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Liked the Melia Turquesa better
We stayed at the Turquesa four years in a row and decided to try something different. The Cancun is rated one star higher but I feel that is because of the pool and atrium/lobby. The rooms aren't as nice...The beach isn't as nice there...The view from the balcony is terrible unless you stand up...They play music inside the atrium every night and you WILL here it in your room...If you didn't rent a car you have to walk a quarter mile to catch a ride...and you do have to ride to wherever you want to go...The location is way out of the way.
As far as service and the hotel grounds...The people there are wonderful and the grounds are nice too...
My next trip there will be to the Melia Turquesa though...I enjoy my time spent there much more.
Surprisingly DISappointed; stay at the Royal Sands
After staying at the Royal Sands in June of 2002, I had very high expectations for the Gran Melia for my mid December vacation. Using the Royal Sands as a benchmark in the 5 STAR category for TIME-SHARE properties, the Gran Melia should probably get a 4. I'll try to point out some key differences. Have pics of both properties if anyone requests.
First impression when you arrive at the Gran Melia is magnificent. An enormous property it is with a 9 hole golf course on premise along the Kulkucan Blvd. Step into the hotel and again your breath is taken. Absolutely gorgeous atrium w/ very nice achitecture. Royal Sands is not as impressive in terms of architecture, but also very nice.
Checked in at noon and knew rooms probably wouldn't be ready til 3/4pm. Stayed in an oceanview room in the main pyramid building; they offered a jr. suite upgrade but I felt it wasn't worth the extra $50/night. OH, and by the way, Cancun in general was very quiet. I guess it was a slow week in Cancun probably due to the holidays. A nice touch I thought was the availability of a courtesy room to change while your room is being readied.
We took a long walk around and ended up outside by the north pool restaurant. We ordered nachos, a burger, and I believe a chicken salad w/ 2 mixed drinks and 2 diet cokes. Bill was about $40. Food was OK, drinks also OK, price average for Cancun. Forgot that drinks in Cancun average $7-8... OUCH !
Do yourself a favor... go to a liquor store in Cancun, even Walmart (I think that's where we went in June) and buy tequila or rum etc. Buy some mixers and make a 2 liter batch and bring it pool-side. Try to freeze it just enough to get a little bit of ice so that it will last you about 2 hours covered in the shade.
Checked into our room on the 4th floor. A/C was on, although probably not even necessary; temp was about 80 that day. Bathroom was a fair size; toilet and bidet area had separate doors. Shower and tub nice size. My only issue with the bathroom was the appearance of a rust spot in the tub area. Too bad... after a day in the sun I like to soak in a tub w/ oil in it so I won't peel. Not on this trip I guess.
King bed was OK, firm. I did notice on 2 days we did get sheets with small stains in them. Color TV w/ some US programming. Fair size balcony offered sufficient privacy by its zigarat setup, although it didn't prevent the parasailers from getting a front row seat on some afternoon action. Good for them ! Problem with the balcony is that the sliding door was VERY heavy and I had to adjust the lock screws daily as they were coming undone. Would have preferred a switch for the balcony light instead of it being fixed. As a result, we did not sleep with balcony doors open at all due to the light entering the room. With the sliding door shut, you can't hear the waves crash at all; something we enjoy and puts us to sleep.
For comparison, we had a 2 bedroom suite at the Royal Sands. Obviously different room categories however, the 2 bedroom suite is 2 separate units with a lockable door in between. There is the king suite which is a king bedroom area w/ bath, changing area, and walk-in closet, and then another room w/ a full kitchen and living area w/ 2 pull down murphy beds. Both rooms lead out to a huge balcony. The second unit is typical hotel style. Bathroom w/ changing area, walkin closet, 2 beds, and its own smaller balcony. The 2 units combined are about 1400 sq. ft. and are great for families or larger groups since it can accomodate 6 people comfortably.
Rooms were very clean, housekeeping even cleaned our kitchen mess when we didn't. The other consideration was cost. Back in June when Cancun was still busy, I got the 2 bedroom suite for about $1600 for 2 out of Boston for 7 nights. I just paid about $1700 for the Gran Melia for Sunday thru Friday. If I could have left Saturday to Saturday, I could have stayed at the Sands for $1400 !!! King suite, not 2 bedroom.
Back to the Melia, the minibar attendant arrived at our room within minutes of us checking in. He wanted to add a few items to it. I checked out the price list and realized I would not be utilizing the mini-bar. $4 for water/soda, nips from $4 to $9 or so. I noticed the nips were in pairs, 2 vodka, 2 tequila, etc although there was only 1 beefeater gin. I called room service and the mini bar attendant came up again and said that there was only suppose to be one, although there was room for 2. Had a bad feeling about that. And since the fridge was full of their stuff, chips and other snacks as well, we had no room to put our stuff without removing theirs. Whatever. No minibar setup at the Sands although you get a full kitchen with the suite and we did stock it well.
From there, I looked into cost for breakfast. The buffet was $21 p/p at Melia !!! I can go to some of the nicer restaurants in Boston and pay less than that. During my morning run on the beach, I stopped at the Marriott Casa Magna and discovered they had a nice buffet for $17 p/p. Still high but its $8 per day less. For comparison, the Royal Sands buffet was $8 p/p !!!!! And I gave them $4 as a tip every day. Food was every bit as good as Marriott's but better service. Royal's dining room staff ALWAYS grabbed an empty plate as you finished, asked for juice refills promptly. Also, their hostess, I think her name was Neeta, knew how much I loved their spicy meatballs but were not out on my last day there. She went into the kitchen and had the kitchen staff heat some up for me. That really impressed me. Its very easy to say, sorry but enjoy the rest of your meal, but she didn't.
Utilized the gym every day while at the Melia. Fairly small, but typical for a resort here. Locker room was adequate. Their wet area is CO-ED so bathing suit is required in that area for showers, steam room, and dry sauna. Only complaint with the gym is that opening staff at 6am isn't very well prepared to either answer questions, or get the place ready. On 2 occassions they had no bath towels in the morning. Considering there might have been 10 people they had to serve before I got there at 7-7:15, that's not a good job in preparation. Also, the towels they issue both in the gym and rooms show wear and tear w/ torn corners. Not something you'd expect from a hotel like this.
Again, for comparison, the Sands fitness area was divided into 2 sections; one for cardio w/ bikes, etc and the other w/ weights. Separate wet areas for men and women. The wet area at the Sands is by far better. Towels are sitting there waiting for you, keys to lockers given at front desk. Nicer showers, same size steam and dry sauna room. Each wet area has its own jacuzzi, that was not available at the Melia. There was also an adjoining waiting room between the wet areas for spa treatments. I had massages at both properties and felt that both did a good job. The spa services are actually "managed" by the same company. I believe they also do the Ritz or Le Meridian. OH, did forget to mention... Melia gym is free to guests, Sands cost $7/day or $35 week. And I tried, but given the choice I would pay the extra money and go to the Sands. However, only guests and members are permitted to use their facilities.
Pools at the Melia were large and expansive. They have 2 main pools but I found them to be too deep. On the north pool for instance, the shallowest part is 5'7". And it went to 6'. I've never seen that before. Every pool I've ever been to starts at about 3'6" or so and has deeper sections. It wasn't possible for me to enjoy the pool. Too bad because they looked real nice. I hung out at the beach. Seems the undergoe got worse over the last 6 months. Almost went under on my second day. Went out a short distance to my waist then hit higher sand and water was below my waist. Went out a little further and water was a little rougher than I liked, so I turned back. However, I got to a point where my head was under. Not being much of a swimmer I tried to swim a short distance to reach my girlfriend. Told her I needed help. She helped me about 10 feet where I was able to stand on some rocks in the water. The same rocks I had bitched about being in front of the Melia actually helped me. I was able to catch my breath and walk back into shore. That was close. At knee level, the water and dip of the beach really pulls you. Flags were RED all week... now I know why.
Nice touch with the Melia is that they have 98 pallapa trees, I think that's what they're called, lined along their beachfront. Sit under their shade in 2 loungers and also has table. They have a beach soccer and volleyball set-up ready to go. The Melia has about 1/4 mile beachfront. That's awesome, but some sections have rocks as does the Marriott.
The Royal Sands has alot of beachfront also, probably less than Melia, and doesn't have all the pallapas that the Melia does. Don't believe it has the soccer and volleyball activities on the beach. However, didn't recall seeing any rocks along their beachfront and don't recall the undertoe to be as bad. Could be seasonal. The water during most of the week was quite rough compared to June in my opinion. The pools at the Sands are very tradtional with shallow water and deeper water. Just the way I like it. That being said, I enjoyed the Sands beach and pools much more. Both do offer pool bar and grill service.
Another thing to keep in mind... In order to get to the Melia by foot, you must walk up 60 stairs to the front door. 60 up, 60 down when you go out. Figure you'll probably do it twice a day. Almost the same to get down to the beach. The hotel is not handicap friendly and I considering the stairs, I wouldn't want my mom to do it. The Sands has a much more flat entrance. I believe there are a few stairs but the walkway has a slight incline. Much easier to get up than the Melia and the Sands does have various ramps for handicap.
And both of these properties are timeshare resorts. You will definately get harrassed by the vacation club staff. However, we found it easy to avoid the Sands staff. We just didn't go to the welcome party for our free gift. I don't think anyone else bugged us about it.
The timeshare people at the Melia are a pain in the butt. EVERYDAY at least 2 of them would try to get our attention. "Excuse me... did you check in yesterday or today". They try to get eye contact and say hello, good morning, then they run into their pitches. I don't know how much the time share costs there, but the Royal Sands is expensive. I have learned however that the best way to purchase the timeshare is thru resale. On Royal Sands website I saw various units from $30-40k, while I found them online from $16-$25k. However, their maintenance fee is high, about $600/yr. That's what it will cost you for a week stay anyway, why pay an extra $30-40k.
Anyway, hope this review heps you out. I read the reviews on this property here and elsewhere before booking my time. I probably spent 3 weeks researching different resorts, opinions, costs, etc. And I worked in the hotel buz for 9 years in room service. I'd like to think that for all my hours of service year after year, I acquired a knowledge about the business, and an understanding for guess services. Unfortunately, my experience at the Melia was less than excellent. And you know, for $1700, shouldn't it be ?
It was well worth the $30 extra to upgrade to a Jr. Suite. Suites are in the corners, resulting in a wrap around balcony that I stepped off at 58+ feet. One can access the balcony via the bedroom or the living space. Suites come equipped with two full bathrooms (toilet rooms, with bidets, are separate from dressing rooms). The whole hotel staff are eager to please, wonderfully friendly. At check-in, we were issued two "towel cards" to exchange for beach towels, with caveat that if cards were not returned at check-out, it would be an extra $20. That put me off a bit...until we got our first beach towel. Huge, thick and soft--well worth 20 bucks, though it would have filled a suitcase. My best memory will be the young woman singing "Silent Night" in Spanish on the open patio restaurant, accompanied by the warm breeze and surf sound in the background. (Don't hesitate to take the 6-peso bus into downtown.)
This hotel is a true class act. We just returned from a wek there. Expedia had an unreal price for a jr suite, beach front.
Only bad thing was that at times there would be a musty odor, but, that is a jungle area down there with incredible humidity.
Personnel could not have been more friendky. Every worker we passed had a Buenas Dias for us. The maids would come to turn down the bed, leave chocolates and sometimes place flowers in the rooms or make table decorations out of towels.
We got in after midnight and the air-con was not working properly. A repairman was there in 5 minutes and was happy to help out at that late hour
The time-share people were not obnoxious and would back off if you declined them.
Besides the beauty and the outstanding lobby, the hotel is in a quieter section of the hotel zone.
Truly a wonderful place
Don't even consider a timeshare here!
Beautiful hotel...but don't even consider purchasing a timeshare here. Once you buy, you NEVER get the accommodations you are shown when they are pitching you. Timeshare maintenace fees go up EVERY year, and Resorts Advantage in FLA handles your reservations. We found them to be rude and difficult to communicate with. After 4-5 years of ownership, we had to start paying our maintenance fees a year in advance.
Just got back - this hotel is ok; not fabulous
we stayed at this hotel last week (4 nights). Our first impression was very pleasant; the hotel grounds are meticulously kept and the lobby is breathtaking. This hotel is set far back from the street and is very quiet; you cannot hear roaring street noise like at other hotels down the street. Even though we had a Royal Pyramid Deluxe category room, we were disappointed, because there was nothing special about it. All glass surfaces (mirrors in bathroom, room, and tops of desks and dressers) had water damage. The pool area is beautiful and huge - 2 free form pools. This hotel makes a very aggressive effort to market vacation ownerships (fka timeshares). You can't get in or out of an elevator without being confronted by these people. Just ignore them and go about your business. We saw people falling in to their trap and they looked miserable.
YOU HAVE TO STAY HERE - FABULOUS HOTEL!!!
Reviewer is: Single/Female/40/CT USA
YOU MUST STAY HERE if you want hotel perfection! I just spent 4 nights at the Melia Cancun Hotel (May 31, 2002 - June 4, 2002) and wish I could have stayed longer. The rooms were well appointed and spacious w/ in room electronic safe, the bathroom is large with plenty of counter space with an interior door separating the toilet/bidet from the sink and tub/shower. There are grass roof huts by the pools the size of queen size beds (with 3 inch padding on four sides) that are perfect for lounging/sleeping/reading. You can even drink the tap water at this hotel!!!
The lobby is breathtaking. It's as if you are in a mini rain forest (exotic plants, birds, fish, ponds & bubbling brooks). The SPA has state of the art equipment!
The hotel has a minimart, jewelry shop, tobacco shop, swim shop, several (5) well appointed restaurants, an on-site nurse & doctor with a pharmacy within walking distance. My roommate developed a sinus infection and was treated by a bilingual doctor and given 2 Rx medication for less than $125 USD!
My only complaint is the Tour Desk. Stay away! The tours are over priced. We went on the Isla Murjures tour 9:00 - 4:30 and paid $55 each (included snorkeling for one hour which we did not ask for nor did we do), unlimited alcohol/sodas all day, mid-morning snack, and lunch) to find out the same tour is offered (just behind "Fat Tuesday") for $35 w/o snorkeling and $45 with snorkeling). We over paid $40 USD.
When you are ready to head to the "party zone" or find additional fine dining restaurants you are just a 10 minute bus ride away (60 pesos = 60 cent USD). Buses run every 2 minutes during the day and every 15 after midnight. The Melia Cancun is far enough away from the Spring Breakers but closes enough to enjoy all Cancun night life has to offer.
One tip for you...exchange your money in the states first if you can. You will get a better rate than what the hotels or shops are offering. If you must exchange in Cancun do so at a bank (not one of those exchange booths)! It's worth the 120 pesos (approx. $1.20 USD) bus ride. The exchange rate varies day to day...hotels/shops were exchanging between 93 pesos to 97 pesos but banks were over a 100+ pesos to the US Dollar.
Bottom line: The Melia Cancun Hotel is slightly pricey but well worth the money, however alcoholic drinks are steep - about $8 USD each!!! The Melia Cancun will be seeing me again this winter and every time I come to Cancun!
One of the greatest hotels I've ever been to.
Expensive, but quite beautiful. You have to see for yourself. If they could give it a higher rating, they should.
The Melia Cancun is a beautiful hotel. My wife and I went there on our honeymoon in October. There's two pools on the beach side and a swim up bar(which my wife always wanted to do). The beach was beautiful and the water was perfect. Our room attendent was very pleasant and informed us how to get around in Cancun. The balcony was big enough to lay out and get some sun. There are three restaurants that I recall, each with it's own distict style of food. There's a piano bar with a beautiful lounge area. The only downside of the whole trip was when it rained, the inside of the hotel was so humid. We had a room that wasn't occupied for a few days and the sheets and pillow cases smelled a little moldy. My recommendation is that you ask for fresh sheets and pillow cases upon arrival. And since we went during the off season, there wasn't enough people to participate in the planned activities, which included water polo, beach volleyball and dance lessons on the beach. I would highly reccommond the Melia Cancun. My wife and I had a honeymoon we will never forget.
Just got back...Jealous? Don't be!!!
A professional group of ours (about 350 persons) spent 5 nights and 6 days. We were advised to save international calling expenses, dial *6 to connect to Vantel on our room phone. Seeing a professional card in our room placed by the telephone, presumably by management, suggesting we use the services of "Vantel" (*6), we all felt safe using it, especially when our corporate sponsor recommended it as well. It cost my bank 350.00 U.S. Our bankcard was used fraudulantly to get the money through a local gas station...as were many many others. Some people's bank cards were wiped out and some charged as much as 2,000.00 US by the same experience. And no, I did not use that card for any other purchases weeks before or since. I had to cancel a bank card I have had for years. It is so sad that crime has penetrated a devestated industry and peoples who's hope may rest on satisfied travelers. In our group, purses were stolen, overcharging, incorrect change given, I felt sooooo vulnerable not even knowing the language...I will not travel to Mexico again! Sure takes the joy out of a holiday.
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