le-25lanc spa resort cancunThe Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun ($446 – $788) (one of the Palace Resorts chain) is rated #1 for a reason – service. With almost as many staff as guests waiting on you hand and foot, some Cancun vacationers complain of “butler withdrawal” after leaving. The service at Le Blanc can be a bit over the top at times, as when they insist on carrying your plate from the buffet to your table.

Twenty-five minutes from the Cancun airport, Le Blanc resort offers 260 air-conditioned rooms with either an ocean or lagoon view, balcony, double Jacuzzi, flat screen LCD TV with satellite and a well stocked mini-bar. There are five international restaurants and five bar/lounges, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a fitness center.

Oozing quality, you are welcomed to Le Blanc with a refreshing, cool, wash-cloth and a coconut cocktail. Check-in is simple and easy. You’ll be asked for a credit card for “incidentals” (…at an all-inclusive?). The reservations desk will hit you up with the “vacation bucks” promotion (yep, time share). Time share members get first dibs on the ocean-front views. Don’t expect to be wowed by the size of the rooms. By most accounts, they are very small, and not a “transcendental experience”.

Each floor has a butler/elevator operator who will unpack your bags, put your clothes away, and take any items that need pressing. Your bath is drawn every night with a choice of aromatic salts and hot oils from a holistic menu. The “turn down” service comes with candles, rose petals and “lavender pillows”. The beds are reported the most comfortable in Cancun. Room service is 24/7.

The Le Blanc Cancun is very quiet and reserved – an adults only zen like retreat (the music will put you to sleep), simple yet elegant decor, Bulgari toiletries and amazing aromas. All calls from your hotel room are free to the continental U.S., Canada, and within Mexico. Wi-fi on hotel computers is also free. Located in the center of the hotel zone, you are within a 15 minute walk to almost anywhere that’s anywhere – downtown, Cancun nightclubs, shopping, restaurants. Le Blanc hotel guests can use the facilities of any of the other Palace resort properties, but not vice-versa.

The weather forecast posted in the lobby is always the same – “partly cloudy, 60% chance of rain” – whether you’re in the middle of a hurricane or under scorching sun (forget about “truth in advertising” in Mexico).

Daily entertainment is over by 11:00pm. If you come to Cancun to party, don’t stay here. The management will close the bars if things get too noisy. The night-time activities are considered “lame” as are the shows. The bars have “top shelf” liquor but you have to ask for it by name. Try a “Dirty Monkey” or “Miami Vice”. The beer selection is good for an all-inclusive with Coors Light, Dos XX, Modelo, and Tecate Light. With a swim-up bar, you can stay on the pool all day and hope that someone who knows CPR can fish you out.

The restaurants include Italian, French, Asian, and International with a sommelier to help with the wine. The soups are excellent as are the mind-boggling selection of petit-fours. You’ll find plenty of duck, filet mignon, porterhouse, T-bone, pork chops, shrimp, scallops and grilled octopus, etc. The Italian gets rave reviews as does the French 7 course tasting menu, but the Asian chef apparently gets carried away with the fish sauce on occasion. The restaurants are “made to order” with maitre’ds, truffles, flaming desserts and coffees, etc. The breakfast buffet offers lots of fresh fruit, an omelet station and a pancake and waffle station. The lunch buffet is considered by some as the best meal of the day. The “dining on the beach” experience gets good reviews (you can watch sea-turtles laying eggs while you eat). The restaurants’ guests are required to dress in “Casual Elegance”. Ladies can wear skirts or long pants and dress shoes. Gentlemen can wear long pants, collared shirts and dress shoes. Jeans are not permitted. Reservations are not required.

le blancThe main pool overlooks the sea. Another pool for volleyball, water aerobics etc is on the lagoon side. Both have swim up bars. There is also a lap pool on the third floor where you can order wood-fired pizzas, and a “cocktail” pool on the lower level. There are no cabana beds around the pools, however the lounges are comfy and unlike other hotels, you don’t have to get up at 6am to “reserve” one. You can order pizza, steaks, hot dogs, nachos, club sandwiches, burgers and pretty much anything else at the pools all day long. A short walk past hotel employees sifting the sand finds you at a small cove where the snorkeling is good. The water is clear and there are no waves. There is however, no catamarans, kayaks nor snorkeling equipment.

The spa is open to all guests. Hydrotherapy and messages are excellent but pricey, however the “vacation bucks (time share members)” get a significant discount. The holistic therapies claim ancient healing rituals of fragrant oils and aromatic spices and herbs. Pamper yourself to facials, Shiatsu massage, underwater massage therapy, body wraps, seaweed scrubs, hydro-reflexology, aroma therapy, manicures, pedicures and hair styling. The spa’s signature treatment, the 50 minute Steam-Vichy Rain Journey, features an exfoliation, an aromatic body mask, and a Vichy Rain shower. There are classes in yoga and pilates, and the gym is furnished with the latest equipment including elliptical machines.

The Le Blanc hotel schedules tours to Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Xcaret, swim with dolphins, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, Mexican rodeo, and a lobster dinner cruise. The resort is located near three of the best championship Cancun golf courses in Mexico.

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