Cancun is shaking off winter and bouncing into spring, with new properties, innovative spas and restaurants and other enhancements giving it a fresh look for the season.

Costa Mujeres master plan

The sleepy fisherman village-esque island that is Isla Mujeres is about to take itself to the next level. As part of a master development plan, the island is poised to positively boom with new developments and future projects. Along Costa Mujeres Boulevard, there are more than 12 lots slated for tourism development. The project will be developed over the course of three years and at least 22,000 rooms are contemplated according to the urban development program. One of the first hotels to open as part of this development will be the Hotel Planet Hollywood Cancun, which will have 898 rooms. The hotel will be composed of three sections of rooms: one for adults only, one called Planet Hollywood, and a VIP section. There will also be a central square, a sports area and a minigolf course, as well as a Sky-zone with indoor trampolines, two tennis courts and an outdoor gym.

New theme parks

Nativa is a brand-new park in the northern section of Quintana Roo, just a few hours from Cancun. The new park explores and celebrates the Mayan jungle with an ecological experience. Experience a purification ceremony at the Casa de los Aluxes. Nativa also cooperates with the reproduction of honey bees, and has built 71 hives for housing them and helping them to produce natural honey. Visit a natural museum on trails within the Mayan jungle, visit an interactive swatch of woods, seeds and tracks, and get to several points of interest on an all-terrain vehicle that traverses the natural environment. In the lagoon of the reserve, canoes can be used to explore the flora and fauna by water. And at the end of the expedition, share a delicious meal and take a dip in the on-site pool.

As of March 15, Cancun welcomed the Parque Maya, a museum, park, archaeological site and city tour all in one. This is the first natural theme park located right in the hotel zone, and it pays tribute to the Mayan culture by offering visitors a tour that stages the main traditions of the Mayan world. Begin with a short film tribute to the Mayans that tells a story through images to raise awareness and understanding. The experience continues with a 7-mile sailing through the mangroves of the Laguna Nichupte. Next, soar 1,500 feet over the lagoon, suspended through the five zip line owners. A ropes course awaits at the other end, suspended 21 feet above the lagoon. Next, get up close and personal with Mayan characters and meander through replicas of Mayan temples. End the journey with the Plaza de las Estelas, a place surrounded by Mayan stelae at the center of which is the Mayan calendar.

New spa

As of December, Quintana Roo welcomed Hotel Xcaret, an innovative new take on the all-inclusive concept, and it is breaking booking records and turning heads at every instance. One of the highlights of the resort is its brand-new Muluk Spa. The spa combines ancient traditions with innovative methods. The facilities include massage cabins tucked into stone caves of natural rock, facing the river, sauna and steam rooms, hot and cold tubs and more. The menu features an array of treatments ranging from cosmetic dermatology to spiritual healing ceremonies. Signature treatments include the Temazcal experience complete with a Shaman that guides guests on the spiritual journey. Muluk Spa uses honey, cocoa, cinnamon, and clay to moisturize, nourish and replenish the body in its treatments. Treatments include the Ksakir Facial, where clay is used to eliminate toxins and heal the skin; and the Copal Purification, a full-body treatment with tree resin used by Mesoamerican cultures for spiritual cleansing.

Exclusive dining experience

Palace Resorts is bringing one of the best restaurants in the world to Mexico. Joan Roca, a three-Michelin star chef, will host the El Cellar de Can Roca Experience at Moon Palace on May 8 and 9. The exclusive dinners will benefit the rebuilding of schools in Mexico City that were destroyed during the country's recent natural disasters. Roca will bring two nights of back-to-back gastronomic treats. The experience will take place in the newly renovated La Trattoria, located on the Jack Nicklaus golf course at Moon Palace. Ticket prices are $750 per person and dress code is formal attire.
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI