Those on the lookout for an affordable tropical getaway this winter might want to consider the brand-new Villa Del Palmar Cancun, opening this Christmas Eve. At the beachfront property in Playa Mujeres (25 minutes north of Cancun), all 150 rooms and suites feature superb ocean views, not to mention private balconies, kitchenettes, and spa tubs.
Also on offer are two swimming pools (one for adults only) with a pool butler, four hot tubs, and two poolside spa huts. Two restaurants serve Mexican and international cuisine, with sushi available at an outdoor lounge in the evenings; a beach bar will open in February 2011. A shuttle service provides transfers to Cancuns downtown and the hotel zone.
Note that Villa Del Palmar is not yet complete, so expect some construction to still be going on. A second wave of rooms is slated to open August 2011. The finished resort, due in December 2011, will encompass 415 rooms, three pools, a full-service spa, and a water activities center. www.villapalmarcancun.com