If Avatar’s Pandora Had a Luxury All-Inclusive Hotel in the Riviera Maya this Would be it + Photo Journal

Hotel Xcaret Mexico provided me with transportation and accommodations for the purpose of this travel guide. This article contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

 

Recently I took a trip to the Riviera Maya to be among the first ever to visit Hotel Xcaret Mexico both before its official opening and during its opening ceremony. I’ve put together this guide for those who want to escape to paradise but don’t have the skinny on where they can find it.

 

What is paradise? For some it’s toes in the sand, exotic birds and Mai Thais by the sea. For others, it’s any place that takes you away from your everyday life. For me, it’s a place far away from work, but close enough to return to work without being jetlagged, teeming with mythology and folklore, and visually breathtaking. Mai Thais by the sea welcomed. Tucked away in the Riviera Maya this all-inclusive luxury hotel is benchmarking paradise. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea and surrounded by ancient mythology adventures, it is the first eco-friendly resort built from the ground up in Latin America. All you have to do is pack your bags. Leave the rest to them.

 

Tell you more? Gladly.

All Inclusive Resort in Mexico

 

Paradise by the Sea – Hotel Xcaret Mexico is a Luxury All-Inclusive Masterpiece of the Riviera Maya

 

Hotel Xcaret Mexico is the latest addition to the Xcaret family. It’s a magical place where eco-friendliness, sustainability, luxury, and adventure come together offering all-inclusive accommodations to guests traveling to the Riviera Maya. Its contemporary rustic design blends Mexican culture with an organic, spa-like environment both in the suites and on the property. By day it’s an otherworldly paradise of caves, coves, rivers, and jungle. By night fire-lit torches and lighting command attention as you are immersed in 360 degrees of ambiance.

 

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When I first arrived back in October for a site visit (pre-opening) I was completely blown away. Quite literally this hotel seemed like a mashup of Avatar’s Pandora and something from a far-off planet in Star Wars. I immediately fell in love with its organic lines and rustic contemporary design. This place is not only surrounded by water, but the river runs through it offering spectacular views at every turn. Still, I had no idea what it was truly like until my recent overnight visit for its opening ceremony when I had the opportunity to stay for two evenings.

 

At this point, I was already sold on the ambiance of the property, but arriving would prove outstanding hospitality and comforts. From my bathrobe to my mojitos, every single thing was perfect. It truly is paradise, and one I’ll be visiting for the rest of my life. If you’re planning a trip, here is just about everything you need to know about Hotel Xcaret Mexico.

 

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A Travel Guide to Earth’s Newest Magical Paradise

 

EVERYTHING FLOWS® at Hotel Xcaret Mexico

 

EVERYTHING FLOWS® is the hotel’s service culture. From arrival to departure a team of hospitality specialists strives to anticipate your needs with the best of Mexican hospitality supported by avant-garde technology. Just lay back and enjoy this experience.

  • Scheduled airport shuttle*
  • Semi-private and private transportation available*
  • 24 h room service
  • Wi-Fi included
  • Schedule transportation to Experiencias Xcaret’s Parks and Tours
  • Babysitting*
  • Guest Service Manager to coordinate your activities*
  • Concierge
  • Pool Concierge and Butler Service in Casa Fuego, Casa Tierra, and Casa Agua

*Charges and/or restrictions may apply, upon the booked experience accommodation

 

What type of suites are available?

 

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The hotel offers a variety of accommodations to include regular, junior, swim up, and master suites with garden, sea, pool, and river views.

 

Suites include:

  • Espresso coffee machine featuring authentic Mexican Coffee
  • Minibar
  • Mexican style hammocks in balcony
  • Vanity mirror
  • Robes and slippers (only for guests at Casa Tierra, Casa Fuego and Casa Agua)
  • Hair dryer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Security box
  • WiFi included
  • In-room amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • Jacuzzi
  • Rain shower
  • 55” flat screen TV

 

What’s included in their all-inclusive?

 

Could you imagine going to an all-inclusive resort and never having to worry about paying more money for parks? The hotel’s All-Fun Inclusive® program means that as long as you are a registered guest, you automatically have unlimited access to Xcaret Parks: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco, and Xenses, as well as deluxe Tours to Xenotes and Xichen, with dining plans and round-trip transportation, included.

 

So you and your family need only to worry about packing your bags and booking your flights. Hotel Xcaret Mexico will pick you up from Cancun airport (extra fee) and deliver you to paradise. And when you’re ready to visit one of their parks, just call the front desk and they will arrange transportation for you.

 

Wait, what are Xcaret Parks and Tours?

 

If you’ve been following my adventures then you’ve likely seen that I’ve been working with Xcaret Parks for years now. Xcaret Parks and Tours are eco-archaeological parks set in the natural landscapes of the Riviera Maya where the jungle meets the sea. Wrapped in underground river systems, waterfalls, caves and cenotes, Xcaret Parks offer unforgettable experiences rich in the culture and ancient mythology of Mexico. Each park is like a magical jungle adventure where no expense is spared on details. You could find yourself in underground caves, beside waterfalls or rope swinging into a crystalline river. The adventures are countless.

 

Here’s a brief summary of each park:

 

Sacred Mayan Journey Xcaret, Gauge Rybak, Kidfriendly

Climbing the ruins at Xcaret Park

 

Xcaret Park – Cultural heritage and love for the environment await you in one of the best family theme parks in the world. Delve into the trails of Xcaret to discover how the Mayan jungle and culture of Mexico combine in more than 50 attractions. Located on the seashore in the Riviera Maya, Xcaret is truly a magical place.

 

Check out my photo journal of Xcaret Park or my Day of the Dead Festival experience from last year.

 

Xplor – 65 million years ago a 10 km-diameter asteroid struck the Yucatan peninsula. Over millions of years, nature sculpted the underground landscape of caves, caverns, and rivers. Miraculous stalactites and stalagmites began taking shape creating stunning underground decorations and exposing precious fossils. In this adventurous eco-archaeological setting you can experience six activities: zip-lines, amphibious vehicles, rafting and swimming in underground rivers, and spelunking, and a hammock splash.

 

Check out my last adventure to Xplor here.

 

Xplor Fuego – After sunset, Xplor Fuego takes Xplor to another level that invites you to discover new adventures to the scene of fire-lit torches, fireflies, bonfires, and stars that light up caves, paths, and bridges. Zipline at sunset, venture into the dark jungle, plunge into refreshing waters of an underground river or just enjoy the atmosphere of the jungle at night.

 

 

Xenses – 15 activities will take you on a fantastic journey through air, land, and water to revive your senses and awaken those you didn’t know you had. This is an experience full of challenges for your mind and body in a world of sensations. Harmonize your senses as you journey through caverns, gardens, a town, rivers, waterfalls and much more. It’s an attraction unlike any I’ve ever experienced before.

 

Check out our associate Editors Nia and Tim’s adventure to Xenses here.

 

Xilco Milco – Your party night out in Cancun and Riviera Maya! Live the joy of the Mexican culture, customs, and traditions through music, dance, games, and food in an excursion on board colorful party barges across unique scenery from Mexico accompanied by family, friends and an animated host.

 

Xenotes Tour – Cenote is Mayan for “cave with water”. These caves are deep and filled with water from underground rivers. Ancient Mayan communities had a strong connection with cenotes, as it was their source of water and the entrance to the underworld. A professional tour of four different types of cenotes in the heart of the Mayan jungle will challenge you as you descend by assisted rappel to a wonderful turquoise blue water cenote, sheltered by an ancient cave. You will be refreshed as you zip line into a cenote and you will feel adventurous as you kayak through a magical cenote of exotic vegetation and stone walls.

 

Xel-Há  – Imagine a magical seaside paradise steeped in mythology and lore. This nature lover’s dream is a natural aquarium that sits on the Caribbean Sea in the Riviera Maya and is a model for sustainable tourism development. Ancient Mayans baptized this site with the name Xel-Há which means, “where water is born”.

 

Xel-Ha Park, Gauge Rybak, Kidfriendly

The little dude snorkeling at Xel-Ha Park

 

Legend says that Xel-Ha was created by Mayan Gods. Pleased with its beauty, they permitted mortals entry to their paradise. But first the Gods appointed three guardians to care for it: Huh, the Iguana, Guardian of the Land, Chuc Kay, the Pelican, Guardian of the Air, and Kay Op, the Parrotfish, Guardian of the Water. It is said that these guardians still protect and care for the Park and everyone who comes to visit.

 

Check out my last adventure to Xel-Ha here.

 

Xichen Tour – Three spectacular archaeological ruins of ancient Maya and two mysterious cenotes can be toured with Xichen Tours to include; Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Cobá, Zací Cenote and the Sacred Blue Cenote at Ik’kil as well as La Casona, an 18th-century colonial mansion.

 

Chichén Itzá is an ancient Mayan city known for being the first one to worship the feathered serpent god, Kukulcán. Its main building, the Pyramid of Kukulcán or El Castillo, is an exact three-dimensional calendar, perfectly represented throughout its structure with the number of days, weeks, months and years, which we use to this day. It is the most representative icon of Mayan culture. Nearby the Pyramid of Kukulcán you will see “The Sacred Cenote” for the remains and jewelry discovered inside confirm that it was used for religious ceremonies in honor of the rain god.

 

Tulum is the only archaeological site built beachfront and is the best preserved. Its natural beauty paired with architectural magnificence draws spectators and is heavily photographed.

 

Cobá is home to the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan and second tallest in the Mayan world. The pyramid of Nohoch Mul measures 138 feet, the equivalent of a 10-story building. Here you can find the famous “end of the world” inscription, the Stela One.

 

Zací Cenote is one of the largest, most impressive open cenotes in Yucatan. It is located a few blocks from the main square of Valladolid and it is the place where the legend of the love of Zac Nicté and Hul-Kil arose.

 

Sacred Blue Cenote at Ik’kil allows you to immerse yourself in waters once only accessible by Mayan kings. Surrounded by trees and lush vegetation falling like waterfalls you’ll find yourself in 131 feet of crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming and admiring goldfish, catfish, even small turtles.

 

La Casona is an 18th-century colonial mansion once owned by a governor of Yucatan, General José Iturralde Traconis. Here past splendor is combined with the mixture of flavors of the present as guests are invited to admire its architecture and culinary delights of pre-Hispanic ingredients such as corn, achiote, pumpkin seeds and habanero chile, with those brought from distant lands like garlic, pork, chicken, and almonds.

 

 

What Can Kids do?

 

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Little kids can learn about Mexican culture as they enjoy a wide array of activities that have been specially designed to let their imagination and creativity run free. There is a Kid Zone for younger kids and a teenager zone for older kids. So, you can sit back and get some much needed you time. There is also a place for teens to hang out and a kid’s only pool.

What’s Casa Fuego all about? The adults-only section of the resort

 

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At the top of Casa Fuego guests have a little fun in the catwalk like pool.

 

Casa Fuego is a seaside building with a rooftop bar designed for adults only. This means no kids around for those looking for peace and quiet.

 

Let’s talk about dining!

 

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Ceviche prepared by Chef Carlos Gaytan

 

Ten restaurants and eight bars at Hotel Xcaret Mexico will prove mouth watering as you’re taken on a culinary journey across the globe. Elegant Mexican inspired ambiance, Asian inspired contemporary design, ancient Mayan inspired seaside eateries and romantic cave dinners are just some of the scenes that you’ll find on property. And need I even tell you how fabulous swim up bars are?

 

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El Mercado

El Mercado

El Mercado

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El Mercado

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Ha Restaurant

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El Mercado

 

Among the many amazing restaurants on site, several stood out to me for their incredible food, convenience, and atmosphere. The El Mercado Restaurant which is the main go-to spot for buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner offers farm-to-table ingredients and a chef who will make your food fresh. There were a lot of options here for anyone with special dietary needs as well, including fresh seafood. I also love the atmosphere and outdoor seating option. Xin-Gao also delighted my senses with ambiances and delicious Asian offerings like Hibachi and sushi. La Trajinera won my heart for its location by the sea, view of one of the hotel’s infinity pools and the option to strip down into my bathing suit and hit the swim up bar immediately after. The fact that my server told me I was “his Queen” didn’t hurt either.

 

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La Trajinera

The Steakhouse

 

Holding a special spot on my list is Ha. This contemporary dinner restaurant invites guests (at an extra cost) to enjoy a water vortex, a unique cocktail bar and a private cava and dining room. But even more appealing are the culinary masterpieces created by Executive Chef Carlos Gaytán. Gaytán, known as Mexico’s first Michelin Star chef, owns and operates Mexique Chicago and is also the third placeholder for America’s Top Chef. I had the chance to meet Chef Carlos and enjoy his distinctive offerings to which I was officially addicted and am now considering dinner in Chicago. Yeah, it was that good.

 

Additional Adventures and on Site Amenities

 

You don’t have to leave the hotel to have an adventure. You can spend the day kayaking in the hotel’s turquoise river, jump out and explore caves or relax in a riverside hammock. Or maybe you’d rather hike in the jungle? After a long day of relaxing, why not relax more at the hotel’s spa where you can get hydrotherapy, massages, facials, and even sit in a traditional Mayan cave sauna. If you’re really dedicated, make your way over to their massive gym equipped with every Life Fitness machine you can imagine.

 

Watch My Photo Journal Here:

Check out My Photo Journal!

 

First Impressions – The Check-in Area 

 

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The Property

 

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The Suites

 

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When the Sun Goes Down

 

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Practical Advice

 

Be sure to pack clothes for resort casual wear, resort dress wear, adventure wear and multiple bathing suits. You’ll also want that backup charger for your phone so you can be sure to always get a photo (there are many places to be inspired). Also, I highly recommend you get a waterproof case for your phone so you can adventure on. Sandals and comfortable footwear is recommended for both the hotel and the parks. Also, bring a small backpack for day trips. Here are some of my favorite travel items for Xcaret Parks and this hotel: (Affiliate links). 

 

Click the image to shop on Amazon

 

Waterproof phone pouches

Heavy duty backup charger slim like phone

Waterproof daypack for traveling

Women’s waterproof Sketchers

Waterproof Crocs for kids

 

 

This hotel just changed the escape to paradise game for American travelers. Direct flights to Cancun will get you to the otherworld like paradise in no time and leave you refreshed and ready to face the world (rather than jet-lagged and in need of a vacation from your vacation). Take a trip to the Riviera Maya and find out why this hotel is my number one favorite in the world.

 

For more information about booking your escape to paradise visit HotelXcaret.com

 

 


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day.

“It’s never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams.” -Christa Thompson

23 Comments on this post

  1. I am here freezing and trying to work and then you show me this amazing resort. I want to go yesterday and leave it all behind. I love the restaurants,views and amenities and would go in a nanosecond.

    Melissa Chapman / Reply
  2. That has to be the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever seen. It really does look like a giant blue cat person connected to a horse by their ponytail is going to run across the picture at any second.

    Stacie / Reply
  3. WOW! Talk about paradise. I would absolutely LOVE to go stay there someday.

    robin rue / Reply
  4. Wow, the an amazing place to stay. All of the photos are absolutely gorgeous!

    Pam Wattenbarger / Reply
  5. I want to vacation here! I love that they offer babysitting, and there is an adults only section. I also want to do some xploring of the underground caves and caverns. That sounds so interesting.

    travel blogger / Reply
  6. I was just reaching places to go in Mexico and this place look stunning! I am so going to look into this for our next trip!

    briannemanz / Reply
  7. How absolutely stunning is this place! I love the whole location and everything that’s inside it! I think it’s perfect for a week long holiday that you’ve been dreaming of. It’s definitely worth going to.

    Carol Cassara / Reply
  8. We are still deciding on if we want to hit up Mexico or the Bahamas this year. I think you have me sold on Mexico with a stay at the Xcaret! What a stunning place to unwind!

    Theresa / Reply
  9. Wow, the kids activities look amazing. It could be a wonderful family vacation.

  10. OMG. I see all photos and I want to be there! I feel so sorry for myself, feeling under the weather (with the flu), and all bundled up to keep myself warm. Oh, that catwalk like pool. That resort is paradise!

    Annemarie LeBlanc / Reply
  11. oh em gee! i am looking at these pictures and i am like “i need to go there” this hotel looks so amazing! everything! the food, the place, the rooms!

    Corinne and Kirsty / Reply
  12. This place is gorgeous! It is incredible they provide babysitting but I would be a little nervous to just leave my child behind in another country. You images are incredible! I want to leave today! 😉

    Lakesha / Reply
  13. This is absolutely AMAZING. I think you’ve found my idea of heaven, how beautiful is this! All your pictures are gorgeous and with each one I want to go more and more! I’m writing this place down and I’ll hope one day I will be lucky enough to visit!

  14. What a GORGEOUS resort!! I was in Mexico last year in Riviera Maya and this just brought back sooooo many wonderful memories. ❤️

    Xx,
    Aïchatou Bella

    Aïchatou Bella / Reply
  15. Wow!!! That is such a breathtaking place to visit with the whole family. The beautiful scenery is so fulfilling. I will definitely add this to my travel lists.

    Agnes Vazhure / Reply
  16. I have always heard great things about hotels in Riviera Maya! This one is probably my new favorite! It looks PERFECT for a nice long vacation! I definitely would love staying there lol

    brigettedanielle / Reply
  17. Wow all of these amenties! What a fun trip!

    nicoleflintkontrol / Reply
  18. This hotel looks simply beautiful and amazing! Definitely looks like a true paradise I would definitely love to stay here for all it has to offer. Thank you for sharing!

    Different Frame of Mind / Reply
  19. Lovely article with beautiful snaps ; much appreciated by https://travelbourne.com/.

    Muhammad Suleman / Reply
  20. Whoah! I’m finding it hard believing the resort is real. Riviera Maya is so beautiful. Plus it’s in Mexico. I got to see it soon.

    Jake Smith / Reply
  21. I think I should live here why just vacation? Seriously, this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen and you captured it so well! From the rooms to the restaurants purely beautiful and the lands make me want to be there now, out of this dreary NY winter and into that beautiful warm place. A section for just adults captured my attention as well. I love my grandchildren but there is nothing like peace and quiet.

    Gladys Parker / Reply
  22. Wow, this place is gorgeous. All of the food looks amazing too. I need to vacation here immediately.

    Adaleta Avdic (@adaatude) / Reply
  23. Wow! gorgeous place. This hotel has a ton of amenities and I can see myself totally relaxing here! You have captured some really good photographs.

    Vidya Sudarsan / Reply

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