Welcome back! It’s been a minute!
Thanks to COVID still being a thing, we unfortunately only took one trip in 2021. With our one and only trip in 2021, we decided to visit Mexico & Paradisus Cancún for the first time.
Now residing in Florida, we flew out of Tampa International Airport for the first time for this trip. We flew on JetBlue which had a direct route from Tampa to Cancún (CUN). We always prefer direct flights as it’s far more convenient but sometimes the cost is prohibitive. It was quite affordable compared to Miami International (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
The flight itself was non-eventful (good) and we landed in Cancún just 2hrs later.
Even during these crazy COVID times, there were no restrictions or testing once we landed. Simply get off the plane and enjoy your vacation! Once we got through customs and security, which was a breeze (almost no line and took 10 minutes tops) we headed outside to wait for our transfer to Paradisus. As always, Otium Tour was prompt and we did not have to wait long. We’ve used Otium three times now for our transfers (both times in Punta Cana and now once in Cancún) and it is always a great experience.
After arriving at the main entrance of the resort, we were greeted by Paradisus staff who pleasantly got our bags checked with the bellhop and took us to reception to the left of the main entrance. The check-in was smooth, we were given wrist bands which acted as our room keys. However, our room was not ready yet because we arrived at 11:30AM. As a result, we had to wait about 1.5hrs for them to get a room ready. Fortunately, we were checked-in which allowed us to enjoy the resort even without a room so we headed to Malva, the main restaurant, to enjoy breakfast.
We had requested a room away from the entertainment center as we aren’t really ‘partiers’ and Paradisus Cancún did their best to accommodate. The room we had booked during our reservation process was the Junior Suite Lagoon View but once we got to our room, 4114, we found that it was actually an upgrade One Bedroom Master Suite Lagoon View, located in pyramid 4 on the 1st floor across from the YHI Spa.
Similarly, to Paradisus Grand Cana, the room was disinfected prior to our arrival with a seal on the door signifying as much. The room was pristine when we entered. The One Bedroom Master Suite Lagoon View has your typical bedroom but also has a living area and an extra bathroom/shower/tub which is convenient if you are staying with at least one other person! However, the room did have some issues. Mainly things like power outlets being flimsy, some of the doors being tough to open, etc.
However, about 6 days into our stay part of the ceiling near the shower head in one of the bathrooms peeled away and was hanging down (due to the moisture I’m assuming). To the Paradisus’ credit, they moved us to a new room within 2hrs. The new room was actually the type we had originally booked, the Junior Suite Lagoon View. This room was also located in pyramid 4 but on the 3rd floor, room 4311. It was almost directly above our first room. This room type only has one bathroom and no living area.
Pools. Do you like to swim? Because Paradisus Cancún has options. The resort has one pool that is dedicated for the resorts Reserve members, one pool directly across from The Lunch Box restaurant and another very large main pool which contains the swim up bar, kids/shallow area, etc.
The number of pools at the resort made it easy to find one to relax in far away from others and enjoy some quite relaxation in the water. If you wanted something livelier, the main pool was always ready. However, compared to other resorts we’ve been too, the pool water at Paradisus Cancún was pretty chilly. We found that the smaller pool near The Lunch Box was a little warmer though due to likely having to cycle less water, allowing for the sun to heat it a bit more.
The resort offers various activities by the pool most days. One day they had aqua gym, another day they had a mini-obstacle course, etc.
Paradisus Cancún generally speaking is a nice resort. All of the walkways, lawns, gardens, etc. are well manicured and taken care of. There was no issue getting around. We absolutely loved the environmentally friendly green feel of the resort interior; it was very unique. However, the resort is currently undergoing renovation of the main pyramid atrium area so there is a bit of dust and a lot of noise during daytime hours. I wish the hotel would have mentioned this during the booking process as it may have swayed our decision to book. However, the staff does their best to clean up after themselves and we frequently saw staff cleaning windows that surround the atrium area, etc.
One other thing I wanted to call out for those who are sensitive to smells; the resort has diffusers spread around the entire facility which spray various smells into the air. Sometimes we would smell something that can be best described as cologne (and personally it was quite strong and overbearing) but in other areas the smell was much more pleasant and fruitier in nature. Just something to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, the beach at Paradisus Cancún was the biggest let down of our trip. While the water temperature was perfect for November and the color was an amazing blue, the strength of the waves (regardless of time of day or weather) and the amount of large boulders or rocks a few feet into the water meant that we pretty much didn’t go in the ocean water and spent all of our time swimming in the pool. I had attempted to go into the ocean the first day we were there but stubbed my pinky toe on a large rock thanks to a large wave on the way in. In addition, there is very little beach real estate as the waves, in some areas, are right up against the hotel. During peak season, this can make it tough to find a place to put your towel down, etc.
I am not sure if the beach is this rocky in other parts of the Hotel Zone of Cancún but unfortunately for Paradisus Cancún, if we were looking to book again, it would be a deal breaker. It can be quite dangerous.
Paradisus Cancún Dining Options
Paradisus Cancún offers many choices for food on the all-inclusive plan. We tried a few of them but liked the Malva Food Bazaar/buffet the most. The other restaurant options at the resort that were available to us were: Sal Steak Cave (steakhouse), Cielo (Contemporary Mexican), Lunch Box (Latin American), Agua Marina (Seafood), Cappella (Italian American), Blue Agave (Typical Mexican). We did not go to all of them.
Overall, the food was good enough but not great enough to rave about or truly savor. There were a couple of dinners at Malva where we only had 2-3 things on our plate and walked away not starving but still on the hungrier side. More often than not, even under heating lamps, the food would be lukewarm by the time you got to your table from the Malva buffet. Much of the food was a bit bland. The lines for the specialty stations (omelets, etc.) were long and moved slowly depending on what cook was working. Of the all-inclusive resorts we’ve been too, this was probably the worst food experience.
If one of your main wishes from your vacation is to enjoy great food, Paradisus Cancún may not be for you. You can see a walk around of Malva during various meal times in the Resort video at the bottom of the article.
Service at Paradisus Cancún
The service of staff at Paradisus Cancún was very good. Only twice in 8 days did we have to wait more than a few minutes for someone to bring us drinks, etc. The staff recognized us and knew what we were going to order before we even told them. I find that leaving them $2 USD each meal helps ensure great service. They were always polite and eager to be of service. This was an improvement from Paradisus Grand Cana where staff was nice, but sparse.
I’d like to specifically call out Alexis and Eduardo who worked at Malva. Alexis was our go to waiter for breakfast and lunch at Malva and was a pleasure. Eduardo was a waiter who waited on us once but someone we bumped into on the streets of Isla Mujeres during our excursion. He recognized me by my hat and helped us get a great rate on a golf cart rental and provided us with a map of the island. GREAT guy! Eduardo, if you happen to ever read this, THANK YOU!
Each guest is assigned a concierge who communicates with you via WhatsApp. Our concierge Juan Carlos did a good job in making reservations for us at the restaurants, spa, etc. The reception desk staff was also very good at their job and made the process of check-in and check-out painless.
Excursions were the highlight of our trip to Cancún. Having previously booked transfers with Otium Tours, I had received a 10% off coupon in my email that I was able to use on our tours/excursions. We decided to take in the Chichen Itza as well as Isla Mujeres and absolutely enjoyed both. I strongly recommend booking with Otium Tours even though there may be cheaper options on the beach as it is a painless process and well organized. In addition, more things (like lunch) are included.
You can view the excursion highlight videos below!
COVID Testing at Paradisus Cancún
Everyone’s favorite worry is still around. Luckily, Paradisus Cancún makes it pretty easy to get your test done before your departure so you can board your plane back home. When you first check-in and meet with your concierge, they will send you a link to apply for an appointment slot. The whole process took about 5 minutes to get both of us appointments.
The only downside is that when we arrived for our scheduled appointment, the onsite clinic was running behind schedule so our 9:30AM appointment turned into a 10:15AM test. From my understanding, it may have been a one-off situation as the workers hit some traffic on the way to the resort in the morning.
Paradisus Cancún Video Highlights
Overall Thoughts on Paradisus Cancún
Having never been to Mexico previously, I’d say that Paradisus Cancún is a decent choice overall. There were things that were good and things that were bad or not great, but all in all we had a good time (especially at the excursions) and would consider coming back to the country again although we would likely consider a different Paradisus/Melia resort on any follow up trip.
Have you stayed at Paradisus Cancún? What did you think? If you were to go again, would you do anything differently? Tell me in the comments below and let me know if my review of Paradisus Cancún helped.