View from our room

In the southern region of Cancun one can find the unfinished five star resort Playa Del Palmar. Hovering over the Caribbean facing the Isle of Mujeres, the ten story resort adds a dash of color to the blue sky with brown and burnt orange rooms and outward accents. Through a wonderful deal offered by my husband and I found ourselves here from January 16th to the 21st for some much needed R & R.

Before heading out I obsessively checked Travel Advisor to hear numerous stories of awful service and less than spectacular beaches and food. After purchasing the voucher there wasn’t anything to do but move forward with the vacation and hope for the best while purchasing plane tickets to Cancun. Although the service was sometimes slow at the snack bar and restaurants overall we were satisfied with the resort.

Arrival To Cancun

To our surprise the vacation ended up going off without a hitch-beginning with the private airport transfer to our resort (complete with AC and a welcoming chauffeur). As I remembered our trip previously to Cancun I frowned as we walked through the receiving terminal filled with time share representatives and cab owners yelling and persuading you to come to their booths or take an undesired tour. Immediately my eyes distinguished a sign with our names on it through the crowd and grabbing Dustin’s arm we were off to our private cab ride.

Me with Playa Del Palmer in the Background

Playa Del Palmar Resort and Spa is about twenty to thirty minutes away from the Cancun International Airport and is one of the southern furthest resorts in Cancun before Playa Del Carmen. A row of recently built street lamps and paved roads lead to the resort and as our chauffeur explained since the building up of the southern Cancun hotels crime and poverty levels have plummeted.

Our Living Room in the Villa

Arrival To Playa Del Palmar 

Once arriving at the brand new resort we were greeted warmly with fruit cocktails and itineraries for our stay. Even after living in Ohio for the most of four months we still felt the stress of the huge city of Chicago and booked a couples massage at The Village Spa. In addition to the luxurious massages we also took advantage of the recommended restaurant, Zama.

After the initial greetings and sign-in we were escorted to our Villa. I had seen many pictures before but was floored when our host opened the door and my eyes landed on the Caribbean from every angle of the condo! Each private villa comes with a huge balcony and ours was on the eighth floor with a perfect view of the resort and ocean. In addition to marble flooring, huge TV’s in every room, two bathrooms and a full kitchen we found our fridge to be stocked with chips, Snicker bars, beers, and pop!

Balcony of Villa with Hammock

The two person jacuzzi and double sink bathroom with rain shower almost sold us until we noticed the full hammock hanging out on the balcony off the master bedroom. (Cha Ching!) Although this condo could’ve held up to five adults, we enjoyed the space ourselves and made sure to “spread out”. (Also known as claiming areas to throw our junk and marking our bed territory) At home in the states we don’t invest in cable and only have a Roku player with Netflicks so the 60+ inch flat screen with cable made for a really happy husband. I’m pretty sure we watched National Geographic and Ancient Aliens the entire time.

The Village Spa 

The Village Spa at the Playa Del Plamar is heavenly. Although I had been to spas on cruises and in the States I hadn’t enjoyed a full body massage in a tropical location. The Spa itself is set below ground level in what looks like a village. Each hut holds private rooms with showers and you can hear the massive man made waterfall in the background. Upon arriving you will be offered green iced tea and many different types of fruit. Women and men are escorted into different locker rooms and given spa robes, towels, and sandals. The women’s locker room offered lotions, hair accessories, and even a scale for convenience. To begin the spa journey you are instructed to shower and return to the lobby for the steam room. The steam room is repeatedly filled with steam on a timer and I had to continually lift my feet because it was so hot! You are welcome to enjoy your tea in the steam room and stay for a total of ten minutes. The next step in the process if horrendous. There is a freezing cold tub that you are to dunk in for a few seconds. After the freezing cold pool you are to get into a hot tub for five minutes then jump back into the freezing cold pool. This process if supposed to help your energy levels, metabolism, and cleanse the body.

The Village Spa

On conclusion of the hot/cold water therapy you are instructed to get in your birthday suit and grab a robe. For those who are a little more modest than myself and my better half (we loved the naked part!) you can also bring your undies. There is a cold cloth placed over your nose with citrus oils until you are called back for your massage.

50 minutes of a whole body Swedish massage and I was in heaven. The masseuses at The Village Spa paid close attention to any tense areas we informed them ahead about and also gave us plenty of privacy while dropping the robes. At $100 for 50 minutes I would say the massage was well worth it but to be honest it was included in our package! Afterwards Dustin and I were walking on clouds and hated to leave but it was off to dinner.

Activities at Playa Del Palmar 

We didn’t over-plan this vacation and lounged on the beach all day and sometimes rested in the many hot tubs (one of which had a fire pit in the middle). I think I drank a few too many Dirty Monkeys (recipe to follow) and learned that I’m a huge fan of strawberry tequila while Dustin braved the same but cayenne pepper infused.

Dustin Swinging At the Beachside Bar

One of our favorite parts of the resort was the swinging bar. The beach bar actually had swings that you could swing on while enjoying your favorite drink. We watched people, made friends with the bartenders, and took time to just catch our breath here on the beach. The resort also had a huge snack bar with chicken fajitas, nachos, burgers, and sandwiches. Since our package was all inclusive we made use of the snack bars and restaurants all the time. We also fell in love with receiving room service every morning-ordering fruit plates, coffee, and made to order omelets which we enjoyed on the balcony.  The restaurants were good but not great. I took advantage of the all inclusive and ordered calamari, appetizers, and shrimp while Dustin enjoyed steak. In the evening you had to make reservations at different restaurants and we ate at each one: Zama, Davino, and La Casona. Zama was American and Latino inspired while Davino offered Mediterranean fare and Itallian. La Casona was a steak house and I really enjoyed the shrimp curry and apple dessert.

On a few of the nights the resort offered entertainment. Our favorite show was a show on the beach simply called the Fire Show. This show included belly dancers and fire lickers. The drums on the beach added to the beauty that was fire dancing and we stayed up later than usual just to finish the show. I had never seen fire dancers jump lit ropes or belly dancers hoola hoop with flames. It was splendid. Each night there was live music at the restaurants and we made friends with a band from Cuba called Sante Fe. On many occasions they serenaded us (for a few bucks) and asked if we were honeymooners. Mexican Fiesta night was fun and there was free tequila and a band. Authentic Mexican food could be sampled and we enjoyed the dancing set of the performance. Although we didn’t utilize other activities the resort offered Yoga, water aerobics, paddle boating, and sea kayaking. There was an option for $60 a person to go into the clubs downtown Cancun but we passed and enjoyed the free alcohol and alone time at the resort itself.


The Resort Beach

In conclusion we had a blast! I would recommend the resort and the time we spent there was very relaxing. We purchased the “escape” from in their escapes section for around $900 which included our private hotel transfer, food, fridge stock, most tips, alcohol, massages and free wifi. If we didn’t use the livingsocial coupon our trip would’ve been over $3,000. I don’t think I would recommend the resort for the later price. If you’re looking for a higher energy resort this place isn’t for you. Sleeping, reading, resting, and swinging in a hammock was all that this place consisted of and was good at it! In the end we only spent $60 at the resort itself. ($20 for massage tips, $20 for sunblock & $20 on tips) Tips were included but we choose to tip additionally. We choose to bring carry on luggage only so we purchased sun block at the resort shop. This was a big mistake but still saved us money since most airlines charge $25-$50 a checked bag and later our we missed a flight out of D.C.

Our favorite part of the trip had to have been our day trip to the Isle of Mujeres, a small island off the east coast of Mexico. I’ve written a lot and will dedicate another article to our amazing and high energy trip there!

Drink Up Low Down

Where: Playa Del Palmar Cancun Beach Resort and Spa: Carretera a Punta Sam KM 5.2, Lote 3 Isla de las Mujeres, MZ 9 SM-2, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Quitana Roo

How to get there: From U.S. fly into Cancun International Airport, Playa Del Palmar is about 20-30 minutes by car.

What: Make sure to request to be housed in a higher room. The higher the room, the better the view. Order a Dirty Monkey at the beach swing bar and dine at Las Casona for dinner. I recommend the curry shrimp with ground coffee flavoring.

Around: Isle of Mujeres, MUSA the world’s largest underwater museum, Xcaret, Tulum

Price: About $3,000 for a five night stay for up to five people all inclusive

Web: Go here to book, chat live online, and check prices.


Typical Breakfast Room Service

Playa Del Palmer Lobby


Unfinished Part of Resort