REVIEW: Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico
Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort offers all inclusive luxury close to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, complete with top food and some of the best beaches around!
A few weeks ago I flew to Mexico to begin 3 months of travel. I’m spending the first four weeks in areas in and around Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. My first weekend coincided with the TBEX annual conference (an event for travel bloggers) so I headed to Cancun and checked into Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort. It’s one of the largest hotels on the Cancun coastline, but is a little way south of the main hotel zone.
I have stayed at a few all inclusive resorts, including another in this area, and would happily say that Mexicans really know how to deliver excellent service. From the second I arrived I was made to feel like royalty! Flowers, welcome drinks, someone helping with my luggage… there was such a lovely fuss over me!
I was introduced to some of the team who would be looking after me, including Gerardo the concierge for my section. I stayed in a stunning suite in the Grand Section. The decor was modern with marble accents, jacuzzi bath in the bedroom, king size bed, full lounge area with bar and dining table, and a beautiful large terrace with sea views. Not to mention a personal mini bar containing full size bar optics!
Moon Palace is a very large hotel, with 251 rooms in the Grand Section, over 759 in Nizuk and more in Sunrise. While some might find the scale intimidating, and be surprised to have to travel by bus or golf cart to get between sections, I felt like it gave a village feel – with lots of places to visit.
While at the Moon Palace I ventured out of the Grand Section to see Nizuk and Sunrise. These are both larger than Grand, containing several bars and restaurants, enormous Vegas-style lobbies (think marble, chandeliers, and plush seating) and vast inter-connecting pool areas.
All inclusive resorts often have a bad reputation when it comes to food. I’ve stayed at a few which had large buffets of low-quality food. After a few days of it, you’ve tried everything and are stuck eating a repetitive menu. At Moon Palace, the lunchtime buffets are generally very good, with plenty of variety – Mexican dishes, sushi, salads, pizza, pasta and more. I particularly enjoyed sampling the special ceviche menu at lunchtime on the a Sunrise terrace.
In the evenings you’re spoiled for choice. Assuming you stay around a week, you can easily eat somewhere different every night. Plus as you travel between sections, you feel more like you’re venturing out for the evening – and avoid that ‘all-inclusive claustrophobia’ which is common.
As I only had a few days there I decided to try out Arrecifes (a Brazillian churascuria) and MoMo (oriental food). Arrecifes operates as a traditional Brazilian restaurant – waiters bring around giant skewers of grilled meats and carve into your plate. Salads, breads and cheeses are available from the buffet. The meats I tried were all very tasty with the New York style beef being my favourite. Due to the cooking method, some meats were a little tough. Service was excellent – friendly and welcoming, without feeling forced. It must have been good as I was too full to manage dessert!
MoMo was a completely immersive experience. A dark room, chic black furniture with accents of red and bamboo. The menu included sushi, tempura, dim sum, teriyaki and yaki soba. On arrival I was brought a platter of tasters, which were delicious. In particular the tuna sashimi on a tostada. I ordered dim sum and miso soup to start, followed by the black sesame fish for main. I also checked out the tepanaki table where the chefs were busy entertaining customers by juggling eggs and chopping vegetables.
The highlight of my stay was the nightly baby turtle release. These happen most evenings between May and October and are run by a turtle conservation project. Once eggs are laid on the sand, the project collects them so they are safe from predators. Once they hatch, they are released by hand into the sea, again to avoid being eaten by birds, crabs and more. We were each given a turtle to hold and place on the sand. They then set off on their first journey into the sea. Read more about this experience here.
There are a number of bars located around the resort. In general the mojitos and caipirinhas were excellent – and best sipped while sat on a swing at one of the sea-view palapa bars.
On my final day, I took a short shuttle bus to the spa. This is located by the golf course and it is free to use the hydrotherapy pools, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi.
I am really pleased I was able to stay at Moon Palace while in Cancun for the conference. The staff were very attentive, the food was impressive and the hotel was immaculate.
Prices at Moon Palace start from $3981 MXN per night (£183) for a deluxe resort view room. For more info, click here.