I recently had the pleasure of staying at Belmond El Encanto…
Seems like Cancun is on everyone’s list this past year. After spending some time with Travel + Leisure in October at the Rosewood Mayakoba, Signature Travel Network, in conjunction with Island Destinations, hosted an event in Cancun, again. This time we had the pleasure of staying at Nizuc. Just about 10 minutes from Cancun Airport, and originally slated to be an Aman Resort, the property is fantastic.
Down a small road just off the highway you’ll find the tall wooden gates that separate you from the rest of Cancun. Once inside the first thing you notice is the grandeur of the entry way, and Lobby. As your transfer (round trip transfers always provided by Nizuc) rounds behind the tall white stone columns you get your first view of the beautiful Lobby area. Out of the car, you are immediately greeted by a wonderful friendly staff. After check-in you’re taken by golf cart to your room. We were in one of four 5-story buildings, each with its own butler staff, up to the first floor, down the hall a few doors and we’re at our room. The bed faces the water andoverlooks your patio and plunge pool. It’s decorated in warm Mexican flavor and is extremely well laid out. Behind the bed is a desk area that also lets you look out to the water. And even from the large bathroom, behind the bed and desk area, you can slide the wall open and see the water and your patio from the bathroom.
The property is somewhat large, but the golf carts (buggies) always seem to be waiting for you. If not, there is a Butler right outside the elevator to call one to pick you up. However, many times we chose to walk the 5-8 minutes to the lobby, since it is winter and the heat/humidity (or lack thereof) is very pleasant.
There are a number of different beach/pool locations with a variety that is hard to match at other resorts. The options of directions to sit and face on both the beach and pool areas seems endless. The service is great throughout the resort, but I was extremely impressed that even late in the afternoon when most guests are back in their room to get ready for the evening, there is still plenty of service around. We sat by the pool late one afternoon and were able to get drinks and food after 5pm. So many resorts we’ve visited stop serving food by the pool in the very lateafternoon, so this was a great treat and surprise.
The Spa at Nizuc is run by ESPA and is fantastic. At many resorts they tell you to arrive early toenjoy the facilities and you end up either waiting, taking a sauna or a plunge and then sit in the waiting room. Well, this is completely different. If you choose to only do a few things that’savailable to you, please take advantage of the experiences available at this spa. I was taken into the Spa by the Spa concierge. After changing into a robe I was escorted to the steam room. I had a choice of 2 different types of scrubs to rub into my body while in the steam room. After 10 minutes the concierge came back and brought me over to the cold shower where you wash off the scrub. After that it’s a few different pool experiences and then a cold plunge. By the time you’re done with this “pre” experience you’re pretty relaxed and mellow already, but then you get the massage. It’s a great spa experience and one not to miss, but make sure you do arrive early, there is so much to enjoy.
The food and service throughout the property was great. There was always a buggy coming by to pick you up, even if you were already walking somewhere. The pools are great, as is the beach, and as I mentioned before there’s so many different areas (and directions) to sit. We did have lunch one day at La Punta Grill, right by the adult pool. Each table is in its own individual section, with a view over the pool towards the water. The fajitas are great, as was the gazpacho with burrata, and of course some guacamole and chips, as well as a few Pacifico’s at lunch always work well. The only time frame that seemed a bit long was room service. For both breakfast (8am) and an afternoon snack (4:30pm), it took 45-50 minutes after we ordered to get our food (yes, even room service). It was delicious, but it did take a while to get. But when I called they did quote me the correct amount of time I would be waiting.
If you want to venture to the Cancun strip, depending on traffic could take you ½-hour to 1-hour. We went on a Friday night at 10:30pm and it took us an hour. But it’s an experience to see how many people and clubs are packed on the strip. We went to visit Coco Bongo, a club featuring musical impersonators from the 80’s & 90’s. It was really fun, but very crowded, so make sure you’re in the frame of mind to not have issues with a lack of personal space, and you’ll have a blast. 20 minutes back to Nizuc, our luxury hideaway.
We had a great time at Nizuc for the short 3 days we were there. Next time I would stay longer, and then we could enjoy some of the Mayan Ruins, adventure water parks, Jet Ski tours, boat rides to Isla Mujeres or a selection of other experiences in the Cancun area. A 4½ to 5 hour flight from Los Angeles, non-stop, makes Cancun a great vacation option.