A honeymoon is more than just a vacation; it's the first chapter of your new married life together. After spending months planning your wedding, relaxing and spending time with your new spouse is probably at the top of your list, and there's no better way to enjoy a carefree honeymoon experience than by staying at an all-inclusive resort.
Known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife, Cancun, Mexico, is a honeymooners' paradise nestled on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. From exploring ancient Mayan ruins to swimming in a cenote, the allure of Cancun extends beyond its pristine beaches as it offers a myriad of activities for the adventurous at heart.
I was recently invited to visit the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, which has recently transformed into an all-inclusive luxury resort.
With direct flights from Tampa to Cancun through Frontier and JetBlue, the two-hour jaunt is an easy journey from the Sunshine State. Once you land in Mexico, you can arrange for a shuttle to take you the 15 miles (40-minute ride) from the airport to Cancun's Hotel Zone, lined with hotels, restaurants, and beaches (think of it as Pinellas County's Gulf Boulevard).
One of the key features of Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach's location is its position near the northern tip of the island, which provides a secluded beach experience and shields it from the seaweed that other parts of the area may encounter.
The property is also literally next door to the Isla Mujeres' high-speed ferry so that you can easily visit one of Cancun's top day-trip hot spots.
This area is extremely walkable and conveniently boasts a grocery store across the street, perfect should you need to pick up any toiletries that you didn't bring on the plane. (I highly recommend this over the hotel gift shop, where I paid over $20 for a bottle of sunscreen).
The Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is one of only six properties in Cancun that received a Four-Star Rating from the Forbes Travel Guide for 2023.
The all-suite hotel features 602 ocean-view rooms, all with private terraces. The spacious rooms start at 560 square feet and feature marble floors, a living room, and an oversized bathroom with a separate vanity area.
I stayed in the 861 square foot Infinite One Bedroom Master Suite, which had a loft-styled bedroom overlooking the living room, walk-in closet, whirlpool tub, separate shower, and enclosed toilet. The bathroom and oversized sitting area were nearly as large as the bedroom and living areas. The room had a very comforting atmosphere; once I was inside my suite, I truly felt as if I were staying in a private residence rather than a typical hotel.
As much as I loved the inside of the room, the real star was the wrap-around balcony with a stunning ocean view. Waking up and seeing those turquoise waters put me in complete vacay mode.
Experiencing the Property
After seeing the beach and pool from your room, you'll want to head downstairs to experience it immediately. The lagoon-style pool, boasting three swim-up bars, stretches across the vast property and is surrounded by restaurants, so you'll always have a drink or snack nearby.
As an Infinite Club guest, I had exclusive access to the Infinite Beach Club, which featured its own reserved sundeck and private beach area. I especially appreciated that I didn't have to hunt down lounge chairs at the beach; they were always available, along with servers waiting nearby to bring drinks and food so that I could take in a relaxing afternoon without interruptions.
Just a few steps from the Infinite Beach Club was one of my favorite outdoor spots, Nah K´aax. The new Asian-fusion restaurant, which translates to “The Jungle House” in the Maya language, gives laid-back Tulum vibes with its bamboo-style roof and open-air design, allowing you to enjoy ocean breezes in a shaded area. The outdoor restaurant features intimate seating, such as loveseats and ottomans in the sand, and decor crafted by local artisans. I enjoyed their Mediterranean platter with pita served with a variety of dips and frozen drinks.
Nah K´aax hosts a DJ nightly and an impressive fire show twice a week. It's the perfect area to chill between periods of laying on the beach or grabbing a drink after dinner and cozying up to watch the crashing waves.
While most of my stay was spent enjoying a new restaurant every evening and melting away at the spa, I highly recommend the on-site water sports, including kayaking, snorkeling, jet skis, and paddleboards. My Infinite Club membership included a 30-minute wave runner ride. Gliding down the Gulf of Mexico in such beautiful waters was the perfect way to add some excitement and provide a burst of adrenaline. I even saw sea turtles swimming in the clear waters.
The property hosts a variety of shows and performers and even an outdoor market with local vendors.
The aspect that impressed me the most about Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun was the variety of dining experiences. I've been to all-inclusive resorts with underwhelming restaurants, but this property brings its game with the thought it puts into meals.
While the breakfast buffet at the Viña Del Mar was vast, it was very crowded as it was the only full-service restaurant open in the morning. My favorite spot for lunch was the casual beachfront restaurant, Isla Contoy. It featured a fresh seafood bar and a seafood and Mexican-inspired menu. I enjoyed everything I ordered, and when I didn't know which dish I wanted, I chose both! (A perk of staying at an all-inclusive).
Dinners are where the property truly shined. It never felt like simply sitting down in a restaurant and ordering off a menu; Every evening was a memorable experience.
While in Mexico, it's a given you're going to eat Mexican food, and the award-winning La Joya offers authentic upscale cuisine while celebrating the country’s traditions. The restaurant sets a romantic ambiance with large cherry blossom trees covered in lights as well as projected digital mapping on the walls. Every night, a live 10-piece Mariachi band serenades each table with traditional songs for an immersive cultural experience.
If you're seeking a unique, special-occasion restaurant, Le Basilic is one of the few restaurants in Mexico to hold the AAA Five Diamond distinction for ten consecutive years. Michelin-starred Chef Henri Charvet leads the French-Mediterranean-inspired menu. The Prix Fixe menu includes seven courses with pairings, along with a live pianist and ballet dancers. I enjoyed the fact that I didn't know what dish was coming next, so each plate was a surprise and something I wouldn't usually order. There is a $50 upcharge for this restaurant.
The absolute highlight of all my meals (and probably one of my most memorable dining experiences ever) was The Table. The Table is an interactive culinary journey through Mexico’s history. Upon entering the unassuming room with bare walls and plain white tables, you'll be surprised at how it transforms via immersive projection mapping. Each of the nine courses, all served with pairings, tells the story of the country's history through corresponding dishes. Live musicians and actors, along with an in-person narrator, depict Mexico from prehistoric times to the arrival and battle with Spanish explorers to the vibrant culture that the country is known for today. The entertainment was vibrant and engaging, but the real star was the food, as it should be. The dishes were true art and represented a different era. There is a $150/per person upcharge for this experience, which is reduced to $75/per person for Infinite Club guests.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun will add 40,000 square feet of modern new dining concepts to its property in late 2023. One such offering, Tuscany, will feature homemade Carbonara, a variety of risottos, and fresh seafood. Torri, an Asian-fusion restaurant with eight Teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar, will treat guests to an upscale menu that includes A5 Wagyu, lobster, and sea urchin (for an additional charge). Following the lead of its established restaurants, Torri incorporates an immersive experience with an ancient Japanese drum ceremony, a traditional Chinese lion dance, and a time-honored sake ritual for good luck, fortune, and prosperity. For a sultry vibe, the Argentinian-Mexican steak house Havanna will offer a “sexy supper club” that boats nightly tango shows during dinner and then transforms into a sleek nightclub after dark. Havanna offers Argentinean cuts made to order, seared on a Basque-style grill utilizing locally sourced wood.
Every resort promotes its spa as luxurious, but I was beyond impressed with the Gem Spa. Located in the corner of the third floor of the hotel, you may walk right past the entrance, but this is one experience not to be missed. What was once a tennis club has been renovated into a multi-level, 40,000-square-foot luxury wellness retreat. It is one of only three spas in Cancun to receive the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rating for 2023.
Prior to your spa service, you'll be treated to a 90-minute, 10-step hydrotherapy ritual, which begins with a eucalyptus aromatherapy steam session, clay body scrub, refreshing rain shower, dry sauna, ice room, and cold plunge. There are multiple styles of whirlpools intertwined, including a pebbled walkway maze with massaging soft pebbles. Your ritual ends in what feels like an Olympic-sized co-ed “pool of sensations” filled with bubbles, floor geysers, water cascades, and cervical neck jets, all surrounded by cabana-style loungers.
The spa menu offers over ten different types of massages, from a Balinese massage with long, gliding movements to stretch your muscles to a Chinese reflexology massage with gemstones. Following the treatment, you're taken to a lounge area with a soothing waterfall to enjoy an afternoon siesta after such a relaxing afternoon. I cannot rave enough about the Gem Spa experience. You absolutely must experience this level of self-indulgence.
As an Infinite Club member guest, your stay includes two hydrotherapy treatments and 40% off services.
With its private beach area and blue ocean backdrop, the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is a picture-perfect destination wedding venue. Despite the hotel's grandeur, it only hosts one wedding per day, allowing the couple to be the main focus of the wedding and event team.
Hosting your destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort often includes complimentary room nights for the couple, saving you thousands of dollars on your stay. Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun offers three free room nights in a Jr. Suite when your guests book 15 rooms or more and three free room nights in a Master Suite with a spa day for the wedding party with 25 booked guest rooms. The couple also receives a complimentary two-night stay at any La Coleccion Resorts to enjoy for their one-year anniversary.
Another perk the property offers is the flexibility of allowing non-hotel guests to attend your celebration, a rarity with all-inclusive resorts.
With an on-site floral shop, a spa with hair and makeup services, and an in-house professional wedding video and photo team, the resort offers everything you need to easily plan a memorable event.
Elopement packages, including ceremony decor and flowers, officiant, and private dinner with wedding cake, start at just under $2,000 for the couple. Additional guests can be added for $146/$170/per person (hotel guests/non-hotel guests).
Intimate weddings for up to 20 hotel guests start at $2,700, with additional guests $26/$170/per person (hotel guests/non-hotel guests).
The resort offers multiple beachfront ceremony locations, as well as an outdoor terrace if you want to stay out of the sand but still experience the waterfront backdrop. There's even a penthouse suite with its own private pool that accommodates up to 30 guests for events, making it ideal for rehearsal dinners, farewell brunches, and even bridal showers or bach parties.
For larger events, the resort's ballroom can host up to 900 guests.
For engaged couples looking to tour the resort prior to the wedding, the hotel offers a reduced or complimentary stay*.
*Contact the property for terms and conditions