Just over an hour away from Cancun International Airport, a Mexican all-inclusive adult-only paradise awaits.
The luxurious UNICO 20°87° (which takes its unique name from its coordinates), lies quietly in waiting. A turn off the motorway leads us down a winding path flanked with palm trees, tropical plants and pretty flowers, as the big security gates open up and slowly reveal a world away from home.
If an all-inclusive holiday is your standard go to, then you’ll know exactly what to expect to some extent, but this kind of luxury in Mexico’s Rivera Maya, really is next level and lives up to the hotel’s hype that they really like to do things differently.
Home for the next 8 days, UNICO 20°87° definitely knows how to do a welcome. Refreshing mocktail in one hand, cold towel in the other and luggage already on the way to the room, we’re checked in comfortably while seated on the oversized distressed leather sofa which runs the length of the church-sized lobby .
Our host introduces herself as Montse who proves to be indispensable for the duration of our stay. She’s on hand to cater to our every whim and request via What’s App, whatever we need and whenever we need it. Replacing the traditional host with a personal local host exclusively for us, is just one of the ‘unique’ UNICO 20°87° way of doing things. Want a bath run? Specific items stocked in your comp mini bar, or to choose from the pillow menu? It’s all at the touch of a button and sorted in seconds.
With a range of room grades available including ‘Alcoba’ rooms which come with their own outdoor pools, we loved our 4th floor Pure Wellness Room – a cool and calming retreat to provide respite from the sizzling Mexican sun (which when we visited at the beginning of May had no rainfall and daily temperatures of around 30 degrees!)
I loved the décor – modern with rustic accents, like the wooden four poster frame over the bed, the rattan shades, relaxing sofa and tree stump table. Showcasing the work of local artisans and supporting the local economy, the furnishings are all high end. Added to that rustic charm, are all the mod cons you could ask for. Super efficient air-con, 55 inch TV, whirlpool bath tub on the balcony terrace overlooking the entire pool area, luxury robes and slippers, toiletries, a mini bar which was constantly re-stocked and an old skool style turn down service complete with chocolates. Now that’s what I call 5 star!
The real USP of UNICO 20°87° though, is that you really can create your kind of holiday – whether that’s pool partying every day with live DJ by the beach, instructor led spinning and yoga classes at 7am, or taking part in various activities like running, poker contests or mixology classes. If you’re looking for a more chilled kind of vacation like we were, then relaxing by the quiet pool every day was paradise. Winding down with a glass of wine on the balcony when the sun got too hot, and indulging in the incredible gastronomic experiences offered by UNICO 20°87°’s four decadent restaurants every night, soon felt like the norm!
Speaking of which, UNICO 20°87° truly is a foodie’s paradise. If you like to eat (and we mean really eat), then there is no better place. All of the resorts’ restaurants are located off one long mall-like corridor with a smattering of shops including a wine merchants, travel agent for booking your day trips (which range from swimming with dolphins to Tulum tours and sunset cruises), and a boutique holiday shop for last minute summer dresses and swimwear.
Mexican restaurant Cueva Siete with its stylish interiors and outdoor terrace will take you on a multi-sensory journey, featuring a rotating chef programme which means the experience is ever-changing. Serving up modern Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on three main ingredients – corn, beans and chilli, the restaurant promotes endemic grains and seeds that are at risk of extinction, while supporting local producers in the process. We loved the crispy shrimp tacos and the totally memorable Angus beef steak in a creamy Michoacán cotija cheese sauce.
Other food offerings include Italian cuisine at Mi Carisa with many of their dishes and cooked-to-order pizzas made in the wood fired oven; the sexy, industrial style pan-Asian Mura House with an exquisite sushi and sashimi menu, a range of sakes, and to-die-for tuna tataki; and the main 20°87° restaurant which is where breakfast is served. At night, it transforms into a sophisticated grill with incredible steaks, pastas and risottos.
We especially loved Café Inez, a chic all day café where of course everything is included. Coffees, cakes, pastries, smoothies, crostinis and paninis… A social meeting point, a place to chill with your laptop, a great place to start your day before a fitness class. Coffee culture is huge in the UK and it wasn’t lost on us to have this as an additional to the usual restaurants.
For those looking to live things up a little, there is of course a brilliant main bar area called Bar Balam. Pool tables, cocktail making, chess, live singers, you name it, it happened at this central bar. A lively social spot in the centre of the hotel, it was perfect for a pre or post dinner drink, or for a warm up before hitting the club.
At the other end of the hotel, you can smell aromatherapy oils wafting through the corridors as you get nearer to the spa. With a private hydroptherapy pool, outdoor lounging space and a range of incredible massages, therapies and treatments on offer, I indulged in a dreamy back massage which had me drifting off to a magical place by the beach, imagining there were free cocktails on tap, unlimited high end dining experiences, and luxury at every turn. Then I woke up and realised that’s exactly where I was anyway!
UNICO 20°87° really sets the bar for the all-inclusive luxury holiday experience. It seems there’s nothing this resort hasn’t thought of, and future holidays really have a lot to live up to because a perfect 8 days in the Mexican sunshine, wining, dining and sun-bathing in a heightened state of luxuriousness is going to take some beating! Book your dream holiday here.