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I recently visited Mexico’s popular Riviera Maya to check out Playa del Carmen’s newest kid on the block, the Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort. Opened in June 2015, the 314-room resort — which includes 36 suites with furnished balconies or terraces — has already garnered two top awards in record time.
The prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award, symbolizing excellent services, amenities and superior surroundings, was awarded within the first year of operation — faster than any other property in North America. In addition, the global design magazine Interior Design selected Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen’s Cenote Spa as a recipient of the Best of Year 2015 project award after a worldwide competition.
Tucked along the soft sands of Playa Mamitas — Playa del Carmen’s most popular beach — I found that the resort’s location, just one block off the popular Quinta Avenue (also known as Fifth Avenue), offers easy access to some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.
Tastefully appointed rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping ocean or mangrove views. Oversized bathrooms come with either rain showers or deep soaking tubs. Guestrooms have high-speed Wi-Fi access, a 47-inch HD television, a minibar, a Nespresso coffee machine, individual climate control and more.
The two on-site restaurants — the Grill at 1-26 and La Cocina — are excellent, dishing up signature steak selections, fresh seafood and Mexican and international fare, along a backdrop of ocean or pool views.
El Paseo, a miniature replica of Quinta Avenue, serves as the connection between the hotel entrance, restaurants and beach. Along here, you’ll find typical local snacks and beverages in a variety of kiosks that resemble those of the popular Playa del Carmen pedestrian avenue. When night falls, there’s little illumination along the path, so advise clients to be careful.
The resort features an assortment of bars and lounges, serving signature cocktails, top-shelf spirits and freshly squeezed juices. Guests in the Club Level receive private check-in, butler service and an exclusive lounge with a hearty complimentary breakfast buffet, as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day.
For recreation, there are three infinity pools, a children’s pool and a large lap pool, along with a 24-hour fitness center. Tortuguita Camp Hyatt and Teen Arcade keep kids and teens entertained throughout their stay.Weddings, conferences and banquets can take place in the 15,000 square feet of meeting space, which features 18 versatile meetings rooms, the grand ballroom or the beachfront wedding gazebo.
But my favorite feature was the award-winning 6,000-square-foot Maya-inspired Cenote Spa, with its unique cenote (underground pools) relaxation area, hydrotherapy stations, eucalyptus steam bath and eight treatment rooms. The ancient Maya revered cenotes for their “healing” waters — the inspiration for many of the spa’s therapeutic treatments and rituals.
Several optional meal plans are offered at the resort. The Grand Hyatt Playa Dinner Plan, for $40 per person, per night, includes dinner at either the Grill at 1-26 or La Cocina. The Modified American Plan, offering lunch and dinner at any of the food and beverage outlets, is $54 per person, per night. Playa Premium Dining allows three meals at the resort outlets for $74 per person, per night. Meals plans must be sold for a minimum three-day stay.