Honeymoon guide: Romantic resorts on Mexico’s Caribbean coast
The resorts along Mexico’s Caribbean coast have enough variety to please the most demanding honeymooners. Here they’ll find luxury resorts, eco-chic properties, resorts that hum with activity, and those that have a more subdued, sophisticated vibe. They can keep things simple by choosing an all-inclusive resort, or choose a pay-as-you go property, which encourages getting off-resort to explore the locale.
Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita
If Dos Equis’ ”The Most Interesting Man in the World” were to go on vacation, he’d pick a place like Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita. It’s a high-end all-inclusive luxury resort with a five-diamond AAA rating, stunning beachfront setting and public and private spaces showcasing museum-quality art. On arrival, guests are greeted by huge Balinese dragons — authentic pieces of art. As a person moves through the resort, it just keeps getting better, with amazing décor and interior furnishings collected from around the world in all 90 suites. While Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita is an all-inclusive resort, it operates at a higher level. Dining is top-notch, rooms have Bvlgari amenities, and the spa specializes in thalassotherapy treatments using seawater, seaweed and marine mud. Included in the rate is a shopping trip by boat to nearby Puerto Morelos, as well as a complimentary sunset catamaran ride. Honeymooners will find Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita to be a luxurious oasis, and the resort offers a complimentary Art of Romance Honeymoon Package with $1,800 of credits and amenities.
Viceroy Riviera Maya
If the Mexican Caribbean has a center of hipness, it would have to be the beach town of Playa del Carmen. Travelers from all over the world jet in for the nightlife, dining, shopping, and the town’s first-rate beach. The adults-only Viceroy Riviera Maya is an elegant resort located just outside Playa del Carmen, in Playa Xcalacoco. The beachfront property has 41 palapa-roofed villas furnished with canopy beds and hand-carved stone dining tables. Villas also have their own private patios, hammocks and plunge pools. Honeymooners may want to consider booking one of the beachfront villas, which open right onto the beach. Viceroy Riviera Maya also has a spa, a lagoon pool with sundeck, daily Hatha yoga classes, and two restaurants serving a fusion Mediterranean/Mayan cuisine. The Viceroy is perfect for couples who want to combine a luxurious resort stay with easy access to the social swirl of colorful Playa del Carmen. Online rates around $655 a night.
There’s bespoke luxury — the type a person would find at a Ritz-Carlton — and then there’s rustic luxury, where natural materials such as stone and wood are assembled in such a way that a feeling of well-being abounds. This is what guests will find at Azulik, a villa beachfront resort in Tulum, further down the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Azulik is adults-only and gay-friendly, with an eco-conscious spirit. The property’s 15 luxury villas feature sea views and some have their own stairways directly to the beach below. The Azulik Honeymoon Villa is three stories high, with two private decks, an outdoor plunge pool, a Balinese bed and a shower (the only villa with a shower; the rest have mosaic tile bathtubs). The resort also has a spa, daily yoga classes and an onsite restaurant. The beach is clothing-optional, something to definitely know about in advance. Choose Azulik if you’re a couple looking for rustic high-style and a close-to-nature vibe at a non-inclusive resort. Online rates around $545 a night.
NIZUC Resort & Spa
While NIZUC Resort & Spa in Cancun is a large resort (274 suites and private villas), it still manages to provide a sedate and sophisticated beach vacation experience.
Punta Nizuc, where the resort is located, is a luxury enclave just south of Cancun’s hotel zone.
If relative peace and quiet are desired, the resort’s Ocean Suites are kid-free. Honeymooners will also want to take a close look at NIZUC’s Private Pool Villas; these have rainfall showers, outdoor showers and their own infinity pool and waterfall. Altogether the resort has five pools, an award-winning ESPA spa, a cigar lounge and six restaurants serving Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean and Peruvian cuisine. NIZUC Resort & Spa is a good choice for honeymooners looking for an extra measure of luxury and sophistication. Advertised rates $790 a night.
Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
It’s difficult not to crack a smile when staying at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. There’s a constant soundtrack of Billboard’s greatest hits playing in the background, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia is everywhere, and spirits are high. If romantic-minded travelers enjoy a high-energy all-inclusive resort and they don’t mind sharing the scene with families with kids, then the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is a great choice. The 601-room resort has five restaurants, seven bars and lounges, a gigantic pool overlooking the beach, and a full-service spa that includes outdoor palapa-style massage areas. A fun new touch is the addition of turntables in each room, giving guests the option to spin vinyl for a retro experience. Honeymooners should consider booking the Rock Royalty Level, where they’ll receive such services as a 25-minute complimentary couple’s massage, and the attention of their own Rock Royalty Personal Assistant. Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is offering up to $3,600 in resort credits that couples can use for spa visits, tours and upgrades.