You might not think of Riviera Maya, Mexico as an adventure destination…well, think again! It’s not my style to give a review of a hotel that I have not yet experienced. In this case, I am breaking that rule because I am a travel professional who believes that both the Pacific and Yucatan areas of Mexico offer wonderful vacation experiences. The Hotel Xcaret (pronounced “ish-ka-ray”)opened it’s doors on December 1 on a jungle compound near the popular Xcaret Park.
This is a mega resort of 900 suites and is one of the first in the Americas to receive the EarthCheck Certification for planning and design. Built around nature, it is fully committed to being distinctly Mexican and was custom-made, from furnishings to artwork, in Mexico. It is devoted to Mexican and Mayan culture, history and heritage.
I have heard from industry friends that this is something special; entering the compound along a winding jungle road and arriving to the infinity pool that leads to the Caribbean Sea is just the beginning. The adventurer in me is very excited in the fact that a stay here will include entrance to all of the “X” parks. Here’s more directly from Wikipedia:
Xcaret Park (Spanish: el parque Xcaret is a privately owned and operated theme park, resort and self-described ecotourism development located in the Riviera Maya, a portion of the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s state of Quintana Roo. It is part of Xcaret Experiencias Group which also owns the Xplor Park, Xel-Ha Park, and Xenses Park; as well as the Xichen, Xenotes, and Xoximilco tours and activities. It is situated approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) south of Cancún, and 6.5 kilometres (4 mi) south of the nearest large settlement Playa del Carmen along Highway 307. It is named after the nearby archaeological site Xcaret, a settlement constructed by the pre-Columbian Maya some of whose structures lie within the boundaries of the park’s 81 hectares (200 acres) of land holdings.
Here’s more. To quote an article in a February 5, 2018 Travel Weekly magazine by Meagan Drillinger, “this is only the beginning. The resort property itself is built to be reminiscent of the Xcaret Park with a Jurassic Park-meets-Mayan city vibe. The all-suite buildings have facades of rugged white stone, each with a balcony or swim-up terrace and hammock.
The vines are just starting to creep their way around the stony faces, and with time the buildings will be entirely shrouded. And extensive network of paths across the hotel property leads to secret beaches, caves and coves that both kids and adults will love to explore and discover.”
Very soon there will be a Mexican style riverboat to transport guests into Xcaret Park. The all-inclusive luxurious hotel has ten restaurants and bars, with one called Las Cuevas cut out of the natural caves below the resort. The “HA” restaurant is a Michelin-starred experience available at an additional cost.
Each of the five casas has a theme: adults only, luxury adult, family, luxury family and wellness. The Mulak Spa takes it up a notch with individual caves, hydrotherapy pools and Jacuzzi, steam rooms and even a temezcal (Mayan sweat lodge).
Word has it that the company will open an additional 11 hotels, a stadium and two more theme parks over the next few years. The Mayan people ruled the jungles of southern Mexico and Central America for more than 3,000 years. This is a wonderful tribute to that lost culture.