Review: The Ritz-Carlton Cancun

a building with palm trees and a driveway

After three wonderful days at El Pez, a Colibri Boutique Hotel, we made the 1h 45m drive back up to Cancun for the second part of our trip. We decided to check out The Ritz-Carlton in the hotel zone for our stay.


The Ritz-Carlton is part of the Marriott hotel group and, with reasonable cash rates, I booked our stay directly on As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite member, I was eligible for a room upgrade at check-in. Ritz-Carlton properties don’t provide upgrades to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite holders.


The Ritz-Carlton Cancun is located in the middle of the hotel zone, one block off of the main highway. It is directly on the beach and each room faces out towards the water, so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with a view of the parking lot.

Though we were driving up from Tulum, for those who are staying in Cancun for the duration of their stay, the hotel is a short 25 minute drive from Cancun International Airport. Though we had a car, I would stick to a taxi or Uber if you are only planning to visit Cancun.


We parked our car in the front drive of the hotel and we were met by a bellman who took our bags into the lobby. Since we were there during the Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel was fairly empty and we were told to just park our car in the front drive for the duration of our stay.

The hotel first opened in 1993 and, though it was well maintained, the furnishings and décor definitely looked dated.

a large room with a chandelier and a large table with decorations
a man standing in a room with a glass door
a room with chandeliers and chairs
a christmas tree in a room
a hallway with a marble floor and a mirror

A friendly employee checked us in while the bellman took our bags up to our room, where they were waiting for us when we arrived.


Our room was a standard king room, on a higher floor overlooking the main pool area. Upon entry, the bathroom was to our left while the room expanded straight out from there. Like the lobby, the room was well maintained but somewhat dated.

The main room consisted of a king sized bed with nightstands on both sides. Though, in today’s tech age, I was surprised that there weren’t any outlets next to the bed.

a bed in a hotel room

A chair and ottoman were in the corner closest to the window along with two small tables.

a chair and a table in a room

A writing desk was in the opposite corner with two chairs. This is where we had to leave our phones in order to charge.

a desk with a phone and a bag on it

There was an older TV sitting on a dresser as well.

a tv on a dresser

The bathroom was definitely dated, with floor to ceiling white marble tiles. Though I did appreciate having a separate shower, bath and toilet areas.

a white bathtub with marble tiles
a bathroom with marble tile walls and a glass shower

At the rear of the room was a set of French doors that opened up onto a spacious balcony that had two chairs and a small coffee table. The balcony had great, east facing views out over the pool area, beach and the ocean.

a beach with umbrellas and umbrellas
a balcony overlooking the ocean
a table and chairs on a balcony overlooking a pool
a swimming pool with umbrellas and palm trees by the ocean


The Ritz-Carlton Cancun occupies a large stretch of beach and has a ton of different areas around the hotel. There are two pool areas, the larger area was the only one that was open during our stay as the smaller pool was undergoing maintenance. Though, because of the lack of crowds this was never an issue.

Though the inside was well maintained, albeit outdated, the outside was definitely showing its age. Sections of stucco were discolored and chipping away and the landscaping had certainly seen better days as it was overgrown and patch in places.

a balcony with a chair and plants on it

Though the pool looked nice, we spent the majority of our time down on the beach. We had great weather during our stay and this was definitely the place to be. Why come all the way to the beach if you’re going to sit in the pool?

a building with blue umbrellas and palm trees
a group of people on a beach with boats on the beach
a group of lounge chairs on a beach

There were cabanas and chaise lounges available and plenty of attendants taking food and drink orders.

a beach with blue umbrellas and chairs
a person's feet on a beach

Inside, there were large open hallways that had seating set up as well as an atrium that was covered in a variety of plants. Though during our stay I didn’t see anyone using them.

a room with a large table and chairs
a tall fountain in a courtyard
a tall structure with a tall column surrounded by plants


Unlike Tulum, the restaurants in and around the hotel zone cater to tourists and therefore we chose to eat many of our meals at the hotel. Our first night, we were tired from the drive so we elected to order room service and watch a movie. We had some chips, salsa and guacamole accompanied by a fried chicken sandwich, all of which arrived less than 30 minutes after placing our order.

a table with food on it
a plate of food on a table

In the morning, the lobby bar is used as a coffee shop of sorts and we used it to get our caffeine fix each day.

a room with a table and chairs
a room with tables and chairs
a bar with glass shelves in front of it

The beach menu also had a large variety of snacks and drinks. We ordered frozen drinks and some delicious chicken quesadillas while we sat and relaxed.

a basket of food on a table

Since this was a birthday trip, we made a reservation at Casitas, the beachfront restaurant, for the night before our departure. The restaurant takes the beachside cabanas that are for rent during the day and turns them into dining areas at night.

We initially made a 6:00p reservation but decided in the afternoon to try and push it back, which we were told was no problem. Based on what we saw during dinner, they only have one seating for each casita so you can spend as much time there as you would like.

a table set up for a dinner party

We started with some champagne while we perused the menu. We both started with the shrimp Caesar salad for our starter and the filet for our main. Unfortunately I have to pick on the food here just a bit as our “medium” steaks came out almost like charcoal. They were served on skillets, similar to fajitas, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t time the prep correctly as it appeared they sat on the skillet plates while we finished our salads. Thankfully, our server was extremely apologetic and sent them back to be redone. On the second go round they came out closer to medium well but definitely edible.

For dessert, we had some ice cream and strawberry shortcake. In addition, they sent a small chocolate cake to celebrate the birthday.

a table set up under a tent
a plate of food on a table
a plate with a piece of chocolate on it


The Ritz-Carlton is a fine hotel and, given the price we paid, I was happy with our experience. However, rooms here typically run $4-500 per night and, at that price point, there are much better hotels available. If the price was right I would stay here again, but they definitely have some work to do to get back up to the standard one would expect from a Ritz-Carlton property.

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