The DNA: For most casual vacationers, Cancun is known more as a raucous spring break destination than a sophisticated beach retreat. Despite appearances, however, it’s a location that lends itself to Mexico’s emphasis on craftsmanship and tradition. This is what Chicago-based Curioso wanted to celebrate with Atelier Playa Mujeres, an elevated, all-inclusive luxury resort that is one with its lush landscape. Avoiding typical Cancun resort clichés was of the utmost importance to the designers, who wanted to flip the script and tell the real story behind Mexican hospitality. That meant preserving as much of the original site as possible. Instead of leveling the landscape into a sandy, characterless patch, the team retained the verdant forest of mangrove trees that frames the property and punctuates scenic views. Art also plays a major role. Rooms, for instance, take on the personality of an artist’s studio with easels doubling as TV stands, and in some cases, a large original piece in each room serves as a movable panel that covers the TV.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 431 rooms & suites (59-90m2) (635-969 sq ft) • hotel opened: April 2019 • interior design: Curioso ✅ free on-site parking • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible