The pool at the Paradisus Riviera
When Sol Melia Hotel & Resorts pioneered the luxury,
all-inclusive concept at its Paradisus brand a decade ago, the
company’s focus was on pampering guests with “real life” fantasy
experiences through signature service levels.
On a recent visit to Paradisus Riviera Cancun Resort, I was
quite pleased to discover I would be enjoying the ultimate of these
indulgent levels with the adults-only Royal Service meaning I’d
have access to almost anything imaginable at any time I wanted it,
with a butler dedicated to make it all a reality.
With its Mayan Village ambience, the property stretches out on a
lush tropical mangrove preserve on a 5,000-foot-long Mexican
Caribbean beach, protected by a coral reef that’s part of the
second largest coral formation in the world.
To put it in perspective, Paradisus’ exclusive Royal Service
segment is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a
distinction claimed by only a handful of hotels and resorts
globally. The honor is a nod to exceptional service and overall
guest experience, as well as luxurious accommodations. At this
particular property, the membership recognizes 136 suites measuring
452 square feet, plus four Ambassador Beach Front Suites at 815
square feet each.
To no surprise, the royal treatment began instantly. Aside from
the overall beauty of the resort’s entry, I was swept away by the
hospitality. My host and I bypassed the lobby and headed straight
to the Royal Service Lounge for my concierge-style check in. While
sipping a colorful welcome beverage, I perused my e-mails on one of
the lounge’s two computers. Wi-fi is available for an additional
The property has a lush Mayan
village ambience throughout.
Then my amiable butler Daniel guided me along beautifully
landscaped pathways past a series of three-story bungalows to my
spacious suite. Along the way, Daniel pointed out Royal Service
exclusive benefits the Spa at Paradisus, plus a private beach and
pool area with Bali beds, bar service, concierge and palapas
facilities. Truth be told, I was starting to feel a bit regal.
Once I arrived at my Royal Service Suite, the treatment soared.
These oversized beauties offer panoramic garden or romantic ocean
views and feature elegant mahogany furnishings with spacious living
room area, cable TV, high-speed Internet access (nominal fee),
Jacuzzi for two, private terrace, daily stocked personalized
mini-bar, coffee maker, pillow menu selections, customized
turn-down service and 24-hour room service. With a glorious view of
the Caribbean, I couldn’t have asked for more.
But more there was. As Daniel explained, all Royal Service
guests can dive into a selection of life-enriching activities,
including massage therapy classes, tango lessons and
guacamole-making classes. More adventurous options include
non-motorized watersports, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback
riding and tennis.
After Daniel had acclimated me to my room and its ample
amenities, I requested lavender and lemon-scented pillows from the
pillow menu. I then asked him to set up a Jacuzzi for me later that
evening with scented sea salts. I also requested that he reserve a
deep tissue massage treatment for the following morning at the Spa
at Paradisus. Royal Service guests receive preferential
reservations for the spa, as well as specialty restaurants,
activities and excursions.
During my stay, I especially grew to appreciate the Royal
Service Lounge. From 7 a.m.-11 p.m., the exclusive retreat features
a television, international newspapers, magazines, complimentary
Internet access, continental breakfast, coffee, beverages and
evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. This makes it a great place
to visit for a “tweener” snack and beverage while catching up with
what’s going on in the world.
With the all-inclusive option, I gladly sampled each of the
resort’s six culinary options. While the AAA Four-Diamond
L’Hermitage was a delight with its romantic style and gourmet
specialties, I equally enjoyed the a la carte authentic Mexican
fare at Tequila. Other eateries include Sumire, an a la carte Asian
bistro and sushi bar; Capri, with Mediterranean cuisine; Reef Grill
with light fare; and Caribbean Marketplace with its International
I also melted with my deep tissue massage at the Spa at
Paradisus. With nine treatment cabins, the full-service haven is a
member of The Leading Spas of the World. Although I appreciated its
low-key, modest Mexican style perfectly suited to the resort, I
learned it would soon be rebranded as a Yhi Spa. Sol Melia
describes this spa flavor as one dedicated to purifying the body,
balancing the mind and elevating the soul. If it could get any
better than what I experienced, I definitely wanted to return.
“Royal Service is for people who want to be treated like
royalty,” said Carina Martinez, Royal Service manager. “Our guests
have been saving for that special getaway. So when they find out
all the special services of our Royal Service, they’re willing to
pay extra to be pampered with a concierge and butler at their
disposal for any needs.”
While my stay at Paradisus was all too brief, I was completely
blown away by the level of service. Not accustomed to being treated
like a queen on a daily basis, I knew it was something I could
adapt to with a little more practice. I’ll be back.
Paradisus Riviera Cancun
The resort features a Family Concierge Service, and the Romance
by Paradisus program.
Facilities and services include four swimming pools, two tennis
courts, a spa and health club, 8,295 square feet of meeting space,
laundry service, video game center, mini-club and nursery for kids
up to 2 years old, 24-hour pharmacy and medical staff,
boutique/gift shop and car rental.
Nightly Rates: Through Dec. 20, $263 for Junior
Suites, $389 for Royal Service (per room, per night, based on
double occupancy).Dec. 21 through Jan. 2, $645 for Junior Suites,
$770 for Royal Service Suites.