This unique hotel's public areas could be the entrance to a Disney "Maya Adventure" ride: Stone block walls, replicas of Maya statues and stelae, murals of ancient myths and warriors, reliefs that could have been lifted from a Maya temple, and stone archways that extend even to the sapphire-blue waterfall swimming pool. Guestrooms are more subdued, but most have been brightened by recent remodeling. White is the dominant color, contrasting with dark wood furniture and blue or green cotton throws at the foot of the beds. 2014 brought not only flat-screen TVs, but mini-split air conditioning to replace the noisy, oft-reviled wall units; it's worth asking on check-in if your room has been updated. Though hallways are still rather dim, and the location is on a busy street known for its nightclubs (asking for a courtyard room is a wise choice), this is one of Cancun's best values. The hotel's spa offers Maya healing treatments, facials, and a traditional temazcal (Maya steam bath) at a fraction of the price charged in the Hotel Zone; hotel guests get a 10 percent discount. The "cafebreria" (coffee shop/bookstore) hosts live music in the evenings and a small theater presents music, comedy, and Saturday-afternoon kids' shows. Don't miss the floor-to-ceiling city views from the third-floor corridor.
- Christine Delsol