Cancun’s Azul Beach Resort Isn’t Perfect, But It Works Hard to Relax You

Travel Features cancun
Cancun’s Azul Beach Resort Isn’t Perfect, But It Works Hard to Relax You

“Get Out There” is a column for itchy footed humans written by long-time Paste contributor Blake Snow. Although different now, travel is better than ever. Today we visit one of Cancun’s most relaxing all-inclusives, the Azul Beach Resort.

The guacamole wasn’t fresh. I traveled 2000 miles and four hours by plane for this, and it wasn’t fresh. Yea, yea—cry me a river. But it wasn’t fresh. 

It grew on me, though. Not the disappointing, pale green, processed guacamole I failed to finish. But the resort that served it, at least over a tranquil, sometimes uneven, but mostly (and incredibly) relaxing week in the Mexican Caribbean. 

That property is Azul Beach Resort, located 20 minutes south of Cancun Airport. Not too big and not too small, Azul is canopied by more palms than any other resort I’ve visited. It boasts over 400 spacious suites, six restaurants, six pools, and one spa in an extremely relaxing setting. 

The 16 year-old property is hyper clean, well-maintained, and borderline bougie. But there are some chinks in its aging armor. 

For example, you won’t want to swim in its seaweed surf, which is sadly subpar (although not their fault). To worsen matters, workers only cleared seaweed everyday on the “premium” side of the beach, while neglecting the other side designated for non-premium guests. (That side was only cleared every few days.)

There are some room fixtures and a few floor tiles past their expiration dates. The restaurants seemed short-staffed and regularly turned away disappointed dinner guests to try the buffet. While the spa amenities were fantastic, the massages were just okay for how much they cost.  

As for the food, it only landed half of the time. I adored the mushroom and lime risotto from the Italian restaurant, the more redemptive guacamole and delicious grilled veggie burrito from the Mexican cantina, and the poke tuna and apple salad with lemon at the beachside dinner. The buffet salads were also fantastic. The “surf and turf” might have worked—had it been served warm. 

To pile it on like the growing seaweed on the non-premium side of the beach, only half of the restaurants were open on any given night, and it wasn’t always clear which ones were, given conflicting reports on the printed schedule and resort app. Speaking of which, the app only worked half of the time. Same for room service. “Be patient,” the front desk said. But no one answered our repeated calls, so we headed to the buffet like the peons we were. 

When the staff did show up, which was usually the case, they were totally worth writing home about. Our pool butlers, Antonio and Mauricio; our waiters, Azael and Akexandra; our room attendant, Sonia; and our concierge, Lizbeth, all went above and beyond to ensure we had a memorable and relaxing vacation. In that regard, Azul accomplishes its mission. 

The resort’s best-in-class cabanas are a big reason for that. These thatched, king-sized “Bali beds” are everywhere and take relaxation to a whole nother level—like something out of a Corona commercial. We spent hours in these shaded sanctuaries, while the ocean breeze, swaying palms, and gentle waves kept telling us, “Here time stands still.”

On our last night at the resort, a live mariachi band sang and played their hearts out, ending the week on a high note. On the first night under the cabana, we watched a full blood moon light up the navy ocean. Both were magic. 

My nitpicking aside, Azul Beach Resort is a largely well-manicured and exceptional resort that will undoubtedly relax you. Unless you find discounted rates, it has a few flaws that question its value and potential. But Azul has it where it counts in location, people, and amenities. 

And hey, not all guacamole can be great. 




Blake Snow contributes to fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies as a bodacious writer-for-hire and frequent travel columnist. He lives in Provo, Utah with his adolescent family and two dogs.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin