Vacationing in Mexico is as romantic and adventurous as it sounds. However, trying to find the perfect hotel for you and your loved one or family is not. The following is a review of Moon Palace Cancun and a few select luxury hotels surrounding it.
Some luxury hotels can seem similar, but it is the services, amenities, and experience that make them each unique. Here, we rate each hotel by feature and price to give you a better idea about what each hotel is about.
What Is Moon Palace Cancun?
Located on Cancun’s south shore and only fifteen minutes away from the airport, Moon Palace Cancun is a luxury hotel resort with three main facilities. It provides a wide variety of amenities, including multiple fitness centers, spas, and swimming pools, all of which are right along the Mayan River Beach.
Sunrise is the largest of the three with 13 restaurants and bars to choose from. It also has a mini-golf course and one of the biggest swimming pools in Cancun, complete with a swim-up bar, kid’s water park, and a wave simulator. Most restaurants serve breakfast and lunch buffets with a la carte dinners.
Nuzic offers a larger fitness center, a kids’ playroom, and beach-side gazebos and a spa. This section of the resort has its snack bar and coffee house with crepes and pastries and a continental breakfast and sandwiches at the Lobby Bar.
The Grand Moon
The Grand Moon is the newest addition to the Moon Palace Cancun. It gives a casual and relaxed vibe with a new restaurant, providing a buffet-style breakfast and lunch, along with serving dinner a la carte. It also presents guests with two snack bars, a small pool with a swim-up bar and a larger kids’ playroom.
The Grand Moon Pass
Moon Palace Cancun’s guests who stay at the Sunrise and Nuzic accommodations (or other nearby Palace Resorts) must purchase a day pass to visit The Grand from 7 am to 11 pm. With the day pass, guests can access all-inclusive facilities within The Grand. However, guests who are staying at The Grand have access to everything.
The Moon Palace Cancun has much to offer its guests, including 24-hour room service, top-shelf liquor, and wheelchair access. Guests have the option of almost 20 restaurants and bars, not including those at sister resorts.
With so much to do and see, it will make you wonder if you will have time for everything. As a guest, you can visit other resorts in the area. However, transportation is not included.
The Moon Palace Cancun provides many sports, games, and tours for their guests. This includes unlimited golf on a designer 27-hole golf course with landscape designs that were inspired by the local jungles, lakes, and dunes.
For those that enjoy water sports, there is a surf simulator, known as the flow-rider, along with non-motorized water sports, like kayaking, beach volleyball, and water aerobics. There are also introduction Scuba diving and sailing lessons.
There are also multiple fitness centers, spas, kids’ playrooms, tennis courts, basketball courts, and free bikes to get around the resort easily.
Several tour buses stop at Moon Palace Cancun, along with other nearby resorts. Depending on how much you and your family want to check out the surrounding areas, you may not need to rent a car during your stay. There are tours to the Mayan Ruins, trips into Cancun, and Cirque de Soleil performances. Ocean lovers can try swimming with whale sharks.
This resort has almost every type of cuisine you could want during your stay. Remember there are three sections to this huge resort. If you can’t find what you want at the section you are staying at, consider checking out other parts of Moon Palace Cancun.
At Bugmilias’ you’ll find an international breakfast and lunch buffet, but at night they become a Mexican a la carte restaurant. Palapa Barracuda and Palapa Fragata both have a buffet lunch and a la carte dinners. Palapa Barracuda is beachside and serves breakfast in an open-air setting. The Palapa Fragata specializes in steak and seafood for their a la carte dinners.
For those that prefer a la carte over buffets, there’s La Gondola, which serves international breakfast and lunch, then transforms into an Italian fine dining venue for dinner. Mo Mo No Nana is an Asian-focused venue, serving food a la carte.
Along with their continental breakfasts and coffee house, this section of Moon Palace Cancun offers a variety of cuisines. For traditional Mexican food, check out Los Caporales. Arrecities offers a breakfast and lunch buffet, then turns into a Brazilian Churraqueria at night.
El Manglar serves an international breakfast and lunch buffet, but their dinner buffet focuses on Italian foods. Both Palapa Delphines and Palapa Pelicanos provide lunch, but Pelicanos becomes a sushi bar for dinner.
The Grand Moon
Los Tacos is a pool-side open-air snack bar that serves tacos and Mexican tortas for lunch and dinner. El Caribeno serves Caribbean breakfast and lunch buffets, and a la carte dinners. The Terraza is a casual lounge bar with snacks and sushi at night, with live music.
Family Connections Program
Families receive extra amenities, including services and activities for children ages four to twelve. These options include walkie-talkies so the family can stay in constant communication and supervised activities just for the kids.
This includes games, crafts, and swimming from 8 am to 2 pm. Breakfast and lunch are included, along with dinner programs from 8 pm to 10 pm. After dinner, they provide programs like pajama parties with games and movies.
This is an option you make when choosing your room. It includes three hours of nanny service. However, more can be purchased during your stay.
Families with this service also receive priority to kids’ club, and kids get their concierge phone line for questions and help.
Per night, per person, rates start at $350 and climb to $900. However, this is based on average rates.
Moon Palace Cancun provides a special offer to guests that stay three or more nights. These credits can be used towards tours, spa services, golf, or wedding packages. Guests that stay three nights receive $500, those that stay four nights get $750, five to eight nights receive $$$, nine to eleven nights get $$$, and the most a guest can receive is $$$ for staying twelve nights.
However, guests still have to pay a 16 percent tax on the total amount of credits used. That means if you spend $$ of credit, you still have to pay $. Due to this condition, some guests complained that the resort credit is misleading.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico to see how they compare.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
The Royal Playa del Carmen
Moon Palace Cancun
All rooms will have a double jetted jacuzzi and private balconies with differing views, along with expected amenities like a coffee maker, toiletries, and hairdryer.
There are many dining options, including 24-hour room service. So whether you feel like staying in, grabbing a bite to eat by the pool, on the beach, or having a romantic dinner, Moon Palace Cancun has you covered.
Local entertainment is provided, showcasing local flair. There is also a Teen Club with a video center and a small area for movies. The resort also provides tours, and there are local tour companies that make a stop at Moon Palace Place as well, making a car rental non-essential. No matter your age, there will be plenty to do and see.
There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property and a business center in the Sunrise lobby for those who couldn’t leave work at home. Moon Palace Cancun also provides all the usual amenities of a luxury resort, like pool-side waiter service and 24-hour room and concierge services. While it is odd that guests have to pay to access another part of the resort (The Grand Moon), services like babysitting and the Family Connection Program seem to make up for it.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
The Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso is an all-inclusive, adults-only luxury resort that offers each guest a complimentary round of golf. Some activities include instructed fitness classes, water sports, and live shows. The hotel also provides guests with three swimming pools and a golf course surrounded by Mayan Ruins.
Watersports provided by the hotel include snorkeling, windsurfing, as well as tennis, golf, scuba, and sailing lessons. With plenty of dance clubs and bars and the casino at the Grand Mencey, the nightlife never ends. There are also morning group workouts to get your mornings started right.
The price range starts at $475 and goes up to $1,600 per room, per night.
These 5-star accommodations include flat-screen smart TVs, a minibar, 24-hour room service, aromatherapy, a balcony with ocean views, in-room butler and ironing services.
Dining options include a Mexican buffet at La Brista, breakfast and dinner buffet at Bella Vista, and all-inclusive gourmet food and top-shelf drinks at Playa Del Carmen.
Entertainment provided by the hotel includes water sports, live shows, dance clubs, and bars, along with many lessons guided by seasoned professionals, letting guests learn something fun and new during their stay in Cancun.
This resort offers amenities like butler service, which includes private transport, poolside services, and laundry services. Pool-side services include towels, sunbathing products, and reading material. The spa provides treatments for couples and massages by the sea. The resort also offers laundry services, unpacking service, private transport, and in-room check-ins.
Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa is another kids-friendly all-inclusive resort in Cancun that provides a special all-inclusive experience called Infinite Indulgence. Guests get access to the main swimming pools, sports center, and mini golf.
There is also a hydrotherapy spa with hot tubs, another pool, sauna, and steam baths. Activities around the resort include aerobics, ping-pong, water polo, darts, paddle ball, and tennis. This impressive beach hotel is wheelchair accessible and shares its facilities with two other hotels.
However, while staying at the Grand Palladium Colonial, there is an EcoTax that was established by the local administration. It requires an extra 20 pesos per room per night and is payable on the day of check-in. While there are good reasons for taxes like these, some guests may not realize it until checking into the hotel.
The average rates start at $$ and can go up to $$ per night.
Accommodations include either one king-sized bed or two double-sized beds and a lounge area. The Romance Villa is perfect for lovers. It offers a hydro massage bathtub and a terrace with an outdoor shower and a hammock that overlooks the garden.
Dining options include nine a la carte restaurants featuring the following cuisines: Spanish, Southeast Asian, Steakhouse, Brazilian, Mexican, American, Japanese, Mediterranean, and Seafood. Because this hotel shares facilities with two others, there is also five show cooking restaurants and 21 bars to choose from.
Guests can enjoy an aqua-gym, rifle practice, billiards, volleyball, archery, soccer, paddle, along with PlayStation video games, water park, and clubhouse and for the kids. There are also two movie theaters, a game room, and handmade crafts market.
Although there is a hydrotherapy program in the spa center, each guest has to pay $35 per day, even the Unlimited Indulgence members.
Some of which require additional fees, the hotel offers a wake-up service, laundry, currency exchange, and newspaper delivery.
There is also child care for children one to three years old, along with El Ranchito Mini Club (for children four to twelve years old), and the Junior Club (for teenagers 13 to 18 years old).
The Royal Playa del Carmen
This hotel resort can be found along the Riviera Maya, with its stunning beaches, world-class golf course, while being close to shopping and entertainment on Fifth Avenue. Guests can explore the nearby Yucatan jungle, Mayan Ruins, and the Rio Secreto Nature Reserve. The resort provides a fully-equipped fitness center, relaxation pool, beach cabanas, along with dance classes.
The price ranges from $300 to $600 per night, based on average rates.
With swim-up and beach-front walk-out suites, these accommodations are hard to beat, but that seems to be the only difference when comparing to other hotels. Rooms also have private balconies and 24-hour room service.
The Royal Playa Del Carmen has seven restaurants, one of which has an ocean-front, along with five bars and lounges, including the Tequilera & Cigar Club to keep the night going. There is a 24-hour lounge for all-night drinks and food. Cuisines found at this resort include Asian, traditional Mexican, Mediterranean, Mexican-French Fusion, International, Caribbean fusion, and Mexican-American.
The hotel offers cooking demonstrations, tequila tastings, non-motorized water sports like kayaking, along with live entertainment every night. There are also introduction scuba diving lessons. Guests looking for a physical workout during their stay will enjoy pilates, Zumba dance classes, and water aerobic workout classes.
Unfortunately, there is no free parking, they allow free cancelations and free Wi-Fi. All suites come with a double-jetted tub, 24-hour room service, pillow menu, mini bar stocked daily, flat screen TVs, and turn down service.
While most of these resorts offer similar services and amenities, each still has their personalities and attracts a certain type of traveler. The Royal Playa Del Carmen is adults only, so it attracts party-goers and up-all-nighters. This can appeal to college kids, but those who prefer to relax (and remember) most of their vacation, the kid-friendly resort can still be adult-friendly too.
The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa has many activities and opportunities to explore the surrounding areas, but the ExoTax can be a put-off. It can catch guests off-guard and feel like a hidden-fee since some guests don’t hear about it until check-in.
The Moon Palace Cancun is not as expensive as the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, but the Moon Palace still has a lot to offer that the Iberostar Grand Hotel does not. If you have kids, the nanny service and Family Connect program is a must! For this, (along with the price) Moon Palace Cancun is our best choice, with an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars.