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Ah, to enjoy an adults-only dinner while the kids are happily occupied with a babysitter — a feat that motivated us to book a stay at Seadust Cancun Family Resort in Mexico.
But, hey, parents will go to great lengths for a date night. And the multicourse meal and 10th-floor ocean views from the hotel’s Atlantis venue were worth the effort.
Formerly Great Parnassus Family Resort, which opened in 2006, the property was acquired in February 2017 by a new group of investors.
“Our goal is to compete with the best resorts in the area,” said Pedro Pinhal, director and CEO of Seadust Cancun.
A $10 million renovation that debuted in August 2017 included updating all 505 guestrooms and the kids’ and baby club; adding proximity door locks that employ waterproof bracelets instead of key cards; and installing 50-inch smart HD televisions in all rooms. Additionally, each of the family category accommodations are furnished with a bunk bed and a trundle bed — sleeping five people total — and include a second television in the kids’ sleeping area.
The resort also expanded its meeting and group spaces; implemented new culinary offerings; and updated the Hospitality Room, a lounge area with showers, televisions and snacks, perfect for guests in between checkout and airport transfer, or before check-in times.
Seadust Cancun is also the first property in the city to feature a lifeguard drone — a lightweight, remote-controlled float that can maneuver through the water to aid struggling swimmers.
And, as the largest independent resort in Cancun, the renovations and rebranding represent a new product with a higher profile and quality, Pinhal says.
“It has been imperative for us to invest a lot in our property to heighten our offering for families,” he said. “We’ve come a long way and hope our hard work will pay off when it comes time for guests to book their next Cancun vacation.”
Pinhal has already seen results: In May 2018, Seadust Cancun’s TripAdvisor ranking improved from No. 79 to No. 11 out of 180 Cancun resorts. As of press time, it ranked No. 5 of 185 properties.
Located in the southern part of the hotel zone just 15 minutes from Cancun International Airport, the all-inclusive resort offers five pools — including three infinity pools — where guests can enjoy activities such as water aerobics.
Clients seeking good value, friendly staff and plenty of entertainment will also enjoy Seadust Cancun’s nine bars and 11 restaurants (two are adults-only). Options range from Mexican to Italian fare, and there’s even a creperie, in addition to a lobby-based Starbucks; a cinema-style theater, where we watched a Michael Jackson tribute one night; and a kid-friendly karaoke bar.
One afternoon, while my husband and I enjoyed a couples massage at the uber-chic Zenserenz Spa — next door to a state-of-the art gym with a sauna and a steam room — the boys stayed with a private babysitter and had access to the resort’s many kid-centric pastimes such as the Treasure Island Water Park, a zipline, a mini-golf course and game rooms, among others. (Kids’ spa services are also available.)
Guests wanting off-site adventures can book them at Aquaworld, which is located by the main pool. During our full-day adventure, the Turtles & Cenotes Tour by Ocean Tours Mexico, we snorkeled in Akumal’s Turtle Bay (about 90 minutes south of Seadust Cancun), where turtle sightings are guaranteed by the tour operator. Indeed, we spotted several of the gentle behemoths swimming amid the tranquil waters known in the Mayan language as the “place of the turtle.”
We then drove 30 minutes south to Cenote Caracol, among the Yucatan Peninsula’s thousands of limestone sinkholes exposing fresh groundwater. Cenotes are considered “doors to the underground” in Maya mythology, and we spotted the regal Motmot birds as we entered, their pendulum-like, turquoise tails beckoning us to the clear waters beneath.
Later, we snorkeled in another cenote, the pristine pool rising so high our heads nearly grazed the stalactites hanging above. It was a test of my claustrophobic inclinations, and I was as happy to say I’d finally swum in one of these magical sinkholes as I was to climb out of it. And I was even happier to return with my family to Seadust Cancun.
The DetailsSeadust Cancun Family Resortwww.seadustcancunresort.com