Resort Review: The Grand at Moon Palace (5*)
Updated: May 22, 2019
After an already long travel day, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the Grand at Moon Palace and have them promptly whisk away my suitcase and offer me a chilled towel to refresh (you can read this as remove sweat, since I was dressed for Canada and now in Mexico) and a welcome drink. Check-in was quick, and only really lasted any amount of time because I was chatting with the lovely people working at the desk and not because there was any wait. They even gave me a flower. My room wasn't quite ready yet (I arrived around 1pm), but within the hour they had emailed me to let me know it was (a tech-forward approach I really appreciated).
The room was worth the wait! I had this very lovely Grand Deluxe Gardenview room to myself for five nights. My room was located in building 88, only a couple of minutes from the main building that houses most of the restaurants/services and from the adults only pool. Amenities included bar fridge and snacks (restocked daily), free Wi-Fi throughout the resort, free calls to Canada and the continental US (especially handy when traveling for work), CHI bath products, a laptop-sized safe, balcony with sunbed/table/chairs, double whirlpool tub, top-shelf liquor dispenser, coffee maker, and more.
There's no shortage of places to eat at the Grand (and with additional options at Moon Palace, it totals more than twenty, and exchange privileges with Moon Palace and their other local resorts are included as part of your stay). I tried the Italian, Peruvian, Mexican, Asian fusion, taco, deli/coffee shop, buffet, room service, and spa juice bar options during my stay and had very few issues finding something ranging from good to delicious to eat. I was pleasantly surprised to see vegetarian and even some vegan options on most menus, and found them quite good with dealing with dietary restrictions (since it's something I have personal experience with).
If you love to lounge by or in the pool, there's plenty of options - 9 outdoor pools, including 5 swim-up options (and again, exchange privileges with Moon Palace apply, giving you access to more pools). The beach is lovely for walking and there was a good assortment of beach chairs, but right now it is dealing with seaweed issues like other resorts in the area. They had tractors there removing it throughout the day.
Got kiddos? Are you a kiddo at heart? There's fun to be had at the Grand - an arcade area (no extra cost or tokens required), a bowling alley (for a fee, but resort credit can be used), a water park with small lazy river (no fee), and the craziest kids club I've ever seen (no fee). You can even borrow bicycles and explore the grounds however you see fit. With your exchange privileges, it's worth heading over to Moon Palace to try out the Flowrider (there is plans to add another to the water park at the Grand in the future). There's a full schedule of professional entertainment for your viewing pleasure as well.
Wellness matters at the Grand. The fitness center is the largest I have ever seen in a hotel or resort, and besides being well equipped, it offers spinning, yoga, Pilates, TRX, and more. The AWE spa is over 75000 sq ft, with 64 spa suites, 41 single treatment rooms, 21 double treatment rooms, and hydrotherapy facilities (hot and cold plunge pools, steam room, sauna, sensory pool, and relaxation area).
What I loved:
The resort complex is really big, but it never really felt that way. The pathways are lined with greenery, and if you don't feel like walking, there's plenty of golf carts circulating to drive you around. I really enjoyed walking the pathway along the ocean (up above the beach, so no sand in my sneakers). Having a coffee shop, that is included in your price, matters to me. Free Wi-Fi matters as well, as being disconnected is not at all relaxing for me. Access to fresh juice and smoothies, with plenty of healthy options available all the time is also a plus in my book. Options for lounging in shade instead of full sun were available as well.
Food for thought: The inside of the main building, while stunning, is a bit dark in many areas. Since you aren't able to see the ocean from much of the resort, it could just as easily be the inside of a Las Vegas resort (complete with high-end shopping). It left me missing that feeling of being in the Caribbean sometimes. While I loved having a coffee shop, it was also a sandwich shop, dessert shop, juice shop, crepe shop, ice cream shop, chocolate shop, and more - and when you just want a coffee, that's a lot of things to have to deal with (the coffee shops in Moon Palace, while much smaller, are much easier to get a coffee at). I didn't love that the adults only pool is heated when it's 30+ (like getting into soup), but that's a personal preference, and the service at this pool was hard to come by both times I was there with colleagues (I'm not sure if this was a time of day or time of year thing). If you have allergies or sensitivities to strong scents, this may also be an issue for you, as there are aromatherapy areas and fragrances throughout the complex.
Kids and teenagers stay free at this resort (meaning that in a package, you pay only for their air). Week long stays include $1500 USD in resort credit (note that taxes are paid on the amount of resort credit used), which can be used towards the spa, salon, golf, tours, bowling, and more. If golfing is your thing, resort credit can be exchanged for unlimited golf (mandatory golf cart rental fees apply). The Grand has exchange privileges to Moon Palace, but Moon Palace guests cannot access the Grand's facilities.
Perfect for: Families, couples, weddings, spa, meetings and golf Location: Ten minutes from Cancun International Airport and twenty minutes from downtown Cancun
I would personally stay at the Grand again and feel great about recommending it to you. Think the Grand at Moon Palace is a good fit for your upcoming vacation? Get in touch any time for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org #gotravelwithange #thepalacelife #thegrandatmoonpalace
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Palace Resorts for our stay at the Grand at Moon Palace, but I feel this is a fair representation of all things I experienced during my stay. All pictures were taken by me during this visit and have not been altered in any way.