OK - was thinking about going four stars on this one, but feeling a bit of peer pressure here from all the others who have put up five stars, and I hate to spoil the perfect run as of late. AND... I SEE why all the hype, as to be sure, it's difficult to find ANY place that does what THIS place does REALLY well. This was our second visit; our first visit being about five years ago. (We have another review WAY down the list) There have been many improvements, and I'm truly delighted they've cultivated such a dedicated following, and would happily count ourselves among the enthusiastic fans.
So what's so amazing? All the stuff in everyone else's reviews. The property is beautifully laid out and very well maintained. (There were workman there ALL the time just keeping things in tip-top shape - a little annoying that they were painting outside our patio, but I appreciate the attention to detail!) And the staff IS incredibly friendly and attentive. We recognized several employees from five years ago, which speaks volumes about the stability of the resort itself.
We spent most of the time on the beach, snoozing under the palapas, and we enjoyed the swim-up bar as well, and couldn't resist the urge to eat frequently and way too much! We ventured next door each evening for dinner (we could only stay for a few nights on this trip) and especially enjoyed the meal at the Italian restaurant. Others rave about the food on the HBR side, but the menus on offer during our stay weren't reaching out and grabbing us, so we make the trek next door. Breakfast and lunch, however, were excellent each day.
So why the indecision on the five-star thing? Just a few smallish things - some of which have much more to do with personal preference, others to do with experiences at other top flight hotels. As to the latter, the bed linens were not quite as nice (thread count?) as you might expect at a Westin or a Hyatt, and despite recent renovations, lighting in the rooms is oddly positioned, particularly noticeable in the bathroom where you have to deal with a sort-of dim indirect fluorescent light. Odd.
Having become quite attuned to the foodie thing in recent years, we found the 'nice restaurants' all just a bit shy of amazing, as compared - say - to the first class dining we've experienced on the French side of St. Martin (let alone like that of cities like Philly and San Francisco). The food is very good, the service is attentive, the ambiance is fine, but it all falls just a little short of special. Similar thoughts about the bars where as far as I could see, there wasn't a single malt Scotch to be found, and even the margaritas were a little less dramatic than I had hoped for. Again - the disclaimer - I travel and eat out A LOT, and I realize that a resort of this type can't be all things to all people, and thus I offer this under the banner of 'so you know what to expect!' (And oh, the beach? Read the other reviews. Great for wading around and watching the fish, but beyond that, you need to suit up and go next door to El Dorado!)
We have also done a lot of naturist travel in Europe over the years, (and we love visiting European thermal spas as well), which would define the genesis of my OTHER admittedly picky critique, which from another perspective might be taken as an outright 'woo-hoo' advantage. In Europe, we have found the population to be a bit more even across age demographics, from younger couples to those of retirement age. (I say this as we're rapidly moving away from the center toward the right part of that scale.) During our visits, it's been a decidedly older crowd (much more so at Hidden Beach than next door at El Dorado) and despite the fact that we only feel moderately in shape ourselves, we would register in the 'more fit than most' category while at HBR. (Trying to be diplomatic here.) Again, that should provide comfort for those who are seeking total body acceptance as that is definitely the norm here. People will simply accept you for who you are which is truly the beauty of naturism. Simply to acknowledge here that the crowd is a bit different than the European counterpart - for whatever that means.
So that all said, we really DO think Hidden Beach is one of the finest properties of its kind on the planet and we look forward to going back (sooner than later, I hope) and hopefully on a more regular basis. (Unless, of course, I've voted ourselves off the island with our back-handed compliments in this review! :) ) The swim-up room option IS INDEED totally worth it. The employees are truly kind. And the experience of lying on the beach under the palm trees, devoid of wet nylon, and staring back at the white Mexican architecture against the blue azure sky is absolutely amazing - and worth every penny.
So there it is! Bravo, bravo, applause, applause. Live long and prosper HBR. We're big fans!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is the only luxurious all-inclusive nudist resort in the Mexican Caribbean. Consisting of 42 beachfront suites, it is a secluded adults only property, perfect for couples and singles alike. Located just one hour and a half south of Cancun Airport, Hidden Beach Resort lies on a stretch of white sand beach offering spectacular views of the Mexican Caribbean sea. Hidden Beach blends signature services such as personalized check-in with a welcome glass of champagne or the exclusive concierge service with charming architecture to create an atmosphere of understated luxury. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hidden Beach Resort - Au Naturel Club Hotel Riviera Maya
- Hidden Beach Mexico
- Hidden Beach Hotel Au Naturel