- Small, lackluster beach can get crowded
- Entertainment can be loud and cheesy
- Hectic hotel zone lacks charm and an authentic Mexican experience
- Wi-Fi for a fee
- Some rooms have old tube TVs
Surrounded by small, commercialized beaches, other all-inclusive hotels, and random bits of undeveloped land
Not quite in the Hotel Zone, note quite in Cancun, the Barcelo Costa Cancun sits along the northern-most arm that extends toward the thin Hotel Zone strip. The immediate area lacks attractions, being that it's only surrounded by other hotels and random bits of undeveloped land. A bit of a drive to the airport, it's a decent place for visitors that don't care too much about large, pristine beaches, and instead want to be relatively close to shops and the tourist-centric Cancun nightlife. Still about a 15-minute drive to Ciudad Cancun, where locals live and play, it's actually much closer than other hotels in the Hotel Zone.
The Zona Hotelera (or Hotel Zone) is the mega-resort, mega-mall area in Isla Cancun that caters to mass tourism. The nightlife is one of its main draws, as are its 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.
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