Sometimes we just want to chill. That’s when an all-inclusive resort in Mexico fits the bill. Meant to offer enough activity options to please a crowd, without hidden costs, hedonistically rife with food and drink temptations, culturally immersive without requiring you to leave the property and nearly always planted along a sublime swathe of seaside terrain, Mexico’s best all-inclusive getaways define paradise. Herewith, find a few we hanker to book again.
Naviva, a Four Seasons Resort
In some ways, as a destination, Punta Mita itself already feels like a far flung, lesser traveled part of Mexico. En route from Puerto Vallarta, you’ll pass enough jungle to give the impression you’ve left the city far behind. But Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort, the storied Four Seasons hotel group’s newly opened, adults only, luxury tented resort, located amongst woodland atop a cliff, redefines the concept of “sequestered in nature.” Guests enter via a cocoon-like covered bridge to discover a 48-acre, verdant sanctum with just 15 opulently organic tents. Evoking the spirit of Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in northern Thailand, which has a similar, sustainable, old school camp–even Adirondack Great Camp–ethos, Naviva, nevertheless, uniquely emanates pure Mexico. Utterly luxurious, celebrating simplicity, this intimate hideaway is meant to guide guests to a regenerative experience of quietude and rumination amongst the poetry of nature. With a plenitude of open walls and airy spaces, the retreat vaunts private plunge pools, hammocks, a spa, a restaurant and soaking tubs. Do nothing at all–or sit in the temazcal; experience reiki or a massage. Take a hike or lumber along the secluded beach. Perhaps just be alone with yourself–that’s the point of Naviva, after all.
Not everybody knows about untrammeled Playa Mujeres, a pristine bit of beach, edged by a wetland wildlife preserve, forty minutes north of Cancun. But, they should. Far from the madding crowd, this corner of the Riviera Maya features only a handful of resorts, the best of which is Finest Playa Mujeres. Sleek, contemporary, breezy, the all-suite hotel features 10 swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, 15 bars, 10 restaurants, a fantasy-level kid’s club so fun that parents like to join in on the revelry, plus a stellar spa — among other attributes. Its capacious, bi-level foyer, anchored by a circular martini bar, sets an elegant mood upon arrival, though guests cast off their street shoes for flip floppy fun the moment they hit the party pool and beach.
What We Love: The restaurant’s range from a taco trailer to Spanish tapas to steak and lobster in theme. The rooms sport huge terraces and two-person-wide Jacuzzi tubs. Affable, attentive staff and high-quality nightly shows seal the deal.
Grand Velas Los Cabos
Created by Mexican bon vivants inspired to open a high end all-inclusive that met their own expectations when traveling, Grand Velas, in its various locations across Mexico, continues to wow and pamper guests with upper tier expectations. Their outpost on the Baja Peninsula, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Los Cabos, prides itself on conveying the next generation of all-inclusive amenities, seasoned with jaw dropping facilities and peerless ocean views. Situated between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, the retreat welcomes guests at check in with Veuve Clicquot and (molecularly-created fruit) caviar plus a neck massage. All 307 oceanview suites, some kitted out to be wellness havens, feature top level spirits, including a custom-made mezcal.
What we Love: Up market across the board, the resort excels in its epicurean focus. Think: seven gourmet restaurants helmed by top chefs. The immense spa even showcases blue agave in its signature treatments.
Sleep in a treehouse? On a beach? You’ve been dreaming of it. Glamp guiltlessly at this Pacific Ocean-fronted, eco-oriented escape where your palm tree doubles as your suite. Eighteen rustically-chic suites dangle from palms transplanted from the resort’s own coconut grove. Erected along the Mobula Manta ray migration route, just 35 miles south of Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International airport, this intimate retreat exudes an earthy vibe with daily yoga, massage services, and a baby sea turtle sanctuary. The chef forages from the on-site farm for healthy meal ingredients, including coconuts, mangos, cashews, lettuces, cactus — even cacao. The resort’s ethos to give back and to support personal growth underscores its activities: volunteer with the turtles, engage in workshops or take part in programs that allow for interaction with the local communities.
What we Love: A leader in the regenerative travel space, they make a tiny footprint, while providing guests with the chance to immerse in nature and unplug from the buzz.
For design lovers, this adults-only retreat on Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore struts its stuff with a Five Diamond rating, the first in the state of Jalisco. Lively and cheeky in tone, conceived to pamper, it has two towers, which share their array of amenities from restaurants to rooftop pools. Sensually inspired by nature, accented in reds, purples and golds, hung with alluring artwork, the hotel incorporates the outdoors at every turn. Sliding glass doors and large windows bring the sea and sky into the interiors and the interior outdoors. With access to more than 5 specialty restaurants and four bars, guests can also take advantage of a hydrotherapy-themed spa and a topnotch fitness program.
What We Love: Besides the design aesthetic and large suites (the Ultra Mousai Suite sprawls for around 1,000-square-feet), the hotel excels with its activities programs from jungle tours to Kundalini yoga.
Traveling with families can go over budget fast. Savvy parents know that all-inclusive resorts geared toward pleasing the entire pack not only save them money, but ensure a gamut of memories, new experiences, and family fun. Shiny brand new Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya opened in August 2021, brandishing all the comforts of its mother ship Karisma Hotels & Resorts. A five star extravaganza of experiences, the retreat has creative oceanside suites big enough to fit families of five or more. Characters from SpongeBob to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles keep younger kids in awe, while everybody will be entranced by the waterpark with its Paw Patrol section and Bikini Bottom city replica play park. Meanwhile, parents can swoon over five-star pampering, such as butler service, gourmet meals, and spa treatments. The downside /upside? Expect to get “slimed.”
What We Love: Have a family reunion in one of the immense themed suites — such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Lair Suite, which holds two adults and five children or two adults and three teens.
Who says you need to travel all the way to Bora Bora or the Maldives to be suspended above the sea in an overwater bungalow? At Palafitos, hovering above the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya, thirty-one luxury, thatched-roofed bungalows await — each with a glass floor for marine vistas. Leap right into the sea from your deck and cool off as your butler brings cocktails, sunscreen, snorkel supplies, and gastronomic snacks at your beck and call. Flaunting global cuisines from Peruvian to Caribbean in hotspots as enticing as an overwater grill and wine bar, the resort also brings relaxation at its Naay Spa and wellness center.
What We Love: Adventure questing couples can enjoy excursions offered at Maroma Marina, such as camel safari tours, swimming with the dolphins, and deep sea fishing for an additional cost.
Swim-up suites, penthouses, and commodious luxury rooms, each popping with bright bits of Mexican color await at Garza Blanca Resort & Spa, an oceanfront oasis, situated on Playa Mujeres Beach. Catering to all types of travelers, this chic retreat loves to mollycoddle children, so bring the whole clan. Staff prepare rooms in advance with child-friendly amenities including car seats, strollers and baby monitors. A Kids Club for ages 4-12 entertains youngsters while the elders explore the beach and rooftop infinity pool or take soulful sustenance in the 7 signature restaurants.
What We Love: The hotel’s Residential Retreats Program caters to larger groups and provides special services including personal butlers, private chef dinners and more.
Minutes from the charming village of Loreto, designated a Pueblo Mágico (Magic Town) for its characteristic colonial architecture, vivacious culture and centuries-old history, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto by Danzante Bay lies amid the dramatic Sierra de la Giganta mountains within Loreto Bay National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A boon for nature lovers and those seeking transformative vacation experiences, this eco-conscious retreat boasts dawn-to-dusk adventures including: whale watching, Tabor Canyon hikes, ATV desert tours, LED standup paddle boarding at night, sport fishing excursions, surfing at Scorpion Bay and the stellar TPC Danzante Bay, an 18-hole golf course from Rees Jones. The 39,000-square-foot Sabila Spa and five pools make the grade when relaxation calls.
What We Love: Villa Del Palmar offers an array of suites and penthouses, including options that can sleep up to 10 people. Every guest accommodation includes a kitchen and provides families and groups with all the amenities of home.