If you’re looking to make your friends and colleagues jealous, all you need to do is post a few photos from Muluk Spa at Hotel Xcaret Arte.
With its winding waters, lush vegetation and natural caves reimagined as climate-controlled treatment rooms and soaking pools, it’s a decidedly photogenic bit of paradise along Mexico’s Caribbean coast. When I posted a couple of photos before my treatment, my Facebook and Instagram accounts lit up with comments.
Muluk Spa is just one of the reasons why the 900-suite, all-inclusive Hotel Xcaret Arte has garnered glowing reviews since opening in July 2021. The hotel’s unique experiences, sophisticated cuisine and easy access to some of the Riviera Maya’s most popular theme parks make it an ideal adults-only complement to the family-friendly Hotel Xcaret Mexico, which sits next door.
Multiple benefits are included in the room rate at Hotel Xcaret Arte, including roundtrip airport transfers and unlimited admission (with shuttle transportation) to all of Grupo Xcaret’s nearby parks: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xavage and Xenotes.
But, as I discovered during my recent stay, there is so much to do on-site at Hotel Xcaret Arte that you may not even want to leave.
As the name implies, art and creativity provide a running theme at Hotel Xcaret Arte. Guestrooms are in five buildings, each of which is named for a specific art and has a workshop that offers free classes for guests. At Casa de la Musica, where I stayed, guests can learn a variety of dances, while workshops at other buildings are focused on cooking, pottery making, painting and textile weaving. It’s an engaging way for travelers to explore their creative side while learning new skills.
Celebrating nature is another important theme here, and the expansive property blends well with its surroundings. Gently winding walkways guide guests through vibrant greenery, and suspension foot bridges connect some buildings. To make the most of the beautiful scenery and many excellent photo opportunities, the hotel offers a photo package (also available at the adjacent Hotel Xcaret Mexico), which allows guests to use their wristbands to take selfies using multiple camera stations around the property. They can review the shots later to create their own vacation album.
Accommodations tie in nicely with the hotel’s art-meets-nature style. I stayed in a lovely swim-up room in Casa de la Musica, where each room is named after a famous Mexican artist (mine was dedicated to Juan de Lienas, a 17th-century composer I’d never heard of, which led me to Google and learn more about the history of Mexican music).
My room design was pleasing and comfortable, with an expansive terrace opening onto a winding pool. Inside, beautiful woodwork and colorful artistic accents set the tone, while practical elements such as a dining table, large desk and a minibar assured that I had all the necessary basics. The semi-open bathroom includes a bathtub, as well as a shower with lovely tiles, and I was also impressed by the high-tech window separating the water closet from the bathtub area; it turns opaque with the push of a button for extra privacy.
The variety of cuisine at Hotel Xcaret Arte spans continents and exceeded my expectations for most all-inclusive resorts. There are a total of nine culinary experiences at Hotel Xcaret Arte, each with its own distinct ambiance and eye-catching design, as well as sophisticated menus created by an array of renowned chefs — so travelers will likely find something to please their palate regardless of personal taste.
I sampled everything from fresh seafood to handmade tacos at Mercado de San Juan, a festive Mexican buffet restaurant; enjoyed a lively performance by the chef at Tah-Xido, a contemporary Japanese eatery; and sliced into perfectly prepared meats from around Mexico at Arenales, a trendy beachfront venue. Cayuco provided a perfect poolside setting for a casual Mexican-Mediterranean buffet, while the multi-course tasting menu was simply magnificent at Xaak, an elegant, indigenous-inspired venue set partially submerged below a pool that’s illuminated at night.
I also enjoyed an evening at Deseo, a “hidden” speakeasy (that is truly is a bit difficult to find, since it’s tucked into a building near the parking garage). Behind a giant door in a bland white hallway, I found a decidedly cool bar, complete with offbeat videos and live music that added to the chill ambiance. It was yet another example of how Hotel Xcaret Arte provides lots of diverse and memorable experiences.
The challenge of having so many noteworthy options, of course, is that you may need an extended or return visit to try them all. I still have several restaurants, for example, on my wish list: Kibi Kibi, which specializes in Yucatecan-Lebanese cuisine; Chino Poblano, which serves specialties from China and Puebla; and Encanta, which celebrates flavors from Mexico, the Caribbean and Spain. But that’s OK. It gives me an excuse to go back soon.
Hotel Xcaret Arte