Cancun-Is it worth it?

Jul 26th, 2001, 02:38 PM
  #1  
trish
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Cancun-Is it worth it?

I would only want to stay in a luxury hotel and can I trust the water for bathing and eating, etc??
 
Jul 26th, 2001, 03:37 PM
  #2  
phil
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I hated Cancun. (Yes, I realize that lots of American's love it. I'm not one of them.) My impression was to many visitors from the Northeast U.S. and American's looking to party. While there are a few luxury hotels, I wouldn't call Cancun a luxury resort

Cancun is Mexico Light. I'm not sure the Mexican's even need to speak Spanish! It is more like America than Mexico, to me.

Some dining choices...Pat O'Briens, Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood, etc.

The Ritz-Carlton is nice and I had dinner there.

IF you are comparing it to other Mexican resorts, such as Ixtapa, you may be disappointed.

Granted the beaches are nice and the ruins to the South, Tulum, are cool.

 
Jul 27th, 2001, 05:05 AM
  #3  
Tanya
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My husband and in-laws vacationed in Cancun for 2 weeks about 10 years ago so lots has changed since then. We stayed in a 5-star hotel.

Cancun is very commercialized and really isn't "Mexico" as you would visualize it. If you are looking for lots of shopping and party life, this is it. There isn't a lot to do otherwise unless you hired a taxi or rent a jeep to take you out to the ruins at Tulum (worth the trip), visit Shell-ha (spelled phoentically) a salt-water lagoon with great snorkelling, or take a day trip to Isla Mejures (via boat) or Cozemul (taxi and then the ferry). We found 2 weeks too long.

I was stricken with a bacterial infection (probably from poor food preparation) so the trip wasn't pleasant - but lots of people enjoy the area. Always drink bottled water in Mexico and make sure you use it for brushing teeth, etc. Even with the purification systems, you can't be too careful. As for food, the doctor who treated me said it could have been from the cheapest place we ate or the most expensive. If people don't wash their hands properly, you will get sick. As well, beware of open-air buffets that draw flies and other insects who deposit unwanted germs on food. There is ususally no way around getting some diarrhea in a foreign country however if you do get a really bad case, it was recommended to me by the doctor, not to stop mother nature. The germs have to flush from your body some how.

Personally, I enjoy Cozemul more than Cancun so it may be another option for you. Most flights into Cancun stop at Cozemul as well.

 
Jul 27th, 2001, 06:06 AM
  #4  
Mariarosa
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Hi trish! My impression of this area of Mexico is that it offers quite a number of luxurious hotels - marble is everywhere and the decor of many of these hotels is quite upscale - at a very reasonable price. The other posters are correct in suggesting that this is NOT the real Mexico, but if what you are looking for in a vacation is a warm and nice place, with safe water you will likely be OK. I have traveled through other parts of Mexico and I can say that Cancun (and Playa south of it) is quite tourist-friendly. Water is purified and the level of hygiene is very high compared to other areas of Mexico (I got REALLY sick in Guanajuato, in the central area of Mexico, diarrhea and constant puking for 24 hours, and didn't get sick in either Cancun, Playa or Cozumel). People do get sick in the Cancun area, but I think you have to factor in sun-stroke and over-indulging in food and drink as part of the problem. I think if you go to one of the top hotels and you drink bottled water, you will enjoy it.
 
Jul 27th, 2001, 08:04 AM
  #5  
Dolli
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Hi Trish,
I agree with the last post. Loved Cancun and they do, in fact have luxury resorts. It is a very busy, one hotel after the other kind of place. But I loved the people and as with any vacation, it is what you make it. I am American and do like to have a good time, but it is unfortunate that we all seem to be classified into the category of drunk partying Americans. We are not all in that catergory. Stay away from what you don't enjoy.
 
Jul 27th, 2001, 10:08 AM
  #6  
phil
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Luxury is something that means different things to different people.

I don't think a resort needs a marble lobby to be luxurious. Likewise, just because a hotel has a marble lobby that shouldn't categorize as a luxury resort.

For example, I spent one night at the Maho Beach Hotel in St. Maarten in April because our room at La Samanna wouldn't be available unitl the next day.

Maho Beach has a big "luxury" marble lobby. La Samanna is a low-key, resort with now marble. Maho beach is a dump that caters to a mid priced demographic and La Samana is one of the best hotels in the Caribbean.

Trish, compare Cancun to places you have been. If you like Ixtapa, St. John's, St. Barth's, you may hate Cancun.

If you like Paradise Island, St. Thomas, Atlantis and cruise ship type vacations, you may love Cancun.

The good part about travel is that you can decide which definition of luxury you prefer and is more enjoyable to you.
 
Jul 28th, 2001, 01:09 AM
  #7  
Tim
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Phil, you're misleading the writer in the sense that Cancun may be touristy like those places you mentioned, but Cancun is a far superior place than either the Bahamas or St. Thomas (Ugh!) as there is no poverty along the hotel zone whatsoever, which IS important to many American vacationers! And by the way, having stayed at La Samanna myself, it isn't exactly Shangrila either, i.e., no Ritz or Four Seasons, as it's quite overpriced for what you get, marble or no marble -- although the location and beach are wonderful!
 
Jul 28th, 2001, 03:56 AM
  #8  
Karen
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I have never stayed in Cancun but did try to visit and couldn't leave fast enuf! But, for some it offers the amenities and the activity that some people really look for on vacation. It really doesn't matter if you bathing water is potable or not; you're showering in it, not drinking it. I had absolutely no problem with digestive disorders but was careful with using/drinking bottled water when we stayed south of Cancun. It has wonderful trips to other areas from Tulum, ChichenItza and the Mayan people are wonderful but I personally would prefer staying away from the high rise congestion of the Hotel Zone. Each pot has its own lid, so to speak, and it certainly does fit the needs it many ways, it seems, for many people. I much prefer islands that have their own carib culture and life and it might even have some poverty - it's really not "distasteful" or "catching" - but I find many of those have residents who are rich in many other ways!
 
Jul 28th, 2001, 04:26 AM
  #9  
phil
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Tim,
On my original post, I was clear to say "My impression" and on the second post to say "luxury means different things..."

I'm making the assumption that any person who posts a question will likely get a wide range of answers. Most reasonable people will form their own view recognizing that they don't know from whom the answer is coming and that viewpoints will be different.

IMHO, my post was no less misleading than one that equates marble floors to luxury. If that were the case, every Vegas casino would be a 5 star hotel.

In terms of La Samanna, your opinion is your opinion. I was merely using it as a reference that a great hotel doesn't need chandeliers and marble to have class. (Particularly as a contast that a crappy hotel that did.)

Again, we all have our own view of the world. Hopefully, users of this site don't view any post as aboslute gospel.

 
Jul 28th, 2001, 05:54 AM
  #10  
colleen
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Tim,
No poverty in Cancun??? Did you venture into "downtown" Cancun at all. Sure it may not be along the tourist strip but don't kid yourself that Cancun doesn't have poor areas.

What do you think these hotel chains pay their employees so that American's can get their bargain deals? Cancun was developed by the Mexican government in the early '70s. Of course they would not allow the workers to live next to the hotels.

Also, how much of a luxury resort can it be if it is used by American college students for Spring Break?


 
Jul 29th, 2001, 06:45 PM
  #11  
Wendy
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I went to Cancun to the Real Grande Hotel..a "five star" all inclusive resort with 50 other people for free as a team building trip with work. MOST of us will not go back..even for free. We finally figured out the stars in Mexico are counted like the money...one American star for nine Mexican stars. The hotel and grounds were BEAUTIFUL. But the service was terrible, the food ok, the pool smelled like urine and the room smelled so much like mold that we had to air out the room every time we went back in it. The beds and pillows were harder than the marble floors, and anything of value was stolen from every persons luggage (every lock was broken on any piece that started out with one). And to top it off, the majority of us got sick when we got back, half with intestinal and half with respiratory (probably from breathing mold all night). Good Luck!!!
 
Jul 29th, 2001, 07:10 PM
  #12  
open minded
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There are plenty luxury hotels in Cancun...There is The Ritz, Marriot, JW Marriot and Fiesta Americana Coral Beach. They are all on the main strip. If you drive further to Playa Del Carmen go to The Royal Hideaway.

There are a lot of authentic Mexican restaurants, some of the best Italian I ever had and also the strip American restaurants, Hard Rock etc...

 
Jul 30th, 2001, 06:15 AM
  #13  
Mariarosa
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Hi Phil! Fair enough, none of us asked Trish what her definition of "luxury" is - it may be a mainstream definition, or it may be the type of definition that you suggested, more of an understated elegance (this is starting to sound Clintonesque, LOL!). She only asked whether it would be safe and I think it is, if you drink bottled water. The water in the hotel sinks is purified for brushing teeth, etc. I can say that regarding luxurious accomodations, one of the places I stayed, the Royal Hideaway in Playa was great! Beautiful rooms with big marble showers and a jacuzzi tub, vaulted ceilings, and four-poster teak beds. Beautiful beach with waiters that are constantly walking around to bring you drinks. No activities. Nice pools, nice hot tubs. Great dinners, with beautiful food presentation.

In the area there's lots to do. We spent 3 nights in the nearby town of Merida, that still conserves some of it's colonial past. It's not as pretty as the Central colonial towns of Mexico (Guadalajara, Morelia, San Miguel, Guanajuato, Taxco, etc), but it's a worthy visit. There's a lively and genuine market, a beautiful museum in an old mansion, great restaurants, cute parks, etc. From Merida we visited the beautiful Mayan site of Uxmal. The structures here had amazing Mayan carvings - full of details and latticeworks. Another day we took a second-class bus (where we were the only non-Mayans) to the small colonial town of Izamal. Truly magical place - we watched a Catholic ceremony in the garden of the monastery - the men were lighting fireworks and the women had flowers and were singig. We had lunch in the back garden of a small restaurant. We have also visited Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba - all beautiful Mayan sites. Chichen Itza has a combination of different indigenous influences in its architecture. Tulum is the most plain, but in a beautiful setting in front of the ocean and Coba has the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan, and they still allow visitors to climb it. We climbed it and the view is spectacular - jungle all around! The snorkeling is pretty great. We took a snorkeling trip to the reef of Ino - it was the best snorkeling I've ever done! The snorkeling at Cozumel and Akumal was also pretty good. Shopping is also good - We shopped in Playa and bought tons of nice Mexican crafts, Mexican silver jewelry, etc. The prices are about twice as much as central Mexico (probably because of more tourism). We also spent 4 nights in Cozumel and enjoyed that very much - just make sure to not hang around the main strip weher all the cruise ships are (the name was Rafael Melgar or something like that). The highlight of Cozumel were a couple of amazing seafood lunches on the east side of the island - with our feet in the sand overlooking the waved breaking. All in all, I thought the Yucatan was great - tons to do, cute colonial towns, beautiful beaches, genuinely friendly and hospitable people, interesting archeological ruins, and good food.
 
Jul 31st, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #14  
dan
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Please post your replies in the site intended for Mexico! You're wasting space in the caribbean islands site.
 
Jul 31st, 2001, 03:29 PM
  #15  
PHil
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Dan,
Are you like the Forum cop?
Just curious, why should you care?

Take the Caribbean attitude MON, NO PROBLEMS.

 
Jul 31st, 2001, 03:32 PM
  #16  
abc
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Cancun is on the CARIBBEAN, after all!
 
Jul 31st, 2001, 05:45 PM
  #17  
nonombre
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I stayed in a luxury hotel, no question about it, but not in Cancun and they had nonpotable water in the taps for showers and washing . They provided the bottled water for all drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing out glasses, etc.
Meanwhile, ol' Dan has a bug up his ... seems he doesn't realize that the entire Mayan coast, Cozumel, Cancun and all the rest are Caribbean! Guess he is one of those that skipped geography that day. However, the Latin America forum also has many posts about Mexico.
 
Aug 7th, 2001, 06:48 AM
  #18  
beth
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Hi, Trish -

I have to agree with Phil in that Cancun would not be my choice - again. His comparisons were apt. If you're looking for a party island with lots of activity and guaranteed pretty good weather, do try Cancun. If you are looking for a beautiful island with a laid back attitude, wonderful restaurants and luxury resorts and/or villas, Cancun is not for you. We have been to Cancun, Cozumel, Acapulco and Puerta Vallarta and have come to the conclusion that we just don't like Mexico. Anytime we have gone, people we are with have gotten ill and this is at luxury hotels. Last time my husband was "careful" the entire week and got sick at breakfast on the day of departure. He had a trip from hell flying home. Just know what you are looking for and make an educated decision.
 
Aug 7th, 2001, 10:28 AM
  #19  
Lyn
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I always say "different strokes for different folks". While Cancun is definitely not our first choice for a beach vacation we will return (our 14 year old loves it). We have been all over the Caribbean and you will not find any more beautiful, bluer water than you find in Cancun. It is just lovely! Now, Cancun is much more crowded and it doesn't have the "small island" feel but it's much easier to get to and it also doesn't have the exorbitant prices of some of the smaller islands. So, if you don't have a lot of time/money, but still want to have fun in the sun on a beautiful large beach, you shouldn't go wrong with Cancun. Just be careful about the water and you shouldn't have a problem.
 
Aug 19th, 2001, 06:15 AM
  #20  
ME
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Trish I would not trust the water for drinking but for bathing...of course. No sharks will come out of the tap.
In the eye of the beholder I think would best describe all places on this earth. There are things about Cancun that I love. The ocean, beach, the history OUTSIDE of Cancun, food and the fact that 5 star is NOT the same as back home. Things that can improve are the service in general (but that can be said about a lot of places), prices and the fact the city is only 30 years old. Someone wrote about the Real Grande Hotel (by the way there is no such hotel with that name) and people getting sick. People go to the all-inclusive resorts, sit in the 100 degree heat and 97% humidity and drink all that free tequila while sitting around the pool.

Anyway, where ever you go you need to remember that you are not at home and things are different. How different really depends more on the person.

I would go Cancun Trish and form your only opinion.

PS...Dan Cancun is in the Caribbean or at least the last time I looked on a map. Then again, maybe maybe I'm just different.
 

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