hidden gem hotels

Cool ‘Hidden Gem’ Hotels in Cancun

Cancun is widely regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and for good reason. It has gained worldwide fame thanks to its breathtaking white beaches, strategic position, exquisite hotels and the energy and warmth that the inhabitants possess.

As such, zeroing in on the best hotels can be quite difficult especially during the popular season when tourist droves throng into the hotel zone area. Fortunately, there are more than 150 hotels in and around Cancun that you can choose from. Below are some of the hidden gem hotels in Cancun where you can have a quieter and serene time.

1. HOTEL PLAZA KOKAI

The Hotel Plaza Kokai is 13 km from Interactive Aquarium Cancun and is situated in a casual and unassuming complex in one of the most important residential areas in Cancun. It is among the best places to stay if you want to conveniently explore downtown Cancun. It is just 3 km from the nearest beach.

This hotel has a range of large serviced rooms including 2 bedroom suites with extra bathrooms. Hotel Plaza Kokai also boasts of a casual bar and restaurant where regular karaoke and live performances are hosted. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi and cable TV, laundry services, large outdoor pool, sundeck and a beach club access.

http://hotel-plaza-kokai-cancun.com/

2. HOTEL AND SPA XBALAMQUE

The Mayan-inspired Xbalamque resort and spa in downtown Cancun is located about 3 km from Playa Las Perlas. It is a kid-friendly 3-star hotel that features both indoor and outdoor pools (and spa) as well as a basement nightclub where you can enjoy live music and an Italian bistro. Feel free to try out the exotic cuisine at the serene Mexican restaurant.

It bears large terracotta tiled rooms and suites where the friendly staff offers complimentary room and laundry service. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, complimentary parking, shuttle services, spacious garden, beauty salon, terrace with cafe and a live performance theater.

http://www.xbalamque.com/english

3. THE CARIBBEAN PRINCESS RESORT

The Caribbean Princess Resort is among the hotels in the Cancun hotel zone that have the best rates. This 4-star hotel borders a lagoon and is separated from the sea by one road. In terms of location, the Caribbean Princess hotel is the best value for your money in Cancun yet it is often overlooked by many tourists.

Just 4 km away is the center of Cancun while Cancun International Airport is about 30 km from the resort. You can have a great time at The La Boom nightclub situated only 200 meters from The Caribbean Princess. This resort boasts of two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a spa complete with treatments, climate controlled restaurant, bar, and a poolside snack bar.

You can engage in several sporting activities the resort offers including volleyball, canoeing, and table tennis. The hotel also organizes a golf program at the nearby Pok Ta Pok golf course. Additional amenities and facilities include medical facilities, free Wi-Fi and cable TV, room and laundry services, conference rooms, coffee shop/cafe, in-room safes and phone services.

http://the-caribbean-princess.cancun-hotels.org/en/

4. HOTEL CANCUN HANDALL

Hotel Cancun Handall is a 3-star hotel located relatively close to the center of Cancun (30 minutes’ walk) where you can conveniently enjoy Cancun’s best amenities. The Cancun International airport is 20 minutes’ drive from this budget gem. Hotel Cancun offers more than 40 rooms each bearing laundry services and climate control to ensure you experience the most pleasant time in Cancun.

It has a large outdoor pool and a children’s swimming pool with a poolside snack bar. Other amenities include a rooftop terrace, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and parking, safety deposit box, conference room, shuttle services and designated smoking areas.

http://www.hotelcancunhandall.com/

5. MANSION GIAHN

If you are looking for a low-key accommodation option away from the busy city life at the best rates then Mansion Giahn Bed and Breakfast is the place for you. It is located in Cancun suburb 10 minutes’ drive from Cancun center and 15 minutes’ drive from the beach. Mansion Giahn houses 11 rooms with private bathrooms and modern interior design.

You can enjoy a walk in its tropical garden and its two outdoor swimming pools. Also, there are local restaurants and a convenience store in close proximity to the hotel. Additional amenities include valet parking, shuttle services, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, babysitting service, salon and designated smoking areas.

http://www.mansiongiahnbedandbreakfast.com/

6. HOTEL ANTILLANO

Antillano hotel is located about a quarter of a mile from downtown Cancun, 15 minutes’ drive from Cancun International Airport and around 3 km from the beautiful white sand of Playa Las Perlas. This 3-star hotel is surprisingly laid back with 48 leisurely air-conditioned and serviced rooms and suites at very affordable rates.

Former guests are often quick to praise the friendly and professional staff you will interact with at Antillano hotel. It features a fully stocked lobby bar and large outdoor swimming pool. Other amenities at this hotel include free Wi-Fi and cable TV, complementary private parking and laundry services.

http://www.hotelantillano.com/esp/

7. HOTEL BATAB

Hotel Batab in located in downtown Cancun some 20 km from Cancun International Airport and 14 km from Interactive Aquarium Cancun. The hotel is Arab inspired and while it is a 3-star hotel, it boasts of some of the best amenities in the area. It houses a low profile bar and a beautiful outdoor restaurant.

It is perfectly suitable for family events and offers very affordable rates. Some of the amenities include free Wi-Fi, free cable TV, complementary double parking, room service and an airport shuttle.

http://hotelbatab.com/

8. HOTEL TANKAH

This traditional and modest hotel is conveniently situated in the heart of Cancun (Supermanzana district) yet it is quite easy to miss. It is situated in the midst of residential and commercial properties and is among the most affordable hotels in the district. It is a little over 4 km away from the Playa Las Perlas beach.

The rooms and suites have a laid back look and feel to them with simple but beautiful interior design. It features a swimming pool, air conditioning, private parking, free Wi-Fi, free cable TV, safety deposit box, room service and laundry service.

There are many other cool hidden gem hotels in Cancun including but not limited to Hotel Casa Maya, Hotel Plaza Caribe, Suites El Patio, Hotel Imperial Las Perlas, The Iberostar Paraiso Lindo and The Paraiso de la Bonita Resort. It is important to note that you should make prior reservations before travelling to Cancun.

http://www.hoteltankah.com/

outdoor activities cancun

Top 8 Ultimate Outdoor Activities For Active People in Cancun

The beautiful and thrilling city of Cancun is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Mexico. Cancun boarders the Caribbean Sea and is known for its nightlife, numerous resorts and white beaches. It sits on the Yucatan Channel which separates Cuba from Mexico, and has been a popular tourist destination for Decades. Most of the Markets, restaurants and shops frequented by locals are found on the mainland right in the heart of the city. However, most of the popular beaches and modern resorts are located in a long narrow island just offshore from the mainland. Cancun combines modern conveniences with an exotic and wonderful tropical island setting where watersports abound and the party never stops. The amount of exciting and fun things to do in Cancun is quite amazing.

Let’s explore some of the best outdoor activities for active people in Cancun.

1. Snorkeling and scuba diving

Known for its diversity of life, dazzling colors and shallow reefs, Cancun is definitely one of the best places in the entire world for scuba diving. The Northern tip of the great Mesoamerican reef (gran Arrecife Maya), popularly known as Punta Nizuc is one of the largest and most beautiful reef sin the Northern Hemisphere. Here you can explore a wide variety of dive options and explore several ancient sunken ships in addition to the breathtaking sea life. Inland, a series of cenotes and caverns are quite fascinating for more experienced divers. Drift diving is also quite popular here, with dives going to the Caves of the Sleeping Sharks and reef sat El Garrafon. However, beware that the ‘sleeping sharks’ have been driven off by human activity.

https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/5-top-places-to-snorkel-in-cancun-mexico/

2. Adventure tours

Cancun has numerous adventure tours that take visitors to interesting places like rope bridges, tree platforms, jungle zip lines, and many more. This is definitely a great way for you to get out and enjoy the amazing outdoors and experience the most extreme forms of entertainment Cancun has to offer. This is definitely one of the best ways for active people to have an unforgettable experience in this truly amazing vacation paradise.

http://www.cancunadventure.net/

3. Hit the beach

The incredible white beaches are one of the main attractions that make Cancun a high profile vacation destination. The long white sandy beaches provide of space for the huge amount of social activity taking place there, and also offer a great opportunity to access the stunning waters. There are numerous beaches in Cancun such as Playa Las Perlas (Beach of Perls), Playa Linda (Pretty Beach), Playa Tortugas (Turtle Beach), Gaviota Azul (Blue seagull Beach), and many more, most of which are geared towards exciting and active experiences. However, you can also find various secluded and remote beaches as well.

4. Enjoy some Golfing

Golfing has become quite popular in Cancun in recent years and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been there. The beautiful scenery, warm sun, and fun social setting all make it an excellent destination to spend some quality time in the outdoors. Some of the most beautiful golf courses in Cancun include the Hilton Cancun Golf Course, Pok-ta-pok Golf Course Rivera Cancun, El Camaleon, Playa Paradiso, and many more.

http://www.golfcancun.com/

5. Explore the Interactive Aquarium

For anyone who wants to see and experience the amazing undersea wildlife Cancun has to offers, but doesn’t really want to venture out to sea, the Interactive Museum is exactly the place they need to visit. This unique attraction allows you to touch sea urchins, swim with the dolphins and feed the sharks in a completely safe but thrilling atmosphere. This great tourist attraction is very popular with both young and old visitors interested in the sea life and people looking for exciting experiences.

https://www.interactiveaquariumcancun.com/en/

6. Visit the Wet ‘n wild waterpark

Wet-n-wild-cancun-lazy-river

They have a ‘Lazy River’ for the adults to hang out.

The Wet ‘n Wild Waterpark is a great place for your entire place to take refuge from the wild and crowded beaches, scorching sun and urban areas of Cancun. Kids especially enjoy the chance to play in a number of water settings. Moreover, the waterpark is particularly unique because it offers both adults and children a great opportunity to interact with friendly dolphins. This is a very unique way of having fun in this exciting vacation hotspot and definitely a must see attraction for anyone visiting Cancun with their entire family.

http://www.wetnwildcancun.com/

7. Hit the nightspots, dance clubs and bars

Cancun is a well-known hotspot for socializing and partying hard. This vacation hotspot is set up to cater for anyone, both old and young, who is interested in going out and having a great time. There are numerous great places throughout the city where you can go out and enjoy various beverages and exciting social gatherings. Some of the best places to visit include clubs, dance spot sand bars such as Party Rockers, Mandala, Cuncrawl and many more.

Although most of these hotspots are located within resorts, you can also find numerous exciting spots in the developed downtown area. Some of the popular spots you can go to are located along the beach and water areas and they are often thronged with party goers even during the daytime. Club hopping and partying is not only entertaining and fun in Cancun; it’s also quite easy to do mainly due to the large number of high quality dance clubs, bars and nightspots in this unique tourist destination.

8. Explore the inland areas

Although Cancun is quite popular for the incredible nightlife, fabulous beaches, vibrant downtown area, incredible water, luxurious resorts, and great opportunities for both eating out and shopping, there is much more to do. The surrounding inland areas offer a large number of unique opportunities for active people to have fun including visiting the surrounding indigenous communities and visiting protected natural areas.

Going on a back country tour is a great way to explore the undeveloped inland areas in Cancun. Back country tours are usually done on four-wheel drive multi-passenger vehicles or four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles. Exploring the surrounding landscape is a unique opportunity to see a side of Cancun that most visitors never get a chance to.

Once you go on a vacation in Cancun, it won’t take long for you to realize why so many people visit this popular tourist destination keep coming back. For people who want to experience a breathtaking vacation surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and attractions, Cancun provides exactly that. Cancun is a world class exotic paradise where you can have the time of your life.

spas in cancun

The Best Spas in Cancun

Vacations are meant for relaxing and treating yourself to something that you cannot normally avail at home. It can be a perfect time to visit luxurious spas. Cancun is famous for its numerous spas, offering tourists a sanctuary where they can indulge in massages and facials, hydrotherapy and manicures, pedicures and a lot more.
Here are some of the best Spas in Cancun.

1. Leblanc Spa

It is the most famous spa in Cancun Hotel Zone and offers a nature-based design, with stone walkways. It is extremely luxurious and offers maximum relaxation with its famed hydrotherapy spots, with warm as well as cool pools, sauna, steam room and so on. It is an all-inclusive spa with 19 D’or treatment suites, 3 master suites having hydrotherapy tubs and 5 indoor couple suites. It offers spa services only for adults, people older than 18 years. It is a world by itself offering sensory pleasures in the most luxurious settings. The spa offers the original Greco Roman rituals, combining hot-cold contrasts and producing stimulations through the entire body.

http://www.leblancsparesort.com/en

2. Grand Velas Riviera Maya Spa

It can also be considered among the best spas of the world. The facility spans 89,305 sq ft. It exists since 2008 and has come in for some rave reviews from guests. It has impressive accommodation, including whirlpool tubs and a 42 inches plasma screen television in the rooms. Guests can sign up for revitalizing spa services, such as the Mayan Jade Facial, the Coffee and Cocoa Experience and many others. If you want additional pampering, you can opt for the Riviera Maya Spa package, offering eco tours, spa credits along with several other perks.

http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/spa

3. Coral Beach Gem Spa Fiesta

The spa offers the perfect spot for rejuvenation of body, mind and the soul. It is located in the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach in Cancun Hotel Zone, and is among the best spas in Cancun. The healing powers of gems from all over the world are combined with hydrotherapy, forming the inspiration for this resort. The Gem spa offers a mélange of relaxation and indulgence. It offers gem treatments from three different regions, along with their Signature Collection offering therapies that are diamond infused. The design of the spa includes rich woods and Italian mosaics with sand marble and large expanses of water.

http://www.coralbeachcancunresort.com/gem-spa/

4. Heavenly Spa by Westin

It is full of healing touches, relaxing scents and inspiring melody offering invigorating massages. It is both opulent and modern with 11 spa rooms, separate relaxation areas for men and women, dedicated changing areas for men and women, steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzi facilities. There are several special offers, such as the Splendid Dip Coconut Cream Massages, making it one among the best spas of Cancun.

http://www.westinhiltonheadspa.com/

5. Willow Stream Spa Fairmont Mayakoba

It is a breathtaking spa in the Riviera Maya, incorporating old Mayan culture elements in the treatment. The spa makes use of elements like the Conchera, which is a fossil stone, natural green Guatemala marble and the Zapote tree wood, reminiscent of the Mayans who lived here thousands of years ago.
There are private canopies available for treatment. The locker areas are amidst the tropical Mexican gardens complete with Swiss showers, whirlpools and the like. It offers unique treatments that are based on the local flora, ranging from unique signature treatments to ancient Mayan traditions, using local herbs and extracts. The Cha Chac Rain Ritual and the Yucatan Healing Retreat are noteworthy and popular options.

http://www.fairmont.com/mayakoba-riviera-maya/willow-stream/

6. Kayanta Spa Ritz Carlton Cancun

It is an unforgettable spa resort and noteworthy among the best spas in Cancun, offering soothing relaxation and rejuvenation. The sanctuary is a serene one, where they pander to every request. Kayanta Spa follows the Mayan phrase of ka a yaantah, which means �to be reborn’. It offers world class resort services like massage therapies, facial and body therapies, water rituals and so on. There are soothing steam rooms with whirlpools and relaxing patios in the garden. You can also opt for a secluded terrace to get an outdoor massage or for infusion baths.

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/mexico/cancun/spa

7. Vassa Spa Azul Sensatori Mexico

It offers complete relaxation in its tranquil architectural designing. Guests can unwind in a personal sanctuary. Both regional and modern techniques have inspired this spa, helping to soothe stress and restore your natural equilibrium. There is a special Kids Spa program, offering children special spa services. In addition, the Wedding bride rituals will surely appeal to all brides and the spa offers it in a separate wedding suite. Spa packages come with the Vassa journey or Hydrotherapy, where you pass through heat phases alternating with short cold phases, along with tea and other regional fruits for refreshments.

http://www.karismahotels.com/Hotels-Resorts-Villas/For-Everyone/Azul-Hotels/Azul-Sensatori-Mexico/Spa

8. Spa Xbalamque

The resort is located in downtown Cancun and the mystical Mayan culture and its charming mythology are the source of inspiration for this spa. It offers unique massage treatments from professionals, in a mix of ancestral knowledge and therapeutic exercises. It is a mix of the different elements like heat and cold and water, resulting in a healing care under Xbalamque, who is the protecting god of Maya cosmology. The Temazcal is a steam bath that was used by the ancient Mayans. It is filled with medicinal herbs that can relax the body and clean the mind, allowing you to attain internal well-being. It offers harmony and relaxation through direct contact with nature.

http://www.xbalamque.com/english

9. Secrets the Vine Spa by Pevonia

The magnificent, world-class spa spans more than 12,500 sq feet and offers several pampering options. You can choose from different combinations of hydrotherapy and regional treatments. For instance, there is a seaweed wrap, a Swedish massage, an aromatherapy salt glow for luminosity and so on. For your hair, hands and feet, there are spa manicures and pedicures and hair treatment options. The signature options include a Hot Stone massage. Couples can opt for a side-by-side relaxing massage in private locations.

http://www.secretsresorts.com/vine-cancun/world-class-spa

10. Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita Riviera Maya Spa

It is a beach resort located at Puerto Morelos. The Thalassotherapy center comes with sixteen treatment rooms, along with couples’ rooms. They also give massages on the beach. Other services include facials and body scrubs or body wraps. Different therapies include the aromatherapy, the hydrotherapy and the thalassotherapy. The spa also has mud bath, spa tubs, saunas and a Turkish hammam or bath.

http://www.zoetryresorts.com/paraiso

Conclusion:

Spa experience in Cancun is one of the best you will get anywhere in the world and people visiting this amazing Mexican city should get pampered at some of the spas to have an unforgettable experience.

Yucatan

The three states that comprise the Yucatán Peninsula – Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo – are among the hottest and most tropical parts of Mexico, though they lie further north than you might imagine: the capital of Yucatán state, Mérida, is actually at a higher latitude than Mexico City.

Until the 1960s, when proper road and rail links were finally completed, the Yucatán lived out of step with the rest of the country and had almost as much contact with Europe, Cuba and the US as with central Mexico, resulting in a very distinct culture. Tourism has since made major inroads, especially in the north around the great Maya sites, such as Chichén Itzá, and on the Quintana Roo coast, where development has centred on the “superresort” of Cancún and the islands of Mujeres and Cozumel, but is now shifting to the so-called Riviera Maya, the stretch of beachfront that includes Playa del Carmen and Tulum. But away from the big centres, especially in the south, where towns are sparsely scattered in thick jungle, there’s still a distinct pioneering feel. In northern Yucatán state, the landscape is relatively spare: shallow, rocky earth gives rise to stunted trees, and underground springs known as cenotes are the only source of water. Campeche state, by contrast, boasts a huge area of tropical forest, the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve – though the trees are being thinned in places for cattle ranching and timber.
The entire peninsular coastline is great for spotting wildlife – notably turtles at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo and flocks of flamingoes at Celestún and Río Lagartos in Yucatán – but the most spectacular, white-sand beaches line the Caribbean coast, where magnificent offshore coral reefs form part of the second largest barrier reef system in the world.

Yucatan beaches

The Yucatan is full of beaches.

Caught between the relentless beat of progress and the echoing shouts of tradition, the Yucatán Peninsula stands at a crossroads. On one side you have the brawny mega-resorts like Cancún and Playa del Carmen with their oft-preposterous pomp and circumstance.
On the other are the proud, steadfast traditions of the Maya, the mystery of the ceremonial centers created by their ancestors, and the Old World allure of colonial masterpieces such as Mérida and Campeche. And in between, on every peroxide­-blonde beach and every patch of jungle still echoing with the roars of howler monkeys, beats the heart of Ixchel, the earth goddess, marveling at her remarkable creation.
Despite overzealous development, the natural beauty of the Yucatán abides, and with it, the reverberations of civilizations past. Set in a vast, jungle-swathed natural reserve, the pyramids of Calakmul are a prime example of nature and ancient history in perfect harmony.
Far more famous and crowded – but absolutely unmissable nonetheless – are the ruins of wondrous Chichén Itzá, seventh modern wonder of the world. There’s a Maya ruin near Xcalak, too, although that’s probably not the reason you’d be visiting – this tiny beach town in the middle of nowhere has another attraction: its absolute isolation from the tourist trail…