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.