New Hotel Project Near Cancun

Construction began last month on a new ultra-luxury resort to be called Laguna Kai

By: Lisa Jennings

Construction began last month on a new ultra-luxury resort to be called Laguna Kai, a mixed-use project on the Riviera Maya outside Cancun.

Developed by Dallas-based JMJ Development in partnership with Obrascon Huarte Lain of Spain, the Laguna Kai is planned as a 120-suite hotel to be managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. It is scheduled to open in Fall 2005.

With the goal of creating a luxurious retreat that embraces the natural environment, Laguna Kai is being built in an area that includes private mangroves, a tropical forest, and white-sand beaches winding around lagoons and underwater rivers, or “cenotes.”

After checking in, guests will be taken to their villas by boat along the lagoon waterway system.

The resort will feature an island spa and beach club, 70 lagoon and beachfront villas and a retail village. Thirty of the 120 suites will be released for sale this year, starting at $490,000.

The property is part of the 1,600-acre development Mayakoba, which includes a Greg Norman Signature Golf Course. Laguna Kai is less than a half-hour drive from Cancun International Airport, and close to the Xcaret and Xel-ha ecological parks, as well as the Tulum archeological site with remnants of ancient Mayan civilization. It’s also convenient to Playa del Carmen.

“There is nothing else like this in the area or anywhere,” said Tim Barton, chairman and chief executive officer of JMJ Development. “Laguna Kai will be a true ultra-luxury experience, taking advantage of the natural beauty and ecology of the area, and likened to the trademark accommodations and service of Rosewood’s Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, Mexico. It is private, intimate and undiscovered.”

Rosewood is known for management of exclusive properties around the world, including the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, The Carlyle in New York, Hotel Seizo Ginza in Tokyo and Caribbean resorts Little Dix Bay, Caneel Bay and Jumby Bay.

In Mexico, Rosewood manages Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, as well as the new La Solana resort, another JMJ project under construction in Punta Mita, which is also scheduled to open in 2005. La Solana will feature 83 rooms with private plunge pools and terraces, as well as 57 privately owned villas and a large spa.