Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort is not just another resort on the Yucatan peninsula, it is one of the largest all-inclusive mega-resorts in Mexico with 2,400+ guest rooms on 123 acres (there will be several hundred more rooms after the completion of the Moon Grand addition in 2017).
The resort is divided into four sections with all sections accessible to all guests: the beachfront Sunrise, Nizuc, and Moon Grand sections, while the Golf Villas overlook part of the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Each resort section has its own pool, restaurants, and unique vibe. While Sunrise offers the most activities and tends to be the busiest overall, Nizuc is a bit more glam and upscale while still being family-friendly. Currently, Moon Grand offers a quiet and subdued atmosphere with larger guest rooms and balcony space, but the overall vibe may change with the completion of its addition. The Golf Villas are for any vacationer who wants the opportunity to go and have fun elsewhere on the resort grounds (with the use of a private golf cart), while returning to quiet surroundings when the party is over. While avid golfers tend to stay in this part of the resort, the Villas are open to all guests; there are not enough amenities in this section, however, to entertain children or teens.
Moon Palace is a pool lovers’ resort, partly due to the enormous interconnected freeform pools and water-related amenities at Sunrise and Nizuc, but also due to the fact that there is a major problem with seaweed and water clarity at this resort which keeps guests poolside rather than oceanfront. Despite the resort’s best efforts at keeping up with Mother Nature by removing the seaweed on a daily basis, it is a losing battle much of the time with most guests being diverted to the pool areas due to the difficulty in accessing the ocean. Given the right weather and ocean current conditions, however, ocean access is possible with guests being able to enjoy a leisurely swim once past the initial patches of vegetation. Loungers and Bali beds are provided along the stretch of beach, but oftentimes the best areas and most comfortable furniture is reserved for Palace members–check for reservation signs or use Palace resort credits to help pay for one if they are available.
Since this is a very large mega-resort with many amenities, it may be easier to understand what the entire resort has to offer by listing the most popular amenities for each section.
- largest freeform pool of the complex (with swim-up bars)
- FlowRider (dbl surf simulator)
- kid’s club (the Playroom with activities for children up to age 12)
- teen lounge (Wired)
- kid’s water park
- mini-golf (on the border between Sunrise and Nizuc)
- fitness center
- water sports (on the border between Sunrise and Nizuc by the pier)
- Moon Palace Arena (for conventions and live performances)
- Noir nightclub
- Sky Bar
- meditation garden
- tennis courts, basketball court, and general sports court
- car rental desk
- beauty salon
- five restaurants
- lobby bar
- large freeform pool (with swim-up bars)
- kid’s club (the Playroom, oriented towards children up to age 7)
- Awe Spa (smaller than the main spa at the Golf Villas section)
- fitness center
- entertainment stage/amphitheater
- Catholic chapel and gazebos for wedding venues
- tennis/basketball courts and general sports courts
- water sports (on the border between Nizuc and Sunrise by the pier)
- Irish pub
- beauty salon
- five restaurants
- lobby bar
- four pools (main pool with swim-up bar, lap pool, heated pool by El Caribeño restaurant, and pool by Los Tacos)
- Lounge Bar
- two restaurants and a snack bar
- NOTE: Construction on the new section of Moon Grand is supposed to produce a new large lobby, hundreds of additional guest rooms, a nightclub, bowling lanes, numerous restaurants, and additional amenities.
- primary Awe Spa
- 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course (three 9-hole courses)
- pro shop and driving range
- small pool and bar
- two restaurants (reservations required)
Since Moon Palace is such a large resort, there are buses available to take guests from one lobby to another; these buses leave approximately every 15 min. Smaller golf cart shuttles are also available, but this service is more sporadic. Guests choosing to walk from one end of the resort to another can do so in approximately 25 min. via the beachfront walkways.
Moon Palace continues to offer USD $500 to $1800+ resort credits based on length of stay. Although resort credits can no longer be applied to room upgrades, they can still be applied towards tours, golf, spa treatments, and some onsite purchases or use of facilities such as Bali beds. There are specific rules and restrictions for using resort credits, such as the 16% surcharge, so read the fine print or ask the concierge for details.
NOTE: The Dolphin Discovery which was previously in operation near the Nizuc section is closed until further notice. There is speculation that it will re-open once the Moon Grand section is completed.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Very good kid’s and teen clubs, FlowRider, lots of activities for all ages, onsite golf course, free WiFi, can visit other nearby Palace resorts
Con: Ocean entry, may be too large for some, isolated, there can be lengthy wait times for restaurants
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 4-17, those who like mega-resorts, vacationers who don’t care too much about beach activities
No. of Rooms: 2,457. With the completion of the Moon Grand section, there should be an additional 800 to 900 rooms.
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, in-room dbl Jacuzzi, liquor dispenser and welcome bottle of wine, mini-bar, digital safe, flat screen Smart TV, coffee maker, telephone (complimentary long distance calls to Canada and the continental USA), radio alarm clock with iPod dock, robe and slippers, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, Chi hair straightener, marble bathroom with shower, toiletries, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
(Sunrise and Nizuc sections)
- Deluxe Resort View: King or two dbl beds. Views may be partially obstructed in some rooms.
- Superior Deluxe Garden View: King or two dbl beds. Many rooms in the Sunrise section.
- Superior Deluxe Ocean View: King or two dbl beds. Sunrise section rooms have a balcony hammock while Nizuc rooms do not.
- Superior Deluxe Oceanfront: King bed. Many rooms in the Nizuc section.
- Family Deluxe: Two connecting Superior Deluxe Garden View rooms (king bed, two dbl beds), Xbox 360 and DVD player (games and movies upon request), kid’s room service menu, kid’s mini-bar items including chocolate milk, juice, snacks, kid’s bath amenities, kid-sized slippers and robes, and beach bucket. This category may be booked without children. Located primarily in the Sunrise section. Garden or partial ocean view.
- Concierge Level Ocean View: King bed, upgraded toiletries, DVD and CD player, espresso coffee maker, beach bag, aromatherapy and pillow menus, exclusive phone concierge service, two 25-min. couples’ massages, private candlelit dinner, petit fours at turndown, private check-in/out, access to private beach chair section with wait staff. Ocean view at Sunrise, oceanfront at Nizuc. (Concierge-level rooms used to be available only at Nizuc but now are available at Sunrise as well.
- Wellness Suite: King or two dbl beds, direct access to a private pool off the terrace where aqua spinning classes are held only for Wellness guests, Awe sports kit with yoga mat/dumbbells/jump rope, mini-bar with additional natural juices and vitamin-rich beverages, heart-healthy meals available via room service, aromatherapy diffuser and pillow menu, specialty soaps and bath salts. Sunrise section only. Pool/garden view.
- Ambassador Suite: One bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV, and walk-in closet, living room with sofabed, table and four chairs, flat screen TV, dbl sinks, two balcony areas, and hammock. Some Nizuc balconies have a Jacuzzi tub. Garden/ocean view.
- Presidential Suite: Up to two bedrooms (king bed and two dbl beds); both bedrooms have all above amenities with the master bedroom also including dbl vessel sinks. The Presidential Suite also has a large foyer, separate living room with L-shaped sofa, dining table with four chairs and built-in seating, kitchenette with refrigerator, bar sink, microwave, breakfast bar and stools, and half-bathroom. Presidential Suites on the 3rd floor have three separate balconies while second floor suites have one large balcony; each suite’s total balcony space offers two padded loungers, chairs, and a hammock. Ocean view.
(Moon Grand section) Moon Grand rooms have a sunken living room area and most have dbl vessel sinks.
- Grand Deluxe Suite: King or two dbl beds, sitting area, large balcony/terrace with two chairs and padded dbl lounger (similar to Beach Palace balcony loungers which lie on the ground). Resort view.
- Grand Deluxe Suite Garden View: King or two dbl beds, sitting area, large balcony/terrace with two chairs and padded dbl lounger. Garden view.
- Grand Aqua Suite: Two bedrooms (king bed and two dbl beds); both bedrooms have all above amenities. This room category also includes a living room, kitchenette, and half-bathroom, while the oversized terrace has direct access to a shallow pool. Private check-in/out. Garden view.
- Grand Villa: Four bedrooms (two with a king bed and two with two dbl beds). This room category also has a living room, dining room, fully equipped kitchen, and terrace with Jacuzzi. Oceanfront.
- Grand Presidential Suite: Up to two bedrooms (king and two dbl beds); both bedrooms have all above amenities. The half-bath is off the entryway, while an adjacent kitchenette includes a bar sink, microwave, bar glassware, table and six chairs. The living room includes a sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, flat screen TV, mini-bar, and liquor dispenser, while the balcony includes a dbl padded lounger and table with four chairs. Garden or partial ocean view.
- Jr. Suite Golf Course View: King bed, separate sitting area with sofa, armchairs, and coffee table, DVD player, ceiling fan, large screened terrace with table and chairs, and private golf cart to use. Jungle/garden or golf course view.
- Two-Bedroom Suite Golf Course View: Two bedrooms (one with a king bed and armchairs, while the other bedroom has two dbl beds and a sofa); both bedrooms have all above amenities. The living room includes a sofa, armchairs, coffee table, flat screen TV, dining table and four chairs, DVD player, screened balcony, and use of a private golf cart. Jungle/garden or golf course view.
NOTE: Many Presidential Suites are given to Palace resort members, so become a member or talk to an existing member about staying in one during your next vacation.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Seven pools (with one or more swim-up bars in each resort section and one heated pool at Moon Grand), six Jacuzzis (non-heated), children’s pool and water park, waterslide, FlowRider, two spas and beauty salons, two fitness centers, motorized and non-motorized water sports, onsite golf course with separate driving range, pro shop, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer field, climbing tower, bicycles, meditation garden, two kid’s clubs (ages 4-12), teen club (ages 13-17), playground, arcade, pottery painting, nightclubs, arena for conventions and live performances, pool and beach wait service, Bali beds, complimentary transportation onsite, unlimited calls to Canada and continental USA, free WiFi, gift shops, jewelry stores, photo shop, concierge, tour desks, car rental, ATM’s. The Dolphin Discovery may re-open once Moon Grand is finished. Also, while all guests may visit Playacar Palace, Beach Palace, and Sun Palace resorts (Sun Palace is adults-only), Palace Resorts has decided to cancel shuttle transportation for non-Palace members.
Restaurants/Bars: There are 14 restaurants at this resort; a la cartes do not require reservations with the exception of the Golf Villa restaurants, La Trattoria and Riviera Maya, which must be booked via guest room telephone after check-in. The teppanyaki show tables at Momo must be booked by standing in line for the desired evening’s reservation–the scheduled time to do this may vary, so check with Guest Services (the scheduled time to take names usually begins at 4:30).
- Sunrise: Mexican buffet (Bugambilias), Asian (Momo–teppanyaki show tables), Italian (La Gondola–also serves breakfast buffet), steakhouse (Palapa Barracuda–also serves lunch buffet and brick oven pizza, no A/C), seafood (Palapa Fragata–no A/C). Los Columpios Bar serves sushi in the evenings. Lobby bar, nightclub bar, Sky Bar, two swim-up bars, multiple poolside bars, and beach bar.
- Nizuc: Buffet (El Manglar with Italian theme for dinner buffet), Brazilian steakhouse (Arrecifes–also serves breakfast buffet), Mexican (Los Caporales), international (Palapas Pelicanos–serves lunch buffet and sushi a la carte in the evenings, no A/C), grill/bar food (Palapas Delfines–lunch and dinner buffet, no A/C). There is a coffee shop which also serves crepes, pastries, and ice cream (Sweet and Coffee). Lobby bar, two swim-up bars, multiple poolside bars, and The Pub (a relatively new Irish-themed bar).
- Moon Grand: Caribbean (El Caribeño–also serves breakfast and lunch buffet), tacos (Los Tacos), and poolside snack bar. There is one swim-up bar, a lounge bar, and several poolside bars. Restaurants to open in 2017 include the following lobby restaurants: a buffet, Lebanese, steakhouse, Peruvian, Italian, French, and Asian restaurants. There will also be the addition of a Mexican restaurant. New bars will include the nightclub and lobby bars.
- Golf Villas: Italian (La Trattoria), and Mexican (Riviera Maya), both of which require reservations, and a snack bar. There is one bar in this section.
- Note: There have been reports of guests being able to order bottles of spirits via room service, including top-shelf brands, with no extra charge. Seems worth a try–just ask about any cost involved when ordering.
Entertainment: Aquatic show, fire show, live music venues in bars, lobbies, and on stages all across the entire resort, onsite nightclubs, karaoke, weekly Grease sing-along, weekly Michael Jackson show, and occasional big-name performers at the Moon Palace Arena.