Hotel Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Suite, Ocean Front

Cancun – A Dream or a Nightmare?

It has always been a dream of mine to go to Mexico. When you live on the other side of the Atlantic and it takes nearly 30 hrs to get to the other side of the world one tends to romanticize the place.

Certainly the pictures of the Mexican luxury resorts look amazing on the internet.

So after years of dreaming we packed our LV cases with DVF kaftans, Prada wedges, Villebrequin shorts and Hermes hats (Ok-ok, I am showing off now) and headed off to the remote Yucatan Peninsula. You’ll find out in a minute that we didn’t need any of them – Cancun is just not that kind of place.

In Australia we hear that Cancun is a lot like the Australian Gold Coast – beautiful beaches, skyscrapers, party atmosphere. So we thought we’ll start our Mexican adventure here for a couple of days.

I researched all the luxury hotels and settled on what looked like the best – The Ritz Carlton Cancun.

Well, firstly, on arrival they didn’t upgrade us to a suite which was part of our booking so it took us an hour to sort out that problem.

Hotel Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Suite, Ocean Front

Once we settled in a suite we were quite comfortable – the suites are large and have a nice resort atmosphere. Older in style but not lacking anything – suite had 2 bathrooms, large walk in showers, 2 balconies, ample space. We were on a romantic vacation but these suites would’ve worked beautifully for the families too.



After we have unpacked & settled in, we headed off to the beach – the water is blue and warm but the beach is very wavy and rough. There was hardly anyone in the water due to the rough conditions (and we were told by the staff that it is the norm here). If you are thinking of a family vacation – think again, as kids won’t be able to enjoy the sea here at all. Cancun-Beach

It was a real dissapointment as Caribbean sea was one of the main reasons we came this far. Hotel lacks any kind of atmosphere or things to do so not being able to use the beach is a major let down.


The only nice thing about the beach is being able to go for a long walk in the afternoon once the sun has gone down and it’s not so hot.

And hotel pools, even though pretty, are very warm (hot really) – not refreshing on a hot day.


Seeing that beach and pool didn’t work out for us, we headed off to town to explore what Cancun has to offer. Imagine our surprise, when we discovered that the only thing in town is a cheap shopping centre and even cheaper cafes on the sides of the dirt road. That is apart from the super noisy clubs on each corner selling cheap margaritas. So unless you come here to party and drink there is absolutely nothing to do in Cancun.

A picture of a typical street inCcancun is on the left.

If you are over 30 years old and are The Lux Traveller this place is absolutely not for you, even if you staying in a luxury hotel like we did.

If you happen to be here for a couple of days – distract yourself with some shopping – there are a couple of nice designer shopping centres in the vicinity of the Ritz Carlton – Plaza Las Americas and La Isla.

But my best tip would be – to hire a car and head to Playa Del Carmen. It is only about an hour away by car and is in a completely different world. Here you’ll find luxury hotels, pretty restaurants and swimming beaches.

We have cancelled our 2 extra nights at the Ritz and did exactly that. Our holiday began once we left Cancun (no offence to Cancun and its very young fans – it just not luxurious or interesting enough for our generation!).

Read our next story on Playa Del Carmen and enjoy a nicer side of Mexico!

About the Author
Marina Noble

Marina is the Founder and the CEO of The Lux Traveller. Facebook: theluxtraveller Twitter: lux_traveller Instagram: theluxtraveller LinkedIn:

  • maryanna roussel

    I completely disagree with this, when I went to Cancún the days flew away so fast! There was something to do every single day.. shopping, partying at the hotel, going to different restaurants and discovering what Cancún truly is. Besides when people go to Cancún they have in mind that they are going different places that are no necesarilly 15 minutes away from your hotel.. like xel-ha, Xcaret, Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Chichen Itzá, etc. I`ve been there three times with my husband and we never get bored or disappointed. Maybe you should just leave your bubble and live a little more, try to visit the real Cancun or the real anywhere and not just what they show you on the magazines and tv shows… learn to live

  • Ella Forrest

    It’s been a long time since we went to Cancun, but it sounds like it has not changed. It is an exhausted tourist trap done Mexican style… this Las Vegas tawdry and Nogales style but without the class.

    After a day, we got a taxi and decided to keep going until we saw pigs and turkeys in the street. We were with a savvy traveller who was always on the lookout for authenticity, and she advised us that the fastest way to find authentic is to look out for 3rd-world farm animals wandering the streets like they owned the place. That was Playa del Carmen before it was discovered. The beach hotels were classic tropics, with waiters who would bring fresh squeezed drinks served in the surf (pants rolled up).

    The further away from the beach, the seedier the restaurants and better the food. Four blocks in the curtains were white, dirty rags blowing in the wind, rats were literally walking along the rafters, and the Mexican shrimp dish was better than anything at a five-star NY hotel. It sounds like a nightmare, but it was heaven. The rats stayed out of the way and provided entertainment. The food was heavenly.

    Breakfast outside in the early morning sun, sand under our feet, and beer with our eggs and salsa. Only place I’ve had beer for breakfast, but somehow it was perfect. Coffee was instant coffee made with canned sweet milk rather than water. Amazingly, it too tastes good.

    Now, we hear that Playa del Carmen has been discovered, and the taxi rides for authenticity needs to head further south. But the natural beauty of the place is still grand.

    Cancun? If you have to stay a night after arriving at the airport, OK, but get out of town as soon as you can.