Blvd. Kukulcan Km 11.5, El Rey, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Overall Score: A
Recommended?: Yes (highly!)
Vegetarian Options: A
The Beach Palace Resort, located in the hotel zone of Cancun, is an all-inclusive resort stationed right on the beach. I previously wrote a review on the hotel and its rooms. This is a review about the rest of the resort.
The main pool at Beach Palace Resort in divided into three sections by walkways. One section features a separate kids’ pool (next to the kids’ club building), pool, and water slide. The main, larger section of the pool has an infinity edge and places to sit while in the water. The other section of the pool has the swim-up bar. There are lounge chairs that sit in the water and also on the pool deck. Note that many people ‘claim’ their lounge chairs early in the morning since there are not enough for everyone. The pool was cleaned and vacuumed every morning and its temperature was perfect (and I’m someone who’s always cold in pools). In addition, there is a small hot tub off from the main pool. Towels are provided by the resort at a towel desk near the pool bar.
I was a bit concerned about the giant structure over the pool that blocked the sun at certain times. That structure held a large movie screen that came out twice during the six nights we were there, to play evening movies. The movie screen structure actually proved to be helpful during those moments when an escape from the sun was necessary!
The main pool at Beach Palace is where activities and games take place. The resort has entertainers that ask questions for prizes (mostly minor ones), organize water basketball and water/beach volleyball games, play music, lead water aerobics classes, and more. At first it was slightly entertaining to watch all the activities going on around the pool, but after a few days, the noise and hype got to be a bit much for me. Head up to the pools on the roof (keep reading) for a more quiet atmosphere.
On the top/roof floor of the hotel, there are two smaller pools with swim-up bars and two hot tubs. Both of the hot tubs up here were about as warm as the water in the pools. While we were here, only one swim-up bar was open, presumably because it was not busy. The pools up here were clean and inviting. The fitness room is also located up here on the roof. Restrooms are located very close to all of the pools.
You really can’t beat the beach in the Cancun hotel zone. Our hotel faced the beach, with its beautiful blue-green waters. The water was a little rough at times and lifeguards limited areas where people could swim. The water was relatively shallow, with soft, cinnamon sugar colored sand, and little seaweed. This beach isn’t really one to collect seashells, but it was relatively clean outside the resort. Other areas further down the beach were littered with old seaweed and trash.
The beach area of Beach Palace has lounge chairs, umbrellas, and upscale cabanas for VIPs (presumably members of their vacation club). A lifeguard is positioned on the beach right outside the resort. Also, pool bar service does extend to those on the beach. Beach volleyball, soccer, and other activities are sometimes organized here. In addition, there are two rinse off stations before heading back to the resort.
Dining at Beach Palace has many options. All places to eat are on the main floor of the hotel or near the pools, with the exception of the sports bar on the mezzanine level. All of the restaurants are located next to each other because of their use of a centralized kitchen.
BUFFET – Tequila is the international buffet (dress code: casual) where we did most of our dining. Breakfast offered made to order eggs, omelettes, pancakes, french toast, and waffles. Other items in the buffet included potatoes, cereals, pastries and breads, fresh fruit, and more. The buffet had basically anything you could think of for breakfast, although the only thing my kids were missing was donuts! Waiters served water and a variety of drinks, and were very friendly. Lunch and dinner was just as plentiful as breakfast, with cheeses, salads, pastas, hot dishes, and made to order fajitas, burgers, hot dogs, and various meats cooked just for you. I was so pleased in the buffet’s variety. As a vegetarian, I never had to settle on just a salad. There were always different rices, pastas, cooked vegetables, and vegetable fajitas. There was even a falafel dish served one night! Desserts were numerous, including freshly made ice cream, petit fours, and cakes.
All refrigerated items on display at the buffet were plated on a frozen slab to keep the food cold and preserved. In addition, everything at the buffet was well labeled in both English and Spanish so you knew exactly what you were eating.
TABLE SERVICE – There are three places to dine at while at Beach Palace where you are served your meal. Wok, specializes in Asian cuisine, Bocelli specializes in Italian food, and La Terraza (on the outside terrace near the buffet) specializes in fine grill cuts. We did not eat at Wok, but we did have nice meals at Bocelli and La Terraza. No reservations are necessary at any table service restaurant.
SPORTS BAR – Located on the mezzanine level, the sports bar is a large open space that features many televisions, plenty of seating, and pool tables. There is also a small display of finger foods and fresh popped popcorn. Service is offered both at the bar and while seated at the tables. The popcorn was a nice treat, but I didn’t care for any of the small appetizers available. Karaoke and other nightly activities often occur here in the sports bar.
SWEET & COFFEE – This is a small elevated building outside near the pool. Here you can order and receive crepes, cookies, salads, panini, pastries, ice cream, and coffee drinks.
POOL AND SNACK BARS – The pool bars have very friendly bartenders and servers who roam the pool deck and beach for orders. It seemed like the drinks were light on the alcohol unless you asked for them stronger. My kids loved getting unlimited virgin mudslides and pina coladas! Around lunch, people start ordering food from the pool bar and it can get busy, making it hard to get service. The menu for the bar was very limited for myself as a vegetarian. They only had a vegetable panini, raw veggies or fruit for vegetarians.
Most of the days we were at the resort, there was a late lunch buffet that was poolside. Hamburgers, french fries, corn, nachos, and made to order meats were available.
My only complaint from our whole dining experience at Beach Palace was about the wine. The resort has a large wall-sized wine rack with many different wines near the lobby. When I inquired into their red wines (at both the buffet and table service restaurants), they only offered two – a merlot and cabernet sauvignon. However, there was a pinot noir, zinfandel, shiraz, and more on their rack. I really got sick of drinking the same two wines while I was there. (Plus they were not of the highest caliber.) Why have all these wines on display if you’re not going to serve them?
To be honest, I was mildly concerned about the drinking water in Mexico. There are obviously lots of stories of tourists getting ill from contaminated water and ruining what was supposed to be a fun vacation. However, my family and I had no issues whatsoever. Two large bottles of water were left for us in our room. Also, the restaurants served bottled water. I imagine that most of the hotels in the hotel zone in Mexico have a purification system to protect the tourists. We ate salads, raw vegetables, ice, and more and were fine.
Some theorize that tourists get sick not from contaminated water, but from being out all day in the heat, not being adequately hydrated, drinking too much alcohol, or eating food from a buffet that isn’t properly cooled or heated. Food-bourne illness or severe dehydration can mimic the symptoms of drinking contaminated water. It’s important to take care of yourself while on vacation and pay attention to what you eat and drink. Make your vacation memorable for the good memories you made, not the bad ones.
At all Palace resorts, guests who stay 5-8 nights are given a $1,500 credit towards activities and services offered at the resort. (Guests who stay 3 nights or more receive resort credits based on how long their stay is.) However, you must pay a 16% service fee based on how much the activity is. For example, if a family of four is going on a tour of Chichen Itza, the $160 price per person becomes $640 for the family. The portion you pay out of pocket is 16% or $102.40. Different activities are offered at different Palace Resorts. At Beach Palace, you can spend your resort credits on:
Most of the activities are coordinated through Aquaworld, a large company that specializes in boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, day tours, and various water activities. Click here to visit their website to learn more about some of these Beach Palace activities.
There are Beach Palace employees that sit in desks near the lobby to help you plan and book your resort activities. You must book these activities and services in advance, as some are not offered everyday.
Also, you can only use a limited number of resort credits on spa services and the “Vacation Memories” package (professional family photos taken on the beach). There are often additional hidden fees like an $8 per person pier/docking fee on boat tours or transportation not being included. Beach Palace is pretty clear about these hidden fees but you have to read the information closely. At one point, our activity coordinator offered us an additional $750 in resort credits to watch some kind of presentation, presumably a presentation on their time share or vacation club of Palace Resorts. We didn’t take the offer.
If you’d like more information on their resort credits, click here to go to the Palace Resorts webpage. I will have more information on what we did with our resort credits (and a complete review) in a future post.
Additional amenities include:
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Beach Palace. We recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, tropical escape from the everyday.