Hot New Hotels in Riviera Maya

The much-anticipated Hotel Xcaret Mexico opened in the Riviera Maya on December 2. The 900-suite property is the first hotel from the Experiencias Xcaret Group. Mexico’s secretary of tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, joined state and local officials at the opening ceremony. The hotel, said de la Madrid, represents an important step forward in maintaining a competitive tourism edge for Quintana Roo State.

Hotel Xcaret introduces a new “All Fun-Inclusive” concept that aims to provide a one-stop shop for visitors. It includes airport transfers, plus free access and transport to the Experiencias Xcaret parks and tours. Those offerings: Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco, Xenotes, Xenses and Xichen are a juggernaut amassed by Experiencias Xcaret in the past three decades.

“We move 3.5 million visitors per year in these venues,” Marcos Constandse, CFO of Grupo Experiencias Xcaret and managing director of Destino Xcaret, tells Travel Agent.

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Hotel Xcaret is the first stage of a larger project called Destino Xcaret, which Constandse described to Travel Agent.

“It will be five phases in the next ten years. We will have a total of 6,000 rooms, divided into 10 different types of hotels. We will have a big convention center, even though each hotel will have its own meeting areas. Also, we have a 12,000-person stadium for concerts, cultural events and social events. A retail compound, Pueblo del Rio, will be a combination of the River Walk you see in San Antonio, with Fifth Avenue of Playa del Carmen. It will be a very traditional street, combined with the Xcaret touch. You’ll see an open shopping area, almost two kilometers of river, entertainment venues, bars and restaurants,” said Constandse.

Destino Xcaret will eventually become a “destination in and of itself,” he adds.

For now, Hotel Xcaret offers its own enticements. Eighteen restaurants and bars include one helmed by Michelin-starred Mexican chef Carlos Gaytán. Additional features include a kid’s and teens club, 11 pools, Muluk Spa, three gyms and a training circuit integrated into the grounds. There’s also a chapel on site, plus meeting space for 2,000. people.

Set on a white sand beach, a series of inlets and eco-reserves create a unique environment, said Constandse.

“Even though there are 900 rooms, you never feel that you are in a big resort,” he added.

TRS Yucatan Hotel

TRS Yucatan guestroom

Hotel Xcaret isn’t the only hotel making news on the Riviera Maya. The newly refurbished TRS Yucatan Hotel opened on December 1. The property is part of Palladium Hotel Group’s re-branded offerings in the adult-only segment. TRS Yucatan is a conversion of The Royal Suites Yucatan by Palladium and adjacent Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa.

The resulting product has 454 suites, some with private pools; amenities include pillow menus, 24-hour room service and butler service.

“What we’ve done is integrate Grand Palladium Riviera Maya into The Royal Suites. It’s an absolutely spectacular renovation and refurbishment, which will appeal to the sophisticated North American traveler,” Jacques De Paep, Palladium Hotel Group’s commercial director for North America, tells Travel Agent.

New dining concepts include French, Italian and a cabaret-style venue. Guests also enjoy preferential access to dining and recreational facilities and services at the three Grand Palladium Resort & Spa properties next door.

TRS Yucatan has its own multi-level infinity pool, salt water pool and solarium. But, it’s the new beachfront options that are the brand hallmark. They include a signature beach club, live music and à la carte restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine.

“We’ve had great success with beach club concept in Ibiza,” said De Paep.

Palladium is a Spanish hotel chain that operates eight brands, including licensed Hard Rock Hotels. The chain currently has two resort hotels set to open in Costa Mujeres north of Cancun in the fall of 2018.

“We’ve also announced that in the spring of 2019, we will open Ushuaïa Beach Hotel in Cancun," said De Paep. "It’s pretty spectacular as well, because of the new concept we’re bringing to the area pioneered by Palladium. It’s a music-based product, the whole hotel is a party. We bring in quite famous international DJs. We’ve had so much success with other properties, such as the Ushuaïa in Ibiza and the Hard Rock in Tenerife. We feel it’s something new we can add to the landscape in Cancun. Like every brand, we are constantly looking to modernize the product. We’ve evolved quite nicely. And, we believe there’s a market for the Ushuaïa concept in Cancun now.”

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