Each year, more and more resorts open on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. But Hotel Xcaret, which opened this past December, brings something unique to the tourist-saturated stretch.
Twenty-five years in the making, the new hotel by Experiencias Xcaret, which runs eight nature parks in the region, offers a blissful combination of luxurious, eco-friendly digs and family-friendly features (read our full review here). And, the cost comes with more perks than you'll find at similar resorts.
Here, we break down when to book, when to go, and what you'll get compared to the competition.
When to score a deal
Book directly with Hotel Xcaret now to take advantage of their opening special, which is half off standard rates. This means that garden suites start at $385, and ocean view suites cost just $44 more. The low pricing is available through prime spring months (more on that below), and there's no book-by date listed with the offer. However, note that opening sales typically last for about a month or until inventory sells out--and we suspect the latter will happen quickly.
The best time to visit
We compared nightly rates every month throughout the rest of the year and surprisingly, April, one of most popular times for traveling to the Riviera Maya, yielded the lowest prices across accommodation types (starting at $385 per night). Even a junior suite, which, at a whopping 1,356 square feet, is one of the top room categories — costs $715 per night ($585 less than rates later in the year). As an added bonus, guests who stay in one of the suites get free meals at HA’, helmed by Michelin-starred chef (and former Top Chef contestant) Carlos Gaytan; his is the only restaurant that is excluded from the standard all-inclusive fare.
How it compares to competitors
If you plan to travel with kids, Xcaret has an advantage. Most luxe, all-inclusive resorts in the immediate area are for adults only. The three comparable kid-friendly properties are Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, Azul Beach Resort by Karisma, and Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa.
Comparing price points alone, Xcaret stands out with the lowest nightly rate of $385. Dreams Tulum comes in at a close second at $392 per night. Azul Beach Resort starts at $462 per night, while Paradisus has the highest rate at $520 per night. It’s worth noting that — at 575 square feet each — Xcaret’s standard suites are the largest of the bunch, while the pricey Paradisus suites are 517 square feet and the smallest of the properties. Like Hotel Xcaret, Dreams, Azul, and Paradisus include all meals, beverages (including alcohol), and free stay for kids.
Unlike Hotel Xcaret, the other three resorts lack one seriously valuable component: free (and easy) entry and transportation to Xcaret’s eight nature parks. Purchasing a similar multi-park pass with transportation can otherwise cost as much as $412 per person. And to make it even easier, guests also receive complimentary transfers to the airport.