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Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Pennsylvania
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Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Just spent 12 nights at the Hilton

Overall Conclusion – Great place, will visit again!

Details of trip

Stayed overnight in Philadelphia to take advantage of park-n-fly. Arrived in Cancun at 11:40 am – got the green light – phew. Having been to Cancun many times, we felt we were ably prepared to avoid the timeshare “officials” – boy, are they good! They managed to trap us for about 5 minutes before we were able to extract ourselves from their clutches – they just come across so official!

An Apple rep met us and transported us to the Hilton fairly quickly. Since our room was not quite ready (it was pretty early), we decided to get lunch (our room cards were activated immediately for our convenience). The following is my review of the various amenities:

Rooms- very clean – spotlessly clean. Decent size.

Storage – small closet with only 13 hangers (which is not much -3 of us for 12 nights) luckily, we were prepared and had brought extra hangers (I like to hang up my clothes – gets the wrinkles out).

Minibar – nicely stocked.

Safe – nice size

Bathroom – strong flushing toilet (sorry – one of my pet peeves when they don’t work right)

Beds – very, very comfortable – the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in Mexico (having stayed at Moon Palace, Fiesta Americana Cancun and El Presidente). We have a 20 inch double pillowtop bed at home – so I’m spoiled.

Television – 27” color with Cable ABC, NBC, etc and HBO, Disney, and Cinemax

Maid Service – the first full day, they came at 5 pm – way too late for me. The second day, they came at 4 pm – then I remembered that someone had commented on the inconsistent maid service, so I asked one of the maids for their schedule – so we could at least plan around it, rather than this uncomfortable ambiguity. She told me that all I had to do was let her know what time I wanted and it would be done – my husband and I looked at each in disbelief – could it be that easy? So I inquired whether she could come daily at 10 am (giving us sufficient time to get up, etc). She nodded and to our great pleasure she came promptly at 10 am every day for the remainder of our stay!

The Spa – fabulous!!!! My husband swore it was the best deep tissue massage he ever had. I had a deep tissue, a cellulite wrap, and 3 lymphatic massages. They were worth every penny!!

Pools - awesome pools with depths for every age, from infant to adult. Also, included swim-up bar.

Shade – I counted approximately 88 palapas – about 36 of them were on the actual beach, the remainder at the pool. Also there were two large roofs (not sure what to call them- lol) that also provided lots of shade at the pool area. Regardless of what time I walked around, there were always palapas available.

Beach – Stunning! For those who like to walk, it would take about 3 hours to walk the entire length (back and forth). Sand was soft, clean, and cool (for those of you who have walked on the east coast beaches in the afternoon and have blistered your feet).

Water at beach – gorgeous teal blue color

Fitness center – open decent hours – 6 am to 10 pm – they offered ice water to drink and towels to wipe your weary brow. I used the treadmill (they had 3 treadmills with built in TVs) – state of the art - I was on it at a 15 incline at a 5.1 speed and it withstood w/o a problem – I’ve been on treadmills at other hotels that tremble and shake at those levels. Other equipment included: 3 ellipticals; 1 stepper; 2 ab crunch benches; 3 bicycles; free weights (5 lb to 50 lb), 8 Life Fitness weight machines (seated leg pull, seated row, chest press, leg extension, seated leg curl, dual adjustable pulley, pectoral fly/real altoid, and lat pulldown); two pilates balls, and a scale to measure the effects . They also let you borrow mountain bikes for trails. Yoga sessions were offered daily. The only charge was for pilates classes.

Food – A. Quality – our experience is that it depended on what you ordered and where you ordered it. For example, the clam chowder at the Mitachi was superb. The pizza at the Pizza/Pasta restaurant was soggy/soft (and we ordered it multiple times asking them to bake it extra crispy – didn’t help – still soggy; though it tasted good – but when it comes to pizza, I prefer crispy bottom). Breakfast was very good. French fries were delicious (if you like McDonald’s fries which I do) – however word of warning – you have to specify that you want your fries “French style” or you’ll end up with Caribbean fries (fried potatoes – which technically if you say papas fritas is fried potatoes). Pasta was excellent. Quesadillas were pretty good. Hamburgers were “eh” tasted like they were boiled not grilled. Salmon was excellent at Spices, average other places. 19th Hole food was pretty good. The pool side Kiosk was average – the nachos were below average (soft/soggy, not crispy) and when you ask for a soft drink they give it to you in a plastic cup and don’t give you the can – the 2nd time, I asked why they didn’t provide me with the can to which they responded that my order included a free refill (not mentioned previously). Desserts were outstanding!! B. Prices – again depended on what you ordered – salmon (included veggies) was 177 pesos which is pretty reasonable, but a half-filled small bowl of clam chowder was 100 pesos – too high. What we were pleasantly surprised was that for breakfast if you didn’t want to pay the 215 pesos for the full buffet, you could just order the Belgian Waffle (large) for 87 pesos or pancakes for 85 pesos/90 if you included sausage/bacon or just oatmeal-50 pesos – they also had choices for a continental buffet for 129 pesos (included smoked salmon and ham) or an American buffet for 152 pesos (cross between the two). And if you just wanted a danish – these were available for 10 pesos in the lobby. We ate all of our meals at the Hilton with the exception of one night when we went to the Laguna Grill (outstanding!)

Weather – sunshine with light breeze blowing all day – rained 1-1/2 hour one day.

Service – our experience was that it varied – The concierge area with Eugenia Poblete and Connie and Daniela were excellent. We had a few small issues come up which they handled extremely well, including our 6 year old getting sick – They have a doctor on the premises, who came to our room. We gave the concierge the dr.’s prescription and they obtained it for us, which we were able to charge to the room – they facilitated for us what could have been a very difficult situation. The waiters/bartenders service – was inconsistent – some waiters like Rolando were outstanding, others were average and disappeared while we waited and waited and wondered where they went to (this was annoying when I wanted to order dessert or get the bill). All were civil, although one appeared annoyed when I asked for a booth. Most were friendly.

Kids Club – the young ladies were excellent with kids. My son enjoyed the tennis and golf lessons – reasonably priced at $10USD for an hour.

Towels – plentiful, large, fluffy – w/o the usual “give me your card or room number grief” some places give.

Gift Shops – nicely stocked

Check-In/Check Out – easy, no hassles and you could view your expenses daily on the TV (very convenient).

TimeShare Hassles– non-existent (pleasant surprise compared to the timeshare nightmare we experienced at the Moon Palace).

Grounds – beautiful, well manicured.

Bus Service – frequent and inexpensive 65 cents.

Disappointments – no ice cream novelties at the pool or anywhere – as hot as it was, it would have been nice to be able to purchase popsicles, freeze pops, etc. the only thing they had was Hagndaz ice cream bars for 65 pesos.

Pleasant Surprises – Sports Bar had several large plasmas. Free punch in the lobby. Chocolates on our pillows. Live music in the lobby area and Mitachi restaurant. Lunch at Mitachi’s – cool breeze, gorgeous ocean view, relaxing.

Any questions?

Kentucky
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56 reviews
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1. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

GREAT report Kiersyn. How did you think the Hilton compared to the other places you have stayed in Cancun?

Just wondering b/c we will be there for the 5th time next week. We have stayed at the Hilton every time. First time was as Caesar Park in 97 and the service was SUPERB. It has gone down a little in the last few years. I was hoping they would be back to superb this time.

Was it crowded while you were there? Any conventions?

We always try to get the breakfast included in our room. It turned out to be $20 extra per night, which I translate to $10 per person for breakfast- pretty good deal. We've always had great meals at Mitachis and at Spices. We plan on trying Laguna Grill this time, glad to hear it was good.

So the deep tissue massage was good? How much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks again for the good detailed report. Glad you had a good time.

Pennsylvania
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2. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Thanks Roxian - to answer your questions - the Hilton was better than the other places I have stayed in Cancun (Moon Palace, Fiesta Americana Cancun, and El Presidente) especially regarding the beds and beach. The pools at the Moon were really nice and compare favorably with the Hilton, but the water at their beach is murky and seaweedy whereas the Hilton is gorgeous and breathtaking. The food at El Presidente is better but not exponentially better. I found the food at the Moon to be average. Another thing that annoyed me at the Moon was that when we went May 2004 there were cats everywhere (about 40 to 60 cats) on the grounds - nice cats (not scroungy) however I'm allergic to cats - so I had a scratchy throat for the two weeks we were there. As far as the service, they were civil and friendly, but they didn't fawn on you - they were more solicitous at El Presidente and the Moon - guess it depends what you like; but they weren't rude; however it varied depending on the person, some staff had an attitude of "your wish is my command" and others had more of a "I just work here and I'm doing my job". As far as breakfast, since I'm a gold vip Hilton honors member, they upgraded us and gave us vouchers for a free continental breakfast which included smoked salmon, hard salami, ham, assorted cheeses, fruits, pecans, pastries, cereal, orange juice, yogurts, coffee. We were able to upgrade to the full continental or add eggs for example and then paid the difference. I didn't mention this initially because not everyone is a gold member and might want to know what was available. The Laguna Grill had a great atmosphere, we were given a table outdoors and watched the sunset - way kool - also I thought I saw a croc swimming by in the lagoon (but I think it was probably just my imagination - probably just some driftwood - lol). Their food and service was out of this world delicious!!! The Hilton seemed average full - not empty - they had a Biomet convention (alot of MDs) and a national soccer team convention, but it did not affect service or response time. As for the massages, my deep tissue was ok not as great as my husband said his was - perhaps it was my masseuse? My husband said his masseuse's name was Luz. Oh and that's another thing, the first time I didn't specify for a female and got a male masseuse, who I promptly traded for a female (I'm modest that way) thereafter I ensured to specify female. The lymphatic massage showed such visible results that I went for two more thereafter. The cellulite wrap was much better than the ones I've gotten on cruiseships with visible results. They gave us a discount on the first 3 massages and we paid regular prices on the remaining 3. Prices were 1265 pesos for a 50 minute massage and 1840 pesos for an 80 minute massage - this included the tip for your convenience. Hope that answers your questions - let me know if I can answer any more :)

Franklin, TN
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3. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Kiersyn, thanks for the report. We leave for the Hilton in 3 weeks and cannot wait. Aside from the Breakfast coupons, as HH Gold, were you able to secure a room upgrade, lounge access, etc? Sorry to hear about the Koisk by the pool. That was our favorite part last trip. Last trip, I remember the pool floors were rough and actually cut the bottom of one of my kids feet. After the hurricane, I heard they resurfaced the bottom, any problems there?

Sounds like you had a great trip, and thanks, again, for the report.

Cincinnati
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4. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Thanks for the great review Kiersyn! We are leaving for the Hilton in two weeks. Did the JW last time, but are looking forward to trying the Hilton. From your review sounds like we won't be disappointed. We joined Hilton Honors, but we don't have any points yet. Maybe they will give an upgrade if possible. :)

You say the beach was nice. Were there large rocks that others have complained about when entering the ocean???

Thanks.

Ocean2

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Thanks Volrichard - to answer your questions - the pool floors were fine, I pretty much tried out each pool and they appeared brand new. Yes, as a gold member we were upgraded to a villa, however, after a day we asked to be moved to the main hotel. We were not given access to the lounge however, we were told that access was only given to diamond members or paying villa guests. Our extras for being gold members were: 2 free bottles of water the first day, continental breakfasts for everyday of our stay for all three of us, and the option of a villa room.

Thanks Ocean2 - as far as rocks - I never saw any rocks though to be fair, the closest I came to going in the water was when I was walking the beach and the water was lapping deliciously over my toes; I didn't actually go into the water past my calves. The first few days of our stay they had red flags, then yellow flags, and the last 5 days of our stay there were green flags. Flag color notwithstanding, we saw people of all ages swimming and surfing everyday and they appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely. My husband did go in pretty far and said it was smooth sand with no rocks. I didn't go in because there was a large sign warning of thimble jellyfish - though I never saw anything - certainly not like the stinging jellyfish we get back on the east coast. The other pleasant surprise for me is that I'm usually a sandflea magnet and after an extended stay like we had my fingers would normally be covered in sandflea bites - I'm happy to report that I only had one sandflea bite on my right index finger - yipee!

Kentucky
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6. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Two of our visits to the Hilton we were moved over to the villas after booking a regular room. I am assuming the main hotel was full and there were big conventions going on. We didn't mind being moved to the villas, although we were not give lounge access. The rooms are the basically the same. No real big difference. As long as we are on one of the upper floors with an ocean view we are happy over there. It is a little more private, but it is a longer walk to get to the lobby and the bus stop, etc.

Cancun, Mexico
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7. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

Wow that is just about the most complete review I have ever seen posted about the Hilton, also one of My favorite Hotels; excellent job!

You probably did see a croc at Laguna Grill they are very common, not your imagination at all.

Orange County...
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8. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

thanks very much. What category room did you stay in?

Orange County...
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8,608 posts
81 reviews
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9. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

thanks very much. What category room did you stay in?

Orange County...
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8,608 posts
81 reviews
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10. Re: Just back from 12 Nights at the Hilton

thanks very much. What category room did you stay in?