Earlier this April, we celebrated our birthdays at La Casa de la Playa in the Riviera Maya. We enjoyed the most magical and breath-taking vacation we have ever experienced. I posted videos on my Instagram page and as promised, I’ll share as many details as I can here. Aside from the eye-candy this resort dishes out, the activities & food splurges are endless. And I mean endless. It’s like Disneyland for adults who love a healthy mix of adventure and romance. We plan to come year after year & we know we’ll always have an incredible time!
We loved this all-inclusive resort SO MUCH we decided to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary at it’s sister Hotel Xcaret Arte. Both this hotel and La Casa de la Playa are for adults-only. Hotel Xcaret Mexico caters to children and families. Aaron and I went to Hotel Xcaret Mexico 2 years ago (falling in love with Xcaret back then!) and I shared that trip HERE ON THIS BLOG POST.
FYI…Nearly all the photos you’ll see on this post are screenshots from videos I captured on my phone. So haha, the quality will be rough 😉 The videos help the memories stay fresh & sweet for us. I’m guessing some of that will be lost in this vacation wrap-up post, BUT, cheers to a blurry & messy good read! xo
AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION: We take a direct 2.5 hour flight to Cancun. If you’ve never visited Cancun before, well…..it is definitely amazing, but walking out the doors of the airport can be a bit overwhelming….why? You are immediately thrown into what I like to lovingly think of as the airport taxi market craze. The good news is Xcaret provides free airport transportations to and from the resort. If you dart through the Taxi Market craze, you’ll see drivers wearing pink shirts, holding pink signs directing you to the comfy air-conditioned bus. We were first in line for the bus and waited 30-40 minutes for it to arrive– so there’s a 0-40 minute bus wait. You’ll be offered sodas, waters, and wifi for the 1 hour drive to the resort. If you’re staying at La Casa de la Playa, you’ll be taken immediately to the resort by a private luxury SUV.
BUTLER SERVICE: As soon as we checked in, our personal butler escorted us to our room. The week before, our butler contacted us via WhatsApp and arranged the airport transfers, dinner and park reservations. We HIGHLY recommend getting restaurant and exclusive activity reservations made before arriving to the resort since they fill up. We also bring quite a bit of cash to give tips (we’ll bring $100 bills and ask Guest Services to exchange for smaller bills).
RESTAURANTS we loved at Xcaret Arte: Kibi Kibi for breakfast (pay the little extra to stay in an “Adultos” room so you can be in casa Artistas and have exclusive access to Kibi Kibi and the amazing roof-top pool), the Arenal Restaurant for lunch (this was my FAV!), Cantina ViAYPI (pronounced V.I.P.) for dinner, Encanta for a unique Mexican chef’s tasting menu. I loved the Japanese appetizers & sushi at Tah-Xido. For our last dinner, we went to restaurant Fuego in Hotel Mexico and had the best steak and short rib of the trip. We also had a chance to eat quite a few times at San Juan Mercado, where you can eat fresh guacamole and pico, freshly made tacos, tamales, etc… (think cruise ship buffet but with all things Mexico– VIVA LA MEXICO!) Our favorite late-night tradition is having fresh crepes filled with Nutella, peanut butter, cream cheese, sliced strawberries, and slivered almonds… Delish! They have fresh seafood and I’d always ask for fresh-grilled shrimp and pile it into fajitas. Don’t forget to try the Mexican spiced coffee for a fun culture treat!
One fun find: there is a Speakeasy AT THE HOTEL – where you walk in a secret entrance that seems like you’re in a staff-only area to a fun night out! We went at 9:30pm and found a cozy spot to hang out. At 11pm the vibe completely changes from a jazzy speakeasy to a night club. The light show, music, and drinks were incredible!
Another WOW factor for me about Xcaret Arte is the fact that they have private beaches and even places to kayak on the complex. There are swim up suites where you can literally walk out of your balcony door into a pool and take a swim around the different passageways. They have hammocks overlooking these waterways, and even chairs you can sit in and soak in the sun right off your room.
Included in your reservation at Xcaret is free access to each of the six parks that are all super fun and nature-themed. It’s like the Disneyland of Mexico with underground rivers, zip lines through jungle canopies, night time cave explorations and fabulous shows. Usually we only have time to explore 2 parks since there is so much to do at the hotels and we love our chill time. Make sure to check out Xplor Fuego, the night time zip lining through fire rings, and the underground exploration. It’s super fun and thrilling! We didn’t especially love the Tomahawk dinner (buffet-style) restaurant at the park so next time we’ll eat back at the hotel.
COST: If I add up what we would pay individually for a vacation: hotel, parks & entertainment, incredible food, all drinks on repeat, airport transfers, exclusive activities and experiences, the price is pretty reasonable. A 3 night stay at Hotel Mexico or Arte is about $2500-3000 total for 2 people. La Casa de la Playa is Xcaret’s boutique hotel. They only have 63 rooms, so incredibly quiet and peaceful. It has the best views of the ocean from every part of the hotel. Private transportation and immediate service everywhere you go. Mind-blowing exclusive experiences at the parks. You WILL feel like royalty! But it’s pricey to feel like royalty–about double what you would spend at the other two hotels. We’ve now been to all 3 hotels and they make up our entire top 3 best all-inclusive-resorts-list. No matter where you decide to stay at Xcaret, it has something for EVERYONE whether you’re an adrenaline junky or would prefer to lounge on the beach with your toes dipped in the ocean all day.
NOT SPONSORED 😉 While we stayed in La Casa de la Playa for our birthdays, we purchased a membership to get discounts and perks to Arte and Mexico since we KNOW we’ll come back year after year. All our friends and family can use my discount as well! If you want to book, you can click on the hotel-specific links above to be taken directly to my favorite booking site.
TO USE MY FRIENDS 25% OFF DISCOUNT:: Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your name, phone, and email address. Then I’ll reach out to Xcaret through my member portal. They’ll reach out to help you book, you’ll get the 25% discount off your stay at Mexico or Arte, and get some extra members-only perks — like a private butler at any of the hotels when it’s normally only at La Casa.
Ps, I don’t make money off anyone using my 25% code ;))
If you’re thinking about booking a trip or have already booked and have more questions, leave it in the comment box below and I’ll shoot you an answer!
Our trip here & this blog post is not sponsored by Xcaret. Like at all. I wish! haha 😉