After a few days in Mexico city exploring this vast capital and making life long memories as we took a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan, it was time to come back to the Yucatan Peninsula! But this time, we weren’t heading back to Tulum, but along to Playa del Carmen to experience some beachside bliss at UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya!
UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya is a brand new, adults only resort in the area, and as soon as you walk into the bright, open lobby you can tell that it’s going to be a relaxing stay. As you check in, the first glimmer that you have of how special your stay is going to be is choosing your room scent for your stay.
I really loved the smooth, calming scent of Casona Blanca (which reminded me a lot of one of my The White Company favourites!) and asked for that for our room.
The decor throughout UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya is very modern, with neutral base tones with rustic accents which reflect Mexican history, culture and help to remind you just where you are.
The lobby itself has incredibly high ceilings and hanging lamps which I loved. Add the comfortable sofas, hand-crafted tables and locally crafted accents and it makes a gorgeous spot to sit, enjoy a welcome cocktail or wait for your Anfitrión, or local host.
Each Anfitrión is more than happy to help you book tables for dinner, arrange spa treatments and excursions, and generally help you to make the most of your stay.
As you check in, your local host comes to greet you, give you a tour of the hotel and your room. Afterwards, whenever you want to contact them, you an either ask for them at any of the bars or restaurants, or contact them via the UNICO app, straight from your phone. We had a few issues trying to contact our Anfitrión through the app, and it was a bit hit and miss trying to wait for them around the pool, but I’m sure this is just a little issue due to the hotel being so new.
Behind the lobby, further into the hotel, you come to Bar Balam, which is the hotel’s main bar. I adored the tall, dark wooden bookcases, which to me, like holidays and unexplored cultures brings the promise of endless adventures. Again, the contrast of the dark wood, the butter soft brown leather sofa and the cream walls together with the delicate local touches made for the perfect contrast between modern luxury and our Mexican adventure.
If you don’t fancy spending the days reading novels and having a fictional adventure whilst you’re in Mexican paradise, there’s a pool table in Bar Balam for a quick game before dinner!
If you’re wondering where the inspiration for the name of Bar Balam came from, ‘Balam’ translated as jaguar in Mayan. And there’s no missing that when you see this guy right on the middle of the bar!
As you come through Bar Balam, you come to a little cross roads – with the main pool out the doors straight in front of you, the spa down the corridor to your left and the hotel’s main restaurants down the corridor to your right. But that’s sharing far too much for now, as those secrets are for two other posts!
And so we wandered, past Café Inez, admiring the beauty of the hotel around us, and out from the air conditioning into the pool area, before being shown to our room! Does anyone else love the smell of hot air when you’re on holiday?!
We were staying in an Alcoba Ocean View room for our three night stay at UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya, which was high up on the fifth floor, giving us a beautiful view over the main pool area and out onto the ocean beyond!
The clean colour palette and local touches that we had seen, and I had fallen for, in the rest of the hotel are echoed in the bedrooms. It’s a colour scheme I’d love to decorate my “one day” house in, and so I immediately fell for the design of our room. With a large king size four poster bed…
A chaise lounge which made an ideal place to lie down after a day’s activities or swimming and a natural coffee table in the centre of the room were just some of my favourite aspects. Not to mention the fact that as soon as you opened the heavy curtains, the Mexican sunshine would pour straight in.
UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive hotel, meaning you can order whatever you like from the drinks menu, in room dining or at any of the restaurants, and it’s all included in your room rate – and it’s all just a phone all away!
We’d been left a bottle of delicious red wine to toast to our arrival with – though I swiftly called for some bubbles to add to our toast!
UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World collection and has all the in-room amenities you would expect from such a hotel. Including a Nespresso machine, in case you can’t wait for your in room breakfast or for someone to arrive with your morning coffee! On top of that, as part of the hotel’s Unlimited Inclusions philosophy you can stock your minibar according to your preferences (though for alcoholic drinks you do still need to call room service).
And no hotel stay is complete without a little sweet treat on your pillow at the end of the day!
Lamp shades made with locally sourced materials, the art on the walls and every little handcrafted detail made what was quite a large hotel feel really special.
But much as we loved our room, every time we came back, we threw open the sliding doors to our private balcony to enjoy the last of the day’s sun either in the bath or in the seating area, admiring the beautiful view.
Preferably with a glass of chilled white wine from room service..!
The bathroom was full of the same special touches as the rest of the hotel was, including this beautiful towel holder…
And rustic wood-framed mirrors, which made a beautiful contrast the the dark marble surfaces.
If you manage to drag yourself away from your room, there’s a choice of three beautiful pools to choose from! Our favourite was the pool closest to the ocean (mainly as we could go and dip our toes in the sand!), as this tended to be the pool where you’d find music playing in the afternoon which made for a really fun day.
Being in Mexico, it wouldn’t be a stay without trying some tequila and mezcal! With regular tastings, you can figure out exactly what you like and don’t like – and if you don’t want to move, the tasting spot is quite handily on wheels!
We really wanted to relax after a few days in Mexico City, and so afternoons by the pool reading, enjoying some cocktails were just what we wanted. I can’t wait to tell you all about the great inclusions that are part of the Unlimited Inclusions at UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya, I think I’ll save those secrets for another day!
For now, I think it’s enough to say that these beach beds made the perfect base for a day of kayaking, swimming, seeing baby turtles, and somewhere to come back to after a morning at the spa!
Or if you prefer a quieter spot, head away from the two main pools to the third, quieter area for an afternoon doze coupled with a quick swim to the bar for a refreshing cocktail…
And donut be surprised if you’re too blissed out to leave!
Manzana 22 Carretera Federal 307
We paid a media rate for our stay at UNICO 20 87 Riviera Maya but all opinions are my own.