Variety of top-notch restaurants from poolside service to a chef's table, plus a selection of bars
Personalized service is consistent throughout the hotel; Club Level service available
Rooms designed especially for small children available
Rooms lighting can be very dim
Some wear and tear is visible
Fee for Wi-Fi (unless at Club Level)
Fee to use tennis courts
This 365-room luxury hotel with classic style is set in Cancun's Hotel Zone against a pristine beach and turquoise Caribbean waters. Room decor is elegant and traditional, if also slightly corporate and dated, and all rooms have ocean views. The resort's romantic and luxurious vibe is ideal for couples looking to splurge. While the resort is undeniably grand, it's surprisingly unstuffy and young within the halls, out by the pool, and down by the beach (though some may feel interiors could use an update). This hotel may have typical resort features, but you'll be hard-pressed to find them done with such classy sophistication elsewhere in Cancun.
Classic, old-world luxury and unstuffy new-world guests
The Ritz-Carlton brand is iconic, and to some, epitomizes luxury and class. This Ritz-Carlton is definitely elegant, though the interiors are showing their age a bit and could use a refresh (for example, the brass plaque denoting the jacuzzi rules looks quite old). Still, the spaces are dressed to the nines in rich fabrics, textures, and fine wooden furniture, and the hotel's stately European decor includes glittering chandeliers, thick carpets, draped window frames, and interesting artifacts and artwork. Put another way, you get the feeling the items were all thoughtfully curated. So even though the hotel may be due for a renovation, its luxurious, classic style is forgiving, and the minor visible wear and tear shouldn't detract too much from guests' overall experience.
Despite the resort's grown-up sophistication, during our visit, the property was filled with surprisingly young guests, which helped prevent the Ritz from feeling stuffy. The vibe is upscale but informal, and most guests tend keep to themselves. However, those looking for trendy decor -- like that at Cancun's Live Aqua Hotel -- may find the Ritz' look reminiscent of that at an old, rich aunt's house.
Beachfront property off the main drag of the Hotel Zone
The turnoff for Cancun's The Ritz-Carlton is located around KM 14, off Returno del Ray 36. Clearly marked from the main road, the hotel is set back a bit, allowing for a private garden setting. The resort is directly on the powder-soft sandy beach, giving unobstructed views of the unbelievably vibrant blue sea. There is not much within walking distance from the hotel -- it takes about five minutes just to reach the main road. But those who want to hire a car or jump in a taxi will find the all of the shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions the Hotel Zone has to offer within a 25-minute drive. Outdoor and underwater adventure spots Xcaret and Xle-Ha are about a 20- to 25-minute drive, while popular ruins like Tulum and Coba are 1.5 to 2.5 hours away, respectively. Cancun Airport is about a 12-minute drive from the resort.
All rooms have ocean views and classic, luxurious style.
The 365 rooms and suites at the Ritz-Carlton are divided into two "experience" levels: regular and Club Level. The difference is that Club Level Rooms are located on Club floors which have free Wi-Fi and the classy, exclusive Club Lounges. All rooms and suites are decorated with carpet floors, classic European-style furniture, and neutral colors. Extras may include wet bars, vanity desks, and reading tables. Spacious marble bathrooms have separate soaking tubs, showers, toilet rooms, and dual marble vanities. There's a selection of well-presented toiletries as well as a sewing kit and ironing board. Each minibar area includes a Nespresso machine with two free pods (refills are in the snack drawer) and a selection of beverages. Most rooms and suites tap out at a three- or four-person capacity, but the nearly 2,000-square-foot Cobalt Suite can sleep up to six. LCD TVs have cable and there are iHome iPod docking clocks on the bedside tables. Rooms can be very dim compared to many resorts, and the decor, while luxurious, is a bit staid. Perhaps the biggest highlight of most rooms is the outdoor space -- terraces can be massive, and all rooms have at least partial ocean views.
Thoughtful details, excellent food, beachfront casitas, and live entertainment
Attentive and personalized service aside, the Ritz-Carlton Cancun has details down pat. A state-of-the-art gym is complete with towels and bottles of water waiting at every machine, while the relaxing pool and beach areas stay even more relaxing thanks to valet and drink service. If you don't want to lift a finger here, you don't have to. On the other hand, if you want to get wild and try some water sports or go out into Cancun day or night, the hotel can help put you in good hands. Beach casitas (chiffon-walled beach palapas) will redefine how you spend time at the beach with comfortable cushioned loungers, electrical outlets, and a special dining menu. The resort's spa has a detoxifying sauna and typical treatments like massages and facials, but, with a Vichy steam room and showers and variant temperature plunge pools, is especially equipped for water ritual treatments. Teens also have a special spa treatment menu to choose from.
The hotel also has live entertainment: There are two guitar-strumming singers in the lobby's atrium, and local bands play certain evenings in the Lobby Lounge (where there is also a piano). The Lobby Lounge is a chic, but casual bar setting where customers have their choice of cocktails and freshly prepared (and very expensive) sushi. Other restaurants include the gourmet dinner spot, Fantino (where people love the tasting menu), and the more casual eateries El Cafe Mexicano and the pool/beachside Caribe Bar and Grill. Club Level guests are invited to special chef's table tastings, as well as to the Club Lounge with a revolving variety of vittles and beverages.
While you may not think "kids" when you think Ritz, this Ritz-Carlton is ready for family stays. In addition to a kids' club full of daily activities and adventures, the hotel has created a special menu just for kids' tastes (including healthy options). They've even got safety on the brain with an under-five kid-proofing kit for rooms that includes outlet covers, toiletries just for babies, tub covers, and first-aid kits. But if you have a super young one joining your vacation, there are also rooms available designed just for babies that have changing tables, cribs, and well-thought out details in technology to make sure a sleeping baby isn't disturbed.
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