Chances are you’ve heard of the Riviera Maya. A stretch of rainforest and white sand beaches between Cancun and Tulum, this is the idyllic sort of place people dream of when they use the phrase “Relaxing on a beach somewhere…”.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first came to this hotel because usually when I think all-inclusive I imagine that corners are cut so that the resort can still make a profit. Let me just start right here and say, I was VERY surprised (in a good way).
The minute you enter you notice the attention to detail and design. The doormen help you to the check-in counter where you’re sat at one of the couches in the lobby and given a welcome drink and even asked what type of candle you’d like to choose for your room scent. I was also shown the app (YES! An App!) for the hotel, which was by FAR the most full featured app I’ve ever seen for everything from ordering room service 24/7, to having your room cleaned or turned down WHENEVER you’d like, and even allowed you to request different TYPES of pillows according to your preference in sleeping position. I was VERY pleasantly surprised and hesitant that something like this would work in operation but more on that later…
Now onto the property itself. This place is a VERY large. Lets list it out – Too many pools to count (including an Adult-only pool), a Mexican, Mediterranean, AND Sushi/Teppanyaki Restaurant, along with poolside tacos and a beach front cafe. I honestly could have spent an entire week without feeling like I was at a lack of things to do and eat. Speaking of – it just so happened that it rained for a bit of my stay, but that didn’t ruin a single thing. They had live music, a nightclub within the resort, TOP-SHELF liquor at the bars, and every room contains an outdoor hottub or direct access to a plunge pool.
Lets get to the food and drinks. This is one of the biggest problems I have with all-inclusive resorts – they skimp on the quality. Not here – as an avid “Foodie” and a food writer I have to say the quality of the dishes and selection at this resort was simply outstanding! Particularly delicious were the poolside tacos along with the incredible Mediterranean inspired kitchen and the breakfast pastries in the main lobby’s coffee shop (yes, all you can drink coffee and pastries – highly dangerous here).
Of course, the room itself is itself enough to write an entire article about. The interior is modern yet homey with just the right hints of stone and wood, and everything from the locally sourced soap, to the Mexican candy and all you can eat snacks were icing on the cake.
Now if you decide to leave the property (Which I highly encourage doing), they have an incredibly helpful concierge and booking service. Through them we got locals type tours of Cenote’s (cave swimming holes), and of the local ruins of Tulum. Seeing as how the resort is ideally located Tulum is only 25 minutes away so this is sort of the perfect place to stay without being in the hustle of the city and being able to enjoy Resort life AND Tulum life.
It is truly rare that I find something that I enjoy so fully, especially in the all-inclusive category, something is usually found wrong, whether its quality of the rooms, quality of the food, or somewhere that the property decides to cut corners on, but with UNICO, I really couldn’t find fault.
-Location (How close is this to top attractions in the surrounding area?)
On its own private beach, not too far from the airport, and close enough to local sights like Tulum
-Cleanliness (Is the grout in the bathroom clean? How good is maid service here?)
The app really kills it here. They are on top of their game and its a very new property at time of writing (September 2018)
-Upkeep (Is the hotel in need of a remodel, or is it being constantly kept up?)
Still a relatively new property, nothing at fault here
-Public Spaces (How unique/inventive/useful are the public spaces?)
The Gym is one of the most full featured ones including even a yoga room. The spa was on par with any 5-star resort, and with restaurants and bars galore along with unique spaces to just relax and read a book or just have a drink, this was high up there.
-Service (How good is the service here?)
Staff were attentive and easy to speak to, concierge was great. No personal butler here but at this price point it was incredible service.
-Restaurants On-Site (Are the restaurants on site somewhere even the locals would go to?)
One of the best perks of this place, the quality of food and service.
-Concierge (Specifically, how effective is the Concierge at helping you with a new locale?)
Lovely concierge service with great local suggestions
(35/70 is average)
- Modern, refined, All-Inclusive
- Every room is a great room here with either an outdoor tub or a plunge pool
- Attention to detail with the easy to use App really made this place incredible
- At this price point there really are none
- Don’t stay in Tulum. Although the hotels there have lots of their unique qualities, if you want a full service resort but want to explore Tulum on the side THIS is the place to go. d