Eating safely in Cancun (Price too!)

Old Apr 29th, 2003, 12:51 PM
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Eating safely in Cancun (Price too!)

Like many others on the board, I am overwhelmed with making a choice of where to stay... this hotel or that - Cancun or PDC - Inclusive or not - who has a lousy beach etc .. It's funny, but my first inclination was JW Marriot and it seems that this place just keeps getting high marks (though someone said .. that's all you get for a great of money .. is the room) .. and true many people say "afterall .. we're just sleeping there.." Well when you come back to a dingy, smelly room night after night, it certainly has a lasting affect on your vacation. Ok, here is my dilemma. JW Marriot does NOT offer an inclusive plan. Just need some idea about drinks and meals then as far as cost goes. I need to come up with some reasonably budget for a family of 4 for a week. Also, my wife is deathly afraid that if we eat outside of the hotel's resturants we'll all and up getting sick. Now, I understand that this is a nice hotel and as such they come with a decent price tag .. so other than the room, pools and beach and of course service, are there any other amenities that this price is getting me?
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 02:27 PM
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You are no more likely to get sick in a Mexican restaurant than you are at an A-I resort! In fact, I'd place better bets on a busy popular local place to be fresher,food more carefuly prepared, etc. Especially if the hotel food is served buffet style, for alot of people, sitting out, not made fresh to order, etc.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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Alde: Only one time did we go to Cancun without doing and all inclusive. We did not get sick at all. At the major restaurants, we drank their water but did take bottled water to the local restaurants toward downtown. The only negative thing about not doing an all inclusive was that it was VERY expensive. That was just 2 years ago. We went back to the AI route after that. It's nice to be able to eat, have a snack, a drink (even bottled water and soft drinks) whenever you want and not have to worry about the cost. And especially if you have kids. They can get ice cream, sandwiches, fries and other types of snacks as well as pop and juice all throughout the day and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Some resorts even give you a pass to a restaurant outside the resort included in the AI. Even with an AI, I would encourage you to have lunch one time at one of the local cafes in the downtown area just to sample the local flavor. Lunches usually do not cost alot.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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we stayed at the JW a year ago, and I don't agree that all you get for the money is the room. The whole hotel is beautiful, and we were thrilled that we stayed there. Probably the nicest pool in Cancun, and something that was really nice for us -- a lot of shaded palapas on the beach, with padded chairs. I noticed even the Ritz did not have such nice beach chairs!
Our favorite dinner Las Habichuelas, which cost about $100 for 4 of us. Have a great time. I know that's not cheap, but for a special night, my kids really enjoyed it.
Tell your wife not to worry about the water, just to relax and have fun!
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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Thanks all for your replies. I know what you mean Mandy about the convenience AI. The issue though is that I have heard over and over again about the poor quality of the food in most places that offer AI (funny how the more expesive hotels don't offer AI) SO .. if I am geting alot of mediocre, bland food and watered down drinks and beer .. I'd prefer to pay and get something of value. Mandy, please ..I am not trying to imply that your opinion doesn't count or that it isn't appreciated, on the contrary. I suppose I am just leary of AI after reading countless stories about the poor quality. If you can recommend a resort that offers, in your opinion, good food and great beach and pool either in Cancun or PDC, my ears are opened.

frankie: My budget is about $4500 for the week. I estimated that JW Marriot and airfare for 4 will run me around $2900.
Do you think $1600 will be adequate to eat and drink well and take in a side trip?

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 12:16 PM
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Alde: Don't worry, I'm not easily offended. One problem about food reviews is what one person considers yucky, bland food another thinks it's great - it's all in the perception. I think alot of people have in their mind that because it's Mexico, the food will have a Tex-Mex spice and flavor that we are used to in the states. And the reality is that the Yukatan peninsula area has more of a Carribean influence and the food is not as spicy.

That being said, I think the Omni and Cancun Palace have the best food on the AI. Neither resort is what you would call middle or lower class. They are both 4-5 star quality in every aspect. I have not eaten at the Sun or Moon Palace resorts so cannot comment on theirs. I have close friends who stay at the Gran Caribe (another 4-5 star resort) most of the time and they think their AI is quite good.

Cancun Palace grills fresh meat (steaks, chicken, hamburgers hot dogs) over hot coals out by the pool area each day. Having a chargrilled steak for lunch everyday is my idea of paradise. Their buffet breakfast out by the pool is awesome. Extremely large variety plus you can get a fresh made to order omlet each morning. And remember, you get two tours included in the cost of your stay.

$1600 for 4 people for one week should be adequate I think. If you like to drink much, whether it be alcohol, soft drinks, juice, water they cost $5 per drink and up at any resort and just slightly less at the restaurants. that might run your budget up. The time we went non AI, we spent $950 for food/beverages/snacks for two people and we only stayed 5 days. And after spending all that, I still didn't get to eat whenever I wanted because we had a budget to watch!

Here's my suggestion: try to select a fairly nice resort based on your budget and some reviews. Then, pack and get ready for a wonderful vacation. Too much worrying and review searching can leave you tied up in knots. Cancun
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Sorry - hit send before I was finished. What I was going to close with is Cancun is a beautiful vacation spot and once you are there - you will have a great time. I personally think goin AI and not having to worry or think about where and what to eat and how much it will cost makes the vacation much more enjoyable.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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alde,
things are expensive in Cancun. If you are careful, I think $1600 should do you. Just watch out for the delicious drinks at the pool! Right now, Marriott is offering a sand dollar promotion (go to marriott.com) that includes breakfast for 2 with your room, and a $300 resort coupon. Its a huge buffet, and delicious, and could just about get you through to dinner! Otherwise, breakfast at the JW is about $22.00 for the buffett, and they have a nice little bakery/coffee cafe in the hotel, too. I have also heard the Ritz has a great club level that serves 5 small meals a day, and you will not have to go out to eat much! The room rate there is more reasonable if you have an AMEX card.
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Old May 6th, 2003, 12:11 AM
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A great (but expensive) 2 options for Cancun dining are "Maria Bonita" and "The Distillaria" both are wonderful food with a festive environment. If you don't drink alcohol, you can keep the bill down. We go to Cancun year after year, and love these two places.
F.Y.I. Never been sick in Cancun either. I used to work at the Club Med there and have returned to the Club and the Gran Melia for the following 8 years. It must be great. You'll really love it. In fact we got married at the Melia. They have a very nice concierge level, called The Royal Pyramid. I highly reccommend it. Continental breakfast and snacks all day long. They also keep little cool moist washcloths on a tray so when you return to the building you can cool off before entering your room. It's our favorite hotel. I found the JW Marriott has a kind of cold, standard American feeling to it. Just my opinion.
Hope this helps, Melissa
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