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Which all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, and the surrounding areas, have the best food?

geekvsmachine Mar 8, 2011 06:59 AM

We're considering traveling to Playa del Carmen, Playa Mujeres, or Puerto Morales rather than staying in Cancun's Hotel Zone.

  1. Dasha Mar 12, 2011 02:54 PM

    I've been to the Riviera Maya area 4 times - twice at all-inclusives and twice staying in Playa del Carmen. While I enjoyed the all-inclusive resorts (El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Maroma), the food was just so-so most of the time. If you're looking for authentic Mexican food, all-inclusives are not your place.

    On the other hand, the food in Playa (if you choose wisely and try to eat off of 5th Avenue most of the time) is to die for. There are loads of charming hotels in town. I recommend the Playa Maya, which is beachside.

    If you want to split the difference, you could think about booking into the Royal Playa del Carmen, which is an all-inclusive right in Playa, and very nice. You could sneak off a couple of nights to El Fogon for tacos al pastor and charro beans, and to H.C. de Monterrey for the fabulous arrachera.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dasha
      Rheta Mar 14, 2011 02:29 PM

      I also recommend the Playa Maya. I'm on may way there Friday for a fourth year in a row! Love it there. The staff, the food, the cleanliness, location, everything! I also agree with El Fogon. Still haven't made it to HCdM. For a fun evening I also recommend Ajua Maya. It's a little touristy but the food is good(a good selection too) and the waiters are funny. And they have a great house band with a dance floor. A very fun evening. Have fun!

      1. re: Rheta
        Dasha Mar 20, 2011 06:41 PM

        Definitely give HCdM a try. Last time we were in Playa we had to go there twice, it was so good.

        I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I've heard that Ajua Maya has closed. Bummer, I wanted to try it.

        Another rec is Cocteleria Veracruz for great ceviche and seafood cocktails. And the food carts for breakfast tacos! Mmm.

        1. re: Dasha
          Rheta Mar 28, 2011 12:25 PM

          Ajua Maya has NOT closed. At least not when we were there last week. Still the same fun place with great food!

    2. m
      MRS Mar 16, 2011 01:18 PM

      We just returned from the Grand Velas resort in Riviera Maya and I thought the food was fabulous!! We could have anything we wanted, any time of day or night- within reason. I was very, very impressed especially since I have heard such mixed things about all-inclusives. I would certainly recommend it. We chose to stay in the adult only side and specifically chose most restaurants that required guests to be 16 or over. But my BIL and SIL went there w/ their 3 well behaved children 2 weeks before we went and had an equally good time and experience with the food.

      1. mandarin Mar 21, 2011 11:57 PM

        I stayed at the Park Royal Gran Caribe in Cancun (All inclusive) which was fabulous value and the beach was beautiful (Playa del Carmen beach not as nice)
        The buffets were great however we did not like the Asian restaurant here. There was an Italian a la carte also but did not get a chance to try. Overall a great experience but, yes, for authentic food Playa is a lot better - which is why we did both...

        1. e
          elizabean Mar 24, 2011 06:37 AM

          My family of five stayed at the Grand Velas for five night this past January. I would describe the food as fantastic. Soup to nuts, we enjoyed every meal at every restaurant. To put this in perspective, in the past few years we have stayed at Little Dix, Las Ventanas and Tortuga Bay. These resorts are not all-inclusive and the food at Grand Velas was much better than LD & TB, and as good as LV. Not to mention that these other resorts are 50% more expensive than GV. I think GV takes the all-inclusive concept to a whole new level.

          3 Replies
          1. re: elizabean
            geekvsmachine Mar 24, 2011 12:23 PM

            Thanks Eliza. We stayed at the Grand Velas in Playa Del Carmen a couple of years ago. Loved it!!! After having dined there over the course of a week, I'm not sure that any other all-inclusive in the world can compare to their service and food quality. I hope that Le Blanc meets our, now inflated, expectations for dining.

            I see that the restaurants and the Ritz and Fiesta Americana have AAA Five Diamond awards but, alas, they're not all-inclusives. Also, just on principal, I don't know that I can stay at a resort whose brand name translates to "American Party", haha.

            1. re: elizabean
              MRS Mar 25, 2011 12:38 PM

              Did you LOVE Frida? We had sooo much fun that night and the food was fabulous! Which was your favorite?

              1. re: MRS
                geekvsmachine Mar 25, 2011 12:49 PM

                Totally! Frida was definitely our favorite. It's the only one that we tried more than once. I liked their Puerco Pibil so much that I now make a similar dish for friends and family at home. They rave about it, haha.

                Cocina de Autor was also a stand-out. Although, of all their restaurants, only Piaf, Sen Lin, Frida, and Cocina were open when we went back in November of '09. We'll have to visit again to try the others ;-)

            2. g
              geekvsmachine Mar 24, 2011 12:18 PM

              Thanks, all! We've decided to go with Le Blanc in Cancun based on their TripAdvisor ratings and their AAA Five Diamonds award (for the resort not their restaurants).

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