“Bienvenida a casa [welcome home]” was the first thing I heard when I walked up the steps to the lobby of the 900-room Hotel Xcaret, which opened last December in Riviera Maya. This “welcome home” message is one I heard repeatedly during my stay. While I was checking in, I was greeted by one of the hotel employees with an array of homemade popsicles—some infused with alcohol—to enjoy while I waited for my room. The next day, our property guide, Fabiola Fernandez, informed us that the hotel focuses on the “mi casa, es tu casa [my home, is your home]” philosophy. “Hmm…now that greeting makes perfect sense,” I thought.
In fact, each of the five buildings on property are each a “casa”: Casa Viento, for families and adults; Casa Tierra, focused on families and where the kiddie pool, and kids and teen clubs are located; Casa Agua, an adults-only building and the home of the Muluk Spa and wellness center; and Casa Espiral, which is recommended for groups and wedding guests as the event rooms are located there. Accommodations at Casa Agua all have a tub on their balcony, plus get complimentary access to the spa’s hydrotherapy ritual; this “casa” will open March-April (the Mayan-inspired Muluk Spa is now open).
Accommodations come with bright Mexican pink hues, and a traditional Mexican hammock draped on the balcony, and range from Suites to the Master Suites (either adults-only or family).
While exploring the property, guests will come upon unique features, including a floating infinity pool at the rooftop adults-only pool area, and the onsite Catholic church, All Saints Chapel, sitting atop a pyramid. Though the chapel is Catholic, ceremonies of any denomination will be available; the chapel is set to open April 2018 along with the multipurpose rooms located in the pyramid.
A Natural Vibe
The architects and developers spent about nine years researching the area and designing what this property would come to be. All of that invested time is evident in every detail. Paola Fuentes, the hotel’s public relations manager, says, “To represent Mexico’s finest, we contracted local artisans. For example, all the bathroom tiles were hand-painted by a local community; at turndown, guests receive candy personally crafted by a Jalisco family; and cushion covers throughout the property were woven by women from the Chiapas area.
“The best aspect of Hotel Xcaret,” she adds, “is that the property not only captures the true essence of Mexican culture, but it also showcases our love and respect of our natural surroundings. This is visible throughout every corner of the property.”
In fact, the decor adds a distinct Mexican vibe to the property, complemented by natural surroundings such as onsite rainforest trails, playones and cenotes. The latter are there for guests to bathe in, or if they prefer, they can go paddleboarding or kayaking, as I did one afternoon, gliding in complete serenity under bridges and through caves. My kayak exploration lasted about an hour-and-a-half, but guests can go out for as long, or as little, as they’d like as the kayaks and paddleboards are complimentary.
And, after all that workout, there are 10 restaurants and eight bars on property, ranging from HA’ where guests can feast on a meal prepped by Michelin-star chef and “Top Chef” contestant, Carlos Gaytan, to Fuego Restaurant, the adults-only eatery.
Get Out and Explore
Guests staying at Hotel Xcaret get access to all of the Xcaret parks. Notes Fuentes, “The ‘all-fun inclusive’ concept is core to what we offer at Hotel Xcaret, and is one of the strategic pillars of the Destino Xcaret project. We invite travel agents to highlight the ‘all-fun inclusive’ concept as one of the property’s unique selling points. Guests who book a stay at Hotel Xcaret are privy to unlimited access to Grupo Experiencias Xcaret’s eight nature parks and tours in addition to the property’s first-class accommodations, high-quality amenities and a carefully crafted culinary offering.”
She adds that, “Additionally, we are working on adding the hotel to an already existing program we have for the parks, called Xcaret Sales Expert, through our network platform. The platform allows agents to be certified online on our courses (for free) on how to market our products and offerings, as well as assisting with point of sale solutions. Becoming an affiliate of this program will also grant the agents perks such as special offers, exclusive information, free park entry tickets, or souvenirs, on top of the commission.”
For guests who might not have the time to explore all the parks, Fuentes suggests “visit our signature and first park, Xcaret.”
Room rates start at $380 per night dbl; Family Suites (up to four) start at $900.
Hotel Xcaret: hotelxcaret.com
For more information on Destino Xcaret, don’t miss this story.