Formerly known as the Sunset Lagoon Resort, the Sunset Marina Resort and Yacht Club is located on the upper part of the “7” in the Hotel Zone just across the street from the Riu Palace Peninsula and Riu Caribe on Nichupté Lagoon. Guests of the Sunset Marina can enjoy easy access to non-motorized and motorized water sports including Flyboards, Wakeboards, WaveRunners, kayaks, paddle boards, and can even charter a yacht or boat for a fishing trip at the adjacent Admiral Yacht Club and Marina. While swimming in the lagoon is not allowed due to the possibility of crocodiles, guests may want to carefully consider the type of water sport they are willing to try under these conditions.
Since Sunset Marina is located on the lagoon, guests who want to access the beach are allowed to visit its sister resort, Sunset Royal Beach, which is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and within walking distance to Cancun’s famous nightclubs. Transportation between the two resorts is provided including a water taxi or shuttle bus. A public beach, Playa Tortuga, is within walking distance of the resort itself, while guests may also walk to Embarcadero Pier to catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres. Potential guests should be aware that the Sunset Marina Resort and Yacht club is under the management of Sunset World, a “vacation club”/timeshare company, which also operates several other Cancun and Riviera Maya resorts.
The resort has a Mediterranean feel with its whitewashed walls, multi-level architecture, fountains, statues, and carefully manicured landscaping. Resort grounds have additional comforts including hammocks, palapa-shaded day beds, curtained cabanas, comfortable armchairs with front row seats to the lagoon with its spectacular sunsets, and a large palapa-shaded sitting area close to the marina (the water taxi is boarded here). The resort has also added a small mini-golf area for guests’ enjoyment. Of special note is the stand-alone Jacuzzi located adjacent to the lagoon–it’s a wonderful place to sip a cocktail and watch the sunset.
The tiered pool may be small but it offers a swim-up bar, small children’s slide and shallow section. Padded loungers with shade umbrellas are on the sundeck with little natural shade provided. The pool area is typically a lively place with its animation team, music, and in-pool activities and it can get crowded during high season. Guests looking for a quieter place to relax will find it closer to the lagoon or at one of the many cabanas situated around the grounds. Since there is no onsite beach, guests will have to make do with a sandy section located next to the lagoon wall complete with padded loungers and shade palapas.
Although Sunset World has renovated several of its properties’ guest rooms, the Sunset Marina still has yet to see any extensive room renovations done. As a result, beds tend to be hard, furniture is outdated, and some appliances have seen better days. Although the situation is certain to be rectified with a renovation, not all rooms have in-room safes, so be certain to request a room with this amenity. In general, guest rooms tend to be long and narrow with room amenities in close proximity to one another. Most rooms have complete kitchenettes with small stovetop, sink, mini-bar, microwave, blender, and utensils, while a small dining table with several chairs is customary in each space. Some rooms have one or two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms which allow large families or groups of friends traveling together to share one guest room–two bedroom suites can sleep parties of eight. Balconies or terraces are standard; however, guests who have rooms closer to the main street often have problems with noise which may interfere with enjoying one’s balcony or getting a good night’s rest (request a lagoon view room). Rooms with Jacuzzis are typically given out to members/owners first.
Surprisingly, there are four restaurant choices for a resort with less than 200 guest rooms including a pre-show buffet at the open-air dinner theater. There is one Italian a la carte and a pizzeria along with the standard buffet. Guests wanting more variety in their food venue and choices have the option to purchase the “Multiple All-Inclusive Plan” which allows them to enjoy all restaurants and bars at the Sunset Royal Beach (the regular or “Simple All-Inclusive Plan” will only allow entry onto the Sunset Royal Beach property, not free access to restaurants or bars).
Type of Resort: Family-friendly. The all-inclusive meal plans are optional for vacation club members/owners, guests of members/owners, or those who book directly with owners or Sunset World.
Pro: Smaller resort for boating enthusiasts, stay at one play at two, free lobby WiFi
Con: Not oceanfront, rooms need updating, weak room WiFi, in-room safe missing from some guest rooms
Best Suited For: Retired couples, motorized and non-motorized water sport lovers, guests who like to charter yachts or fishing excursions
No. of Rooms: 177
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, mini-bar, flat screen TV, telephone, microwave, coffee maker, blender, utensils, ceiling fan, sofa bed, dining room table and chairs, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, and shower (bring toiletries). Some rooms also have Jacuzzi tubs, but these are usually reserved for members/owners. Room service is from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and is free to all-inclusive guests. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Deluxe Lagoon Suite: King bed. Bathtubs and Jacuzzi tubs are also available in some rooms. Garden or lagoon view.
- One Bedroom Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, sofa bed in living room, two bathrooms. Jacuzzi tub in some rooms. Garden or lagoon view.
- Two Bedroom Suite: Two separate bedrooms–one with king bed the other with two dbl beds, sofa bed in living room, two bathrooms. Jacuzzi tub in some rooms. Garden or lagoon view.
- NOTE: There are no elevators. Also, some guest rooms have sunken living areas with several steps, so those with physical challenges may want to make sure their room does not have this feature–request ground floor room.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Not available
Resort Amenities: Main pool (swim-up bar, children’s slide), spa, beauty salon, Jacuzzi, access to the Admiral Yacht Club for non-motorized and motorized water sports, bicycle and kayaking tours, mini-golf, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), small playground, open-air theater, pool wait service, ceramic painting, cabanas, hammocks, complimentary water taxi/shuttle service to Sunset Royal, complimentary lobby WiFi, and tour bookings.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant (La Pergola), one Italian a la carte (La Vela–reservations required), pizzeria (Il Forno), and a pre-show dinner buffet at the theater area. No late night snacks are available unless one orders room service. There are three bars including a lobby bar, pool bar, and swim-up bar. Those who have purchased the “Multiple All-Inclusive Plan” may eat and drink at Sunset Royal Beach Resort.
Entertainment: Evening dinner show several times a week, and live music in the lobby. Resort staff will accompany guests to nightclubs with VIP service.