Artistry Meets Adventure at this New Luxury Resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya

Hotel Xcaret Arte

Select swim out suites connect to the underground river, cenotes and spa.
Photo: Michele Peterson

With the pat-pat sound of women making corn tortillas by hand, the enticing aroma of sizzling beef and a rainbow of piñatas overhead, it would be easy to believe I’m in a bustling food market in the heart of Mexico City.

Yet this is the Mercado de San Juan, one of nine restaurants within Hotel Xcaret Arte, a 900-suite all-inclusive, luxury property that opened in July 2021 on Mexico’s Caribbean coast south of Playa del Carmen.

The second property in a hotel collection created by Grupo Xcaret, it’s a resort experience that celebrates and pays homage to Mexico’s artistic culture in every aspect of its design from gastronomy to architecture.

Between sampling elevated Mexican cuisine, floating under starry skies on a rooftop pool, and shaping clay in a pottery workshop, guests connect with culture in style and luxury.

Dramatic Architecture

Surrounded by cenotes, underground rivers, white sand dunes and mangroves, Hotel Xcaret Arte offers plenty of wow factor. This eye-catching resort is designed to take your breath away from the moment you walk in.

Available exclusively for adults and young adults (ages 16+), it features seven included restaurants, nine gastronomy experiences, 10 bars/cafes, a spa with indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy circuit and five themed buildings connected by suspension bridges, plazas and meandering walkways.

Hotel Xcaret Arte

Take a hands-on pottery workshop in the
Casa de la Piramide.
Photo: Michele Peterson

Within the themed buildings, guests can channel their creative sides by engaging in art-focused workshops, activities and experiences inspired by Mexican traditions. Building themes include Casa del Diseño (textiles), Casa de la Música (dance instruction), Casa de la Pirámide (pottery), Casa de los Artistas (painting), Casa de la Paz (cooking/literature) and Casa del Patrón (the hub of restaurant and culinary experiences).

Each guest suite is decorated in inviting earthy tones and natural textures which means the indoor spaces feel seamlessly connected to the outdoors. All suites offer views of nature such as jungle, river, cove or the Caribbean Sea. They come equipped with a private terrace or balcony with hammocks to lounge in.

Some room categories also feature volcanic stone tubs on the terrace, steam showers, butler service and swim-up options. Presidential suites include kitchen and dining rooms, plunge pools and other perks.

Custom art throughout is by local and national Mexican artists while room amenities include one king or two queen-size beds, jetted tubs, 24-hour room service, Nespresso coffee machines, turndown service, rain shower and daily refreshed minibar and snack basket.

A Launching Pad for Outdoor Adventure

Beyond the stunning setting and architecture, one of the major draws for adventure lovers is the all-inclusive access to Grupo Xcaret’s eco-adventure theme parks and tours. Go zip-lining at Xplor, float on a gondola at Xoximilco, snorkel among tropical fish at Xel-Há or marvel at the towering Mayan pyramid of Nohoch Mul on a tour of the Cobá Archaeological Zone. The only limit is your stamina. Shuttles leave for Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego and Xenses every 30 minutes.

Go ziplining at Xplor

Go ziplining at Xplor
Photo: Grupo Xcaret

But you don’t need to leave the property to get your adrenaline pumping. A river draped in jungle foliage meanders its way through the resort which means guests can swim, paddle board and kayak their way through channels, emerald cave pools and mysterious underground waterways.

To unwind, the onsite Muluk spa offers a peaceful sanctuary complete with a hydrotherapy circuit of hot and cold plunge pools set among a natural rock grotto. Many of the spa treatments draw upon Mayan traditions and feature local ingredients such as honey, cacao, cinnamon and clay.

Also appealing are the blissful pools dotted throughout the resort including infinity pools, glassed walled pools, rooftop pools and swim-up pool bars set beneath curtained waterfalls.

Epicurian Attractions

One of the most unique aspects of Hotel Xcaret Arte is its range of all-inclusive gastronomic experiences and dining concepts. The resort features seven a la carte and buffet restaurants as well as Xaak (extra cost) and Kibi Kibi exclusively for Casa de los Artistas guests.

Hotel Xcaret Arte

Under the direction of Chef Orlando Trejo, Arenal restaurant features Mexican comfort food.

Under the creative direction of a group of acclaimed chefs, you can dive into Mexico’s diverse food culture. It’s a gastronomic journey through pre-Colombian to contemporary cuisine, ingredients and techniques. The wine lists and suggested pairings have been created by the talented sommelier Sandra Fernandez.

Epicurian highlights include the exclusive Encanta by Chef Paco Méndez (best known for Michelin-starred Hoja Santa in Barcelona), the flavours of Chinese and Puebla cuisine at Chino Poblano by Chef Jonatan Gomez Luna, Mexican Mediterranean cuisine by Chef Franco Maddalozzo and regional Oaxacan cuisine by Chef Alejandro Ruiz at Cantina VI.AI.PY.

At the Mercado de San Juan curated by Chef Juan Licerio you can enjoy classic dishes such as barbacoa (slow-roasted meat fragrant with chiles and spices). Or take a foray into Yucatecan-Lebanese cuisine by sampling khachapuri (fragrant pita bread topped with chaya greens, olives and tomatoes) over breakfast at Kibi-Kibi.

Hotel Xcaret Arte

Suspension bridges connect the resort to the beach,
pool and relaxation zones.
Photo: Michele Peterson

Vegans will be especially pleased to see the range of creative plant-based options on every menu. Dishes created Chef Miguel Bautista–who heads up Planet Vegan Mexico and is a leader in Mexico’s vegan food movement–include vegan tacos al pastor, tamales stuffed with flor de jamaica and even a dessert flan topped with white chocolate mousse.

Mexico’s Riviera Maya is well known for its sunny beaches, warm Caribbean waters and exhilarating things to do, but this new resort belongs in a special category of its very own.

Whether you’re paddling a kayak through an orchid-draped jungle or weaving a work of art, chances are you’ll be swept away by Hotel Xcaret Arte’s magical mix of adventure, imagination and inspiration.

Travel Planner

Hotel Xcaret Arte:

Shuttles to and from Cancun International Airport (CUN) depart every 30 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and every 60 minutes from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Michele Peterson is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in food, drink and sun destinations. Her work has appeared in major magazines, guidebooks and travel anthologies. Get global recipes, travel tips and food tour discounts on her A Taste for Travel blog or contact her via Twitter/Instagram @atastefortravel. 

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