Another year means a spate of new hotels opening across the globe. South of the border, Mexico remains a popular destination for visitors looking for everything from a sun-soaked, relaxing beach getaway on either coast, to the gastronomic delights to be found in Mexico City’s sprawl, and cultural excursions galore in towns like San Miguel de Allende. In short, planning a trip to Mexico is going to be more exciting than ever in 2019, and these gorgeous new hotels are a major part of that.
Hotel Amparo, San Miguel de Allende: January 2019
Though tiny, the mountain town of San Miguel de Allende has quietly become Mexico’s cultural capital thanks to breathtaking colonial architecture, a mouthwatering restaurant scene and its collection of over 100 museums and galleries. This January, the city will also profit from the opening of a luxury five-suite inn called Hotel Amparo from the owners of Hibiscus Linens, Taylor Goodall and Mariana Barran de Goodall. The hotel was designed to be a residential-style getaway, yet is tucked away in the heart of the city near the central square of El Jardín. The building itself dates back over three centuries and was, at one time, the mayor’s private residence. The colorful redecoration by Texas-based designer Aaron Rambo highlights the colonial-era elements of the edifice while incorporating a mix of internationally sourced mid-century furnishings. Guests can also expect custom-made bedding, towels and linens from Hibiscus Linens. The hotel will feature a high-end coffee bar and a rooftop wine bar with an emphasis on natural wines. Rates will start at $325 per night including accommodation, breakfast, happy hour and an evening dessert hour.
Zadún, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve: Spring 2019
Los Cabos, on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, is experiencing a hotel boom of its own lately, with high-profile resorts opening right and left, including the Montage Los Cabos. Perhaps most exciting, Ritz-Carlton will open only its fourth Reserve Collection location on the shore of the Sea of Cortez this spring. The resort will have just 115 rooms, suites, and villas starting at a spacious 807 square feet, all with dedicated butler service, ocean-view terraces and desert-inspired décor with beachy elements thrown in. Some will also offer private plunge pools. Though details are still scarce, the hotel will also field several high-end restaurants, a spa with a menu of locally inspired, customizable treatments, and access to a 27-hole golf resort with three courses designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus.
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos: April 2019
Partners Robert De Niro and celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa have been rapidly expanding their hospitality empire of restaurants and hotels lately, including the expected spring debut of this luxury hotel in Cabo. The beachfront resort will be just west of the town of Cabo San Lucas, but insulated from its party scene by a long stretch of beach and a golf course. It will comprise 200 rooms in all, with a look that is equal parts Baja desert and Japanese elegance – think wooden soaking tubs, teak furnishings and stone floors as well as Japanese lantern-like lighting fixtures. The guiding aesthetic is described as “Japanese beach house.” Of course, the dining outlets will be helmed by Chef Nobu, and signature dishes like yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, and miso black cod are sure to be on hand. The resort’s Asian-inspired spa will include a unique outdoor hydrotherapy garden with a water circuit and a Watsu pool plus treatments incorporating Natura Bissé products. Opening rates start at around $500 per night.
Atelier and Estudio Playa Mujeres: Mid-2019
This all-suite resort is a dual project. The Estudio component is a luxury all-inclusive family resort while the Atelier portion is for adults only (guests must be over 16 years old). The look blends contemporary sleekness with a colorful Caribbean vibe. Suites feature garden, golf course, pool or ocean views, while some swim-up categories include direct pool access. Atelier specifically will have 431 suites and six restaurants, including María Dolores for seven-course tasting menus, Takeshi for Asian cuisine, and El Trompo by the pool for snacks and tacos. Estudio’s restaurants will include a buffet at El Consentido, upscale Italian at Cala di Luna, and Japanese at Kobai. Guests at both resorts can access an 18-hole golf course and the on-property Nuup Spa for treatments inspired by the healing power of water and traditional, local techniques.
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas: Mid-2019
Cabo can expect a third luxury resort to open on its shores toward the middle of the year. Set along two miles of shoreline on the Sea of Cortez, the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas will have 145 guest accommodations, including 35 suites, all of which will offer sea views. There will be three bars and restaurants at the resort, four swimming pools, a Four Seasons Spa with 14 treatment rooms including two couple’s suites and an expansive fitness complex. The property will also boast a 250-slip marina and an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II.
Perhaps most attractive of all, the beach here is swimmable – a rarity in Cabo – thanks to its location on the eastern cape. During stays, guests can explore the UNIESCO-listed Cabo Pulmo national Marine Park, visit the on-property organic farm, and take cultural tours to nearby villages.
La Casa de la Playa, Riviera Maya: Summer 2019
Following up on the success of Xcaret Hotel, which opened in 2017, Grupo Experiencias Xcaret plans to open a second boutique property at Destino Xcaret on the Mexico’s Riviera Maya this summer. The new, all-adult Casa de la Playa will comprise just 63 suites with private plunge pools. The hotel will also have four restaurants, two pools, a spa, a mezcaleria for tastings and gifts, a chocolate shop, a wine cellar, and a library. The new resort is expected to expand on Xcaret’s All-Fun Inclusive program, which includes extras like airport transfers, unique culinary experiences, area tours and access to the five parks on the property. The Destino Xcaret development encompasses 915 acres and will eventually include 6,000 hotel rooms, a stadium and arena, a convention center and a 1.2-mile river promenade with shops, entertainment and dining spaces.
And for a 2020 bonus…
Nickelodeon Resort, Riviera Maya: 2020
Families looking for laidback fun in the sun should enjoy this wacky entertainment brand’s first Mexico property (in partnership with Karisma Hotels & Resorts), which is scheduled to open toward the middle of the year on the lush shores of the Riviera Maya. It will have 276 swim-up oceanfront suites and four themed Penthouses on the six-tory building’s top floors. One will be designed around a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles motif, while another will take SpongeBob SquarePants as its inspiration. All four will have private infinity pools and ocean views. Overall, the anchor of the resort will be a 500,000-square-foot activity area called Aqua Nick, which will include a lazy river, splash park, waterslide and a watery playground for toddlers and young children. Beloved Nickelodeon characters including those turtles and SpongeBob as well as Dora the Explorer will make appearances throughout the day, while families can also enjoy entertainment extravaganzas at the Mainstage theater. The hotel will have a fitness center and spa offering treatments for adults and kids alike. Among the dining options will be a Mexican cantina called Espadin, the seafood-focused Yacht Club, and two swim-up bars, among others.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.