Moon Palace Cancun Review – Nizuc (& Sunrise) – Tons of Photos!
Note: Palace Resorts provided my stay, however all words and photos are mine. I am a Palace Resorts affiliate partner and may receive a commission for purchases made through links on this site.
I have wanted to visit the Moon Palace Cancun for years, back when it was just one resort. Now there are three (!) in a row – Sunrise, Nizuc and The Grand. We stayed at Nizuc (in the middle), and visited the Sunrise several times. We could have purchased a day pass to the Grand, which – as you can guess by it’s name – is more grand, but we opted to concentrate on the two available to us – because there was PLENTY to do there.
Map of Moon Palace Cancun – Sunrise, Nizuc & Grand
As a photographer, I took many photos, so I hope that all the info below helps you really get a feel for the place… But sure to scroll to the bottom for large galleries from both Nizuc and Sunrise!
In a nutshell, we really enjoyed our stay!
Review of Moon Palace Cancun Nizuc
Moon Palace is is a very quick trip from the Cancun airport, around 15-20 minutes, tops. You actually can see airplanes flying over quite frequently – but don’t worry, you cannot hear them! Coming from Denver, I always say that we love getting on a plane in the morning, then relaxing at a resort in Cancun by the afternoon. That is especially true of Moon Palace!
Nizuc vs. Sunrise?
Both sides are very nice, and as stated on the Moon Palace website, “Unless Moon Palace Nizuc is selected at the time of booking, accommodation may be assigned in either section according to availability.” However, Nizuc was smaller and a bit less crowded (although, we were there off season). We liked that as a couple traveling without children.
Sunrise would definitely be my choice if we had young kids with us. That side has the wave rider and and a really fun kiddie pool. (But Nizuc also has a water slide!) Sunrise has a longer list of entertainment and restaurants – but again, you can go back and forth between them.
So, it really comes down to what kind of energy you are looking for. We enjoyed the more chill vibe over in Nizuc!
I love walking into a resort and having a “wow” reaction. I definitely felt that here. While Nizuc perhaps did not scream “Mexico!” – it sure is gorgeous. The bar is right there in the center with helpful staff all around to get you settled in. Personally, I don’t envy the one who has to clean all that glass – but I appreciate how sparkly everything was.
There are buses running between the three resorts, so you can hop between them very easily. And we loved the wristband that also contained our room key!
We had a “Superior Deluxe Ocean View” – and while we almost always upgrade to an ocean view when traveling, this is one resort I think I would not have minded being at garden level. People were not walking right next to the buildings, so it was very private in every section. As you can see from the map above, the building are laid out in a zigzag pattern, which definitely helps that.
The actually room was (maybe) a little small – we didn’t think so – but I can see how some people used to more spacious accommodations might think so. We loved (let me emphasize this, LOVED) the jet tub in our room with a view – a lovely way to relax at the end of that strenuous day at the resort (lol).
The king bed was very comfortable and cleaning staff was very attentive. We didn’t spend a ton of time in the room – too much to do! – but it was perfectly lovely.
Cancun dropped to “green” for the first time in the pandemic the weekend we arrived in Mexico, so Moon Palace was still at limited capacity. Check the latest info from the resort here. However, we felt like the resort took things seriously, which we appreciated. (Thank you for the extra masks and antibacterial!) Also, as of this posting, antigen tests (required for return to the United States) are included with your stay.
Before you go, be sure to download the Palace Resorts mobile app! We found it invaluable. As you can see from my screencaps below, you can look up the entertainment schedule, see what extras are available (like the spa), view a map and also see where the activities are happening on that map. You can also explore other properties in the Palace family.
If you ask me, the pools are the star at Moon Palace. Kudos to whoever designed them! In both Nizuc and Sunrise they are huge and winding, which makes them feel very private. There are all sorts of nooks and places to sit, plus – of course – those wonderful swim up bars. I also like that there were different levels of the water everywhere, so you could accomodate to the heat in a million different ways. And if you wanted to partake, there were activities in the pools, such as aerobics and volleyball.
As we checked in, the staff at Moon Palace asked if we knew about the seaweed issues in Cancun. We did, but I want to make sure you do. Seaweed, specifically “sargassum,” has been blooming off the Riviera Maya for about a decade now, the worst time for it to come ashore being April to August. Resorts all over the region have been scrambling to clean it from their beaches and there are many websites that track the blooms.
While Moon Palace’s actual sandy beach was very clean, the water was not the clear blue and turquoise that we think of in Mexico. I appreciated the warning from staff, and when we went in the ocean, it was not smelly or troublesome – just dark.
It did not bother us much, but if you are all about the ocean at a resort, it’s something to keep in mind – and perhaps check with Moon Palace as to the current seaweed state before visiting.
The Restaurants & Food
We usually are generally happy with food at all-inclusives, but Moon Palace had some elevated scrumptiousness. As I mentioned above, there are a few more restaurants over at Sunrise, and you can absolutely head there for meals too. We enjoyed the Momo Teppanyaki experience – which of course included a fun show while cooking the food.
At Nizuc, there is Arrecides (Brazilian steakhouse) and Caporales (Mexican), as well as El Manglar (the buffet) and several snack bars located close to the beach. Our favorite was Caporales, which also had a strolling mariachi band and very talented singer. Bonus: Tableside guacamole!
We thought every meal we had at Moon Palace was delicious. I also have to give extra thumbs up for the buffet. It wasn’t huge, but the food there was much more interesting than the standard buffet fare at many all-inclusives. They also worked hard to keep the buffet very clean during these crazy times.
I am sure it seems like we are pretty easy going guests, but one thing I do really count on when on vacation is good service. Moon Palace staff had that going on in spades. From check-in, to the bars, to the restaurants, to the pools, to the housekeeping staff – everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful.
We didn’t do any excursions on this trip and really wanted to relax after these hard few years… and I felt so pampered! (Just to note, only the concierge knew we were there to review the resort.)
Once the pool staff realized what we liked to drink, they had it started before we hit the bar. If we left to go to the beach, our towels were straightened up on our chairs when we returned.
Most of the staff spoke English perfectly, and many were kind enough to help me practice my Spanish after a several hundred day streak on Duolingo.
In short, many thanks to Moon Palace for really helping us take the edge off.
Weddings, Conferences & Concerts
Obviously this was not the reason for our trip, although truth be told, we were in Mexico partly celebrating our 25th anniversary. So I was really impressed as I looked around and saw the resources for people who were lucky (and smart) enough to hold theirs at Moon Palace. We even watched one from afar and got a little teary-eyed.
There is also a huge conference center (plus a golf course!) on site. Also, as a concert photographer, I know of bands who hold big destination shows here and I can’t think of a better place to see musicians perform.
Moon Palace Nizuc Review
If it wasn’t clear, we really enjoyed our visit. We will definitely return on our own time and we look forward to exploring other Palace Resorts. Hope you also enjoyed our trip down vacation memory lane. Please contact me if you have any specific questions I can help you with.
Photos in galleries displayed in random order. Click any thumbnail for a larger version. Then use the navigation arrows (or your keyboard arrow keys) to move left and right through the photographs.
Moon Palace Nizuc Gallery of Photos
Moon Palace Sunrise Gallery of Photos
Check out my other travel posts!