Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina: mediocre, zero attention, no service

Arrived in Cancun after a long journey which made me pass by Frankfurt, Gothenburg and Istanbul I am eager to freshen up at my hotel, even if my flight was excellent and I arrived in very good condition.

For this autumnal stay which takes me out of the Parisian greyness I chose to test two hotels: the Renaissance Cancun Marina & Resort and the Ritz Carlton.

Let’s start with the first one.

Review#TypePost
1Hotel Moxy Paris CDG (no article, look at our previous articles on Moxy Paris CDG )
2FlightParis-Frankfurt – Lufthansa – Business Class
3FlightFrankfurt-Gothenburg – Lufthansa – Business Class
4FlightGothenburg-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class
5FlightIstanbul-Mexico – Turkish Airlines – Business Class
6FlightMexico-Cancun – Turkish Airlines – Business Class
7HotelRenaissance Cancun Resort and Marina
8HotelRitz Carlton Cancun
9FlightCancun-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class
10FlightIstanbul-Gothenburg – Turkish Airlines – Business Class
11HotelGothia Towers Gothenburg
12RestaurantEpoque in Gothenburg
13FlightGothenburg-Zurich – Swiss – Business Class
14FlightZurich-Paris – Swiss – Business Class

Booking

I booked a standard Deluxe room, whichI paid for with my Marriott Bonvoy points (just like at the Ritz Carlton: I decided not to spend a lot on hotels during this journey).

I had Suite Night Awards to spend (vouchers for free suite upgrades) but it was not possible to use them on this hotel. Very surprising because with rare exceptions like the Ritz Carlton all Marriotts offer it, especially in low season. It has the smell of stinginess and the will not to deliver benefits to the “elite” members of the loyalty program.

Location of the hotel

The Renaissance Cancun Marina & Resort is as its name indicates a hotel located on the Marina. A place where, even if it was during the off season and still in the pandemic period, there is absolutely nothing to see or do. A mini mall, some stores and restaurants and that’s it. If you want more activities and choices to go out it’s further away, for the beach it’s further away, and even to go out for a 30 minutes walk it’s complicated except to go around the hotel and the shopping mall and even then, except for the part of the route that goes along the marina you walk along an avenue without soul nor interest.

In short, neither in the city nor in the hotel zone: you are nowhere.

Arrival at the hotel and check-in

To begin with, it was not possible for me to have my transfer organized by the hotel, which does not offer this service. For a 5* it starts well.

I don’t trust local cabs, ordering a Uber at the airport means taking the risk of being in the middle of a brawl with cabs and I had no desire to rent a car that would have been useless to me. By the way, Olivier tells it very well in his introductory article about his own stay in Cancun a few weeks earlier. Moreover, when I left the hotel, the Uber that I had ordered waited 10 minutes at the corner of the street for a cab that had just dropped off a client to leave, for fear of risking a confrontation. Not cool….

So I booked a third party service before my departure from Gothenburg. I will not dwell on the subject because finally the hotel is not responsible for the disorganization and the lightness of the local professionals but I had to complain and wait 30 minutes before finally being picked up at the exit of the terminal.

This was followed by a very comfortable ride.

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But if the hotel is not responsible for errors in the management of third-party transfers, the fact that it does not offer this type of service is its responsibility. We’re talking about a 5* here.

So here I am.

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The bellman takes my bags and I head to the check-in.

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As far as reception is concerned,it is far from an attentive welcome, without even thinking about a personalized welcome.

Recognition of my membership in the loyalty program? No.

Compliance with program rules ? No: there were “normal” suites available, so I should have been upgraded.

Am I being asked what I want as a benefit choice? No.

Am I presented with a list of benefits to which I am entitled? No.

They only check my passport to find my reservation, they ask me to make a substantial deposit (even though my room is already paid) and they tell me that I have to pay another $5 per nightresort fee.

At this point I am made to sign a paper, thank you and goodbye. I didn’t even have time to say a word.

At the time, I have the vague impression that I am in a basic all inclusive hotel where they receive the clients like cattle. It is clear that the hotel has chosen to leverage its brand membership but not to apply its standards.

By the way I was not confirmed the late check-out that I had requested but I see it displayed in the application.

Anyway, after this more than average check in, let’s visit my room.

My room

At least a good news I am in the “high” floors.

The room is all in length, normally spacious and with a small sitting area.

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Pretty standard for a deluxe without being exceptional.

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The whole thing has personality and doesn’t look “anonymous”, it’s actually quite nice.

The bathroom, with shower, is of good size and pleasant.

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I am lucky to have a room with a view of the Marina, more pleasant than the other side with a view of the street and buildings without charm.

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There is a balcony of symbolic size.

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As you can see there is not much around…

In my opinion they must have thought that a marina view was enough of an upgrade and didn’t push the enforcement of the loyalty program any further.

Here I notice that in the Marriott app my reservation has changed from Deluxe to Standard…Anyway.

I have coffee capsules and tea bags at my disposal. But I only have a coffee machine and no kettle…

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Last point that will be important later: the electrical outlets are US standard. This may seem obvious but when you are used to travel in countries where all plugs are multi-standard to save customers from thinking about adapters it can play tricks…

A short video to finish.

The big problem with this room is that you can’t see it, but you can hear it:I was often disturbed by the music from the next room. The fact that I have heard the staff intervene several times shows that this is not a normal situation, but I still have some doubts about the quality of the soundproofing.

I add that in high season with the bars and terraces below on the marina it must be rather noisy in the evening.

In the end a pleasant room without being exceptional. The bedding will be very pleasant.

General style of the hotel

The Renaissance Cancun Marina & Resort is a recent hotel with a discreet, sober and not flashy aesthetic.

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Its lobby is a pleasant living space that overlooks the pool and is comfortable to sit in. The aesthetic is nice, sober and tasteful and reminds me a bit of a Meridien, like Le Meridien Split where I was staying a few weeks earlier.

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As for the exterior spaces, they are limited to the swimming pool which we will talk about next.

Swimming pool and gym

The hotel does not have a beach but has a pool on which my room has a view.

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It is very pretty but suffers from two problems in my opinion.

The first is the size of the pool area: it is quite reasonable in size but there is not much space to stay around it. In high season it must be hell.

The second is its location. It is righton the edge of the walkway that goes along the marina. In terms of tranquility and privacy, it could be better, as shown in this photo taken from the boardwalk.

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The hotel also has a gym, which I found very appealing. Spacious, bright and well equipped.

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No spa in the hotel but a jacuzzi and a sauna adjacent to the gym.

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Due to the COVID the sauna is closed and the jacuzzi is only operational with a reservation several hours in advance. As a result, no one uses it.

Bar and restaurant

The hotel has a very nice bar. The fact that I was there in the off-season may have contributed to this as well.

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It also has two two restaurants that I tried both.

One, the Kaajal, offers a very good international cuisine. The second one, Merotoro, offers a more elaborate Californian cuisine.

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In both cases the setting is pleasant, the service friendly and the food very acceptable even if one should not expect to live a great culinary experience. You eat well, period.

The service in the hotel

I will not repeat the impossibility of arranging a transfer nor therespect of the protocol at check-in.

Two things to add, however.

It turns out that I had forgotten my US standard adapters, having mostly traveled to Asia and the Middle East in recent years I lost the reflex, especially since all modern hotels now offer multi-standard plugs that do not require adapters, which is not the case here.

I do as I have done in similar cases and ask the concierge if they have any adapters or if they sell any. In 95% of the cases, in my experience, the problem is solved this way.

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Not here. But do they offer me a solution such as “you can find it in such and such a place”? Not even. I had to fight to find out where to find one nearby (given the location of the hotel, the proximity will be a shopping mall at 20 min by Uber)…and give a store name to a tourist without any context (say FNAC to a Chinese in Paris and you will see his reaction…) it’s quite average as a help.

Then on the day of my departure I was about to take a shower before leaving my room whenall the lights and air conditioning went out.

Re-concierge.

“We’re sorry.”

“Yes it’s nice to be sorry but what are you going to do?”

“We will see, is it urgent? “.

“Quite… I’m leaving in an hour”.

30 minutes later the technical staff intervenes. It will take 15 minutes to find out what is responsible: a fuse.

Never mind the shower, I’ll take one at the Ritz Carlton.

Check out

I check out on the mobile app, order my Uber and leave the hotel. As I wait on the forecourt for my driver to arrive, a bellman rushes towards me.

“Have you paid?”

“Uh I checked out on the app.”

“Your room number please…. and do not move”.

He will come back a few minutes later with a big smile “everything is fine you can leave”.

I already had an imprint of my card, took a huge deposit when the room was paid in points, a resort fee, and the “mobile check out” has been working for years…the last impression will be similar to the first: bad.

Bottom line

A very poor experience for different reasons.

– The hotel itself is rather nice and pleasant even if its location is not perfect but it offers too little compared to other hotels of similar standing in Cancun.

– It does not apply the brand’s customer experience standards at all. He uses the brand to attract a clientele that shuns all-inclusive and mass tourism resorts and applies to them the recipes of the establishments that these people shun. No consideration for the customer, poorly applied loyalty program, check-in in cattle mode, no attention or service.

As far as the experience for money is concerned, I didn’t pay for my room with money but with points, so I can estimate if I used them wisely: the answer is clearly no. And if I had to pay my answer would be even more radical.

If you go to Cancun for your vacation you will quickly go in circles and spend your time in other areas. So you might as well go and live in these areas.

Finally let’s be honest, a hotel without any interest or even a negative experience in terms of attention and service. There are many better choices if you are looking for a hotel in Cancun.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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