Located on the bottom third of the “7” in the Hotel Zone and not far from the airport, the Omni Cancun Hotel and Villas became an all-inclusive resort several years ago (it used to be AI-Optional). Its unique architecture and layout makes the most of its oceanfront setting by providing many ocean view guest rooms as well as allowing large families or groups of friends to stay together in the “villa” guest room category. The entire property is terraced down towards the beach with the main building furthest from the sand, while lucky villa guests don’t have far to go to the beach or the multiple pools.
The resort underwent some extensive renovations in 2010–beach sand was added to cover shoreline rocks and to expand beach width to 150 feet, a sushi bar was built, and the Sensational Kids program with separate kid’s pool, activities, and complimentary backpack was added as an extra amenity. The sushi bar has ben a great hit since ingredients are fresh and many rolls are made-to-order. Guests also enjoy the adults-only Jacuzzi beachfront bar, Kuku’s, which has swings for seats on the beach side and a Jacuzzi swim-up bar on the other–there are also seats and small tables in the Jacuzzi to promote socializing. In fact, this is probably the busiest part of the resort during late afternoon hours. There is an additional beach bar with sand stools, while guests will be happy to know they may eat their lunch on one of the many loungers or Thai beds (think Bali bed or canopied cabana). While beach loungers are under shade palapas and are first-come-first-served, the Thai beds are rented–prices start at USD $50 per day depending on location; Thai bed rental also includes a bottle of wine and servings of fruit brought to your beach bed. There is one palapa and lounger dedicated for handicap use with beach ramp access.
Just up from the beach is a pool setting which is perfect for all family members to enjoy. Young children will like the shallow kid’s pool with splash fountain, while adults can sit in the nearby hibiscus-shaped mega-Jacuzzi with 34 other friends, or lounge on the built-in tile beds within the pool. This is one of two main pools, both of which offer zero-degree entries; it is often called the “waterfall pool” since it has a partial wall of cascading water.
The second pool area is another level up towards the main resort building and is the activities pool with an accompanying swim-up bar. All poolside music and games occur here along with water volleyball. Food and drink can be found on both pool levels since dining venues are mere steps away. Although there is a pool for whatever mood strikes, there is a general lack of shade in these areas since the resort doesn’t supply many shade umbrellas.
Guests will find that the rooms at the Omni Cancun are sedately designed with neutral tones, dark wood furnishings, and multi-hued marble floors; some furniture is starting to look a bit worn. Bathrooms for the most part have one sink and a tub/shower combo, while non-Presidential suite balconies in the main building have a fixed bench off to the side covered with cushions–maybe not the best position to take advantage of the view, but there are some chairs in the room which can be used in a pinch. Villas are three floors done in beige hues with a terrace, two balconies, a full kitchen, and separate living and dining spaces (villas can sleep up to eight). Some villas are beachfront and offer awesome ocean views.
Although Omni Cancun is located towards the south end of the Hotel Zone, it is an easy bus or cab ride into the Plaza Forum district for late night partying. Onsite amenities include multi-sports courts/tennis courts which can be lit for night play, a tennis pro, fitness center, and spa. When registering, check with staff to see if the resort still offers complimentary non-motorized water sports at AquaWorld which is just down the road. Those interested in Mayan culture will appreciate the Museo Maya de Cancun which is located adjacent to the resort. As for evening entertainment, the activities team puts on nightly shows and afterward escorts interested guests to the more famous clubs for VIP service.
Since many guests are reluctant to become totally “unplugged” while on vacation but don’t like paying extra for this service, the Omni Cancun does offer complimentary WiFi to Select Guest members. The Select Guest member club is an Omni Hotel loyalty program which offers various benefits based on the number of consecutive nights you’ve stayed at an Omni property–new members are guaranteed complimentary WiFi for their entire stay. Signing up is free; the application form can be found on the Omni website.
This resort is adjacent to the Oasis Cancun which happens to be a very popular spring break resort. If contemplating booking the Omni Cancun during the months of February through April, be aware that rooms on the north side may experience some noise due to spring breakers at the adjacent resort. Also, the Omni Cancun books a certain amount of spring breakers itself which does increase the noise factor at the resort during this time of year.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Villas sleep up to eight, beachfront Jacuzzi swim-up bar, handicapped beach access.
Con: Lack of pool shade, room service charge per order, lack of balcony furniture, pools tend to be on the shallow side.
Best Suited For: Couples of all ages, families with children ages 6-10.
No. of Rooms: 347
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, mini-bar, in-room digital safe, flat screen TV, two armchairs, alarm clock radio with iPod dock, full-length mirror, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, marble bathrooms most with tub/shower combo, toiletries, and 24-hr room service (USD $5 p/order). There is no complimentary WiFi unless a you are a member of the Select Guest loyalty club. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Deluxe: King or two dbl beds. Lagoon or garden view. (Not all rooms have balconies with sliding glass doors, some have extended space with picture windows).
- Premier: King or two dbl beds, balcony. Ocean view. Request floors above 14 for the best ocean views.
- Executive Suite: King or two dbl beds, living room with sofa, four armchairs, coffee table, wet bar, CD/DVD player, balcony. Ocean view.
- Presidential Suite: King bed in separate bedroom along with two day loungers, flat screen TV, separate balcony off the bedroom with two cushioned wicker chairs, living room with two sofas, two armchairs, coffee table, flat screen TV, CD/DVD player, kitchen with large refrigerator, stovetop burners, sink, microwave, blender, can opener, utensils, breakfast bar with two stools, dining room table and eight chairs, Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, one sink, robe and slippers, partially covered rooftop terrace with wicker sofas, armchairs, and coffee table. Ocean and lagoon view.
- Three-Bedroom Villa: First floor features a fully equipped kitchen complete with large refrigerator, stovetop burners, sink, microwave, blender, can opener, utensils, pots and pans, glasses, kitchen table and six chairs, sunken living room with two sofas, ottoman, coffee table, flat screen TV, CD/DVD player, terrace with two loungers, and half bath. The second floor has the master bedroom with king bed and flat screen TV, adjoining balcony with two chairs, full bathroom with tub/shower combo, while the second bedroom on this floor includes two twin beds, flat screen TV, desk and chair, bureau, and shower-only. The third floor offers a king bed, flat screen TV, desk and chair, bureau, bathroom with shower-only, and a balcony with two full loungers. Ocean/pool view.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Activities pool with swim-up bar, waterfall pool with built-in loungers, children’s pool with splash fountain, mega-Jacuzzi, beachfront Jacuzzi pool with swim-up bar, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, multi-sports/tennis courts, non-motorized water sports and AquaWorld, giant chess, Sensational Kid’s Club, beach and pool wait service, Thai beach beds, concierge, travel agency, business center with use of computers and printers, gift shop, jewelry store, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant (La Paloma), three a la cartes (La Vista is not included with the AI plan for dinner, however), a sushi bar, poolside snack grill, Pina Colada, and Viva Mexico restaurant. Here are the restaurants which serve various meals throughout the day:
- Breakfast: La Vista–dinner is an extra charge but breakfast is free, La Paloma, and Pina Colada.
- Lunch: La Paloma, Pina Colada, Viva Mexico, Sushi Bar, and the poolside grill.
- Dinner: La Paloma, La Deva (Oriental fusion–no teppanyaki), and Da Vinci (Italian–even though Da Vinci is supposedly adults-only, children have been allowed between 6 p.m.-7 p.m.). La Vista is an additional cost. There is a beach party with buffet once per week.
- Snacks: La Paloma offers snacks until 11 p.m.
Onsite bars include the lobby bar, two swim-up bars, pool bar, and Sushi Bar. The Jacuzzi beachfront bar serves drinks out of coconuts and pineapples every day around noon, while the lobby bar area hosts Mayan coffee service between 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
Entertainment: The activities team organizes nightly entertainment and shows. They also escort interested guests to clubs in the evenings with VIP packages.