TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Best and worst of Sandos
This was our second time at Sandos in Cancun. My husband and I got engaged here, so this place has sentimental value for us. We own the time share and traveled to the resort Jan 14th - 20th with my mother-in-law (it's ok, she's cool!)
First, the improvement opportunities; (Skip this paragraph if your not going to buy or listen to the time share presentation.) The time share end of this is very difficult to manage. Emailing to set this trip up was complicated, tedious, cumbersome, stressful, and the numbers (people and dollar amounts) were wrong. We were quoted different dollar amounts on several occasions. The staff was turning over so we had to speak with a different person most times we called. Just when we thought everything was finalized we emailed one last time and they said they didn't receive our deposit and were one day away from cancelling our trip. Wow, sure glad we checked as this was news to us.
As far as the resort goes; my mother in law and I got stuck in one of the elevators for about 5 minutes. After continually pushing buttons and the alarm we landed on the main lobby floor. The next day the elevator was fixed.
We had a small mite infestation in the kitchen area of our room. Once we called house keeping the came with chemicals and quickly resolved the situation.
It was hard to get hot food at the sit down restaurants. I'll post reviews for each one as I'm able to, but room temperature meals seemed to be the norm.
We had one day that we had no running water in our room for about 4 hours. This was inconvenient as it was about dinner time after a day on the beach and we were gritty and sandy. We asked about the restaurants and they said they were on a different system than we were on and not to worry about it. I was a little concerned as the lobby restrooms didn't having running water either but folks were allowed to continue using them.
Finally, as far as the improvement opportunities, the drinks were inconsistent. As three travelers who thoroughly enjoy our cocktail time, we were disappointed. We drink rum and coke, we like Bacardi, and when we're "in the zone," we like to keep 'em coming! Our beach servers could have made twice as much tip money on us if they had been more attentive. Sometimes our drinks were strong, sometimes they were week, and the coke was flat 90% of the time.
All that being said, we had a very good vacation experience! When we arrived we had a banner across our door saying, "Welcome home!" I truly feel like the staff try and make this place feel like home. The folks who work at Sandos are friendly, kind, attentive, and will go out of their way to make you feel pampered. If you want something that isn't on the menu or in your room, they will try and get it for you!
The rooms are really above average for Mexico. The floors a beautiful stone and they shine. I have been to Mexico nearly 20 times over the years and many times I notice a glob of paint slopped across the chandelier or on the wooden trim. That is definitely not the case here. The rooms are sharp and, I feel, would easily be classified into a four star resort back in the U.S.
Housekeeping is great, timely and efficient. They will work around your schedule whether you are out and about early or want to sleep in. Turn down service is lovely and the housekeeping staff will always greet you with a smile.
I was celebrating a birthday and between my husband, Gabriel the concierge (highly recommended!) and housekeeping, I felt very spoiled! I had my room decorated with balloons and a towel birthday cake, treats in the room every night, and my name stenciled in the beach proclaiming, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! This would be a great place to take a loved one who deserves some pampering due to a special occassion.
Speaking of pampering, the spa is excellent. I will write another, shorter review of the spa but it is not to be missed. The fitness center is also large and quite comprehensive
The evening entertainment is quite good in Bar One. They have dancers, singers, casino night, a very fun DJ, and other options depending on the night of the week. We enjoyed a night cap in this bar nearly every night and again, the staff was just wonderful and very accommodating.
We all felt like the positives out-weighed the negatives! AND despite a freaky cold snap we had a nice relaxing vacation. I'm just not sure the price point is right for the time share. $150-$225/per day is competitive for a four-star all inclusive but by the time you add on airfare and annual maintenance fee's you could probably get a better value for you buck by booking through a regular travel website.
A couple tips to help;
Swing by your bank and bring down a stash of dollar bills for tipping.
Try and make a few friends outside of your group. We met several other travelers from around the globe and had great conversations.
If you need something ask, they'll try and make it happen.
Take in the daily activities. From cooking class to volleyball, a good time is there for the taking.
1st Wedding Anniversary
Luxurious 5* hotel, beautiful Hotel, Great food, entertainment and the beach is fantastic?!! Love Mexico so much.
Staff were great! Only downfall is the hard time share sell.
Definitely returning to this little gem
Great experience! Love the place!
Spent my 2-year anniversary with husband here from Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2017. Loved it! The property and the beach are amazing! Staff were great! I felt welcomed the moment I stepped in (We got a glass of white wine each and I got a rose!). I love concierge Daniel and Claudia. Daniel was very helpful on everything (getting breakfast ordering sheet, calling technicians to get security box fixed, taking reservation for Japanese Teppanyaki, etc.). Claudia was very helpful on directing us to Isla Mujeres. We love a bartender named Risotto. He brought our drinks really fast and he was very knowledgable on drinks. Last but not least, we were impressed by a waiter named Ricardo in the Italian restaurant beside the beach. We came back from ChichenItza trip with tour group at 10:50pm (restaurant closed at 11pm). We were starving and rushed into the restaurant wondering if we could still have some leftover food that they may still have. To our surprise, Ricardo asked us to order whatever on the menu! We've never seen this in Canada or even any places we've been. We finished it as soon as we could cuz we didn't want to waste him too much time although there were still customers by the time we left. We were so impressed with his service and attitude. We learned a lot from every single staff member in the hotel about how to offer great service. We will definitely come back soon :)
3rd times a charm!
This is the 3rd time we have stayed at this wonderful resort. We have stayed at many other resorts in the hotel zone and all the way down to Playa del Carmen. (where we were married) We have stayed at The Vine and the Golden Parnassus beside Sandos. We return here because of the location that is near the airport and the great staff.The size of the resort is small and intimate, which we like. Many employees know your name. There have been many improvements from last year. St. Trop was open after being renovated. Still gorgeous ocean view but they turn it into a restaurant at night. Good food. There was also nightly entertainment at Bar 2 which is outside. A live band one night and a great Mexican buffet and super mariachi band another night.Inside at Bar 1 there was also entertainment. One night was a fabulous magician. Can't remember his name but he was auditioning for the job. He should definitely be hired. Great show. There was also a drum show which we did not attend. Nice to have something to do after dinner. Great restaurants. Hibachi, Italian, French, and buffet which has great breakfast.St. Trop was wonderful for lunch on the beach. They deliver Guac and chips and brick oven pizza to the beach. Ahhh, the beach! beautiful with lots of chairs and beds. As soon as you arrive go find Alex the beach concierge. He has been there all 3 times we have been there. He will get your bed or chair ready for you each day. he even found us at lunch the 2nd day and asked if we liked the bed we were at or wanted to change. What an asset to the hotel. Thank you so much Alex, for making our stay super relaxing. He also set us up with Enrique who never let us go without a drink or ice for our bucket. Usually we go with another couple but this time it was just the 2 of us..We did a couples massage which was wonderful. We had a balcony on the 7th floor facing the pool which was gorgeous.Definitely pay a little more for balcony.We were there from Dec.1-6 2nd time we have been there for the 'super moon" Amazing sight over the ocean.We did not do time share presentation. But they were offering 2 massages if you went. I have written 2 other reviews for this resort, but the improvements definitely deserve another shout out. Thanks Claudia at desk for even printing out boarding passes. They really take care of you!
A Wonderful Vacation!
We spent a week at Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort, January 8-16 and we loved it! The property and the beach are gorgeous. The pools are well-kept, the rooms are clean and simple, with all the amenities you need. There is twice daily room housekeeping. Thank you to Thalia for doing such a great job! Make sure to tip a little (a couple dollars) each day instead of waiting until the end. You don't know who will be cleaning your room at any given time. It's not always the same person morning to evening.
Pros: Elegant simplicity throughout hotel. Marble floors and bathrooms, especially. The pools and beach are fantastic. Lots of lovely places to sit and sunbathe or just read. The food is amazing! I mostly liked the buffets at Zango. Breakfast, lunch or dinner---all were wonderful, with little touches like pesto croutons to dip into a large variety of dips and sauces, different chutneys, interesting jams, and condiments, fresh fruit juices, amazing chicken dishes, and my favorite part, was the gorgeous 5-star desserts! Thank you to Jesus, who served us delicious coffee every morning, and to Diana and Melissa, our gracious and sweet hostesses, who learned our names quickly. Mano was also very good on our last breakfast at the resort.
The bartenders served up some great drinks---whatever you want! I took advantage of this and tried a whole bunch of different and interesting cocktails. The water aerobics every day was wonderful fun---thank you Roxy and Abigail!! And I took the yoga class once---our instructor was fantastic (I forgot his name, unfortunately).
Our concierges were also great, helping us in any way they could--thank you to Gabriel, Grisel and Claudia!
Cons: There were some gaps in service. Drink and food orders by the pool and at St. Trop can be quite slow. Just be patient. Remind them (nicely) if needed. Sometimes they're just simply very busy. Just know that everyone is working as hard as they can. Don't get too picky about the service. If you tip accordingly, service will improve. That's kind of the name of the game at some all-inclusive resorts.
One thing I found incredibly odd though---at Zango, spoons and butter were sometimes hard to find. We had to ask for spoons and butter many times. Sometimes butter was with the desserts in a little jar and sometimes you had to ask the bartender for it (that is not obvious, to ask the bartender!). And sometimes I snagged a large soup spoon to eat a dessert, or used a knife to stir my coffee. I was a bit baffled by this---how hard is it to set the table with spoons and keep butter available at all times??
The safes in the rooms are finicky. Make sure you come up with a code that you will remember. If you put in the code wrong once or twice, it won't let you open it again. Fortunately, security is very prompt and helpful.
I was also curious about why Bar Two wasn't used more often. The weather wasn't super warm at night, and it was a little windy, but it was only unpleasant once or twice. Why weren't entertainment and events there, instead of crowded into Bar One? I would have like to have enjoyed more outdoor events.
I'm being pretty picky here, because overall, this is an incredible resort with amazing food, an awesome property and location, great service and friendly people. The value is also very very good compared to the Ritz-Carlton and Secrets The Vine, which I think are overpriced. The 5-star Sandos has all the same amenities, service and quality as those other 5-star hotels, but is less expensive.
I highly recommend the Sandos Cancun!!!
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