• Marty Doyle

Costa Mujeres: Tourism business is great on the Yucatán Peninsula.

So much so that a new destination is being birthed just 20 minutes away from what most of us think of as Cancún, but is more correctly known as the “Hotel Zone.”

Get this! Fifty years ago, the Hotel Zone was a small, deserted island made up of a series of sand dunes. In 2020, we counted around 30,000 hotel rooms, whose occupants are spoiled by an abundance of good quality contemporary dining options, representing every cuisine most of us can possibly imagine.

Then came “Riviera Maya”; a beautiful stretch of sandy beach lapped by the Caribbean that runs 75 miles south from Cancún’s airport to Tulum, featuring the vibrant seaside town of Playa del Carmen right at its center. Riviera Maya offers travelers with lots of mostly all-inclusive resorts with prices appealing for bargain hunters to a more discerning clientele.

Enter stage the Yucatán’s newest star, the recently renamed “Costa Mujeres” previously known as Playa Mujeres. There are ambitious plans for the newest kid on the block, with an anticipated 35,000 rooms to be available within the next decade (with 15,000 scheduled in the next five years). Compare that to the Hotel’s Zone massive 30,000 room inventory which took 50 years to develop, and you may get some perspective of where things are headed.

Five resorts are currently open including popular brands such as Secrets and Excellence, as well as the adult-only ATELIER property (431 rooms). Additions for 2020 include the large Planet Hollywood Resort (1,200 rooms), and Majestic Elegance (675 rooms).

New and most exciting for the incentive travel market in 2021 is the Kanai project in Punta Maroma, located just six miles north of Playa del Carmen. Rumors have it that it’s set to be home away from home to guests of a St. Regis, W, Edition by Marriott, and Etéreo by Auberge Resorts Collection.

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