Rejuvenate your spirit in a Zen resort along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Yucatan awaits – where understated luxury is a way of life. Here are four hotels to heat up the romance.
Wedged between the Mayan jungle and the sea, Nest Tulum is like staying at your own private beachfront villa. One of Tulum’s original properties, Nest’s minimalist design coupled with the tranquil palm setting makes a stay here downright intoxicating. Each morning you’ll look forward to putting your feet in the silky sand with complimentary Mexican breakfast made to order.
Dreamy beach beds keep guests shaded after dips in the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and make a perfect respite as drinks and lunch are delivered to your beachside oasis with friendly service. Just a short walk down the beach, swim out to snorkel with no one in sight. Guests can hop on Nest’s free bikes to explore the town, shop, dip into a cenote, or grab tacos. The location has maintained the Tulum charm as Nest is located at the southern end of the strip in one of the best areas.
At night, heat up the romance as torches in the sand guide your way through leafy palms to a candlelit dinner paired with warm breezes, feeling magical. The rustic petite Boho bar serves up tequila and Mezcal cocktails and a local menu serves up fresh Yucatan ceviche, shrimp aquachile, local fish, pasta with seafood, and tacos.
Choose from 12 guest rooms or a four-bedroom villa. Ocean view or garden suite, all rooms have air conditioning and unique furnishings. The twi-bedroom top-floor garden suite is like a dreamy apartment styled in a rustic chic minimalist way with numerous hammocks indoors and out, a concrete floor with throw rugs, and a massive tub. Complimentary yoga or spa appointments can be booked at their sister property across the street, La Valise.
The intimacy of Nest makes it the best experience. Trust me, you will never want to leave the relaxed ambiance.
Right next door to Nest, absorb the Nomade life with the resort’s BoHo jungle Moroccon personality. Larger than Nest with 38 Zen rooms, 20 suites, 5 treehouses, and 36 luxury-style Nomade tents (some with full outdoor private bathrooms), stay in one of Nomade’s transformative rooms built beneath large canopies and designed to preserve the integrity of the environment.
It’s easy to feel one with nature here. Connect with the environment as you may spot a gold beetle or a turtle hatching from its shell. Steps from the pristine beach, dine under the stars with your toes in the sand or at a communal table fashioned from a tree trunk at the open-air restaurant serving local, fresh, sustainable catches. Breakfast takes inspiration from colorful ingredients and aromatic flavors of the Middle East with multi-courses of fresh fruit, yogurt, shakshuka, and breakfast bowls in an open-air communal Moroccon-style lounge den.
Luxuriate at this soulful property with a soak in one of the intimate beachside reflecting pools or a rest on a beachside cabana set against the turquoise sea. At night, live music sets the mood in this candlelit oasis under a canopy of stars with a beach bonfire built nearby.
Reboot your system and embrace Nomade’s holistic approach with a carefully curated wellness program with complimentary classes such as yoga, breathwork, and ice baths counseled by Master Danny in a beautiful wooden open-air angular structure.
It is impossible to not feel rejuvenated here.
Each night we raced to the top floor of Hotel Panamera for sunset atop the jungle, as the expert mixologists crafted artisanal Mezcal cocktails muddled with housemade syrups and juices, and a DJ set at the bar to match the ocean jungle vibes. This sexy 14-room oceanfront boutique hotel with a stunning rectangular bottom floor pool feels like a slice of Cuban Miami in Tulum with checkered handmade tiles, giant clay potted plants, striped pool loungers, and fringed umbrellas. Step into this laid-back luxe environment with your lover for the ultimate respite.
In the thatched roof restaurant with French windows opening to the beach, nosh on shrimp tacos, tuna tostadas, and grilled octopus. Breakfast like avo on toast, chia pudding, or waffles with fruit and agave can be taken in your room. Spice up the romance with a spa treatment in your sleek white minimalist room, some with personal outdoor jacuzzis and views of the sea. Unique features here include a dog menu, a coworking hub, and special events like a chef’s table, full moon ceremonies, and movie nights.
UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya
The all-inclusive adults-only property is for the sophisticated traveler as the design of UNICO’s 448 guest room resort is inspired by the character of the Riviera Maya, incorporating many natural and handmade materials sourced within the area. Situated on a white sand beach ready for your daily Caribbean dips, guests can alternate between beach relaxation on a lounge chair with food and drink service to soaks in one of the 3 pools, swim-up bars, or spa tubs.
Located above Akumal and Tulum in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula and about an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive south of Cancun, Unico is ideal for guests who don’t wish to leave the resort as there are numerous bars, restaurants (Modern Mexican, Italian, Steak and Seafood Poolside Café, and Japanese with hibachi and sushi), and indoor-outdoor lounge areas plus amenities like a full-service beauty salon and spa, barbershop, and artisanal boutique shops.
From a personal concierge host who can assist your every need via a quick text, daily enrichment activities and entertainment opportunities abound like dance lessons, mixology and cooking classes, chocolate workshops, art experiences, and a Mexican 1940s-style cabaret show. A cocktail class makes a great break from the sun – where you can learn the history of popular drinks and how to concoct a refreshing margarita. For those who crave working out while away, a 24-hour gym is available, or fun exercise options in the pool like Volleyball, HydroPilates and Aqua Spinning.
Most guest rooms boast oceanfront views with grand terrace decks complete with couches and outdoor double hydro spa tubs. Each bright spacious room is beautifully decorated with a mix of modern luxury with rustic Mexican details, custom-designed furniture, and local art pieces. Rooms feel like sanctuaries that even helped me rejuvenate and sleep soundly as guests can choose from a pillow menu and customizable aromatherapy scents for the in-room diffusers. Bathrooms include rainfall showers and hand showers – with locally made herbal bath products from Botanicus. Two-bedroom suites and villas are available as well.
Popular amongst wedding parties or bachelorette/girl getaways, the ground floor rooms with hammocks and swim-up pools are a preferred option with an adjoining long pool connecting the rooms. Plus, no one needs to worry about splitting the check as all food and alcohol are included.
A real stunner is the Alto Panoramic Ocean View room above the quiet Hidden Pool and the sprawling sea. Unico provides around-the-clock room service and the possibility to tailor your mini-bar with your preferred spirit, ingredients, and garnishes. We enjoyed fruit smoothies, shrimp ceviche, mushroom and cheese quesadillas, and red wine from Mexico’s Valle delivered to the room as well as SOOI Mexican chocolate bars left at turn down. Although there are Nespresso coffee machines in rooms, the lobby Coffee Bar makes an exciting stop for freshly squeezed juice medleys and specialty coffees like Mexican Mochas with a display of readily available Mexican doughnuts, cookies, and pastries.
During the summer, Unico excites guests with a popular gastronomy series called Superbia Summer where a star-powered lineup of guest chefs, mixologists, and artisans showcase their talent from all over the world.
No stay is complete without checking out The Esencia Spa – encompassing almost 18,000 square feet and offering indulgent treatments like the best massage we’ve ever had – with hydrotherapy facilities like plunge pools, sauna room, hammam, and steam, and an exterior common area for total relaxation. For those who want to explore off-property, Cancun Adventures offers unforgettable day trips to visit nearby Tulum ruins, explore Dreams Cenote, snorkel in Akumal, and lunch at a beach club. A big thanks to UNICO for hosting our stay so we could provide this detailed review of our experience.
Get away from it all with a stay in the Mexican Riviera Maya.
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