• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 27 years!

    Join tens of thousands of other owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $17,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $17 Million dollars
  • Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! Join tens of thousands of other owners who get this every week! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    Read more Here
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

First trip to Mexico

amanven

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
375
Reaction score
24
Points
228
Location
Ontario, Canada
From the TUG members familiar with Cancun Mexico, a little general feedback would be appreciated. Have travelled many places in the Caribbean Florida, California, and Hawaii. Not a traveler with huge expectations or looking to nickel and dime on a vacation but not wanting to settle for just anything either . Have a chance to get a 1bdrm at Westin Lagunamar. I've checked out the resort and as a Starwood owner have no worries about it. Wondering more about the good, the bad and the ugly in the Cancun area around Lagunamar. This trip will be in mid November for relaxation and unwinding so not looking for major activities just decent food, weather, not being pestered too much or having to be on major guard all the time when you walk out of the resort. I am going through II so also wondering if Lagunamar provides a lower level of service or surcharges for amenities when you go on an exchange or getaway from II. Feedback please.
 

myoakley

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
398
Reaction score
51
Points
238
Location
Wilton CT
We spent a week at the Royal Sands in Cancun in Feb., and our only regret is that we didn't visit years earlier. In fact, no sooner did we return, than my husband kept after me to plan another trip! Cancun is beautiful and totally safe. The hotel zone is spotlessly clean; we were never bothered by street vendors; and the Mexican employees of the resorts could not have been more polite, welcoming, and willing to please. The resorts, beaches, and water are spectacular. Some people will say that Cancun is not the "real Mexico," but if you are looking to relax in a gorgeous setting with great food and friendly locals, you can't beat it. An additional plus is that the Mexican peso has lost value vis-a-vis the dollar, making a trip to Mexico a real bargain. Finally, if you want to add a little "culture", the Mayan ruins (Chichen Itza, Tulum, etc.) are easily accessible and are fascinating places.
 

Carta

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
979
Reaction score
192
Points
253
Location
Pennsylvania
We've been going to CUN for past 7-8 years consecutively. We stay at Royal Islander and Royal Caribbean..These are timeshare/resort... Royal Sands is also included in 4 Royals in Cancun...As myoakley said; Sands is gorgeous...
Got back March 25....We stayed 3 weeks....Big Fun

Never been to Laguna Mar..But location seems very good..KM 12 in the Hotel Zone....The whole Hotel Zone is very safe
 

maddog497

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
258
Reaction score
69
Points
138
We went for our first trip last fall to Westin Lagunamar for 2 weeks. You have already stated you aren't concerned about the resort and you shouldn't be.
We just happened to pick WL without much research prior to booking our exchange through II. I was a bit nervous as we have never been to Mexico and we have never vacationed without a vehicle. I can say without hesitation both are a non issue for us now.

We are not world travellers by any stretch of the imagination but have been to a few places. My wife has never returned from a trip and said we are going back asap. She and I have said there is so much to see, once we've been somewhere we will put it on our list to revisit once we retire. Well, immediately after returning if not before my wife said she wanted to return as soon as possible.

We have 2 weeks booked again this fall and have since returning purchased two SVV weeks with staroptions in hopes to use some of them at WL in the future.

Transportation is a breeze and was extremely easy to figure out and inexpensive. We did a couple of day trips from the ADO (main bus terminal in Cancun) and was very surprised at the cost. From memory I believe the trip to Playa del Carmen was $6 per person in a couch bus.

The local people were beyond friendly and we never felt any pressure to buy from them (this is subjective as many may feel different), even though they would try and coach you in. I actually enjoyed the interaction with them. We are not shy about saying no.

We never felt insecure and we walked up and down the main hotel strip many days. We went up to the Hard Rock Cafe one day just for the exercise.

One day while riding the R2 (R2 buses go into Cancun while R1 buses run up and down the hotel strip) into Cancun we missed our stop and rode it all the way to end where the driver pulled over for his break. We visited for a bit and caught another bus back to our stop near Costco.

WL is not an AI so not sure what you mean about lower service unless you mean discounts while on site. I can't answer that one.

We took up their offer to take the presentation and it was one of the most low pressure presentations we have went through. We were there first thing in the morning and it took the full 90 minutes. We almost felt guilty for taking the discounted tickets to Talum and Xel-ha, well almost.

I'm sure many more will add their impressions and experiences as well as Westin Lagunamar seems to be gaining popularity.
 

Tucsonadventurer

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
1,428
Reaction score
419
Points
194
Location
Tucson
Resorts Owned
Hyatt Pinon Pointe, Hyatt Beach House, Westin Kierland
We love Lagunamar. We went on a Getaway, then came back on one of their deals , and now are going back
through a II exchange this summer. Very safe. We rode the public bus for next to nothing everywhere, walked all over the hotel zone.
All units at Lagunamar face the ocean and staff are extremely friendly, you will be treated well. Cancun is one of the safest areas in Mexico.
The infinity pool over the ocean is beautiful and unlike many resorts in Cancun they still have a hot tub. Activities are fun and their is a mall across the street
with restaurants and shops. Have a great time!
 

cubigbird

Tug Review Crew Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
1,236
Reaction score
275
Points
193
Location
Western US
Resorts Owned
Westin Lagunamar, Westin Kierland X2, Westin St John-Sunset Bay X2, Westin Desert Willow, Westin Aventuras
Lagunamar is one of the nicest hotels in the hotel zone. It's clean, it's safe, and the property is very well maintained. You also can't beat the location as mentioned above, with the mall across the street. There is a bus stop right outside the main gate. The service is great for not being an all-inclusive. With it's location and many restaurant and bars around, I wouldn't want all inclusive anyways. Sorianas is within walking distance and you can take a bus or cab to the larger Select Chedraui. I also know Uber has started to drive in Cancun. The resort does not look at exchangers vs owners differently. The service is still the same. You chose well. Enjoy it!
 

dioxide45

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
34,294
Reaction score
7,765
Points
899
Location
NE Florida
Resorts Owned
Marriott's Grande Vista
Marriott's Harbour Lake
SVV - Bella
SVV - Key West
Lagunamar is definitely an excellent choice. We are returning there a week from today for 13 nights in a 1BR. We have been twice before. YOu don't need to be on guard in the resort. There are no vendors in there pushing you to buy stuff. Though sometimes the spa people come around to try to get you to get free foot massage in hopes you sign up for spa services. There are vendors that walk the beach with all kinds of different items. But you don't need to be on guard.

One thing that first timers don't usually expect at shops and such in Cancun, which is different from other Caribbean islands, is that the vendors can be a little pushy. You will walk by a whole row of shops and every shop owner will motion for you and ask you to "come in to my store". We have seen this in every area we have traveled in Mexico, but we haven't noticed it in other areas of the Caribbean. It isn't bad, but can put some people off.

There is so much to see and do in the Yucatan. Snorkeling, great beaches, swimming, cenotes, Mayan Ruins. There is so much to see and do that I don't think you could ever run out of new things to do. Trips to Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Playa del Carmen. Take the ferry to Isla Mujeres and rent a golf cart and tour the island. It will be a highlight of your trip.

The buses that run through the Hotel Zone are cheap, fast and only a few minutes apart. So getting anywhere in the hotel zone is easy and cheap. You can also take the bus to the ADO Bus station in downtown and go just about anywhere. Tours and activities are also plentiful and reasonably priced. I have found though that taxis in the hotel zone are not real cheap. At least my definition of cheap.

One of the most important things to do is to prebook your airport transportation to the resort. Do not show up without prearranged transportation or you will be eaten alive. There are so many in the "shark tank" at the airport that will offer you transportation for taking a timeshare tour. Don't do it. Prebook something through USA or Canada Transfers and then walk straight outside and find them with their sign. Real simple, but don't talk to anyone on the airport except at the immigration and customs area. Once past customs, head straight outside for your transfer. It can be a little bit of a shock when you first walk out with all the people there waiting for people with transfers, but just find the people for yours, and you are good to go.
 

Sugarcubesea

TUG Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
3,503
Reaction score
2,380
Points
349
Location
Novi, Michigan
Resorts Owned
QH, HBC, VBHC, & Pinestead Reef
We love Lagunamar. We went on a Getaway, then came back on one of their deals , and now are going back
through a II exchange this summer. Very safe. We rode the public bus for next to nothing everywhere, walked all over the hotel zone.
All units at Lagunamar face the ocean and staff are extremely friendly, you will be treated well. Cancun is one of the safest areas in Mexico.
The infinity pool over the ocean is beautiful and unlike many resorts in Cancun they still have a hot tub. Activities are fun and their is a mall across the street
with restaurants and shops. Have a great time!
I have an OGS for 2018 for Lagunamar and I hope I get a match.
 

amanven

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
375
Reaction score
24
Points
228
Location
Ontario, Canada
We went for our first trip last fall to Westin Lagunamar for 2 weeks. You have already stated you aren't concerned about the resort and you shouldn't be.
We just happened to pick WL without much research prior to booking our exchange through II. I was a bit nervous as we have never been to Mexico and we have never vacationed without a vehicle. I can say without hesitation both are a non issue for us now.

We are not world travellers by any stretch of the imagination but have been to a few places. My wife has never returned from a trip and said we are going back asap. She and I have said there is so much to see, once we've been somewhere we will put it on our list to revisit once we retire. Well, immediately after returning if not before my wife said she wanted to return as soon as possible.

We have 2 weeks booked again this fall and have since returning purchased two SVV weeks with staroptions in hopes to use some of them at WL in the future.

Transportation is a breeze and was extremely easy to figure out and inexpensive. We did a couple of day trips from the ADO (main bus terminal in Cancun) and was very surprised at the cost. From memory I believe the trip to Playa del Carmen was $6 per person in a couch bus.

The local people were beyond friendly and we never felt any pressure to buy from them (this is subjective as many may feel different), even though they would try and coach you in. I actually enjoyed the interaction with them. We are not shy about saying no.

We never felt insecure and we walked up and down the main hotel strip many days. We went up to the Hard Rock Cafe one day just for the exercise.

One day while riding the R2 (R2 buses go into Cancun while R1 buses run up and down the hotel strip) into Cancun we missed our stop and rode it all the way to end where the driver pulled over for his break. We visited for a bit and caught another bus back to our stop near Costco.

WL is not an AI so not sure what you mean about lower service unless you mean discounts while on site. I can't answer that one.

We took up their offer to take the presentation and it was one of the most low pressure presentations we have went through. We were there first thing in the morning and it took the full 90 minutes. We almost felt guilty for taking the discounted tickets to Talum and Xel-ha, well almost.

I'm sure many more will add their impressions and experiences as well as Westin Lagunamar seems to be gaining popularity.
I know Lagunamar is not an AI type of resort and I am not looking for that in this case. I actually prefer in some respects that it is not an AI but I have heard of differing levels of service sometimes for people who go to certain destinations through an II exchange or getaway. The Palace Resort in Jamaica as an example. If you go on a getaway, certain amenities are not available to you even after you pay for the mandatory AI fees unless you buy a special package from them that covers the extra amenities. That is more why the question was asked in regards to Lagunamar. Starwood resorts are not known for doing that but not having been to Lagunamar before I didn't want to find out the hard way. Thanks to all for the replies. I guess the only other concern I could have now is the weather and I am inclined to believe that mid November is a pretty good time to go to Cancun. Hurricane season is pretty much over by then.
 

Kel

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
704
Reaction score
165
Points
253
Location
So. Calif
We’ve been to Cancun six times in the last 15 years. We have stayed at the Royal Sands, Royal Caribbean and the Royal Islander. And we’ve stayed in Playa del Carmen three times. Each time was great. When I describe the Cancun hotel zone to someone who hasn’t been there I say it is a kind of Americanized Mexico. But, you don’t have to go far from the hotel zone to feel like you are in a more traditional area of Mexico.

And, thank you for your post. It reminded me to book an II Getaway at the Westin Lagunamar for my birthday in December. And, I found a great deal for airfare. It looks like a great resort and it looks like it is in a great location. As long as it doesn’t get hit with a hurricane this season we should be good to go for your November trip and our December trip. :)

Buenos tiempos (good times)! We’ll compare notes on the Westin Lagunamar later! Have fun!
 

Fredward

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
176
Reaction score
112
Points
253
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Resorts Owned
Westin- Lagunamar, Kierland Villas, Marriott- Barony Beach, Aruba Surf Club
We're owners at WLR and have only seen one difference in service when we used our ownership (Staroptions or week) versus the two "other" visits - an II exchange and a Getaway. Our room location was much better (higher floor, central building) using our ownership. They tried to place us in first or second floor units, but after reminding the agent at the check-in desk that we were Elite owners and this was our home resort, we were eventually moved to slightly better locations. Now that the resort is fully built, there are more high floor units available, but it certainly doesn't hurt to request something more "desirable", based on your preferences. We're going down this weekend and the resort is full, so we're hoping that the ownership booking will still put us somewhere above the 5th floor.
 
Top