Flight: flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner in premium both ways - crew excellent & lots of drinks offered. Landed early at Cancun but had to wait a while for a gate before we could disembark.
Took us about an hour to get through Cancun airport & managed to get the green light at Customs. I'd ripped off our Thomson hand luggage labels before we got to the time share tank, but they're still persistent. A few 'no, gracias' & we were outside to meet our USA Transfers greeter for the journey to the hotel.
Check-in was quick & easy, given a fruity melon cocktail & a nice cold towel. We'd booked a honeymoon room & were given 4202 which was on the top floor in the Luna building. We walked to our room rather than grab a lift with our luggage, as we were too excited to wait!
Room: air conditioning worked very well, lovely big comfy bed. Shower was massive, although the water pressure wasn't too good sometimes & on one occasion the water came out a funny orangey brown. Bathroom was stocked with shampoo, shower gel, body lotion, soap & a few other bits such as a comb, sewing kit etc.
Plenty of storage space in both the wardrobe & drawers. The fridge was well stocked with soft drinks, beer & water. A 4 cup coffee maker is also supplied on the separate desk..Had a separate table & chairs in the corner, which came in handy for room service.
Our balcony had a hammock, along with a table & 2 chairs, although we did take the hammock down as we thought it took up too much room.
Beach & pool: stunning, looked exactly the same as the pictures in the brochure. White soft sand & a gorgeous blue sea. Pool was a nice size & we were glad there wasn't a swim up bar.
The towel game was in effect when we were there, especially on the beach with the palapas, which was entertaining to watch. Plenty of palapas around the pool if you need shade. The chill out area has a small plunge pool with daybeds scattered around if you fancy an afternoon snooze.
Food: breakfast buffet was large & varied, loved the freshly made omelettes & eggs. Plenty of healthy options to choose from if you wanted, such as fresh fruit, muesli etc. Loved being able to have smoked salmon with my scrambled eggs. Didn't think much of the orange juice, tasted far too sweet for our liking. Loved the coffee machines & being able to get an espresso or cappuccino at any time was great.
We tried all of the a la cartes & thought the Mexican (Centenario) was the worst - food was cold, stodgy & plain unappealing & we never stayed for dessert. Our favourite was the tapas (Terrace), along with the great cocktails:) The Italian (Toscana), the Thai (Tao Cat) & the steak house (Royal Grill) were all nice & we had some great meals in there.
Had the continental breakfast one morning at the pool snack bar which was fine - croissants, toast & fresh fruit.
The lunch buffet was good, again, plenty of choice with grilling stations for meat, fish & a pasta station too. Loved the ice cream there, but never did get to try the coconut one! Dinner buffet was just average, although there was always something you could find to eat.
Drinks: we felt some were watered down on occasion, especially the beer at the poolside snack bar. Hubby said the white house wine was drinkable, although he did buy a few bottles of Rose for some evening meals. If you feel your drink is a bit weak, just ask the bar staff to add more vodka etc & they'll happily oblige:)
Grounds - it was nice being able to take the short stroll from our room block to the lobby / pool / beach. It took about 5 minutes at a very leisurely pace, looking at all the wildlife such as the coatis, squirrels & iguanas. It was very peaceful at night, sitting on the balcony having a drink before going for dinner. There's also a beautiful little grey cat that sits on the wall in the evening near to building 2, who's rather partial to pouches of chicken Whiskas:)
A few times a week the hotel brought in outside vendors that would set up their stalls just outside the lobby, be prepared to haggle!
Entertainment: never went to the disco or any evening shows, so can't comment on those. Yes, there is the Veraclub there for the Italian guests, but they did come round & interact with you & we never felt excluded. Also didn't find the music played during the activities on the beach & around the pool loud, & I like my music loud sometimes:)
Tipping: we tipped every day, not because we felt obliged to, but because we received great service. The staff work so hard on a daily basis to make sure you have a great holiday. We didn't see many Brits tipping when we were there, which was a shame.
Staff: We had great service from all the staff we encountered during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble for them & when they say 'it's my pleasure', they actually mean it. A BIG thank you to reception for dealing with the drunken problem neighbours in 4203 who proceeded to smash up their balcony & room the first Saturday we were there & kept everyone around them awake till 3.45am. Glad they were moved!
Another thank you to Armando & Daniel in the buffet, Aremy the poolside waitress, Paulina the lobby waitress & Gener our housekeeping person, for the great service we received:)
Would we recommend this hotel? Yes, without a doubt. We enjoyed it so much; we're looking forward to returning.
Travel operator: Thomson
Hotel tip: Ask for a room on the top floor as these get the sun & are handy for drying things on your balcony
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