By Alexander Britell
“Would you like cucumber, lime or lemon in your water?”
I don’t think I’d ever been asked this specific question before, even in Paris or Rome, in luxury hotels the world over.
I was with my family at Flor de Canela, the Mexican eatery at the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun; and while the offering was a new one, that the hotel cared deeply enough to ask it was no surprise.
The trio of water additions was just a mere slice of an almost overwhelming attention to detail at this Leading Hotel of the World about halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean.
It’s part of a pervasive, almost obsessive luxury delivery at the resort, where the service is as good as any you’ll encounter in the wider Caribbean region and the details are myriad.
But what really stands out is that this isn’t just a luxury hotel: it’s a resort geared and tailored toward families — and that means something that is almost impossible to find: a full-fledged luxury family resort.
Family resorts come in so many shapes and sizes; often, though, the “family” experience can be a bit, well, cheesy; you compromise the elegance, the luxury, the comfort at some point.
Here, that’s not the case.
You never feel like you’re at a loud, abrasive place, or that you’re giving anything up on account of the composition of your traveling party.
And you’re constantly reminded of it.
If you have a very young child, like we do, they even, happily, give you a diaper genie in the bathroom.
The kids’ activities are thoughtful, from hand-painting pottery to afternoon outdoor films.
Sitting at the pool, you’ll find a daily supply of Evian misters on your chairs for the whole family; periodically servers will make their rounds through the area serving up fresh fruit skewers for kids and adults alike — and then upping the ante with refreshing paletas.
And the latter is an important point; while the kids’ club is beautiful, this is a resort where the point is not just to drop off your kids at the club; it’s a place where everyone, child and adult, is treated like a luxury traveler, together.
And the activities abound for adults too, whether you want to play a round at the terrific El Tinto Golf Course (or make the longer trek to try Mayakoba’s El Camaleon), or go shopping or take a bike tour in the charming town of Puerto Morelos, or play at the on-site tennis complex.
Everything just seems to work, everyone seems happy, and the hotel wants to keep it that way.
Even at the aforementioned Flor de Canela, an exquisitely good Mexican eatery, or the resort’s other on-site restaurant, El Faro Grill, you’re surrounded by families and their kids — but you just never feel like it.
It’s an effortless, breezy experience, one amplified by service that includes not just a nightly turndown, but a complete, second cleaning of the entire suite, each time leaving a delicate artisanal animal doll along with a hand-written note by your bedside, left there by the attendant whom you’ll know by name at the end of your stay (it was Deyni).
And when you’re in a 2,000-square-foot suite (yes, the rooms here are massive), that’s no small task.
The resort somehow manages to harmonize all of its guests, one demographic never overshadowing or undermining the other.
It’s a family resort that doesn’t feel like a family resort.
And that’s precisely what makes it the best.
For more, visit the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun.