When planning a vacation, you are quite likely to come across the words "hotel" and "resort" in your research. While the words seem interchangeable, there is a fine line separating the two in terms of the services and amenities that are offered. Hotels certainly meet most of your needs in that they provide you with a place to lay your head and they probably have a restaurant or two and maybe even a pool, gym or spa. However, resorts offer all of these things, plus much more. A resort basically has everything you might possibly want or need during your vacation right on the grounds, so you never have to leave the property if you don't want to.
Resorts generally have several restaurants and bars, a spa, more than one pool, a gift shop and possibly additional specialty boutiques. Many resorts in Cancun have all of these features plus they offer a wide variety of scheduled activities and sports to keep guests entertained throughout the day. In the evening they often have nightly shows or musical performances and often a nightclub.
Over half of Cancun's hotels and resorts offer all-inclusive packages which means all meals and drinks are included. Not only is this a great value for travelers but you don't have to leave the resort grounds in search of food unless you wish to explore the area and check out the local dining scene.
10 Iberostar Cancun
Formerly Hilton Cancun, this recently-remodeled, luxury, all-inclusive resort has a huge, gorgeous pool area with many shallow areas that are perfect for small children to splash around. Beach beds, umbrellas, and palm trees provide plenty of shade for children to play or nap by the pool. Lucy Kids Club, for ages 4-12, and Teenieclub, for ages 13-17, offer a variety of activities to keep children entertained all day long. An on-site water park and dolphin encounter are also big hits with children. Gourmet cuisine, a sports bar, an 18-hole golf course (this is the only resort in Cancun that has it's own golf course), a magnificent spa, and nightly shows by professional musicians, dancers, and entertainers are some reasons why adults love this outstanding resort.
9 Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
This sprawling, all-inclusive, mega-resort is situated on a secluded beach with calm water. There are a series of pools at this resort, including two children's pools. The hotel's kids club is very nice and the little ones will love it. A DVD player and Xbox 360 in each room (DVDs and video games available on request) and bicycles and a game room at the resort are very appealing features. Guests at all Palace Resorts receive resort credits to use for sightseeing tours, in the spa, or in boutiques at the resort. You can use some of your resort credits to go to Wet & Wild Water Park, which is just a short drive from the hotel. Free phone calls to the US are another nice perk for guests at Palace Resorts. Room service is available 24 hours a day and there is even a special menu for children. Little touches make Moon Palace a great place for your next family vacation.
8 Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa
Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa is a superb place to stay for both business and leisure. The resort offers a tour desk and a day spa as well as a steam room, a sauna and concierge service. The emphasis here is on the cuisine with excellent wine pairings. Rooms feature an iPod docking station, satellite television and beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and white sand beach. Each is equipped with a private bathroom, a safe and tea and coffee making facilities. Wireless internet is available throughout the resort.
7 Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa
Location is important, when choosing a hotel, and this family-friendly, all-inclusive resort certainly has a prime location in Cancun's hotel zone. It is surrounded by water on three sides, has two beautiful beaches, and is within walking distance to most of Cancun's famous nightclubs, as well as shopping and restaurants. Unlike many other all-inclusive properties, Dreams Resorts do not require guests to wear unsightly wristbands and reservations are not needed at any of the hotel's restaurants.
6 The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort
The Westin Lagunamar is located just across the street from the largest outdoor shopping and entertainment center in Cancun, La Isla. Spacious, richly furnished studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas feature ocean views, provide full kitchens and furnished balconies, hand-selected art and other distinctive touches. There are plenty of ways to stay active, be pampered or simply relax. Creative chefs tantalize guests with dishes inspired by traditional Mexican cuisine and international influences, while bar and lounge menus feature original cocktails and old favorites. They also offer the Westin Kids Club with supervised activities, minigolf and water activities. The hotel provides a baby sitting service, barbecue area, business center, a bar, an on call doctor, a game room, high speen internet, 24 hour room service and a spa.
5 JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa
This upscale resort is great for families, couples, or singles. The pool area is lovely, the rooms are well-appointed & nicely decorated, and the staff is outgoing and attentive. All guest rooms and suites have an ocean view. Guests that book a room or suite on the club level will have access to the hotel's exclusive Club 91, where they can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning, as well as complimentary cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks that are provided throughout the day. In addition to the bars, restaurants, and delis at JW Marriott, guests also have access to the restaurants and bars at Marriott CasaMagna, the hotel's sister property, located right next door.
4 The Royal Cancun
This all-inclusive/adults-only, luxury resort has only suites, and accommodations are either oceanfront or have an ocean view. Each suite has a Jacuzzi tub, situated so you can still gaze out at the ocean while relaxing in the tub. Swim-out suites, which allow you to jump into the pool, right from your room, are available. In addition to the extensive list of services and amenities that are included in the resort's all-inclusive program, guests of The Royal Cancun also have exchange privileges at other Real Resorts in Cancun. The Royal Cancun is a favorite among honeymooners.
3 Ritz-Carlton Cancun
Luxury and elegance are the first two words that come to mind, when thinking about this upscale resort. The Ritz-Carlton name has long been synonymous with luxury and guests are not disappointed when they arrive at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. The incredibly attentive, personalized service begins the moment you walk in the front door and the staff will continue to wow you throughout your entire stay. Each guest room has a view of the Caribbean Sea and the hotel has two award-winning restaurants on-site, The Club Grill and Fantino. The Kayanta Spa is small, compared to spas in other area hotels of this caliber, but the selection of treatments and expertise of the therapists & technicians make this well-appointed facility a winner.
2 Live Aqua Cancun All Inclusive
This impeccable resort recently became an all-inclusive property that is exclusively for adults. Live Aqua is situated on one of Cancun's best beaches and is within walking distance of the area's nicest shopping malls, La Isla and Plaza Kukulcan. The hotel's pool area is quite large and remarkably beautiful. Seemingly endless rows of lounge chairs and an abundance of covered beach beds insure that you will have always find a place to relax by one of the many pools. Live Aqua focuses on a complete guest experience, catering to all five senses.
1 Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun
This small(ish), chic, adults-only, all-inclusive resort is arguably Cancun's best and most luxurious hotel. All-inclusive resorts are not normally known for having tasty food, but that's definitely not the case at Le Blanc. The food, both in the buffet restaurant and the a la carte restaurants, is exceptional. Guest rooms offer butler service and have either an ocean view or a lagoon view. The hotel's spa is amazing and should not be missed. The resort is within walking distance of Senor Frog's, just in case you decide to venture off the property to check out Cancun's famous nightlife.
About Kristin Busse
After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.
Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University. Chicago was her home for the next 9 years.
Mexico has been good to Kristin, she became a mother and achieved her lifelong dream to become a professional singer. She loves to explore the area on the weekends with her 3 year old son, and she enjoys sharing her experiences and discoveries with others through writing and social media.
Read more about Kristin Busse here.
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