Cancun is legendary for its nightlife scene and spirited adults-only entertainment offerings, but north of the Hotel Zone hustle, on a pristine peninsula flanked by a white-powder sand beach, lies a more subdued all-inclusive property—the 450-suite luxury resort Finest Playa Mujeres, part of Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts. Sun, Spa, Service
While most of my time at Finest was spent hopping from one activity to the next, I did take advantage of my Excellence Club-level status. Although the resort welcomes all ages, I highly recommend you book guests 18 and over at the Excellence Club level, where they’ll enjoy express check-in service, late check-out and upgraded en-suite services such as daily fruit and petit fours, complimentary newspaper in room daily, and one Aqua Hydrotherapy treatment pp per stay at ONE Spa, as well as a dedicated lounge with concierge desk, small bite buffet area, bar service and casual Bistro eatery. Accommodations range from the Excellence Club Pool Junior Swim-up Suites to the Imperial Suite Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool.
I took advantage of this VIP-style status by grabbing a tropical drink at the private pool bar and an in-demand partially shaded beach chair in the members-only private beach area. While I relaxed, other guests were salsa dancing on the pool deck and participating in a coco loco and ceviche cooking lesson. Younger guests, too, are entertained, with 27,000 sq. ft. of playground and sports facilities at their fingertips, including a Mayan-pyramid water playground with slides, a rock-climbing wall, zipline, mini theater and mini spa.
At the end of each adventure-filled day, I returned to my beach chic, 800-sq.-ft. Excellence Club Junior Suite Ocean Front accommodation to unwind in the in-room over-sized jacuzzi built for two. These suites come with an expansive private balcony accented by sleek lounge furniture, a mini-bar stocked with beer, juices, soft drinks, water and snacks, and 24-hour room service.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Between paddleboarding, tennis, water-aerobics, beach volleyball, Spanish lessons, archery, fitness classes and the multitude of other activities available during the day, you’d think resort guests would be ready to call it a night after dinner. But when the evening’s diversions include DJ sessions, casino games and a Michael Jackson show, sleep is secondary. Whether they shared in my peripatetic travel style or were guided by staff recommendations, at nightfall, many guests were still soaking up Finest’s lively atmosphere—an intangible quality that truly resonated with me, and is ideal for clients planning a girlfriends getaway, guys weekend, or a multigenerational family vacation.
On the other hand, couples looking to spend a more intimate evening together can slip away to enjoy a torchlit dinner for two on the beach. Excellence Group specializes in romance, “so no matter what brand you book you always have that feeling of a romantic setting for couples,” says David Torres, director of sales, Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts.
Foodies, too, will be able to have their cake and eat it, too—quite literally—as the resort offers 10 dining options, including Lizo, serving globally inspired dishes as well as authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex specialties; the adults-only Parisian cafe-esque restaurant Le Petit Plaisir; and the Mediterranean-flavored Insieme Trattoria. There’s also one beachside snack grill and one sports bar. Add in the option to dine on unlimited lobster from sun up to sun down and you can expect a glowing post-vacation follow-up call from well-fed clients. For the February 2017 starting rates are $867 per couple per night for the Junior Suite Spa or Pool View.
Take note: To keep agents knowledgeable and able to speak with confidence about its products, Excellence Group offers FAM trip opportunities throughout the year.