Pros

  • Peaceful beachfront location along the Mayan Riviera
  • Contemporary and luxurious rooms across the board with great amenities
  • Outstanding kids club area with multiple themed rooms and an outdoor playground
  • Multiple fitness centers and spas
  • 30-hole golf course, plus mini-golf
  • Multiple pools, including a giant one with waterslides, Flowrider machine, and swim-up bar
  • Over 20 restaurants and bars to choose from
  • Dolphinarium area where guests can swim with dolphins (a con for some)
See More Pros

Cons

  • In an area on the "new" Mayan Riviera with disappointing beaches I was told this area in general just lacks in beach quality, wamp. A woman I met at Crown Paradise the day before was complaining to me about how disappointed she was with the beach here, wamp wamp.
  • Golf cart required to reach the other buildings in the hotel as well as the golf and main spa section
  • Not much within walking or convenient driving distance
  • Dolphinariums are considered controversial attractions
See More Cons

Bottom Line

Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort is a gigantic all-inclusive luxury resort along Cancun's Mayan Riviera. With 2,433 rooms across three resort sections -- each with their own decor, design, amenities, and appeal -- it's no shock that this is the largest Palace property in the world. From Sunrise's larger-than-life pool and Flowrider machine, to the charming boutique-vibe of the Moon Grand, to the fabulous kids club by Nizuc, and the standalone spa and golf center, this resort truly is all-inclusive. Just don't expect sugar-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Unfortunately, beaches in this area of town -- often smelling of and strewn with seaweed -- are far less idyllic than those in the Hotel Zone. But if you aren't bothered about the beach, this place is tough to beat. 

See More Bottom Line

Oyster Hotel Review

Moon Palace Cancun

Scene

Forget village-like resorts -- this place feels like its own country.

Entrance to the massive Moon Palace compound is just off the highway. After passing through a small guard gate, guests will have to travel over a mile to reach their designated lobby. Each of the three resort sections -- Nizuc, Sunrise, and Moon Grand -- has its own personality, vibe, decor, and features, and could happily function autonomously. But instead, Moon Palace gives all guests access to each section, which greatly increases the number of features they can experience. However, the distances between properties can be far, so guests should be prepared for either a long walk or a chauffeured ride in a golf cart.

With its massive marbled lobby, giant pool, and hefty assortment of other features, Sunrise is the largest of the three sections. The vibe here is always buzzing and people are everywhere. Next-door Nizuc is the oldest section and the second largest. Like Sunrise, this section has its fair share of people filling the chic and stylish spaces, but it's not quite as bustling, and the vibe tends to encourage strolling or lounging. Its glamorous and gorgeous lobby isn’t tough to look at either. The small size of the Moon Grand section gives it a casual, relaxed boutique vibe. But this may change as she grows. The hotel is planning to add 800 rooms, a new lobby, and a ballroom, although no dates have been confirmed. For now, this is the place to stay for a romantic holiday.

See More Scene

Location

Along a quiet section of the "new" Mayan Riviera with disappointing beaches

Historically, the Mayan Riviera begins farther south down at Playa del Carmen, but for want of tourism, areas several kilometers on either end of the famous coastline's traditional stretch are being marketed as part of the Riviera Maya's tourist route. The Moon Palace falls into this newly drawn boundary line, even though it is in Cancun and just 15 minutes from the airport. Away from the main drag of the city's Hotel Zone, Moon Palace is located just off the 307 freeway about a 25-minute drive south from the popular tourist area. While its location certainly gives it the space it needs and a private, secluded atmosphere without any direct neighbors, the hotel unfortunately sacrifices the idyllic stretch of beach and perfect Caribbean blue waters found slightly to the north. Because the Moon Palace's closest lobby is around two miles from the hotel's street-side entrance, the hotel is not walking distance to anything off-site. Likewise, there aren't really any restaurants or bars within easy driving distance, but you will be 30 minutes closer for day trips to Tulum, Coba, Xel-Ha Park, and Playa del Carmen. 

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious and luxurious rooms with chic amenities

Although each of the resort sections has its own vibe and decor, rooms tend to be fairly consistent in style and comfort. Contemporary, upscale decor, furniture, and features populate each space, including spa tubs, Lavazza coffeemakers, a nice selection of high-end toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, and big beds. A variety of textures and materials are represented in the spaces, such as sleek dark woods, shiny marble floors, metals decor accents, and decorative headboards of leather, wicker, or other luxe materials. All rooms come with stocked minibars, iPod docking alarm clocks, flat-screen TVs, makeup mirrors, and rainfall showerheads. Most rooms have balconies or terraces, although surprisingly, some of the larger suites (like Nizuc’s Ambassador Suite) do not.

See More Rooms

Features

The majority of features are at Sunrise, and the fewest are at Moon Grand; the golf and spa area is separate.

When it comes to features, the Sunrise reigns supreme, with 13 restaurants and bars and one of the biggest pools in Cancun -- complete with a Flowrider machine, kids' water park, and swim-up bar. There are three bars and four restaurants in the pool area alone. It's worth checking out the beautiful, Amalfi-style stained glass ceiling at Italian restaurant Gondola. Sunrise is also where guests can try to make par on the mini-golf course, sip cocktails at the Noir nightclub or Sky Bar, rub elbows at the contemporary convention center, and play a game of tennis while the kids run loose at one of the best kids clubs we’ve ever seen.

The chic and elegant Nizuc is home to a spa (although the main spa is by the golf course), smaller kids' playroom, and the resort’s swim-with-dolphins Dolphinarium area. There’s also a nice-sized pool here and beachside gazebo. Things feel a bit theme-y in the UK-styled Pub, but there’s also a glam Lobby Bar, and caffeine and fresh-baked goodies at the Sweets and Coffee café -- or guests can check out on the six other bars and restaurants here. Go to town guilt-free since the Moon Palace’s bigger gym is here, too.

Smaller-sized Moon Grand only has one restaurant and two snack bars, a small pool (with swim-up bar), and an on-site souvenir shop. Caribeno is open for buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and then switches to a la carte at dinner. There’s a nice outdoor seating area just off the pool and a full bar just off the entrance.

All resort sections are set against the sandy shores of the Mayan Riviera. Unlike beaches off the Hotel Zone, beaches here are often thick with seaweed, and can give off a slight sewer smell (from the seaweed build-up and trapped water). There is also no turquoise ocean here, and the water closest to shore looks brown. It's no wonder the pools are more packed than the few loungers and cabanas along the beach.

If you are looking for sand traps instead of sand castles, there’s a golf and spa area of the resort about a 10-minute golf cart ride from Sunrise. With almost 30 holes to play, it’s one of the largest (if not the largest) courses in Cancun. The attached spa is large with a few lounge spaces; a big hot tub, sauna and steam room area off the locker room; and luxurious treatment rooms.

See More Features

Family

Possibly the best kids' club in Cancun -- and beyond

Moon Palace just might have a kids' club to rival all kids' clubs. While we've seen a lot of dedicated spots made for kids in mind, this one is at the top of our list. An unassuming and rather plain building on the outside, the Sunrise kids club really comes to life as a kids' paradise once you step inside. What makes this space unique is the design. There are a number of separately decorated and designed rooms with different purposes, giving kids a buffet of imaginative options to keep them entertained. Some of our favorite spaces include the mini racetrack complete with kid-sized small plastic cars to take for a spin; the glamorous and glizty, all-pink beauty salon/fashion runway room; the arcade; the art room; and life-sized doll house room -- just to name a few. There's also a snack bar, outdoor playground, and mini-theater.

This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.

See More Family

Oyster Hotel Review

Moon Palace Cancun

Scene

Forget village-like resorts -- this place feels like its own country.

Entrance to the massive Moon Palace compound is just off the highway. After passing through a small guard gate, guests will have to travel over a mile to reach their designated lobby. Each of the three resort sections -- Nizuc, Sunrise, and Moon Grand -- has its own personality, vibe, decor, and features, and could happily function autonomously. But instead, Moon Palace gives all guests access to each section, which greatly increases the number of features they can experience. However, the distances between properties can be far, so guests should be prepared for either a long walk or a chauffeured ride in a golf cart.

With its massive marbled lobby, giant pool, and hefty assortment of other features, Sunrise is the largest of the three sections. The vibe here is always buzzing and people are everywhere. Next-door Nizuc is the oldest section and the second largest. Like Sunrise, this section has its fair share of people filling the chic and stylish spaces, but it's not quite as bustling, and the vibe tends to encourage strolling or lounging. Its glamorous and gorgeous lobby isn’t tough to look at either. The small size of the Moon Grand section gives it a casual, relaxed boutique vibe. But this may change as she grows. The hotel is planning to add 800 rooms, a new lobby, and a ballroom, although no dates have been confirmed. For now, this is the place to stay for a romantic holiday.

See More Scene

Location

Along a quiet section of the "new" Mayan Riviera with disappointing beaches

Historically, the Mayan Riviera begins farther south down at Playa del Carmen, but for want of tourism, areas several kilometers on either end of the famous coastline's traditional stretch are being marketed as part of the Riviera Maya's tourist route. The Moon Palace falls into this newly drawn boundary line, even though it is in Cancun and just 15 minutes from the airport. Away from the main drag of the city's Hotel Zone, Moon Palace is located just off the 307 freeway about a 25-minute drive south from the popular tourist area. While its location certainly gives it the space it needs and a private, secluded atmosphere without any direct neighbors, the hotel unfortunately sacrifices the idyllic stretch of beach and perfect Caribbean blue waters found slightly to the north. Because the Moon Palace's closest lobby is around two miles from the hotel's street-side entrance, the hotel is not walking distance to anything off-site. Likewise, there aren't really any restaurants or bars within easy driving distance, but you will be 30 minutes closer for day trips to Tulum, Coba, Xel-Ha Park, and Playa del Carmen. 

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious and luxurious rooms with chic amenities

Although each of the resort sections has its own vibe and decor, rooms tend to be fairly consistent in style and comfort. Contemporary, upscale decor, furniture, and features populate each space, including spa tubs, Lavazza coffeemakers, a nice selection of high-end toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, and big beds. A variety of textures and materials are represented in the spaces, such as sleek dark woods, shiny marble floors, metals decor accents, and decorative headboards of leather, wicker, or other luxe materials. All rooms come with stocked minibars, iPod docking alarm clocks, flat-screen TVs, makeup mirrors, and rainfall showerheads. Most rooms have balconies or terraces, although surprisingly, some of the larger suites (like Nizuc’s Ambassador Suite) do not.

See More Rooms

Features

The majority of features are at Sunrise, and the fewest are at Moon Grand; the golf and spa area is separate.

When it comes to features, the Sunrise reigns supreme, with 13 restaurants and bars and one of the biggest pools in Cancun -- complete with a Flowrider machine, kids' water park, and swim-up bar. There are three bars and four restaurants in the pool area alone. It's worth checking out the beautiful, Amalfi-style stained glass ceiling at Italian restaurant Gondola. Sunrise is also where guests can try to make par on the mini-golf course, sip cocktails at the Noir nightclub or Sky Bar, rub elbows at the contemporary convention center, and play a game of tennis while the kids run loose at one of the best kids clubs we’ve ever seen.

The chic and elegant Nizuc is home to a spa (although the main spa is by the golf course), smaller kids' playroom, and the resort’s swim-with-dolphins Dolphinarium area. There’s also a nice-sized pool here and beachside gazebo. Things feel a bit theme-y in the UK-styled Pub, but there’s also a glam Lobby Bar, and caffeine and fresh-baked goodies at the Sweets and Coffee café -- or guests can check out on the six other bars and restaurants here. Go to town guilt-free since the Moon Palace’s bigger gym is here, too.

Smaller-sized Moon Grand only has one restaurant and two snack bars, a small pool (with swim-up bar), and an on-site souvenir shop. Caribeno is open for buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and then switches to a la carte at dinner. There’s a nice outdoor seating area just off the pool and a full bar just off the entrance.

All resort sections are set against the sandy shores of the Mayan Riviera. Unlike beaches off the Hotel Zone, beaches here are often thick with seaweed, and can give off a slight sewer smell (from the seaweed build-up and trapped water). There is also no turquoise ocean here, and the water closest to shore looks brown. It's no wonder the pools are more packed than the few loungers and cabanas along the beach.

If you are looking for sand traps instead of sand castles, there’s a golf and spa area of the resort about a 10-minute golf cart ride from Sunrise. With almost 30 holes to play, it’s one of the largest (if not the largest) courses in Cancun. The attached spa is large with a few lounge spaces; a big hot tub, sauna and steam room area off the locker room; and luxurious treatment rooms.

See More Features

Family

Possibly the best kids' club in Cancun -- and beyond

Moon Palace just might have a kids' club to rival all kids' clubs. While we've seen a lot of dedicated spots made for kids in mind, this one is at the top of our list. An unassuming and rather plain building on the outside, the Sunrise kids club really comes to life as a kids' paradise once you step inside. What makes this space unique is the design. There are a number of separately decorated and designed rooms with different purposes, giving kids a buffet of imaginative options to keep them entertained. Some of our favorite spaces include the mini racetrack complete with kid-sized small plastic cars to take for a spin; the glamorous and glizty, all-pink beauty salon/fashion runway room; the arcade; the art room; and life-sized doll house room -- just to name a few. There's also a snack bar, outdoor playground, and mini-theater.

This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.

See More Family

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Golf Course

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.