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The words “virgin beach” and Cancun don’t really go together anymore. From the city center all the way down the coast from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, visitors find plenty of hotel options. And while Cancun is still beautiful and one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, to call its beaches “undiscovered” would be a tad off the mark.
But what about north of the city? Just 10 miles north of Cancun is a 1.4-acre, master-planned community that, until recently, was only on the radar of those in the know. While millions soak up the rays in the city’s Hotel Zone, the expansive beaches of Costa Mujeres are remote, fringed with palm trees and blanketed in sugary sand. The self-contained community — bordered on one side by the Caribbean Sea and the other by the Laguna de Chacmochuc Preserve — has a small selection of resorts, a golf course, a few restaurants and shops and a 170-slip marina.
And while this area has remained somewhat of a secret until now, there are big plans in the works for what can be considered Cancun’s last coast. Here’s a look at some of what you can expect.
Playa Mujeres TodayA traveler to Costa Mujeres today has a small selection of all-inclusive hotels to choose from. Most recently opened is Hotel Riu Dunamar, which debuted last December. The newbuild is considered to be in the highest category of hotels under the Riu Hotels & Resorts umbrella. The resort has 740 rooms and a wide selection of restaurants, including Asian, Italian and Mexican fare, as well as a steakhouse. On the sprawling grounds sit five outdoor swimming pools, the Splash Water World waterpark and the RiuLand kids’ club.
The veteran resorts in the community consist of Excellence Playa Mujeres, Beloved Playa Mujeres, Finest Playa Mujeres, Secrets Playa Mujeres and Dreams Playa Mujeres.
Playa Mujeres TomorrowThe secret is out on this gorgeous stretch of sand, and hotels are well on their way to claiming a piece of paradise for themselves.
In November, Palladium Hotel Group will open Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa, and the adjacent TRS Coral Hotel. Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres will consist of 673 suites, seven themed restaurants, two buffet restaurants, three bars and a 24-hour sports bar. The family-friendly resort will feature four pools and a children’s pool, as well as clubs for babies, kids and teens. (Note: For families staying at the resort, a Family Selection plan will be available; it will be a hotel-within-a-hotel concept offering families more elevated facilities, including suites, a private pool, a private restaurant and a special section of the beach.)
Meanwhile, adults-only TRS Coral Hotel has already been inaugurated into The Leading Hotels of the World consortium for its design. The resort will have 473 suites, exclusive a la carte restaurants, access to Grand Palladium restaurants and an exclusive pool and section of the beach.
Riu will be opening a second hotel in Costa Mujeres in November, as well. With 600 rooms, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres will be slightly smaller than its sister property. The resort will also feature five swimming pools — two with swim-up bars — as well as a private area on the beach. Other facilities will include a gym and Renova Spa. Guests of Riu Palace will also have access to Riu Dunamar restaurants, Pacha disco and the waterpark.
Additionally, Melia Hotels International will be opening a resort in Costa Mujeres. Due May 2019, Paradisus Playa Mujeres will be the fifth Paradisus resort in Mexico. The all-inclusive resort will have 498 rooms, four swimming pools, six bars and seven restaurants. There will also be access to a private marina. While Paradisus Playa Mujeres is not adults-only, there will be several sections that will cater only to adults, including the pool bar and beach club. Other amenities will include an arcade room, a covered theater, an outdoor plaza for shows, a juice bar and a kids’ club. The signature YHI Spa will also be available, plus two fitness centers.
As for developments for the rest of Costa Mujeres, representatives from several of the existing resorts have spoken about expanding the dining and shopping scene within the community to bring more tourism to the remote area, but according to the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, it is still too early to give specifics.
Still, you can expect to hear plenty more about Cancun’s last coast.
The DetailsGrand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and TRS Coral Hotel www.palladiumhotelgroup.com
Hotel Riu Dunamar and Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres www.riu.com
Paradisus Playa Mujereswww.melia.com