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Restaurants, Food, Drink, the Bar Scene, Entertainment, etc.

Things have definitely moved upscale at Club Med Cancun since renovation - including food, but also quality and quantity of entertainment. Below are some of my observations (updated February 2011).

Restaurants:

  • Main restaurant - La Hacienda. Buffet style with different chef's specialties nightly. GO hosts and hostesses greet at the entrance and help with seating. Ask for a 'mixed' or 'shared' table if you want to sit with other people. Published hours of operation:
    • Breakfast 7:00-10.30am
    • Lunch Mini Club and Families 12:00-12:30pm
    • Lunch 12:30-2:00pm
    • Dinner Mini Club and Families 7:00-7.30pm
    • Dinner 7:30-10:00pm

    Scroll down for write-up



  • Sample menu from main restaurant
  • Typical Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Featured Dining - sample menu - Mahi Mahi Ceviche
    - Sauteed Octopus
    - Pan Fried Grouper
    -Turkey Supreme
    - Beef Carpaccio
    - Shrimp Tempura
    - Frog Legs
    - Prime Rib
    - Irish Smoked Salmon
    - Beef Stroganoff
    - Chicken w/Camembert
    - Grilled Flank Steak
    - Ceviche Heaven
    - Scallops in Pastry
    - Pan Fried Crocodile
    - Wild Boar
    - Duck Foie Gras
    - Pan Seared Tuna
    - Lamb Tenderloin
    - Duck Breast
    - Salmon
    - Braised Ostrich Steak
    - Surf 'n Turf
    - Lamb
    - Lobster Cocktail
    - Mahi Mahi
    - Scallop Risotto
    - Beef Wellington

  • Second restaurant - Las Cazuelas - near the sailing beach. Late lunch and Mexican specialty dinner by reservation only. Good food, but slow service so be patient (and have another couple drinks)! Published hours:
    • Lunch 1:00-4:00pm (now open EARLIER for late lunch - I loved eating here)
    • Dinner 7:00-10:00pm
  • New full service third restaurant - La Pergola. Steak house dinners, by reservation. I have not tried the steak house, but ate here for snacks and when it was formerly a Tapas restaurant and it was good. Published hours:
    • Late breakfast 10:30-12:00pm
    • "All Day" dining 4:00pm-7:00pm
    • Steak house specialty dinner by reservation only 7:30-9:30pm
    • Late evening snacking 10:00pm-2:00am (french fries are now on the snack menu, plus sandwiches, salads, etc.!)
  • Appetizer and Tapas bar - next to main bar. 6:00-7:00pm. Different stuff every night, but ALWAYS guacamole, salsa, chips...
  • Food in the restaurants is noticeably since renovation, but with slightly less selection then in years past. A variation of sushi or sashimi was available most days (it was generally excellent) - they even had a dedicated sushi chef. The roast beef was excellent. The roast chicken, as always, was superb.
  • Espresso drinks were available in each of the restaurants - self serve machines.
  • La Palapa, destroyed by hurricane, has been completely rebuilt from the ground up as Las Cazuelas and is now worthy of a spot in Architectural Record magazine. Beautiful job. Still functions as late-lunch restaurant and reservation-only alternate dinner restaurant. Nice outdoor bar, La Chispa, open all day and serves as nightly disco - still the best place to watch sunsets.
  • Las Cazuelas has menu service and the food was excellent. Service could be spotty, but hey, these people could make a lot more dough waiting tables in Cancun. Reservations were always 'full' but in reality the place was rarely more than 1/2 full.
  • Table attendants in both restaurants would ask when you sat down if you wanted a drink, or wine, and then they would get it for you. Service was good.
  • Main restaurant has been 'opened up' and most rooms are connected to each other. Each room had a different theme and decoration. The so-called adult room was decorated like a bordello - red and brown. At dinner, this room is intended for only adults.
  • Many tables were for 2 and 4 but there were 6, 8, 10-tops if you had a big group. As a single, I did not hesitate to sit at a big table and wait (hoping) for it to fill. Usually GOs ask to sit down with GMs, but only 2 GOs are allowed per dining table
  • Guacamole is alive and well at lunch and dinner - as well as at the appetizer bar near the pool at 6:00pm till dinner time
  • Breakfast had a couple fresh cooked egg stations which can be slow if a family was in line - but try the Huevos Rancheros, awesome when fresh cooked
  • Hard, hand dipped ice cream is back. Try Pistachio or Coconut, the one or two days they have it. Also try vanilla ice cream on the chocolate bread!
  • Nearly all of the soups were excellent - and there were always 2 selections at dinner
  • Caramel sauce no longer available at breakfast (for the crepes!). Some fruit compote would be nice, as opposed to Smuckers jam

Bars:

  • Three bars now after the closing of La Pergola bar. 1) the main bar, 2) beach/pool bar (new since renovation), 3) La Chispa near the sailing beach (former La Palapa)
  • At the pool and main bar, sometimes you had to specify that you actually wanted booze in your drink since this is where most kids get their Shirley Temples
  • Liquors are mid-pack branding - nothing special. Wines were OK, not great but drinkable. Wine list was available at extra cost. Beer on tap was Dox Equis - dark and light. Tecate Light is available in take-out cans.
  • Espresso drinks (now LaVazza) were readily available and well prepared at all 4 bar locations
  • Sometimes the bar in the snack bar was not open along with the snack bar, so if you wanted to drink and snack you had to think ahead
  • Drinking age was 18 and there were usually some teens drinking but they were not obnoxious
  • Kids generally took a lot of time at the bar ordering combos of blended virgin drinks. Club Med should install a drink mix machine with a couple virgin blends in it - this would save tons of time waiting for an adult drink.
  • Great bar team - Daniel is still here (since the early 80's)
  • Actually, I like the layout of the new (since renovation) main bar better than the old one - easier for bar tenders to cover (but I'm not a bartender)

Entertainment:

  • Entertainment showed a huge variety and it was not unusual to have a couple things going on at once
  • Good, but sometimes overly ambitious GO shows
  • A French language show in La Pergola if the crowd is heavily French
  • A couple live music groups including a great Cuban band plus a very fine Mexican guitar player with backup band and a nice jazz band. A great dancing floor show at the new Las Cazuelas (former La Palapa) building. Generally an excellent variety of entertainment!
  • Party night life was slower than "the good old Club Med days", but there was a lot of variety and it took place in several venues: Bar area, Las Cazuelas, La Pergola Snack Bar, and outside in the new 'square' near the main bar. I figured that with 120-150 kids (according to reception), plus their parents, it effectively wiped out half the village population for potential partiers
  • Disco is now at La Chispa full time due to noise complaints from the Westin Hotel next door
  • Main theater has new stage, seating (chairs), and doubles as a recreation area with pool tables, etc., off to the side and is closed in and air conditioned.
  • June 2007 - from Jim Thursday after the kid show four GOs had arranged an adult-only comedy show in English. Somewhat cheesy but fun and then it adjourned to the La Chispa for the general festivities