A dance studio turned hostel, Hostel Quetzal (Jardín del Arte, Orquídeas 10, tel. 998/883-9821, hostelquetzal [at] gmail [dot] com, US$18.50–20 dorm with a/c, US$37 pp s/d with a/c) is an artsy place with bright and airy rooms, a verdant garden, and a rooftop lounge with views of downtown Cancún. A spiral staircase leads to the dorm, which is spacious and colorful; quiet air-con units cool the place off well. Six private rooms are spread throughout the rest of the place—all with lots of natural light and terraces. All guests enjoy a full breakfast and family-style dinner as part of the rate. Wireless Internet is included, too.
Mundo Joven (Av. Uxmal 25, tel. 998/271-4740, www.mundojovenhostels.com, US$14 dorm with a/c, US$45–60 s/d with a/c) is a sleek affair with cool minimalist decor inside and out. Dorms are airy and bright, with polished floors, quiet air-con, and just five bunks per room; a bathroom is attached to each dorm room. Big lockers (BYO lock), sheets, and a pillow are included in the rate. Private rooms are a wicked deal—an extension of the dorm rooms in style but with SKY TV, private bathrooms, and in some cases Jacuzzi tubs or separate living rooms. A rooftop garden functions as the hostel’s (very chic) lounge, with a fully stocked bar, Jacuzzi, and plenty of tables and chairs. The small common kitchen as well as the computer center opens onto it. Continental breakfast is included, too.
Welcoming of all ages, Moloch Hostel (Margaritas 54, tel. 998/884-6918, molochhostel [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] mx, US$14.25 dorm with a/c, US$34 s with a/c, US$46 d with a/c) is a laid-back—and gleaming—place with minisplit air-con in all the rooms, Wi-Fi, and an inviting kidney-shaped pool on-site (yes, a hostel with a nice pool!). Mixed and single-sex dorms are a bit cramped, but the beds are good and the air-con powerful—sheets, a pillow, a towel, and a locker (BYO lock) are included in the rate. Private rooms are large and insulated from noise, which is perfect for families traveling on a budget. There is a fully equipped kitchen for all to use, as well as a TV lounge with a monster flat-screen TV. Computers (Skype-ready) also are available free of charge. All that, plus just one block from the bus station.
Located on a quiet residential street, Los Girasoles (Piña 20, tel. 998/887-3990, www.losgirasolescancun.com.mx, US$30 s with a/c and kitchenette, US$34 d with a/c and kitchenette) offers 18 spotless and colorful rooms with kitchenettes. Rooms are sunny and have heavy wood and ironwork furnishings; there is air-con, cable TV, and Wi-Fi in all the rooms, too. Family owned and operated, the lodging’s friendly service makes it an especially pleasant place to stay.
Next to Chedraui supermarket, Soberanis Hostal (Av. Cobá near Av. Tulum, tel. 998/884-4564, www.soberanis.com.mx, US$12.50 dorm with a/c, US$54 s/d with a/c) offers four small single-sex dorms that are a steal, with two bunk beds apiece, air-con, lockers, and attached bathrooms—sheets and towels included, too. (Be sure to ask for a room toward the back of the building—street noise can border on unbearable.) There also are minimalist-style private rooms with cable TV, telephone, and security boxes. Continental breakfast is included in all the rates. Best of all, the bus to the beach stops right in front.
Bougainvillea and a gurgling fountain welcome you to Hotel El Rey del Caribe (Av. Uxmal at Nader, tel. 998/884-2028, www.reycaribe.com, US$75 s with a/c and kitchenette, US$85 d with a/c and kitchenette), an ecofriendly hotel two blocks east of the bus terminal. Rooms are clean and comfortable (if a bit plain), but it’s the verdant tropical garden with hammocks, pool, and an outdoor dining area with beautiful hardwood flooring that make this such a memorable place—you might even forget for a moment you’re in the city. The hotel employs solar heating, rainwater recovery, and organic waste composting. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Located on a lively pedestrian walkway, Hotel Colonial Cancún (Tulipanes 22, tel. 998/884-1535, www.hotelcolonialcancun.com, US$60 s/d with fan, US$70 s/d with a/c) offers modern accommodations in an excellent downtown location. Rooms themselves were completely renovated in 2009; they’re streamlined in style with espresso-colored furnishings and splashes of bright color. Amenities include quiet air-con, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. Few have exterior-facing windows (most open onto an interior courtyard), which means little natural light but also little street noise. Continental breakfast is included in the rate.
Located kitty-corner to the bus station, Hotel Kin Mayab (Av. Tulum 75, tel. 998/884-2999, www.hotelkinmayab.com, US$58–66.50 s/d with a/c, US$85–94.50 suite with a/c) offers clean air-conditioned rooms with heavy wood furnishings, stenciled walls, and tile floors. Suites are larger (with two queen beds, plus a mini-fridge and sitting area) and are located in the main building, facing a bright interior courtyard with lots of hanging plants and couches. Standard and superior rooms are in an adjacent building and open directly onto the hotel’s T-shaped pool, garden, and palapa. Either way, be sure to ask for a room facing away from Avenida Tulum—the street noise can get pretty loud, especially in the early morning.
Though the service can be uppity, Hotel Sol y Luna (Alcatraces 33, tel. 998/887-5579, www.hotelsolylunacancun.com, US$60–67 s/d with a/c) is an attractive and well-located hotel overlooking Parque Las Palapas. The rooms are modern in decor, with muted colors and chocolate-brown furnishings, and have quiet air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs. All have king-size beds, too. A plunge pool—though awkwardly positioned at the entrance—is a big plus. Wireless Internet also is available.
Directly across from the bus station, Hotel Plaza Caribe (Av. Tulum at Av. Uxmal, tel. 998/884-1377, toll-free U.S. tel. 866/294-8514, www.hotelplazacaribe.com, US$66 s/d with a/c) offers standard hotel issue—comfortable though characterless rooms with air-conditioning and cable TV. All open onto two lush courtyards though—one with a pool, the other with a playground—plus a reliable palapa-roofed restaurant. It’s not the most charming place in town, but the location can’t be beat if you’re traveling by bus, especially if you have a late arrival or an early-morning departure.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition