The Best-Kept Secret in the Mexican Caribbean

Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

Discovering the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

By Alexander Britell

PUERTO MORELOS — There is a pillow menu.

And not just a list — shortly after arriving in the room, you’re presented with a small tray of miniaturized pillows, firm to soft, to decide between with your touch.

Because everything here is about appreciating even the smallest details. Because here, they understand that those are the root of great luxury.

This is the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, a relatively new Leading Hotel of the World in Puerto Morelos, a still largely undiscovered fishing village on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

The lobby at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

The lobby at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

With 103 suites on a wide stretch of white sand beach, the property boasts seriously good food (led by Chef Yann Cozic) and one of the largest pools you’ll ever see.


And then there are the rooms — massive spaces with marvelous kitchens and marble bathrooms, with Bulgari amenities and Nespresso machines, some with infinity plunge pools, others with balcony Jacuzzis.


And it doesn’t hurt that Puerto Morelos is a lovely town, slowly opening to tourism but retaining its charm, from artistan boutiques to fish-taco beach bars.

The hotel's swim-up bar

The hotel’s swim-up bar

But none of that is the story.

Because the story is, like all great hotels, how the place makes you feel.

Because there is not a moment here when you cannot find a staff member in an instant, not a moment when a staff member will tell you he or she can’t accommodate your request.

Here, the service is so good it borders on religion, where staff members use the rather clever network of underground tunnels to seemingly appear out of nowhere at your doorstep to perform service miracles.

Here, they get it. There is great service but it is never aggressive — they get that the best service feels effortless.

It’s a testament to general manager Carlo Bicaci, who has brought the kind of luxury service you tend to find in Europe, and not often enough in the Caribbean.

And it’s all delivered with a remarkable warmth — the staff here are professional, knowledgeable and happy to make you happy.

It’s a place that every Caribbean hotelier should visit to see for him or herself.

Because this hotel has perhaps the best service I’ve ever experienced – and that’s what makes the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun not just the Best-Kept Secret in the Mexican Caribbean, but one of the Caribbean’s best hotels, too.

Right down to the pillows.