Regular readers may recall how much we enjoyed the IHG El Presidente hotel on Cozumel. In fact, it’s one of the few hotel properties that we’ve made repeat visits to. This year we decided to spend a long weekend in Cancun and, of course, we were eager to try out the IHG El Presidente there!
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Cancun El Presidente Hotel Review
The El Presidente is a smaller property (300-some rooms) located in a central part of the hotel zone. It’s situated on what is, without any doubt, the best and widest section of beach in all of Cancun. The smaller size gives the property a quieter and more easily navigable feel than the many nearby mega-resorts.
The resort updated rooms in 2017 so things are looking fresh and modern. Some rooms even feature showers that overlook the lagoon or ocean! Do be aware, this is an older property. Therefore most of the rooms DO NOT have balconies. To get a balcony, upgrade to the executive floor. This will also grant you access to the enormous executive lounge which offers a free breakfast and cocktails/appetizers/desserts each day. TIP: The combination of a better view and the lounge amenities are well worth the upgrade cost!
Food & Drink
El Presidente Cancun is NOT an all-inclusive but has enough amenities to keep you happy during your stay. There are three primary restaurants, all reasonably priced for on-property dining:
- El Caribeno, with Mexican/Caribbean offerings under a huge, thatched palapa with great views of the sea. Open all day.
- Le Cap, a lunch and dinner spot featuring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
- Cafe Urbano, a quick, industrial-chic breakfast spot that opens as a bar from 4-11 each evening.
- There are two additional bar areas: the outdoor deck bar with its swings and beach views and the HUGE lobby bar which offers a live-stream closed-circuit feed of the beach out front, ensuring you don’t miss anything while you’re inside.
For sun and fun, the Presidente offers two moderately sized pools, one family-friendly and one adult-only. As mentioned before, their section of beach is the absolute best on the strip! A water sports rental area is set up for those who might want to take out a Hobie Cat, kayak or some other beach toy. It’s a short (5-10 minute walk) to Playa Caracol, where you can catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres.
There is a small shop on-site for any quick needs and plenty of other stores within nearby walking distance. The Iktal spa offers a variety of treatments as well as a small indoor pool and relaxation area. The very helpful front desk staff and the concierge can provide assistance in booking tours or making dining reservations.
The El Presidente is definitely a more adult-feeling property but if you do have kids along, there is a small attended play area near the pools.
Cancun City Guide
The Hotel Zone
Cancun’s hotel zone definitely has a Vegas vibe to it. Huge resorts, chain restaurant after chain restaurant, neon lights and all kinds of ticky-tacky thrown in between.
Recommended hotel zone dinner spots include Lorenzillo’s, known for its, lobster; Puerto Madero, an absolutely incredible Argentinian style steak house; and Fred’s, a seafood and raw bar establishment. All are located lagoon-side on the strip and reservations are recommended due to the volume of conferences in Cancun.
The City of Cancun
Many visitors never venture into Cancun proper but I recommend it. Yes, you are safe. There are so many smaller and more charming restaurants with great food and much more wallet-friendly prices.
If you’re really up for an adventure, check the schedule at Plaza del Toros downtown and see if there are any Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) tournaments going on! Be mindful, the locals take this very seriously.
TIP: While ride-sharing services do operate in Cancun, the territory is very limited. We often found outside the allowable area and had to take a cab instead. No big deal, just be aware and check on a case by case basis!
Hope you enjoyed this Cancun El Presidente hotel review and city guide. If you know anyone considering Cancun for vacation, please share this post with them. Thanks so much for stopping by!