Aquamarina Beach Hotel Cancun is a six-story Mediterranean-style resort located close to downtown Cancun at the northwestern edge of the “7” in the Hotel Zone. It is right on the bus line, so getting to clubs, shopping malls, and exploring Cancun is not only easy but inexpensive as well. Guests don’t even have to take public transportation to get to the Isla Mujeres ferry–it is only a five-minute walk from the resort, while those who like to gamble can enjoy the nearby casino. Staying at Aquamarina Beach Hotel Cancun delivers a lot of “bang for your buck” for the budget-conscious traveler as long as one is willing to accept small bathrooms, a lack of room amenities, and a small beach.
The resort has a modest covered entryway which opens into the lobby with its many chair groupings and lobby bar with a nearby TV for sports viewing. While it has adequate space for a smaller hotel, the lobby and reception area needs a renovation with new design ideas to make it a place guests would want to return to throughout their stay. As is typical for a budget-friendly establishment, check-in is not accompanied by any special welcome–there are no drinks or cool towels offered.
Stepping outside the lobby, guests will encounter a miniature golf course and multiple pools as one head towards the beach. Aquamarina Beach Hotel Cancun has three pools including a “relaxation pool”, an activities pool with a swim-up bar, and the adjoining shallow children’s pool. Loungers can be found around all pool areas; instead of shade umbrellas, however, there are shade canopies overhead. Since the pools are so close to the beach, it is easy to have an ocean view while on the sundecks. Guests wanting some Jacuzzi time can find them on the upper solarium level in the courtyard.
While guests tend to spend most of their resort time poolside, there is a very small white sand beach available for sunning or sports activities. The beach area is made to appear even smaller due to the piers which frame it and the boats which crowd around the piers. Given the fact there are so many gas-powered boats and wave runners present, the odor of fuel along with the scarcity of space tends to discourage interested swimmers. Those who do take a chance will find calm waters but not the lovely turquoise color which has become synonymous with Cancun.
While the beach is small, many guest rooms (notably the suites) are larger than one would expect at a budget-friendly resort. All have a balcony or terrace with ocean/partial ocean views; while some rooms include a kitchenette, basic amenities are absent including coffee makers and mini-bars. Despite these shortcomings, the beds are comfortable and there is room to move about. NOTE: Guests should be aware that the hotel only offers two complimentary bottles of water on day one of their stay. Guests are responsible for refilling them down by the lobby, purchasing more at the resort, or going across the street to the OXXO store to buy additional bottles.
Given its all-inclusive optional status, Aquamarina Beach Hotel Cancun offers a limited number of dining choices including a main buffet which serves breakfast and dinner along with a poolside buffet for lunch–this same restaurant also turns into a Caribbean a la carte with two dinner sittings. While the main buffet restaurant serves lots of traditional Mexican cuisine, the poolside a la carte serves American favorites for lunch. There are self-serve soda stations both at the snack area as well as the poolside a la carte restaurant.
Aquamarina Beach Hotel Cancun is visited by many Mexican National families; American and UK travelers also frequent here but are in the minority, so when making friends it’s best to know some Spanish. While there are limitations in staying at this hotel, this all-inclusive optional choice is one of the less expensive in Cancun while still offering a decent location on the bus line, plentiful pools, and a safe atmosphere.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly, all-inclusive optional
Pro: Ocean view from many rooms, budget-friendly, free WiFi
Con: Small beach, ocean swimming, lack of basic room amenities, limited dining choices
Best Suited For: Adventurous families, young adults, and couples (not afraid to explore off-site) who are looking for an affordable all-inclusive resort. There are enough amenities here to keep one busy for a weekend stay.
No. of Rooms: 172
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, balcony/terrace (most with ocean/partial ocean views), A/C, non-digital safe, flat screen TV, telephone, iron/ironing board, shower, and limited toiletries. WiFi is complimentary, but there is no room service. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Standard: King or two dbl beds.
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, sofa, coffee table, kitchenette.
- NOTE: This hotel also offers one and two bedroom suites; since it is a timeshare, these rooms may be given priority to owners. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask at check-in whether any are available as an upgrade.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Three pools (one with swim-up bar), two rooftop Jacuzzis, fitness center, miniature golf, table tennis, motorized and non-motorized water sports, small children’s playground, gift shop, tour desk, child care, car rental, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet restaurant open for breakfast and dinner, and one Caribbean restaurant open for a luncheon buffet and two a la carte sittings (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.); reservations are necessary at the a la carte sittings. A poolside snack bar is also available with self-serve soda stations. There are three bars including a swim-up bar, lobby bar, and pool bar; national brands are served with the all-inclusive package.
Entertainment: Nightly entertainment is offered along with a weekly pool foam party.