When you visit Costa Mujeres, Mexico, it still feels pretty raw. Peek about the flat stretches of terrain and you’ll see a smattering of trees and, every so often, a car will pass you on the sleepy road.
But check back in another year or two, though, and the place will look completely different. You can already see the patches of progress. There are cement trucks moving and construction workers drilling. Just a 45-minute drive from the late-night revelry of Cancun a new, more mature party is almost ready to commence.
Riu Dunamar, which debuted in December 2017, is one of the first higher-end properties to stake its claim in the burgeoning area. It’s got 740 rooms, a spa and a sports bar. And right next door sits the almost-completed Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres, a 600-room beauty that the Spain-based brand promises will take laid-back luxuriousness to even greater heights. (If you think Riu’s Mexico expansion is impressive, wait until you see what it has in store for the Maldives, Morocco and Madrid in 2019.)
Beyond its heavenly location, however, Riu Dunamar has a number of other qualities that make it an all-inclusive resort that stands out in the all-new part of town.
A stark-white, five-story building rising out the Yucatan sands, Riu Dunamar is cool and comfortable with just the right amount of chic. When you walk into the main lobby, you won’t see many walls or windows; instead, a coastal breeze greets you almost quicker than the staffer holding your welcome drink. You’ll feel the wind tickling your skin at the check-in desk or at the lobby bar across the way.