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With crystal clear Caribbean waters to the front and the verdant forests of the Yucatan Peninsula to the back, Cancun has emerged as one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in the world. With long stretches of brilliant white sand on the coast and ancient Mayan ruins, lagoon-filled cenotes, and exotic wildlife hidden in the jungle, there are natural and cultural experiences to rival any tropical paradise. But Cancun also offers attractions to appeal the adrenaline, fun-loving and hedonistic crowd, with amusement parks full of roller coasters and water slides, jet skiing, and big game fishing on the water, in addition to an internationally renowned reputation for lively nightlife. The range of hotels in this phenomenally popular destination range from luxurious boutique properties to high-rise beachfront hotels and sprawling, all-inclusive mega-resorts. Below are a selection of the best hotels suitable for hosting the perfect Cancun holiday.
Best Overall: The Ritz-Carlton Cancun
Facing over beautiful beaches and tranquil blue waters and within walking distance of the restaurants and fishing charters of Marina Barracuda, the Ritz-Carlton Cancun occupies an enviable location in the heart of the Hotel Zone. Modern guest rooms all present stunning ocean views, which can be enjoyed through the floor-to-ceiling windows and from furnished balconies. Comfortable beds feature 400-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose-down pillows, while bathrooms contain marble-top dual vanities, rainfall showers, and deep soaking tubs. Flat-screen TVs and iPod docks provide digital entertainment, with the room being brought together by a soothing color scheme of white, soft grey, and subtle blue.
Around the hotel, there are two free-form pools and an oceanfront whirlpool, and cabanas and villas lining the private beach offer a relaxing spot to enjoy a day on the sands. There is also a world-class tennis center that offers group and individual classes, a fitness center filled with the latest exercise equipment and a full-service spa. The range of dining options include the elegant, classical European atmosphere of the award-winning Fantino restaurant, intimate dinners on the beach in private casitas, and the sophisticated piano bar atmosphere of the Club Grill.
Best Budget: Privilege Aluxes
Located in the relaxed region of Isla Mujeres and just a short walk from the spacious beaches of Playa Norte, the adult-orientated Privilege Aluxes delivers an indulgent beach getaway on the cheap. Simple but comfortable rooms provide all the expected amenities such as coffeemakers, LCD TVs, and 24-hour room service. Marble-lined bathrooms come with showers and jetted tubs. More upscale rooms may include separate living areas and Jacuzzi-style tubs on balconies with views towards the ocean. A striking angular pool hosts a swim-up bar and wooden bridges and also features a separate whirlpool.
The hotel provides a private beach area on Playa Norte, where guests can lounge on cushioned sun beds, wicker couches, and cabanas, with food and drinks served on a wooden restaurant deck. At Spa Mystique, organic plant extracts are used in a range of massage treatments and facial therapies, while hair, manicure, and pedicure services are also offered. Specialty menus offer seafood feasts, vegan extravaganzas, and romantic meals designed for two. The Privilege Beach Club serves a variety of meat and seafood dishes in an atmospheric tropical beach setting, while Satay delivers Thai and Oriental cuisine in a stylish space featuring contemporary decor.
Best Boutique: Beloved Playa Mujeres
Situated on the quiet, remote beaches of the Playa Mujeres peninsula, the adults-only Beloved Playa Mujeres offers intimate boutique hotel ambiance without sacrificing the amenities and services of an all-inclusive resort. Luxurious suites come with an all-white color scheme, from the pale marble floors to the soft leather couches and large comfortable beds. Rooms come with whirlpool hot tubs and furnished balconies, and large bathrooms feature generous walk-in showers and dual vanity counters. Some rooms feature private plunge pools, while others offer swim-up access.
Excellence of service is a hallmark of this property, with poolside and beachside service offered alongside 24/7 room service. The main infinity pool is home to a swim-up bar. Sun loungers and palapas surrounding the pool, as well as the cushioned cabanas on the beach, are serviced by attentive staff. Complimentary water sports equipment such as kayaks, snorkels, and paddleboards are available. The huge full-service spa contains a host of hydrotherapy features, from a crystal steam hamman to a Roman candalarium, Swedish sauna and bracing Ice Glacier room. Four a la carte restaurants offer a range of cuisine, from contemporary Mexican paired with respective wine varietals, to gourmet Mediterranean-inspired dishes and casual seafood grills.
Best for Families: Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
Surrounded by pristine jungle and just a short drive from Cancun International Airport, the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort provides a spacious and adventurous playground for the whole family to explore. Seven hotel pools provide a huge range of play environments, from the enormous main pool criss-crossed with islands, bridges, and a swim-up bar, to child-friendly features such as a splash zone, twisting waterslides, and the famous Flowrider wave machine. While parents enjoy a round of golf on the 30-hole course or relax under the hands of skilled masseurs at the Awe Spa, young children can be entertained for hours in the well-equipped kids’ club. Facilities include indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a movie theater and a video game arcade. There is a futuristic Xbox gaming room, and a bright-pink salon pampers kids with spa and beauty services. Activities such as minigolf and cycling to beach volleyball and kayaking can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Deluxe family suites are spacious, modern, and are done up with a warm gold color scheme with attractive wooden accents. A full range of amenities includes whirlpool tubs, kid-friendly minibars, large-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. With over 20 restaurants and bars scattered around the property, dining options are kept fresh and varied, with dishes and snacks sure to satisfy any taste or dietary requirements.
Best for Romance: Zoetry Villa Rolandi
Nestled on a quiet and secluded corner of beach on Isla Mujeres, the white walls and blue peaked roofs of the Zoetry Villa Rolandi are reminiscent of a luxurious Greek villa. This image is complemented by the intimate and detailed suites, with stained-glass windows, tiled floors, and carved waterspouts trickling into hot tubs on the ocean view balconies. A particular highlight is the Thalasso Spa, which offers eponymous thalassotherapy treatments that use outdoor seawater pools, seaweed, and marine mud to soothe, rejuvenate, and revitalize. Other treatments include Mayan, Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone massages, Vitamin C facial therapies, and bamboo body scrubs.
Three oceanfront pools are surrounded by wooden ergonomic sunbeds and look out onto both a small private beach area and towards the Cancun skyline. Complimentary kayaks and paddleboards are provided for guest use, and there is excellent snorkeling in the reefs off the beach. The renowned Casa Rolandi restaurant creates flavorsome dishes based on traditional Swiss and Italian fare, while Le Metissage serves French-Mexican fusion cuisine complemented by a fine selection of wine from their on-site cellar.
Best for Luxury: NIZUC Resort & Spa
Secluded, tranquil, and with an air of understated elegance and class, NIZUC Resort & Spa provides the ultimate in indulgent, pampered hotel experiences. Guest rooms seamlessly meld modern style and rustic elements, with polished stone floors and subdued grey walls offset by the natural tones of wooden furnishings. A highlight of the resort is the ESPA-branded spa, which is one of the finest to be found in the area. With treatment rooms and saunas constructed out of wooden panels and white limestone bricks, calm reflective ponds, and warm, soft lighting throughout, guests will relax and unwind from the moment they enter the spa. Signature ESPA therapies are fused with ancient Mayan principles to offer unique therapies such as cacao-oil massages and sea salt and agave cleanses.
The main pool is home to a sophisticated swim-up bar, and a relaxed adults-only infinity pool looks out over the surrounding tree canopies towards the ocean. The resorts’ location on the tip of Punta Nizuc creates an environment like none other in Cancun, with the white sand beaches joined by lush mangrove forests and green wetlands.
Best for Singles: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
The Hard Rock chain has worked hard to build a reputation that combines a party-hard atmosphere with upscale accommodations, amenities, and décor, and as one of the flagship venues, the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun perfectly encapsulates this philosophy. During the day, the main pool is the most popular place to be, with music pumping through the poolside speakers, two swim-up bars dispensing a steady flow of spirits, and energetic hotel staff organizing games and activities throughout the day.
Guest rooms and suites go all out providing rock star glamour with hydro spa tubs, plush retro furnishings, and rock-inspired décor all complemented by panoramic ocean views on show through massive floor-to-ceiling windows and from furnished balconies. To help relax and recover after too much of a good time, the Rock Spa adds unique, sound-based elements to its facial treatments, massage therapies, and body polishes. Once recovered, guests can get back into the swing of things with a nightly live entertainment schedule in the bar-service Amphitheater, followed by themed parties and live DJ sets in the pumping Smash Bar, filled with colorful lighting, exposed chrome décor, and rock memorabilia.
Best All-Inclusive: Le Blanc Spa Resort
Located in the very heart of the Hotel Zone, the adults-only Le Blanc Spa Resort provides the finest all-inclusive experience Cancun has to offer. A sleek modern affair, the minimalist design, pearl-white color scheme, and sharp angles are softened by the curving, organic lines of three freeform pools. The beachfront infinity pool contains a swim-up bar and an adjacent hot tub and is surrounded by semi-submerged sun lounges and shaded cabanas. Poolside service provides items from cold drinks to fresh towels, with this service being extended to the capacious private beach, where more lounges and palapas are scattered across the sands.
Guest suites feature an opulent minimalist design in a color scheme of white and cream with silver accents. Marble floors, high-quality bedding, and two-person whirlpool tubs are some of the most notable features. Bathrooms are impressive, with marble floors and countertops and double showerheads. The BlancSpa features a hydrotherapy pool, saunas, steam rooms, and Jacuzzi tubs, and offers services such as full-body massages, marine salt body scrubs, and essential oil baths. The Lumiere restaurant offers fine dining French cuisine, with a seven-course wine pairing menu. The Blanc International offers excellent buffet and a la carte dining, and the 24-hour room service will deliver steakhouse, Italian, and Asian dishes to guests’ rooms upon request.
Best Beachfront: JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
Located in a quieter part of the Hotel Zone, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa takes full advantage of the enormous expanse of beautiful beach and stunning ocean views at its doorstep. Every room in the hotel comes with ocean views which can be enjoyed from the furnished balconies. Hotel rooms contain classic hotel décor, with an aqua and gold color scheme accompanied by maple wood furnishings. Bathrooms are lined with marble and have separate showers and tubs. The pools and paths in the hotel courtyard flow and curve in graceful arcs to create a mesmerizing effect when viewed from above. The main infinity pool commands excellent views over the beach, where sun lounges, palapas, and cabanas are arrayed.
The Mayan-inspired spa features steam rooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and ocean views. Traditional Mayan massages are offered alongside more conventional treatments such as aromatherapy massages and detoxifying mud wraps. Restaurants include the award-winning Gustino Italian Grill, housed within the exposed brick walls and marble columns of the lobby, and the classic Mexican fare at Sedona Grill. But to enjoy alfresco dining with the sight and sound of the ocean, the open-air Sasi Thai serves authentic Thai cuisine and signature cocktails under a huge thatched roof pagoda.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular hotels in Cancun. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 35 different hotels and read over 100 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.