Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Review - Cancún, Mexico

Calle Retorno del Rey #36
Zona Hotelera
77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
+52 998 881 0808


Waiting Area

Last August Hubby & I visited Cancún for a business trip. His company chose to put us up at The Ritz Carlton. We had never stayed at a Ritz Carlton hotel before nor had we been to Mexico. When we arrived there was a long wait at the front desk to get our room key. We had arrived via an airport shuttle bus with lots of coworkers so the line was very long. I recommend getting something to eat instead, if you find the line is long. They didn't speed up the process due to the long line, they spent a long time with each customer. One of the employees handed out some much appreciated cold drinks while we stood and waited. There are very few chairs in the lobby. After having waited all that time we were told we would have to come back for our key since our room wasn't ready. It appeared most customers before us received their key or we wouldn't have waited in such a long line.

We went to get something to eat at one of the four restaurants inside the hotel around 3 pm on a Thursday. We chose the El Café Mexicano restaurant and there were only a couple of customers at that hour. I didn't take any photos since I was completely exhausted from our long journey from the US and we were starving thanks to American Airlines only serving snacks. Hubby had the Nachos with chicken for about twelve US dollars. I had the Chicken Tacos with green sauce for about eleven US dollars. We both really enjoyed our meals. Service was friendly and prompt. We ate at this restaurant a second time on our last day for breakfast. The breakfast buffet had a lot to offer and it was also delicious. You have to try their fruit and bacon, scrumptious. I highly recommend this restaurant. While it's a bit on the pricey side, it's comfortable and it's peaceful with a lovely view of the pool and ocean yet in the comfortable air conditioning. The decor is similar to the rest of the hotel, you wouldn't know it was a Mexican restaurant by looking at it. It was a welcome break from the long, stressful day of travel. After lunch we were able to retrieve our room key at the front desk and we walked to our room. 

King Bed

Marble Bathtub

Marble Shower

Separate Toilet Room

Double Sinks

Our first room was a room on the side of the building with a view of the beach only from the balcony. To see the ocean you have to go out on to the balcony and look over the edge past the wall between balconies, see 1st photo below. 

View from Room on the Side of the Building

We stayed in that room our first night only to wake to construction noise the next morning. At first I thought they must be making a repair in a nearby room and it would soon end, but after several hours we realized it wasn't going to stop anytime soon. We called down to the front desk to inquire about the construction noise and we were informed that they were remodeling one of their restaurants and the noise would last all day and for our entire stay. Imagine my shock since I had just lived through nine long, stressful months of construction noise in our subdivision at home. I flew all the way to Mexico and I still couldn't get away from construction noise. I was shocked! We asked if we could be moved to a room that was far enough away that we would no longer hear the noise. They called us back about half an hour later and offered us an upgrade to a room that has a view of the ocean from the room itself not just the balcony. The concierge took us to our new room to make sure it was acceptable and then we moved our luggage to that room. The view from that room was amazing, see 2nd photo below. I highly recommend upgrading to a room that directly faces the beach! 

View from Room Facing the Beach

The bed the first night felt fine and we both slept due to complete exhaustion. The second and third nights I didn't sleep very well. The comforter and the mattress pad have feathers in them and I just can't stand sleeping on that weird texture. I found it so strange that in such a hot climate the comforter had feathers to keep you warm. It was too hot! The room was very clean and I'm picky about that. The air conditioning was very loud since it's located in the closet and it ran constantly due to the extreme heat and humidity. The a/c in the first room didn't work very well, the room felt too warm and humid. The a/c in the second room kept the room cool enough. The television was smaller than I expected for such an expensive room. They have one American channel that is located in Florida. So we were able to keep up with the US news and learned a hurricane would arrive just as we were leaving on Sunday. We had to pay extra for wi-fi internet service. Hubby didn't tell me how much it was since he knew that it would upset me. It should be included! It worked very well and the internet speed was good. The maids were awesome and they work so very hard. They even dust off the balcony floor and chairs and wash the windows daily! I was very impressed. The windows get dirty quickly since every morning they are soaking wet from the humidity. We had turn down service one night. The maid left two chocolates and two bottles of water. 

Turn Down Service

There are larger bottles of water in the room, but they aren't free. There is also a mini bar with alcohol, wine, sodas, candy and snacks. I recommend going across the street to one of the convenience stores to purchase these at a lower cost. You can also purchase chilled bottled water at the El Café Mexicano restaurant which we did at breakfast for our trip home. Room service is a must that you have to treat yourself to. So very impressive! I have reviewed several room service experiences, so be sure to check those out: Part IPart II and Part III. It was Hubby's decision to dine in the room, so I was guilt free! You won't regret it! 

I recommend dining at several of the restaurants across from the hotel. Our favorite restaurant was Harry's Grill. We also enjoyed Porfirio's. The third restaurant we tried in that location was Fred's House, but I can't recommend it. There is so much traffic that I don't recommend walking to the restaurants even if you can stand the heat. We never had to call for a taxi in advance since there was always one waiting out front. They have only the large taxis waiting which are American Chevrolet Suburbans with the a/c on full blast. The taxi drivers were very friendly and helped me get out of the vehicle since it's quite a step down getting out. I recommend you ask for their business card so that you can call them to pick you up after you are done eating. You can ask at the restaurant's reception desk to call them for you, if you don't want to incur international cell phone charges. We only had to wait about five minutes after we called them to pick us up. They then took us to the convenience store and then back to the hotel. It only takes a couple of minutes since it's not far. If I remember correctly it was about ten US dollars plus tip and they take American cash or Mexican pesos.

The air conditioning in this hotel needs replacing. The tiny elevators and some of the hallways are too warm and humid. The elevators are very small just as they are in Europe. They fit four adults comfortably. Six is the max, if you try to squeeze in more people the alarm goes off and it won't move. There is a ice machine in the hall, but the room is very warm. The pool is large and it was never crowded. There are plenty of chaise lounge chairs on the pool's patio and on the beach. The staff is very attentive delivering drinks, food and fresh towels.  There is also a café called The Caribe Bar & Grill located on the patio. They have cantinas that you can rent during the day and at night they serve a very expensive romantic dinner in them starting at 7 pm with live music.

We also dined at one of the ballrooms for an awards banquet. The service was impeccable. Each course was presented flawlessly and the food was delicious. With three hundred people in the room it was too hot. Again, the air conditioning needs updating. My other complaint is that the mixed drinks we had during a break at the bar didn't have much alcohol in them. At the table, my wine glass never went empty. We were very impressed with the dinner service. We also attended a dinner party outside on the beach. Those drinks had plenty of alcohol in them. It is still very hot outside even in the evening at sunset.

Overall we were impressed with the hotel and I recommend it if you are not sensitive to the heat & humidity and don't mind that some parts of the hotel are a bit warm. An upgrade to an ocean view room is a must along with room service. The ocean view room is a must for those that can't be in the heat very long, but still want to enjoy the view of the beach for hours. If you are visiting in the summer months be sure to request a room far from construction noise since that is when they do remodeling. The previous year they remodeled the Sushi Bar. The taxi driver said the busy season in Cancún is from Thanksgiving until after New Years. He also said it's very hot & humid year round. It was near 100 degrees everyday we were there and it it's extremely humid around 90%. If you think Florida is humid you won't complain as much after being in Cancún! Stay tuned for Part II which will feature exterior photos and information. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below. Have you ever been to Mexico? If so, which hotel did you stay in and what was your experience like? Check out my Cancún Pinterest Board to see everything I have reviewed so far. Click on the photos that interest you and they will take you directly to the matching blog post. 

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Have a PEACEful Day!

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