Couples-only, all-inclusive resort in quiet part of Hotel Zone
Gorgeous white-sand beach with big cushioned loungers
Big rooms with private balconies and whirlpool tubs
Rooms have minibars, liquor dispensers, and CHI toiletries
Three infinity pools, including main pool with swim-up bar
Several dining and drinking choices, no reservations required
Beach volleyball, water volleyball, bocce, and other activities
Nightly entertainment like fire dancing and impersonation shows
Spa with 10 treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, and more
Spacious and well-equipped gym with lots of light
Room service is included and available 24 hours
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Far from Hotel Zone party scene (can be a pro)
Some areas, such as the spa, feel dated
Premium wines and dinners (like lobster) cost extra fees
Tucked on the less frenetic, southern end of the Hotel Zone and featuring an expansive, white-sand beach, the upscale, Sun Palace Couples-Only, All-Inclusive Resort is a top choice for those on a romantic getaway. Its 252 spacious rooms feature decadent details like private balconies, whirlpool tubs, 24-hour room service, and lots of free drinks. Guests can dine and drink at several restaurants or bars— all included, no reservations required — including an Italian restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and a swim-up bar in one of the hotel’s three infinity pools. There’s also a spacious gym, somewhat dated spa (though the service is great), outdoor activities like beach volleyball, and nightly shows. For some couples, the laid-back, quieter vibe is ideal, but those looking for something livelier (and more risqué) with consider the tops-optional, adults-only Temptation Cancun Resort.
Upscale, all-inclusive, couples-only resort with a laid-back vibe
This all-inclusive, couples-only Sun Palace resort is one of 10 properties for the Mexico-based hotel chain. The decades-old resort was completely renovated in 2005, and became a couples-only property in 2007. With a few exceptions (like the spa), the resort is sophisticated and well-maintained, with renovations and upkeep occurring as late as our 2017 review. And guests almost universally agree that the staff is exceptional. The glossy lobby sets a refined toned with while leathery armchairs with hardwood legs and stone- and mosaic-tiled accent columns. While the main pool (with its swim-up bar and volleyball net) is pretty lively, the vibe here is considerably more low-key than at many of the other Hotel Zone resorts. This is thanks, in part, to Sun Palace’s relatively small size, lack of children, and location in the Hotel Zone’s more secluded southern end. Vacationing couples -- often in their 40s and beyond -- choose this resort for exactly these reasons.
Quiet Hotel Zone spot with white-sand beach on the south end of Nichupte Lagoon
The Sun Palace faces a gorgeous, white-sand beach with turquoise waters on the eastern side, and a tranquil lagoon on the western side. It's situated in the quieter, southern part of Cancun’s Hotel Zone in a spot lined with other resorts. While restaurants, shops, and nightlife aren’t all that far away by car, those seeking a young party scene may want to stay elsewhere -- popular clubs like Coco Bongo and The City are about a 15-minute drive north. For a more authentic Mexican experience, the downtown area (known as Ciudad Cancun) is about a 30-minute drive. Cancun International Airport is close, about a 15-minute drive, depending on traffic.
Spacious rooms with private balconies, whirlpool tubs, and separate walk-in showers
The spacious double-occupancy guest rooms feature private furnished balconies and big whirlpool tubs, and the majority have ocean views. Decor is simple but contemporary in a palette of creams and browns. Rooms have tiled floors with inset-stone accents, nice hardwood furnishings, contemporary wall art, brown wicker chairs, and partly canopied beds. Big, whirlpool tubs are in-room and dual basin sinks may also be in-room. Behind frosted-glass doors are toilet vestibules and roomy walk-in showers with stone tiling, recessed soap shelves, and bench seating.
Amenities are well rounded and upscale, including individually controlled air-conditioning, daily turndown service, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, Smart TVs with satellite channels, digital laptop safes, irons and ironing boards, and free long-distance calls to the continental U.S. and Canada. Bathroom amenities are equally posh and include robes, slippers, individual CHI toiletries, and CHI-brand hairdryers and flat-irons. Other in-room perks include free bottles of wine, coffeemakers (or espresso machines in upgraded rooms), minibars stocked with free sodas and beer, free snacks like chips and chocolates, and liquor dispensers.
Most rooms have ocean views, though entry-level Deluxe Rooms do not. Higher-category rooms have the best views, more space, and upgraded amenities and freebies, like Apple TV with iTunes and Netflix. The One-Bedroom Presidential Suite features roomy living and dining areas plus a big balcony with an outdoor whirlpool tub.
Beautiful beach, included restaurants and bars, three outdoor infinity pools, and a spa
The highlight of Sun Palace property is the dazzling, wide, and relatively peaceful stretch of white-sand beach that hits bright turquoise waters. Lined with big, cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas, it’s a stunning place to relax, and guest say it’s usually easy to snag a beachside lounger. It’s quieter and much less crowded than northern beaches, with few pesky hawkers. Beach wait service is provided, and there’s a beach volleyball court and games like bocce and horseshoes.
While the beach is the star attraction here, the resort's pools give lovely alternatives. The busy main pool and the quieter secondary and tertiary pools all successfully create the illusion that the pool melts into the ocean, and they feature shimmering iridescent mosaic tiling. There’s a water volleyball net and swim-up bar in the main pool and wading sections in both, where guests can lounge with their feet in the water. Small, narrow, and set under an overhang, the final pool is indoor/outdoor and ideal for quiet moments.
For dinner, guests can dine a la carte at the Italian restaurant La Tratto or enjoy surf-and-turf at the poolside The Steak. El Alamo features a well-liked breakfast buffet, buffet lunches, and a la carte Mexican cuisine for dinner. There’s also a poolside snack and drink bar, a swim-up bar, and a lobby bar. Restaurants do not require reservations, but some have dress codes; even at casual restaurants, swimwear isn’t allowed. Premium wines and dinners options (like lobster) may incur extra fees. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and lots of ocean views. On the whole, guests find the food from restaurants pretty good, with a serviceable, but not exceptional, in-room dining menu.
The resort also plays host to daily activities and nightly entertainment. There’s beach and pool sports like volleyball, plus games like bingo and karaoke. During our 2017 review, evening entertainment included a Michael Jackson Show and a Circus Show with fire dancers, jugglers, and magicians. There are also shops in the lobby adding their own diversions.
The resort also has a spa with ten treatment rooms, a beauty area, whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. Guests can get manicures, pedicures, hair styling, massages, facials, and more. While services here are good, the facilities are somewhat dated. The gym is spacious, sunny, and well-equipped with weightlifting and cardio machines, including Spinning bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals.
Rates at Sun Palace include meals and drinks at any of the restaurants and bars or through 24-hour room service. Wi-Fi, phone calls to the continental U.S. and Canada, most daily activities and shows, and use of the beach and pools are also included. Extra-fee items include spa treatments, some water activities, and tours. Note that some guests book stays with “Resort Credit” included, which can be used to purchase extra-fee items. Many guests don’t find these particularly useful, as so much is already included and tax still has to be paid out of pocket for items purchased with Resort Credit.
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