Where to Stay in Cancun for One Night: How to Choose Well


beautiful resort with blue sun bathing chairs

Cancun offers a wide variety of stunning beachfront hotels, limitless nightlife, unmatched food, and an array of archaeological sites that uncover Mexico’s ancient past. Deciding where to stay can be a daunting task, but we’re here to narrow it down and help you find the best place to stay in Cancun for one night.

Where should you stay in Cancun for one night? It depends on your preferences, needs, and interests. Cancun offers hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s that cater to families of all sizes, while also offering hotels for adults-only. 

Any search online for places to stay in Cancun will provide an overwhelming list of options for you to scroll through. But how do you make the best selection? No matter what your budget is or what you are interested in doing, the following guide should help you pick the best option for your one night stay in Cancun.

How to Narrow Down Your Options

Cancun is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You will want to know about its diverse locations and what each area has to offer. Cancun has two distinct areas: the Hotel Zone and Downtown Cancun. The Hotel Zone, or “Zona Hotelera,” is Cancun’s tourist district. Downtown Cancun, or “El Centro,” is less tourist-oriented and is where locals reside. 

Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera)

The Cancun Hotel Zone is where most tourists spend the majority of their vacation. It is a narrow 14 mile-long island with more than 70 hotels and a vast number of attractions for families and adults. There are numerous white sand beaches, waterfront dining experiences, shopping malls, and nightclubs to fill your time. The Hotel Zone is a vacation paradise, and it has got something for everyone. 

If nightlife and parties are your desire, then you will want to stay in or near Cancun’s “party zone,” also known as Punta Cancun. Punta Cancun is unmatched in its nightlife offerings. With numerous night clubs and bars, the party lasts all night long in Punta Cancun.

Downtown Cancun (El Centro)

Downtown Cancun is an entirely different beast than its Hotel Zone counterpart, and it is only a few miles away. Transportation between the two will typically run you fifty cents via bus route. Downtown Cancun, or El Centro, is considered to be “true Mexico.” This is where you can see how the locals live and get a taste of authentic Mexican culture.

For those who are not looking for the “luxurious” tourist experience, Downtown Cancun may be exactly what you are looking for. Its entertainment offerings are diverse, and you can stay the night on a budget.

Where to Stay in the Hotel Zone

Each hotel in Cancun’s Hotel Zone is unique and offers numerous attractions. You will find a good mix when it comes to adult-only hotels, family-friendly hotels, and even some that are couples-only. The following table lists an assortment of hotels in Hotel Zone varied by price, guest restriction, and unique offerings:

Hotel NameOne Night’s Stay Cost*Caters To:Highlighted Features
Live Aqua Beach Resort$297 per night.Adults OnlyUpscale all-inclusive beachfront resort
Secrets The Vine Cancun$199 per couple.Couples OnlyDance lessons, oceanfront bars, and a unique “Turtle Release” program
Fiesta Americana Condesa$120 per night.Family FriendlyActivities to keep the whole family busy
Sun Palace$274 per night.Couples OnlyWorld class spa and nightly entertainment included
The Ritz – Carlton$229 per night.Family FriendlyIncludes Kids’ Camp and baby amenities
Hard Rock Hotel$286 per night.Family FriendlyExclusive audio experience
Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone$275 per night.Family FriendlyIn the heart of Punta Cancun
Hotel Casa Maya$107 per night.Family FriendlyLocated on the beach

Now that you know a general rundown of hotel options and prices in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, here are some of the unique qualities each selection has to offer so that you can make the best hotel choice based on your desires and needs: 

Live Aqua Beach Resort

Live Aqua Beach Resort is an upscale, all-inclusive, adults-only beachfront resort with a focus on the sensory experience. Everything is designed to appeal to your senses from the moment you arrive. It has over eight infinity pools and is right across the street from La Isla Shopping Mall. 

Secrets The Vine Cancun 

Secrets The Vine Cancun is another adults-only all-inclusive resort. Designed to be the ultimate couple’s getaway, Secrets The Vine Cancun boasts unlimited domestic and international top-shelf spirits, oceanfront bars, themed parties, and numerous entertainment venues. 

For your one night stay, you will never have to leave the resort because they offer on-site activities like dance lessons, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and much more. They even have a focus on ocean preservation efforts with a special turtle release program you won’t want to miss.

Fiesta Americana Condesa

Fiesta Americana Condesa is a vibrant resort that the whole family can enjoy. Starting at just $120 per night, you will find that this resort is absolutely packed with activities to keep everyone in the family entertained for your whole stay. The available activities range from sports to culture and art-oriented events.

The little ones will find plenty to do in the Kids’ Club and game room. There’s a bi-level outdoor pool with a swim-up bar and a kiddy pool. Also, you will never stay hungry for long because there are nine restaurants within the resort that range from Asian and Mexican cuisine to Italian. 

Sun Palace 

Sun Palace is an all-inclusive, couples-only resort. If relaxation is your top priority, then you will want to experience their world-class spa. It includes hydrating body wraps, plunge pools, deep tissue massages, and much more. They’ve got you covered for your entertainment needs as well, as their nightly events include fire dancing and impersonation shows.

The Ritz – Carlton

At $229 a night, The Ritz – Carlton is a family-friendly resort packed to the brim with activities that appeal to children and adults alike. It contains over 1200 square feet of white sand beach and holds two award-winning restaurants on site: Fantina and The Club Grill. 

The young ones will never grow bored here because The Ritz Kids Camp has full-day programs or hourly activities to keep them busy. There’s even a Treasure Hunts History program that will teach them about the city’s ancient past, and send them on an adventure they won’t soon forget. The Ritz also has even the youngest guests in mind, as their baby amenities offer a baby soaking tub, baby bottle warmers and sterilizes, and much more.

Hard Rock Hotel

The Hard Rock Hotel is a trusted family of hotels found worldwide, and its Cancun location offers some of the franchise’s most unique selections. At $286 a night, get ready to experience experimental dining at one of their six world-class restaurants, never-ending cocktails, and a freestyle pool with two swim-up bars. You can partake in epic water sports or fun with the little ones at the kid-friendly wading pool.

Hard Rock’s Cancun location is the only Hard Rock Hotel in the world to have its own fully functional golf course. With music being at the heart of this resort, you will want to experience “The Sound of Your Story” program. It is an exclusive audio experience with playlists catered to each guest.

Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone

Selina is a special chain of hotels worldwide that offer world-class services. They have two locations in Cancun. Their Hotel Zone location rests in the heart of Punta Cancun and offers a community room option. This will give you a chance to connect with other travelers and perhaps build lasting bonds.

Their rooms pay stunning attention to detail. The Hotel Zone location features a cocktail bar, library, and even a coworking area for those who need to stay connected to business.

Hotel Casa Maya

This unique entry is one of the better values in the Hotel Zone. At $107 per night, you will find Hotel Casa Maya situated right on the beach! Their Las Brisas Restaurant offers Mexican, international, and seafood dishes. For those with young ones, rest assured your kids will have fun in the secure children’s play area.

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So far, we’ve covered only a small fraction of what Cancun’s 14-mile Hotel Zone stretch has to offer. It is a vacation paradise surrounded by white sand beaches, luxurious shopping, world-class dining and entertainment, unforgettable nightlife, ultimate relaxation, and more activities than anyone could possibly do in a single night. 

The Hotel Zone is sure to cover everything on your vacation checklist, but it is only one part of Cancun. In this next section, we are going to talk about Downtown Cancun. Think of it as the other side of the Cancun coin.

Where to Stay in Downtown Cancun (El Centro)

If you prefer to stay away from the tourist haven and become acquainted with the local vibe, then Downtown Cancun is for you. It is the best way to experience Mexican life as the natives experience it, and it is easier on your wallet. Here is a comparison chart to compare a few of Downtown Cancun’s hotel selections:

Hotel NameOne Night’s Stay Cost*Caters To:Highlighted Features
One Cancun Centro$39 per night.Family Friendly3-star hotel, located in “Heart of Cancun”
Ambiance Suites$61 per night.Family FriendlyEasy airport access
Hotel Kavia$28 per night.Family FriendlySun terrace and outdoor swimming pool
Nomads Boutique Hotel & Hostel$6 per night.Family Friendly15 minutes from Punta Cancun
Selina Cancun Downtown$11 per night.Family FriendlyLive musical performances 
Hotel Bonampak$38 per night.Family FriendlySteps from Hotel Zone
Oh! The Urban Oasis$57 per night.Adults OnlyValue of Downtown Cancun with the luxury of the Hotel Zone
Airbnb “Oasis” Selection$14 per night.Family FriendlyPrivacy of home Living

Here is a more in-depth look into each hotel location to help you narrow down your selection for a one-night stay. 

One Cancun Centro

Starting at $39 a night, One Cancun Centro is an excellent one-stop, three-star hotel right in the heart of Downtown Cancun. It is close to a wide assortment of bars, shops, and entertainment options that are sure to keep you busy. The hotel is very close to Los Americas Mall and provides the basic hotel accommodations, including free breakfast.

Ambiance Suites

This gem starts at $61 a night. Ambiance Suites is a four-star hotel that’s going to provide you with all the accommodations you’d expect, including free breakfast, high-speed Wi-Fi, and even a salon. The nearest beach is only a four-minute drive away, and it has easy access to the airport. 

Hotel Kavia 

This is a simple selection at only $28 a night. Perfect for travelers on a budget, this hotel includes free parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, sun terrace, and all the basic services you need.

Nomads Boutique Hotel and Hostel

Now we are getting into a very exciting territory for people who love traveling on the lowest possible budget. The Nomads Boutique Hotel and Hostel starts at a stunning $6 a night! Please keep in mind that this rate reflects the starting price for a single bed in a 14-bed dormitory room. It is a fifteen-minute drive from Punta Cancun, and less than a mile from Superama, a gourmet-style supermarket. It also includes a BBQ grill, an outdoor pool, and a game room that includes darts and table tennis. 

Selina Cancun Downton

This is Selina’s second Cancun location, and it is another amazing option for those on a tight budget. Starting at $11 a night, Selina Cancun Downtown is a hostel that provides you with all the basic accommodations you’d find in a hotel. It offers numerous entertainment options such as a movie room, a yoga deck, and even live musical performances. 

If you are feeling hungry, this unique spot offers a fully equipped kitchen where you can make your own tacos. If you don’t feel like preparing your own food, you can order from their on-site restaurant. You can even chat with other travelers over a board game or a foosball match. Selina Cancun Downtown is the perfect spot for travelers on a budget who still want to have a good time.

Hotel Bonampak Cancun

Are you having trouble choosing between the value and culture of Downtown Cancun and the luxury of the stunning Hotel Zone? Why not choose both? Hotel Bonampak is situated right at the edge of Downtown Cancun, only steps away from the Hotel Zone! With 80 rooms, this selection starts at $38 a night and truly provides you with the best of both worlds.

Oh! The Urban Oasis

This is another selection for those who desire the best of both worlds. Located in Downtown Cancun and minutes from Hotel Zone, Oh! The Urban Oasis is an all-inclusive, adult-only luxury hotel that will run you only $57 a night! They include full accommodations with a spa, three unique restaurants, and on-site bars.

Airbnb Selections

When thinking about a place to stay when you are traveling anywhere, you never want to discount the power of an Airbnb. Keep the excitement of traveling to a new city and add the comfort of a private space that reminds you of home. Cancun has this option available, and even in a private domicile, you can still capture the tropical magic of the city.

This selection starts at $14 a night. It is a perfect oasis getaway, only fifteen minutes from Cancun’s Hotel Zone. It includes a medium-sized pool and a gazebo for your relaxation needs. Cable, Wi-Fi, and a private kitchen help you maintain a sense of comfort and lets you feel at home even when you are on vacation or a business trip.

Conclusion

No matter who you are, how big your party is, or what everyone’s personal preferences are, Cancun has something unique to offer for your one-night stay. If you are a couple looking for a romantic getaway, you’ve got an island paradise to escape into. If you are a young adult looking for the party of your life, Punta Cancun will keep you dancing all night long. 

For families looking for adventure and thrills, you have a welcome place that everyone can enjoy. For travelers on a budget that still want to see the world, you will still get a full experience out of Cancun without breaking the bank.

There is something for everyone in this wondrous city, and we’ve narrowed the options for your one night stay down to selections based on a myriad of the situations you may find yourself in. The truth is, this article only scratches the surface of what Cancun has to offer, but now you have a good base to start from. 

*Note: Please be aware that the prices listed in this article are based on information available at the time this article was written. Prices per night for each hotel are subject to change. 

References:

The Better Vacation https://thebettervacation.com/cancun-hotel-zone/

The Broke Backpacker https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/

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