The first thing that captured my attention at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Dunamar was the stylish mid-century modern-inspired interiors. The property boasts 740 guestrooms designed with clean lines and a bold blue-and-white color scheme that exudes modernist cool.
Located on Quintana Roo’s stunning Costa Mujeres Beach, some 18 miles from Cancun’s hotel zone, the Hotel Riu Dunamar opened in December 2017 and one of its most impressive features, aside from its cool look, is its beach with its white sands and clear waters. Guests can enjoy free sun loungers as well as water activities such as kayaking, paddle surf, Hobie Cat, boogie board, wave runner and snorkeling. The lengthy expanse of the beach is also perfect for long walks and getting some quiet time with nature.
Discover the Property
Guests will find five pools, including a children’s pool and an adults-only pool with a swim-up bar. For those seeking more aquatic excitement, Splash Water World offers 4-lane body slides, a free-fall slide, and an exhilarating tube slide.
For a more sedate afternoon, recommend the Renova Spa, where I opted for the 80-minute Ixchel Massage.
Culinary options abound, ranging from the poolside steakhouse Las Brasas; Pompeya, offering Italian cuisine; Bamboo, an Asian restaurant; and Isla Mujeres, the resort’s main restaurant that features themed buffets and live cooking stations. Tell clients not to leave the property without having dinner and cocktails at Kulinarium, which features fusion cuisine and is the only restaurant at the property that requires a reservation. I tried the ceviche tasting platter as an appetizer, featuring Peruvian-style seabass, Mexican shrimp and Nikkei-style tuna, followed by an entree of barbecued grouper with yucca and mojo sauce.
There are also six bars to choose from, including the poolside Tequila Bar and Mezcal Bar, which hosts lively beach parties in the evening. Other options are the sophisticated Plaza Bar and Bolero Lounge Bar, plus the El Jardin lobby bar and a sports bar. There’s also the Pacha nightclub, open until the early hours with DJs playing the latest in reggaeton.
For those who want an authentic taste of their surroundings, recommend the expedition to the Chac Moc Chuc lagoon with RIU partner ScubaCaribe. Part of the excursion includes undergoing a purification ceremony performed by a Mayan shaman before getting into a boat that takes guests across the lagoon and deep into the mangrove swamp. Here, they’ll learn about the mangrove trees, their important role in the local eco-system, and the conservation efforts that strive to keep this pristine natural environment intact. They’ll then head deep into the dense swamps on the hunt for crocodiles, which tend to sun themselves at the waterside and swim around the boat.
For an off-property dinning option, head to the Mar-Bella Fish Market Raw Bar & Grill in Isla Mujeres, a well-hidden gem popular with locals and boasting idyllic views over the harbor and cool Caribbean breezes. When there’s a row of fishing boats right outside the restaurant, you know you’re about to eat some fresh seafood. Our feast included flavorful shrimp, octopus and fried catfish.
“We offer special rates for travel agents through our program Riu Partner Club,” says Javier Monje, director of sales and contracting in the Mexican Caribbean area for RIU Hotels & Resorts. “One of the main goals is to provide the best training for the travel agents and invite them to get to know the product first-hand, by earning points with every booking that they can exchange for free stays at our resorts. We believe that this is the best way to enable travel agents to recommend the hotel that best meets our customers’ expectations.”
Hotel Riu Dunamar: