Rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancun, set to open in 2018.
Rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancun, set to open in 2018.

Checking In
Look across Mexico and you’ll see an array of new hotels opening up their doors to welcome visitors in the coming year. The new, 119-room W Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit, for example, is part of the multi-use oceanfront development, Los Veneros, and its design is inspired by the local bohemian surf culture. It offers an intimate spa; several restaurants, including Mesa1, privately situated on an island in the middle of a spring-fed lake; and a 4,460-sq.-ft., 2-bedroom Extreme WOW Suite whose design is inspired by the Mexican Flag—the red is found in the tiles of the pool, the green in the surrounding vegetation, and the white in the expansive views of the crashing waves on the beach seen from the suite’s private terrace. The center focal point of the suite is the pool that circles around the suite’s island-like living room and can only be accessed by a small wooden bridge above the water. “Wow” is right! There’s another fabulous suite in Punta Mita, the Sol Suite, which doubled in size to nearly 7,000 sq. ft. following a multi-million dollar renovation of its host hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. It features five oceanfront bedrooms and is set upon a private clifftop with endless ocean views. Resort renovations also led to a newly enhanced spa, revamped suites, and a renovated adults-only pool. For something completely new, look to the 834-acre luxury private resort community of Rancho San Lucas in Cabo San Lucas. It’s set to debut in winter 2017, with a Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course, plus residences, but, most importantly for you, it will be home to the 89-room Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas Resort, Golf & Spa, set to debut in December 2017.

Grand Velas Los Cabos.
Grand Velas Los Cabos.

This month sees the opening of the beachfront Grand Velas Los Cabos, with 340 oceanview suites, all over 1,180 sq. ft. with private terraces and personal plunge pools. There are also five gourmet restaurants, a 35,000-sq.-ft. spa with 20 treatment rooms, three pools, including an adults-only one, and pool and beach concierges. And if you’re looking long-term toward 2018, keep an eye on AMResorts’ boutiquey, 120-room Zoëtry Chamela Costalegre Mexico, located just 90 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. It will be located in the heart of Chamela Bay next to the upscale Zafiro development, home to Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy’s (LVMH) Cheval Blanc hotel and an 18-hole Robert von Hagge
golf course.

On the country’s east coast, Karisma Hotels & Resorts will unleash a boatload of family-friendly fun on the Riviera Maya when it opens a Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts property in December of next year. The property will feature 288 spacious swim-up suites, each with its own pool on a private terrace or balcony, and many of the amenities will mirror its sister property in Punta Cana, which opened this past summer. On the other hand, for clients seeking an adults-only retreat, Grupo Posadas’ Lat 20 by Live Aqua All Inclusive Adults Only has been rebranded as Live Aqua Boutique Resort Playa del Carmen, encompassing the Live Aqua lifestyle brand of La Coleccion. Located in Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida, this intimate chic resort is made up of 60 rooms and suites, and offers several dining options, including Chef’s Kitchen, a rooftop restaurant with views of the Caribbean and Cozumel Island where the chef designs a new menu daily based on the freshest ingredients available from local markets. For those seeking a colonial-style retreat, a Live Aqua property will open in San Miguel de Allende in 2018.

In Cancun, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort has unveiled a new resort concept, the Moon Grand—expansion highlights include the addition of more than 900 guestrooms, a new expansive lobby, seven outdoor pools, including two adults-only swimming pools with a live DJ spinning poolside, five swim-up bars, an elaborate beach club, children’s waterpark, gymnasium, and Awe-Spa.

A pair of Riu properties, as well as two more Hard Rock hotels, are set to make a splash in different destinations across Mexico. In Isla Mujeres, the all-inclusive, 700-room Hotel Riu Dunamar will open in 2017, while 2018 will see the opening of the Hotel Riu Huatulco in Conejos Bay, the easternmost bay of the Huatulco Bays.

The 600-room Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos and the 1,790-room Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancun, meanwhile, are set to open in 2018. The latter will have four villa suites with sky lounges, seven restaurants, and five bars—for starters. The more intimate Los Cabos property will have six restaurants, and both family-friendly and adults-only sections.

Up, Up & Away
Air service is also on the rise, no pun intended. Riviera Nayarit, for example, will be getting a total of four new routes from LAX via Interjet, and beginning this month, both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines will offer nonstops daily from LAX. Delta Air Lines, too, will be launching daily nonstop services from New York-JFK to Cancun and from Los Angeles to Los Cabos, as well as from Kansas City to Cancun. Aeromexico has also announced a new route, from Monterrey to Detroit, that will set off next month. This is the airline’s sixth international destination served from Monterrey, including Houston, Las Vegas, New York City, San Antonio, and its seasonal service to Denver.

Cool Offer

For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience, the boutique 8-room Casa Lucila hotel in Mazatlan has launched a girls-only retreat, the Lucila Ladies package, which includes overnight accommodations; a private beach yoga session for up to six people; a $40 daily F&B credit, which can be used for an alfresco brunch by the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool, with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean; a private cooking class at Lucila’s Restaurant; and a pulmonia trip to Plaza Machado, where shops and pop-up merchants line the cobblestone streets. Rates start at $359 per night dbl; must book at least two weeks in advance.