Resort getaway exudes luxury with a friendly flair.
By Minerva Arboleya
Disregard all preconceived notions of Cancun. No rowdy spring-breakers, no giant neon drinks, no all-you-can-eat buffet stations, and no party hoppers in this ultra-chic, laid-back resort.
The moment you drive through the giant privacy gate of Nizuc Resort & Spa, there’s an immediate realization that this is not your average Cancun destination. Then, when told that the resort sits on land that was once Mexico’s presidential retreat, there’s a whole new level of mysticism added to the already mystical sanctuary. Every detail reinforces the most impeccable taste, which begins with the giant, wooden egg-shaped sculptures that greet visitors upon arrival — strategically placed in the center of the lobby floors. The warmth of the welcoming staff — hands-over-their-hearts to represent a heart-felt hello — is entirely unforgettable.
As we entered our penthouse suite in the Amar building — one of seven individually named ocean-front buildings in the resort — we were greeted with breathtaking views of Punta Nizuc and far beyond. The suite, as well as 102 others on the property, included a private infinity pool and lounge bed on the balcony, overlooking the Caribbean Sea and a picture-perfect sunset at dusk.
While we preferred to walk, hopping on a traveling golf cart — driven by hotel staff who were heading in our same direction — was the main form of transportation, a friendly form of hitch hiking. So, we hitched a ride to La Punta Grill, an adult-only area of the resort, for a relaxing grilled lunch on the beach. With over 104 pools on the property, including the guest suites, this one, in particular, is off limits to children — which made it no surprise to find an overwhelming number of New Yorkers playing hooky in the infinity pool with cocktails in hands — the perfect way to head into the weekend.
Our first choice for dinner reservations was Ramona, whose menu offered a modern twist on traditional Mexican cuisine. The char-grilled tortillas with a hint of lime were beyond delicious — an explosion of flavors in what would seem to be a simple tortilla. The cuisine, the ambiance, and the mood was laid back, yet exuded a sultry elegance. While our instinct was to return to Ramona night after night, we ventured off to experience all the restaurants on the property and found one to be better than the others. Indochine was another unforgettable experience — flaming torches and delectable Asian-inspired dishes. And the cozy ambiance of Havana Lounge offered the perfect setting for a nightcap to close the day every evening.
While I’m not the most adventurous at sea — as is my better half — paddleboards and kayaks beckoned. There’s just something about Caribbean crystal-clear waters that captivates me — so we headed to the sports hut one day before breakfast. A friendly instructor taught us the paddleboard basics — although I was really the only one needing the tips — and off we went to explore the mangroves and Punta Nizuc, up close.
While Nizuc Resort & Spa offered us the perfect weekend get-a-way, the close proximity to Miami and Palm Beach also makes it the most unforgettable vacation-from-a-vacation for our South American friends. Now, the secret is out.