Cancun is one of the most popular destinations for travelers who want to escape to Mexico. But there’s a side of Cancun that many people have never seen.
It’s the luxury angle.
Cancun is home to one of the world’s finest luxury resorts, aptly named the Finest Playa Mujeres.
No need to endure a shuttle to the Riviera Maya area — nearly an hour commute, depending on the traffic — to get the absolute best in a luxury vacation.
When my car service arrived at the airport to whisk me off, I had already prepared myself and settled in for a long (and possibly uncomfortable) ride. I was wrong. This would be the first time of many that my expectations would be exceeded in Cancun.
Seasons Tours was my ride, right there and calling my name as soon as I exited the airport. In the bustling excitement of the airport with so many other drivers offering a ride (tip: Look ahead and walk straight outside to your driver; don’t divert your eyes or it can get overwhelming), the calm, professional services of Seasons Tours was a welcome reprieve. When traveling internationally, it’s always a relief to know your reliable ride is there for you, even if the weather is as pleasant as it was that day.
I was ready to begin my luxury escape.
The driver offered me a cool, scented wet towel to freshen up and a cold bottle of water. Before we left, the driver made sure I was comfortable and the temperature was appropriate for me. Seasons Tours also offers free WiFi in the car — a great feature for international travel, until you settle in and figure out how your phone will behave and roam.
We all know that I am a luxury gal with high expectations, so each trip (I hate to admit it), I secretly hope and cross my fingers that my expectations will be met.
Your Cancun Luxury Playa Mujeres Found
Immediately, mine were. When I arrived at Finest Playa Mujeres, my very first thought was, “Life is beautiful.” What else could be on your mind when you are greeted by name with a flute of champagne? I don’t know about you, but that is how I would like to be greeted everywhere.
Things had started off so well, I was now eager to get to my room. If the commute and arrival (two things that are notoriously uneventful) had been so pleasant, I wondered what that meant for the rest of my experience.
No need to go to the front desk, I was told. I would be escorted to the Excellence Club. I like the sound of that. This area is essentially a resort within the resort, with all-adult pools, private lounges and a restaurant.
You Won’t Believe This Room
Finally, I got to meet my room.
My room was the Excellence Club Two-Story Rooftop Terrace suite with plunge pool. It is the hotel’s most romantic suite with total privacy, and it really made me miss my husband. I made a promise to myself to return with him some day, because an experience like this simply must be shared.
The 1,600-square-foot room (800 on each floor) offered sweeping views of the ocean and beach from two balconies, one on each level. The private rooftop terrace took my breath away, with its own private plunge pool and a lounge area with furniture and even a bed, where guests can relax to the sounds of birds and the crashing ocean nearby. The balcony off my room had an outdoor bed, chaise lounge and a glassed in private jacuzzi. At a busy all-inclusive resort, I could see how this terrace would be an ideal, calm place to get away and recharge in total seclusion.
Beyond that, my room had a rain shower head, fine Bvlgari bath amenities, that private jacuzzi tub off the lower-level balcony and it also included one Aqua Hydrotherapy treatment per person at the Finest Spa.
With a room so exquisite, it might seem impossible to leave your suite, but the resort carried this level of service throughout, offering tons of inclusions, including top-notch dining options and more. The adults-only Excellence Club also offers a 24-hour concierge service in their lounge area.
Service So Good It Feels Intuitive
Staff here provided almost intuitive service, providing me items before I even knew I would need them. I forgot to pack my toothbrush and toothpaste, but of course, the room came stocked. When housekeeping noticed I had used the toothbrush, they brought me an extra. Warmth is what you will feel at this resort. Not just from the weather, but also from the staff. They each have a spirit to serve and assure all your needs are met.
I would have never thought I needed two shower heads, but alas, I did; I relaxed with the rain shower and then rinsed my hair with the wand. The Bvlgari toiletries were so luxurious that I used them instead of what I had brought from home – something I rarely do.
Then of course, there was the nearby beach. The main reason many people come to Mexico to begin with. It was the perfect backdrop for my wellness walk each morning.
I appreciated that the resort allows guests to experience the comforts of home, but also authentic Mexican culture. Looking for Harney and Sons Tea? You’ll find it in the lodge, along with Nespresso Espresso to go along with your churro.
Sometimes what ends up being the most luxurious item is not what you expected it to be before you arrived. During my trip with my fellow well-traveled Gnomads, we were all taken aback by one feature of our room. We call it the Magic Box. It was a secret, almost-hidden door in the wall that, when unlocked from the hallway by room service, could hold your desired items. That way, you could get anything you wanted delivered to your room, without being disturbed.
The Magic Box is one of those things that you never knew you needed, but now that you have experienced it, you can’t imagine life without it (like a smartphone). All hotels should feature this kind of innovation.
It comes standard at all of the Excellence Resorts I have toured. Excellence values its customers’ privacy, and this is just one more way that it adds to their high standard of service.
The Excellence Club enabled me to find a whole new level of bliss, one that I have never experienced outside of a spa.
The Best Spas of Cancun
Of course, I had to make it to a few spas while in Cancun. I visited two: The Finest Spa in my hotel and The Beloved Spa at their sister resort next door.
The Finest Spa
The Finest One Spa had already won my heart by including in my stay the Aqua Hydrotherapy circuit.
Spas are my area of expertise, and this was the most luxurious spa hydrotherapy I have ever encountered. It featured a bubble massage lounger, swan water hoses (perfect to drop those shoulders), a cold plunge, Scottish shower, lemon essence session, a Cuban shower, a temperature contrast walk and my favorite part – the pediluvio. The spa concierge personally took me to each station; I felt like an Aztec princess being prepared for a royal ceremony.
For the final touch, I was settled in the outdoor lounge area and treated to a luxurious shoulder massage while I relaxed. This was included with my hydrotherapy experience. Again the Finest Hotel had introduced me to something that I did not realize I desired. Now I will expect all hydrotherapy circuits to conclude in such an amazing manner. The Excellence Resorts always add a luxurious unexpected service that compliments every area of their hotels.
The Beloved Spa
The Beloved Spa is an amazing 35,000-square-foot slice of heaven right in the heart of Cancun. Find a full range of services here, from spiritual to physical, in its 14 treatment rooms. My experience was the Sacred Earth massage. My massage therapist had the most caring hands I have ever encountered. I truly felt special just from her touch. Every aspect I love about massage was included. To calm the body and mind from tensions and outward thoughts, this massage utilized warm basil and mint oil along with hot stones, but the best was the use of fresh rosemary. The use of this ancient herb felt so ceremonial as it glazed over my body with the same strokes used for dry brushing.
My fellow Gnomads had their own Beloved Spa experiences that included a Heavenly Lavender massage and the Lovely Ritual for Two.
After your treatment you are escorted to a softly lighted relaxation lounge and cuddled in comfort from head-to-toe. You are also treated to a take home gift of incense, bath salts and a candle – perfect for a soak in your room to continue the experience.
At The Beloved Spa, you can also take in the amazing decor and design of the spacious area. Be sure to check out the stairwell and art objects in the entry.
During my luxury escape to Playa Mujeres, I decided that for something to be truly luxurious, you need to remember it and be present during the experience.
While in spas, why do you think we become so relaxed and mindful of our surroundings? Because we do not have our heads down looking at a screen. We unwind our minds and stop worrying about the future or mulling on the past; we become present. We enter the now, and our ability to be present directly contributes to how much we are able to get out of and enjoy an experience.
That’s one reason of many that I enjoy spas so much and consider them an integral part of every vacation.
So how else do you accomplish mindfulness on a luxury vacation?
When you first get there take a few walks around the property and take photos or videos of your surroundings, like I did this trip. (See my video below.) Then put that phone away. There is a large safe for your phone in your room in that tremendous closet. Enjoy the rest of your luxury escape and let your eyes soak up the memories.
Ava Roxanne Stritt is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit TravelocityGnomads.com.