There's no doubt that tourism is the lifeblood of Cancun. The northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has been a choice destination for years, especially during spring break when the most restless of American students invade the beaches for a week-long array of hijinx to divert them from the anxiety of studies.
It's also a favorite tourist spot for more professional folks, families and empty nesters. And to cater to the more loaded varieties, a newer batch of luxury hotels and resorts are springing up in the city and shorelines like never before. One report cites at least 30 percent of all investment in Cancun is geared towards tourism.
While that's good news for more affluent consumers, those on the lower end of the economic scale might not be so thrilled, since the move creates more perceptions that there aren't enough accommodations in the Mexican metropolis catering to more budget-minded clientele.
The reality, however, is that there are more than a few of those spots available if getaway seekers take the time to look. Depending on what you define as affordable, it turns out the average cost of an overnight stay for a couple in Cancun is about $177 US. Those staying for a week might wind up forking over slightly more than $1,510.
But you could save about three times as much if you're not big on amenities, however. A careful search yielded five accommodation spots available for as low as $50 US.
Woof! This one's dog-friendly!
Why deprive Fido of any fun for a getaway when the Marriott Cancun Resort at $50 US a night is more than welcome to dogs? There's lots of space in those suites, more than 400 square feet for the pup to stretch. And besides the basics like a king-size bed, flatscreen, and private balcony, the staff has thoughtfully installed a water purification system to ward off any chances of getting Montezuma's Revenge.
Also within the complex, guests can choose among five restaurants serving everything from Japanese to steak to seafood. And while there's immediate access to a pristine beach, others might be attracted by the hotel's pool, fitness, and spa facilities.
Luxuriate on the highest point of Cancun Island
One thing that The Royal Islander All Suites Resort offers, besides rates as low as $47 US, is a panoramic view of the surroundings on Cancun Island, from the beaches to the lagoon to the nearby golf course. Considering it's perched on the highest point of the island, the eye candy is a bonus. Rooms include a choice of two double beds or a king-size as well as all the requisite amenities. The facilities offer a couple of pools which are heated for more temperature-sensitive guests during the winter.
The all-inclusive deal, however, comes with a few strings attached. For openers, the package includes breakfast, but no lunch or dinner, which you can enjoy at six eateries within the hotel. And be advised that those staying over for a Saturday night might be asked to move to another suite to accommodate guests who paid a bit more for amenities.
Mariachis at mealtime (Johnny Cash not included)
The rooms tend to be slightly small at the Krystal Cancun Beach Resort, available for as low as $41 US, but if you're geared towards more outside activities, that's likely to be a moot point to factor in for your getaway. The all-inclusive package includes three square meals, which might go down better with entertainment courtesy of an authentic Mariachi band. And if they know it, the troupe might play Ring of Fire on request.
Krystal Cancun features six restaurants and an infinity-style pool and Jacuzzi within a few steps of one of the most panoramic beaches in the area. But what you won't find in the package is a stocked mini-bar. But if you bring your own bottle how big of a deal is that?
It ain't casual & chic without a lagoon
When a resort such as Bel Air Collection Resort and Spa Cancun decides to call itself hip and minimalist, such a claim is worthy of some scrutiny. There's no doubt about the minimal rate, which can go as low a $38 US, although the overnight price has been as high as $117 on occasion. The suites offer some lovely eye candy in the form of a lagoon, which you can enjoy from your hotel window or balcony.
Bel-Air's all-inclusive package includes a la carte menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as name brand drinks from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. And to introduce you to what is hopefully a pleasant stay, take advantage of the welcome fruit plate. Other amenities include a regularly-stocked mini-bar and turndown service.
Here, a balcony is always guaranteed
Here's a chance to get an aerial eyeful of either the Caribbean or an exotic garden with nothing but a railing separating you from the splendor of the Cancun environment. That part is free at the Villa del Palmar Cancun, going for as low as $38 US. Guests are treated to 24-hour room service, a choice of seven restaurants on the premises and immediate access to a world-class golf course designed by PGA champ Greg Norman.
That's one reason why there's no need to get cooped up in any of the 415 rooms in the Villa since you also have access to five outdoor swimming pools and four Jacuzzis, all within steps of a handy beverage stand. And if you have youngsters in tow, the hotel supplies babysitting services as well as an activity-oriented Kids Club.