Whoever said “getting there is half the fun” traveled before most airlines became buses in the sky. While we love the anticipation of a great trip as much as anyone, there’s something to be said for landing at your destination and being on the beach, cocktail in hand, less than an hour after touchdown. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Forbes Travel Guide Four-StarNizuc Resort & Spa in Punta Nizuc, a mere 10-minute ride from Cancun International Airport.
The 274-room property — its name means “nose of the dog” in Mayan — carries the amenities of a larger property (multiple restaurants, a massive spa and two private beaches). Yet it also has a level of privacy and serenity usually reserved for small boutique hotels, which can be attributed to its unique design as a complex of villas and residential buildings nestled into 29 acres of protected mangroves.
Check in and you’ll instantly feel a million miles from reality, without any of the hassle it usually takes to reach this level of seclusion.
The Plethora of Pools
There’s no shortage of water at Nizuc, thanks to three swimming pools, two beaches and private plunge pools in all suites and villas except Ocean Suites, the adults-only accommodations in the main building close to a tranquil pool where children are prohibited.
For even more exclusivity, we’d suggest a Garden Pool Villa, which lacks an ocean view but starts at an impressive 2,422 square feet. These spacious stays include a private outdoor living area anchored by an infinity-edge plunge pool with a waterfall, and extra perks like a gratis basket of pastries and coffee delivered to your room each morning by your personal butler.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a spot at Nizuc that isn’t picture-perfect, thanks to beautiful daytime water features, evening fire pits and candles that light up the resort with a sexy glow.
The property offers Instagram-worthy views from every spot, from the open-air lobby and striking, tree-dotted lagoons that provide the backdrop to the resort’s main entrance to the gratis lounge-cabanas along the beach that beg for taking in views of the Caribbean waters.
Additionally, all accommodations have at least 700 square feet of space as well as deep-soaking tubs, striking dark wood accents and unique Mayan-inspired décor, like a rock feature above the bed that contains replica hieroglyphics.
The stylish surroundings also give insight into why you’ll find plenty of on-trend guests here.
Service From the Heart
Staff throughout Nizuc greets every guest with a hand-to-heart motion that indicates welcome and a desire to serve. Whether it’s providing a golf cart ride to the spa, pouring another margarita or delivering an extra towel poolside, it’s almost as if the employees anticipate your needs before you can.
The Stay-All-Day Spa
Four-Star Nizuc Spa by ESPA — named to Forbes Travel Guide’s 2018 Verified List of the World’s Most Luxurious Spas — curates treatments with Mayan inspiration. Try Mayan Cacao, a massage that ends with a decadent cacao oil pour onto your forehead, an ancient technique used to help calm the mind.
Not that you’ll need much to find relaxation here, but the sleek entrance leads you over running waters and a small lagoon area, where check-in begins with ginger tea, a cookie and a cool towel.
Next, you’ll proceed to his-and-hers private thermal experience circuits for a full 60 minutes of bliss. This is a guided journey through sauna and steam rooms, rain showers and hydrotherapy pools, ending with a brief face, arm and scalp massage on a heated lounger. The whole adventure is timed so you’ll feel as if the spa is reserved just for you.
Treatments take place in individual cabanas that boast private gardens and showers, making it easy to while away a whole day here, if you so desire.
More Than Mexican
There’s plenty of stellar Mexican-inspired cuisine to go around at this beachfront beauty, from braised octopus and mole-coated chicken at fine-dining venue Ramona to more casual creations served at Café De La Playa’s bottomless breakfast buffet.
But we love that the Cancun hotel serves more than just local fare. Branch out at eateries like Peruvian lunch spot Ni, Italian dining room Terra Nostra, seaside grill La Punta or opt for something more exotic at Indochine. This Asian-fusion restaurant cooks up dishes such as fresh sushi, Peking duck and a miso sea bass that we’re still dreaming about.
You may have to extend your stay just to feel like you’ve tried it all.