Not all resorts authentically capture the true essence of a destination, so when a winner comes along, you notice.
Enter Hotel Xcaret Arte, an all-inclusive, adults-only property that's tucked away in the jungle of Mexico’s Riviera Maya region near Playa del Carmen roughly 45 minutes away from Cancun International Airport.
The lush and luxurious compound, which faces an electric-blue Caribbean Sea, captures the richness, vibrancy and culinary wealth of the Yucatán Peninsula on which it sits, as PAX learned during a stay at the property from Dec. 4-7, 2021.
The work of local and national Mexican artists inspire pops of bright colours in all 900 suites, which are divided into five “casas” – Casa del Diseño, Casa de Los Artistas, Casa de la Pirámide, Casa de la Música and Casa de la Paz.
There’s also Casa del Patrón, which is where restaurants (there’s nine total) and two convention centres are located.
Hotel Xcaret Arte has a “home away from home” feeling, and each casa is wonderfully decorated according to theme (Casa de Los Artistas, for example, incorporates a playful paint brush motif).
Each building also has its own lobby, which eliminates the need to crowd in one single check-in space, resulting in a more premium experience.
The spacious, high-end suites also have enticing categories, from swim-ups (where you can truly “zen out" in a quiet, leafy setting) to master suites (which have double terraces, one of which has a private jacuzzi tub) to presidential suites, which are separate kingdoms altogether (the 4,600 sq. ft. units with soaring views each have their own private pool).
New on the scene
Hotel Xcaret Arte is new on the hospitality scene, opening in July 2021, adding to the all-ages Hotel Xcaret Mexico, which opened in December 2017.
The two hotels may share similarities in layout and decor, but there are also key differences. Guests staying at Hotel Xcaret Arte, for one, must be at least 16 years of age, making it an exclusive playground for grownups.
Hotel Xcaret Arte has four rooftop areas to enjoy (whereas Hotel Xcaret, the first hotel, has one).
Arte’s rooftop space at Casa de los Artistas, in particular, is a guest favourite for its postcard-perfect views of the Caribbean Sea, and sky-high pools that are connected by a glass “bridge” that you can literally swim across.
If you’re looking to capture TikTok, Instagram or Facebook content, it’s here.
But what makes the brand bloom is an “All-Fun Inclusive” concept, which incorporates transportation to and from the airport, admission to all of Grupo Xcaret’s nine adventure parks (which offer everything from zip-lining to snorkeling to white-water rafting) and tours to must-see places like the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá and cenotes, into one price.
That’s a lot of exciting things to unpack. And it’s all included in the stay.
“If you were to visit all the parks, and all the restaurants, you’d need to schedule a two-week vacation,” as Anita Hernández, public relations and communications manager at Hoteles Xcaret, put it.
This means there are options for all types of clientele, from laid-back sunbathers to wellness lovers to high-energy adventure seekers.
There are also great opportunities to connect with culture and traditions: Hotel Xcaret Arte offers five “workshops” that cater to a variety of interests, such as weaving, painting, pottery, dance and literature.
There’s room for foodies, too – each of the hotel’s nine restaurants showcase some of Mexico’s most celebrated chefs, such as Chef Ricard Muñoz Zurita, Chef Roberto Solis and Chef Luis Arzapalo, to name a few.
Some venues are quite high end – in Casa de la Música, for instance, there’s an exclusive restaurant called Encanta from Chef Paco Méndez, a world-renowned Michelin Star chef.
There’s a world of flavours to taste at Hotel Xcaret Arte, from Japanese (Tah-Xido) to Lebanese (Kibi Kibi), but whatever the origin, every dish incorporates a Mexican twist. (For a culinary breakdown, click here).
Mercado de San Juan is the hotel’s “buffet,” but you wouldn’t call it that.
It’s more like a festive marketplace, capturing the vibe of a culinary trip through lively Mexico City, with live music and vendors offering up fresh carnitas, tacos and quesadillas on the spot.
Taco vendors can also share important intel at Hotel Xcaret Arte.
At night, there’s a lit-up, multicoloured speakeasy, called El Deseo, that pumps out a good party, except you have to ask around to find it.
In traditional speakeasy fashion, the secret club is hidden away in a building near the parking garage. (Ask the taco vendors for directions).
Rollin' on the river
Because there's so much to do at Hotel Xcaret Arte, guests, at all times, are spread out in various locations, from the pools, to the beach, to the adventure parks, to Muluk spa, to other cozy nooks and crannies.
One amenity that truly glows is a stunning blue-green river that flows around the adults-only and family-friendly hotels.
Contained within the property, the river is a mix of both ocean and river water, and guests are free to enjoy it – you can either go swimming (lifejackets are provided), kayaking or even paddle boarding.
On a sizzling-hot day in Mexico, nothing beats cooling off in what feels like your own private cenote.
Sustainability is "a way of life"
Like most resorts in Mexico, Hotel Xcaret utilizes a COVID-19 health and safety program, which is called “360° Xafety.” (Click here for complete details).
The program deploys measures travellers now expect, such as widely-available hand sanitizing stations, temperature checks on entry and the recommendation that guests wear masks in public spaces. (Staff are required to wear masks at all times).
Even this aspect is elevated: when guests arrive on property, they receive a special bag that contains a Hotel Xcaret face mask and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.
Finally, sustainability and care for the environment – a longstanding commitment at Grupo Xcaret – is the beating heart of Hotel Xcaret Mexico and Hotel Xcaret Arte.
Here, you will not find any plastic bottles – drinking cups are either made of glass or reusable plastic.
The company invests in conservation programs to protect flora and fauna, as well as in villages and nearby communities. They even have their own water production facility.
“Everything is based on taking care of the planet,” Hernández said. “For us, it’s a way of life.”
What does the Presidential Suite look like? Wanna see Hotel Xcaret Arte's river in action?
Watch PAX’s exclusive on-location video from Hotel Xcaret Arte here!