Ritz Carlton Cancun

White Line

Ritz Carlton Cancun - Grand Hotel - An Honest Review

Table of Contents

The Grand Hotel Cancun used to be the Ritz Carlton Mexico and is now managed by the Kempinski hotel group. It still has a traditional and old-fashioned glitz and glamour. The hotel is ideal for those who want to experience luxury at the beach. The hotel has exceptional facilities, food, and drinks along with excellent service which makes it one of the best hotels in the busiest tourist zone of Mexico.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


The Ambience at the Grand Hotel

During our visit to The Grand Hotel Cancun, we found out that it was about to mark its 25th year since opening in 1993. Despite the numerous new hotels that have been constructed throughout the Riviera Maya all the way to Tulum, The Grand Hotel Cancun is still  a prominent hotel. Although there are now more large all-inclusive resorts, there’s also a recent rise in smaller, more private lodging options that provide more tailored service and seclusion.

The Grand Hotel Cancun has a classic or old-fashioned feel to it, even in 2017. It is located in the Hotel Zone strip and is a large, palatial sand-colored building that has 363 rooms.

As you arrive at the hotel entrance, the staff in the resort will collect your bags and park your car for you for an extra $20 fee per night. If you decide not to use the hotel parking service, you will need to find parking on the surrounding streets, which can be difficult due to the limited availability of spaces. The check-in process may feel a bit rushed and disorganized, especially during peak hours when there may be a small queue. Overall, this welcome experience may add some stress to the beginning of your stay.

You can easily reach: Bus stop, nice Restaurants, Clubs and bars like Coco bongo, the Senor Frogm, La Vaquita, , The City and others.

)Train station and beach are nearby. Grocery stores and a Walmart. You can do some souvenir shopping at  Plaza Kukulkan, Plaza las Americas, La Isla Walmart and Other malls. You can also reach Mercado 28 with a taxi or rental car (using an uber is not recommended while in Cancun

The hotel has a luxurious lobby and hallways decorated with marble floors, grand chandeliers, and paintings of old aristocracy. The vintage charm of the hotel is complemented by the unexpected art. The hotel is spacious and has lush greenery with long corridors branching out from the main lobby.

The Rooms

The bedrooms in the resort have balconies that face the ocean. However, there are balconies located above and to the sides of the bedrooms that decrease their privacy. Despite this, the bedrooms in the resort are an excellent spot to relax and enjoy a cold beer or bottle of chilled sparkling wine while admiring the blue skies and ocean. The interiors are modern and elegant with colors such as greys, muted greens, and browns. This is in contrast to the lobby and public areas.

The room has a spacious and comfortable bed with ample space. It also features an armchair in one corner, a desk/table in another corner, and a large TV mounted on the wall above a unit that contains a minibar and tea and coffee facilities. The overall decor is neutral, with a slight Mexican influence portrayed through the modern black and white painting on the wall and some of the textiles.

The bathroom is well-lit and adorned with shiny surfaces and marble. Asprey products are provided and there is a wall fitting for a shower, although it works perfectly. There is also a big white bathtub, and while rain showers are common in top Yucatan hotels, this hotel’s shower may be older.

Restaurants and Dining

The food and drink offered at the hotel are exceptional, and the service is top-notch. Guests can enjoy romantic dinners under the stars at the casitas on the beach where white curtains and dining tables are set up at night.

Although the proposal spot seems memorable and it would be a great way to spend the evening, the weather is too blustery during our stay to try it. As an alternative, we opted to have dinner at the Mediterranean restaurant Fantino. The restaurant has a classic ambiance with white tablecloths and shiny silverware. Additionally, there was a talented jazz singer next to a grand piano providing a pleasant background soundtrack to the evening.

The waiters provide useful suggestions from the menu as well as the wide-ranging wine list that features exceptional bottles not just from Australia, France, and Chile but also from the acclaimed Guadalupe Valley in Mexico. The service is outstanding, being both amiable and formal, and everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, some theatrical elements are evident, such as trolleys being brought to tables with diverse breads and oils, and later on, three waiters all at once removing metal cloches from plates while being gathered around the table.

The restaurant serves fine dining food that isn’t excessively modern or complicated, prioritizing flavor instead. They offer appetizers (both hot and cold), dishes from the ocean (like lobster and salmon), and dishes from the land (such as Filet Mignon with Parmesan gnocchi).

The restaurant offers a Tasting Menu that comes highly recommended and features a lot of seafood. The menu includes a creamy cup of polenta soup as an amuse bouche, a Valrhona chocolate savarin with figs, hibiscus, hazelnut and milk ice cream for dessert, and many elegantly presented dishes in between. One standout dish is the Maine lobster with sea scallop and cauliflower. The food is memorable and matches the restaurant’s classy atmosphere.

You can expect the same excellent service during breakfast at El Café Mexicano. The breakfast hall is magnificent, with a view of the pool and palm trees. Waiters will ask if you would like more tea, coffee, orange juice, or champagne at just the right time.

See the best Cenotes near Cancun, our honest guide on how you can move around in Cancun, our experience being in New Year’s in Cancun, the top best places to snorkel and our review of the Dolphinaris and Aquarium.

The Health Bar serves juices with fun names such as Lagoon Sunset and The Vampire to improve blood flow. There is a selection of healthy options like smoked salmon and fresh fruit, but the buffet is also indulgent with plenty of fresh breads, pastries, croissants, muffins, and hot food like omelettes. The buffet is one of the best on the Riviera Maya, and on Sundays, there is a Quesadilla station serving Mexican dishes like Tacos al Pastor.

The Pool

The main swimming pool has enough length for a proper swim and is surrounded by white sunbeds. Waiters are available to assist you with umbrellas, drinks, or anything else you might need. The beach is only a few yards away. Despite the urbanization of Cancun, the soft white sand and vividly colorful ocean in this area are still very attractive. Sunbeds on the beach are free, but shaded sunbeds ($25 per day) and cabanas ($190 per day), which feature beds and hammocks, come with extra charges.

Read next  how you can avoid Seaweed in Cancun, when  is the hurricane season and what is Cancun’s Time Zone.

There a place called Caribe Bar and Grill located in between the pool and the ocean. They serve ceviches, fish tacos, pizzas, burgers, salads, and seafood dishes like lobster or Catch of the Day (during our stay, it was a meaty chunk of grouper). If you want to enjoy food by the ocean, they also serve a bucket of jumbo shrimp on ice with three salsas, which I recommend. In addition, they make excellent cocktails. My personal favorite is the Old Fashioned with Mezcal instead of whisky, which is refreshing and well-balanced.

The Spa

Although it’s located down a long corridor between the hotel wings, there are additional facilities such as a boutique shop, a hair salon, and a great spa with ESPA products called Kayanta Spa. The service is amazing and professional, and each staff member introduces themselves by name. Men and women have separate changing, pool, and relaxation areas. Guests are escorted to the changing rooms by a personal valet. Overall, the spa provides a peaceful atmosphere.

You can unwind in the steam room and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the pool area. Additionally, the shower water is infused with mango and citrus. The staff pays attention to every detail, including neatly laid out towels adorned with small purple orchids. You can choose from a wide range of treatments, including facials, exfoliations, warm stone massages, reflexology, and wraps.

Couples can book the Kayanta Synergy Massage and enjoy it together in the same room. The massage includes a hot towel foot rub, hot stones, limb-stretching, and a deep tissue massage using eucalyptus and citrus oil. After the massage, you can relax in a comfortable lounge area with magazines, beverages, chocolate brownies, and green tea muffins. You’ll be provided with a warm compress around your shoulders and a thick, fluffy rug over your legs while resting on a lounger.

Bottom Line: Ritz Carlton Cancun

There are cooler, smaller, artier places to stay than Grand Hotel Cancun Managed by Kempinski, but some (not all) don’t have the substance to match the style. What often makes for a good, memorable stay is comfort, top food, delicious tacos and drink and beers, and outstanding service, and here they deliver the whole package.

Other Similar Resorts in Cancun:

Live Aqua Resort CancunHyatt Ziva Cancun
Moon Palace ResortRiu Resort Cancun
Iberostar Selection CancunHyatt Zilara Cancun
Hard Rock Resort CancunExcellence Resort Cancun
Royal Solaris Cancun 

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.