Sneak Away from the Crowds at this New All-Inclusive Luxury Resort in Mexico

Even though frothy waves are splashing across the bow of our swaying catamaran, I take a chance and stand up, camera in hand, to try to capture a shot of the island as we draw near. It’s impossible to resist wanting to save the first sighting of this resort.

Impression Ilsa Mujeres by Secrets

Go paddleboarding, snorkeling, kayaking or swoop down the giant water slide in the beach zone
Photo: Michele Peterson

It seems suspended from the limestone cliff, its tiered infinity pools cascading down the hillside like the jeweled pools of Pamukkale or whitewashed cave hotels of Santorini.

This is Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets, a 125-suite, all-inclusive, adult-only luxury hideaway that opened in 2023 on Isla Mujeres, 30 minutes by boat from mainland Cancun.

The second property of the Impression by Secrets brand created within the Hyatt Inclusive Collection it’s designed to offer a resort experience that’s both sanctuary and inspiration. My adult daughter and I are here for a weekend wellness getaway and over the next few days we plan to soak up as much as we can of its vibe. Our dramatic arrival by boat to the resort’s private pier is an auspicious beginning.

Design in Harmony with Nature

Arrive in style by catamaran

Arrive in style by catamaran
Photo: Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets

Adding to the remarkable sense of arrival is The Temple, a soaring oceanfront gazebo designed by acclaimed bio architect Javier Uma according to sacred geometry. Here guests participate in guided meditations, weddings, vow renewals and other special events.

Impression Isla Mujeres’ eye-catching design is inspired by, and in harmony with, nature. Although the property is brand-new, there’s a sense of timelessness in its stone pathways shaded by mature palms, bamboo and other foliage

Within the yacht lobby bar, a butler greets us with chilled cocktails and will be a tablet-click or text away during our stay. Among the elevated Endless Privileges® at Impression by Secrets there are no set check-in or check-out times.

Impression Ilsa Mujeres by Secrets

The Signature Junior Suite Double with Ocean View and Hot Tub features a beautiful terrace
Photo: Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets

So, we access our room immediately. And it’s a beauty. While the resort is ultra-romantic — from Bali beds to overwater hammocks for two – it’s also welcoming to non-couples such as mother-daughter, girls’ getaways and other groups. Unlike many resorts where suites with two beds are unavailable or relegated to less advantageous locations, here friends can book doubles and still score a fabulous ocean view.

Our spacious (71m2/764 SF) Signature Junior Suite Double with Ocean View and Hot Tub features a seating area, bathrobes and slippers, welcome bottle of Patrón tequila, Nespresso coffee machine, fully-stocked wine cooler and a twice-daily refreshed minibar.

Decorated in inviting earthy tones and natural textures it comes with a private terrace with a hammock, loungers and hot tub. The bathroom is decked out with dual sinks and dual rain showers and all the amenities you could dream of.

Some room categories also contain walk-in closets, separate living room areas and beachfront views. The Presidential Suites (327 m2/3,519 SF) feature a private swim-out pool. Thrice-daily housekeeping includes turn-down service.

Commitment to Sustainability

Impression Ilsa Mujeres by Secrets

Four dramatic swimming pools cascade down the hillside
Photo: Michele Peterson

Drawing inspiration from the natural surroundings, the hotel’s architectural elements mimic organic forms and utilize materials with a low environmental footprint. Energy-efficient systems, such as solar cells for heating water, are seamlessly integrated to minimize the hotel’s carbon footprint.

The interior design echoes this by prioritizing sustainable materials, creating a harmonious blend of luxury and environmental responsibility. Custom art draws deeply on Mexico’s heritage with references to indigenous Huichol art work. Some of the most striking art pieces are the shark sculptures of upcycled plastic created by acclaimed artist César Menchaca.

This marriage of art meets sustainability helps draw attention to the resort’s commitment to conservation and partnership with Saving Our Sharks Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping the island’s fishing communities transition to ecotourism while protecting shark populations.

A Natural Playground

swimming pool 

Enjoy stunning views from the main swimming pool 
Photo: Michele Peterson

Beyond the stunning architecture, one of the major draws for adventurous luxury travellers is the resort’s natural setting in the southern zone of Isla Mujeres. The surrounding waters teem with butterflyfish, damselfish, angelfish, parrotfish and other marine life such as green sea turtles and southern stingray.

It’s minutes from MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art), Garrafon Natural Reef Park and, further afield, the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, a unique phenomenon documented by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s.

Among the land-based pursuits, there are guided Island Biking Tours departing from the lobby and golf carts to rent for independent explorations. It’s a short walk to the ancient temple of Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility, medicine and the moon.


Get a wellness boost at the hydrotherapy circuit in the spa  
Photo: Michele Peterson

You don’t need to leave the property to get your adrenaline pumping. Within the private beach zone, guests can channel their adventurous sides by participating in snorkeling tours and non-motorized watersports such as SUP and kayaking. Scuba diving is available at an extra cost.

There’s even a giant waterslide to wind your way with heart-stopping speed from the top of the resort to an exhilarating splash into the refreshing Caribbean Sea.

To unwind, the Impression Pure Spa offers a peaceful sanctuary complete with hydrotherapy circuit, including Isla Mujeres’ only hammam (ritual cleansing) and flotarium, a unique concept in wellness therapy using warm salt water. The spa’s body treatments feature Natura Bissé luxury skincare products and to help with relaxation, each guest receives a complimentary 20-minute welcome treatment.

Also appealing are the blissful pools dotted throughout the resort including infinity pools with jetted zones, a ribboned rooftop pool, a 30-person hot tub, and freeform main pool with swim-up bar.

Epicurian Attractions

Spezia Restaurant

Spezia Restaurants offers Mediterranean cuisine and stunning views
Photo: Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets

Another appealing aspect of Impression Isla Mujeres is its range of all-inclusive seven reservation-free restaurants, five bars and in-room dining experiences. They offer a gastronomic journey through regional Yucatan to contemporary international cuisine, ingredients and techniques.

Epicurian highlights include sampling seabass ceviche and mollete de Valladolid (bolillo bread topped with avocado, sausage and refried beans) via in-room dining (available 24 hours). With the “Secret Box” for discrete room service delivery, the guest suites are true sanctuaries.

At Spezia, the resort’s signature dining restaurant, you can enjoy Italian dishes a-la-carte such as handmade tagliolini with lobster while gazing at Cancun’s sparkling skyline. Or take a foray into Pan-Asian cuisine with sushi and the art of teppanyaki at Sake restaurant.

elevated cuisine

Indulge in endless access to elevated cuisine
Photo: Michele Peterson

Then there are the classics. For my daughter’s milestone birthday, Wildfire Grill served up a New York steak, seared to perfection over a Josper charcoal grill, worthy of the finest steakhouse.

Beyond the dining venues, curated culinary experiences such as mixology lessons, tequila tastings and herbal tea ceremonies keep guests connected to what’s fresh, local and inspired.

Yet with so much to do both on and offsite, we found ourselves letting go of scheduled activities. Instead, unexpected encounters such as fire dancers at nightfall, grey herons diving for fish and live jazz on the rooftop filled our days and evenings.

As our weekend wrapped up, we both agreed that while Mexico’s Caribbean is famous its glittering, all-inclusive resorts, this elegant new addition to the ultra-luxury scene belongs in a special category of its very own.

Whether you’re floating in a glass-walled infinity pool or crafting a beaded work of art, you’ll be swept away by the magical mix of serenity, imagination and inspiration at Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets.

rooftop terrace

The rooftop terrace is especially glamorous at night when it’s possible to see the twinkling lights of Cancun in the distance 
Photo: Michele Peterson

Travel Planner

Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets:

Amstar: Book airport transfer with Amstar and get Cancun Airport pick up and transfer to Marina Hacienda del Mar for the sailing by private resort boat to the pier at Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets (subject to availability and weather).

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.