Best places to stay in Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

Heading to Cancun this year? Plan your trip with my tips on the best places to stay in Cancun, including neighborhoods that fit your budget and vacation goals!

Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan Peninsula is home to beautiful sandy beaches and Mayan ruins. One of the most popular places to base yourself is the city of Cancun, known as the gateway to the Riviera Maya.

Formerly known as Nizuk or ‘Point of Grass’ for its Mayan inhabitants, the city now known as Cancun means ‘Enchanted Snake’ or ‘Snake’s Nest’.

But it is far from a snake’s nest. Being the entry point to Mexico – Cancun is a vibrant city that is home to crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, luxury resorts and a thriving night scene.

The perfect base for exploring the Mayan Riviera, Cancun is well connected to Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Playa del Carmen and more.

Your stay in Cancun will introduce you to Mexican cuisine, nightlife and street food. This would also be the perfect opportunity to go scuba diving, snorkeling, explore the nearby Mayan ruins, go shopping and indulge in some cultural experiences.

If you’re looking for the best hotels in Cancun to enjoy your stay, read this free guide to the best areas of Cancun and find the perfect accommodation for your budget!

Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten

I have been traveling the world for 10+ years as a professional photographer and writer. I hope you enjoy my Cancun travel tips! If you find it useful, I will earn a small commission for using my affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Best Places to Stay in Cancun Guide

Where to stay in Cancun

Top neighborhoods in Cancun

Zona Hotelera

Zona Hotelera is Cancun’s main tourist district where you’ll find high-end resorts catering to tourists. Stay here and you’ll find restaurants, shopping malls and a night-life scene. Extending all the way from Puerto Cancun to Punta Nizuc. It is also where some of the best beaches in Cancun are located.

El Centro (Downtown) Cancun

If you want to feel the heartbeat of the city, this is the place. Watching busy locals go about their days, eating street food at stalls or visiting cheap night clubs and restaurants. El Centro offers more affordable budget accommodation options than other parts of Cancun.

Costa Mujeres

At the far north end of the Zona Hotelera sits Playa Mujeres (Costa Mujeres) – a newly developed luxury resort area of ​​Cancun. A bit closer to El Centro and Puerto Juarez, this area is not as crowded as Zona Hotelera. If you’re looking for a bit more peace and quiet on a holiday with the family, Playa Mujeres is a top choice.

Puerto Juarez

Located about 2 km from the center of Cancun, Puerto Juarez is another good place to stay in Cancun if you’re on a budget. It is quieter than the city center, but not as touristy as the Zona Hotelera. If you plan to visit Isla Mujeres, it is also a great place to stay Ultramar Ferry Twice and hourly departures from here to the island.

Zona Hotelera – Where to Stay for First Time Visitors

Luxury Hotels ($200+ USD) in Hotel Zone

  • Ritz Carlton Cancun – Luxury AAA Five Diamond Award winner, The Ritz Carlton is within walking distance of the popular beaches Playa Marlin and Playa Ballenas. Guests will enjoy 2 swimming pools, Kayanta Spa, 7 onsite restaurants, Kids Club and Teens Club. Beautifully decorated rooms with the best amenities, iPod docking stations, Egyptian cotton sheets, private beach cabanas, what more could you ask for?
  • Nizuk Resort & Spa – Located on Boulevard Cuculcan in Punta Nizuc, Zona Hotelera, Nizuc Resort is one of the best places to stay in Cancun. At this 29-acre beachfront resort, guests can sleep in the most luxurious surroundings catering to all their needs. Enjoy 6 international restaurants, 2 swimming pools, top-grade fitness center, spa and wellness treatments, thermal experiences, free parking, free WiFi and superior amenities.

Mid-Range Hotels in Hotel Zone ($150 – $190 USD)

  • Renaissance Cancun Resort – Located in the Puerto Cancun section of the Zona Hotelera, the Renaissance Cancun Marina is within walking distance of the town center, restaurants and shopping centers. There is a free shuttle to the beach, a sauna, an infinity pool, a beach club and spacious rooms and suites with every amenity you need.
  • Marriott Cancun Resort – Located on the beachfront of the Caribbean Sea, the spacious rooms at the Marriott are perfect for a luxurious stay at an affordable price. Guests have access to 8 international restaurants including Japanese and Thai, free WiFi, a fitness center and top-notch amenities. Day care program to take care of children too.

Budget Hotels ($50 – $100 USD) in Hotel Zone

  • Mayan Monkey Hotel and Hostel – Formerly known as Señor Frog, and in the heart of the Zona Hotelera, Mayan Monkey Hostel is within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and bars. You can choose from either a dorm room, a double room or a suite. Free WiFi, free private parking, barbecue facilities, lounge, bar and pool make this hostel perfect!

El Centro Neighborhood – Cancun on a Budget

Mid-Range Hotels in El Centro ($150 – $190 USD)

  • Salina Cancun Downtown – Within walking distance of the Cancun bus station and Cristo Rey Church, this Celina hotel offers a swimming pool, free WiFi and free onsite parking. Pets are allowed for a charge, and guests have access to a shared kitchen, breakfast at the onsite restaurant, as well as co-working space. Whether you choose a dorm, apartment or room, you will enjoy your stay at this colorful hotel.
  • El Rey del Caribe – Located in the heart of downtown Cancun, this eco-hotel features a hot tub, terrace, swimming pool and garden area. They have solar water heaters, and recycle all waste water, and use a rain-water collection system. Just one mile from Cancun’s famous beaches.

Budget Hotels ($50 – $100 USD) in El Centro

  • Casa Blanca Boutique – You’ll love the bright and colorful rooms and furnishings at this El Centro bed and breakfast that allows pets upon request. Guests have access to an onsite pool, continental breakfast, rooms with balconies and friendly advice from accessible hosts. And in keeping with its organic mantra, the coffee here is organic too!
  • Gaia Studio – Rooms at Gaia come with kitchens, flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. Some rooms have air conditioning and/or a balcony. Located in a nice area of ​​downtown Cancun, near the family-friendly park “Parque Las Palapas”. They also offer an airport shuttle service for an additional fee.
  • Nomads Hotel – Featuring a rooftop pool and large bar, this hostel is located 3-minutes from the main bus stop in downtown Cancun. In addition to free WiFi and parking, this adults-only hostel offers access to a shared kitchen, loungers, and is within walking distance of great nightlife.

Puerto Juarez – Cancun’s newest area

Luxury Hotels in Puerto Juarez ($200+ USD)

  • Dreams Vista Cancun – A fine luxury resort in the Puerto Juarez area of ​​Cancun, it features a private beach, large swimming pool, children’s playground, fitness center and free WiFi. They also have a spa, golf course and water slides.
  • Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun – This fancy all-inclusive resort is adults-only, and just a 10-minute walk from Cancun’s Playa Blanca Beach. Offers free parking, multiple outdoor swimming pools, bars, a spa and fitness center. There is also an in-house movie theater.

Budget Hotels ($50 – $100 USD) in Puerto Juarez

  • Hotel del Sol – Offering free continental breakfast in their onsite restaurant, Hotel del Sol is just 450 meters from Playa Blanca and a world of water activities. The affordable compact bedrooms include free WiFi and air conditioning and have the best amenities for a budget hotel.

Costa Mujeres – Luxury Beach and Golf Resorts

Luxury Hotels in Costa Mujeres ($200+ USD)

  • Secrets Playa Mujeres – An adults-only all-inclusive resort offering junior suites and ocean-front master suites. They have a private beach, luxuriously decorated rooms, 7 international restaurants, a luxurious spa, the best fitness center and everything you need for a fantastic holiday. It’s pet-friendly too!

FAQ: Top Cancun Questions

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