Woo-Hoo, Quintana Roo!

Mexico’s visitor numbers were up nearly 13 percent for the first quarter of 2018—and that’s due in no small part to the riches of the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to the powerhouse draws of Cancun and the Riviera Maya and more. With a repeat visitor rate of 52 percent, the destinations are doing something right, said Dario Flota, general director of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board. He pointed to an impressive number of hotel projects, attractions and infrastructure improvements in the works.

Clients will notice those improvements as soon as they land. The new Terminal 4 at Cancun’s International Airport (CUN) opened at the end of 2017, and a new airport hotel is set to debut as well. It’s but one of many notable hotel projects underway in the Cancun/Riviera Maya region.

“We have between 5,000 and 7,000 new rooms planned for 2018 and 2019,” Flota said. “Most of these are near Cancun in Playa Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and the whole Riviera Maya.”

Playa Mujeres/Costa Mujeres

The Playa Mujeres and Costa Mujeres developments, which are located north of the Hotel Zone about 18 miles from CUN, is the fastest-growing area of the region, according to Flota. New to Costa Mujeres is the 740-room Hotel Riu Dunamar, which debuted at the end of 2017.

The adults-only TRS Coral Hotel and the family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort Spa is scheduled to open this fall. Set for 2019 openings are the 498-room Paradisus Playa Mujeres and the 434-room Catalonia Costa Mujeres. Majestic Resorts is developing Majestic Costa Mujeres, though the completion date is not yet set.

Puerto Cancun/Cancun

One area agents would be well served to keep on their radar is Puerto Cancun, which is located between the Cancun Hotel Zone and the downtown area. The 800-acre development features a 200-slip marina, an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf designed golf course and the upscale Marina Town Center Mall.

“A trendy thing for visitors is to take a walk along the marina. You can see the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres,” Flota said.

Hotels coming to Puerto Cancun include a 180-room Renaissance by Marriott. And, the boutique lifestyle brand SLS will open a 67-room property in 2019.

In the Hotel Zone proper, Royalton Luxury Resorts will open the 180-room Royalton Cancun in 2019. It will feature Royalton’s first Rooftop SkyClub. Also coming in the spring of 2019 is the “music-themed” Ushuaïa Beach Hotel Cancun by Palladium.

Big names venturing into the all-inclusive market include Planet Hollywood. The 898-room Hotel Planet Hollywood Cancun will feature three room sections, an outdoor gym, and miniature golf course, and is set for late spring 2019.

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancun is on the books for the Hotel Zone—but because of construction delays, an opening date has yet to be set. The resort will feature 1,790 oceanfront guestrooms, including four villa suites with sky lounge; seven restaurants; and five bars and lounges.

The Parque Maya theme park, which features a museum, archeological site, and tour, opened in the Hotel Zone in March.

Puerto Morelos/Playa del Carmen

In Puerto Morelos, between Cancun and the Riviera Maya, Haven Riviera Cancun will begin welcoming guests in September of 2018. The adults-only all-inclusive features 333 rooms, some with direct pool access.

In Playa del Carmen, The Fives Beach Hotel Residences opened in late 2017. The Reef 28 has also made its debut this year, close to Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue. The all-suite property features two restaurants and three bars, including a rooftop bar with evening DJs. There’s an onsite spa, and guests can also enjoy the beaches and spas at sister properties in Coco Beach or Playacar.

Set for a 2019 debut is the 500-room Breathless Playa Del Carmen Resort Spa. Located in the Grand Coral gated community, guests will have access to an 18-hole golf course, shopping malls, nightlife and beachside walkways.

The 300-acre Amikoo is set to open this year and will include Maya-themed thrill rides, three hotels, and a convention center. The first phase, a Maya museum, is already open. “This new development is a sign of the confidence investors have in the destination,” Flota said. “We can give visitors contact with nature, great beaches, and great weather. The state is working very hard to assure it is the best vacation your clients can have.”

Kenai Resort

Six miles from Playa del Carmen and about 24 miles from CUN is the Kenai Resort complex, which will eventually have four hotels and a beach club. The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya will open in December. The property features 124 guestrooms and suites, 32 villas, four restaurants, a Remede Spa, oceanfront swimming pools and two 18-hole signature golf courses. Plans for a 180-room W Retreat Kenai are also underway. Guestrooms will feature unobstructed sea views, open living areas, and outdoor tubs and showers.


The 900-room Hotel Xcaret has been grabbing headlines since its 2017 Riviera Maya debut. The property’s “All-Fun Inclusive” concept includes access to eight of the Xcaret nature parks and tours. It’s part of a development that will eventually have 6,000 guestrooms spread over 914 acres. A second hotel is set to join its ranks in the summer of 2019. The eco-boutique, La Casa de la Playa will feature 63 suites with private plunge pools, four restaurants, two pools, a spa and more.