The hotel is operated by the Spanish hotel brand Sol Meliá, which runs the popular all-inclusive chain of Paradisus Resorts.
This head-turning Miami-style property is all about look-at-me decadence, from the glossy surfaces, sculpture-filled reflecting pool and clubby music of the lobby to the bikini-and-stiletto crowd sunning themselves by the infinity pool.
The main social hub lies between the two steeply tiered sides of the hotel, which flank a huge infinity swimming pool, swim-up bar and beach club, all dotted around with Bali beds, those thatched-roof curtained day beds for two found in so many upscale resorts from Thailand to Tobago. The property attracts a glamorous fun-seeking crowd who like to stay up late – or retire to their spacious suites to enjoy the array of in-room amenities.
The Rooms at ME Cancun:
The hotel has 419 rooms, divided into four categories: Deluxe Lagoon View, Premium Ocean View, Luxury Oceanfront, and top-tier rooms on “The Level,” the property’s exclusive club level that offers private check-in, access to the lounge and perks like free wine tastings.
My room was a huge oceanfront suite on The Level. These are positioned at the far corners of the hotel, and sport roomy terraces with double daybeds looking down onto the pool and the ocean beyond.
The rooms feature modern, clean-lined décor, white walls, with aquamarine or wine-colored cushions and chairs. The bathrooms are deluxe: two-person jacuzzi style tubs with views and a heavenly rain shower (the kind with oversized showerheads positioned in the middle of the ceiling) that the hotel refers to as “monsoon showers.”
The mini bar was stocked with designer waters, condoms, chocolates, tequila and promotional items like branded caps. The prices were steep, even for a hotel mini-bar, but that’s set to change in 2011, when the hotel switches over to an all-inclusive model, at which time basic minibar items will be included.
The Grounds at ME Cancun:
The “Beach Club” pool area is undoubtedly the main attraction at ME Cancun: the curtained day beds, private cabanas and infinity pool with swim-up bar are a high-wattage scene both day and night. The Maxim Pool Bar – a co-branding exercise with the men’s magazine – is a roped-off section right on the beach dotted with Bali beds. DJ Carlos Velazquez spins tunes beach-side every day from noon.
Read more about great beach bars on the Riviera Maya.
The Restaurants at ME Cancun:
- The main restaurant, Salt, is light and breezy in the mornings, when breakfast – featuring cold and hot buffet, egg stations and a pancake and waffle making section -- is served. At night it becomes a romantically lit scene serving modern Mediterranean-inspired cuisine: steamed mussels, blackened tuna, freshly shucked oysters.
- Beachhouse Restaurant, overlooking the ocean, serves contemporary Mexican dishes like shrimp pescadillas, a type of corn dumpling served with a traditional spicy sauce, and a sea bass ceviche not to be missed.
- Silk, meanwhile, offers Asian-Spanish fusion in a sexy, low-lit space with its own temperature-controlled wine cave. There’s an array of sushi, sashimi and Thai-style curries, along with the high-drama cooking method known as teppanyaki, in which chefs prepare sizzling Japanese barbecue dishes tableside.
- In January 2011, an Argentinean-style barbecue restaurant, The Water Grill, will debut.
- Alongside the restaurants, guests can also arrange for in-room dining or extra services such as private “barefoot dinners” on the beach.
Recreation at ME Cancun:
- The YHI Spa offers a comprehensive treatment menu with a focus on Mayan and Aztec healing traditions. The “Water Rituals” hydrotherapy circuit – several water-oriented rituals like scented massage showers and a therapy pool -- is a soothing way to begin or end a treatment.
- The beachfront always has something going on, be it a lively beach volleyball match, tanned couples dancing to a renowned DJ on the sand or guests just sipping cocktails while listening to the sounds of the surf.
- The Rose Bar, just off the lobby, heats up in the evenings when the crowd moves in from the pool to preen and play indoors.
Note: In January 2011, ME Cancun switched to an all-inclusive model, offering unlimited food and beverage options, complimentary access to the pool, fitness center, “Chill Out Deck,” “The Beach Club,” WiFi and all in-room amenities including iPod docking stations, Aveda products and house mini bar. Unlike many all-inclusive properties, ME Cancun’s restaurants and bars are accessible to outside guests as well as hotel patrons.
Address: Boulevard Kukulcán, Km. 12 Zona Hotelera Cancún
Website: ME Cancun