Dated rooms with tube TVs, stiff beds, and old linens
Fee for Wi-Fi
Reservations must be made 2 days in advance for a la carte restaurants
Sunlight disappears early at pool because of building's height
Hotel Riu Cancun -- with its grand V-shape and Mediterranean-inspired architecture -- sits on a sprawling piece of beachfront that’s close to pubs, eateries, and shops. The all-inclusive 569-room resort has an impressive dome-ceiling lobby with wrought-iron chandeliers. The beach, though on the narrow side, is beautiful and full of chairs and palm roof umbrellas. While the resort offers three swimming pools including a beautiful infinity pool, sunlight disappears early in the day because of the building's soaring height. There's a buffet-style restaurant, as well as three themed restaurants that require reservations two days in advance. A range of on-site activities includes nightly live shows, a spa, tennis, windsurfing, and nightclub. However, rooms are outdated with tube TVs, worn linens, and stiff beds.
Located on the north end of Cancun Island right on the beach
Cancun is located on the northeast coast of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. Originally a small fishing town, it was developed by the Mexican government in the 1970s to become the ideal modern vacation spot. Today, the city is known as the party capital of the entire country, drawing over three million tourists annually. Especially popular during Spring Break, it boasts beautiful powdery white sand beaches, a number of shopping centers, lots of restaurants, bikini contests left and right, and a popping nightlife scene full of dancing, drinking, and 24/7 fun.
Cancun is divided into three districts, though 15-mile long Isla Cancun ("Cancun Island") is the central hotel zone and main area for visitors, particularly Tulum Avenue. Whether it's the Interactive Aquarium or the retail hubs Kukulcan Plaza and Forum-by-the-Sea, there's plenty to do when not basking along the shores or enjoying windsurfing and water skiing. El Rey and Yamil Lu'um are nearby archaeological ruins. There are plenty more in Coba and Chichen Itza, two to three hours away by car.