Mexico’s Riviera Maya is known for its gorgeous white-sand beaches, warm ocean water, and variety of all-inclusive resorts. Over the years, all-inclusive offerings of all kinds have migrated from Cancun’s tourist-laden Hotel Zone down the coast toward Tulum. However, not all all-inclusive resorts are created equal.
When UNICO 20º87º opened in 2017, it changed the game by elevating what to expect from a luxury all-inclusive. Yes, this adults-only resort has a beautiful beachfront location, contemporary design, three sleek pools, and five-star service, but it’s not your typical all-inclusive. Here are eight reasons why.
“Unlimited Inclusions” takes all-inclusive to the next level
Everything here is designed so you can create your own personal immersive experience. Food, drinks, entertainment and some on-site activities are included as expected, and you’ll also get to personalize your included in-room minibar, customize the scent of your bathroom amenities, and order off the aromatherapy and pillow menus at no charge.
However, thanks to the resort’s “Unlimited Inclusions” program, you’ll also have the opportunity to add on additional curated experiences at a fraction of the cost (you’ll just pay a 25 percent service fee on the full price).
You get your pick of locally-minded excursions
One of the biggest perks of Unlimited Inclusions is the access to carefully-curated local excursions, some of which aren’t available to other resorts in the area. Tours and excursions within the Unlimited Inclusions program include visits to famous Mayan ruins, VIP island beach experiences with open bar, and adventures like swimming in cenotes, scuba diving, and ziplining.
For those who want to go deeper, upgraded Signature Tours are available at full price and include things like sunset sailing trips and lunch at a Mayan village. Transportation, food, and drink are usually included in all tours.
Every restaurant is fantastic—and included
All-inclusive resorts aren’t particularly known for having stellar cuisine, though a few resorts in Riviera Maya have refused to succumb to this all-inclusive stereotype. UNICO 20º87º is one of them. In fact, the food here is one of the resort’s best features, and every single restaurant is included.
Cueva Siete is one of the best and is the must-eat place to experience the bold flavors of contemporary Yucatecan dishes. The restaurant’s rotating chef program allows for an ever-changing menu and diverse presentation of the local cuisine.
Other options include Mediterranean Italian, Pan-Asian, poolside snacks, and a breakfast and lunch buffet that turns into a grill restaurant for dinner.
Top-notch cocktails and drinks
The mixologist program at UNICO 20º87º puts most all-inclusive bars to shame. Whether it’s a sexy lounge space or casual cabana, you’ll be sipping quality top-shelf cocktails featuring local twists that spotlight local flavors and ingredients like mezcal, muddled fresh fruit, and sal de gusano rims.
Rum is the main ingredient over at the Cuban-inspired Palmera lounge where you can pair your drink with live entertainment and a cigar, while the Gin Time terrace bar crafts unique cocktails by infusing herbal tea blends, botanicals, and gin.
Not feeling like liquor? No problem. There are also good cerveza options, excellent wine menus, an on-site wine store that sells bottles at full price, and loads of fresh juices on every menu.
The well-curated decor doubles as a gallery of Mexican art
UNICO 20º87º’s halls, walls, and public spaces function as a virtual art gallery, showcasing the culture and history of Mexico through collector items and both traditional and contemporary works of art by Mexican artists. To curate the space, the resort tapped Mexico City’s Tasting Art, a well-regarded gallery that specializes in art dealing.
Guests can learn about some of the pieces on display through the UNICO 20º87º app or by taking a self-guided tour around the property.
Unlimited treatments at the spa and beauty salon
The resort’s Esencia Spa has 26 treatment rooms, holistic-forward treatments with a Mayan influence, and an indoor hydrotherapy circuit. The best part? All spa treatments are included in the Unlimited Inclusions program—which means you can go to the spa as much as you want, get any treatment you want (including facials, massages, full-body treatments, and couples’ treatments) and you’ll only pay a 25 percent service fee for each treatment.
Select beauty salon treatments like haircuts and basic manicures and pedicures are also a part of the Unlimited Inclusions, and Signature treatments like highlights or waxing can be purchased at full price.
You’ll get your own “local host”
Every guest gets access to a local host who functions as both a butler and insider to the area. Local hosts and guests communicate directly through their cell phones, giving this elevated butler service a more personal feel.
In addition to in-room requests, booking reservations, drawing after-dinner baths or setting up DIY nightcaps, the local host’s job is to connect guests with the surrounding community. You can customize your local experience with their tips on the best restaurants, sights, and secret spots slightly off the tourist trail.
Unlimited golfing with all the fixings
Believe it or not, the resort’s Unlimited Inclusions program also includes golf. UNICO 20º87º guests have unlimited access to the 18-hole Robert van Hagge-designed golf course at Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya.
The service fee covers transportation to and from the golf course, Club House access (plus lockers and showers), food and drinks, and golf club storage. You can also book Golf Academy lessons with a pro that includes roundtrip transportation, plus club and ball rental.