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Reviewed 31 August 2014

Me and my partner (a couple in our early 20's) stayed here from 14th August - 28th August 2014; having only recently got back I can definitely say I really miss this place (very largely due to the weather).

Our flight from the UK was 10 hours so to only have to endure a 15 minute coach journey from the airport was very nice. To then arrive at the hotel and be greeted with a cold flannel and flower made the start to the holiday a pleasant one.

Cancun airport does get a bit crazy once you've got off the plane with all the queuing for passport control and then they scan all your luggage, but luckily we weren't too caught up by this.

I had read a lot of reviews of Sun Palace before we arrived but I was still wowed on arrival and during our stay which I say is a success to the hotel team!

Our check in was smooth and efficient, our bags were taken care of and we headed up to our room (111, very easy to remember).

We stayed in a Junior Suite Ocean view and the views are definitely worth it! The pool was right beneath and the bright blue ocean in full view!

There was some work going on to the left of our balcony but we asked if they would be moving outside our room and we were informed they would not and the work would only be between 9-5, as we intended to be by the pool everyday during these times it did not affect us and as it happened they were only there for the first week anyway. The balcony doors are very soundproof too (we slept through numerous storms).

When we had checked in a woman approached us and said that once we had checked in if we would like to hear about the resort credits we could go and sit down and have a chat with her. She was not pushy at all or demanding, simply informed us that she was available if we were interested.

The rooms are fantastic! The bed, well all I can say is I wish I could have brought it home! Kingsize and unbelievably comfortable. There were toiletries in the room (shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, body lotion), really good quality and I wish we'd had known beforehand as we wouldn't have brought our own, if you run out they are happy to top them up too. The free minibar (which they also top up with whatever you request), the jacuzzi: I won't lie this was probably a major factor into why we booked this hotel to begin with and we made sure we took advantage of it. Definitely a plus factor and very nice to have in the room! The room is equipped with an iron, ironing board, hairdryer and straighteners, all of good quality so no need to take your own. The shower is a wet room which is very nice and there's a washing line in it which I only discovered during the end of our stay.

We were early risers, I think the latest we slept was until about 8:30 but on average we woke up at 6:30am, therefore finding a lounger by the pool was never an issue for us. We stayed by the quieter pool everyday so that might have also helped but I did notice that halfway through the first week the staff were laying out more loungers around the pools so they are obviously trying to amend the problems people were having in reviews I had read beforehand. Some days we sat on the beach which is heavenly, white sand that is kept extremely clean and tidy. In the morning, when the small amount of seaweed is washed up on the shore, you see staff with rakes burying it all so it does not look unsightly. The sea is slightly rough, and sometimes it may not look it on appearance but once you're in it does have the ability to drag you out or knock off your sunglasses which happened to me despite all the reviews I had read prior! There are people that sell stuff along the beach but they are not pushy and a simple "no thank you" and they move along.

The guys that work on the beach work extremely hard and I did feel as though some people took advantage of this asking for loungers and umbrellas left right and centre, all I can say is hopefully they tipped well!

My partner noticed that they wore back supports which, even though something small, makes a huge difference and means the welfare of the staff is obviously a high priority.

The staff in every area of the hotel are impeccable! They honestly cannot do enough for you. On one instance my partner asked the waiter (Jose Daniel) for a hotdog from the snack bar, he informed us they were renovating the snack bar so the menu had changed and hot dogs were no longer on it, however when he saw the disappointment on my partners face, he went inside and asked the kitchen if they could make 2 hotdogs, 10 minutes later they were brought to us. This to me, is outstanding customer service and the reason Sun Palace has the reputation it does! Also if there is such thing as Employee of the Month, Jose Daniel definitely deserves it! There were multiple occasions where he stood out and went out of his way to make our stay the brilliant one it was. He even offered to make us a hangover cure the morning after too many tequila shots!

Please tip the staff! We barely saw anyone tipping which shocked me as these guys cannot do enough for you whether you tip or not they are there with drink refills, giving you information or taking a food order.

The food is excellent. We never expect too much from all inclusive as it's very hard to cater for everyone from all parts of the world but this hotel manages it! There's plenty of choice within each of the 4 restaurants. We ate at each more than once. The Oriental and Steak are both outside (ladies be warned when it's windy, I made the mistake of having my hair down which made a difficult time eating). The Oriental does the best spring rolls ever and the salmon at the steak house is the best I've ever tasted. One night at the Italian we asked for some garlic bread (not on the menu) and they came back with plates loaded with it. If there's anything you want or need they'll happily make it for you.

Room service is also very good (and included) plenty of choice and even of you want something that's not on the menu they will bring it to you.

We were very impressed with the entertainment, the Michael Jackson show is incredible! We also had the benefit of being able to release baby turtles into the ocean one evening. The hotel staff are very dedicated to the conservation of these incredible animals and it shows!

We didn't use all of our resort credits. However we bought some sunglasses from the shop which we were able to get $75 off, and for a spa treatment. We had a massage and facial both of which were incredible and very relaxing. We would have liked to do the photography experience but the cost of the photos seemed very pricey.

A few tips I would make to the manager: in the Italian (La Tratto), the dress code is long pants/trousers for the males, I would have altered this to "smart dress" as I noticed some people in jeans and sports tops which to me looked less formal than someone who would wear smart shorts and a plain tshirt.
Secondly we noticed during the second week that there were less staff around the pool and beach, this didn't bother us much as were happy to get up and get ourselves drinks but some days there only appeared to be 2 members of staff covering both areas which looked tough on them! Lastly we noticed big groups of people being shown around on some days, this felt a bit intrusive as they were huddled next to the loungers we were sat on, perhaps this could be done during the off peak hours of the day or perhaps they could gather in a different area of the hotel.

Overall the hotel is the perfect size, with the right amount of activity!

People that find something to moan about with this hotel must be extremely picky as we certainly could not fault it! 5 star all the way! In fact based on our experience my dad has decided to go next summer!

A special thanks to the staff that we encountered during our stay: Erik (reception), Artoro (steak house), Jose Daniel and Karina (pool service), Acaria and Sandra (spa), Victor (sunglasses shop), Miriam, Mirian and Efrain (breakfast), Gerardo (breakfast and lunch chef), Irving (steak and Mexican), Carlos (Mexican), Aaron (entertainment), Luis, Omar and Moises (oriental).

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Mabs08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2014

Excellent in every category! We stayed in the concierge room category, definitely worth the extra $.
It came with 2 -25 min back massages at the spa, my husband and i reserved same time and i couldn't say more. It was fabulous as we shared a spa room and treatment was perfect. Loved the therapist waiting for you as you exited your treatment room with tea. Got a vitamin c facial for 120 minutes a few days later and it was nothing special. I get better ones back in the states for half the price, but that was my only complaint about the spa. Our room was amazing as we were there celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. On the anniversary day, we used the concierge dinner on the beach, 4 course dinner I might add. Superb service and very romantic. As if that wasn't perfect enough for that very special day we went up to our room and waiting in our room was a bottle of champagne on ice and a chocolate cake, also a nice touch was pink rose petals on our bed in the shape of a heart. LOVED IT!!! Speaking of the room, we were on the sixth floor room 630 on the side of the activity pool. It was loud out there during the day but not when the sliding glass door was shut. Note>>>air goes off when door is open and it gets very hot very quickly inside. The bed was comfortable, good black out curtains, great water pressure in the shower and it was big enough for 2 easily. Loved the double vanity and mirrors. Chi hairdryer and flatiron for your usage. We also used the in room safe every day, which was easy to operate. They kept our fridge stocked with all sorts of drinks, mainly diet coke for us. The maid service was in and our about 3 times a day straightening and picking up wet towels to replace with fresh ones. Chocolates left at our bedside every night with turn down service. The four restaurants were amazing, with the Italian being my favorite. The food was over and beyond any cruise I have every been on. You could most definitely tell these were seasoned chefs. Never waited to be seated at any of the restaurants and never waited long for our food to arrive. Service was awesome at every restaurant, we tipped every night just because it was so outstanding. The Thai restaurant had great views from the first floor as you dined outside. The Italian restaurant had seating outside and inside. We sat one night in a room that had only four tables with glass walls, that was so romantic to watch the sun go down as we shared dinner. The steakhouse was next to pool outside and as they grilled your food you could help yourself to the salad bar. The smells were so tantalizing as you waited. Great presentation at every meal. I highly recommend this place as it is on the south end , only a 15 min ride to airport. Ride the city bus for $1 to the malls or Market 28 (over 500 booths where they will make deals with you). We spent over 4 hours there and had a blast, I was never scared to go and had the best experience. People extremely friendly and helpful as they only want to make a sell. ONLY one thing to warn you about is the Vacation Planners sitting in Lobby to book your excursions, they will try to get you to visit one of the sister resorts for a 90 minutes tour. IT IS TIME SHARE!!!! They will tell you it is not but in a nutshell it is!! All you have to do is tell them no and they are not supposed to ask you again. They however can book your tours with the resort credit or you can use the concierge like we used. They do have nightly entertainment if you choose to participate.

Room Tip: Upgrade to concierge level to enjoy the bigger balconies and extra amenities.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank beachcomber36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2014

Coming from such a widely traveled client like you this review has special significance.

When you've been and seen and compared as much as you have not only are you purveying us with a personal point of view but to it you have added experiences from many travels.

Thank you very much for kind words and ample description. The only thing missing is your return plans.

Best wishes,

pwinkler@palaceresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2014

The hotel is located on one of the southern most parts of the Hotel Zone - one of the closest to the airport and therefore furthest from down town Cancun.

Same as most peoples experience, we were greeted with fresh towels and my wife presented with a flower. We were made to feel welcome and the check in process was painless. Our bags were sent to our room whilst we were directed to the desk on the 5th floor where we were to stay. Here, we were issues with our bracelets which enabled us to access the 'all inclusive' benefits of our stay. We were informed that the penalty for damaging or loosing these was $75 USD per person per night! We were also told about resort credits. A little more on these later.

The outside of the hotel was clean and you could see an effort was always made to make sure it stayed this way. The hotel looks nice but isn't anything special.

Next stop was the room. We stayed in room 510, which was a Concierge room and ocean facing. There really isn't much difference between a concierge room and a non-concierge room. You simply get a hot tub in your room (we didn't use it), a complimentary bottle of wine and a 25 mins back massage each. My next tip would be that it really does not matter which room they put you in as you will always have a water view. One side of the hotel enables you to view the lagoon and the other, the sea. The room was okay but certainly not luxury. The TV was a bit small and of poor quality and the concrete construction of the room was evident. I expected more for £240 a night!

Unfortunately, the room was not well insulated from sound. Sometimes room service would be knocking on next door's room and it would sound like they would be knocking on ours. You could clearly hear conversations happening outside. Fortunately, this did not spoil the stay as episodes of loud noise were not too frequent. Noises from outside tended not to be a problem. On the Friday night, however, there was a show happening outside and the bongo drums were loud! We were not annoyed by this (actually enjoyed the music whilst half asleep in bed) but this could have been an issue for some.

The service we received at this hotel was of a very high standard. Most people could speak English to a good standard and nearly everyone we came across was very polite.

Being an all inclusive resort, the food and drink was included. (This also includes alcoholic drinks for those who drink, but we did not take advantage of this.) What was a welcome change was that room service was also included. There is plenty to choose from in terms of food as there are several restaurants. The food was on the whole was edible but really nothing special. Sometimes it was a hit and miss.

The pool area was nice and clean and the beach was immaculate. It is worth noting that the beaches are federal property (so hotels do not own their beaches) and you can walk down the beach and no one will bother you.

When I first saw Resort Credit, I thought they were just another way to make people spend money and rip them off. After shopping around and comparing prices of resort credits and outside, it actually turned out that resort credits were very good value. You can get excellent deals on the excursions and spa treatments.

It appears the Sun Palace has a weekly show of some sort. We had the pleasure of seeing the 1 hour long Caribbean Show. The Caribbean Show was excellent and the dancers were truly spectacular.

An activity which we really enjoyed was releasing the baby turtles into the sea at night. Mother turtles lay their eggs onto the beach and when the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are kept by the hotel staff till night time. This is to give them a greater chance to survive predators in the day time. At night time, guests are invited to take a baby turtle and put it into the ocean.

Overall our stay was good, but I would be unlikely to return at the rates we paid of £240 per night.

Room Tip: All rooms have a water view so don't pay extra for this. Concierge level isn't really worth it in my opinion.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank underdarkness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

All told the general message is your experience was passable.

Not that this is what we want for our guests. Our goal is to knock you off your feet.
Sometimes we can. And sometimes we cannot.

I do apologize for the noise issue and am curious about the comment on the concrete construction of our building. This is how we build in Mexico.

Thank you for sharing your points of view. Both good and bad.

Cordially,

pwinkler@palaceresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2014

From the food, to service, and especially the entertainment crew, I could not have asked for more from an all-inclusive vacation. The trip was perfect and I could not have had a better time. I'd like to specifically mention Augustine from the entertainment guys - he did an outstanding job making each day as fun as possible, while at the same time not being at all pushy.

A great trip, and I'd highly recommend going here to anyone thinking about it.

Room Tip: I'm pretty sure all of the rooms are ocean front!
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Pete D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pwinkler, General Manager at Sun Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

In the end it is very simple:
If you are happy, we are happy. No rocket science here.

And patrons who are happy people will be happy at Sun Palace because that is their nature.
This is what makes our job so gratifying.

Thank you for sharing. Be back again soon!

Best regards,

pwinkler@palaceresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2014

The definition of heaven in three words Sun Palace Hotel.Stayed here with my beautiful wife for her birthday and had the time of our lives.The hotel is very clean .The staff are so happy to help with every little thing that it makes for a terrific stay.Jorge in La Tratto and Allan were really helpful and friendly.I could talk all day about the staff but to sum it up we will be back in the future.We travelled from Ireland which is a long way but well worth every minute of travel.The food is top nosh and drinks are all top shelf (they even had Jameson whisky) heaven.Again thank you to all concerned and keep up the good work.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Gus564
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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