The Gran Melia

Cancun, Quintana Roo

Gran Melia Resort in Cancun

Our Sentimental Favorite

OK, we confess. The Gran Melia is our sentimental favorite. We stayed here on our honeymoon...but that doesn't mean we can't be objective about this hotel, or, for that matter, Cancun mega-resorts in general.

Cancun resorts are among the most famous in the world. Beyond that, there's not much to say. They all offer everything. All or most of them do it very well, and they all charge top-of-the-market prices.

But there is a place for hotels like these. If you are coming to the Yucatan primarily to relax and escape the northern winter, what could be better than a pampered stay at one of the famous Cancun resorts. It's more than a hotel; it's a destination. You arrive here from the airport and you really don't have to go anywhere off property until it's time to leave.

Or if you are planning a more extensive trip across the interior of the Yucatan Peninsula, you may wish to begin or end your trip in pampered luxury...maybe both.

We've visited this resort twice and both times we were very happy with our stay. The first visit was our honeymoon, so that probably accounts for our choosing the Gran Melia as our sentimental favorite. On the second visit we were hosting a half-frozen winter refugee, and the Gran Melia provided an ideal setting for her to thaw out.The hotel itself is at least twice the size of Cancun International Airport, and the central lobby is unashamedly and exuberantly over-the-top.

The central lobbythe lofty grandeur of the hotel's main lobby

There are at least six restaurants (depending on how you count them) and they cover the spectrum. You can dine casually buffet style, or enjoy an elegant sit-down meal in their contemporary Mexican restaurant, Ku-nah. You can even sample the incongruous but tasty offering in the lobby sushi bar.

If you do want to do a little exploring, the concierge desk is very helpful. They were very happy to organize a day trip south to the Tulum ruins and the eco-parks at Xcaret and Xel-Ha.

But whatever you think about this resort or any of the other mega-resort hotel experience, when it come's to the beaches, Cancun has near unassailable bragging rights. One picture tells it all.

The Beach at the Gran Melia Resort in Cancun


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