As I looked out from my fifth-floor hotel room balcony at the newly refurbished Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun in Mexico, I saw an aqua world.
The morning light shimmered over an array of seven swimming pools, and the circular infinity pool seemed to blend into the Caribbean Sea, where gentle waves lapped at the white-sand shore. Above the water, an orange marmalade sunrise lit up the clouds in a blend of colors almost like a giant, ethereal smoothie. My stomach growled: It was time to hit the breakfast buffet.
As long as a city block, Live Aqua Cancun’s breakfast buffet is held in the refurbished Siete Restaurante (with art featuring seven Mexican pop culture icons). The buffet offers fare from Mexican and Asian cuisines, along with American favorites such as omelet and waffle stations, and a breakfast bread display as big as a bakery. And oh, yes, there is a smoothie counter. Thankfully, my morning feast was part of the resort’s all-inclusive deal.
Fueled for the day, I explored the rest of the hotel’s refurbishments. A two-year, $30 million renovation of the La Coleccion property fully updated all 371 rooms (including 36 suites), as well as enhanced nine restaurants and cafes, five bars and the activity areas. I began at the pool, where I found that the adults-only resort seems to attract mostly couples; there were some smooching honeymooners, as well as twosomes part of larger friend groups partaking in mimosas from the open bar. Cabanas at the pool and beach are available for reservation (complimentary if booking a suite). Poolside food offerings make sure guests stay well-fed; the burger grill is the popular early lunch spot.
But it’s not just booze and burgers (or buffets and fine dining) at Live Aqua Cancun. The resort’s wellness programs are popular and impressive. Morning yoga classes take place in a secluded garden in the middle of the grounds.
Inside, a fitness center provides an air-conditioned space to work off the buffets. And Feel Harmony Spa is a soothing retreat with a full array of massages and beauty treatments. It’s worth a visit even just for a steam and to relax in the lounge.
Guestrooms are bright and comfortable, and the new club-level Aqua Lounge is an excellent bonus. But what separates Live Aqua Cancun from the many other luxury resorts in the area is its people.
“Our staff is the best in the business, from the housekeeping staff, chefs and mixologists to the masseuses,” said Alfredo Santamaria, managing director of Live Aqua Cancun. “They’re talented at their jobs, and they’re great at service — and it shows. In fact, I shouldn’t be called ‘managing director.’ I should really just be called ‘talent coordinator,’ because the 700 staffers we have here really make the hotel what it is.”
Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun