How to Choose a Hotel in Cancun

The Hyatt Regency Cancun is functional, not grandiose. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Hyatt Regency Cancun is functional, not grandiose. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Determining which hotel to stay in during a Cancun vacation is likely to be a traveler’s most intellectually challenging problem on a trip of this sort. The monster resorts that have grown up on a narrow spit of sand since hotel developers descended on this then-unexploited space on the coast in the 1970s seemingly offer every amenity imaginable: glitzy lobbies, wondrous food, beach front, pools, spas. How on earth can a tourist choose?

The beach is much wider today than it was in 1989. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The beach is much wider today than it was in 1989. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Well, there’s price of course. Personally, I quickly tire of endless comparisons. I’m more of a “consider three, select one” sort. Who has the time or energy to compare the types of facials and massages offered at every single place?

Even with guidebook in hand, there are too many hotels for me to reasonably sort the pros and cons of each. I’m sure I could be happy at every single one. My main desire is to stay away from any place the spring-break kids might be patronizing.

In 1989, the walk to the beach from the Hyatt Regency Cancun was a fairly short one. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

In 1989, the walk to the beach from the Hyatt Regency Cancun was a fairly short one. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

A waterfront room at the Hyatt Regency Cancun. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A waterfront room at the Hyatt Regency Cancun. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Ultimately, I choose a less glitzy, more practical option: the Hyatt Regency Cancun. Built in 1983 and renovated in 2007, the place is functional. With just under 300 rooms, the Hyatt Regency doesn’t overwhelm.

The lobby doesn’t dazzle; no one is too formal to traipse through it in a bathing suit and a cover-up. The food is fine, the spa is relaxing. I didn’t spend any substantive time at the pool, which doesn’t entirely overlook the ocean.

What the Hyatt has that appeals to me is location: It’s right on Punta (“point”) Cancun, where Bahia  (“bay”) de Mujeres meets the Caribbean. Its beach is now wide, a stark contrast to the skinny bit of sand that was present on my visit there in 1989 when the effects of Hurricane Gilbert were still highly visible. Sand, sea, and service are all l really need.

The view from a cabana. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The view from a cabana. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

©Lori Tripoli

 

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1 comment for “How to Choose a Hotel in Cancun

  1. March 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

    There are so many hotels to choose from–it’s hard to make a decision. I’m glad you had such a great experience.

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