The secluded beaches of Nizuc. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
At Nizuc Resort & Spa you will feel like a king — or at least a president. And you should. The hotel is where Mexico’s presidential retreat used to be. Think of it as the country’s Camp David.
In 2005, the retreat was demolished and construction started on Nizuc. The luxury resort opened last September, and although it’s no longer a presidential retreat (however, Mexico’s current president has stayed here), you can’t help but feel like you’re staying at an exclusive compound. A tall wall protects the entire resort, and a huge wooden gate dramatically opens as you enter paradise.
When you hear the name Cancun, the first word that pops into your mind is “party.” And while there is a plethora of places to take body shots on the island, my recent stay at Nizuc made me think of another word — luxury.
The underwater museum is a short boat ride from Nizuc (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
Nizuc (nih-ZOOK) means “dog nose” in Mayan and describes the shape of the peninsula between Laguna Nichupté and the Caribbean Sea at the gateway of the Riviera Maya. Nizuc’s location puts it miles away from the congestion of the hotel zone, so it’s a peaceful oasis, void of the crazy partying crowd. By law, all beaches in Cancun are public, but thanks to Nizuc’s somewhat isolated locale, guests can enjoy the beach in a private environment.
There are currently 274 suites at Nizuc: 201 residential suites, 44 ocean suites, and 29 garden pool villas. I stayed in an ocean-view suite in a building called Ceba. The room was spacious, with tall ceilings, a sofa, and a large bed. There were no bright colors or loud art. The décor was simple and elegant — understated even. Out on the patio was a small plunge pool. I didn’t use it during my stay — I mean, the ocean was right there — but it was fun to look at.
My simple room with a beautiful view (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
As a lady who enjoys soaps and such, I was pleased to find that the bathroom toiletry kit contained L’Occitane products. I know it’s just bodywash, but it’s the little things that get me.
Yes, this is a picture of soap, but I love it. (Brittany Jones-Cooper)
On the topic of little things, Nizuc has several of those simple touches that make a stay that much more special. Whether it was a golf cart to zip me around the grounds or a sweet treat left on my bed after turndown service, they’ve thought of every little thing. The staff is especially thoughtful. In addition to being extremely kind, they place their right hand over their heart and nod slightly as they pass co-workers and guests. It’s a subtle acknowledgment, but it’s extremely warm and welcoming.
The staff members greet guests with a hand over their heart. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
"Nizuc attracts a diverse guest clientele of upscale visitors,” said Daniella De la Huerta, public relations coordinator at Nizuc. “A number of guests are from Europe and South America, many with young children. But the resort’s largest market is the U.S." And some of those American guests are pretty notable. Kevin Spacey and Robert Iler from "The Sopranos" have stayed at the resort. And during my visit I chatted with the NBA’s Elton Brand — no big deal, right?
La Punta Grill overlooking the adult pool (Photo: Nizuc)
After I burned some energy swimming with whale sharks, I couldn’t wait to eat. Food is easily my favorite part of going somewhere new, and Nizuc didn’t let me down. The resort has seven restaurants representing diverse and global menus, including the New York staple Indochine. But my favorite was La Punta Grill. This Mexican restaurant is situated next to the adult pool and features some tasty twists on the classics. I instantly fell in love with their shrimp tacos, and I had a rib-eye there that probably changed my life. To pair with their world-class cuisine, Nizuc also has their own brand of wine. It’s grown at Bodegas de Santo Tomas in the Guadalupe Valley, the oldest winery in Baja California. But you’ll have to take a trip down to Mexico if you want to try it. Nizuc wine is made exclusively for the resort.
Delicious black cod and bok choy from Indochine. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
The shrimp at La Punta Grill— I want more of this shrimp. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
Perhaps it was my hourlong Espa massage or the half-dozen shrimp tacos I consumed over the weekend, but I left Nizuc feeling stress free. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in years, and for that reason alone I can’t wait to go back.
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