Lots of family activities, including a game room and organized events
Free Wi-Fi (premium Wi-Fi for a fee)
Isolated location (about three miles south of the Strip); no attractions in immediate area
No gambling or professional entertainment
Limited dining -- only one restaurant, serving bar-style food
Rambunctious family atmosphere can prevent adults-only relaxation
Persistent time-share salespeople on site
No shuttle service to the Strip
Limited and poorly lit parking
Far from the Strip and other tourist attractions, Cancun is a family resort with lots of kid-friendly features -- and not much appeal for adults traveling without kids. On-site dining is limited to one restaurant, but the large apartment-style villas feature well-equipped kitchens with full-size refrigerators, dishwashers, and gas stoves. There's a spa and a fitness center, but the best feature is the large pool with a Mayan-style pyramid in the middle. For a family-friendly Off the Strip experience with far more features -- including 11 restaurants -- look into South Point Hotel and Casino.
A time-share resort about 15 minutes by car from the Strip; full of family-friendly features but no casinos, entertainment, or fine dining.
Cancun Resort looks great on paper -- or at least online. Its address is on Las Vegas Boulevard South, more famously known as the Strip. And the hotel's website features gorgeous photos of a Mayan-style pyramid at twilight, surrounded by a pool and palm trees, not a soul (let alone a child) in sight; elegantly dressed couples shooting craps; and a lobby lounge where two adults sit quietly catching up on their reading.
Nothing, in other words, that would lead one to suspect that it's actually a family destination -- in fact, very much a family destination, with screaming kids and large clans hoarding banks of lounge chairs. Or that it's actually a 15-minute drive from most of the casinos. In short, solo travelers and couples without kids will probably want to look elsewhere, even if they're members of the Diamond Resorts International time-share program, of which the resort is a part. (Non-members are welcome here as well.)
For families, however, the Cancun is a solid choice. With two large pools, organized activities, and no casinos or sexy shows in sight, parents can let their kids loose while lounging in the spacious, beach-villa-style suites. The meager dining options in the hotel will inspire -- or force -- families to cook their own meals in the suites' fully-equipped kitchens. As its name suggests, staying at Cancun is like a beach retreat -- but without the beach.
A 15-minute car ride from the Strip and no nearby attractions.
Located on Las Vegas Boulevard South, about 15 minutes by car from the Strip. There's very little in the immediate vicinity besides a string of budget hotels, a public library, and a shopping complex. To get to this strip mall on foot, you would have to cross the highway with fast-moving traffic.
Free -- but limited -- parking is available in an on-site underground lot.
Large apartment-style villas with multiple flat-screen TVs, jetted tubs, fully-stocked kitchens, separate living rooms, and balconies.
With their wooden-slat screens, balconies, light-wood furniture, warm lighting, and overhead fans, the large but cozy apartment-style rooms are made to resemble beachside cottages. Even the one-bedroom villa has everything a family could need for a week-long vacation: a kitchen with appliances aplenty (full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, stove-top oven, coffeemaker, blender, toaster -- even electric can opener), as well as pots, pans, dishes, Pyrex bakeware, cleaning supplies, and storage containers. One-bedrooms also have a four-seat dining table; a separate living room with a sofa bed, easy chair, and flat-screen TV and DVD player; a bedroom with a comfortable king-size (and yet another flat-screen TV), and two full baths. The master bathroom is huge, with dual vanities and a jetted tub -- just note that its jets can't be turned at night, during the resort's designated quiet hours.
A pool area with a large pyramid and hot tubs is the main draw
The pool area, where a large Mayan pyramid sits between two free-form pools, is the resort's most attractive feature. On one side of the pyramid, a cascade of water flows down from the steep steps to a pool buzzing with kids and lounging adults. On the other side, four slides open up to a quieter, less crowded pool. (And at the top of the pyramid is a reclining statue of Chac-Mul, supposedly a Mayan messenger to the gods and receiver of human sacrifices -- a little morbid, but no one seems to care.) There are hot tubs situated around the pyramid, including a particularly cozy one underneath the waterfall. Unlike most Vegas pools, this one is actually deep (five feet), providing adults with space away from the shallow edges, where kids splash all day.
There are no cabanas for rent, but there are lounge chairs, thatched-roof hammock huts, grassy lawns with palm trees, and a barbecue area with patio tables and grills. Caribe Lounge -- the resort's only on-site restaurant -- serves lunch poolside, though most guests find its American bar-style food mediocre. Floater beds and towels are available for free, but you must bring them back to the towel stand or pay a fee.
For a resort cut off from other attractions, the spa is surprisingly uninviting -- just a medical-clinic-like space offering the usual assortment of treatments.
The gym is small but serviceable, with LifeFitness treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and multi-purpose strength-training machines, as well as free weights. Machines don't have individual video screens, but there are four wall-mounted flat-screen TVs.
Daily arts and crafts are on offer at the activity center, which also features two pool tables, a ping-pong table, foosball, vending machines, lounge areas, a flat-screen TV, and loads of DVDs, available to rent. The game room appeals to kids (stocked shelves of board games -- Life, Parcheesi, Twister -- beanbag chairs, plenty of space to run around) and adults (blackjack and craps tables).
The business center, located inside the lounge, has two PCs and a printer.