As if you need any reasons to be convinced to travel to Cancun, right? The friendly people, the beautiful turquoise water and delicious cuisine are all easy-to-understand on their own. But, there is a newly opened resort (still in its soft opening phase) near Playa Mujeres that is bucking the trend for what an all-inclusive resort can deliver, especially when it comes to such a high level of accommodations and top-notch cuisine. Garza Blanca, the upscale hotel brand with 100% Mexican ownership under the Tafer Hotel portfolio, is a destination worth exploring.
The Cancun resort is still a work in progress with the majority of its guest rooms and restaurants still under construction. This means that there can be occasional building equipment noise by the pool and beach, but luckily, the resort is giving guests a sneak peek at what is to come with enticing rates and unhindered views of the aquamarine sea. Here are five reasons why Garza Blanca is worth a look for your next vacation in paradise.
Soon to have even more restaurants, Garza Blanca is a foodie’s dream. It starts with Blanca Blue, the all-day dining concept serving authentic Mexican dishes from around the country. Prepared from an exhibition kitchen, meals in this contemporary dining room overlooking the sea are a delight. At breakfast, the selection includes a buffet of fresh fruit, nuts, yogurts, cold cuts, fish, pastries and hot items.
There is also an a la carte menu with Mexican dishes like chilaquiles and Aztec crepes; don’t miss the variety of sauces that accompany each dish ranging from spicy to sweet. Later in the day, the Michelin-star quality menu continues to impress with everything from traditional mole to enchiladas and other savory items. If you like to eat, this all-inclusive does not skimp on ingredient quality.
A food truck serves delectable ceviche and light snacks to those lounging beneath shaded palapas on the beach. Try one of the colorful cocktails on the long drink list. Burgers, tacos, salads and other meals are available all day by the pool where guests lounge beneath palm trees or within comfy cabanas.
Once the resort is complete, guests will have numerous other options including a Chinese restaurant, Japanese sushi outlet, new international food hall concept and contemporary steakhouse. For now, Garza Blanca guests have signing privileges at the sibling Villas del Palmar resort next door, too.
A swim-up bar makes it easy to always enjoy a drink while basking in the sun, and a second pool bar is in the works.
With so many pools to choose from, you may never even make it to the beach. But if you do, it is important to note that the beach here is extremely private with no vendors to irritate guests as they relax with their toes in the sand.
All of the pools here are heated although often the resort switches off the system since the water ends up being naturally heated by the sun. Even before you get there, you can enjoy the resort’s pool and recreational facilities thanks to an entertaining live cam on its website.
An Olympic-sized swimming pool with a glass wall gets raves from families for the fun photos it can be responsible for as you watch people swimming from outside. There is also an infinity-edge pool, which looks as if it pours directly into the sea. Several whirlpools are available in between the pools, and some of the pools have their own massaging jets. Guests of Garza Blanca can also use the pools of the sibling Villas del Palmar resort next door.
Staffers help guests find chairs, refresh their towels and offer refreshments from carts like chilled grapes or cold towels throughout the day.
The beautiful rooms
Large enough to be considered suites, the entry-level rooms are spacious with plenty of vibrant color and modern artwork. All of the rooms here have private balconies with hammocks and impressive sea or pool views. If you want your own pool, opt for the ground-level rooms that open to small plunges from the patio. Larger suites often have whirlpools on the balcony, too.
The one-bedroom suites are fantastic thanks to sliding doors that separate the living room from bedroom. Living areas have sofa beds, which mean they are ideal for families, and they have second full bathrooms (with shower). Speaking of bathrooms, all of them come with dual vanities, L’Occitane toiletries, separate shower stalls and soaking tubs with al fresco views, and Japanese toilets.
Large-scale photographs of well-known Mexican locales adorn most of the rooms, and the suites feature fully stocked kitchens with stainless steel appliances.
Everyone will sleep well here thanks to bespoke pillowtop mattresses with high-quality linens and duvets plus easily accessible power and USB outlets at every turn. Guests won’t need to lift a finger since electronic controls open and close the drapery.
The largest suites have wrap around balconies, separate dining areas and multiple bedrooms ideal for families. On the top floors, the loft suites span three floors with whirlpools and patios on the top floor.
The resort is well-situated. It’s only a half hour from the international airport, and the pier just in front of the hotel is where many touristic excursions depart from including catamaran rides and numerous watersport activities. Isla Mujeres is located across from the resort, and colorful ferries and boats are often crisscrossing the water adding to the entertaining scenery.
The Greg Norman-designed Playa Mujeres Golf Club is close to the resort. All guests at Garza Blanca have their own butler that can help organize tours, restaurant and golf reservations, and other activities for guests. Also close to the resort is El Meco Mayan temple for those interested in exploring a bit of the area’s history.
A kids club will soon open here (for now, guests can take advantage of the kids club next door). It features a variety of supervised activities, and plans are in place for it to stay open late so that adults can enjoy a romantic dinner while their kids have their own fun.
While the resort is still under construction, the big plans here are rather exciting. Two other hotels will append the complex, and both are expected to be in the upper-echelon luxury space. These will include an adults-only boutique hotel named Mousai and a high-end family all-inclusive brand, both under construction next door.
Garza Blanca definitely impresses for its quality and its cuisine, and the neighboring resorts will only add to the mix. Cancun is a short flight from most of the East Coast and Midwest states, and Garza Blanca delivers on its promise of impressive service and style with all-inclusive benefits.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.