So you’ve been searching for all-inclusive resorts for families in Cancun and there are hundreds of results, right? That’s in part because Cancun is riddled with more hotels and resorts than I think any of us could stay at in a single lifetime, and — unless they’re adult-only — each one is going to try to claim they’re family-friendly.
My Beach Palace Cancun review is based on a seven-day stay. We were invited for three nights to facilitate this review and paid to stay an extra three nights…because it’s hard to say no to that beach, y’all.
But is Beach Palace the best family all-inclusive resort in Cancun? Hard to say since Cancun proper, also known as the Cancun Hotel Zone, doesn’t include the Riviera Cancun where The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun and Royalton Riviera Cancun are located — both of which represent some of the greatest family all-inclusives at which we’ve ever stayed. This was our first family vacay in ACTUAL Cancun!
I’m going to cover accommodations, food and drinks, the pools, beach and I’ll also briefly touch on the kids’ club and staff in this Beach Palace Cancun review. I’m also going to share my experience with the Resort Credits you receive as a paying guest at all of the Palace Resorts.
As always, my overall rating is at the very end. But I think it’s important to mention right off the hop that while Beach Palace is listed online as a five-star hotel, it is not. If you’re coming with experiences from true five-star properties expecting this will measure up, you’ll be disappointed. It’s a four-star at best — and there’s nothing wrong with that. But please don’t book a stay at Beach Palace if you’re accustomed to luxury resorts or you believe it will be equivalent to The Grand at Moon Palace or Grand Velas; book Beach Palace because you’re looking for a relaxed all-inclusive family resort in Cancun with an absolutely outstanding beach.
Beach Palace Cancun rooms
If you find a great deal on a standard double room at Beach Palace, it’ll probably be on the first three floors with two double beds — and no option at all for a king or ocean views. Although I can certainly deal with lagoon, garden or city views all day long, two double beds is a deal-breaker for us because of the size of my husband and my kids who are now rather tall 9 and 11.5 year olds.
However, when you consider that we scored three nights with the all-inclusive package for all four of us for about CDN$1,100 all in, it was more than worth spending an extra few bucks a night to upgrade. For an extra US$31 a night, we were moved up to the seventh floor and provided with a very nice room that had a king bed with enough space for two rollaways to be brought in for the kids. Perfect!
The room layout has double sinks sitting just behind a partial wall with a soaker tub in front of it, which means only the shower and toilet offer total privacy. This is not an issue for us at all because we’re all still comfortable around each other in various states of undress, but for those with older kids or who are staying with friends, keep in mind that you may have to use the Jacuzzi with your bathingsuit on.
Our room had an awesome view of the ocean and the Hotel Zone strip on either side. The balcony was huge and it was a joy to sit out there as the sun rose each morning over the beach.
The mattresses and bedding at Beach Palace is quite comfortable, but the pillows are fine — and, truth be told, I’ve definitely slept with far worse — but they didn’t wow me. We even tried a couple of different options from the Pillow Menu (which you can access and order through the excellent Palace Resorts app), including very flat water-filled pillows that could have done with a cozy case of their own under the pillow cases. I stuck with the original ones on the bed in the end.
I loved that there was not only a blow dryer but also a flat iron available. Palace Resorts is the only resort chain that does this in my experience so far, and it’s a great touch. Like The Grand at Moon Palace, you’ll also find CHI products in your bathroom when you arrive.
The biggest downside to the rooms at Beach Palace is without question their lack of soundproofing. Each door up and down the halls are set to SLAM (!!!) when closed. This is often the case in regular hotels, too, and it ensures they shut behind each occupant as they leave their rooms — I get it. But when there’s no soundproofing at all, you hear every.single.slam. All day, all night. There’s no escaping it unless you’re physically out of your room, and no matter how hard we tried at night (including two white noise machines running, one near the front door and one between our beds), we couldn’t drown them out.
Nor could we drown out people talking — much less yelling or running — in the halls. We heard when people knocked on nearby doors. And it seemed there was no hour of night that was sacred. If I was the only one bothered, I’d chalk it up to being a relatively light sleeper (thanks, motherhood). But Big B and the kids were also woken up sporadically each night, too. I value sleep and unbroken sleep doesn’t make for the best vacation mindset. I still question if I’ve accurately reflected this disappointment in my rating. But I keep reminding myself that the beach here made the nuisances worthwhile.
If I could offer Beach Palace just one suggestion for the resort, it would be to figure out how to better soundproof the rooms.
Beach Palace Cancun restaurants
This is the buffet — breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s on the smaller side as all-inclusive resort buffets go, but it’s got good variety. They make the same fabulous croissants and pastries as the buffets at The Grand at Moon Palace but they make far, far less of them and they aren’t replenished. We arrived at breakfast most mornings by 8 a.m. and often got the last couple of croissants (and twice we arrived to none).
There’s an omelette station, and the woman making the omelettes is so lovely and does a fantastic job, but I think the kitchen has her doing other things, too, because it wasn’t unusual to wait for her to come back to the station — sometimes upwards of 10 or more minutes.
Lunch doesn’t change much but there’s always something being freshly grilled and if there are tacos on the menu, go for it! They are sooooo good. And if you don’t see a bowl of guacamole kicking around, just ask; someone will grab some for you in the back and it’s excellent.
Dinner themes change every night and the best one we tried was the Indian & Lebanese night. Everything was delicious and full of authentic flavour. The rest of the dinners we had at the buffet were fine but I can’t rave about them.
This is an Italian a la carte restaurant adjacent to the buffet, and it was a nice alternative to the dinner buffet. Most of the dishes we had were good — a couple were just OK. I had a killer dessert, though… a deconstructed strawberry something or other.
Beach Palace’s take on Asian needs a bit of work overall. The sushi, however, tasted fresh and was prepared very nicely. But most of the other entrees we had were just…fine.
I had one of the signature cocktails on the Wok menu that was so fantastic I ordered three of them all together! It was a sake-based cocktail with a lot of complexity and was one of the best cocktails I had all week.
This is where it’s at! I wish we’d tried the Smokehouse earlier in our stay because I think we would have gone every night. Some of the food we ordered involved spending our Resort Credits (more on that below), but it was worth every penny. This is a proper steakhouse and it really saved the day for us food-wise. We also splashed out for a good bottle of wine, and I was thrilled to see a Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon on the menu for an upcharge of US$45 — not bad considering it’s a $30ish bottle at home.
The dishes we paid for with Resort Credits — lobster tails and the rib-eye — were definitely the big winners, but we ordered plenty from the “free” menu and it was quite good as well.
A quick note about the lobster tails, which I wish we’d known ahead of time: ONE order comes with TWO tails. BIG TAILS! We assumed adding a lobster tail to an order meant it would be a single, so we asked for two. But they were cooked to absolute perfection, so — yeah — we ate all four of them. Oops.
Skybar / poolside snacks
Both the Skybar up on the roof (which you should check out if only for the view, especially to the north where it’s lagoon on one side and ocean on the other) and the pool on the main deck offer a snack menu. And an extensive one at that!
It was definitely our favourite way to have lunch, whether we ate at the pool bar or got classy and went up to the deck outside the buffet in our towels and found an empty table. Everything we tried — and I think we tried 75 per cent of that menu — was awesome. The burger and onion rings in particular were so very good that we ordered them multiple times.
Beach Palace Cancun pool areas
Since Beach Palace is on such a phenomenal stretch of beach with a crystal clear ocean full of playful waves only a few paces away, it’s not surprising that it only has one main pool and another couple of small pools up on the Skybar level.
The main pool was really well heated, and it’s where the daily water-based games and activities took place. I loved the stand-up paddleboard yoga SO MUCH (even though I was the only participant) and was ecstatic it was offered since it’s pretty niche in the fitness category.
One on side pf the main pool is the feeder pool for the waterslide. Sure, it’s only one waterslide but my kids thought it was amazing. They went on it day after day and never seemed to tire of doing the same thing — perhaps because it was small enough that they got to try things they wouldn’t on bigger, faster slides…like going down in pairs, going backwards, face first and so on. Big B and I even went on with them and I have to say that it punches above its perceived weight once you’re on it.
On the other side of the main pool is the swim-up bar. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t heated nearly as well (probably so wimps like me won’t stay there and drink all day).
The pools up on the rooftop never seemed to be heated (or were much less heated than the main one and felt very cool by comparison), but there are a couple of hot tubs up there that we enjoyed on a day where the sunshine was hiding. And the view up there is pretty alright:
Beach Palace Cancun beach
If most of your research is about where to stay in Cancun to enjoy its beautiful beach, you want to make sure that the resorts on your short list are truly on THIS beach. A lot of resorts in the general area call themselves Cancun, but make no mistake: there is only one Cancun Hotel Zone strip, and Beach Palace is smack in the middle of it.
And this is the main draw of the resort, in my opinion. Because this beach is hard to beat: clean sand, a seaweed-free ocean and big waves made for smiles and memories. I don’t even think I’ve been to a better beach with my kids, and we’ve been to Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos (breath-taking but no waves); Aruba (gorgeous but no waves); and Negril, Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay (all lovely but no waves).
A bit of caution, though: the waves can get big and rough and the current can get very strong with little warning. The lifeguards are always watching and redirect as needed, but if you have little kids or kids who aren’t strong swimmers, please (PLEASE) bring good-quality life jackets from home and hold their hands at all times once you’re in past the first few feet.
Beach Palace Cancun Playroom
Compared to the Playroom at The Grand at Moon Palace, this one is teeny-tiny. And definitely geared toward toddlers and very little kids. It’s two very small but colourful floors of play spaces that would be nice here and there as a break from the hot sun or even rain. But if your child is older than 5 or 6, it probably won’t offer enough interest or variety to spend much time there.
There could be more kid-friendly resorts in Cancun if you’re specifically looking for a kids’ club with some breadth, so if that’s high on your list, you should probably keep up the research. But if you don’t mind a play space that could be a short retreat for an hour or so, this may do the trick.
Beach Palace Cancun staff and service
Since Beach Palace is on the smaller side as Cancun family resorts go, we found the service here very good. A lot of the staff, especially at the front desk and bars, called us by name within days of arriving. Staff seemed genuinely happy and never made us feel like our requests were an inconvenience.
I found front desk staff managed customer service complaints well. We had an unfortunate visit from security at 2 a.m. on our first night, asking if we could check our sink for overflowing water. (Of course we didn’t.) And we had to complain a couple of times about a large group of students staying at the hotel who made the first three nights of our stay even noisier than it already would have been due to the soundproofing issue I mentioned earlier. In both instances, our complaints were taken seriously, then handled professionally and appropriately.
Beach Palace Cancun resort credits
With a minimum of three nights, guests at Beach Palace get $500 in Resort Credits. This amount increases the more nights you stay (up to $2,500). This can be used for some items at the gift shop, a few services at the spa, select day trips and those upgraded entrees I mentioned at the Smokehouse.
But there’s a catch.
You have to pay a 16 per cent “service fee” on the total amount of the credits you use. So, my half-head of braids was around $80 in Resort Credits, which meant I needed to pay $12ish out of pocket because of the “service fee.” Which is not a gratuity, by the way, so I had to add that, too. (Still a good deal for braids!)
Our lobster tails ended up being $8 each out of pocket. Our steak was quite a bit more. Both were still much less than we’d pay in a proper restaurant, though, so we felt it was worth the extra expense to cover the service fees.
And you don’t have to use your credits at all if you don’t want to. Therefore, you’d owe nothing. And, actually, all unused credits roll over into your next Palace Resorts vacation. Or you can transfer them to family or friends. Just don’t think you have $500+ to spend all willy nilly.
Somewhere between 3.5/5 and 4/5. (The noisy rooms at night really made an impact.)