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White Sand and Warm Caribbean Waters Await at Mexico's Nizuc

Adult pool at Nizuc Resort & Spa, courtesy of the resort. 

Baja, schmaja. The skinny stretch of Mexico may be Californians’ respite of choice for its convenient proximity, but if you venture farther east for the weekend, toward our southern neighbor’s Caribbean waters, you’ll be richly rewarded for your efforts. This coast is blessed with calmer, warmer seas and blue skies galore (paddleboarders, snorkelers, and aggressive loungers thrive in this idyllic environment). This neck of the woods is also home to a newly opened luxury destination, Nizuc Resort & Spa.

La Punta Lounge and Grill at Nizuc Resort and Spa, courtesy of the resort. 

Situated on a nearly 30-acre slice of seaside on Punta Nizuc—formerly a Mexican presidential retreat—the resort’s minimalist design and tranquil palette create an air of tranquility in 274 suites and 29 villas. Six restaurants on the property offer global cuisines (we recommend a daily dose of ceviche at the beachside Peruvian eatery, Ni). You’ll also find three watering holes (don’t miss the mojito at Havana Lounge) and five pools (two are serene, grown-ups-only oases). The spa offers a Thermal Experience—a course of steam, sauna, and hydrotherapy—that’s like an adult water park with beauty and wellness benefits.

The grounds at Nizuc Resort & Spa

Nizuc’s gorgeous white sand beach is protected by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest coral reef in the world). Adventurers can take day trips to Playa del Carmen for shopping, Tulum for surfing, or Chichén Itzá to explore Mayan ruins. And if that pesky US embargo is all that’s impeding a pilgrimage to Hemingway’s house in Cuba—just an 80-minute flight away—jetting off from here is the golden loophole you’ve been looking for. But once you’re sipping Bar Akah’s signature habanero-spiked Margarita Ik en la playa, you’ll be going nowhere fast (just make sure you’ve got your sombrero and sunscreen, or that sandy siesta is gonna sizzle). 

Getting There: United Airlines offers nonstop flights from SFO to Cancún International Airport. Once you touch down, it’s a 10-minute drive to Nizuc.

This article was published in 7x7's May 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.