Topic Wiki

Trip Reports:
Mikeoracle, Dan, JayR, lunatic, mgoldhammer18, Markus, mtag17, sam28, stooges44 (mini), Mootkim, @Yehuda, @besttaylor


General information:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
To get a grasp of where you are, Cancun is located on the edge of Mexico that wraps around the Gulf of Mexico and separates it from the Caribbean Sea. As you can see here, Cancun is fairly close to Cuba and really not that far from Florida.


                    The greater Cancun area includes the Zona Hotelera (translation not needed) in the north, which is a strip of land separated from the mainland by a lagoon and packed with hotel after hotel in a similar fashion to Miami Beach. In this thread, when people refer to Cancun, they are usually referring to this area. A ferry ride away is the island of Isla Mujeres. Below Cancun on the map, you'll see the airport in red. The area south of Cancun is known as Riviera Maya which contains many resort areas including Playa del Carmen, and within Playa is Mayakoba. A ferry ride away is the island of Cozumel.


Cancun hotels and Kosher restaurants map.

Getting there:
From NYC, award tickets have about $30 in taxes/fees on the outbound and $50 on the return. You can fly nonstop with: (cheapest way to book)

AA - Book with BA
B6 - Book with B6
DL - Book with DL
F9
UA

Airport Lounges
Mera Lounge - Accessible with Priority Pass except between 12:30 and 16:30 (not nice lounge).
Aeromexico Lounge

Airport security / food restrictions covered in the Kosher Food section below. Wifi at Cancun Airport Business Center - Network: businesst3 Password: businesst3.


Getting around:
Some people rent cars, others seem strongly averse to car rental due to many reports of being pulled over for speeding. Those reports often conclude with being able to give the cop ~$20 to avoid the ticket.

If you plan on only staying in Zona Hotelera, you don't need to rent a car. You can stay at the top of the strip (Hyatt Ziva, IC, Aloft) and be within walking distance to Chabad and the restaurants, or you can stay further down the strip and take the convenient bus up and down for MEX12 (currently about $0.65USD); drivers happily make change, at least from small peso bills. Reports that they will also take a $1 bill but won't give change. Taxis outside the strip to Walmart or Costco shouldn't be too expensive either. To get to/from the airport, you can book a private shuttle (see below). If you plan on going outside the Zone to activities with a tour, you can usually pay extra for transportation, but if you plan on going out on your own schedule, you'll want to rent a car.

If you plan on staying in Playa del Carmen, you'll likely want to rent a car, although it's possible to avoid it by taking the express nonstop ADO Bus which runs every 30 minutes (216 Pesos) or an airport shuttle (see below) there and staying at the Grand Hyatt which is within walking distance of Chabad and the restaurants or at the Fairmont/Andaz and having Chabad deliver food to you. Same advice for activities above applies here - go with a tour and pay for transportation or go out on your own and just rent a car.

If you plan on staying in Mayakoba, you will likely need to drive back and forth to Playa del Carmen for food/davening and taxis can get pricey so you may want to consider renting a car for the 15 minute drive each way. Most restaurants deliver to the hotels in Mayakoba for a small fee if you are just interested in staying in.

There are several companies that offer private shuttles to/from the airport and your hotel that have positive DDF reviews. Best to book in advance so you can pay with a credit card. The airport arrivals area is known to be packed with pushy taxi drivers dressed very formally to trick you into using them, but stay strong and go past them to find your ride at the pickup spot. (Prices to Zona Hotelera):

Canada Transfers: $55 RT (if you choose to pay in CAD, currently you'll only pay about $50).
USA Transfers: $55 RT for 3 people; $65 RT for 7 people.
Happy Shuttle: $53 RT. No DDF reviews, but Google reviews are positive.

Car rentals can be relatively cheap, and many hotels have free parking, but liability insurance is mandatory (you should be able to use for CC for collision insurance), and they won't allow you to use your car insurance from back home, so that can jack up the price. Make sure to have your reservation quote with you as some reported that the rental agents tried raising the price in person. And remember, keep to the speed limit.


Where to stay:
Cancun
Westin Lagunamar - Cat. 6 Marriott. (low season/high season) for a studio room. Studios can be booked with points online but one-bedroom suites require PUTPAC. Seems you can get 1BR suite for 1.5K more SPG per night. Some have been able to get complimentary upgrade from studio to 1BR without difficulty, but YMMV. There is no recorded history of anyone getting upgrade from 1BR to 2BR villa, as a 2BR is really a 1BR connected to a studio (essentially 2 paying rooms, so hotel won't do that). The 1BR suite is ~1,000 SF, so almost twice the size of the studio, and has expanded kitchen, with  full-size fridge, full-size cook-top, microwave and dishwasher (but no oven). The 1BR suites have W/D (not sure about the studios). shiframeir - Best value, huge resort with lots of heated pools during winter and big slide, lots to do and good kids club.
Hyatt Zilara - 25K Hyatt (all inclusive, adults only). Lots of rave reviews in the thread.
Hyatt Ziva - 25K Hyatt (all inclusive, family friendly, 1 tower is adults only). Beautiful resort hotel+spa, excellent service, great for adults and kids, right next to Red Heifer restaurant and Ember Grill and 5 minute walk to Chabad and Dag Dag restaurant, separate water playground by kids club zone, next to ferry to Isla Mujeres, has water sports and dolphins on premises.
Ritz Carlton - Cat. 6 Marriott.
JW Marriott - Cat. 6 Marriott. Great service, beautiful hotel, pool and beach.
Marriott - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).
Intercontinental Presidente - 25-30K IHG. Derived from shiframeir - Great location for Shabbos, close to Chabad, nice big lobby to chill in the afternoon, lots of first floor rooms (no steps needed), decent pools (one adults only, one family, felt a little cool might not be heated), really great service.
Aloft - Cat. 3 Marriott. shiframeir - pretty lousy though very cheap and close to Chabad and Dag Dag, pool on roof is small and not heated, rooms are interesting but a bit dingy, bathroom uses glass sliding door without much sound protection :) zow - I'm not as negative about it as shiframeir. It is very cheap, but a great location. Not a luxurious place to hangout, but if you're going to be out and about, it's good value.[/i] Cheapest option for 1 night.
Westin - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).. Mixed reviews, general opinion is not as nice as Lagunamar, but not a bad option. (Old will rumor to be torn down soon...)
Canopy by Hilton - 60-70K Hilton.

Playa del Carmen
Grand Hyatt - 25K Hyatt.
Hilton All Inclusive - 60-70K Hilton.
The Fives (Curio Collection) - 25-35K Hilton. Very nice rooftop pool with great views of the city and the ocean.
Hotel La Semilla - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).
Thompson Main House - 12K Hyatt. Right on the corner of 5th and easy walking distance to all Kosher restaurants and Chabad's. Full access to facilities at nearby Beach House too.
Thompson Beach House - 20K Hyatt. On the beach is the draw here. I would personally stay in Main house and just walk over here 5 minutes to use the beach.

Mayakoba
Fairmont - Covered in Dan's TR (top of wiki).
Andaz - 25K Hyatt.
Rosewood - Non-points hotel considered to be the most luxurious in the area.
Banyan Tree - Non-points hotel with all rooms being private villas with private pool. Many travel agents can get you an upgrade. "Chef Chaya" special hotel.

Cozumel
InterContinental Presidente - 40K IHG.
Westin - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).

Kosher Food/Restaurants:
WARNING: Lots of food gets confiscated at airport security. Meat, random cheeses (some make it through, some don't) and un-packaged foods are not allowed. Snacks are okay. You will be asked to push a button, if the light turns red, they will go through all your bags for food; if it turns green, you can officially go free, but there are enough reports of being pulled to the side anyway and searched for food - hypothesized due to "looking Jewish", but plenty who look Jewish have reported getting green and going free as well.

Cancun
Chabad Kosher Cancun - fleishig takeout food with a very timely delivery option run by the Rabbi Mendel Druk and family. They also offer Shabbos meals on premises for $25 a meal ($15 kids) or delivered to your hotel. There is supposedly a sit-down restaurant coming soon. Reports are that the food is really good and restaurant quality and comes with very timely delivery. Detailed review here. There is an additional menu for Yeshiva week here.
Falafel stand - located right outside Chabad and under their supervision. 
Kosher Luxus/Red Heifer - fleishig, Israeli-style restaurant under the supervision of Rav Yosef Maleh and the only real eat-in restaurant with delivery also available and a nice outdoor eating area overlooking the lagoon. People seem to either love or hate this place, very mixed reviews. You can eat Shabbos meals here or get delivery to your hotel with a hot plate. Some reviews and pics on GKRF, suggest getting apps/drinks/desserts over steaks and to always call before going to see whats available/what they ran out of. Be sure to confirm that the meat is from Mexico City and not a local supplier. (Source that this is an issue?) As of Aug 2018 they don't take AMEX - Closed as of December 2020.
Garden Beach - milchig, breakfast section of Red Heifer open 8am-2pm. - Closed as of December 2020.
Dag Dag - homey, milchig and fish restaurant, covered in Dan's TR, zow - fish and chips were very good, as was the pizza, but also has mixed reviews in taste, long wait times and randomly being closed. The owner is a little eccentric, but nice, and if you order in advance, it's not too bad. Was/Is (?) under supervision of Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.
Ember Grill - Meat restaurant down the block from Hyatt Ziva and across from Red Heifer. Very quick service and pretty good food.

There are several box stores / groceries with Kosher items:
Costco - cheese (large cream cheese box "Raskas Queso Crema" is Cholov Stam, Natural and Kosher is Cholov Yisroe), hummus, salmon spread, lox, PB and J, bread (Star K), milk (both shelf stable "La La" brand, as well as Kirkland brand - not sure which Hechscher) and mantequilla/butter (OU).
Sam's Club - breads ("New York Deli and Bagel") and other essentials.
Walmart - cereal, milk, eggs, avocados, drinks and many other things you need like pans and spatulas.
Chedraui Selecto - near Chabad, has frozen bagels, cereals, tuna, one Kosher meat product and many other products.
Minimart in Westin Lagunamar - bunch of imported Kosher items (La LA milk is under KA Kosher), but sometimes runs out. They have beer at about $1/bottle.
Erupea - has 1 or 2 Kosher wines.
Soriana - many Kosher items.
Random stores - many have OU snacks from America.

Playa
Chabad of Playa del Carmen - fleishig food delivery run by Rabbi Mendel Goldberg, a DDF member, that's really good, restaurant quality. Contact them for an updated menu with more choices than listed on website. They also host Shabbos meals for free, but ask for donations (they say it costs them $40/$20 adult/kid per meal).
Alternate Chabad of Playa - (AKA bootleg, yellow flag version...) is run by Rabbi Chaim Brod and has an in-house restaurant located at Avenida 20, entre Calle 6B y Calle 8. They have a Hebrew website.
Hotel 770 - fleishig restaurant, grocery and hotel under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 10 Norte Bis. - Closed as of December 2020.
Menfis - Israeli restaurant, review, under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 14 Norte, Entre 5a y 10. - Closed as of December 2020.
Mas Pan - dairy restaurant serving pizza, sandwiches and paninis, under ??? supervision.
Yummy Kosher - Calle 6 Norte S/N entre 5ta Avenida y calle 10, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico - Is this place closed?
Moshe Cube - Israeli/Sfardi food - highly recommend, accepted credit card which is very convenient. Avenida Constituyentes lote 01, mz 079
Platinum Grill - Israeli food - better than most Israeli places I've tried in NYC, "Mercado de la 10", calle 6 y Av 15, Centro 77710. It's located as part of a small strip mall/shopping center.
The Green Village Eco Boutique Hotel - Calle 20 #145, between Avenida 10 and Avenida 15, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77720, Mexico.
Yala - Calle 10 Nte Mz 30, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico. - Closed as of December 2020.

Cozumel
Jerusalem - Nice fleshig place with good food and quick service, under Chabad of Cozumel - R. David Caplin and R. Shalom Peleg (yellow flag). Calle 10 North and Av. and General Rafeal, second floor.
Cafe Rimon - milchig restaurant also under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag). Calle 4 North and Av. and General Rafeal.
Chocolatte - milchig cafe under ???.
Falafel Sombrero - falafel place under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag).

Isla Mujeres
Cafe Maya - [Currently closed for renovations] milchig restaurant, under some Chabad (R Druk of Cancun vouches apparently), cash only, but bring pesos as it's much cheaper here than USD. Food is excellent and prices here are very reasonable, so long as you pay in pesos. Family of 5 can feast on paninis, pasta and pizza, with soft drinks/coffees, easily under $50USD. Pictures of store and food (scroll down). Directions: two blocks straight ahead (5 min walk) when you exit the ferry terminal (Calle Bravo?), then make a left when you hit the end (on Av Guerrero) go another block, and it's a few stores down the next block on the left side. Reviews on yelp, TripAdvisor.
Chabad downstairs - falafel and pizza
Chabad upstairs - meat restaurant

Hechsherim: (Beneath each logo is the site that recommends them.)
   
CRC                    CRC & KosherQuest
   
KosherQuest & Chabad of Cancun          KosherQuest

Chabad of Cancun             

KosherQuest & Chabad of Cancun

Via email to @Yehuda, Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest recommended Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.

Shabbos and Minyanim:
Chabad - has Minyanim during busy seasons, but check with them to confirm (they are really great, give a nice donation!). They also offer meals, see Kosher section.
Kosher Luxus / Red Heifer - offers meals, see Kosher section, and may have Minyanim, check with them.
Westin Lagunamar - check with the Chabad Rabbi whether there has been a Minyan recently, but enough Jews have timeshares at Lagunamar and come for winter break that they seem to have a Minyan during winter break outside by the BBQs (Fuego) all the way on the south of the hotel (by the last pool to the right coming out of lobby towards fountains).


Activities:
Ferry to Isla Mujeres - small island off the coast near Cancun, rent a golf cart to go around the island - can get carts by walking left or right for a few minutes after you exit the port and get a decent rate; shiframeir got 2 fast carts for afternoon for $70 total going left (right has mixed reviews on speed), get some Kosher food, visit Garaffon Reef Park, Turtle Farm, Playa Norte, Dolphin Discovery, Shark Beach.
Xplor - 5 activity course / theme park of swimming and kayaking in a cave, jeeping in the jungle, ziplining high in the air over trees, and ziplining on a hammock into water; highly recommend, night version is cheaper and offers ziplining through ring of fire. Can save money by booking online a couple of weeks in advance.
Xel Ha - theme park (for older kids and adults)
Xcaret - theme park, one reviewer spoke to people that went who said it was waste of time & very costly.
Boka del Puma - theme park, cheaper option to Xplor.
Selvatica - ziplining and biking, Alma's LDS tour includes this and Mayan ruins.
Emotions Jungle Night - another theme park.
Jungle Tour - motor boat tour through lagoon to an area where you snorkel, recommended.
Mayan Ruins - Chichen Itza - most famous, Tulum, Coba - only one you can still climb.
Cenotes - natural pools/caves to go swimming in; Ik Kil - near Chichen Itza, Sistema dos Ojos.
BOB - Breathing Observation Bubble, underwater scuba-like contraption, highly recommended.
Ferry to Cozumel - larger island off the coast of Playa del Carmen, with an Intercontinental and Kosher food.
La Isla Mall - has an aquarium, dolphin show and Haagen Dazs.
Mayakoba Lagoon - boat tour and biking, hotels in Mayakoba provide this.
Swim with Whale Sharks - June, July and August, one company with high review is Whale Shark Daddy.
Cancun Underwater Museum
Zoo Crococun
5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen - shopping street.
Wet and Wild
Scuba Diving - one company with a high review is Squalodivers.
Hummer Tours - fun way to see more of Mexico.
Isla Contoy - small island north of Isla Mujeres.
Secret Beach/Pool - found by Suave, location here.


Random:
Electricity - US plugs and voltage
« Last edited by yuds70 on April 29, 2021, 12:32:06 AM »

Author Topic: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread  (Read 621101 times)

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 61101
  • Total likes: 8251
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #860 on: July 05, 2015, 07:35:33 PM »
Your suppose to insist that the give you a ticket/and that you will pay at police station. They will always let you go cause they cant take bribe. As per "articlo 152" they are not allowed to ticket you.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dstmm5mxpsllzp0/Articulo%20152%20Color%20Gringo%20version.pdf
They told me they were keeping my license until I go into the station to pay the ticket.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline yitzyul

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 2557
  • Total likes: 83
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 50
    • View Profile
  • Location: Monsey
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #861 on: July 05, 2015, 07:40:35 PM »
They told me they were keeping my license until I go into the station to pay the ticket.

its just a threat.
Hopefully i wont get pulled over but if i do ill let u know what happenes.
Here is a good read about it.
http://rovinggastronome.com/mainblog/2014/11/14/mexico-supposedly-corrupt-police-and-rental-car-insurance/

Id rather let them keep my license (if its on way to airport where they are notoriuos for stopping people) and order a new one in the US for a bit more $ then give $20 ti a con artist.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 61101
  • Total likes: 8251
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #862 on: July 05, 2015, 07:41:48 PM »
Meh. $20 is better then a trip to the DMV+$20 for the replacement license.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline yitzyul

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 2557
  • Total likes: 83
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 50
    • View Profile
  • Location: Monsey
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #863 on: July 05, 2015, 07:54:17 PM »
Meh. $20 is better then a trip to the DMV+$20 for the replacement license.
I finally found something NY has better then Cleavland. Replacemtn licenses via web....😃.

Online Lou Bob

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2010
  • Posts: 2010
  • Total likes: 100
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
  • Programs: Starbucks gold
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #864 on: July 05, 2015, 07:55:10 PM »
I finally found something NY has better then Cleavland. Replacemtn licenses via web....😃.
meh. Not unique to NY
Always use an Amex, you'll thank me one day.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 61101
  • Total likes: 8251
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #865 on: July 05, 2015, 07:55:46 PM »
Can't say I've ever tried to find out.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline sruly

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 2089
  • Total likes: 57
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #866 on: July 05, 2015, 08:25:38 PM »
-1
The x-ray is before the green/red  light
I was just there.
You first push the button and then go through the X-rays and then they search your bags.
I was number 7 on line to push the button and they called me out to start a new line, of course I pushed red, I don't think it's 50/50.

Offline sruly

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 2089
  • Total likes: 57
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #867 on: July 05, 2015, 08:26:17 PM »
They told me they were keeping my license until I go into the station to pay the ticket.
same here.
He told me ticket at the station would be $140.

Offline Here to learn

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 53
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #868 on: July 06, 2015, 12:55:43 AM »
Here’s  my first forums TR:
Flights: My wife and I flew Sunday evening from JFK to CUN booked one way for 10k avios each. The way back they didn’t have any availability, so we payed $190 each for jet blue CUN to JFK.
The airport, -as many pointed out- has a random screening system, you push a button, if you get a green light you’re  good to go, a red light means they check your  bags. However with us, even though we got a green light, while we were walking through, a lady randomly pulled us aside and asked us what was in our plastic bag that we were holding. It had our take out dinner that we brought from NY for that night’s dinner. So she of course said that any meat or chicken from the US is harmful for the country of Mexico (lol?) and confiscated our dinner.

Chips had to do it for that night’s dinner  :)

So a suggestion would be, to make sure all your food should be in your handbag or suitcase, because even if you get the green light, they may pull you over.

Transportation: I booked a one way shuttle on expedia for $13 each. Also I reserved a car with hertz for 0.73 cents a day, plus the mandatory $14 insurance per day, as I wasn’t sure which we would use. Debating whether well be sightseeing and driving to playa etc. or just staying local. We ended up going to hertz and we decided to take a car. Problem is, is that I booked a manual car and I’m not comfortable enough to drive manual. So the guy try to sell me a boat and offer me a special “discounted” rate of $210 for 4 days, which I of course declined, and took the shuttle back to the airport to catch my shuttle, which thankfully I just made the last one of the night.
And staying local in cancun it was.

We got to the Westin lagunamar at 11 pm after the whole ordeal, and went to check in. I booked the a premium 1 BR for  first night for 1450 spg, hoping that they would let me stay there for the whole stay  (spg gold) even though I only booked the other 3 nights for 12k, Turns out it worked somewhat. The gentleman at the check in told me I would have to check out in the morning and recheck in, in the morning to a suite (wayyyyy smaller), but I persisted so the manager showed up, after back and forth (he was a very nice guy) he agreed to give me the whole stay in a 1 BR but it was only possible if I changed rooms the next morning. Which I heavy heartily agreed to do. About late check out, he said he could move it up to 12 pm for now, (10 am normally) and I would have to check back with him on Wednesday night to see if he could make it later (based upon availability).

The hotel is very nice and has a lot of amenities. There’s 4 steam rooms on the grounds, 2 by the fitness, and 2 in the spa (free to use even if you’re not “using” the spa). The pools are beautiful and the beach is nice too.

We got a call in the morning from the concierge that they have a welcome package waiting for us. So we went down and a really nice guy gave us a full detailed overview of the cancun and activities to do. (They ran out of the spg gold beach bags, so I couldn’t get one).

The first day we just relaxed by the pool and beach. For dinner we went to kosher luxus which is now in the Krystal hotel. They claimed that it moved from the beautiful location because there were crocodiles there and it wasn’t safe. I heard from someone else who lives there that they were kicked out “for financial reasons” go figure. The food there we ordered was decent, nothing amazing and pretty pricy.

For brunch we brought with us frozen cholov yisroal milk under the plane and we were hoping they wouldn’t take it away. So that worked out. However cereal and chips etc. we planned to buy in Walmart in cancun. However at kosher luxus there was a local frum guy there who said that the supermarket which is right next to the krystal hotel, has a huge variety off foods, maybe even more kosher food then Walmart, and the prices are pretty competitive. So that’s where we shopped and it was a great suggestion! It worked out great.

Day 2 we went to isla mujeres, it’s an island off cancun. We paid the full 19 dollars and dint try to find the cheaper ferry because a local (who does NOT work for the company) told me that the cheaper ferry uses gas that have horrible fumes and isn’t healthy. So I didn’t take a chance and payed the extra couple of dollars. I personally loved the island, it’s very cute, nice flee market, renting a golf cart is a must. When we got to the island we strolled around for a bit, and as were walking we see a sign “kosher vegetarian café” we walk in and there’s a Chabad guy there… long story short: there’s two bochrim that went there 3 years ago to do shlichus for a short period of time, which ended up being their life long stay. They opened an off shoot/unofficial Chabad house on the island. Now, one of them got married and moved down with his wife, and the other is still single and lives there. So the single bochur brought down his younger brother and he opened a milchige cholov yisroel café, it’s called Maya café. I was very shocked to find it there but it worked out. He recommended to us a good place to rent the golf carts and when we finished our driving, we came back and had delicious pizza and iced cappuccino’s. ill attach pics of the place. Very neat place, a large menu and everything looked and tasted really fresh.
Chabad also has a meat “restaurant” in their Chabad house but we paid a visit and it didn’t look to appealing. Probably more heimish for Israeli backpackers.

Now when we got the ferry to head back, they told us that the last ferry leaves to the hotel zone at 5:15, and it was 5:35. So the only fery there is, is the one that goes to downtown cancun. We had no choice so we hopped on.  When we got there, the bus wasn’t coming and 15 minuteds later as were waiting and chatting with a taxi driver, he offered us a ride for $15. I bargained him down to 12 and off we went. It was a good 20 minute drive ti the hotel, so money well spent. As he was driving us we chatted and he offered me to take us to the airport for $18. I took his number and said ill get back to him on Thursday. (Normally a private taxi world cost anywhere between 30 to 50 bucks).

For dinner we ordered from Chabad of playa, They deliver to all hotels. (Chabad of cancun was closed during our stay). The food was good and it arrived on time. So that worked out.

On day 3 we again just relaxed at the pool and the beach. For dinner we decided to go to dag dag. So we sent an email to make a reservation, no answer. So I sent one again a little later, and again no answer. I tried to call but the phone wasn’t working. So we decided well go and see if it’s open. We had a hard time finding it, but after 15 minutes of walking around and everyone sending us to different places, we finally found it and of course it was closed. There’s was a sign on the door that was hard to read which ill post and if someone could figure it out I guess you will let us know  :).

So back to kosher luxus we went. This time we knew what not to order so our choices were better, and so was the food. Ill post pics off the food too.
After we got back I checked back with the manager to get late check out and he moved it up to 2pm, so I was happy :).
Thursday we went to the mall across the street from the westin, walked around, did a mini photo shoot on the beach as well.
We ordered burgers from kosher luxus which they delivered for $15 for our flight back; I called my “friend” the taxi driver who said he’ll be waiting for me in front of the hotel whenever I’m ready. We went back to the airport, chilled in the vip business lounge (priority pass) –which is a joke- and finally made it back to the USA.

I hope this helps you guys, if you have any questions or comments, shoot ‘em my way.   

Offline zow

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Posts: 2907
  • Total likes: 117
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: BOS
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #869 on: July 06, 2015, 06:43:52 AM »

Here’s  my first forums TR:
Flights: My wife and I flew Sunday evening from JFK to CUN booked one way for 10k avios each. The way back they didn’t have any availability, so we payed $190 each for jet blue CUN to JFK.
The airport, -as many pointed out- has a random screening system, you push a button, if you get a green light you’re  good to go, a red light means they check your  bags. However with us, even though we got a green light, while we were walking through, a lady randomly pulled us aside and asked us what was in our plastic bag that we were holding. It had our take out dinner that we brought from NY for that night’s dinner. So she of course said that any meat or chicken from the US is harmful for the country of Mexico (lol?) and confiscated our dinner.

Chips had to do it for that night’s dinner  :)

So a suggestion would be, to make sure all your food should be in your handbag or suitcase, because even if you get the green light, they may pull you over.

Transportation: I booked a one way shuttle on expedia for $13 each. Also I reserved a car with hertz for 0.73 cents a day, plus the mandatory $14 insurance per day, as I wasn’t sure which we would use. Debating whether well be sightseeing and driving to playa etc. or just staying local. We ended up going to hertz and we decided to take a car. Problem is, is that I booked a manual car and I’m not comfortable enough to drive manual. So the guy try to sell me a boat and offer me a special “discounted” rate of $210 for 4 days, which I of course declined, and took the shuttle back to the airport to catch my shuttle, which thankfully I just made the last one of the night.
And staying local in cancun it was.

We got to the Westin lagunamar at 11 pm after the whole ordeal, and went to check in. I booked the a premium 1 BR for  first night for 1450 spg, hoping that they would let me stay there for the whole stay  (spg gold) even though I only booked the other 3 nights for 12k, Turns out it worked somewhat. The gentleman at the check in told me I would have to check out in the morning and recheck in, in the morning to a suite (wayyyyy smaller), but I persisted so the manager showed up, after back and forth (he was a very nice guy) he agreed to give me the whole stay in a 1 BR but it was only possible if I changed rooms the next morning. Which I heavy heartily agreed to do. About late check out, he said he could move it up to 12 pm for now, (10 am normally) and I would have to check back with him on Wednesday night to see if he could make it later (based upon availability).

The hotel is very nice and has a lot of amenities. There’s 4 steam rooms on the grounds, 2 by the fitness, and 2 in the spa (free to use even if you’re not “using” the spa). The pools are beautiful and the beach is nice too.

We got a call in the morning from the concierge that they have a welcome package waiting for us. So we went down and a really nice guy gave us a full detailed overview of the cancun and activities to do. (They ran out of the spg gold beach bags, so I couldn’t get one).

The first day we just relaxed by the pool and beach. For dinner we went to kosher luxus which is now in the Krystal hotel. They claimed that it moved from the beautiful location because there were crocodiles there and it wasn’t safe. I heard from someone else who lives there that they were kicked out “for financial reasons” go figure. The food there we ordered was decent, nothing amazing and pretty pricy.

For brunch we brought with us frozen cholov yisroal milk under the plane and we were hoping they wouldn’t take it away. So that worked out. However cereal and chips etc. we planned to buy in Walmart in cancun. However at kosher luxus there was a local frum guy there who said that the supermarket which is right next to the krystal hotel, has a huge variety off foods, maybe even more kosher food then Walmart, and the prices are pretty competitive. So that’s where we shopped and it was a great suggestion! It worked out great.

Day 2 we went to isla mujeres, it’s an island off cancun. We paid the full 19 dollars and dint try to find the cheaper ferry because a local (who does NOT work for the company) told me that the cheaper ferry uses gas that have horrible fumes and isn’t healthy. So I didn’t take a chance and payed the extra couple of dollars. I personally loved the island, it’s very cute, nice flee market, renting a golf cart is a must. When we got to the island we strolled around for a bit, and as were walking we see a sign “kosher vegetarian café” we walk in and there’s a Chabad guy there… long story short: there’s two bochrim that went there 3 years ago to do shlichus for a short period of time, which ended up being their life long stay. They opened an off shoot/unofficial Chabad house on the island. Now, one of them got married and moved down with his wife, and the other is still single and lives there. So the single bochur brought down his younger brother and he opened a milchige cholov yisroel café, it’s called Maya café. I was very shocked to find it there but it worked out. He recommended to us a good place to rent the golf carts and when we finished our driving, we came back and had delicious pizza and iced cappuccino’s. ill attach pics of the place. Very neat place, a large menu and everything looked and tasted really fresh.
Chabad also has a meat “restaurant” in their Chabad house but we paid a visit and it didn’t look to appealing. Probably more heimish for Israeli backpackers.

Now when we got the ferry to head back, they told us that the last ferry leaves to the hotel zone at 5:15, and it was 5:35. So the only fery there is, is the one that goes to downtown cancun. We had no choice so we hopped on.  When we got there, the bus wasn’t coming and 15 minuteds later as were waiting and chatting with a taxi driver, he offered us a ride for $15. I bargained him down to 12 and off we went. It was a good 20 minute drive ti the hotel, so money well spent. As he was driving us we chatted and he offered me to take us to the airport for $18. I took his number and said ill get back to him on Thursday. (Normally a private taxi world cost anywhere between 30 to 50 bucks).

For dinner we ordered from Chabad of playa, They deliver to all hotels. (Chabad of cancun was closed during our stay). The food was good and it arrived on time. So that worked out.

On day 3 we again just relaxed at the pool and the beach. For dinner we decided to go to dag dag. So we sent an email to make a reservation, no answer. So I sent one again a little later, and again no answer. I tried to call but the phone wasn’t working. So we decided well go and see if it’s open. We had a hard time finding it, but after 15 minutes of walking around and everyone sending us to different places, we finally found it and of course it was closed. There’s was a sign on the door that was hard to read which ill post and if someone could figure it out I guess you will let us know  :).

So back to kosher luxus we went. This time we knew what not to order so our choices were better, and so was the food. Ill post pics off the food too.
After we got back I checked back with the manager to get late check out and he moved it up to 2pm, so I was happy :).
Thursday we went to the mall across the street from the westin, walked around, did a mini photo shoot on the beach as well.
We ordered burgers from kosher luxus which they delivered for $15 for our flight back; I called my “friend” the taxi driver who said he’ll be waiting for me in front of the hotel whenever I’m ready. We went back to the airport, chilled in the vip business lounge (priority pass) –which is a joke- and finally made it back to the USA.

I hope this helps you guys, if you have any questions or comments, shoot ‘em my way.
Very nice TR. thanks! Will help for my trip in February.

Offline lunatic

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 4353
  • Total likes: 19
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #870 on: July 06, 2015, 08:22:02 AM »
I was just there.
You first push the button and then go through the X-rays and then they search your bags.
I was number 7 on line to push the button and they called me out to start a new line, of course I pushed red, I don't think it's 50/50.
Dunno, I also was just there

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 61101
  • Total likes: 8251
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #871 on: July 06, 2015, 09:31:57 AM »
Nice TR, please post some pics.

Why did you reserve a manual car when for a couple bucks more you could have reserved an automatic?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline lunatic

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 4353
  • Total likes: 19
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #872 on: July 06, 2015, 11:05:09 AM »



Chabad also has a meat “restaurant” in their Chabad house but we paid a visit and it didn’t look to appealing. Probably more heimish for Israeli backpackers.


Was it on a second floor? Wondering if that is the one I saw, (see my TR above) or if there is another hidden one

Offline Srsy

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2014
  • Posts: 258
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #873 on: July 06, 2015, 12:02:48 PM »
Any minyan in or near Cancun in August?

Offline Here to learn

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 53
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #874 on: July 06, 2015, 03:19:51 PM »
Kosher luxus...

IMG_1374 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1372 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1369 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1368 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1363 by shush leb, on Flickr

Isla mujeres...

IMG_1342 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1332 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1297 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1264 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1263 by shush leb, on Flickr

Cafe Maya...

IMG_1339 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1337 by shush leb, on Flickr
IMG_1335 by shush leb, on Flickr

Dag Dag sign..

IMG_7364 by shush leb, on Flickr

Offline Here to learn

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 53
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #875 on: July 06, 2015, 03:26:48 PM »
Nice TR, please post some pics.

Why did you reserve a manual car when for a couple bucks more you could have reserved an automatic?
Thanks
It was just a silly mistake. i wasn't paying attention when i reserved.

Was it on a second floor? Wondering if that is the one I saw, (see my TR above) or if there is another hidden one
Its not in the chabad house, because its not owned by chabad.

Its a minute walk away from chabad.
Heres how you get to the cafe: When you get off the ferry, cross the road, walk 3 blocks down, make a left, and the Cafe is  on the left hand side, a half of block in.

Offline lunatic

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 4353
  • Total likes: 19
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile

Offline Here to learn

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 53
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #877 on: July 06, 2015, 03:55:28 PM »
Was this it http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1451.msg1178489.msg#1178489
You're referring to maya cafe? No it was not part of the chabad house.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 61101
  • Total likes: 8251
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #878 on: July 06, 2015, 03:59:15 PM »
Just to be clear, there is no sanctioned chabad on Isla Mujeres.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline lunatic

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Posts: 4353
  • Total likes: 19
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #879 on: July 06, 2015, 04:13:17 PM »
Just to be clear, there is no sanctioned chabad on Isla Mujeres.
It is still cool to see Judaism in these places