Sunday,  August 9, 2020  3:40 pm

Five hotels around Cancun you should know about


Five hotels around Cancun you should know about
Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

An ideal destination for young families, couples and multi-generational travellers alike, northern Quintana Roo surrounding Cancun has a lot to offer as far as accommodation and exploration go.

Transat transported our journalist to Mexico in order for her to study the depths of the “affordable luxury” concept and experience five of the region's hotels, from Playa Mujeres to Riviera Maya.

Finest Playa Mujeres

Finest Playa Mujeres

Located just 30 minutes from Cancun International Airport, this property offers an “all-inclusive luxury” for both adults and families, on account of its two very distinct areas. The 450 suites are at least 800 sq. ft.; some of them have swim-up access, while others even have a private rooftop pool and terrace. The hydrotherapy circuit at ONE Spa is one of the best in the region and absolutely must be experienced.

The ultramodern architecture of the hotel — characterised by minimalist, highly photogenic accents — would not look out of place on the cover of a leading design magazine; a fitting backdrop for the whimsical food truck and the bakery-café, where guests will not only find various kinds of java but also a revolving gelato bar… Gigantic bouncy slides have recently been installed on the shore and although they initially were intended for children, the hotel’s staff, not without a little laugh, is quick to inform visitors that it’s the adults, in fact, who enjoy it the most.

Last but not least, the Excellence Club is described as “a hotel inside a hotel” and allows luxury-savvy adults to enjoy a VIP experience by way of private lounge check-in, access to premium prestige rooms as well as exclusive bars, restaurants and pools. Similar privileges are also offered to families via Finest Club.

It should be noted that children ages four to 12 only pay half price and that single parents travelling alone with their children do not have to pay a single supplement.

Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres

Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres

The art of living in its purest form: this intimate adults-only property has just 35 rooms, all of which offer fabulous ocean views and Bvlgari toiletries. With its rocky sea cliffs, subtle opulence and compact layout, Villa Rolandi has a certain European flair to it, which will undoubtedly please guests familiar with the Old Continent. The simple fact that you can only get there by boat — the hotel is on an island — is very much reminiscent of Venetian vaporettos.

Thanks to its unique location on the Isla Mujeres littoral, Zoëtry Villa Rolandi possesses a modest but private beach with calm, translucent waters and stone-free sand. Truly one of the best beaches in eastern Mexico.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

The reputation of this renowned five-star complex largely precedes it — the property was recently awarded five AAA Diamonds — and its extraordinary attributes continue to seduce luxury aficionados. Grand Velas Riviera Maya stands out not only by the quality of its installations but also its sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The resort employs a myriad of acclaimed chefs including a Maître Cuisinier de France at Restaurant Piaf, who unquestionably serves some of the best dishes outside of France along with delectable wine pairings.

The complex consists of three spectacular pavilions for a grand total of 529 immense rooms: the Grand Class for adults (90 rooms in three categories, each equipped with a private terrace and pool), Ambassador for families (195 in six categories, equipped with child-and-baby-friendly amenities), both situated along the ocean. The Zen Grand Natural View, however, is the most surprising of the three, as it is set in the very heart of a protected, flourishing Mayan jungle — the hotel even offers discovery tours with a zoologist, who was quick to tell guests all about the 'local residents,' which include spider monkeys, jaguars, turtles and iguanas. The 254 rooms in five categories are located on the edge of a lake with active marine and floral life. The ultimate option for an atypical stay!

Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

This trendy adults-only chain is famous for its festive atmosphere and its younger (or at least, young at heart) clientele, which is particularly fond of the legendary foam parties. The 526 chic rooms of the resort are sorted in three different complexes: the Xcelerate for partygoers, the Xhale for tranquil luxury and the Allure for guests wanting to experience a bit of both. This hotel is also part of Transat’s Solo Collection and doesn’t charge single supplements to solo travellers.

Food-wise, the Breathless Riviera Cancun is in a league of its own with its 24/7 buffet and its no-reservation, à la carte restaurants (both a rarity in the world of resorts) even at Silk City, where chefs combine Pan-Asian cooking with performing arts and a piping-hot teppan. The hotel also owns a magnificent spa offering unparalleled views of the dense mangroves.

Because the beach is actually quite underwhelming, pools are where it’s at; more than 80 rooms offer swim-out access to the architectural masterpieces that are the main pools of each complex.

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma

Although this intimate hotel — with just 120 rooms — opened its doors 20 some years ago, it’s the 30 brand new water bungalows that get all the attention nowadays. Rightfully so, though, as they are one of a kind in North America. These palafitos offer direct access to the sea and encompass three glass floors panels, allowing guests to admire the prosperous marine life right under their feet, in addition to being located in a private area with an exclusive restaurant and spa. Moreover, Conde Nast Traveler recently ranked El Dorado Maroma’s beach among the ten best in the world, mostly due to its tranquil waves and bright aqua waters.

It should be noted, however, that water bungalows are only available upon request via travel agents.

Mexico with Air Transat

Air Transat flies to Cancun from both Montreal and Toronto on a daily basis between December and April (six flights weekly in November). From Western Canada, there are three flights weekly (Wednesday – Saturday - Sunday) from Calgary and two flights weekly (Tuesday – Sunday) from Vancouver between December and April.

Transat’s Luxury Collection, based on the concept of "affordable luxury," encompasses 32 hotels 17 of which are in Mexico. This package consists of free access to VIP lounges in airports when available, upgrades to Option Plus and private transfers. As of this year, these 17 distinguished hotels can be booked without the extras mentioned above, making them more accessible than ever.

Option Plus, privileges in Economy class: this type of ticket includes seat selection, priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, supplementary checked baggage allowance for a total of two bags of 23 kg each for South destinations, a lunchbox with a small bottle of Prosecco as well as a comfort kit with a blanket. Option Plus is included in Luxury Collection packages or available à la carte starting at $89 per return flight.

Club Class, comfort and refinement: this upgrade includes spacious leather seats, two dedicated flight attendants and attentive, personalized service as well as seat selection, two checked baggage of 25 kg each and an additional 15 kg of hang luggage, priority check-in at a private counter and priority boarding and baggage handling. It should be noted that Club Class is only available on Airbus aircraft.

Our journalist was a guest of Air Transat on this trip. For more information, visit airtransat.com.

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