New All-Inclusives in Mexico

The Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Cancún will have 148 guestrooms and suites. Shown here is a Paradise Room.

All-inclusive resorts are hardly a new phenomenon in Mexico, but the last two decades have seen exceptional growth in the number and variety of such properties. In like fashion, the 2020s are getting off to fast start with new resorts from several familiar brands. Here is a sampling.

Barceló Maya Riviera welcomed its first guests in mid-December. The adults-only, all-suite, all-inclusive resort is the latest addition to the Barceló Maya Grand Resort complex in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, joining Barceló Maya Palace, Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Colonial and Barceló Maya Tropical.

The new resort has 850 guestrooms, more than half of which have ocean views and 110 of which are swim-up suites. All guestroom balconies have their own hot tubs, and the accommodations also include complimentary daily snack and drink refills in the minibar, L’Occitane en Provence bath amenities and double or super king-sized beds. 

The resort’s pool complex has four pools, including a swim-up pool bar and what’s billed as the largest infinity pool in the area. The four on-property specialty restaurants serve up cuisine ranging from Mexican to French fine dining and classic Italian dishes. There is also a Japanese / Nikkei restaurant with 10 teppanyaki tables and one robatayaki table for fireside cooking. Guests can also enjoy cocktails, wine and beer at one of five bars, including a poolside bar and a lobby bar. 

The Barceló Maya Grand Resort complex in Riviera Maya has welcomed its latest addition: Barceló Maya Riviera, an adults-only, all-suite, all-inclusive resort.

The resort also incorporates art by Mexican artist Julie Sassón, who has works on display throughout its main public spaces. Guests who stay at the Barceló Maya Riviera also have access to the offerings at the other five resorts within the Barceló Maya Grand Resort complex, including 22 restaurants, 10 pools, three theaters, three water parks, a bowling alley and the new Ventura Fly & Ride Park.  

Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Cancún will be the first all-inclusive beach resort developed as part of a new partnership between Karisma and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville lifestyle brand. It is set to open on March 18 along a stretch of Riviera Maya coastline and will offer such “barefoot luxury” amenities as flip-flops and welcome drinks upon arrival. The resort comprises 148 guestrooms and suites, along with four pools, four restaurants, six specialty bars, including a License to Chill Bar and 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, and an 8,000-square-foot St. Somewhere Spa, by Karisma.

Rates are Island Reserve Inclusive and cover accommodations, food, premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, 24-hour room service, Joe Merchant’s In-Room Bar Experience and Island Ambassador service. Also planned is a second Riviera Maya property, which will be accessible from the Cancun airport, as well as resorts in Jamaica and Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic

AMResorts is kicking off 2020 with a pair of new “Unlimited Luxury” resorts in Cancun. The Now Natura Riviera Cancun opened in late January, 10 miles south of Cancun’s airport. The 534-room property has a nature-inspired design, incorporating cenotes and waterfalls. Also on the property are a lazy river and other water park amenities, as well as a grotto bar. 

Dreams Vista Cancun is slated to open in early February with 232 rooms, including family suites that can accommodate up to six people. Also on property will be a rooftop pool and a surf pool. Additionally, since the resort will be adjacent to the gated community of Puerto Cancun, a water taxi will provide complimentary shuttle service to the community’s luxury shopping mall. 

Also preparing for a March debut is Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun. Occupying a stretch of shoreline in Costa Mujeres, just north of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, it will, of course, have entertainment experiences and Hollywood memorabilia, as well as a spa, four swimming pools, a lazy river, trampoline park, kids / teens club, a mini golf course, nine bars and 16 restaurants, including Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint

Looking further ahead, Grupo Posadas, a Mexico-based hotel company that operates 16 La Coleccion resorts in Acapulco, Cancun, Chetumal, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel de Allende, is reportedly planning two new hotels in Tulum. The Fiesta Americana Tulkal Riviera Maya will have 735 guestrooms, while the Live Aqua Beach Resort Tulkal will have 349 guestrooms. Both properties are slated for completion in 2021. (La Coleccion is also set to open its first resort outside Mexico in March: Live Aqua Beach Resort Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic). 

Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, above, slated to open in March, will have plenty of entertainment and dining experiences, and a kids / teen club, among other amenities.

On Los Flamingos beach in the Riviera Nayarit, Hotel Riu Vallarta has reopened following a full refurbishment. The revamped lobby has kept its high ceilings and columns, complemented by large lamps and works of art, but it has added a new central skylight over the reception desk. The rooms have been decorated in warm tones contrasting with green plant motifs on the upholstery. 

The project also added three new culinary options. Il Gusto is the resort’s new Italian restaurant, joined by the debut of Pepe’s Food and a new steakhouse. The Kulinarium and Asian Nirvana restaurants were updated, and the resort’s main restaurant, Don Rafael, received a larger terrace and an air-conditioned area. Guests can also enjoy drinks and aperitifs in the lobby bar, Astoria; the lounge bar, La Boheme; a sports bar, the La Plaza bar and the swimming pool bar, Mezcal

Following the renovation, the hotel has a total of five pools, one of them with a swim-up bar and another with slides for the kids. The pool area was also reworked to allow guests to enjoy views of a sea and sky panorama while swimming or sunbathing. 

Activities on property include the RiuFit area and sports ranging from windsurfing to beach volleyball. There are also live music events and other shows, plus guests can join the Riu parties held once a week right next door at the Hotel Riu Jalisco. Club RiuLand also offers a variety of child-friendly activities. 

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, an all-inclusive hotel brand with four Quintana Roo, Mexico, properties — in Akumal, Sian Ka’an, Coba and Tulum — as well as hotels in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Spain, has announced a corporate rebranding under parent company Grupo Piñero. The company says the rebranding will highlight the brand’s evolution and growth, while also maintaining its family essence. The rebranding is reflected in the brand’s new campaign, “So Much to Come.”

To consolidate the brand’s positioning, reinforce its family essence and advocate for its sustainable developments, Grupo Piñero says it will work with three key strategic axes: Innovation and Development, Digitalization and Sustainability.

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