Formerly known as QBay Cancun, the Cancun Bay Resort is a budget-friendly all-inclusive optional hotel in the northern part of the “7” in the Hotel Zone. Newly renovated, this boutique-like hotel has a lot to offer guests on a limited budget including two pools, an adults-only Jacuzzi, swim-up bar and lobby bar, as well as decent ocean swimming. Almost every space in the hotel has been redecorated or fully redone over the last several years including the addition of a beachfront pool and Jacuzzi, lobby and lobby bar, 2nd floor addition with reading room, fully renovated restaurants and kitchen, and room modernizations. Cancun Bay Resort is on the inexpensive bus line (it’s just a 10 min. bus ride to downtown Cancun going west, or 10 min. to the Plaza Forum club area going east) and within walking distance to the Embarcadero Pier where guests can take the ferry over to Isla Mujeres.
The resort’s new décor is done in an inviting and comfortable contemporary style. White walls, numerous rattan chair and sofa groupings, newly tiled porcelain floors, and contrasting darker wood in the reception and lobby bar areas are designed to invite relaxation and conversation. Remodeled guest rooms continue the contemporary scheme with white walls and bedspreads with a chartreuse accent wall and accessories. Rooms are basic in both furnishings and décor, while bathrooms are shower-only; an unusual guest room feature is the hotel’s ability to technically house nine individuals in the Master/Family Suite (it’s more like seven when comfort is considered). Some suites have awkward layouts with a lack of privacy, but overall this resort offers a lot for one’s vacation dollar.
Cancun Bay Resort has really done a very good job with the new beachfront pool and Jacuzzi, even adding a swim-up bar which is rare for a budget hotel. There is an adjoining shallow pool which is also an added plus for families with small children. While the beachfront pool area is small, it is important to keep in mind that this is a boutique-like hotel with only 132 guest rooms. Since it is on the small side, there aren’t many loungers and no shade umbrellas; palm trees provide some minimal shade along with the shade provided by the building during later afternoon hours. Guests wanting a beachfront massage will find palapa-shaded areas by the sea wall; there are also some contemporary chairs here for guests to enjoy the water view. There is an additional courtyard pool which is original to the resort. This pool is much larger and also includes a poolside bar with lunch/snack area. Given the fact this is an older pool, there are no entry steps here, just an old-fashioned pool ladder to use while the surrounding sundeck lacks shade palapas.
The beach is this hotel’s Achilles heel for many guests–given its location between a Marina and a pier, the beach is small and narrow which gives insufficient room to sunbathe or play games. Families with smaller children will most likely appreciate the shallow and calmer ocean water since it offers an excellent place for young ones to splash around or learn how to swim. While there are beach loungers and some natural shade, there are also a few cushioned day beds provided which is another rarity in a budget resort.
While guests may choose Cancun Bay Resort for its more remote location away from the craziness of Cancun’s “party central”, families with younger children need to be aware that the neighboring resort to the east is Temptation Cancun Resort, a topless-optional “party central” of its own. Those who have an issue with this kind of “lifestyle” resort need to consider their preferences and choose their hotel accordingly. NOTE: Temptation Cancun Resort is currently undergoing a total renovation and is closed until August 2017. Be aware that there may be some renovation noise until later on in the resort’s completion date.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly, all-inclusive optional
Pro: Renovated budget-friendly hotel, complimentary WiFi in public areas, family-of-five friendly
Con: Small and narrow beach, limited dining options, lack of room amenities such as coffee makers, mini-bars, iron/ironing boards, and alarm clocks
Best Suited For: Budget-minded singles, families, or couples who don’t plan to spend all their time at the resort. This resort is frequented by Spanish-speaking families and offers basic amenities; it is not meant for those expecting luxury amenities or services.
No. of Rooms: 132
Room Amenities: King bed, one or more dbl beds, many have a balcony/terrace but not all, A/C, digital safe, flat screen TV, hair dryer upon request, and shower-only. Room service is an extra charge. (There are no in-room mini-bars, coffee makers, alarm clocks, or irons/ironing boards). Here is a brief rundown of room categories:
- Standard: King or one/two dbl beds, small table and chairs, built-in dresser. Garden or lagoon view.
- Jr. Suite: Two dbl beds in a separate bedroom, dining room with table and four chairs, sunken living room/bedroom with three twin beds having easy access to the balcony. Ocean, pool, or garden views.
- Master/Family Suite: Two bedrooms each having king beds, sunken living room/bedroom with three twin beds having easy access to the balcony, dining room with table and chairs, bar sink, two bathrooms. Ocean, pool, or garden views.
- NOTE: There are no elevators in this three-story hotel.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Beachfront pool with swim-up bar, adjacent children’s section and adults-only Jacuzzi, courtyard pool, beachfront massage area, reading area on the 2nd floor, bicycle rental, complimentary lobby and pool WiFi, beach wait service, child care ($), small playground, 24-hr. deli/snack shop ($), laundry, Marina, concierge, gift shop, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant (El Faisán) which overlooks the beachfront pool, and the Piña Colada restaurant which serves lunch, snacks, and drinks. There is a 24-hr. deli/snack shop which is an extra charge. Bar areas include the swim-up bar, lobby bar, and poolside bar.
Entertainment: There is occasional karaoke and live music performances. Also, the staff often escort guests to the clubs for VIP service.