The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun is part of a multimillion-dollar investment by Palace Resorts. // © 2017 Palace Resorts
Feature image (above): At least five new hotels have opened in Cancun this year. // © 2017 Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau
After wrapping up a record-breaking 2016 in terms of visitor numbers, Cancun has lots to celebrate in 2017 — including at least five new hotels with more than 2,300 hotel rooms, ongoing renovations at existing properties and plans for airport expansion. Together with a variety of special events in the coming months, Mexico’s biggest tourism destination is providing plenty of new reasons to visit.
“Closing out a successful year, we are very confident about 2017 and the continued growth of the destination,” said Lizzie Cole Guerrero, CEO of the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau. “With the rise in flights from the U.S. and Canada, it will be easier than ever for tourists to visit Cancun and take advantage of the new hotels and top-notch activities and events that are scheduled for 2017.”
A variety of new hotels at various price points and locations are opening in and around Cancun. Among the most recent openings is the 141-room Hampton Inn by Hilton Cancun Cumbres, which opened this spring near Pabellon Cumbres Mall, with a fitness center, an outdoor pool and free breakfast.
Cancun International Airport, which is in the process of expansion, is to debut a new-build, 126-room on-site hotel. Its name and opening date have yet to be announced. A new fourth terminal at the airport, meanwhile, is expected to increase the facility’s overall capacity, making way for the possibility of more flights.
Also in the works is Hotel Ushuaia Cancun, a 600-room, adults-only property owned by Palladium Hotel Group that is to open by the end of this year at the site of the former Hotel El Pueblito, which is currently closed. Slated to open in 2018 is mega-hotel Riu Costa Mujeres, located at Playa Mujeres on Isla Mujeres. Tourism officials are awaiting further details about a proposed all-inclusive Royalton Resorts property, as well. Farther south, Hotel Xcaret, a 900-room oceanfront resort on the grounds of Xcaret Park, is to open by December. Hotel Xcaret is to be the first hotel to hold a certification from EarthCheck, an international tourism advisory group that analyzes sustainable measures.
Existing hotels in and near Cancun are upping their offerings in several ways. In April, Oasis Hotels & Resorts opened the new Oasis Arena, which has nearly 30,000 square feet of event space, plus outdoor decks, a beach club stage and more than 20,000 square feet of poolside terraces. The arena debuted on April 15 with a performance by reggaeton musician Maluma and will host a variety of performers throughout the year.
Also sporting new features is Palace Resorts, which unveiled a new concept, The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun, as part of a $450-million-dollar investment. And Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun is to finish up a multimillion-dollar revamp in August, when the adults-only property will reopen with restyled rooms and public areas.
New amenities for kids debuted in April at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, which opened a new, 16,145-square-foot outdoor section of its Kidz Club.
Activities and Attractions
Shopaholics will find new ways to exercise their plastic in Cancun once Kukulcan Plaza shopping center completes a renovation this year. Meanwhile, art lovers might appreciate the splashy new colors of the giant murals now covering several buildings downtown and in the hotel zone as part of a public art project, which features the work of artists from several countries.
Nature lovers should mark their calendars for the upcoming Whale Shark Festival, scheduled for July 20-23 on Isla Mujeres, which celebrates the world’s largest fish during the peak season for swimming with them. Also popular is sea turtle egg-laying season, which takes place between May and November. Multiple hotels offer programs dedicated to protecting the creatures, allowing participants to help release baby turtles into the sea once they’ve hatched.
Travelers who love music might want to consider a trip when Ricky Martin takes to the stage on July 15 at the Andres Quintana Roo stadium.