2017 Mexico Travel Preview

Chable Resort

From the Pacific to the Caribbean to historic colonial towns, Mexico is bustling with hotel developments. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for 2017 and beyond.

Around the Corner

Actually, a number of new openings will slide in at the tail end of 2016. They include the Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, opening November 30, 2016. It’s located in the gated Playa Mujeres community north of Cancun. The property’s 502 suites include a Preferred Club section with swim out pools, and two- bedroom villas that access a lazy river. Amenities include privileges at the Greg Norman-designed Playa Mujeres Golf Course.  

One of the year’s most anticipated openings is set for December 10, 2016. The Chablé Resort will welcome visitors to a restored hacienda 25 minutes outside of colonial Merida. Set on 750 acres of Mayan forest, the destination spa features forty luxury casitas and villas of up to 10,000 square feet. Amenities include indoor/outdoor showers, outdoor living areas and private pools. In addition to yoga, cooking classes and bike rides to Mayan villages, guests will enjoy organic cuisine sourced from resort gardens. But the main attraction by far is the expansive spa built beside a cenote.

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Making a December 12, 2016, debut is Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. With 213 guestrooms, the Hyatt-brand property affords views of surrounding mangroves, natural lagoons and the Caribbean. Features include four restaurants and bars, three outdoor pools, a spa, salon, gym, yoga studio plus 14,000 square feet of meeting space.

Ocean by H10 Hotels will open its third property along the Riviera Maya on December 15, 2016. The all-inclusive Ocean Riviera Paradise will have 970 guest rooms in four distinct sections catering either to families or adults.

Groundbreaking for the new Woodward Riviera Maya facility at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. 

In Store for 2017

The new year will bring a spate of new options for visitors to Mexico’s most popular destinations. Set to open on the Riviera Maya March 1, 2017, is UNICO 20°87°. The hotel, whose name refers to its geographic coordinates, will have 448 guestrooms (some with swim-up pools); a wellness center; spa; five restaurants; six bars plus a conference center. Guests have access to an anfitrión, or personalized local host, 24 hours a day. And the hotel’s all-inclusive concept extends to some spa treatments, golf and off-site excursions.

Lifestyle and action sports powerhouse Camp Woodward is coming to the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in the spring/summer 2017. The 20,000 sq. ft. Woodward Riviera Maya facility will include skateboarding/BMX parks, and Mexico’s first indoor snowboarding and snow skiing venue.

The adult-themed Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun is undergoing an extensive renovation. Closed in the fall of 2016, it will reopen in the fall of 2017. The renovated property will emerge with upgrades to guest rooms, restaurants and the spa.

Nickelodeon and Karisma Hotels & Resorts will open Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya in December of 2017. The all-inclusive will have 288 swim-up and infinity suites, six dining venues, four bars plus a food truck option. Highlights include an immersive Studio Nick, kid’s spa and Character Central.

Another property set for a December 2017 opening is Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. A multiple award-winner for its Puerto Vallarta location, the Caribbean outpost will occupy a stretch of beach north of Playa del Carmen. The all-suite property will have three dining venues, a luxury spa and gym. Guests can chose either all-inclusive or European plan rate options.  

With the interest in green tourism on the rise, Hotel Xcaret will offer an attractive option. The first hotel to hold an EarthCheck certification for planning and design will open in December 2017. Set within the grounds of Xcaret Park, the all-inclusive will have 900 suites grouped in five different categories.

After a series of delays, the Kanai Resort between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is once again progressing. Plans call for four luxury properties  — Auberge, W Retreat, St. Regis, and Park Hyatt — plus a beach club. The 136-room St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya and 180-room W Kanai Retreat have each announced a January 1, 2018, opening date.

On the island of Cozumel, a new Westin will open on March 1, 2017, on San Juan Beach. A 120-room Sheraton Cozumel is set to open November 30, 2018.

Hard Rock Los Cabos

Los Cabos

While developments in Caribbean Mexico are impressive, the Pacific Coast may yet be the new hotel champ. In Los Cabos, a new Grand Velas is set to open on December 30, 2016. The all-inclusive beachfront will offer 300 suites, five restaurants, a 16,370 sq. ft. convention center and a Leading Spa of the World. Chef Sidney Schutte will oversee the signature Cocina de Autor restaurant. He helms the two Michelin-star rated restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.

The new Quivira Towers will debut in December at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort. In addition to 47 guest rooms and suites (some with private plunge pools) the towers include a new VIP Lounge, restaurant and fitness center.

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences will open February 1, 2017. The new hotel project was previously known as VieVage Los Cabos, an Auberge Resort. Auberge Resorts Collection will still manage the property, set on a swimmable beach in the Chileno Bay Resort. Accommodations include sixty guest rooms and 32 villas with private pools. The property will also have a holistic spa plus more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space.  

The 250-room Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos is scheduled to open in mid-2017. The all-inclusive adults only Palace Resorts property will have five restaurants, an expansive spa plus 13,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 2,000-acre Puerto Los Cabos Resort on the Sea of Cortez is the setting for the Ritz Carlton Reserve Los Cabos. With an expected summer of 2017 opening, it will have 124 oceanfront villas with private plunge pools. Resort amenities include a marina plus golf courses by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.  

Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos will open in June 2017. The 131-room property at the tip of Baja California Sur will include a spa and private beach club, three restaurants, event space plus walking and running trails.

Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos is scheduled for completion in late 2017. The 600-room property at the Diamante Cabo San Lucas Resort will include six restaurants, 54,000 sq. ft. of meeting space plus a signature Hard Rock Rock Spa.

Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort is set for a late 2017 debut. Rancho San Lucas is an 834-acre beachfront community 30 minutes from Cabo San Lucas and the Magic Town of Todos Santos. Resort amenities include a Greg Norman-designed golf course, tennis center and Mexican Village.

Also expected to open in 2017 is the first Mexican property by chef-hotelier Nobu Matsuhisa. Nobu Hotel Los Cabos will have 200 “Japanese and Los Cabos-inspired” rooms, a signature Nobu Restaurant and Bar, event and meeting space, a luxury spa plus retail space.

Montage Los Cabos is set to open in the winter season of 2017-2018. The Hotel Corridor property overlooking Santa Maria Bay will have 122 guest rooms and suites; a spa, multiple dining rooms and a two-level pool.

Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas will open in 2018. Located in the private Costa Palmas community on the Sea of Cortez, the 145-room property will include a spa, private beach and Robert Trent Jones II–designed golf course.

Grand Velas in Los Cabos

Riviera Nayarit

Thirty miles north of Puerto Vallarta, the El Monteon community is the setting for One&Only’s Pacific coast debut. One&Only Mandarina is tentatively scheduled for a 2017 opening. It will have 145 villas in three different categories; a beach club with poolside café and lounge; a family pool and a One&Only Spa.  

Fairmont Costa Canuva will open in late 2018 in the Riviera Nayarit’s new master-planned Costa Canuva community. The 250-room property will include a Willow Stream Spa and 22,000 square feet of meeting space. Costa Canuva will have the first golf course jointly designed by Greg Norman and Mexican golfing champion Lorena Ochoa; cycling tracks designed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA); and a canopy park with ziplines.

The first phase of The Park by Cirque du Soleil is set to open in 2018. The 300-acre immersive theme park in Nuevo Vallarta is a joint project from Cirque du Soleil and Grupo Vidanta. The two have already collaborated on Joya, a permanent production in the Riviera Maya.

The Costalegre, the coastal corridor of bays, coves and beaches between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, is also in the news. AMResorts will open the 120-suite Zoëtry Chamela Costalegre Mexico there in 2018. Also in the works is One&Only Santa Maria de Xala. The 75-villa hacienda resort is part of a 2,950-acre development and will have five miles of beachfront.

Colonial Puebla

Mexico’s colonial cities are steeped in history and culture, and few more so than Puebla. New hotel offerings in the destination include Rosewood Puebla, opening in early 2017. With 78 guestrooms and suites, the property will also include a Sense Spa, rooftop bar and swimming pool with views of Puebla’s central historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also in the lineup is Four Points by Sheraton Puebla, opening on June 1, 2017. A 142-room Westin Puebla is set to open on December 1, 2018. And Aloft Puebla will also open in late 2018, with 100 loft-style rooms.