It may take days to learn the layout of the expansive Hotel Xcaret Arte, but you’ll continually discover unique aspects throughout your stay in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Each area pays homage to a certain Mexican art form, like music, dance, weaving or pottery. The hotel provides workshops, studio space, numerous pools — both on the ground and on rooftops — and the sparkling ocean right alongside it all.
Opened in 2021, the all-inclusive, adults-only resort offers 10 places to eat, from high-end gastronomy experiences to a daily buffet filled with local delights and simple classics. Look around for street carts, too. While not actual Mexico City food stands, the pop-up eateries serve traditional fare such as tacos, hot dogs, marquesitas (a rolled wafer dessert), chili-dusted fruit and more. And you can always find an open bar, each with a distinctive signature cocktail.
A stay at Hotel Xcaret Arte also gives you access to all the other resorts (it’s a sister property to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotel Xcaret Mexico) and parks in the Xcaret family (Xcaret, Xel–Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xenses, Xoximilco and Xenotes). Transportation departs every 30 to minutes to these areas, where you can take a day trip to zip line through the forest, visit sting rays, explore a Cancun theme park and so much more. However, with so much to see and do at the resort, you need not ever leave.
Hotel Xcaret Arte has a wildness to it. Native plants cover the resort in both curated gardens and jungle-like enclaves. The landscape immerses you in nature, but you won’t stumble into an odd swamp or thicket of vines. This lush backdrop gives the property an all-encompassing beauty, present in everything from the alfresco restaurants to the rooftop pool to the winding walkways connecting some of the buildings.
Within all this, it’s easy to find secret and secluded spots, but with a refreshing margarita accessible nearby when needed. Listen for the daily concert, a mixture of live music and recorded tunes paired with a water show. Search for the hidden library. Take out a kayak or stand-up paddle board and traverse the smooth, turquoise waters of the river. Or look for tucked-away beaches and relax under a canopy of tropical plants, in a hammock or in the water’s gentle waves.
The Riviera Maya resort boasts 900 suites, all situated within the main buildings: Casa de los Artistas, Casa de la Música, Casa de la Paz, Casa de la Pirámide and Casa del Diseño. Each casa proves unique, and the name can help you navigate the vast grounds. For example, the Música space showcases live music and instrument-themed art, and the outdoor theater is nearby. Pirámide sits next to the giant pyramid, a point visible from many spots at the resort.
You can visit these casas and learn the nuances of each, except for Casa de los Artistas. This spot, near the infinity pool, is the only exclusive casa on the property. If staying in this building, you can see any other casa, but only those residing in the Artistas, or those with a special pass, can visit the rooftop pool, the painting studio and chef Roberto Solis’s Yucatan restaurant, Kibi-Kibi.
As the name of the resort suggests, art abounds. Each room features colorful décor and, depending on the casa, different pieces themed around dance, music, pottery and textiles. Each casa also hosts a workshop you can book. Learn traditional Mexican weaving, create a sculpture, take a cumbia dance class, and see what else stands out to you on the schedule.
Also, you can expect living art to pop up, too. A dip in the pool might include an interpretive dance performed near the water. After a visit to the spa, a lone violin might serenade you along the crystalline water. All this plus a handful of galleries highlighting Mexican art, handcrafted tiles, whimsical furniture and beautiful works scattered throughout the common spaces make the resort feel like an immersive museum.
During all this activity, work in some dining time at Hotel Xcaret Arte. The 10 eateries’ menus range from traditional Oaxacan fare at Cantina Viaipy to an artsy Mexican-Asian tasting menu at Chino Poblano to elevated Mediterranean food with a local twist at Cayuco. World-renowned chefs like Franco Maddalozzo, Roberto Solis and Paco Méndez lead the kitchens.
Make sure to reserve the sit-down restaurants in advance. Some, like Apapachoa, the 100-percent plant-based rooftop restaurant, are difficult to get into at the last minute. But it’s worth planning ahead to enjoy the carefully curated dishes featuring local ingredients and experience Mexico’s traditional hospitality.
Keep in mind that food exists outside the classic sit-down spots as well. Mexican street food carts pop up all day long. The rooftop pool turns out drinks and refreshing bites like octopus tacos, aguachile and guacamole. And if you want a quick bite to take to the room or on a stroll, the coffee shop opens early and stays open until late, serving gorgeous desserts, sandwiches, fruit and beverages.
You could spend a week at Hotel Xcaret Arte and never see or experience everything thing available, making repeat trips even more likely.