suspect that this is what the poor breakfast is really about. I guess I am used to US hotels where the breakfast easily gets me through to lunch. Breakfast is advertised to start at 7am – they never achieved this while I was there. This adds to the tension when you are being picked up for a tour. It’s annoying to pay for continental breakfast and to be offered something that is so poor. It is poor business to save a few cents and blemish the rest of what the hotel offers.
Out of the downtown area. The hotel is 2 miles from downtown which means a taxi. Taxi drivers in Chicago have their character but in Cancun every ride features a different fare. There is a limited range of facilities near the hotel. There are 3 restaurants, a beer store and a convenience store. I don’t think most visitors would feel relaxed in 2 of the restaurants – very little English was spoken.
Wind. It is often windy in this part of town and the dust can be surprisingly unpleasant. There is a lot of construction. The site next to the hotel is starting to be developed and ground works woke me on one morning (th ough the double windows). I suspect that construction is going to be an issue for the next 18 months.
The noise transmission is the deal breaker for me. I don’t want to spend my holiday listening to other peoples’ intimate sounds (or them listening to mine). The breakfast is annoying but I have gone out to Wal-Mart and bought fruit: I can make coffee in the room. There are better value hotels in Cancun, nearer downtown or the beaches and with more going on in the vicinity.
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