Both new in 2019, the TRS Coral Hotel is the adults-only sister property to next door family resort Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa. It’s the first TRS hotel to be included in The Leading Hotels of the World exclusive collection.
Quiet Costa Mujeres is the northernmost point of the Cancun area in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state. Just 35 minutes from the airport and 20 from the city of Cancun, Costa Mujeres is one of the least developed areas in the region, enclosed by the Caribbean Sea and the Laguna de Chacmochuc Preserve.
TRS Coral Hotel and Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa, both five-star resorts, share many of the same facilities, though some areas are reserved for the adults-only “Infinite Indulgence” guests of TRS Coral Hotel. It’s easy to get around the complex either strolling on paved paths or via electric golf carts and canal boats.
A highlight is the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness Centre, with its hydrotherapy circuit with snow and salt rooms, stunning pools and RMT-quality massages. Unlike many hotels spas, access to the pools and hydrotherapy circuit is included, with only treatments costing extra.
Tennis players will love the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre, the second in the world after Nadal’s home tennis school in Mallorca, Spain. Opened by Nadal himself in February 2019, the centre provides coaching using Nadal’s values-based method on eight clay courts.
Other facilities include four swimming pools (one just for kids), activities like yoga and snorkelling, a long beach with shaded beds, and a village with shops, restaurants, a convention centre and wedding chapel. The resort has the feel of Ibiza combined with Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
The two hotels aim to offer guests a wide variety of dining options. TRS Coral Hotel guests have access to 13 different restaurants, including Southeast Asian, Indian, Japanese, French, and an Argentine steakhouse, plus the live dinner show at CHIC Cabaret & Restaurant. Four restaurants are exclusively for guests of the adults-only section.
Rooms at TRS Coral Hotel are designed for luxurious comfort. The 469 spacious rooms are in several low-rise buildings. Memory foam mattresses, a pillow menu and black-out curtains ensure a restful sleep; lounge on your couch, in a hammock on your terrace, or in the jetted tub. Thoughtful extras include a magnifying mirror, scale, L’Occitane amenities and a bluetooth speaker. Butlers service a range of suites, helping with dinner reservations, activity planning and anything you need for your room. Room service is available 24-hours (order off your 50-inch interactive TV if you like). Your room is stocked with a Nespesso machine, a minibar full of mixes, and full-size premium bottles of tequila reposado, vodka, rum and scotch. Some rooms have wine climatisers and swim-up pools. Loft suites have a separate living room and jetted tub on the terrace.
I’ve been trying to figure out which type of person Vivo Resorts is perfect for. For sure it’s the person who wants to be healthy while they’re on holiday, since Vivo has an athlete’s dream gym plus lots of healthy food. Vivo is certainly ideal for the couple who wants to get away from it all — the resort is all alone on a vast beach and you can sleep listening to the sound of the waves. But Vivo is also great for anyone who wants to be close to the action; it’s just a 10-minute drive from the perfect Mexican town of Puerto Escondido. Vivo is also ideal for multi-generational families and was designed with their their needs in mind.
So, maybe Vivo Resorts is perfect for just about everybody.
Vivo Resorts is owned by former Canadian Olympian downhiller, Cary Mullen. He created the resort for what his retirement-age parents and his young family wanted and needed, as he couldn’t find it anywhere else.
The resort is on a stunning and empty 24-kilometre-long (15-mile) beach, Playa Palmarito. In summer the crashing waves are mesmerizing, in winter the seas calm enough for swimming. The beach is also a favourite of sea turtles. Various types of the endangered animals come year round to lay their eggs on this beach. The Vivo Foundation supports the Palmarito Sea Turtle Camp (amongst other charitable organizations) to protect the turtles. Guests can help release the just-hatched babies into the ocean at sunset, increasing their survival rate from 1-2% up to 5%. Whales, dolphins, and rays join the turtles swimming by and can often be seen from condo balconies.
As you’d expect, a resort created and owned by a former Olympian takes health and wellness seriously. Vivo’s gym, for example, is actually welcoming. It’s on the second floor above the restaurant, with views of the resort’s two main pools and the ocean, and has a fresh breeze blowing through windows that actually open. At Ernesto’s, Vivo’s farm-to-table restaurant, it’s easy to find healthy options, made deliciously with local products from the markets and with seasonal ingredients from the fields surrounding the resort. You can cook at home too, as every suite has a full kitchen.
Vivo Resorts is a condo-resort; each property is owned privately, though amenities and decor must adhere to prescribed minimal standards. The 75-acre beachfront community is stunning. There are several pools, including one aimed at family activities, a lap pool, and a beachside infinity pool with swim-up bar. The spa has a range of offerings, plus a meditation room and a yoga studio. You can also take a beachfront taichi or yoga class, plus play basketball or the favourite sport of retirees — pickleball. When completed, the Vivo community will have up to 600 condominiums, 115 private villas, and a selection of shops and cafes.
Ideal for families or groups of friends travelling together, you can book a one-, two-, three- or even four-bedroom condo or a private villa (each one has a full kitchen, laundry and more). Vivo has a Kids’ Club that the Mullen children helped design, as well as lessons and activities that families and friends can do together both on and off the resort. Sure, you can just lie by the pool if that’s what you want, but Vivo aims to bring people closer together and help them learn new things at the same time.
Vivo Resorts is a 10-minute drive from Puerto Escondido, which might just be the perfect Mexican town. It has a traditional market, artisans making crafts and textiles, both traditional and international dining, the third best surfing beach in the world (be amazed by the pros practicing or in competitions), beaches suited for amateur surfers and swimmers, plus friendly residents who welcome you to learn more about Oaxacan culture.
And if you fall in love with Vivo after your vacation? Have a condo or a villa built to your specifications and then you can come back as often as you like.
Adults can explore both sides of Hilton PV’s two-hotel resort, but kids must stay on what’s known as the oceanside (here’s our feature on the adults-only Hacienda at Hilton Puerto Vallarta). The oceanside is pretty awesome, though, and might even be your preferred side if you want to be near the beach, like a little more action, or if you prefer modern design over traditional.
Opening in 2012, the Hilton Puerto Vallarta’s oceanside resort is on a beautiful beach on the Bay of Banderas, perfect for those who want to take a dip or take a walk in the sand. Of course, the Hilton has several pools too. In the morning they’re tranquil, and as the day goes on you’ll see a friendly game of pool volleyball, some aqua aerobics, and families enjoying the sunshine together.
There are 259 rooms on the oceanside, including 60 suites. Every stay throughout the two hotels is all-inclusive, as this is the only all-inclusive Hilton in all of Mexico. There’s a range of room options, some with swim-out pool. All have Hilton Serenity beds, a balcony or patio, and all the essential room accessories.
The majority of the hotel’s restaurants are on the oceanside too. For perfect views, go up to the Sky Bar with its rooftop infinity pool (have some sushi and a cocktail for the full experience). The Sea Fire is the main restaurant; it’s buffet with eggs, pancakes and French toast cooked to order in the morning, and a wide selection of choices throughout the day. Other restaurants on the oceanside include one serving Brazilian food, another serving French, and a beachside barbecue. There’s even a late-night music lounge. A sports bar is in the breezy main lobby and was packed with cheering fans while Mexico played in the World Cup during my stay.
The kids club is also on this side of the resort, where kids aged 4 to 12 can make crafts, play games and sports, and even bake cookies. Parents will also appreciate the $10/hour babysitting in the evenings if they want to explore some of Puerto Vallarta’s excellent dining, such as the exquisite La Palapa on the beach downtown.
Be sure to stop by the Ki Spa during your stay. There’s a calming Floatarium — Hilton is the only resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast to have one — a 50-minute float in it is said to be the same as a deep four-hour sleep. Unlike a sensory deprivation tank, which can be uncomfortable for the claustrophobic, the floating pool is in a serene high-ceilinged room. The spa also offers more traditional treatments from massage to mani-pedis to facials. Choose to have a massage beachside too, under a gazebo.
Whether you prefer adults-only or kid-friendly, traditional or modern, tranquil or more active, the Hilton Puerto Vallarta’s two side-by-side resorts are ideal for your Puerto Vallarta vacation.
The Hacienda at Hilton Puerto Vallarta is a thing of beauty. Designed by architect Ricardo Elias, this hotel within a hotel has a gorgeous mix of patterns that you wouldn’t believe work until you see them. And they work perfectly.
The Hacienda is the Hilton’s new section, opened in March 2018. For adults-only, the Hacienda is next door to the larger and more modern-looking Hilton where children are welcome. It’s the only all-inclusive Hilton in Mexico. Here’s our feature on the original oceanside part of the resort: Hilton Puerto Vallarta.
Guests at the Hacienda have access to the entire complex, but will likely prefer the quieter Hacienda side with its à la carte restaurants and two quiet pools (one semi-covered if you want to be sun-safe).
There are four rooms categories at the Hacienda. Mine, on the ground floor, has its own private plunge pool right outside the sliding glass doors. It’s the perfect place to cool off if Puerto Vallarta’s humidity climbs.
I love the decor in my spacious room. Usually I’m not a fan of patterns, but, like in the rest of the Hacienda, the designers have created a decor that is both serene and interesting, and that gives you a sense of traditional Mexico. I especially like the grey, blue and taupe tiles in the large bathroom. I could admire them from the separate shower room and in the bathtub (which also has a view out to the room and the plunge pool) as well as standing at the sink in front of the perfectly-lighted mirror.
All rooms have balconies or patios, and some have a jetted tub on the balcony too. The most luxe rooms have an immense bathroom with an outdoor jetted tub as well as an outdoor shower. No matter where you stay, you’ll have a mini fridge restocked with drinks daily, a comfortable easy chair, table for two, storage space including a large closet with well-sized safe, and a 42-inch TV.
Hacienda guests can enjoy a child-free breakfast à la carte indoors or outdoors, or take a short stroll to have the buffet breakfast at Sea Fire, on what’s referred to as the oceanside of the resort. Lunch at the Hacienda is poolside with a wide selection of ceviche and American-style bar food, or oceanside at the sushi bar, beach grill or the buffet. The Hacienda side has an à la carte Mexican restaurant for dinner or there’s an à la carte French restaurant on the oceanside. Both have elaborately-plated creative cuisine.
The Hacienda’s open-air lobby is a beautiful place to relax. Give the huge pendulum a swing and watch it draw patterns in the sand or admire the hand-painted murale, all while sipping a coffee from the lobby café.
See our feature on the ocean side of the resort for details on the Hilton’s spa, beach and other amenities. Guests have access to them all when staying on the Hacienda side.