CANCUN - $100 HOTEL vs $1,000 LUXURY RESORT
Today we are in Cancun, Mexico comparing $100 a night hotel to $1,000 a night hotel. The $100 a night hotel is the Aloft by Marriott. This is located on the northern end of the hotel zone in a great location.
For example, right next to it over here, you have a small mall, you have a Starbucks, you have a really great grocery store, the Chedraui Selecto, and then you walk this way a little bit and you have the beach, you have a public beach very close by as well as some great restaurants. So let's go check that out. And then as you walk towards the beach from the hotel, you arrive at where we had breakfast this morning, VIPS, which is like the Mexican version of a Denny's or an IHOP. And then right across the street is where we had dinner last night. It's called Restaurante Hacienda El Mortero and it was excellent. The food was awesome.
I highly recommend it. The service was great. They had a live mariachi band playing and I recommend getting one of the gigantic margaritas that they serve there. It was pretty cool.
One thing I love about Aloft is how many restaurants and bars are within walking distance, and not even far walking distance. I'm talking like less than three minutes. For example, right next to this place where we ate last night is this bar called Monkey Business. They had live music and a pretty cool show going on. You walk a little further and this is where you get to the nightclub scene. So you have Coco Bongo, you have Mandala Nightclub, and then other restaurants like Hooters there's a wings restaurant, and all sorts of options right around here.
And then right across the street from the hotel, you have the public beach, Playa Caracol, which is relatively small but really pretty. And there's loungers out here that you can rent and have some shade and a comfortable place to enjoy this beautiful view. And actually, really close to here is where the ferry leaves to go over to Isla Mujeres.
So if you wannna check out Isla Mujeres and Playa Norte over there, it's absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend it. So it's an easy walk to get to the ferry. And also, right here at Playa Caracol, there is a couple of restaurants where you can order some food and drinks as well. Now that I've shown you what's near the hotel, let's go inside and check it out. So as you walk in the front entrance, straight ahead is the check-in desk.
And over here to the right is the bar where there's free drinks for guests from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Over here, they have some spots to rest, to weigh your luggage, a little candy store over here. And here's a computer that's free to use in case you need to print your boarding pass or something like that.
And definitely book online instead of walking in because the price for walk-ins is almost $500 a night. But anyway, let's go up to the room. So during the daytime, the lobby looks like a normal lobby, but last night when we arrived, it kind of felt like we were walking into a sex motel.
So that was a little bit weird. But as you exit the elevators into the hallway, it feels like an older hotel and kind of smells like an older hotel. Maybe a little bit musty. Okay, now I'll give you a quick tour of our room here. To the left of the entrance is the bathroom.
Here's the toilet, sink, and shower area. It's pretty small. The shower, it was nice, hot water with lots of water pressure, so that was good. But like you have the shampoo and conditioner here and then the body wash here and you can hardly get any of this out. You have to press it like 100 times to get just a little bit in your hand, which was quite annoying. And then we go outside of the bathroom here.
We have two, I think these are queen size beds. To the right here, there's a small mini fridge. Right here, there's a little coffee maker and they provided a couple of bottles of water. I'm not sure if everyone gets water or it's just because of my Marriott Gold status. I have status from a credit card, so I might've gotten a couple bottles of water.
And then I think they upgraded me to an ocean view room because of the status as well. I think someone previously had a tiger in here because this headboard is all scratched up, this headboard is all scratched up. The furniture in here, not the greatest. Looks pretty dated and pretty worn, lots of chips and dings. Someone even left the iron on this one, which is actually kind of funny. Aloft Cancun is right over my shoulder here and if we do a little quick 180, a one minute walk away is the Chedraui Selecto supermarket.
This is a great grocery store. It's two levels. It has a really nice selection in there of a whole bunch of different products, including affordable beach gear, whether it's swimsuits or hat here to protect me from the strong Cancun sun. But having this right next to your hotel is going to help stretch your budget a lot further. And it's nice that the Aloft has a mini fridge in the room so you can buy some beverages and keep them cold in there. You can also get a complete hot meal at this Chedraui.
Right behind me here, there's a pizza and pasta station, a sushi station, hot Mexican breakfast here. So there's a lot of options for a nice, hot, fresh meal for about 100 pesos or approximately $5 US. Next to the supermarket here, you can also find a large souvenir shop, a dental clinic, a convenience store, a place to get a massage, many places to buy tours, things like that. So basically, anything you might need during a week's stay, you can find it within a couple minutes walking of Aloft. So overall, what do I think of this place? Well, it's on the lower end of the price range of hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone for sure.
So given that, it's a really great location. You have the beach right there, the grocery store right there, many restaurants and nightclubs and bars close by. So, that's all pretty convenient. I honestly don't like the hotel.
I don't like the room. It's not nice. I mean, I've stayed in hotels for $20, $30 a night that were nicer than this, so you have that. But, I mean, what you're buying here or what you're renting is the location above all.
But anyway, let's go check out the $1,000 a night hotel in Cancun. And now for the $1,000 per night. This is the newest luxury resort in Cancun, the Waldorf Astoria. Let's go inside. When we pulled up to valet here, they came out to the car, they're like, "Leave everything in the car.
We'll valet it. We'll take everything up to your room." And then you walk through these massive wooden doors and you get this strong whiff of wood in here and you walk into this gorgeous lobby. When all said and done, this room we're staying in would have been over $2,000 dollars a night, but we're staying here for basically free. So stick around until the end and I'll tell you how he did that as well as what we loved about the hotel and what we didn't like so much.
And then as we walk through the lobby, here is one of the entrances or one of the exits going out to the pool. You have to put your hand there and it opens automatically. So there's a lot of places for just lounging out here. Over here to the left are the outside tables for Malpeque, and then at night, they're gonna have these fires going.
For example, we came out here and sat by the fire last night, which was really enjoyable. As for the pool, it was a really comfortable temperature. You have a very shallow area right here, and then after that, it drops off to about a four feet of depth. Right down here, you have a place to wash the sand off when you go on the beach, but they also have some loungers down here on the sand, which was really nice. So coming up here to another entrance, this is the outside terrace seating of the restaurant Chaya. Walking through these hallways here, there's some shops where you can buy handbags, perfumes, colognes.
We come by the restaurant Jao. This is like a Mexican-themed restaurant. So you have Malpeque, which is the fine dining steak and seafood, Jao right there, which is the Mexican, and then Chaya, which is international. So right in here is the entrance to the spa. We came to the fitness center almost every day while here. All the equipment is really new as this placed just opened a couple of months ago.
I'll show you one of the public bathrooms downstairs just so you can see how nice this is. So in here, you have real towels to dry your hands, which is nice. And then in here, in each one of the bathroom stalls, you have your own sink with real towels.
So I thought that was pretty cool. Tell you what, no matter where you are in this resort, you feel like you're in this amazing luxurious place. So we are on floor five.
This hotel has a pretty expansive footprint, but despite that, it only has about 170 rooms and all of them face the water. So let's go inside of ours. We are in room 521, the oceanfront suite. Coming in the front entrance, here to your left is a complete bathroom.
You have a sink, a toilet, and a shower in there. So it's been really nice to have those two complete bathrooms. Everything in here, like the flooring, the countertops, the furniture, it's all marble, so really high-end everything. Over here is the mini bar area.
You have a Nespresso with complimentary tea and coffee in this drawer here as well as a paid mini bar area here. This room does not include a refrigerator, but I did see them bringing up a refrigerator to another room, so it is something that you can order. And they have glasses to use there. We went out to a grocery store and got our own drinks, which was nice to have during our stay.
Here you have the living room area with a nice big TV and a sofa and then a couple more places to sit right over here. No shortage of places to sit in here. And then right here is actually your first of three entrances out onto the balcony. Yeah, I couldn't believe there were three ways to get out there. So right here separated by a wall, where these doors close and it has this soft closing feature so it never slams, is the bedroom area, but you also have like your own living room area as well in here. So you have a couple of nice places to sit there, another entrance out to the balcony, and then a big beautiful king size bed, which was pretty comfortable.
And then another big TV in here. Then, separated by another wall is the whole bathroom area. Again, with the doors with the soft close feature. We walk in here.
Right here is your vanity area with a makeup mirror. To the left is just your toilet behind a powdered glass door. And then we turn to the right and you have a dual sink. It's really well lit. I like that the closet here, the lights are automatic. You come close to it, the lights turn on.
You open up the closet doors, the lights turn on and there is a safe in here. Oh, and then you also have another mirror inside the closet door, which was actually a nice feature. And then coming in here is the shower area. I love, love this shower. So you have the choice of having the rainfall shower head from above or this one from the side. I usually chose this one, but both were super nice.
And as you're showering, you have this like frosted glass here so no one can see you. However, you can still look out and see the gorgeous blue-green water out there. And then we open up the third entrance going to the patio and here you have our private soaking tub. And I believe every single room in this hotel has the private soaking tub on their balcony. But out here, we also have a couple chairs and a table and overlooks the two pools down here as well as the beach area.
Just gorgeous. Now let's talk about what we liked, what we loved, and the things we didn't like. I'm gonna start with the things we didn't like and end it on the positive things. While staying here, the thing I had the biggest problem with was housekeeping. It was super inconsistent and there was one day that I wasn't even able to get the room cleaned despite asking two different times.
And as for the inconsistency, like one day I'd come back and my charging cord would be neatly rolled up and the next day it would be just left there hanging. Like, one day, the stuff in the bathroom would be neatly organized, put on a towel, and then the next day, it would just be left a total mess. So, a lot of inconsistency like that. And then there were pieces of trash and used glasses that weren't picked up.
So it seems like the housekeeping isn't very well trained here. Like, we would take the paper off the soap and leave it here and then the housekeeping left the paper there for, well, actually, they never took it after like three days. I just took it out and threw it away myself.
And when you're at these super high-end hotels like a Waldorf Astoria, there's typically twice per day housekeeping, once in the morning and then a turndown service at night. So if you've never had a turndown service, basically, they'll come in here, they'll clean up the room a second time, replace all the towels a second time, and they'll take the bedsheets, pull them back like to get it ready for bed. Here at the Waldorf, they left a piece of chocolate on each nightstand as well as a bottled water. And then they also take the tea out of here and put it on a tray with teacups and then they put it on this table over here along with this electric tea kettle. But normally, when there's twice a day housekeeping, in the morning, they take that stuff away and put it all away. Well, these maids just left it out there and they left it out there the whole time.
So for this room tour, I actually did that myself and just put it away up here so it would be out of the way for the tour. And then another problem I had while staying here was many times, I would be calling down whether it was to make a restaurant reservation or to request housekeeping or to request that the car be brought up from valet and I would call and I would press the concierge button because there isn't a housekeeping button or anything. Anyway, I would press this, it would ring, and ring, and ring, and a lot of times, it was five minutes, 10 minutes. And then most of the time, I ended up just giving up and hanging up the call because it never got answered. And my third problem I had with this resort was it was windy a few of the days we were here.
And when it's windy, there's a really loud whistling coming from right here in the window. So, that detracted from the experience. Oh, and something else that I didn't like was that it seems like everything here is unnecessarily expensive. It's just expensive because they can. You're like not close to anything.
The resort is kind of isolated. So I feel like they mark the prices up just because they can get away with it. For example, anytime you want a cocktail here, no matter where it is, whether it's room service, at a restaurant, out at the pool, no matter where it is, it is about 400 pesos or $20 per cocktail.
And it's not like they're using top shelf ingredients. They're using good ingredients, but not great. For example, if it's a tequila drink, it might have Don Julio Blanco. So, for $20, I don't know.
I couldn't justify paying that much. So, I hardly ordered any drinks while here. Now, if they were 200 pesos, if they were half the price, yeah, I probably would've had a lot of drinks. But, no, I couldn't justify it.
We went out to a grocery store, we got some drinks, I got a bottle of whiskey for myself and drank mostly that. And then, also, the food is super expensive. Thankfully, being a Hilton Diamond member, our breakfast was comped every day at Chaya. But our tickets ended up being, after tax and tip, like 90 dollars, almost 2,000 pesos for breakfast every day.
Granted, because it was free, we were ordering more. So we would get like fruit and a main dish instead of just a main dish. But, still, it is pricey.
Of all the restaurants, I thought the best value was actually at Malpeque, the fine dining steak and seafood place. Still pricey, but I feel like just way better value for your money there than at the other restaurants. And you can get an all-inclusive pass to the Hilton next door if you're staying here at Waldorf, but that's pretty expensive. Like, if you want a partial day pass that doesn't include dinner, it's $150 per person per day.
And if you want one that includes dinner, it's $200 per person per day. So if you're a couple here, that's an extra $400 per day if you want to go next door and have that all-inclusive experience. So I don't think that's worth it because you could just pay that money and spend less just paying for all your meals here. But despite those problems, I still loved this stay and would gladly come back.
So, what are my favorite things about this place? Number one, it's all brand new and super luxurious. You feel like you're in total luxury the whole time you're here and the service was also incredible. There's always people going outta their way to see if you need anything. And if you're out by the pool, there's people coming up to you right away to put out the towels and to serve you drinks, food, whatever, as well as anything else you might need while you're out there.
So the service here, besides housekeeping and besides trying to call down using that phone, has been excellent. And then my favorite of all is the food. The food here was incredible, especially at Malpeque and at Chaya. Chaya breakfast, not as good as Chaya dinner, but still, for Chaya breakfast, there were some incredible things, like the mezcal French toast. But I highly recommend over at Malpeque the steak and seafood restaurant is the whole fish of the day.
We got the sea bass, it served for two. It was amazing. And the roasted cauliflower was also really memorable there. Now, cauliflower might not sound that great, but even if you're not a vegetable lover, you will love that roasted cauliflower with everything they put on it. That tahini sauce, the pistachios, the pomegranate seeds. Ooh, so freaking good.
If you're staying here, I do recommend that you rent a car so you aren't stuck at the resort. Renting a car helped us be able to get out of the resort for a lot of the meals so we don't have to buy the super expensive food here. But when I booked my tickets with AeroMexico, they offered me an add-on for a Hertz rental car. So I did that because it was a reasonable price, but then, I got to Hertz and it was a nightmare.
They're like, "Okay, in addition to the cost of your rental car, that's gonna be an extra $100 dollars a day for insurance." And I'm like, "No, I'm not paying that. I don't have to. I have rental insurance elsewhere."
Anyway, the long story short, they threatened to send me to jail when I started recording to expose their scam that they're running. And that's going to be a separate video that I'll link here if I've already posted it. But if not, subscribe and that'll be coming soon. Rent a car, but don't rent it from Hertz or one of the other major companies here because they're all a nightmare from what people have told me. So go find that on the channel and I'll link that at the end of this video as well after it's posted.
In that video, I'm gonna give you another recommendation for someone reputable you can use to get a rental car when you're coming here because it's not a long drive into Puerto Morelos where you have a lot of restaurant options that are far more affordable than those here at the resort. (chill music) So if you're coming to stay here, my first tip for you is to get status with Hilton hotels. Now, you can do this a couple of ways. Number one is you can stay at Hiltons for a whole bunch of nights a year. I forget what exactly it is to get to diamond, but I think it's something like staying here 50 nights in a year, which is a lot.
And anyone other than business travelers probably aren't going to be able to reach that. But you can get to diamond status by getting a cheaper credit card that's like an annual fee of $100 and spending a certain amount on that, or what I actually recommend is to get the Hilton Aspire card, which gets you automatic diamond status. So, because we got automatic diamond status here, we got upgraded from a regular room to the king suite. So it went from like a $700 a night room to a $1,900 a night room.
But in addition to the normal prices, they also add a 10% service fee onto that, so that's what pushes it over the $2,000 a night mark. So because of the diamond status, we got a $1,200 a night upgrade to this beautiful room and free breakfast every day. So the free breakfast every day saved us about another $500. And the annual fee on this card is $450, but just from the upgrades and the free breakfast, that more than pays for the cost of the card.
But in addition to that, in addition to those benefits, you also get priority pass, which gets you lounge access in the airport. And if you've never flown with lounge access, your travel days are going to be so much better. In fact, you may even look forward to travel days when you have access to the lounges.
But in addition to that, you also get a $250 airline credit every year and a $250 credit to use at a Hilton resort every year like this one. So that's $500 in credits. Plus, in addition to that, you get a free night reward every single year you have this card. So, basically, we booked five nights here with points and then we used one free night reward to get that sixth night for free as well. And to book this with points, it's 95,000 Hilton points per night. However, if you book five nights with points, you get the fifth night free.
So basically, you only have to pay four nights with points. So in other words, you need 380,000 Hilton points to book this for five nights. And when signing up for that Hilton Aspire card, at least right now, the signup bonus is 150,000 Hilton points after a certain amount to spend, which isn't too hard to reach. So between the points you're gonna get from that spend plus the signup bonus, you're already halfway to the number of points you need to stay here for five nights. So, that's what I did.
I got that card, got automatic diamond status, got all those credits, priority pass and all of that, and then I signed up for another Hilton credit card and put some spend on it and got enough points to book this pretty quickly. It did not take that long to get this amazing stay totally comped. So that's how you can do it, too. I'll link to those cards down below. Watch this video next.
It's of how Hertz tried to send me to jail at the Cancun airport.