All-Inclusive Report: Costa Mujeres on the Rise

Riu Palace Costa Mujeres
Riu Palace Costa Mujeres

While Isla Mujeres just across the water may have been a fixture on “next great destination” lists over the past few years, it is Costa Mujeres -- a stretch of coast on the mainland just north of Cancun -- that is in the spotlight now, thanks to the debut of a number of new all-inclusive properties. 

This past November Palladium Hotel Group opened a massive resort complex in the area with two properties: the family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and the luxury, adults-only TRS Coral Hotel

The Grand Palladium property has 670 suites, all of which have a furnished balcony or terrace, a hot tub and a minibar. A portion of the Junior Suites, Loft Suites and Ambassador Suites are part of the company’s new “Family Selection” program that offers a number of exclusive perks aimed at travelers with kids, such as a separate check-in area, an exclusive beach area and restaurant, a concierge, priority reservations in restaurants, complimentary access to the spa’s hydrotherapy area and even a “milk and cookie” turndown service for the kids. One out of the resort’s four pools is also exclusive to Family Selection guests. The program is also available at the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

The resort complex has a number of dining venues, including one -- CHIC Cabaret & Restaurant -- that brings over a popular dinner theater concept from the company’s TRS Yucatan Hotel. The Vegas-style show plays alongside a seven-course meal. Other restaurants range from Thai, Italian, Mexican, Japanese and Indian to a steakhouse, an international restaurant with themed self-service stations and show cooking, a beach club, a sports bar, a champagne bar, a coffee shop and a juice bar for spa guests. In terms of activities, there is an on-site Rafa Nadal Tennis Center, as well as opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking and more. For those seeking relaxation, the complex has a Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness center, which offers a full range of beauty and spa treatments, as well as a hydrotherapy area (additional fees apply). 

The TRS Coral Hotel, which is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, is the complex’s “resort within a resort,” providing exclusive amenities as well as access to the larger Grand Palladium. Personalization is a major focus here, with four bottles of premium liquor per room personalized to guest preferences and group activities at Grand Palladium, such as salsa dancing, available on an individual basis. Each of the property’s 469 rooms will have butler service, plus a balcony or terrace, whirlpool bath, direct access to exclusive swim-up pools and views over the Costa Mujeres landscape. At the beach, TRS guests can visit Helios, an Ibiza-style club serving up an international tapas-style menu on personal skillets.

To get around the entire complex, guests can take boats via a network of canals, or TRS guests can use an “Uber-style” app to summon an electric golf cart. 

Riu Hotels & Resorts opened its own all-inclusive here toward the end of November: the 670-room Riu Palace Costa Mujeres. The resort is the first in a new design concept for the company that puts the restaurants, bars and public square on the upper floors of the complex to maximize ocean views. Guests can also enjoy five pools, two with swim-up bars, a reserved area on the beach, sports and art activities, live shows, a gym and a spa. The property is also near the Riu Dunamar, providing access to the Pacha nightclub, the RiuLand kids’ club and the Splash Water World water park. 

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