Having visited dozens of resorts and hotels around the world, I have to say I’ve become a bit of a hotel snob. And while I haven’t quite made it yet to the level to which I aspire, there are few resorts that I would say WOW me at this point. But after visiting the Finest Playa Mujeres Resort in the greater Cancun region of Mexico, I must say they became an exception to the rule for me. I mean they had me at hola.
One of the things I loved most about this property was how special you are made to feel as soon as you step foot on the resort. You are welcomed by at least a handful of people before two gigantic wooden doors open automatically for you and reveal one of the warmest, most inviting, open area lobby and reception areas I’ve experienced. It feels, as if for a moment, you are entering a modern castle. As you venture down the marble steps (be careful not to fall; that’s a tough way to begin your vacay!) you are greeted by a beautiful bronze bar that just screams please come visit me. Being coachable, I grabbed a drink before heading out to the beautifully landscaped terrace and walkways to check out the scenery and head to one of the outdoor restaurants while we awaited our room.
The Golden Bar…yes the name is Golden :-)
With each few steps it seemed everyone greeted us with a warm smile and cheerful hola! When we weren’t quite sure of which way to go, one of the Finest staff who was clearly on a mission to get to her next destination, still stopped to ask if we needed help. When we asked for directions, she kindly escorted us directly to where we needed to go instead of pointing us in the general direction. You just can’t find that type of service everywhere so I appreciate it when I receive it!
When making the arrangements for my stay, I opted for the swim out suite since that was something I had never experienced before. And boy am I glad that I did! It’s now tough to go back to any other type of room. In fact, it was so beautiful I literally stayed until the last possible second admiring the beauty and calm of the scene before departing. If you are unfamiliar, swim out suites are just as they sound. You literally have your own private pool right outside of your suite that you can swim out to, and beyond that was a shared hot tub among the other three adjoining suites. These particular suites also have indoor private jacuzzis in addition to a nice size terrace with a number of options for lounging. Did I also mention there was a hammock set strategically over top of the swim out pool? Absolutely gorgeous!
Considering that I aim to write balanced reviews, I will start here with a few criticisms. From the moment I saw the hammock over top of the pool, I had a vision of relaxing there and sipping one of the many delicious cocktails they served daily. However, once I dipped my toe in that water, I was presented with a challenge. The water was freezing! Even though our pool received a good amount of sunlight all day, that water temperature was not budging! After much deliberation and mindset training on myself, I eventually braved the waters to get to my vision, but I can’t say it was fun. I absolutely HATE the cold…especially cold water. But once I finally got in the hammock, which was a bit of an issue as well based on my height challenges and the positioning of the hammock, it was glorious. If anyone from the Finest happens to read this review, please invest in some warming mechanisms for the swim out pools!
I must say, Finest fully redeemed themselves with the spa. It was magnificent! Though, I’m not a hydrotherapy type of girl (just give me the hot tub with the jets), they had a full hydrotherapy offering for those who like to torture themselves at the spa with an ice bath, ice water pool, sauna, steam room, etc. Not my deal but I know many who love it so you’ll be a happy camper here. For me, the massage itself was the highlight. I received the Thai bamboo massage treatment and it was just the amount of pressure, relaxation and stretching I needed. It was 80 minutes of goodness. And then they topped it off with a luxurious relaxation room complete with gigantic (swinging, if you wanted it to) lounge beds. I could have stayed in there all day!
As a foodie, you know I cannot complete this review without talking about the food. In a word, it was DELICIOUS. As I’ve mentioned before about all-inclusives not all being created equal (Having it All), I was happy to learn that this all-inclusive resort took palate pleasing seriously and my foodie appetite was thoroughly satisfied. Even the buffet options were up to par, which at times can be hit or miss at some of the nicer resorts as well. I of course especially loved the Japanese Hibachi, French and Steakhouse specialty restaurants. I only wish I had stayed a bit longer to experience some of the other dining experiences.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
As a bit of a disappointment, we went to the seafood restaurant for lunch when we first arrived to not find much seafood on menu offered at lunch time. In fact, the name of the restaurant is called Duke’s Lobster, yet there was no lobster, or any other shellfish for that matter, to be found on the lunch menu. Instead we found a lot of chicken, cheeseburger and pork options. As you would expect, we were expecting and had our mouths set for some actual seafood. I mean it’s “pretty standard really” at a seafood restaurant. (smile) If you didn’t get the Austin Powers reference, well you just didn’t get it lol.
In closing, I will share that the grand purpose for our visit was for the nuptials of two of my dearest friends, who are also both fellow travel professionals. It was only fitting that they have a destination wedding in true travelpreneur style. If you are a couple or know a couple who is looking for a property to host your destination wedding, the Finest should be on your list. They absolutely did a wonderful job of catering to the bride and groom’s needs and it was a gorgeous setting for such a beautiful occasion. I would also recommend this resort to anyone who is looking to get away as a single, couple or a family. It had just about everything for everyone but still managed to maintain the charm and peacefulness of a small to midsize resort. While no property is perfect, I will admit, this was indeed one of the Finest.