This is a full review of the Villa del Palmar Cancun resort. I stayed there as a guest this summer. I was not given any remuneration for this post. This review is my own opinion.
If you are going to Cancun, Mexico first thing you need to know is they bombard you when you are leaving the airport. Oh my word, it is the most disconcerting experience I ever had and my kid was with me. I wanted to scream “get the hell back”. As a Black American and a Mother traveling with her kid, I don’t want to be approached by anyone. I don’t want the hard sell.
If you are planning to travel to Villa del Palmar, MAKE ALL YOUR OWN RESERVATIONS OR GO THROUGH A STATES SIDE TRAVEL AGENT. Do not agree to purchase any tours or tickets at the airport. It’s a bad move. It could possibly be a scam.
So as we navigate our way to the shuttles and there were so many shuttles, I had a hard time finding ours. Luckily, I had pulled all my travel documents into one PDF and had it on my home screen. I was able to show the people my shuttle’s name and they helped me along.
First thing you will notice about Villa del Palmar Cancun is that it is at the top of Cancun. It is not in the hustle and bustle of the main tourist area. THANK GOODNESS. Let me tell you right now Villa del Palmar Cancun is DEFINITELY for a family vacation. Young travelers will not like it so much because it is truly away from EVERYTHING. I could appreciate it because I was meeting my best friend with her daughter and I was travelling with my daughter. So the quiet location was perfect.
It’s a long ride up to the resort. Period. You will be concerned after 30 minutes has passed, but keep going.
Upon arrival, the entrance is very grand. I found the concierge and staff to be somewhat stoic. We weren’t greeted with open arms and I don’t know if it was because it was after 9pm at night or because we were travelers of African descent. The staff was civil, but they weren’t warm at all. I wasn’t best pleased with that. Then again, I’m spoiled. I am used to when I’m warm and friendly having such sentiments reciprocated. No such luck.
We were in a lovely one-bedroom suite. The decor was wonderful. I appreciated the murphy bed and loved the granite countertops and nice bathrooms. So what was missing? All the free items that they give you to welcome you for your stay. Coffee pods, creamer, sugar, etc. Magazines and Menu(s) for the restaurant were not there on the counter when we arrived. Again, that’s a flaw of the customer service or lack thereof. It was over looked because the decor of our suite was pretty damn amazing.
We ate at a lovely Italian restaurant at the back of the resort our first night. However the absolute star restaurant at the resort is ZAMA. Zama’s food, service and entertainment was bar none. I enjoyed every meal in that facility. I even enjoyed my afternoon Mom-break at their bar. If you want the best food at the resort, it will be ZAMA.
There is sushi bar in the lobby of the resort. It is awful. The staff’s attitude is awful. The drinks are amazing. The actual sushi is mediocre. You have been warned, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The best part of the resort is the pools! The adult lap pool was serene. The kid’s pool was super fun. There is a smaller family pool closer to the white sand beach as well. However the grand-daddy(s) of pools is right in the middle. The giant family pool in the middle of the resort is by far the best. The water sprays on the bridge were awesome. We swam and swam and swam. It was so much fun. We were visited by the iguana(s) that live on the property. It was really and truly an awesome experience hanging out by the family pool.
Now here is the really bad part… we got a deeply discounted rate because we agreed to sit through a “time share” presentation. Oh my word, it started off on a bad note because they shuffled us from the lobby to another facility to wait for our presenter. By the time we got there in the afternoon, the coffee was cold and they didn’t refresh the pastries. No bueno. Our presenter took my friend, myself and our kids to a breakfast buffet. It was subpar compared to the other breakfast buffet near the beach. Lucky for us we got up early and had the real breakfast buffet that is included in the all-inclusive package.
After trying to bond over brunch, we then had to go on a tour of the facility. They take you by the VIP section and you marvel at some of the amenities that are missing form the “general populous” section. They then take you into the most pricey and amazing units in the resorts.
These “show” units are decorated to perfection. They are sublime. And it is easy to be beguiled and seduced by all the shimmer and shine.
Then they show you the duplex unit that looks out onto the entire courtyard of resort. Ooooooooh it’s like you just stepped into a double suite in Dubai. They tell you this is all attainable. Yeah. Right?????
After seeing this magnificent suite, you are ushered to what I call the “close center”. And this is where they hard sell you with the pressure of a thousand sales people to get you to fork over some cash as a deposit on a time-share.
They gave us mimosa(s) and then they escorted our kids to a small room with a nintendo playset. Eventually, our kids were extremely bored and came back to sit with us. Another mimosa and the hard sell continues. My kid was on a med schedule and that’s when I realized we had been talking to this person for 2hrs. I told the presenter that my kid needed to go take her meds and we needed to wrap this up. He received that news with little to no interest or regard. The hard sell continued.
They brought in the so called manager. Then they brought in the so called division manager. The sales center was emptying out. The only people that were left were myself, my friend and our kids. The mimosa(s) stopped and the other sales people are giving us a dirty look. They knew what we knew… we weren’t going to buy.
The smiles all turned to “side-eyes”. It felt very uncomfortable and I decided to take the children out of there. It was very, very uncomfortable. My kid needed her meds and this had gone on too long.
After all of this, you are ushered to another customer service rep and they try and sell you on a discounted vacation to book in advance. OMG. The hard sell never stops. Once all this is completed you are now off the hook. If you don’t complete the entire sales presentation, they will change the rates of your room charge and charge your credit card more than what you agreed. So you have to complete it. My suggestion is JUST DON’T DO IT. THAT TIME SHARE PRESENTATION IS 2.5HRS OF MY LIFE I CAN NEVER GET BACK.
As we got back to our garden suite, we noticed ants. We called the front desk and the service was lack lustre at best. They were not rushing to resolve our issue. Beach front properties are plagued with mosquitos, so you have to make sure the screens are drawn. Once they realize you are not going to buy a timeshare, they will treat you with contempt. So be prepared. Our television wasn’t working properly and again they didn’t rush to fix it. We had to call at least 3 times to get resolution.
Another note worthy point is the creche for the kids is minimal at best. They do have activities for the kids, but they are on a small scale. We only left our kids at the creche for 30mins. They tell you to check on them every 30-40 mins. I was completely paranoid, so I had a wonderful Mom-Break, 30mins of cocktails and then I went to pick up my Future CEO.
Villa del Palmar Cancun Luxury Beach Resort & Spa is a wonderful facility for families with small kids and families who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the main part of Cancun. The all-inclusive package is the best value for your money if you don’t actually have a time-share at this facility. DO NOT TAKE THE TIME-SHARE PRESENTATION DISCOUNT. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE TIME-SHARE PRESENTATION. IT IS A HORRIFIC LOSS OF TIME AND THE HARD SELL IS UNRELENTING, IF NOT ACTUALLY A FORM OF TORTURE. Besides all that horrible time-share b***sh**, the decor of the units are very nice. You need to arm yourself with bug spray if you have a beach front unit and be prepared to deal with the ants in your lower floor unit. Customer service is medicore at best. Try to be as self-sufficient as possible and pre-arrange most of your services in advance. I will definitely return. I loved the pools, the food at ZAMA (which is the best restaurant on the resort), the beach is amazing with its pretty white sand and I must say the all-inclusive breakfast buffet is a dream. I would recommend this resort to friends, but I would tell them pre-arrange everything, document all your communications with the shuttle and the resort itself. Lastly, be ready to swim.