There were too many hotels and resorts that quickly closed in 2020, but behind the scenes there were also some brand-new luxury properties that quietly had grand openings in vacation destination hot spots. Here are six new hotels and resorts that debuted in 2020 that we think are worth a visit.
1. Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa
Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa originally opened in March 2020 and temporarily closed soon after, but on April 1, 2021 — no joke — the resort reopened and welcomed its first guests. The all-suite, upscale and modern resort is on Anse Marcel Bay on the French side of the island and is just 35 minutes away from the Princess Juliana International Airport. This resort has a lot to boast: It has the largest infinity pool in the western Caribbean; a white-sand beach with calm waters; views of neighboring Anguilla island (just a 20-minute boat ride away); fun on-site activities like bocce ball, cooking classes, Ping-Pong, yoga and kayaking; and a chic, international adults-only vibe. Plus, guests can choose from three different incredible views from the 258 suites: ocean, marina or mountain. A 7,000-square-foot spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, six on-site restaurants and five modern bars round out the on-site experience, but venturing off the resort grounds cannot be missed. The French side of St. Martin is known for its outdoor markets and cuisine — both French and local — so every guest’s itinerary should include some time to get out and about. Itineraries should also include a visit to the nearby Orient Bay Beach, the island’s most famous beach, dotted with idyllic restaurants and bars.
2. The Fives Oceanfront puerto Morelos
The Fives Oceanfront Puerto Morelos opened its doors in July 2020. The boutique hotel on Mexico’s shores is in Puerto Morelos, a charming beach village midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Some say this enchanting fishing village is the best-kept secret on the Yucatan and the perfect vacation destination for both a relaxing or adventurous trip. This is The Fives’ third property that offers a laid-back ambiance with a refreshing approach to modern Mexican design that is sure to have visitors feeling relaxed and recharged with every visit. Guests that are eager to escape to the refuge in Mexico’s breathtaking Riviera Maya will feel at home in their beautifully designed one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with residential style and chic Mexican décor in all 94 suites on the property. All suites are equipped with the latest technology, floor-to-ceiling windows, furnished balconies and more. There is a private beach club with cabanas and sun loungers along the Caribbean Sea, plus two infinity pools and local and global alfresco cuisine that caters to everyone, which just so happens to overlook the turquoise-blue Caribbean waters.
3. Dreams Natura Resort & Spa
The opening of Dreams Natura Resort & Spa may have been delayed, but the wait was worth it for the resort’s grand opening in September 2020. The 553-room resort is inspired by the Mayan jungle it’s beautifully nestled in. From the cenote-inspired spa to the exotic fish ponds, the resort respects and honors the environment around it. Beyond the beauty, there are plenty of on-site activities for everyone in the family. For water lovers, there are four swimming pools, including an activities pool, children’s splash pool and an infinity pool complete with waterslide, and a lazy river perfect for chilling out. Foodies will rejoice at the dining options available from the nine on-site restaurants. From French to pan-Asian to authentic Mexican, every appetite will be more than satisfied, plus the exclusive Chef’s Table dining option lets you get in on the action in the kitchen and watch the chef prepare your meal. This all-new, all-suite resort is just 10 minutes away from the Cancun International Airport, but its location, tucked into the jungle, will make you feel like you’re a world away.
4. Coral LEvel at Iberostar Selection Bavaro
Iberostar now boasts seven hotels in the Dominican Republic. Though it technically opened in 2019, Coral Level, the exclusive hotel within the Iberostar Selection Bávaro complex, is remarkable enough to include on this list. Both all-inclusive hotels are family friendly and set right on Costa del Coco, a beautiful golden-sand beach in Punta Cana. Guests of the Coral Level will enjoy premium services like the private beach area with Bali beds, suite-style rooms, priority booking in restaurants and a priority wine selection. You’ll also be privy to all the perks of Iberostar Selection Bávaro, like access to the spa, the three-floor fitness center and 18-hole, P.B. Dye-designed golf course, the best in the area. No matter where you stay at Iberostar Selection Bávaro, you can stroll through the complex’s charming Caribbean town with quaint shops, set among tropical gardens. Beyond the resort, you can visit the Hoyo Azul cenote, just 15 miles away, and marvel at its turquoise waters.
5. Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort
Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort opened in July 2020 with views on views on views. Every room and suite at this new Dreams property, located in the exclusive gated community of Puerta del Mar (30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport), has an ocean view. If that alone doesn’t spark your interest, this contemporary resort has even more to entice you. This place was meant for families. The resort’s “family suites concept” includes connecting rooms that can accommodate up to six people. An outdoor theater, two surf pools, Splash Park, climbing wall, Explorer’s Club for Kids and a Core Zone Teen’s Club will keep everyone busy. And a complimentary water shuttle to the Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center and to Isla Mujeres dock terminal is a super fun and convenient way to explore the surrounding area. If you need a break from the fam, resort guests have direct access to the Puerto Cancun golf course just next door. The rooftop pool is adults-only and while the Bluewater Grill restaurant serves up fresh fish and seafood to everyone during lunch, dinner is Mediterranean fusion just for adult diners.
6. Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa
Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa rolled out the red carpet for first-ever arrivals in March 2020. The highly anticipated, top-rated, all-inclusive luxury resort in Grenada is located on two white-sand beaches in Tamarind Bay. The grand opening followed Royalton’s expansion in the islands of the eastern Caribbean, offering guests a new level of hospitality to the picture-perfect island of Grenada. Discerning travelers searching for a luxurious beach getaway will feel at peace here with relaxing ocean views, a world-class spa and a host of complimentary nonmotorized water sports. But that’s not all — Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa features 269 luxury suites (with rain showers, two-person soaker tubs and signature DreamBed mattresses) and is the first property within the Royalton portfolio that debuted Ma Maison restaurant, the French bistro-style eatery offering authentic cuisine. Guests have other options when it comes to gastronomy with unlimited reservation-free dining at a la carte restaurants on-site. Plus, there is direct access to two of the island’s most beautiful white-sand beaches nearby.
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