The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun

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Few hotel brands capture the essence of opulence quite like The Ritz-Carlton does. And when you combine that with the warm hospitality for which Mexico is so well known, you’ve just found yourself embraced by The Ritz Carlton, Cancun, one of the most luxurious resorts in this bustling tourist destination.

It was a rainy morning in October when this editor arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, but the weather was hardly a concern once we stepped foot into the property’s intimate lobby. Marble floors and crystal chandeliers keep the vibe elegant, while colonial /antique-style furnishings and artwork lend to the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

“When guests first enter our facility, they are able to feel at home,” says Carlos Abanzua general manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. “The sense of arrival at our resort is unlike any hotel in Cancun. It’s a private getaway, for those expecting nothing but the best.”

Adding that, “The grand service provided by our staff has brought many accolades to this resort. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun is the only 15 diamond resort in the world—five-diamond awarded resort and two five-diamond awarded restaurants.”

Impressive Accommodations

Situated on a 7.5-acre beachfront oasis, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun features 365 guestrooms, including 46 Club level rooms and 50 suites. Each residential-style accommodation features a spacious balcony with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea, as well as in-room comforts such as a flat-screen TV, iPod docking station and fully stocked refreshment cabinet. Bathrooms are outfitted with oversized rain showers, separate bathtubs, dual vanities and marble floors. But what may be the most charming part of the guestrooms is that each one opens with its very own brass key—that’s right, no electric key cards here—adding to that “at home” feeling.

A Taste of Mexico

There are many things to love about Mexico, with cuisine being at the very top. And true foodies will love the abundance of culinary options at each of The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun’s six restaurants—from the cheesy chicken quesadillas and fresh guacamole served poolside at The Caribe Bar & Grill, to the ranchero egg and tortilla breakfast at El Cafe Mexico. And those two AAA five-diamond restaurants we mentioned earlier—they are definitely worth a visit. At Fantino, which offers a menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, guests can opt for such delights as watermelon salad with buffalo mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette, duck confit served with risotto and porcini crusted filet mignon with roasted potatoes. And if your client is a seafood lover, you are going to want to tell them not to miss the sauteed snapper with Italian couscous. The Club Grill, too, will have guests enjoying an innovative selection of dishes such as forest mushrooms in a foie gras sauce, braised shoulder with roasted root vegetable and shellfish cassoulet.

For a truly unique culinary adventure, book your clients the Dine With Chef experience, a hands-on, interactive dinner presentation that takes place at the hotel’s state-of-the-art Viking Culinary Center. Taking place on Monday, Thursday and Saturday evenings, for instance, the Mexican Gourmet Dining Experience features a 5-course menu of authentic regional dishes paired with Mexican boutique wines. Or, recommend a culinary session where guests learn how to cook delicious entrees like veal and ricotta ravioli and chicken enchiladas. Agents, note all sessions at the Viking Culinary Center allow only a maximum of 14 guests, so sign-up is recommended.

After dinner, guests should head over to the lobby bar for a tequila tasting ($65 pp; available daily at 6 p.m. upon request), where a tequila sommelier will take them on a 60-minute journey that explores the history of Mexico’s most popular drink, along with samples of a variety of premium tequilas.

Other onsite amenities include a 1,200-ft.-long white sand beach dotted with casita-style cabanas, two outdoor pools, an oceanfront whirlpool, Luna Lounge—a Mexican-style beach club featuring a festive ambiance on Saturday nights complete with bonfire and music—the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center, a kids’ club, a full-service beauty salon and several boutiques.

Spa Indulgences

A trip to The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun isn’t complete without a visit to the spa. In fact, with the less than favorable weather during Recommend’s visit, this editor decided to spend not one, but two afternoons exploring all of what Kayanta Spa had to offer—a tough task, but as the saying goes, someone’s got to do it, right?