I absolutely love the state of Quintana Roo. While we haven't been to Merida, Izamal, or some of the other "Pueblo Magicos" yet, we genuinely love our visits to the region. So far, we have only visited Cancun (both downtown and the zona hotelera), Playa Del Carmen, and Valladolid. On our most recent trip to Cancun, we stayed at the Presidente Intercontinental in the zona hotelera of Cancun.
The Intercontinental is located on the top of the "seven" - the shape of the hotel zone along the beach of Cancun. This location is excellent, because the beach is protected from Sargassum (seaweed). The sargassum can collect on beaches along the "long size" of the zona hotelera and create a brown discoloration. This can also happen in Playa Del Carmen or Tulum, but this hotel is completely free of sargassum!
Another benefit of this hotel is the nearness to the grocery store Chedraui and the restaurants near the Hyatt Ziva. We were able to easily walk to these restaurants. The area near Coco Bongo has a lot of people calling out to sell their souvenirs and services. To avoid this, we walked on the sidewalk along the lagoon size of the hotel zone.
I booked this hotel using Hotwire, and managed to get a room rate of $124 per night. The price was fantastic, and we were able to afford more excursions and activities by saving money on the accommodation.
The rooms at the hotel were spacious, with two queen size beds. The tile floor was very appreciated, as they felt cool after a day at the beach. The bathroom was quite large. For those with small children, there is only a shower and no bathtub. This was not an issue for us, as our children are now teenagers! We had room #336, which faced the ocean on the third floor. We didn't quite have an ocean view, but we could see over the buildings to get a glimpse of the horizon.
The hotel has two pools, both are unheated. As Cancun is quite a warm location, we did not find this to be an issue. The main pool is family friendly and extremely large, with "whirlpools" along the side of the pool. The whirlpools are not hot tubs, but are a fun place to sit and unwind.
The second pool is an adults-only location, tucked away behind some foliage. We briefly checked it out, but didn't stay long since we most definitely had kids and I wanted to keep an eye on them in the large pool.
The beach area at the Presidente is beyond amazing. Daybeds can be rented, but the lounge chairs are free to access and the bar attendant will take orders for drinks and snacks. The sand is white and soft, and very clean. There are no waves in this location, and the shallow beach created an exceptional area for children to swim.
The location at the "top of the seven" means that the beach is rarely, if ever, closed due to rough conditions. The water is exceptionally clear and blue.
Honestly, this was one of the best beaches I have ever accessed, and we spent many afternoons simply swimming in the ocean. The water temperature, in April, was around 80 degrees. It was absolute perfection.
The overall grounds are quiet and pretty. There is no obnoxious music playing, and we really appreciated the calm and quiet vibe. There is a large outdoor chess set, which our boys really enjoyed. Between the pool, the beach, and the chess set, we could hardly get them back into the room at bedtime!
We did not dine at all of the restaurants on-property, but we did frequent Café Urbano. This restaurant is located upstairs with a magnificent view of the ocean. The breakfast options are plentiful and Nolan absolutely loved the waffles and French toast. We loved the chilaquiles!
We would absolutely stay at this hotel again, for both the location and the beach. For those looking to avoid all-inclusive resorts, the Presidente is an excellent budget-friendly and luxurious option!