If you’re in Quintana Roo you might run into a situation where a Cancun day pass at a nice hotel would be really handy. You might be saving some $$ by staying downtown without beach access, so you don’t need to spend the night — but you want to enjoy the day at a super nice beach location, or maybe you have a late flight and want to leave your luggage behind to spend the rest of your precious last hours in paradise. Either way, a day pass is a great option and one that many locals actually use for their own little “staycations”.
Although if what you’re looking for is more about the nicest beach and not its adjacent hotel this article about the best beaches in Cancun is probably more your speed.
Personally, I don’t really use day passes all that much, since I stay at my parents’ house when I go to Cancun and they happen to live at the beach. But, I do have a lot of friends who do it regularly. Which is why I turned to the experts. One of my best friends, Andrea, lives in Cancun and says day passes are something she does often. It’s kind of a no-brainer, if you live in the city with the most beautiful beaches and world-renowned hotels, why not go? The only difference is you go home at the end of the day!
Andrea has three favs, for different reasons, in her own words:
- Intercontinental Presidente Cancun- “The beach is beautiful! The only charge is $1,500 pesos per person so it’s affordable and you get half back to spend on food and drinks. The best part is they also give you a room to use during your stay, super convenient for changing, going to the bathroom, or a power-mini nap. Lots of our friends go to the Presidente to spend the day at the beach. It’s a really fun group activity!”
- Andaz Mayakoba – “This is a much more “fresa” (fresa means snobby, but not in a negative way). The beach is private, and the service is really excellent. The Presidente is great, but they do miss smaller details and it’s not as comfortable. In Mayakoba I’m sure everything will be perfect from the moment I sit down. Everyone will have chairs, the food will be delicious, and the mood is just right. It’s $1,500 pesos per person, and all of it goes towards what you consume in the hotel.”
- Fairmont – “It’s another one of my favorites. It’s also super chic and luxe, and more expensive than the other two at $2,400 pesos per person. But it’s awesome! The beach is beautiful and the service has never been less than stellar.”
That’s the authentic take, straight from Andrea. I trust her 100%, but I want to give you a few more options so you can explore the possibilities.
Best hotels to spend the day in Cancun
Up next is a list of hotels that offer day passes and have great beaches to go along with them. Some hotels that offer day passes, just give you access to the pool or aren’t that great. In this list, you’ll only find the best options if you want a great experience, either by the pool or at the beach, and the freedom to alternate between the two with great service at every turn.
1. Krystal Cancun
Krystal Hotel is right on Punta Cancun, it hosts a beautiful lagoon and it’s huge. With recent renovations, it’s got beautiful decor and vibe, although you’ll notice some parts still resemble an older version of the hotel. It has lots of different dining options, it’s definitely got a party vibe, but kids are welcome. Day passes are $1,200 pesos per person and it goes towards what you consume in the hotel.
2. Hard Rock Cancun
The Hard Rock Hotel is super fun. The day-pass is all-inclusive, with impressive installations that follow the rock/pop music theme the brand is known for. It has more than one swim-up bar, the food is on point, and the beach is endless. It’s divided by sections, make sure to choose the right one when you’re selecting your day-pass depending on what you’re looking for— family, adults-only party (think Spring Break), or adults-only relaxation. There are two options for day passes, from 10 am to 6 pm it’s $50 USD for kids and $103 USD for adults and from 10 am to 2 am it’s $68 USD for kids and $154 USD for adults.
3. Panama Jack Cancun
Panama Jack is a great hotel in the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone). It’s all-inclusive, family-friendly, and has got your typical all-inclusive amenities. The coffee place, the Italian restaurant, the Mexican restaurant, the bar… you get the picture. It’s a great option for bigger groups, won’t break the bank and the beach is gorgeous. It doesn’t get many points for authenticity, but it gets the job done. It’s on the cheaper side with a day pass option from 9 am to 5 pm at $50 USD per person.
4. Intercontinental Presidente Cancun
Like Andrea said, this is truly a great bang for your buck. A day-pass that offers a room is rare, and this hotel actually lives on my favorite beach in all of Cancun. It’s also got two great restaurants, and pools for kids and adults. It’s in the Zona Hotelera, but the best part of this hotel by far is the beach, as one of the biggest and also least frequented in Cancun, it’s kind of a best kept secret gem.
5. Dream Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resorts
Not to be confused with Isla Mujeres, Dream Playa Mujeres is inside the Playa Mujeres gated community. It’s a big hotel, with 500 rooms, 6 pools, 3 levels of pools and different wining and dining options. If you’re into golf, the course is remarkable, although access is not included in the day pass. (do we have a price for this one?)
6. Paradisus Cancun
So, this one is actually home to the only beach club I like in Cancun, Coco’s Beach Club. It’s trendy, it’s up and coming. The beach club has everything you want in a beach club, beats from the DJ, readily available drinks and eats — plus lots of places to lounge, enjoy the beach and the pool! The day pass might not give you access to the actual beach club though, especially if it’s a weekend, so make sure to check that out. They’ve got three different timing tiers that will determine day pass pricing, from 9 am to 6 pm it’s $100 USD, from 6 pm to 2 am it’s also $100 USD and from 9 am to 2 am it’s $140 USD per person.
7. Catalonia Costa Mujeres
This all-inclusive resort has one of the best white-sandiest beaches in Cancun. It’s family-friendly and super chill. It’s got 5 stars, 6 restaurants and 5 food courts (not counting the snack bar and creperie). Unfortunately, the day pass options don’t give you access to everything. Pricing is from 11 am to 6 pm (access to buffet, snacks, national drinks, and creperie) for $50 USD per person, or from 6 pm to 2 am same deal for $55 USD per person. You could purchase both if you want to spend 12 hours in there — which is totally understandable.
8. Live Aqua
This 5-star all-inclusive resort is an excellent option. It’s got luxe, it’s got 9 restaurants, multiple pools and a full-service spa, all of which you can access with a day pass. It’s all new and pretty, with an amazing beach and impeccable ocean-side service. It’s a great idea if you’re trying to save some money, but want to sneak some fancy time in there. Pricing options are as follows: from 8 am to 6 pm $130 USD per person, from 6 pm to 11 pm $80 USD per person and from 8 am to 11 pm $180 USD per person.
As a local living part-time in Cancun, I can tell you I am super ready to enjoy any of these options on my next visit to my city! Let us know which one was your perfect choice and share any must activity or detail we have to enjoy next time!