Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort, formerly known as Le Meridien, is located midway along the lengthy side of the “7” in the Hotel Zone. Resort rebranding occurred in 2012 with renovations made in the lobby, lobby bar, restaurants, guest room bathrooms, and the beachfront area. Although described as a boutique, adult-themed resort, Sandos Cancun offers 214 rooms for guests of all ages–not small enough to classify as a true boutique experience, but certainly small enough to offer guests a service-oriented vacation. Since the resort welcomes all ages, children have several spaces of their own, such as a designated Kid’s Club with adjoining pool, but most of the amenities and common areas are geared towards adults. Even though children are typically in the minority here, guests wanting an adults-only vacation may not find Sandos Cancun a good fit since children are welcome in the restaurants, pools, beach, and bars. This resort is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, and a multiple recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award for its amenities and service.
Sandos Cancun added two new restaurants, Zango (buffet) and Gaijin (Japanese with teppanyaki show tables), along with an updated menu to existing restaurants. Dry ice has been added to the expansive breakfast buffet display to keep certain items cold, while flavored butters and specialty menu items such as squid ink risotto have been added to please “foodies”–seafood ceviche and thin crust pizzas from wood-burning ovens at the poolside St. Trop are typical lunch fare at Sandos Cancun.
Three terraced infinity pools cascade their way towards the beautiful white sand beach; arguably, this is the most outstanding amenity of the resort. All three pools are open 24-hrs. a day and are heated at a different temperature–most guests find that the upper and lower pools are the warmest. The pool furthest from the beach has a built-in Jacuzzi, while the lower pool has built-in headrests and offers afternoon volleyball. Pool decks on all levels have loungers, umbrellas, and padded day beds which are shaded (cabanas). Although poolside cabanas are reserved for Suite guests, they can be rented for $30 per day if there are any available. Poolside wait staff will deliver drinks and food right to loungers or cabanas if so desired. NOTE: It’s difficult not to miss Secrets the Vine which is located just adjacent to the pool area. Due to the height of Secrets the Vine, expect the pools to be in some degree of shadow starting from 1 p.m. on–this lasts for the remainder of the day. Guests who wish to continue to work on their tan in the afternoon usually move to the beach.
And what a beach it is–typical of Cancun with powder-white sand and the turquoise sea beyond. The undertow, also typical of this part of Hotel Zone beach areas, can be something fierce, so use caution and heed the posted flags. There are loungers, cabanas, hammocks, and swinging day beds on the beach–wait staff will gladly serve drinks and food to wherever one is located on the beach. Unlike poolside, beach cabanas and swinging day beds are complimentary for all guests and cannot be reserved in advance. Those who enjoy water sports will want to take advantage of the complimentary use of non-motorized water sports at Aquaworld which is located offsite on Nichupté Lagoon–complimentary transportation is provided by Aquaworld and must be arranged through them as well.
Although many areas of Sandos Cancun underwent renovations upon its rebranding in 2012, guest rooms have not undergone any renovations with the exception of the bathrooms. As a result, expect interior and exterior furnishings to be dated with some items in need of replacement. Vacationers should keep in mind that since this property sits perpendicular to the beach, only Caribbean Suites and the Presidential Suite have full-on ocean views–many rooms have views of both the ocean and Nichupté Lagoon since most balconies are located on the sides of the building. Standard rooms do not have balconies.
Spa lovers will enjoy the on-site Spa Del Mar, recognized by such magazines as Condé Nast for being one of the best spas in Cancun. Offering 15,000 sq. feet with 12 treatment rooms and one luxury suite, Spa Del Mar features cold immersion pools, hydrotherapy circuits for men and women, inhalation and sauna rooms, a steam room, heated Jacuzzi, and separate shower and locker room facilities for men and women. Typical spa menus include various massages, body wraps, facial treatments, and luxury spa packages.
Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort offers lots of class and style to match its great food and service. This is a rather quiet resort, particularly in the evenings, but a party can always be found in the local nightclubs which are just a short cab or bus ride away.
Type Of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Heated pools open 24-hrs. a day, free WiFi, swinging beach beds, service, spa
Con: Guest rooms need renovations, nightlife options
Best Suited For: Couples (ages 35-55), those looking for a more quiet resort atmosphere.
No. of Rooms: 214
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, sitting area with table and chairs, in-room safe, mini-bar, entertainment center with flat screen TV, two telephones, coffee maker, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, tub/shower combo, and toiletries. There is complimentary WiFi and 24-hr. room service. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Superior: King or two dbl beds. These rooms do not have a balcony. Lagoon/ocean view.
- Deluxe: King or two dbl beds, desk and chair, armchair and table, balcony, separate shower. Lagoon/ocean view.
- Lagoon Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, entertainment center with flat screen TV, table and two chairs, desk and chair, living room with two sofas, coffee table, and entertainment center with flat screen TV, dining room table and four chairs, kitchenette with microwave, two full bathrooms (one with shower-only), two balconies. Lagoon view.
- Sandos Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, entertainment center with flat screen TV, table and two chairs, desk and chair, living room with two sofas, armchairs, coffee table, and entertainment center with flat screen TV, dining room table and four chairs, kitchenette with microwave, separate shower, and balcony. Lagoon/ocean view.
- Caribbean Suite (also referred to as Caribe Suite): Two bedroom suite (king bed and two dbls), each with an entertainment center and flat screen TV, desk and chair, living room with two sofas, coffee table, and flat screen TV, dining room table and four chairs, kitchenette with microwave and wet bar, two full bathrooms with separate shower, and large oceanfront balcony with table and several chairs.
- Presidential Suite: Two bedroom suite (king bed and two dbls), each with an entertainment center and flat screen TV, the master bedroom has a walk-in closet and Jacuzzi with ocean view, full bathroom with separate shower off each bedroom, living room with two sofas, two armchairs, coffee table, entertainment center with flat screen TV, dining room table and six chairs, kitchenette with microwave, full bottles of liquor, and a half-bath. The lengthy oceanfront terrace has several full loungers.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Three infinity pools with varied temperatures (no swim-up bar), in-pool Jacuzzi, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, non-motorized water sports at Aquaworld, tennis, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12) with small pool, pool and beach wait service, swinging day beds, beach hammocks, concierge, tour desk, gift shop, business center, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet (Zango), two a la cartes including Japanese (Gaijin–teppanyaki show tables), and international molecular cuisine (Seasons), along with a beachfront a la carte lunch and snack venue (St. Trop). Reservations are required at the teppanyaki show tables. Caribbean Night and occasional beach buffets round out the dining venues. There are two bars including St. Trop beachfront bar and Bar One which is the swanky lobby bar. There is no swim-up bar.
Entertainment: This is a quiet resort with little scheduled nightly entertainment. Occasionally there are live bands and poolside acrobatic shows.