One of Cancun's many buildings that echo the shape of a Maya pyramid, this is one of the Hotel Zone's best-known budget hotels, commanding a wide, beautiful white beach. Built in the 1980s and remodeled in 2006, it was beginning to show its age when incremental renovations began in 2011. That effort has opened up the bar area, created a new international restaurant (La Fuente), opened a wall with windows looking onto the main pool, added private day beds, and remodeled an entire floor of guestrooms, with bold colors contrasting with white floors, walls, and bedding. The reconfigured main interior courtyard feels less crowded than before, but the newer wing and pool on the ocean side are still the places to seek peace and quiet. Though the hotel's optional all-inclusive program is more in demand than ever, I'd recommend booking a room only and taking advantage of Cancun's many other fine restaurants, as the hotel's food is inconsistent and doesn't vary much from day to day.
- Christine Delsol