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Cancún is beautiful, exotic, and on a spectacular stretch of white sandy coastline. It’s also extremely popular with folk who want a holiday where they can really let their hair down. But it doesn’t have to a glitzy, party destination, and some of our Guru’s picks of the best places to stay in Cancún are peaceful and idyllic spots overlooking perfect, yet private beaches.
Cancún is in the heart of Quintana Roo, a fascinating region known for its Mayan treasures, hidden in the jungle, so there’s plenty of exploring to do, and some of the best places to stay in Cancún are really geared up to helping you do that. But if you’re looking for a colourful city with sophisticated seafood restaurants and pristine white sands and turquoise waters, then there are also hotels specialising in providing you with just that.
The city of Cancún is easy to get around: the city is to the north, the airport to the south and in between, on the stretch of land between the sea and the lagoon, is the Hotel Zone, where you’ll find all the big hotels, the beaches and beach bars etc.. The Hotel Zone is also where you’ll find the excellent aquarium. Taking a trip out to one of the islands is a nice thing to do, and you can do a spot of dicing or snorkelling with it if you fancy it. Isla Mujeres is an obvious choice, but Isla Contoy is known for its natural beauty and as a nesting site for over 150 different kinds of seabirds. The Museo Maya de Cancún is also worth visiting. And the markets are very popular also. And even if you’re here to relax and enjoy yourself rather than see the sights, it’s still worth taking the trip out to Chichén Itzá.
Cancún is a popular destination - it’s been carefully planned and designed to be a tourist draw: before the 70s there was nothing here at all but pristine white sand and the Mayan ruins half hidden in the beautiful jungle - so in the season, which is between December and April, it can be really busy. But it’s quieter in the summer, which can be really hot, and early autumn. And if you’re booking during hurricane season make sure you buy travel insurance, as this stretch of coast gets hit about once a decade.
The Best Places to Stay in Cancún
- The Hotel Secreto on the Isla Mujeres, just off the coast of Cancún is a luxurious, 12 room boutique hotel in an extremely private spot overlooking its own private beach. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows overlooking the infinity pool and the beach, and original art works. Apparently the bar serves dangerously good Margaritas.
- The Nizuc Resort & Spa has a beachfront spot on the Punta Nizuc, which is just out of Cancún proper, and offers panoramic views of the Caribbean. This is a big hotel - with 274 rooms and suites - with chic, contemporary decor, a luxurious spa and a choice of six onsite restaurants.
- Slightly further from Cancún, Kin Sol Soleil is a tranquil, ten room property set right against a beautiful, white sandy beach. There’s a wonderful Mexican flavour to the decor: think whitewashed walls, antique furniture and contemporary art. Plus there’s a stunning pool and an authentic Mexican restaurant. And you’re close to the ruin-littered jungle…
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Cancún for you?
Best Hotels in Cancún
Nizuc Resort & Spa 274 rooms from $520Cancún (21.26,)
Nizuc Resort & Spa enjoys a beachfront location on the secluded Punta Nizuc and offers beautiful panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. This designer hotel features chic and contemporary accommodation whilst you can spend your days lounging carefree by the seaside. A luxurious and top-notch stay!Total relaxation - There are a variety of treatements on offer at the luxurious spa or you can book yourself a massage to truly unwindFoodies - Take advantage of the six on site restaurants serving Mexican, Peruvian, Asian and Mediterranean cuisineOutstanding locationSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.