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Pelicans soared overhead while I padded across the boardwalk leading to my Bali bed set amidst the sand dunes. Located about 40 minutes north of Cancun International Airport, Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort is a beachfront oasis on a still-wild peninsula that feels a world away from Cancun’s party zone.
Part of the AMResorts collection, the 502-room all-suite property opened last November within a gated resort community on the mainland overlooking Isla Mujeres (meaning it doesn’t require a ferry ride). Surrounded by a conservation zone of coastal dunes dotted with Mexican palms, button mangroves and sea grapes, the resort’s low-slung buildings blend harmoniously into the landscape.
There’s lots of room to sprawl in spacious suites, which range from 602 to 8,866 square feet and offer Caribbean, pool or garden views. Each suite comes with a private terrace with a Jacuzzi or pool. Amenities for all room categories include one king or two queen-size beds, a living area with a sofa bed, double vanities and a daily refreshed minibar.
Preferred Club guests enjoy an enhanced experience, including check-in within a private lounge, upgraded minibar and bath amenities, a private beach area and more. Multigenerational families will love the new Preferred Club Two Bedroom Villa room category, which sleeps up to eight guests (with a maximum of five adults) and offers direct access to the Lazy River, exclusive to Preferred Club guests.
For me, the most striking design feature of Dreams Playa Mujeres was the vast 65,000-square-foot expanse of swimming pools. In addition to the Lazy River, the property features a waterpark, two infinity pools, four whirlpools, two children’s pools and several private and swim-out pools. Even more water-themed diversions await at Dreams Spa by Pevonia, which has a Watsu pool, Jacuzzi baths and a temazcal (sweat lodge) steam room.
Golf fiends can enjoy a complimentary round per person per day at the nearby 18-hole Greg Norman-designed Playa Mujeres Golf Course. Additional entertainment includes bike safaris, paella cooking classes, beach volleyball, aerobics and nonmotorized sports activities. In addition to the Explorer’s Club for children ages 3 to 12, there’s also a well-equipped Core Zone Teens Club.
When it come to dining, the resort’s 10 restaurants include Tres Colores for a la carte Mexican, Mezes for Mediterranean and L’Etoile for French cuisine — all with no reservations needed. A culinary highlight was Gaucho Grill, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian dining experience new to the Dreams brand, featuring grilled meat served tableside. Bar options abound, and adult guests also have access to all 16 restaurants and bars at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort next door.
For us, Dreams Playa Mujeres offered an alluring mix of seclusion, natural beauty and luxury. Our Preferred Club Master Suite Swim-Out Ocean View room was a relaxing retreat, ideal for watching the morning sunrise over the Caribbean. During evenings, we could see the lights of Cancun flicker on the horizon, yet above us were only stars.