Free non-motorized water sports gear, such as kayaks, snorkels, and paddleboards
Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort
Adult-only policy (con for some)
Seaweed debris on the beach is a possibility (depending on the time of year)
Remote location means nothing else in vicinity for exploring
This 109-room sleek, sexy boutique hotel is a luxurious, adult-only all-inclusive located in the Playa Mujeres region just north of Cancun. It’s on a beautiful long white-sand beach -- which can have some seaweed from time to time -- and has three chic outdoor pools with food and drink service. Rooms are huge (starting at 960 square feet), all-white, and have big whirlpool tubs, as well as private balconies -- many with ocean views and some with plunge pools. The 35,000-square-foot spa is gorgeous, with an impressive hydrotherapy circuit, and the fitness center is extensive. Food at the four restaurants is excellent and a la carte, and reservations are not required; 24-hour room service is also available. Among the area's top all-inclusive resorts, the Beloved stands out as the only true boutique; Excellence Playa Mujeres right next door has a similar level of luxury, but it’s a much larger resort.
An adult-only all-inclusive resort that's also an intimate boutique
The Beloved Playa Mujeres is a rare breed -- it's a true boutique hotel, with just 109 rooms and personalized service (from the check-in cocktail and cool towel, to the pillow menu), but it's also an all-inclusive resort. If all meals and drinks (including top-shelf liquor) weren't included, though, you'd hardly know it. There are no tacky wristbands, no early-morning hustle for lounge chairs, no buffets (aside from a quality breakfast buffet at Aroma), and no reservations required for the restaurants. There are some of the activities many associate with all-inclusives, such as bingo, trivia, and DJ music by the activity pool (the one with the swim-up bar), but overall the activities and nightlife are pretty low-key. And some of the included activities are better than the norm, such as guided ocean kayaking and bike tours.
The Beloved Playa Mujeres, in operation since 2003, also differs from most of Cancun's top luxury all-inclusives because of its location in remote Playa Mujeres. The Beloved shares a private resort complex with Excellence Playa Mujeres, Finest Playa Mujeres, and La Amada Residences, all of which make use of the inland marina that houses 170 slips. The seclusion is part of the appeal for many, but those who crave the activity of the Hotel Zone may prefer the pricier Le Blanc (which is one of the smallest adult-only all-inclusive options in that area, and has the most pampering service). Hyatt Zilara is a more comparably priced alternative, but it's much larger.
The Beloved's compact size is a pro for most; the layout means it is easy to get around, and it takes five to 10 minutes to get across the entire property. Stamped concrete pathways with river-rock accents connect the grounds, with sandy gardens featuring shrubbery and palm trees off to the side. While there’s plenty of shade in the areas closest to the buildings and around the large pools, the walkways themselves get lots of sun. The buildings housing the rooms are block and stucco.
Note that the hotel implemented an adult-only policy in Sept. 2016.
The Beloved is set in a quiet upscale resort area about 30 minutes north of downtown Cancun, and far from the crowds. It's close to a Greg Norman-designed golf course and the marina, and is just a short boat-ride from Isla Mujeres. The two-mile stretch of beach here feels nearly private, and there's not much around aside from the Excellence Playa Mujeres and Finest Playa Mujeres next door and residential real estate. There are no public transportation options here, so guests will need to rent a car or use taxis to get around. The airport is about 35 minutes to an hour away, depending on traffic.
20-minute boat ride to Isla Mujeres
30-minute drive to downtown Cancun (Ciudad Cancun)
Hour's drive to snorkeling and quiet beaches in Puerto Morelos
One-and-a-half-hour drive to Playa del Carmen, a laid-back and bustling town with great shopping, and a well-heeled crowd
Huge, all-white suites with whirlpool tubs and private balconies; views are of the pools or ocean
The Beloved's 109 rooms are all massive. The entry-level Junior Suite starts at a whopping 960 square feet (90 square meters), edging out the entry-level Junior Suite at next door Excellence Playa Mujeres (which is 807 square feet). Decor is sleek -- polished marble flooring, leather accents, plenty of natural light, and mostly white fabrics and furniture throughout. All rooms have big whirlpool tubs with access from both the main room and and the private terraces, and with views of either the pools or the ocean. There are Swim-Up Suites available, as well as several categories with private plunge pools -- in order of size, the Casita Suite, Two-Story Casita Suite, the Terrace Suite, which has the plunge pool on a private rooftop area, and the Penthouse Suite. The largest unit here is the 4,478-square-foot (416-square-meter Owner's Suite. All rooms accommodate only two people.
In addition to the size, little luxuries help these rooms stand out, such as the pillow menu and twice-daily maid service. (Though Le Blanc in the Hotel Zone takes it to the next level, with butler-prepared baths and specialized aromatherapy scents.) Amenities include Nespresso machines, fully stocked minibars, in-room selection of premium wines and liquors, and 24-hour room service. On the digital front, there are flat-screen TVs, in-room safes, and free Wi-Fi.
Many guests may choose to lounge on their own terrace or in their private plunge pool, but there are also three common pools to enjoy. Two are near the room buildings, and one is closer to the beach, with ocean views and a swim-up bar; this is where any poolside activities take place. There are plenty of cushioned loungers, daybeds, and palapas at the pools and beach, plus beach cabanas for rent. There is food and drink service at both the pools and beach.
Free water sports equipment, including kayaks, snorkels, paddleboards, and Hobie Cats, is provided. There are also free activities such as bike tours and guacamole-making class. The hotel can arrange off-site excursions for a fee, such as diving at the Great Mayan Reef, sailing, deep-sea fishing expeditions, trips to the wildlife sanctuary at Isla Contoy, Xel-Ha, Chichen Itza, and others. There is also a Greg Normal golf course inside the resort complex (shared with other properties), which guests can take advantage of.
An ultra luxurious spa with hydrotherapy circuit, and spacious gym
One of the highlights of Beloved is the eponymous 35,000-square-foot spa. Its facilities include an impressive hydrotherapy circuit, with steam room, hot and cold plunge pools, jet massages, an ice glacier room, sensation showers, heated lounge beds, and more. The hour-long Aqua Viva circuit is included with treatments or can be purchased separately, and a guide will take you to each station for a designated number of minutes. There are 14 treatment rooms, including couples rooms.
The spacious gym has wood floors, ample natural light, and plenty of strength training machines, free weights, and cardio machines. They're not the most modern models possible, but they're modern enough.
Excellent food at four restaurants, no reservations required, and 24-hour room service
There are four gourmet restaurants on-site, and all have a la carte fare and don't require reservations. Two are indoors -- Aroma, which focuses on Mediterranean options and serves breakfast and dinner, and Lupita, a Mexican restaurant open for dinner. Outside are La Isla Grill, set on the beach and serving Mexican and Caribbean cuisine, and open-air, palapa-style El Mar, which has a wood oven for pizzas. Both of the outdoor options serve all three meals, and Aroma has the option of a buffet for breakfast (including French press coffee and fresh fruit). Note that a dress code applies for dinners at the restaurants. Guests who get a bit peckish during the off-hours can hit up the 24-hour room service available in all of the rooms. Quality is great for an all-inclusive resort, if not as spectacular as one might find at a big-city fine-dining restaurant in the States.