Cancun all-inclusive vacationers may be surprised that the Golden Parnassus Resort and Spa has quite a loyal following–it doesn’t have a five star rating, the guest rooms are fairly plain, and amenities are limited–then what’s the draw? Most returning guests will probably state that it’s the friendly, adults-only party atmosphere, great staff, good beach, small resort size, and bargain rates which keep them returning. If you’re 30+, on a budget, want an adults-only resort, and need to feel like you’re on spring break again (hopefully without the major excesses), the Golden Parnassus may be the perfect vacation spot.
The pool area is the heart of this resort. Many guests congregate here morning, noon, and night since many amenities are located nearby including the Tiki pool bar (open until 2 a.m.), beachfront Jacuzzi down a level from the pool, hammock area, buffet restaurant, and The Breeze snack area–the beach is also less than a dozen steps below the pool. Music and activities rule this area, so be prepared to join in the fun. Since it’s such a popular spot, expect loungers to be in short supply; shade umbrellas are insufficient in number as well. The good news is that resort staff have implemented a new policy to cut back on “chair hogging” which includes collecting all personal items from unoccupied loungers prior to 8 a.m. and delivering them to the front desk for retrieval.
The resort’s beach is gorgeous, as are many beach areas in this part of the Hotel Zone–soft white sand, turquoise water, and a smooth ocean entry with no rocks or coral to avoid. Shade palapas dot the beach, and a beach bar with swings is easily accessible. As with the pool area, personal belongings left unattended on loungers prior to 8 a.m. are also collected.
Guest rooms are basic in decoration and look rather plain despite recent renovations (bathrooms have been re-done and pieces of furniture have been replaced). Less expensive room categories lack some basic amenities such as mini-bars and coffee makers. On a more positive note, Club and Golden room categories include an in-room Jacuzzi which is rather uncommon in smaller, mid-range all-inclusives.
Prospective guests should be aware the Golden Parnassus has, in the past, experienced quite a number of overbookings during peak vacation travel times like spring break; guests were relocated to its sister resort, the Great Parnassus (a family-friendly resort). Hopefully, the addition of new management has resolved this issue and guests of the Golden Parnassus can choose to visit this sister resort rather than be assigned to stay there. There is a complimentary shuttle which leaves on the hour to take guests over to the Great Parnassus–guests have access to pools (including an adults-only pool), restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The last shuttle leaves to come back to the Golden at 10 pm.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Budget-friendly, no dinner reservations
Con: WiFi $, plain guest rooms, no dinner buffet
Best Suited For: Singles, couples, vacationers looking for value for the money, age 30+
No. of Rooms: 214
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, TV, bureau, telephone, alarm clock radio, iron/ironing board, in-room safe, bottles water, hair dryer, shower, and 24-hr. room service. Here is a brief list of room categories:
- Deluxe: King or two dbl beds with lagoon view.
- Deluxe Ocean View: King or two dbl beds with ocean view.
- Club Room: King bed, in-room Jacuzzi, mini-bar, coffee maker, robe and slippers, welcome bottle of sparkling wine and fruit basket, one in-room private dinner, and complimentary Cancun Queen Lagoon Cruise. Lagoon view.
- Club Room Ocean View: All Club Room amenities with ocean view.
- Golden Room: King bed and Club Room amenities with additional room and balcony space. Ocean view.
- NOTE: Spring break 2014 saw many more college-age students at this resort, which is not altogether surprising given the resort’s location and budget-friendly price break. It remains to be seen whether bookings continue in this vein.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: One beachfront pool (no swim-up bar), Jacuzzi, spa, sauna, steam room, beauty salon, beach massage tables, tennis courts, boogie board use, fitness center, complimentary shuttle service to Great Parnassus to enjoy the resort’s amenities, theater, nightclub, concierge, jewelry store, gift store, tour desk, car rental, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There are six restaurants including one buffet (Paradise), four a la cartes including Japanese (Sumo–no teppanyaki tables), seafood and pasta (Pier 12), steakhouse (Old Barn), and the more formal Shangri-La which serves international fare. A poolside snack bar is also offered (The Breeze), a poolside BBQ lunch is served weekly, and waffles, crepes, and ice cream are served in the lobby area. There are four bars (no swim-up bar) including a chick and attractive lobby bar, beach bar with swings, a nightclub featuring dancing and pool, and the Tiki poolside bar–both the Tiki and the nightclub are open until 2 a.m. There are some name brands of alcohol available, but no top-shelf liquor is included.
Entertainment: There is a theater with live shows, complimentary Lagoon Cruise with specific room category bookings, and escorted VIP “tours” to some of the popular nightclubs by staff (includes premier seating and open bar/bottle service).