My partner and I just returned from a 6-night stay at the Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancún, and the words that come to mind to describe the experience are "aesthetically amazing", "truly relaxing", and "luxurious".
The resort is located at the southern tip of the Cancún Hotel Zone island, and doesn't face the open ocean as some of the more centrally-located resorts. It's important to point out that Nizuc is still located on the ocean side of the Cancún Hotel Zone island (not the Nichupté Lagoon). This just means that you won't find the heavier waves, but the water is just as spectacular. This location also means that the beach areas are completely private and serene as there isn't really any way for people to walk onto the beach from public areas. The Cancún airport is less than a 10 minute car ride away, which is also very convenient as it's one of the closest resorts to the airport and MX 307 (Av. Tulum), which is the main highway that leads down to Riviera Maya/Tulum.
If you plan to leave the resort to see more of Cancún, the resort will provide you with transportation for a fee ($200MX), however, if you just walk down to the Westin Regina (about 10 mins from the resort), you can catch the bus service. It's only $9MX per person and you can go almost anywhere. Just tell the driver where you're going, and he'll let you know when you have arrived. It's clean, safe, and friendly...and a really good way to save your money for better things.
Upon arriving to the resort, one instantly notices that the architecture is different from any other place that you might have visited in the Cancún / Riviera Maya area. The cubist motif is easily noticeable in the building designs with large glass panes, intricately carved woods, and large, flowing open spaces providing the occupant with lovely serene views of landscape and the nature surroundings. It's hard to describe all of the fantastic design elements, but I will try to attach some photos that speak better in themselves.
The check-in process was smooth and seamless, and even though our room was not ready just yet, we were given a tour of the property, and then taken to Ni, the Peruvian restaurant to enjoy lunch by the ocean while the room was readied. The property is a bit expansive, and even though we preferred to walk everywhere, there are carts around almost every corner with staff offering to whisk you to your destination. The weather was so perfect during our stay (there was only one evening with rain) that there just didn't seem to be any need to be driven in a golf cart.
When you arrive at your room, you are introduced to the butler(s) that will be assigned to your every whim. For the residence suite towers, there are typically three butlers (varying shifts) that will assist you during your stay. We were staying in Tower 6, so the two main butlers that assisted us were Alfonso and Jane. I cannot describe how nice it was to have someone assigned to help take care of any logistical items for you. Both Alfonso and Jane knew us both by name, were always extremely friendly and efficient. They were able to arrange outside transportation for us, milk for the espresso, reservations at restaurants, and answer other questions about things that might normally lead to stress on a vacation. BIG KUDOS to these folks, and we really appreciated having them always available in case something came up.
We chose the "Ocean View Deluxe King" room, which are located in the Residence Suites towers. There are several different room types available in the towers, as well as separate Garden and Ocean villas for those that have a larger budget. The room layout was fantastic, reminding us very much of the fantastic layout of the resort that we visited earlier this year in Thailand (Maikhao Dream Resort & Spa, Natai). The bathroom is very well-appointed and it appeared that the designers had thought of every need. The room itself was a good size, and the standard Nespresso machine was something that found use every day. Our only complaint about the room was that the furniture on the balconies did not have any cushions, and therefore, it was too uncomfortable to enjoy. This is shame, because the view from the balcony was quite relaxing, and we would have enjoyed spending more time out there.
Something else about Nizuc Resort & Spa that stands out from other places is the amazing quality and taste of the restaurants on-site. Every one of these restaurants has its own specific flavor and ambiance. Our favorite was Indochine, which is a unique Asian fusion experience that delighted the taste buds. For every restaurant, the approach is quality over quantity, which was a very nice departure from the dining experience at other resorts. One tip would be to make reservations early (preferably when you arrive at the resort) for all of the nights, so that you can get the times that work best for you.
There are several bars available at the resort, but our two favorites were the Bar A-Kan beach-side bar (which is a gorgeous wood and glass cube structure with the best views of the sunset), and the Havana Lounge, which is best after-dark, where you can pick from a fantastic selection of hand-rolled cigars and after-dinner drinks. We were told that there was a club above the Terra Nostra restaurant, but since that's not really our speed, we didn't try it out.
There are two main beach areas, the calmer children-friendly beach directly in front of the main complex, and then there is a quieter adults-only beach that is located in front of the La Punta grill (which was apparently the former vacation hut of the President of Mexico). We preferred the quieter adults-only section, and the drink service around this pool/beach was impeccable. Hector ("The Protector") did a fantastic job of keeping the tequila coming and even brought around cold towels to wipe the sweat from our brows. Later in the trip, we also discovered that there is another pool located at the Terra Nostra restaurant, which is extremely quiet and secluded. This might be preferable for those that like to be away from other folks for relaxation.
Although we met a few very nice folks while at the resort, we also found that there was a large contingent of extremely obnoxious guests that were staying there as well. Perhaps being at a nice resort increases the expectations of the guests, but it seemed as though there was a never-ending supply of people complaining and whining in attempts to get free upgrades. In fact, we were surrounded by one family of 30 people for dinner at La Punta Grill being so obnoxious and rude to the wait staff that we ended up leaving early. We were told later that they received their entire meal for free because they complained, even though the staff was doing their best to meet every one of their ridiculous demands. We felt very sorry for the staff having to deal with this mess.
In addition, I'm thinking that a lot of these folks were raised in barns in Manhattan, because screaming at the top of your lungs on the balconies to other people in the hotel and slamming doors was unfortunately quite common. I'm not sure what the staff could have done about this, but it seemed that management was in the mode of "trying to please everyone" because of the soft-opening that these types of people ended up making things worse for everyone else. C'est la vie, but this is something that management should really try to stop from happening in the future.
We visited during Christmas 2013, and the resort had only been open for about 9 months at that time. We were told that this was the first time that the resort would be at full capacity, but the staff handled the additional stress very well. We had a fantastic time and will definitely plan on returning to this resort in the future. We will probably think about coming at a different time of the year next time, perhaps when children are in school so that we might hope to avoid the 30+ person families as described above. Regardless, we were totally relaxed and refreshed during the vacation, which is a high bar to meet for two Type As as ourselves. Kudos to Nizuc Resort & Spa!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- NIZUC Resort & Spa provides an escape like no other on Mexico’s stunning Caribbean coast. Offering subdued extravagance and an unsurpassed level of service, NIZUC is the ultimate place to take in the sun, sand, sea, and tranquility of one of the world’s most coveted destinations.The luxurious new resort is located at the gateway of the Riviera Maya in beautiful Punta Nizuc with two exclusive beaches, lavish spa, six gourmet restaurants, deluxe conference and events center, a kids club and sumptuous accommodations throughout its 274 private suites and villas. Harmoniously blending cutting-edge architectural design with barefoot luxury, the resort is the epitome of relaxed elegance. Positioned on a lush 29-acre nature preserve, NIZUC is surrounded by rich tropical foliage, a flourishing coral reef, and serene waterways that add to its mystic ambiance. A wide variety of outdoor activities on or near the resort include snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and world-class golfing.NIZUC is home to the region’s most distinguished dining with six gourmet restaurants ranging from contemporary Mexican to Asian and Mediterranean fare. All of NIZUC’s restaurants are open to both guests and visitors of the resort. At the heart of this exclusive resort is NIZUC SPA by ESPA, a 30,000 square foot wellness facility that features beachfront private treatment rooms, thermal experiences and a fitness center. A sanctuary for the senses, NIZUC SPA by ESPA offers one-of-a kind treatments inspired by ancient Mayan rituals. NIZUC Resort & Spa offers a world of luxury and sophistication that is redefining modern Mexican luxury. ... more less
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