Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport: Great Lodging for One Night (or Two)

When frigid weather blasted across the country in mid-January, and the forecast called for ongoing snow where I live in western Colorado, I decided to change my flight to Cancun International Airport (CUN) to arrive in toasty temperatures two days before my scheduled trip to Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
Flying out of small mountain airports is always risky in the winter months. Since Mother Nature was doubling down on potential weather delays, I didn’t want to jeopardize my scheduled stint on the beach.
After pricing Cancun-area waterfront resorts and downtown hotels — and factoring in taxi fees to get there from the airport — I decided that it made the most economical sense to spend my time at the Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport.
Entrance to a hotel with sign.
My plan for the weekend at home was to get some work done and get some exercise just before my Mexico trip. I figured I could do the exact same things at this conveniently located hotel within walking distance of the airport. But I’d enjoy it in sunny 80-degree temperatures, not snowy 25 degrees. I call that a win!
I didn’t need a fancy room, since my planned stay involved a couple of upscale, beachfront all-inclusive resorts. (Read: I was going to be pampered, so basic accommodations for a couple of nights prior were just fine.) This moderately priced chain hotel fit the bill. (Bonus: I had enough loyalty points  — 40,000 — to cover one night.) Here’s the scoop. 

Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport Location

As a woman traveling solo, I was a little concerned the walk from the airport arrivals building to the Hilton Garden Inn was a safe one in the early evening. I was pleased to find the route took me less than 10 minutes, and the sidewalks were decently lit the entire way.
I did have to play Frogger across a busy street filled with cars and shuttle buses zooming into the airport, but there was a crosswalk in front of the hotel (not that anyone stopped for me). In all, it took me less than 10 minutes by foot to get to the hotel. 
The only time I left the property grounds was to walk to a convenience store for cheap, cold beer ($1 can vs. $6 draft at the hotel). That walk also took less than 10 minutes. 

Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport Amenities & Restaurants

I had a couple of key requirements for my last-minute stay in the Cancun area: a pool for swimming laps and a fitness center. The Hilton Garden Inn has both.
The donut-shaped, 4-foot-deep pool at the Hilton Garden Inn was on a third-floor rooftop area. While I found boisterous kids splashing around in it both evenings I was there, in the mid-morning, it was empty, and I was able to swim laps around the curved pool — unusual from my typical straight-line lane laps, but it worked!
Curved pool underneath hotel rooms with tall tower under blue sky.
While I wouldn’t classify this Hilton hotel as a resort by any means, the property does its best to provide a resort-like atmosphere on this third-floor terrace. There’s a pool bar, lounging area with hanging rattan chairs, cushioned seating, chaise lounges, and umbrellas. 
I was pleasantly surprised by the indoor fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the pool. It’s filled with key cardio equipment like bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals, as well as dumbbells, medicine balls, inflated exercise balls, mats, and more. The exercise room was busy in the mornings, but I had the space to myself in the afternoon. 
A good Wi-Fi connection was also important for my two-night stay that doubled as a mini warm-weather work retreat. The Wi-Fi was strong both in my room and in the business center with a printer, communal high-top seating, and plenty of electrical outlets. 
There’s an on-site, staffed transportation desk for assistance in scheduling taxis anywhere in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. I used this service to book my transport to my next hotel. 
Buffet breakfast was served in a dedicated restaurant area with indoor and outdoor seating. Costing 70o pesos or $25 per person, the buffet spread was generous, with made-to-order omelets; hot items like beans, sausage, and scrambled eggs; cereal and yogurt; and toast and pastries. I appreciated that I could order almond milk for my hot coffee.
The on-site restaurant serves lunch and dinner. While I didn’t check out the lunch menu (since breakfast filled me up), I did have dinner, when the menu featured items like pizza, tacos, tostadas, pasta, salad, and entrées such as grilled salmon and pulled pork. My fish tacos were hearty and filling — by no means the best fish tacos I’ve ever had in Mexico, but I did clean my plate.

Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport Rooms

I had a fifth-floor king room with contemporary furnishings. The space was plenty big just for me, with a large armoire featuring a shelf to fit my luggage, a couple of drawers, a safe, a full-size mirror, a coffeemaker, and a mini-fridge. 
Contemporary hotel room with bright blue accent wall, white bedding, light wood floor
My king bed was comfortable; I appreciated the USB outlet on the night table’s alarm clock; I used the small desk; the blackout curtains were awesome; and the bathroom with a full-sized shower (no tub) was spacious. 

The Bottom Line

If you have a late-night arrival at the Cancun International Airport and don’t want to spend the money to get to a more luxurious resort just for a quick sleep, or if you have an early morning flight and want to be within walking distance of the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn Cancun Airport is a great option. I’d happily stay there again if the need arises. 

Room rates start at about $150. Discounts are available for Hilton Honors members at the official website.  If you’re not a Hilton Honors member, check Booking.com or Expedia to see if you can get a better rate there.
Review and photos by Colorado-based travel writer Kara Williams. 

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