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Solymar Resort in Cancun, Mexico: Love It or Hate It

A few years ago my husband and I took one of those “last minute” specials a travel agent put together for us. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were due for a romantic escape away from our then two and four year old children. We took a direct charter flight from New Orleans to Cancun, and we had entertaining companions on the flight: The Girls Gone Wild Film Crew. It was a prelude to a really horrible romantic escape.

Located 15 minutes from Cancun International Airport, Solymar is a 200-room budget beach hotel on the Caribbean Sea. While some people choose the all-inclusive option here, I would not choose this the next time I visit. Actually, I probably won’t visit again. It’s a toss up. Either you love Solymar or you hate it. I found it to be an “OK” home base while in Cancun. I tried my best to stay away, except to sleep.

This is a Mexican style hotel, meaning no elevators and open air hallways. The majority of the rooms are dark with Mexican tile and navy colors. It is very rustic. The walls were a terra cotta colored stucco. The bathrooms are shower-only and I wore my flip-flops in the shower. Upon check-in, we entered our room to find a view of the parking lot. This is a chance you take when you book ROH (run of the house). I sat down on one of the beds, and my behind got wet. Apparently someone else had been there in a wet swimsuit and left their mark. At least, I’m hoping it was a wet swimsuit. The rooms are condo-style with kitchenettes, but I don’t recommend cooking in the room we were given. The amenities were sparse as were the towels. The electrical outlets are 120/220 AC

Somewhere in this hotel are the “good” rooms. They are larger, brighter, and supposedly cleaner. I even hear that there are villas with private pools. I didn’t see them.

There is one pool at Solymar. It is not very large, but it will keep you cool.

Solymar advertised at the time that it has three restaurants. It was actually one restaurant that changes its name for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a bar in the lobby and also a pool bar that will order burgers for you from the lunch restaurant. I guess this is what you would call a “pool-side grill”.

There were no scheduled activities. There were some activities down by the beach offered by an independent contractor. Hubby and I went exploring and joined a tour to Chichen Itza. Definitely the highlight of the trip.

The Bottom Line:
As stated before, you either love Solymar or hate it. I wouldn’t stay there again, but I did enjoy spending time with my husband and experiencing the area with him. Some people have had great experiences here. Check out some of the reviews on Tripadvisor.com and epinions.com to help you make an informed decision. If you are on a budget and needing someplace to store your luggage while you explore, Solymar is a good choice. If you are looking for a relaxing, trouble free vacation, search elsewhere.

Our adventure didn’t end with a ride to the airport. Our return flight was delayed, but fortunately the booking company, Vacation Express, sent all of us to Moon Palace Resort and Spa to hang out by the pool until the plane was ready. That was definitely a highlight, but the funniest moment was our return through US Customs and noticing as the Customs Agents began rummaging through the bags of the Girls Gone Wild Film Crew. Let’s just say there were a few interesting items!

I recently checked up on Solymar, which will forever hold a place in our memories (ha!). It seems they still have awful service and many of the standard rooms have bigger holes than when we are there. At least the beach was clean.

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  1. Cancun is like FL Gulf Coast during spring break, but with older folks. You’re right about it being a love-hate thing. Not a place I’d call romantic, but a trip there could be a lot of fun. 🙂

  2. Sounds similar to a hotel my hubby & I stayed at for our 1st anniversary. While based on your review I believe our room might have been a little better, the walls were paper thin, so you heard everyone moving throughout the halls. Also, we had a connected room, & our neighbors included little kids who enjoyed knocking on the door at all hours of the night. Apparently, their parents didn’t seem to think this was rude. We wouldn’t return to that particular hotel again, but we did enjoy the area. We’ll just have to do better research next time for accommodations!

  3. At the time we had limited funds but really wanted to check out someplace we’d never visited before. Ha!

    The day trip to Chichen Itza was really an awesome experience. That was back when visitors could still climb to the top. I’m hoping to take the kids there one day before they get too much older. Not to Cancun, mind you, but Chichen Itza ;P

  4. Oh I am still trying to get over the wet spot on the bed!! Sounds like a last minute bargain trip a friend and I took to the DR. Nothing to write home about but nice to have some time in the sun.

  5. Honestly I am a bit nervous to go to Mexico at all right now. They won’t even let the Marines stationed in Southern California go down there right now because it is considered too dangerous.

  6. I’ve been to the Yucatan twice: once with girlfriends and once with kids.
    Stayed away from both Cancun and Playa Del Carmen both times. I felt that staying down the peninsula (at Akumal or Tulum) was more enjoyable since it meant we were away from the madding crowds.
    Also recommend Coba if you’re traveling with younger children and the drive to Chichen Itza will be too much. Coba is closer (~1hr from Tulum), wilder and still very impressive.

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