Forever a grande dame of the Cancun coastline, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is a true five-star classic. Devotees of the Quintana Roo vacation capital are indeed familiar with the luxury resort, which has stood for decades as a coral-colored icon of beachfront hospitality.
Even as the resort scene in Cancun has changed and morphed over the years, giving rise to sleeker, more modern properties that emphasize minimalism and high-energy pool parties, the Grand Fiesta Americana has remained a stalwart of the golden age of Cancun travel, where a stiff drink in a dinner jacket is all part of the vacation experience. Still, the resort has adapted with the times to keep even its avid repeat customers constantly, and pleasantly, surprised.
Most recently, the resort made the decision to switch to a fully all-inclusive model. Traditionally, it was a European Plan resort, but as of this summer, all 602 oceanfront suites were folded into the Infinite Luxury model. On a visit last August, I was able to check out some of the new, upgraded features and experience the now fully all-inclusive property.
Infinite Luxury includes all the obvious essentials, including food and beverage at 12 restaurants and bars, nonmotorized watersports, theme parties and the Coral KidZ Club. Guests who book Ocean Front Suites get a complimentary island excursion to Isla Mujeres, including roundtrip ferry tickets and access to the Zama Beach Club.
But guests can choose to up their stay even more by booking the Infinite Club. This takes the traditional all-inclusive package and sprinkles on a heavy dose of extras, including access to the exclusive Infinite Lounge, private check-in and access to the adults-only Infinite Beach Club.
One of the highlights of a stay at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is one of the many "experiences" that the resort offers and includes in the Infinite Club, including everything from a dinner with 3D video mapping to a romantic dinner within the award-winning Gem Spa.
The Gem Spa dinner is one of the more unique experiences that couples can have at any resort in Cancun. I've had the pleasure of experiencing it twice in the past year, and it continues to be one of my favorites. The Gem Spa at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach has earned its stripes and bragging rights, and no visit to the resort is complete without a treatment.
The dinner takes it another level up. It starts with a Hydrotherapy Ritual, a 10-step process that includes an aromatherapy steam room, clay steam room, plunge pools, and multi-jet showers. After completing the circuit, couples are brought to the luxurious open pool area, with massive windows that overlook the beach and part of the Hotel Zone. The pool is peppered with massage jets and bubble beds, which couples can use to relax into an even more delicious stupor.
But the experience didn't end there. After a long soak in the pool, I was handed a fresh bathrobe and escorted to one of the white-linen-clad dining tables that ring the pool's edge. Soft candles flickered from the walls and alcoves, creating a romantic cavern-like setting as the light from the floor-to-ceiling windows began to turn an inky purple.
Here is where couples are treated to a wonderful four-course menu, complete with wine and cocktails. The menu includes a beet and mango salad, artisan cheeses, a gazpacho and a choice of beef tenderloin or tuna carpaccio, all from the comfort of a plush, warm robe and slippers.
Fine dining on white linen may not be what you'd typically expect, but seeing as we've been living in loungewear for the past six months, it's certainly become a look we're not only comfortable with, but may even prefer.