Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
On the beach in the Hotel Zone
The Avalon Baccara is directly on the beach near the southern tip of the Hotel Zone, an easy drive to the airport. It is a great spot for those who want a beautiful, half-empty beach but aren't seeking a real Cancun experience -- restaurants (aside from US chains like Chili's and Outback Steakhouse), shops and the world-famous Cancun nightlife are farther north. Also, it is about a half-hour cab ride from Ciudad Cancun, where locals live and play, so be ready to take a taxi or the bus every time you want to venture in that direction.
The Zona Hotelera (or Hotel Zone) is the mega-resort, mega-mall area in Isla Cancun that caters to mass tourism. The cheesy nightlife is one of its main draws, as are its brand-name shops and restaurants -- but there's little of Cancun's original flavor here. To get a hint of what that is, you'll have to take a cab to Ciudad Cancun, the real downtown, where smaller, better restaurants, local shops, and quieter bars are located.
The 116-room Avalon Grand Cancun is the larger counterpart to the Avalon Baccara next door. With two large pools, two restaurants, two bars, a spa, and a fitness center, it delivers a resort feel, with the highlight being its oceanfront location. Overall, the hotel is a good value for those looking to stay on the beach in the Hotel Zone, but don't expect anything over-the-top -- the fitness center is small, and although all of the rooms feature kitchenettes, balconies, and flat-screen TVs, the decor is bland, with thin bedspreads and dated furniture.