So you want the “newest possible” all-inclusive experience – in the hot Caribbean sun, of course!

RIU has just opened (December 2017) the RIU DUNAMAR, a newly constructed resort about 40 minutes north of the hotel zone and Cancun International Airport in Mexico.

RIU Dunamar

A truly beautiful beach is the highlight at Riu Dunamar

DUNAMAR translates to dunes by the sea, and this sparkling white hotel is situated on the turquoise Caribbean Sea, across from Isla Mujeres. The dunes themselves are “protected green space”, and the area surrounding the DUNAMAR is as yet undeveloped. On one side of the complex is a protected jungle; on the other side the property is sited to become a RIU Palace. The DUNAMAR opens to extensive gardens; five swimming pools; and walkways throughout to the sand dunes. The hotel faces a vast and beautiful white-sand beach that one can stroll for about 30 minutes north to cliffs at the northern tip of Playa Mujeres, Cancun.

RIU has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in Mexico. RIU’s commitment to sunny, friendly Mexico has grown to be the company’s main international destination, with 18 hotel/resorts to date. Six of these are in the Cancun area. RIU was founded in Mallorca by the RIU family as a small holiday company in Spain. It is still family owned (third generation).

RIU Dunamar

The resort is sparkling white throughout, with turquoise accents in hotel rooms. Brand new!

The RIU DUNAMAR offers 740 rooms, including family rooms and suites. There are five ground floor wheel chair-accessible rooms. The resort is fully all-inclusive, meaning all food and drinks are a part of your package that also includes free WI-Fi, air-conditioning, mini-bar, in-room safe, and liquor dispensers in every room. (So you can brush your teeth with rum, if so inclined.)

There are five different reservation-free dining options – Italian, Gourmet, Asian, a Steakhouse, and a large main Buffet “Isla Mujeres”. The buffet offers most international food options, including local Mexican cuisine, which is rich in fish and meat dishes. There is plenty of outdoor seating on the ocean side, and a large indoor dining area open from the buffet. I treated myself to a Mexican breakfast every morning –  huevos rancheros (ranchers eggs) – fried eggs nested in a bed of refried beans, sour cream and salsa, and served atop a warm tortilla – delicioso!

RIU Dunamar

The spa offers a full range of treatments

There is also an active 24 hour sports bar for late night munchies.

There are five large pools, two of which feature swim-up bars. In total there are nine bar areas in the resort, and live shows and musical performances take place at the popular Pacha discotheque. Guests are invited to join in an exhaustive variety of activity programs – yoga, rhumba classes, Spanish lessons, pool games, beach volleyball, and the like.

The resort is home to a Renova Spa, and a hydro massage suite featuring hot and cold tubs and a sauna. The spa offers many treatments, several with a Mayan influence, at an additional cost. Some Sunwing packages make a Spa credit available, which can be applied to select treatments.

RIU Dunamar

Children have their own pool and mini water park

For kids there is a water slide park and a RIULand kids’ club tucked off to the side of the main complex. Adventurous adults can sail away on a Hobie catamaran or take out a sea kayak and brave the waves. Watersports, provided by Scuba Caribe, are offered free as part of the all-inclusive package. Jet skis are available for an additional fee.

RIU Dunamar

Isla Mujeres (Women’s Island) is well-worth a visit

I left the hotel for a day’s excursion to ISLA MUJERES (Woman’s Island), one of many tours available with Sunwing Experiences. From a yacht basin about 20 minutes south of the Dunamar, a well-equipped beautiful catamaran took us across the Caribbean Sea to snorkel at a deep sea reef (gear provided), swim at a private beach, and tour the historic sites of Isla Mujeres. Lunch and all drinks on the catamaran are included in the excursion, hosted by very agreeable and knowledgeable Mexican tour guides.

RIU Dunamar

Drinks at Marina Muelle 7 (Pier 7), Isla Mujeres,
are special.

The hotel and bar strip in “Centro Cancun” is approximately 30 minutes away, along with plenty of shopping. There is also an affordable ferry service to Isla Mujeres for those who wish to explore and shop; or rent a golf cart or bicycle and tour the island on your own. The south end of the Isla Mujeres is famous for the sunshine cliffs – a popular spot for photographers at dawn, and reputed to be the place to view the first sunrise of each New Year in Mexico. The north end of this small island is mainly beach; open to all; and very popular with tourists and locals alike.

If you do visit Isla Mujeres, take time for a drink, guacamole and tacos, at the Muelle 7 Restaurant. The restaurant has its own fisherman, so fish is fresh daily.

If all this sounds hard to resist – practice your “HOLA” and head for the sun… Enjoy!

RIU Dunamar

Fransisco, Daniel, David, and Jimmy smile before Davy takes us through the waves on a Hobie cat

Travel Planner

The Signature Collection by Sunwing is the exclusive vacation package provider for RIU Hotels & Resorts in Canada. Sunwing offers year-round frequent service from Montreal to Cancun. Seasonal service from Mont-Joli, Quebec, is available weekly until March 22.

All Sunwing vacation packages to RIU Dunamar include return flights, and non-stop roundtrip transfers from Cancun International Airport to the RIU Dunamar. Passengers also benefit from a generous complementary 23kg checked luggage allowance, which is far more then normally needed for a hot weather vacation.

Tip: Leaving Montreal in the cold of winter, Trudeau airport offers a reasonably priced check- in service for coats and boots.

Sunwing website: or contact your travel agent.


Excursion Link: