Let’s set the tone for our first day in Cancun. The Nizuc Resort & Spa was originally designed as a Cancun hideaway for Mexico’s president, so there are two elements that are guaranteed: style and privacy. Basically, the Mexican equivalent of Chequers – minus the rain and Buckinghamshire countryside. The resort is located on Punta Nizuc, a short 15-minute drive from the airport, but still a decent distance away from Cancun City, which I affectionately refer to as the battle zone.
The hotel sits on 29 acres between a lagoon and has a protective mangrove forest And of course, a beautifully kept private beach.
When we arrived somewhat jetlagged on a balmy afternoon in December, we entered with all the pomp and ceremony of a Bond villain. The main entrance definitely has the ‘nemesis’ vibe. If I wasn’t such a typical Brit when it comes to the sun, I would ensure I arrived in chinos and a double breasted jacket at all establishments. Sadly, this would also require someone to walk in front of me with a sunshade.
The entrance is grand. A giant flame bowl adorns the courtyard and a marble facade protects the building’s entrance walkway. Think Mayan and Asian traditionalism. The middle of the walkway features a floor level waterfall feature that sets the tone. As always, we stroll into air-conditioned bliss. It is a little like entering a Mayan temple until you hit the reception area and realise that western glamour is not lost at the Nizuc. The resort houses 274 suits and 29 garden pool villas with panoramic ocean views.
Having accepted the jetlag, we were driven via golf cart to the resort’s master suite. It measures over 1630-foot and conveniently connects to the ocean deluxe suite. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a 600-square-foot terrace, featuring an infinity pool – a touch that really sets the Nizac apart in terms of bragging rights. The king size bed was wrapped in fine Egyptian cotton linen, along with blackout curtains, perfect after some local tequila. The large bathroom featured a freestanding deep soaking tub with separate rainfall shower and enough L’Occitane products to set up a concession.
After refreshing ourselves with a swim on the terrace, it was time to step out into the night. The resort has several bars and restaurants. The staff at the Bar A-Kan are particularly great. Also make sure to see the Havana Lounge, a mint julep and a fine cigar are the order of the day. When you finally finish that hand-rolled cigar, we suggest the Ramona restaurant.
The following morning, we made our way to the resort’s gym, situated at the 30,000-square-foot spa – the first ESPA branded spa on the Riviera Maya. I think we managed a solid 45 minutes before showering and making our way to the restaurant for what became a glutinous breakfast: tacos, omelettes, salmon, pulled pork, fruit, pastries, and of course a Bloody Mary or two.
We sadly only stayed at the Riviera Maya for one night, but you really need to spend a week here to fully appreciate the property. The Nizuc gets our vote.