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 Hotels  in Cancun

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Hotel Zone 

If you are craving posh accommodations with wide beds, room service and ocean views, then head for the Hotel Zone. The hotels are there for one reason alone: to pamper you with their beauty salons, spas, fully equipped gymnasiums, pools, water sports facilities, restaurants and bars. Standard rooms are equipped with air conditioning, mini-bars, safes, hair dryers, private baths and satellite television. In the all-inclusive resorts there is a daily schedule planned of games and activities and, in the evening, themed night parties complete with food, beverages and entertainment. Mexican, Italian and Caribbean themes seem to be the most popular. Of course all this luxury doesn’t come cheap, unless you shop around for a package deal. 

The Hotel Zone is shaped like the number seven. The top extends east from the mainland into the Caribbean; Punta Cancun is the corner at which point the Zone heads south ending at Punta Nizuc where the road curves west to the airport. Older hotels are at the north end, the newer ones at the south. Boulevard Kukulcán is the main road and, because it’s less than 1 km wide, you can see both the Caribbean and the lagoons from either side. If you want to be where the action is, pick a hotel along the northern shore, or near Punta Cancún. Here, all the clubs, bars, restaurants and discos are within walking distance. At times, this area resembles Miami with its neon lights, fast food outlets and brand-name stores. If you want something quieter but still within a short taxi ride to the shopping, restaurants, and water sports, stay in the middle of the north-south stretch. The most remote and most luxurious hotels are found at the south end and are suitable for those who want to stick close to home or have a car. It’s a long haul to the clubs, restaurants and downtown from there. 

Downtown Hotels

Downtown is divided into neighborhoods called Super Manzanas (SM), each with its own park. The smaller side streets curve around the parks while the main streets curve around the whole manzanas. Avenida Tulum is the main street where many of the hotels are located. Other hotels are located within walking distance of Av. Tulum. 

Downtown hotels have a more modest charm. They are also half the price of a Hotel Zone room so staying in them allows you to visit a world-class resort while on a budget. What these hotels lack in luxury they make up for in color and individuality. Another bonus is that you are within walking distance of the markets and many fine restaurants that are more authentic (and therefore less costly) than in the Hotel Zone. You will also have a chance to meet the locals and practice your Spanish, if you choose to stay downtown.

Rooms have the basic amenities: hot water, overhead fans (you pay extra for air conditioning), double beds and private baths. Some even have pools. However, television is usually just the local Spanish channels (which can be an interesting cultural experience – the Price is Right in Spanish is kind of bizarre.) Many of the downtown hotels have free shuttle bus service down to the beaches in the Hotel Zone, but if not, buses and taxis to the Hotel Zone are frequent and cheap. 

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