More about Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas
Avoid the Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas
AVOID...unless this is all you can afford! The hotel is terrible! Only 2 of the 3 restaurants were open. The Italian restaurant you can only eat at one time per stay and had to make reservations in order to eat there. The restaurant was located right next to the bar in the lobby. If you want a romantic dinner, you have better luck eating at the buffet or going out to another restaurant. The buffet had the same food. If you did not eat at the buffet within an hour from the time it was opened, the food was cold...just like the food at the snack bar.
We had no air condition in our room for 2 days. It took us 4 times complaining before the maintenance man showed up (at around 11 p.m.). After 40 minutes, the air broke down again.
There is mold and mildew in the shower. I had to clean the bathroom myself. There was hair all over the bathroom (and not hair from your head, mind you)!
The elevators never worked. The beach has all seaweed washed up to shore, so you will most likely not swim in the ocean water.
Do not plan on sleeping much. Everything in the hallway echoes. Door were slamming all night, people were talking real loud and running down the hallways. Although we did tell the front desk, they just shrugged their shoulders. They do nothing to control the noise.
I am very disappointed being that this was a hotel that just recently opened. They opened it prematurely. Keep in mind that this is not a brand new hotel. I believe that it was renovated from an older hotel.
you get what you pay for
first of all a word about, Travelcomm.com we used their services two years ago and despite a lot of bad experiences documented in various forums we were satisfied with the results from our stay, about a year ago they called us and offered what seemed like a great deal as repeat customers, what changed this time is they now have a high season premium which they didn't charge two years ago, second their choice of hotels/resorts that they have access to, at least in Cancun ,has greatly diminished. We also tried to get a reservation in Puerto Vallarta and of all the places they claim to represent only one was available, seemed our rep. kept pushing us to Holiday Inn. We thought we made our reservations in plenty of time for a late February trip but had very few choices and some of them were down right nasty so rather than stay at the same place as two years ago we were more or less stuck with The Holiday Inn Arenas, newly opened w/o much in the way of information or reviews about the place, only the hope as a well known international company we would get a decent place to stay, well here we go with an objective review:
We checked & double/triple checked that we had reserved a non smoking room with one king sized bed only to find a smoking room with two small double beds(seems like a Mexican double bed is smaller than the American version) the hotel was full and the room was somewhat in a private area with a great ocean view so we didn't bother to try and change. We were on the 3rd floor and there are three elevators for the entire place, sometimes all 3 worked, sometimes 1 or 2 and more often than not none were working w/o any effort being made to fix them. Other issues are a lack of signage if something including elevators aren't working, dirty & small pools and other than breakfast meals were mediocre & the same old thing. We had no desire to eat at their more formal dinner area as it's an open extension of the lobby bar area with no privacy or atmosphere. Listening to half drunk people & inhaling their cigarette smoke is not my idea of an enjoyable meal, can get that at Senor Frogs! The concierge and cleaning people were friendly and helpful and our room was generally clean although the shower did not drain well which made you think twice about staying in there too long and there no bath tub which my wife didn't like. The front desk people were friendly sometimes and aloof and arrogant at other times. At check out they got all in a huff about a 4 pesos phone bill. Come on Holiday Inn are times that tough?? Beach area is very small with only volleyball as any kind of organized event. Overall for $1,500 I guess it's about what I could expect to get in high season in Cancun for an all inclusive stay for a week. Will try a different travel agent and location next time.
Not even good at 1/2 the price
This hotel was such a terrible disappointment. It was not ready to be open. There was construction and noise all around. One side of the hotel was noise from 8 am to 6pm. The showers did not drain properly, or at all. The elevators broke constantly. The food was mediocre, and we have been sick since the 3rd day of trip, and even after we were home. There are NO non-motorized water sports. The beach is nasty with seaweed. The bar is small, smokey and not enough help. The lobby and the nice dining room are on either side, so the smoke carries there also. The "consiguer" was really a salesperson. They tried to sell you on a "visit" to a sister hotel - which was a timeshare presentation. That part was never mention. They did little to assist with the area or the hotel, and nothing once they found out you were not attending the "presentation" The 2nd room we were in was nice, with a view of one small pool and the ocean.
To top it off, the 2nd part of our trip, was full of "spring breakers"
This was supposed to be a promotion price, to show off the hotel. Well it was a failure in my mind.
Don't look any farther into this hotel
Do not stay at the Holiday Inn. It might be all inclusive but to get service is difficult. Bartenders are not nice, they don't make what you want. The food is the same every day for all the meals. Some of the food was ok but a lot of it was just bland and hard as rocks or cold. The maid service only came one day of our stay. We called down for toilet paper, towels, and other necessities which we needed then. We would call asking for something and housekeeping wouldn't understand English so they either didn't come at all or brought the wrong things. We called 5 or 6 times for something as simple as towels. The location is so far away from the clubs and shopping malls that the taxis cost 20 dollars. There is construction everywhere so theres hammering all the time. Our view from our room was dirt piles and ply wood scraps. The clock wasn't even working right in our room and the power went off randomly so you couldn't rely on an alarm. Other just weird and random things would happen. For example, we came home one night and our door sign and the one next to us were missing. Like another person said I think the hotel just isn't ready to be open yet. I could go on but just trust me and ruin your stay in mexico by going here.
Definately not worth the money
I'll give them a little credit...we were there during spring break.
However....the place is filthy, the beach [--], the elevators never worked consistently, and the bar was in the tiny lobby.
I will never go back.
Deal or No Deal... What are you looking for??
For the money it was certainly a DEAL!! Don't come here expecting a five star resort and you will not be disappointed. We have stayed at many all inclusive five star resorts but chose this resort because of the price and the offering (all-inclusive, ocean front, small resort, very accommodating staff, super walking/jog paths, new facility, comfortable beds and linens, safe environment, and good entertainment). Do not come here for the beach which has a lot of seaweed and murky water, or for the non-motorized activities, or fancy pools (two pools and a kiddie pool that could have been better maintained). We had a great stay here but did not come in with the attitude of finding a five star resort so we were not disappointed at all. The food was good for an all-inclusive but we did choose to eat dinner out several nights just because we had saved so much money staying here and we did not feel obligated to eat every meal at the resort. Great restaurants within a couple of miles either direction. The room was very accommodating and comfortable - clean, ocean front, great air conditioning, nice balcony, great flat screen panel TV, quiet (did not hear the doors slamming or echo halls as mentioned by many other reviewers). Things to be aware of - beds comfortable but short, poor lighting in the room, no bottled water (bring empty water bottles and fill them from dispenser), no cokes before 10:00 AM, and DO NOT use the elevators, we did not get stuck in them but read many reviews and people during our stay that got stuck. We always used the stairs which was no big deal and it was good exercise. What you will see a lot of at this resort is staff always cleaning, bartenders eager to please, front desk willing to help with directions and money exchange, taxis always available (you can go anywhere in the hotel zone to downtown Cancun for $8 or less), and bus stop very convenient in front of resort. Come here with the expectations of a nice comfortable clean resort and you will not be disappointed. Don't come here looking for the amenities of a five star resort when paying for a great value resort. One bonus we did get that we were not expecting is pool/beach service. The staff works very hard and whether they get tips or not they are always there for you. We enjoyed our stay and took many good memories with us.
Not as bad as the reviews say
First off everyone writing these bad reviews must have been expecting to stay at a Four Seasons resort instead of a Holiday Inn. We had two rooms for four nights with a total of seven people in our party, we are all college seniors or have just graduated and wanted to celebrate one last spring break. We spent about 10 a person using a taxi from the airport to get to the hotel (could have bargained more I believe).
Upon arrival we checked right into our rooms without any problems. The rooms are your standard hotel rooms nothing special, but nothing bad. Beds are new, everything is new. We really didn't notice any over bearing construction going on, we might have heard a saw going for a total of 10 mins the entire time we were there.
This was my second trip to cancun, last time I stayed at the Cancun Palace for a week. It is a little hard to compare. The Holiday is on the upper part of the 7 and doesn't get as much or really any major wave action. There is some seaweed but it really isn't that bad.
As for the food, I thought it was pretty good. Breakfast had cook to order omlets, fruits, and other typical B-food. Lunch was good with fresh fajitas and overall decent food. People often forget that mexican food is very bland, no matter where you stay it is bland by culture not by price of the hotel.
The Bars are not bad wither, snack bar was always quick with food and had great guacamole. The beer is Dos equis which is really the main choice of beer at many of the hotels (it was the only choice at the Cancun Palace about 5 yrs ago). The drinks were are served fairly quickly. I guess people expect drinks to be read as soon as you walk up, but it does take a few minutes.
Overall it really isnt that bad, people complaining about slaming doors and loud guest late at night should consider going to a place that isnt known for its party atmosphere during spring break.
I would stay here again. Well worth the price.
The entertainment staff is great! Christain, Angie, and the other guy ( I forget his name) Took great care of us. We went with them each night to the clubs. They got us into the clubs really quick and were Awsome!
Don't Worry, It's Not As Bad As Many Are Saying
Before I left on this trip, I read reviews and panicked. I was taking my mom and my 6 year old as a birthday present for my mom. I expected some kind of multi-generational hell. I packed ear plugs and cotton sheets. Neither were needed. Sheets were soft, Spring-Breakers were loud, but air conditioning drowned out most of their noise. The slamming door thing is totally expected when you leave an ocean-side balcony door open and then open the door to your room. It creates a vacuum. That happened to us in VA Beach too. Just close the door slowly.
No bug infestation at all. If you pick up shells on any beach, if you walk in with sand on your shoes, you will bring in sand fleas. They're harmless and they disappear.
Yes, the hotel has some kinks to work out. There was no audible construction, but my mom's shower was apparently leaking into the floor below and they ran up to fix it a few times. Her lights went out a few times too. The entire hotel lost power at one point. It's a new hotel and, frankly, it really wasn't a big deal. Go with a sense of humor. We were doubled-over laughing at times. Enjoy a gorgeous beach. Walk it. Take a ferry to Isla Mujeres. There is a lot more to do than stew about your room.
They had some interesting shows out by the pool outside our balcony. Since I obviously couldn't leave my child while she slept, it was perfect to watch the shows from my balcony.
I thought the food was excellent. My daughter and mother loved it too. There is a lot of variety. There are several stations. There was a little repetition, but not much. There were always several new items out.
The pool bars weren't too bad to get things from (including virgin drinks for kids). The lobby bar is the only bar serving wine and we had to fight past the Spring-Breakers to get noticed. The Spring-Breakers were the problem, not the hotel. However, if you don't go in March, you shouldn't have to deal with them.
The only thing I think the hotel needs to fix immediately is the rocks that are in the shallow end of the ocean. It makes walking into and out of the water a very painful experience. If they can't remove the rocks, they need to add a plastic plank to walk on or something. Otherwise, go buy beach shoes.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and I would go again (if I can't figure out a way to get a great deal on a more upscale hotel) because it was affordable and because it is a family hotel. I would not go during spring break again.
Depends on what you are looking for
My wife and I stayed at this Holiday Inn in February. We were originally booked into the Avalon on Isles on a (supposedly) upgraded all-inclusive package. Ten days before our trip, my wife called in to verify the transportation from the airport to the hotel. In the course of the conversation, the person responded at one point that we weren’t staying at the Avalon so why would we want transportation there? It came out that, without consultation, we had been re-booked into the Holiday Inn and had not been notified. The reason we were given was that the owner of the Avalon had been thrown in jail for overbooking the Avalon. Since a person who works for me was scheduled into the Avalon for the week after us (and subsequently stayed there), the explanation was only partially accurate. It would seem the issue was that the Avalon was overbooked for Timeshare utilization, in the wake of true improprieties on the part of the owner. Since we weren’t there on a timeshare, we were pushed out into the Holiday Inn. My employee’s “trial timeshare” from last year was honored.
To add insult to injury, we were also told that based on the rate that we were booked at (supposedly for an upgraded, top shelf, all inclusive), that we were obligated to sit through a timeshare pitch at the Holiday Inn’s owner’s other hotel, the Omni. We were furious as this is exactly the opposite of what we were looking for on our first vacation in four years. Nonetheless, we had to sit through the pitch and waste half a day. (If you are interested in a timeshare, do check out the Omni and speak with Karla. The facilities here looked great and she was an excellent sales person who was gracious under the circumstances.)
The Holiday Inn was still under reconstruction while we were there. We were the first people to stay in the first room that we were in. It faced the busy street and the traffic noise was significant, so, if you are bothered by traffic noise you definitely don’t want to be on the street side. Being newly remodeled, the room was clean and it had a hard surface floor throughout, as does the rest of the hotel. This makes for significant transmission of sound. In particular, the noise of door “explosions” as wind slammed room doors shut was a significant annoyance throughout our stay on days that were windy. The air conditioners do work very well and that can result in a very cold floor to stand on after showering. In this first room we didn’t seem to get a bath mat and ended up putting a towel down to be more comfortable. There were no batteries in the TV remote. We did not get a king bed as we had asked. Instead, we had two double beds. The beds were uncomfortably firm and quite small, even for my wife and me, who are 5’1” and 5’7”, respectively.
After about a day and a half we found that we had no power in the front part of the room where the bathroom was. We notified the Front Desk and we were able to be moved to another room since the weekend crowd had cleared out. The new room was fortunately facing the ocean so the traffic noise was gone and had a beautiful view. This room was long, narrow and irregularly shaped. Because of that, it had a LCD TV on the wall, rather than a conventional set. It had the same hard, small beds and no dresser! There was room for one along the length of the room after the beds but there wasn’t one.
Throughout our stay, the availability of elevators was a challenge. They seemed to be regularly out of service, with the lobby elevator the one that most often was functioning, though even it was out of service at one point.
So we supposedly were on an upgraded plan. Let’s dispense with that quickly. We were on the same food and liquor as everyone else. There essentially was no “top shelf” liquor to be seen. All the drinks were made from Mexican brands, and, while I couldn’t prove it, I believe it was half proof liquor. I am a two drinks and done kind of guy. I could have drunk their margaritas all day long and never felt a thing. I basically drank minimally because I didn’t want all the calories from the margarita mix. The food was competent and good to very good, depending on the day or the item. While they rotated selections, much of what they offered was variations on the same themes. They would do grilled to order items at each meal but that meant you had to wait in line for your turn to have yours done. Most often, it was worth the wait. It was unclear how to tip the server at your meals. While they each seemed to have assigned areas you wouldn’t necessarily have the same person each meal or day. It seemed problematic to randomly leave tips on the table because it wasn’t clear who would get it. However, because the servers were very helpful and we appreciated their kind support, that is what we ended up doing.
There are basically two outdoor sunning areas and both have pools associated with them. The main beach area is by the right-hand pool as you face the ocean. We initially sat in this area on the beach but gave up on it after one morning. There were loudspeakers blaring uncomfortably loud disco beat music, non-stop. Every song had the same beat and volume; only the words changed. After that morning, we went to the sitting area by the other pool. It was much quieter and had lower volume level classical and new age music playing. This was where we spent our outdoor time at the hotel. I would have liked something a bit more up-tempo for music but this was clearly the preferable alternative out of what was available.
While we weren’t there a long time, we did venture out a little. We went to Market 28 as was recommended for souvenir shopping and bargaining over the prices; except, there was no bargaining to be had. We tried, and we repeatedly walked away from vendors who wouldn’t budge and nobody chased after us. I don’t think this was because we were unskilled or clumsy in bargaining. I had no problems in Nassau in years gone by. I suspect that they were hurt badly by the hurricane and aren’t willing to give up on profit. At any rate, we had a very good lunch at a restaurant at the Market. Another time we went to the Las Islas mall which is near the Omni hotel just to see what was there. We ended up having lunch at a restaurant called “Margaritas”. It was outstanding!! They do a luncheon buffet that is a wonderful selection of true Mexican food with only a weak resemblance to the Tex-Mex we get in the NE USA. In particular, the smoked pig was to die for. We liked the place so much that we came back there for our last dinner. For dinner, you order off the menu and they have a floor show to entertain you. For a special treat, try the Mayan coffee and you will have a great show right at your table.
Each evening, the hotel had entertainment of one kind or another. We weren’t particularly interested but many people seemed to enjoy it. The last night we were there the entertainment was in the courtyard area around the pool where we went for sun. This was the area that our room faced so we heard the whole show as it went on. This was fine except that the loud music just kept going and going. We had tried to go to bed as we had to get up early to head back home. Around 11:00 PM I looked out, not believing that it was still going, and was shocked to see that the show was over and some hotel workers were packing things up. They left the music cranked while they were working and were nearly done. As was most often the case, nobody would answer the phone at the front desk so I ended up going down to ask that the music be turned off. Gratefully, they did so.
So, all in all, where does it net out to? The people at the hotel were very nice and proud of the facility and seemed to enjoy working there. It is not, however, a premier facility as they would like to believe. I would say it has the potential to be a solid three star facility if they solve the infrastructure issues (electricity, hall noise, elevators, street noise). Other reviewers have complained about the sea grass that washes in but it was regularly cleaned up while we were there. The general surroundings were pleasant but the “all inclusive” package was highly questionable based on the off brand liquor and the fact that the majority of the meals were cafeteria style. While the meals in the sit down restaurant were pleasant, they were a step down in variety and quality, compared to U.S. restaurants. Others may say that you should just write this off as the differences in a foreign country. I don’t buy it. Cancun caters heavily to U.S. tourists and all-inclusive connotes a step up in both quality and availability. You go on vacation to splurge and pamper yourself. This all-inclusive package did not do that. If the price is right and you only want to use a hotel as a base of operations/place to sleep, this could be a good choice. However, after having seen the Omni, I would strongly consider paying up to 50% more to stay there. Please bear in mind, though that we did not sleep on a bed or have a meal at the Omni. Based on appearances, though, that is my thought.
Some issue's but not bad for the price
Stayed 3/14-3/19. Got a great price thru Bookit.com (would recommend), and have been to Cancun before so wasn't expecting a lot for the price ($79.00 pp AI) compared to the "five star" places that also have issue's.
I can agree with some of the previous comments about:
The elevators don't work.
Not much of a beach, but this is on the short side of the 7, so if you were expecting something more, you did not do your homework before choosing your hotel.
The power was out twice for a short period of time, but it was not just this hotel. The power company was doing some work between the hotel zone and downtown, and they shut the power off.
The noise in the hallways (college kids coming home late and yelling and slamming doors after to much Coco Bongoing).
The door to our room was starting to crack (probably from to much Coco Bongoing the week before).
The Italian Restaurant right next to the lobby bar is not a good location and the food had no flavor (definitely no garlic).
The pools were dirty by mid afternoon from the little kids walking from the beach directly into the pools, but it was no fault of the Staff. They were out there every morning cleaning the pools from the trash the drunk kids threw in the pool at night, along with the sand.
We got back to the hotel one evening around 11 and had no hot water. I called the front desk and they had someone there in 10 minutes and the problem was fixed in 30 minutes from the time I called. Very impressed!
They put on little shows at night by the pool that were kind of entertaining.
Our room and patio were cleaned every day, with clean towels. One day the Maid even lined our shoes up nice and neat under the desk. We did leave a dollar on the pillows the first day, and 2 dollars on the 3rd.
Which brings me to tipping! We spent many hours at the pool bars, and I was amazed that we were the only ones that tipped the hard working bartenders. A dollar here and and a couple dollars there (in 5 days we may have tipped around $25.00) got us the best service and the best drinks.
Luis makes the best drinks, he even offered to make us some specialty drinks of his, that tasted so good and kicked our butt. Luis is the BEST!!!!!
We ate the buffet at least once a day, every breakfast (great fried eggs) and 3 times for dinner. The food wasn't bad, the food did not make us sick, and we did not starve. This is AI Food, and is what you would expect.