Paradisus Cancun

Formerly known as Gran Melia Cancun, Paradisus Cancun is an architecturally stunning resort located just 15 min. north of the airport.  The parent company, Meliá Hotels International, changed the resort’s name and made it all-inclusive in 2012; it also underwent an eight million dollar renovation including energy efficient controlled systems including a new A/C system, additional elevators, new restaurants and bars, a new family concierge check-in lounge, and a new Kid’s Zone area.  The resort consists of five interconnected pyramid-shaped sections topped by smaller glass-paned pyramids (the pyramids are numbered from south to north–#1 is the southernmost tower, #3 is where guests enter, and #5 is strictly for Royal Service guests which is an upgraded service).

Paradisus Cancun aerial view

Aerial view of the resort, Tower #1 is far left, Royal Service Tower is far right

Upon entering the main central pyramid, the nine-story atrium lobby wows with hanging vines and views of the sunken gardens, plush seating areas, cedar decking, waterfalls, koi ponds, several restaurants, and a bar.

Paradisus Cancun lobby

Main lobby area











There are several different lounges available for check-in, which one you use depends on what accommodations have been booked.  The main check-in area is off to the left through the glass doors (this is where most guests are first directed), Family Concierge guests have their own check-in which is adjacent to the main check-in, Royal Service guests check-in at Tower #5, and Club Meliá guests have a separate glassed-in room.

Similar to many Cancun resorts, Paradisus Cancun has a strong vacation club/timeshare emphasis and, as such, you will be assigned a “representative” who will attempt to schedule a meeting over breakfast or telephone your room inviting you to come to reception to pick up your free welcome gift.  For those interested in learning about Club Meliá, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so; however, for those not so inclined, there is generally no obligation to attend any meeting despite what your representative may say–check the specifics of your reservation to be sure (booking a resort at super cheap prices may be an indication that there is an obligation to attend a timeshare presentation).

A major draw of the resort is its sprawling pool area which stretches from one end of the resort to the other.  There are three separate pools–the heated, adults-only Royal Service pool at the north end of the property, the main pool with its swim-up bar and built-in Jacuzzis (non-heated), and the spa pool with its cervical jets.  The main pool has a separate shallow children’s section at the south end of the resort, and interestingly, this is where the built-in tiled loungers are located.  Palapas provide shade for loungers, while Bali beds can also be found around both beachfront pools.  These must be reserved in advance–many of them go to Royal Service or Family Concierge guests who are promised a Bali bed a minimum of twice during a week’s stay.  For non-upgraded guests, Bali beds are an additional charge.

Paradisus Cancun main pool

Main pool, courtesy

Paradisus Cancun swim-up bar

Main pool swim-up bar, courtesy








Paradisus Cancun royal pool

Royal Pool









A few steps down from the pool area is the wide, white sand beach–perfect for walks in either direction, while the turquoise Caribbean Sea provides ocean swimming as long as red flags are not posted.  There are numerous loungers and Bali beds available as well as partitioned areas just for upgraded and Club Meliá guests; again, the Bali beds here must be reserved in advance and are an extra charge for non-upgraded guests.  Those who enjoy a good beach bar will like Coco’s Beach Club; it’s just a short level up from the sand and offers hookahs for smokers–Bali bed reservations can be made at Coco’s for those without upgraded rooms.

Paradisus Cancun beach

Beach area, courtesy










There are 14 different guest room categories at Paradisus Cancun ranging from standard Jr. Suites with a lagoon view to the Royal Service Presidential Suite which is large enough to accommodate a party within its 3,431 sq. feet of space.  Some special touches to all rooms include rainforest showerheads, separate shower wands, a bidet in every room, and large balcony/terrace space.  As part of the resort’s energy efficient upgrades, there is a master power switch by the doorway, so just leave it on if you want power in the room when you are not there.  Upgraded guests have the service of a butler who will be more than willing to pack, unpack, draw a bath, make a la carte restaurant/spa/Bali bed/excursion reservations for you, arrange for your laundry to get done, shine your shoes, or make sure any complaints are addressed.

Paradisus Cancun Jr. Suite

Jr. Suite, courtesy Paradisus Resorts








If you’re looking for evening entertainment, check out the area adjacent to both the Red Lounge and Avenue Bar where evening theme acts include singing, dancing, acrobats, and juggling (there is no actual theater).  Seating and viewing opportunities are limited, so get here early.  Then move next door to the Red Lounge to finish off the evening with DJ hosted music and dancing.

Paradisus Cancun Red Lounge

Red Lounge











Daytime entertainment occurs primarily around the pool, although some classes are typically held indoors (wine tasting, tequila tasting, etc.).  Golfers will want to bring their own clubs and golf balls since there is a 9-hole Par-3 golf course onsite.  Aquaworld is located just across the street by Nichupté Lagoon for those interested in renting kayaks, paddleboards, Waverunners, or those wanting to book snorkeling or fishing excursions.  Excursion information is also available from the resort concierge or your butler if you have an upgraded room.

Paradisus Cancun used to offer a more extended “Baby Club” program, but this has been cut back to primarily babysitting for ages 1-4.  There is a Kid’s Club room by the main check-in which has planned activities for children ages 5-12.

Type of Resort:  Family-friendly

Pro:  Beautiful atrium lobbies, heated Royal Service pool, adults-only sections at the resort, free WiFi.

Con:  Strong timeshare emphasis, evening lighting in public spaces is dim, buffet food can be tepid in temperature, resort layout can be confusing when trying to reach certain amenities (re. going down a level and having to go back up to reach one’s destination, for example).

Best Suited For:  Families with children ages 5-10, although older teens will appreciate Aquaworld’s rented amenities if parents are willing to pay for them.

No. of Rooms:  668

Room Amenities:  King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, loveseat, coffee table, table and two chairs, mini-bar, in-room safe, flat screen TV, two telephones, coffee maker, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, tub/shower combo with rainforest showerhead and wand, bidet, toiletries, 24-hr. room service, and free WiFi.  Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:

  • Jr. Suite Lagoon View:  King or two dbl beds
  • Jr. Suite Ocean View:  King or two dbl beds

(Family Concierge)  This is an upgraded service for families with young children and includes the following amenities:

  • private check-in/out
  • access to a private lounge with computers, continental breakfast, snacks, and liquor
  • special in-suite amenities such as robes and slippers for all family members, children’s bathroom toiletries (mini-soaps, toothbrush, shower gel, mosquito repellent, and small towels), special mini-bar additions for children, pillow menu
  • video game systems available upon request
  • welcome backpack with sand toys
  • daytime assistance of a Family Concierge/butler
  • complimentary use of a walkie-talkie or cell phone for parents
  • preferential booking at a la carte restaurants
  • preferential booking of Bali beds (two days guaranteed per week’s stay)
  • family book and video library
  • daily newspaper
  • turndown service with milk and cookies

Family Concierge guest rooms include the following:

  • Family Concierge Jr. Suite Lagoon View:  King or two dbl beds with Family Concierge amenities.
  • Family Concierge Jr. Suite Ocean View:  King or two dbl beds with Family Concierge amenities.
  • Family Concierge One Bedroom Suite Lagoon View:  King bed, sofa bed in separate living room area, two balconies, and Family Concierge amenities.
  • Family Concierge One Bedroom Suite Ocean View:  King bed, sofa bed in separate living room area, two balconies, and Family Concierge amenities.

(Royal Service)  This is an upgraded service for adults-only and includes the following amenities:

  • Tower #5 is entirely devoted to Royal Service amenities and guests
  • private check-in/out
  • use of a personal butler
  • complimentary use of a cell phone to call your butler when needed
  • access to a private lounge with computers, continental breakfast, snacks, and liquor
  • private heated pool
  • private beach area
  • private restaurant, La Palapa
  • preferential booking of a la carte restaurants
  • preferential booking of Bali beds (two days guaranteed per week’s stay)
  • pillow menu
  • aromatherapy menu
  • daily newspaper
  • turndown service

Royal Service guest room categories include the following:

  • Royal Service Jr. Suite Lagoon View:  King or two dbl beds and Royal Service amenities.
  • Royal Service Jr. Suite Ocean View:  King or two dbl beds and Royal Service amenities.
  • Royal Service One Bedroom Suite Lagoon View:  King bed, sofa bed in separate living room area, two balconies, and Royal Service amenities.
  • Royal Service One Bedroom Suite Ocean View:  King bed, sofa bed in separate living room area, two balconies, and Royal Service amenities.
  • Royal Service Suite:  King bed, separate living room area with sofa bed, dining table and six chairs, fully equipped kitchen with oven, toaster, refrigerator, three balcony areas, and Royal Service amenities.
  • Royal Service Presidential Suite:  This 3,431 sq. foot space occupies part of the 9th floor in Tower #5.  There is a king bed, entertainment center with flat screen TV, sound system, CD/DVD player, sofa, two Jacuzzi tubs, separate steam shower, walk-in closet, study with desk and two chairs along with entertainment center with flat screen TV, living room area with wet bar and three stools, dining table and eight chairs, sofa and two armchairs, adjoining full kitchen with stovetop range, sink, full refrigerator, half bathroom, three balconies, two full loungers, and Royal Service amenities.  A mere description does not do this space justice–it is awesome.
  • NOTE:  Tower #3 can be noisy in the evenings.

Physically Challenged Rooms:  Several are available, but overall this is not a physically challenged-friendly resort due to its layout.

Resort Amenities:  Three pools (heated Royal Service pool, main pool with swim-up bar, and spa pool with cervical jets), children’s shallow pool section at the south end of the main pool, built-in Jacuzzis, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, 9-hole Par-3 golf course, motorized and non-motorized water sports at Aquaworld across the street, disco, Kid’s Club (ages 5-12), separate babysitting area with cribs (ages 1-4), pool and beach wait service, concierge, tour desk, gift shop, car rental, and ATM.

Restaurants/Bars:  One buffet (Naos) and seven a la cartes including Latin-inspired cuisine (Fuego), Mediterranean (Vento), Pan-Asian (Bana), Mexican (Mole), grilled fare (Market Grill), seafood (La Perla), and Tempo restaurant (adults-only, $) which is open to guests and the general public.  Guests can get great tacos at Blue Agave restaurant, while Royal Service guests can enjoy their own private restaurant (La Palapa).  The buffet and Blue Agave are the only ones which do not require advance reservations.  There are six bars including the swim-up bar, the Toji bar in Tower #3, Coco’s Beach Club bar, Avenue Bar in Tower #3, Red Lounge (the disco), and the bar inside Blue Agave restaurant.  Upgraded guests also have their own private lounges which serve alcohol.

Entertainment:  Nightly entertainment is held in the area adjacent to the Red Lounge (there is no formal theater), in addition to live music venues held at various places around the resort.  The Red Lounge is a disco which is open until 2 a.m.

Here is a “walk-through” video of Paradisus Cancun.  Although the video is roughly 30 min., it is well worth the time to watch since the videographer takes you through check-in, atriums, Royal Service tower peek, his room, public areas, and ends the video at the beach.  Have a look!





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