Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun debuted a multimillion-dollar renovation this year encompassing all of its guestrooms, public areas, the Aqua Club and dining. I checked in this summer to see the new spaces.
All 371 rooms and suites feature music and lighting that are controlled from bedside consoles. Each room has its own balcony or terrace with views of the gardens or the resort's powdery beach, pool area and turquoise shoreline.
Nothing woos you into a hotel's fold quite like a private check-in and welcome glass of bubbly, so I'd recommend booking your clients in an Aqua Club Room (floors five and six) to give them access to this chic, private space. Aqua Club Rooms come complete with benefits like premium drinks, snacks all day and personal concierge in addition to the private check-in and checkout.
The adults-only resort has seven pools and a beach club area. Each pool has its own vibe, whether it's quiet and relaxing or full-on party. (The pool closest to the Sea Corner restaurant had the liveliest atmosphere, with groups of singles and a DJ.)
And speaking of the Sea Corner, the toes-in-the-sand experience is a guest favorite, with its beachfront location, palapa-inspired roof and cantina vibe. Tacos, ceviches and beach-inspired cocktails are what's on the menu there.
The resort also recently renovated its Azur restaurant, which serves Mediterranean-style food and features ocean views.
Dinner and conversation
But the newest dining experience that will have everyone talking is at Inlaakech Restaurant. This restaurant designed to look like a cenote takes visitors on a journey through Mexican cuisine. This journey is led by a host from the resort, and each course is tied to Mexican history and culture.
Diners sit at a communal table, encouraging a shared experience and socialization -- typically not my style when it comes to dining on vacation. Nevertheless, I pushed through the gnawing social anxiety, swallowed a gulp of margarita and began chatting away with the couple beside me.
Roy and Leslie from Philadelphia were longtime fans of the Live Aqua Cancun. It wasn't long before we were deep in conversation, which quickly expanded to include the couple from Texas next to them who were on their honeymoon, the sisters traveling together, the host and another member of the resort's staff.
Before long the table was engaged in one laughter-filled conversation as guests swapped stories about travels through Mexico, discussing the food in front of us and enjoying a thoroughly unique bonding experience underneath the stars that shone through the skylight.
Live Aqua Cancun Resort prides itself on creating community and making memorable experiences for all of its guests. I happened to watch staff put on a surprise celebration for a loyal travel advisor who was on vacation. But this dining experience was a truly cool concept that took the lone wolf out of me.
Rates begin at $261 per person, per night.