On my recent trip to Cancun, many of the locals asked me, “Have you been to Cancun before?” I had been to Cancun, 7 years ago with my family, and to be honest, it didn’t blow me away then. We went to a big resort — the name of which I have forgotten — and it was overcrowded, I was not prepared for topless patrons, and the food was just so-so. I soon grew bored on the resort.
However, seven years had passed and I got the opportunity to go to Cancun again and I thought, “Why not? I’m older, more worldly, I’ll be traveling alone — it could be better.” I’m glad I didn’t let my first Cancun impression prevent me from taking this trip because it was far more fantastic than I could have imagined. All in all, I learned a lot on this trip. For one, don’t be deterred by the new travel advisory (it was announced mere days after I returned home). I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe in Cancun. It’s safe on the resorts — I promise! And second of all, a good Cancun vacation is solely determined by where you stay — and do I have a great place for you.
Hotel + Rooms
Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort is a perfect beachfront getaway for couples, adults, newlyweds, and groups of gals. Though it’s not “adults-only,” the hotel does advertise as “adults-focused.” There’s no children’s amenities so families usually steer clear and the ones that do stay here, do so for weddings, generally. And as someone who’s 27, I loved this policy. It meant that the amenities were focused on me and my interests and my total and utter relaxation for a weekend.
The other great thing about this all-inclusive resort is that it only has 213 rooms! Do you know what that means? It means that unlike the mega resorts that surround it with 1,000+ rooms, this resort is a boutique among resorts and it allowed for much better service than you normally get in Cancun resorts. I saw the same waiters each day, the same concierge attendants, the same barmen and women — and I loved that. It made my experience more personal when they asked how my day was going or what I was up to or where I was from. Plus, with less people — there were less crowded spaces! The pool wasn’t filled shoulder to shoulder with other people. I had room to swim, and lounge chairs to choose from. I was able to check in immediately, and then enjoy my welcome glass of champagne and a lovely red rose.
As for my room, it was fantastic and much bigger than a single lady needed. I had a bar area with a free minibar and snacks and an espresso machine. There was a large living room with cozy couches and a dining room table. There were not one but two balconies — one with views of the bay and the other, views of the ocean. My bedroom was super spacious and the bed — oh, my goodness — the bed was the most comfortable hotel bed I’ve ever slept in! Plus, I had two bathrooms with two walk-in showers and a tub. Each night, I received a little evening present — a cheese plate one night and chocolates on my turned down bed the next. Talk about making a lady feel special.
Pools + Wellness
One of the most impressive aspects of Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort is their collection of pools. There’s three pools — two infinity and one that’s not — and they are set up in a way so that the pools lead down to the beach and look upon one another other. One pool had a built-in hot tub, another had a floating grassy area with a giant chess board, and the last was set up for pool volleyball, aerobics classes, and foam parties — yes, foam parties!
There were plenty of cabanas and loungers around the pool and great pool attendants taking drink and food orders. The team at Sandos was also very focused on providing a fun atmosphere around the pool. Some days there were cooking lessons by the pools. Other days, they had friendly sports competitions. Honestly, I was just happy eating nachos, sipping on frozen daiquiris, and jamming out to Top 40 music from their pool DJ.
I’m trying to be more health-focused and not ruin my diet and exercise routine with the many trips I take, so I was very impressed with the health and wellness aspects of Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort. The gym was very spacious with modern Technogym equipment. I loved that the cardio machines had TV screens that allowed me to actually surf the internet and get some work done while I was exercising. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to partake in the fitness classes like yoga on the beach or morning workout classes in the gym (my scheduled activities called for early departures), however, I loved watching the fun pool Zumba one day.
The spa was just below the gym. The ladies that work in the spa are fantastic. I did a hydro circuit that involved a steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, and hot tub. Plus, I got to make my own body scrub beforehand, and use it to improve my skin while doing the hydro circuit. I also had a relaxing massage — so relaxing, in fact, that I fell asleep!
Food + Drink
Let’s be honest — most resorts in the Caribbean just don’t have great food. I get it — they have a lot of customers to feed each night and quality doesn’t always win over quantity. But that wasn’t the case at Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort. I loved the food! The buffet displays in the main restaurant, Zango, were super adorable and included a mix of Mexican and international cuisine — and it was tasty! One evening, I ate at Gaijin, a Hibachi-style Japanese restaurant. Our chef was hilarious and our waitress made us her favorite drink, which was a wine-based drink similar to a Sangria. Yes, the food was just as incredible as our service! My last night, I ate at Frattini’s, the Italian restaurant on-site. It’s cute and charming with a chic Art Deco design and great ocean views. I think I tried almost every dish on the menu and it was all delicious.
My food experience at Sandos Cancun wasn’t just a one-time, weird thing that just happened to me. While I was there, I had a friend message me on Instagram after seeing my posts. Apparently, she had stayed at the same resort and without any prompting from me, proceeded to rave about how it was the best food she’s ever had at a hotel. It’s that legit, y’all.
Activities + Amenities
There’s so much to do at Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort from swimming in the pools, jumping into the ocean, playing a match of tennis, or having a spa day. However, I have to talk about the coolest activities that the resort helped me book.
The day after I arrived I went swimming with whale sharks — yes, whale sharks! We rode a boat deep into the middle of the ocean and went snorkeling with whale sharks — beautiful 30-foot water beasts who were eating plankton in the open sea. Animal lovers, don’t fret! We weren’t allowed to touch the whale sharks and we were very self aware about not ruining their environment in other ways such as with sunscreen. These whale sharks roam freely in the ocean and none are tagged. But goodness, was it spectacular to see these beautiful beings up close and personal. Following the swim, we snorkeled a bit near Isla Mujeres, and then had some complimentary ceviche and guacamole in the turquoise waters off the beach.
My last day in Cancun, Sandos set me up to go snorkeling and experience MUSA, the Underwater Museum of Art. This was by far an even more fun activity than I imagined it to be. We took a boat to the snorkel site — which was so fun by the way. I got to stand on the top of the boat, have a drink, and see some gorgeous scenery. When we arrived at MUSA, we hopped in the water with our guide — who was super awesome — and explored some beautiful reefs and the sculptures of MUSA placed on the ocean floor. It was an awe-inspiring experience.
Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort
Address: Km 14, Rtno. del Rey Mz53 Lt37-1, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Book your trip today!