KanXuk Blue Maya Resort, UNICO 20˚87˚, Others to Re-Invent Mexico

KanXuk Blue Maya Resort

KanXuk Blue Maya Resort has opened on the Sian Ka’an coastline, 23 miles south of Tulum. It’s the first luxury eco-resort in the UNESCO World Heritage site on the Yucatan Peninsula’s eastern edge.

Known for lush jungles and blue lagoons, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is home to jaguar, puma, ocelot, nesting turtles and migratory birds. The Maya called it the “origin of the sky.” Today, it’s one of Mexico’s largest protected areas.

Not surprisingly, sustainability is a big part of the KanXuk philosophy.

Solar panels and a wind turbine provide most of the resort’s power. Fresh water is sourced and then filtered from a natural underground cistern. An on-site garden provides fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices.

The intimate size of the resort also furthers the sustainability mission.

“There are a limited number of building permits within the biosphere, mostly single family dwellings. We obtained a special permit for a few buildings, our bungalows. This is why occupancy is limited to 18-20 people,” Jonathan Blue, chairman of the resort’s developer, Blue Equity LLC, tells Travel Agent.

Accommodations at KanXuk consist of a Main Villa with five rooms, three beachfront bungalows and one premium bungalow with a private garden.

Grounds include a 650-foot beachfront, swimming pool, spa, cigar bar and restaurant pavilion. Meals can also be served on the roof top deck, cigar bar and a private dock on the lagoon.

A secluded location is one of the resort’s most appealing features. In fact, arriving there can be an adventure in itself. Car, boat and helicopter transfers are available.

“From Cancun International Airport to Tulum the drive time is approximately two hours. From Tulum to KanXuk the drive can range between one hour to two hours depending upon the condition of the road and daylight. For guests with the all-inclusive rate, we will arrange pick up by private car from Cancun International Airport to Tulum. This is an approximate two-hour drive. From Tulum we can arrange a private boat to KanXuk. This is approximately 45 minutes,” said Blue.

Car and boat transfers are available for an extra charge for guests on the European/bed and breakfast plan.

“Helicopter service is an extra cost for both all-inclusive and European/bed and breakfast guests. The one-way cost is $4,200 for up to four passengers,” said Blue.

Those interested in a first-hand look, take note. The resort offers a complimentary all-inclusive two-night stay for “qualified travel agents and planners,” subject to availability.

UNICO 20˚87˚ pool

On the Riviera Maya, UNICO 20˚87˚ has opened. The 448-room property has semi-private swim-up pools on ground floor rooms, and outdoor spa tubs in other rooms; a spa; wellness center; five restaurants; six bars and lounges, including a cigar lounge and two swim up bars.

The property is aiming to distinguish itself from the fast-growing competition.

That’s a necessity in today’s market, said Meg Austin, a nationally-recognized travel specialist with The Travel Society based in Vail, CO.

“I’ve seen the Riviera Maya grow up. It’s one of my favorite places on earth and I’ve been going there forever. I’ve seen every property. I remember taking a jeep and running out of gas there once. I had to siphon gas out of a dive boat, because there wasn’t a gas station or hotel around,” Austin tells Travel Agent.

UNICO 20˚87˚ hopes to make a splash by offering some interesting options.

Guests can choose personalized in-room amenities made with locally-sourced ingredients. They can also purchase works from local artisans, displayed in rooms and public areas. Pop-up programing will include mescal tastings, art competitions and musical performances. And the resort is taking the all-inclusive experience to a new level. It extends not only to food and beverages, but to select spa treatments, excursions and unlimited golf.

In other Riviera Maya news, Palladium Hotels & Resorts has announced new guest upgrades. They include improved food and beverage offerings, increased staff, plus a new director of innovation and product development overseeing all properties.

Additional upgrades include an improved Palladium Hotels & Resorts app, increased Wi-Fi capacity, additional guest trolleys and new pool bikes.

The Spanish hospitality brand will also convert the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa into an extension of The Royal Suites Yucatán by Palladium. The conversion will launch in stages, beginning in June 2017 and continuing through the fall.

The newly renovated, adult-only property will have 454 guestrooms, 108 with swim-up pools. A Beach Club, new infinity pool and a cabaret à la carte restaurant featuring different shows are also planned. The lobby of the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa will become the new lobby of The Royal Suites Yucatán. In the meantime, all hotel services are available at the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand, Colonial and Kantenah lobbies.