by Angela Fairhurst
The first impression of the Grand at Moon Palace is that the place is massive…very pretty and very massive. Set back from the hubbub of Cancun’s main highway on the Hotel Zone down a long driveway past a security check point, you get the same feeling pulling up to a country club estate, or a high-end Vegas resort, but without the casino. The Grand at Moon Palace is a marble palace with vast ceilings.
The main hotel has the usual works – check-in, concierge, lobby and the like, but then, the resort goes on and on and on… restaurants, bars, 24-hour snack bar, convenience store/gift shop, jewelry store, clothing store, gaming lounge, the “Unique” night club, gym, full-service “Awe Spa”, event space, activities desks, photo studio, bowling alley and more. Leave the building and there’s more – theaters, water park, pool after pool, bike paths, lakes and a golf course. Because the resort is so large, there is a system of golf carts for guests and services alike.
Everything is done in marble: the floors, columns and many of the walls, with a serene subtle sandy color palate. Rooms overlook the Caribbean Sea, the resort facilities or the golf course.
Here, there are no hi-rise towers; building after building is a four-story low rise with hotel rooms, condos and villas, each named after the indigenous birds, plants, sea life and animals of area. Simply decorated, with dark wood accents, each room has a double whirlpool tub built in the living space.
The Awe Spa is just that. One of the largest I’ve been to, but also easily one of the most well-done. A huge lobby and reception area, a coffee and tea shop, and a superior hydrotherapy area that includes dry sauna, cold room with ice chips and fresh Aloe Vera, face mask and hair conditioner to leave-in during the wet steam room followed up by a series of showers to rinse off the conditioners, hot/cold jets, an orange aromatherapy shower, more hot/cold jets and a final warm shower.
Restaurant options seem to be limitless featuring Jade for Asian fare, JC Steak House, Habibi Lebanese food, Tavola for Italian home cooking, Mexican fine dining at Cielito Lindo, French Cuisine at Le Chateau, Peruvian cuisine at Cusco, La Cantina with Chef Alvaro Cepeda for Mexican Street Food, and a couple of buffets and multiple bars.