cancun beach

Where to stay in Cancun?

In CANCUN, MEXICO, QUINTANA ROO by Isabella BiavaLeave a Comment

So you have picked Cancun as your next destination but now you need to decide where to stay in Cancun?

I bet you feel overwhelmed by the long list of hotels and homes to choose from

I hear you.

In Cancun, there are about 300 hotels if you count the small ones and the bed and breakfast in downtown. 

In this post, I will give you my top favorite hotels for each area in Cancun, the fancy hotel zone, the more authentic Down Town, the new development Playa Mujeres.

There are many types of hotels to choose from, depending on what kind of vacation you are planning to have. A romantic experience, a friend getaway, a party weekend? Or a family gathering.

I will tell you all about it and at the end of this article,  you will have a better idea on where to stay in Cancun and you will be ready to book your stay.



cancun beach

Cancun Hotel Zone – Adult only All-inclusive Cancun hotels

The Hotel Zone stretches out for 26 Km along the beach and on the Av. Kukulkan. This is where the top all-inclusive hotels are located but also the spectacular beach that made Cancun one of the top beach destinations in the world. In the hotel zone, you can also find amazing nightclubs for your night entertainment, restaurants, and the luxury mall Plaza la Isla.

I wrote a post about all the things you can do in Cancun where you can read more details about this vibrant city.

Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun 💰💰💰💰

Located on one of the best stretches of beach of Cancun, Playa Marlin, and right opposite to the luxury mall La Isla, Live Aqua Beach Resort is one of the top All-inclusive Adult only Luxury hotels in Cancun. Besides the elegant spacious accommodations facing the turquoise ocean, the hotel offers world-class cuisine in its multiple restaurant choices and a personalized exceptional service.

The Aqua’s extensive spa offers hydrotherapy treatments, massage, and aromatherapy. There are also hot tubs and steam baths. There is a gym available, while yoga classes are also available.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Le Blanc Spa Resort 💰💰💰💰💰

One of the finest all-inclusive adult-only resorts, Le Blanc Spa is the crown jewel of the Palace Resorts brand. Guests are raving about the outstanding personalized service, the impeccable room equipped with modern and elegant furniture and exclusive amenities, the fine restaurants, and the pristine spacious beach.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I I Le Blanc Spa Resort 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Hyatt Zilara 💰💰💰💰

The most affordable and yet luxury all-inclusive Adult only resort in Cancun, Hyatt Zilara is part of the well renowned Playa resorts group, a guarantee of quality and high standard of service.

This relatively new property located on the spectacular Cancun beach will not disappoint you either. A little less pricy than the other hereby mentioned resorts, and still a great hotel for your luxury adult-only vacation in Cancun.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Secrets The Vine 💰💰💰💰

The AAA Four Diamond Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa is a  stylish property featuring 6 restaurants, 3an outdoor swimming pools, and a spa.

I had the fortune to spend 4 nights in this amazing hotel as an internal auditor, and my favorite parts of my stay were the spacious room with a modern decor and an open shower and the amazing life-changing spa treatments

 All rooms offer sea views.

Now The Vine has developed a free connectivity app exclusively for its guests. With this app, guests can make unlimited free phone calls and send free messages around the globe from their own mobiles and tablets.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Cancun Hotel Zone: family resorts

Hyatt Ziva 💰💰💰💰

I have to admit that although I am not a big fan of All-Inclusive I reckon that there are brands that are able to make the all-inclusive a very exclusive experience (pun intended) HYATT resorts is one of them. I know the brand as I have stayed in one of their resort in Jamaica when they opened and it was impeccable, in service, culinary choices, and quality of the room and amenities. I know they keep their standard throughout their resorts especially the new ones, like the ones in Cancun. Another thing I like about  Hyatt is that they keep separated the family resort suitable for kids from the adults’ resort, suitable for couples and adults alike in search of peace and tranquillity.

In this way, they can differentiate the services that they offer and specifically aim to satisfy their audience in a better way, almost personalizing the service. Therefore if you have kids you can choose the HYATT ZIVA, which is actually located in Punta Cancun, 5 minutes walk to the night entertainments, but still far from the noise of the main road, so you can enjoy peace and tranquillity on one of the best stretch of beaches of Cancun.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Fiesta Americana Condesa 💰💰💰

This family-friendly resort offers an over-the-top service to make the entire family feel at home. The new spa is known as one of the best in Cancun to pumper the adults while the kids are well entertained in the Kids club.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Cancun Down Town Area Hotels 

The downtown area in Cancun revolves around Avenida Tulum, where the Plaza Las Americas mall is, so popular among locals and tourists alike, and located right in front of the Malecon, a promenade by the Nichupte Lagoon where people gather for exercising in the morning or evening when the temperature lowers.

Downtown Cancun is also where you can check out the colorful Mercado 28 for souvenir shopping and Mercado 23 where locals do their errands.

Avenida Nader is the new cool, where you would want to go for the best restaurants in Cancun and bars and coffee shops.

From there you are at only a few km from the Cancun beach zone through the Avenida Kukulkan where buses run daily every few minutes

Hotel Kavia 💰💰

Strategically located right behind the Avenida Tulum, the main close to the colorful Mercado 28 and the ADO bus station, this convenient hotel offers decent modern rooms for a modest price. Perfect for the laidback travelers who prefer to live like a local and are budget conscious but still love comfort.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Selina Down Town Cancun 💰💰💰

Selina hotels have made a name for themselves for their artsy colorful properties, with modern design and entertainment for the young crowd. They offer a hostel type of accommodation with dormitories but also private rooms. I have stayed at the downtown Salina hotel in Cancun and I was quite impressed. The private room was quite spacious and comfortable and the entire property walls were painted with beautiful artworks. The common area around the pool was pretty nice too although I didn’t have the time to enjoy it.  I can totally recommend it. It’s also conveniently located at one block from the ADO bus station and to Mercado 28.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Adhara Hacienda Cancun 💰💰💰

(Property closed until November 30th, 2020)

Located in the heart of Cancun, at a short walk from Mercado 28, ADO bus station, and the vibrant Avenida Nader that has become the heart of the nightlife in Cancun, with fancy bars and restaurants.  The hotel provides free shuttle service to the beach along with on-site dining options a pool and many modern amenities.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Oh! The Urban Oasis 💰💰💰💰

This modern and trendy hotel, together with its sister property Smart by Oasis Cancun offers a special place of peace and tranquillity in the chaotic downtown Cancun and at a few steps from the bus stop to the beach and hotel zone. The spacious modern rooms also make it a great hotel for corporate stays, while the nightclub is one of the top venues for a night out in Cancun.

Check rates & availability:  Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

cancun beach

Cancun Luxury Hotels in Playa Mujeres

Playa Mujeres or also called Costa Mujeres is a new development where many popular brands have built a new addition to their All-inclusive fleet.

It’s a secluded area on the northern coast of Cancun.

Here you will find the top luxury all-inclusive properties new and with the most modern amenities.

This location is recommendable only for those who are not interested to go out every day and explore, as it’s quite far away from everything else.

Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort All Inclusive – Adults Only 💰💰💰💰💰

Tucked away from the busy Cancun city center, this Secret playa offers an array of activities to its guests to keep them busy from morning to night for their entire holiday. Not to mention that Secrets Playa Mujeres guests have also access to the sister property Dreams, a family hotel of the same company, offering great options and multiple choices.  Among all the hotel features Secrets Playa Mujeres offers 2 outdoor pools, 4 hot tubs, and a spa and wellness center. The ultra-luxury resort is also strategically situated right next to an 18-hole, signature Greg Norman golf course.

Each suite besides a flat-screen cable TV, coffee maker and iPod dock also boasts a spa bath, minibar, and a small seating area. Tablets are featured in all suites with complete hotel information.

You also have a dining choice among 9 fine restaurants.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Villa del Palmar Cancun All Inclusive Beach Resort and Spa 💰💰💰

This great hotel at only few miles from Punta Sam ferry to Isla Mujeres, is one of the first establishment of this area, an extended property with all the facilities to entertain their guests. The spacious rooms are more like apartments as they include a full kitchen and a dining area, besides a spacious balcony with stunning views.

A buffet breakfast is served on the terrace or in the dining room plus the hotel includes a Deli and 6 restaurants serving international food.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres – All Inclusive 💰💰💰💰💰

Majestic Elegance is one of the finest all-inclusive resorts offering outstanding service, and superb dining experience. The spectacular and spacious rooms are finely decorated with a modern and elegant feel and include world-class amenities.

Watersport activities and day and night entertainment are available as well.

Check rates & availability: I Agoda I 

Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Hotels in Cancun

Aerial view @ Ziva. Photo courtesy of Playa Hotels and Resorts

Choose an apartment on Airbnb

Staying in an apartment in Cancun could be another amazing alternative to a hotel.

I use Airbnb a lot during my journey because as a long term traveler I love the comfort of being in my own home, and cook my own meals when I am not trying local restaurants.

Also, I am attracted by amazing houses that you can find on Airbnb.

In Cancun as well you can find any sort of place for any price and location.

The website is very user friendly and it shows the reviews from the previous clients so that you can make sure it’s the right place for you.

If you haven’t an Airbnb account yet, use my link to get a discount on your first booking.

Otherwise use the below box to explore your apartment options in Cancun.


First time in Cancun?

Here is my top travel tips for a quick overview!




  • November to April is the best time of the year to visit Cancun because it’s a less humid and lower chance of rains, while September and October are the rainiest months. However, I wouldn’t really bother. You never know with the weather.
  • You can pay with credit cards almost everywhere but it’s better to travel with some local cash to pay in markets or street vendors.
  • Make sure you book your transfer before your arrival in Cancun or check the ADO bus schedule.
  • You want to know in advance what to pack and what to expect when you arrive at the Cancun airport.
  • Cancun is a great destination either for family, couples or solo travelers. There’s everything for every taste and budget.
  • Watersport’s lovers will find their heaven on earth as both on the beachside or on the lagoon there are plenty of activities to choose from, including kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, kite surfing, jetpack and much more.
  • Don’t miss to visit the local market, Mercado 23, where real life happens.
  • Cancun is still a safe city to travel to, despite some recent facts, but you still need to use common sense, as I better explain in this thorough guide on safety in Mexico
  • If you feel safer with organized tours check out these Cancun tours that will take you around exploring this amazing region.

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Book Your Trip: Practical Tips and Tricks

Book your accommodation

I use most of all I find it very convenient because it shows all kinds of accommodations, from hostels to villas to hotels. I love the layout of the site and the comments of the previous guests. And they always have great deals.

However, I always recommend to check out different sites and compare them. I come from the travel industry and I know for a fact that hotels agree from time to time with different tour operators to make special exclusive deals. So maybe one day you will find a great deal with and the other day with Expedia or for the same hotel. So it is always worth checking them all. Of course, there are many other booking sites, but these are the ones I feel more comfortable with.

Now you have to know that Expedia and belong to the same company Expedia Group, together with many other sites, but they still display different rates as they have different targets. I know it sounds odd, but it is what it is.

Last but not least, always check the hotel web page because sometimes they have a better deal. Even better if you can call the hotel directly and ask if they have a special rate for those dates that you want to book. They might give you an offer in order not to lose a potential client.

I also check the reviews on TripAdvisor, both for hotels and tours. It doesn’t cost a thing and it helps a lot in choosing. You can also check their prices and compare them as well.

Book your flight

For flights, I use Skyscanner, Expedia,,  Google flights as well. The same rule applies: always compare. They are all good because they are aggregators which means that they compare prices from different sites and airlines. However, it’s always good to double-check with the airline site directly.

Don’t forget your travel insurance

I couldn’t have one while I was traveling in Mexico because I am a resident there, but as soon as I left I purchased my insurance with World Nomads. After research on the web and through friends I found World Nomads to be the most used and the most reliable when it comes not only to sickness but also missed flights, credit card issues, and extreme sports. Whatever insurance you decide to get, that’s fine though, as long as you have one. I just can’t imagine being stuck in a place sick and miserable and not being able to get the necessary treatments because I can’t afford it, or having to ask my parents or friends to support me. For me, it is super important and I can never recommend it enough. The only problem with World Nomads it’s that it is very expensive. So you can also have a look at SafetyWing which is a great alternative and very cheap. The only issue it’s that it doesn’t include electronics and extreme sports. So make sure you check what’s included.

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