Our first vacation sans-toddler was a long time coming. Here we were, a couple of years later, in dire need of some adult time. Before I was a parent, I told anyone who would listen that I’d never let motherhood stop my globe-trotting ways. HAHAHA I LIED to mySELF!
Anyway, after confirming that we’d have childcare, Mr. B and I sat down and decided where to go. Cancun is a VERY easy flight from Central Florida (nonstops out of Orlando), so in spite of the fact we had just traveled to Mexico the year prior, we decided that would be the move to make. The beauty of Cancun/Riviera Maya is that the sheer number of resorts can offer you a different experience each visit, based on where you stay. The Hotel Zone and Riviera Maya are not cut from the same cloth.
I had booked a client’s destination wedding at Beach Palace in Cancun earlier in the year, and Palace Resorts was a chain that I had yet to experience. Since I like bright, shiny, new things, I set my sights on The Grand at Moon Palace, the newest addition to the Moon Palace Cancun resort complex. We decided on 6 days and 5 nights, just to give us a little more time to luxuriate. I also decided that this would NOT be a working vacation, so I threw up my out-of-office message and made no plans for site inspections during our week in Mexico (which I kind of regret and don’t regret at the same time). We did book an excursion to Xenses Park, which I will have to highlight in its own post…because it deserves.
The Grand at Moon Palace is the new big brother to the two other sections of the resort: Nizuc and Sunrise. The Grand is the top/exclusive end, which gives Grand guests unlimited access to the other areas of the property; the same is not true for Nizuc/Sunrise guests. In other words, they do not have access to The Grand. The resort uses colored wristbands to help differentiate your resort of occupancy. When we were there, The Grand wristbands were green.
One nice feature of The Grand is the massive conference/event center located just north of the main hotel lobby. This center has a separate front desk/check-in, which can be utilized for large groups arriving to the resort together.
The main guest lobby is large and ornate. We were greeted at the front desk with a welcome cocktail as we checked in for our stay – always a nice touch. At the rear of the lobby was the bar area with a large grand piano. Down the hallway to the left was the Tavola Italian Restaurant, Unique Nightclub and the coffee/macaroon bar. To the right is Jade (Asian Restaurant) and most of the other a la carte specialty restaurants, as well as the teen center/arcade.
We were then escorted to our room, which was a Grand Deluxe Resort View room quite close to the main building. (There are only 4 room categories at this resort: our room, Grand Family Deluxe, Grand Swim-Up Suite and the Presidential Suite).
Accommodations: our room was very well appointed with two double beds (no king beds since this is a family resort; they will push the beds together if you’re traveling as a couple), a large bathroom with a massive walk-in shower, a sunken living room area with a whirlpool and patio with seating and lounging bed. We had no complaints about our room at all. Its location was ideal and there were golf carts regularly around to take us to other parts of the resort if we didn’t feel like walking.
Food: the cuisine at this resort was practically perfect, some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten at an all-inclusive. No exaggeration. The sushi at Jade was so good that we went back again later that week. We had Peruvian, French, and Mexican during the week with no complaints. Everything was incredible. We had daily breakfast at the main buffet, which had an elaborate spread. On our final day, we had breakfast in Jade due to capacity issues – the resort was starting to fill up as we prepared to check out.
Our only issue was with the steakhouse. We made reservations and were excited to try it out, but found the food and service to be a little lacking. I ordered a filet, cooked to medium, and when it got to me it was still mooing. I mean, BLOODY rare. I sent it back and when they returned, it was still rare. Mr. B was also disappointed with his meal, so after leaving the restaurant we ended up finding something else to eat.
A few of the more popular restaurants (steak, French, etc) require reservations, while others allow you to walk-in. We ended up eating all our meals at The Grand, but guests have access to the other two sections for additional cuisine options (ie teppanyaki).
Drinks: no complaints from me! There are PLENTY of bars throughout the resort, and if lounging at the pool you will be approached by a waiter. Drinks were tasty and strong. 😆 It’s the good life.
Pools: each section of the resort has its own selection of pools. The Grand has its own waterpark, complete with a wave pool and water slides. The larger slides were still being finished off when we were there. The Unique Day Club adults only pool area was also unfinished during our visit, but it appears amazing in pictures that I’ve seen – we missed out!
I actually preferred the larger pools at Sunrise and Nizuc. We visited a different one each day for lounging. The water was wayyyyy too cold for me to submerge myself (it was off-season), so I opted to sunbathe and drink. 👌🏾
We did find a few nice spots at The Grand’s smaller pools to chill out, finding our favorite pool/pool bar at the Fun & Sports Pool toward the end of the trip.
Beach: so, confession…I’m not a huge beach person. We enjoyed a nice leisurely walk down the beach but never got into the water or spent any time lounging there. No shade to the beach itself- it was clean and the water was lovely!
Activities/Entertainment: Guests of The Grand have exclusive access to the aforementioned water park, as well as free bicycle rental to ride throughout the resort complex. We took full advantage and enjoyed pedaling through the property.
There were nightly shows available at all three sections. The obligatory Michael Jackson show was enjoyable, and we chuckled through their production of The Lion King. (Sorry….).
There’s dancing available at Unique Nightclub on certain days of the week; on the offsetting nights you have to go over to Nizuc to party.
Location: The Grand at Moon Palace is literally ten minutes from the airport, which is perfect for short stay vacations. As a guest at The Grand, you have free exchange privileges with the other Palace resorts in the area (ie Beach Palace, Sun Palace, etc)….but unless you’re in their vacation club, you have to pay your way there.
Other/Extras: based on length of stay, guests are awarded a resort credit that can be used toward excursions, spa treatments, gift shop purchases and more! It’s an amazing perk that brings additional value to your vacation!
I didn’t have a chance to fully explore the Awe Spa or dine in all of the restaurants – but I enjoyed myself so much that I’ll make sure to do that on the next trip.
I highly recommend a stay at The Grand at Moon Palace! 4 ⭐️