We hit the beach, sipped the tequila and road-tested rooms to find the best all-inclusive resorts south of the border.
With its endless coastlines of beautiful beaches on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, diverse gastronomy, welcoming manner and easy accessibility, it’s no wonder Mexico is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations on the planet. Combine all that with the ease of staying at an all-inclusive resort and you’ve got the makings for a romantic happily ever after. Hotels, however, are a bit like Prince Charming: Choose the wrong one and that hoped-for royal experience can turn out to be more fit for a frog. Here we’ve tried, tested and scouted Mexico’s diverse array of all-inclusive resorts to find the ones where everything that’s included will be exactly what you want.
Best for a Sexy Ambience: Excellence Playa Mujeres
If your idea of honeymoon bliss is decidedly grown-up — in-room Jacuzzis, showers for two and secluded hammocks — this 450-suite adults-only resort may be your ultimate romantic hideaway. Located just 20 minutes from Cancun’s lively hotel zone, Excellence Playa Mujeres features contemporary decor in its spacious suites (even the smallest, a junior suite, is a whopping 807 square feet), all overlooking a chic, daybed-lined pool and lovely stretch of beach. If you’re pool lovers, choose a junior swim-up suite; if privacy is a priority, opt for a two- story rooftop terrace suite with an intimate spa pool. Nine restaurants, eleven bars and a seriously indulgent spa mean everything two newlyweds could possibly want is easily at hand.
Best for Chilling Out: Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa
Wedding planning is stressful, so book into the 154-room adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa in scenic Los Cabos for a kick-off-your-shoes vibe that allows you to lazily focus on little more than each other. Set on a wide deserted (but not swimmable) beach and boasting a striking Zen-inspired design, the property appeals to couples that want all-inclusive ease paired with quiet time. Nights here are extremely low-key with just two intimate bars and a fire-pit area for socializing. Three restaurants (plus access to several others at nearby sister resorts), two large pools and the Armonia Spa round out the amenities.
Best for Pool Lovers: El Dorado Casitas Royale
Designed for adults to feature lots of romantic amenities — such as in-suite Jacuzzis built-for-two, outdoor showers, beachfront daybeds and a lavish couples-oriented spa — El Dorado Casitas Royale also has 13 free-form pools. Some of its 205 palapa-topped casitas are swim-up, meaning you can take a dip right from your terrace and float down a lazy river to the main pool, which has a swim-up bar. If you’re a total water baby, book into an infinity pool swim-up casita suite, which adds a private plunge pool to the mix. When all that swimming (and après-swimming romance) makes you hungry, you’ll find eight restaurants, three cafés and 15 bars — 11 of which are swim-up, so pack lots of bikinis and sunscreen.
Best for Foodies: Royal Hideaway Playacar
If food selection and quality rank high on your honeymoon priorities, the six restaurants at this 200-room adults-only luxury resort located just a short stroll from Playa del Carmen will leave you more than satisfied. From the AAA Four Diamond Azia (serving Japanese and Thai cuisine) to the gourmet à la carte options at Las Ventanas (which also features an exclusive Chef’s Table at an extra charge), a variety of international flavors (including Mexican-Caribbean fusion at Spices) makes every meal an adventure. Spacious and elegant Mexican-inspired rooms, six pools set amid tropical gardens leading to a pristine white-sand beach, and a full-service spa round out the amenities.
Best for Wine Lovers: Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa
The new, sophisticated, adults-only high-rise resort in Cancun features 495 sleek and luxurious rooms and suites, all with massive sliding glass doors opening to terraces with sweeping beach and Caribbean views. The honeymoon suites also boast an in-suite soaking tub. Eight restaurants (some offering dinners with select pairings) and six bars and lounges (including The Vine Bar with its 3,000-bottle cellar), plus sommelier-led tastings and wine-inspired spa treatments make the property the toast of the buzzy hotel zone with couples who adore wine. Tequila tastings an an array of margaritas are also served up day or night.
Best for 24/7 Fun: Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
One week may not be enough time to experience all that the four-resorts-with-in-a-resort Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort offers. Stretched along a splendid beach just outside of Cancun, the resort feautres a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, dozens of restaurants and bars (including the chic Noir nightclub), a 39-room spa, a Dolphinarium, a FlowRider surf simulator, live big- name music and comedy performances (from Usher and Enrique Iglesias to former SNL cast members) and dozens of pools. All of the 2,000-plus guest rooms feature double Jacuzzis and brand-name liquor dispensers (book the Sunrise section for a hipster vibe or Moon Grand for more privacy), and while the property does welcome families and singles, honeymooners are treated to romantic extras such as breakfast in bed, a candlelit dinner and late checkout.
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