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If there’s one thing to know about Cancun, it’s this: It’s practically a sin to do anything small and modest. Mexico’s party central has to do things big, and it has to do them ostentatiously — almost needlessly, in fact.
Resorts in this region, whether all-inclusive or a la carte, reach for the skies like trees in the jungle. And they are often riotously festooned with gimmicks — from foam machines and overflowing cocktails to DJ tables and hot young things in bathing suits.
You can hardly blame them for it. There are expectations to be met, and a certain kind of clientele to be satisfied. Yet once in a while, you come across a property that doesn’t fit the mold, and you breathe a sigh of relief.
With just over 210 guestrooms, Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort is a baby in a sea of giants. It’s much quieter as well; while neighboring resorts hold thunderous nightly revelries, Sandos Cancun takes the classier route and opts for lounge performances at Bar One, its lobby bar.
Not that the property can’t hold its own in this city of herculean party resorts, mind you.
Its rooms and suites, while in need of minor updating, are well-appointed and afford plenty of space. Each suite features pops of purple and comes with a kitchenette, a dining area, a separate living room, a large bathroom and a balcony.
Sandos Cancun also has five great dining options, including a teppanyaki-style grill, a steakhouse and an Italian restaurant. A lot can be said about an all-inclusive resort that serves delicious fare even at its buffet table, two bars and three ocean-facing infinity pools — all surprising numbers for an almost boutique-size property.
More worthy of a mention is the on-site spa, which carries a swagger. It boasts excellent facilities and amenities that are not only meant to evoke relaxation, but also designed to rival those of bigger properties. Amongst Sandos Cancun’s shoo-in features are a luxurious, albeit smaller, hydro circuit, as well as a unique, build-your-own scrub session that guests can add to their spa packages.
And yet, everything the resort does still seems curated to complement, but not mindlessly echo, the city’s lifestyle. Take, for example, The Rhythm Experience, the property’s entertainment showcase. Launched in 2016, this newcomer weaves music with cuisine and Cancun culture for an afternoon of festivities on property.
The daily themed event, held afternoons at the pool area, is Sandos Cancun’s stab at bringing the party to its guests without over-immersing them in shameless, drunken frenzies. That is, it gives them the option to participate in foam parties, dancing and drinking (and taco tastings), but it also offers a choice to unwind at the lounge afterward or call it an early night.
Perhaps that’s what makes Sandos Cancun an excellent, if unconventional, choice for a hotel in this city. It’s for folks who want to experience Cancun but also crave a place where they can get away from all its madness at the end of the day.