North America

Unico Riviera Maya, Mexico: Hotel Review

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In March 2021 I took my first international trip in over a year, and it was an absolute blast. I was invited to stay at Unico 20N 87W, or Unico Riviera Maya as I’ll refer to it throughout this post. It was the perfect place to dip my toes back into international travel in a way that felt safe and easy. On my recent trip, I started my trip with a few busy days in Tulum, before driving 30 minutes north and settling into a relaxing weekend in Riviera Maya. Unico 20N 87W offers all of the luxuries and intimacies of a small boutique hotel, but with the benefit of the all-inclusive experience. So let me break it all down for you in a full review of the Unico Riviera Maya hotel. 

girls on the beach at mexico resort

Personalized, Boutique Experience at Unico Riviera Maya

While I’m not usually somehow who gravitates towards all-inclusive resorts, Unico 20N 87W was unlike any all-inclusive that I’ve stayed at. From the personalized scent in the room and customized mini bar to your personal local host who is available throughout the day via WhatsApp, Unico hits all of the right touchpoints for an awesome experience. Whether we were looking to order a taxi or book one of the many activities available on the property, our local host Carlos was available to make sure everything was perfect for us.

And on top of that, Unico has its own phone app for ease of ordering. So yes, I did use the app to order late night churros and to have my bath prepared while I was at dinner. Poolside tacos and guac? The app has got you covered for that as well!

There were so many little touches like complimentary sun hats and evening chocolates with our turndown service to make our stay even better.

Activities at Unico 20N 87W

One thing that I absolutely loved about staying at Unico was the included activities. There are daily activities and fitness classes that are all included in the price of your stay. My favorites were the water cycling classes (especially after a mimosa or two) and the fingerpainting session. You can use the app to check in on any events that are happening that day, and reserve those that require a reservation.

water cycling free activity at all-inclusive resort near tulum, mexico
fingerpainting at unico riviera maya

Dining at Unico Riviera Maya

For me the absolute highlight of staying at Unico Riviera Maya was the food. Unico is an all-inclusive property, so all food and drinks options are included in the price of your room. But this isn’t your typical buffet style dining experience. At each restaurant you order a la carte for a superb dining experience. Portions are on the smaller side which I love, as it means you get to try a bigger variety of dishes. Each restaurant also has their own mixology menu with special cocktails, but you’re of course welcome to order something else as well. I was allll about the frozen mango mezcalitas during my stay. Let me breakdown the different dining options:

sushi lunch at unico riviera maya
Sushi and a watermelon mezcal cocktail for lunch poolside at Unico 20nN 87W

Mi Carisa 

Mi Carisa is Unico’s Italian restaurant. From the main building you walk along a beautiful water walkway to reach this gorgeous restaurant. We ordered an assortment of incredible dishes from the Linguine a la Vongole to Calamari and Eggplant Parm. And of course, an aperol spritz to properly compliment the meal.

Cueva Siete

Cueva Siete was easily my favorite restaurant at Unico Riviera Maya. Every dish that we tried was truly incredible – from the octopus tostadas to the pork tacos. For a starter they bring out guac with fried chapulines (grasshoppers), which is a common snack in Mexico. I definitely encourage you to give them a try.

pasta at mi carissa at unico riviera maya
Spaghetti with clams at Mi Carisa
mexican food at resort
Passionfruit mezcals + guac to start at Cueva Siete

Mura House

Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to dine at Mura House as they were completely booked every night of our trip. I would highly recommend making all of your dinner reservations in advance of your trip, so you don’t run into this same issue. I have heard incredible things about all of the incredible sushi dishes. But if, like me, you aren’t able to snag a reservation – 20 N 87 W has a great lunchtime sushi bar option!

20 N 87 W

20 N 87 W was the first place that we ate during our 3-night stay at Unico Riviera Maya and were were blown away. There is a huge variety, and everything that we tried was absolutely delicious. Plus, their cocktails are always beautifully handcrafted (and strong). This poolside restaurant is open for all three meals, and is the biggest of the dining options.

Cafe Inez 

Cafe Inez is an on-property cafe. It is your go-to spot at the hotel for coffee, tea, and snacks. In the morning they serve pastries and a variety of toasts, such as avocado and smoked salmon. In the afternoon and evening, this transitions to a variety of salads, sandwiches, and delicious desserts. Plus, the team that works here was super accommodating about letting me use my reusable coffee cup for take-away options.

Room Service/Poolside Service 

I mean, what is a luxury getaway in Mexico without room service? And what’s better than just plain old room service? Breakfast from the tub on your balcony overlooking the ocean! You can order your breakfast the night before using the app to schedule your drop-off time. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to start the day!

room service breakfast at all-inclusive in mexico
Room service breakfast on the balcony
customized mini bar with cocktail makings
Customize your mini bar with cocktail makings
breakfast at unico riviera maya in the tub
Breakfast from the balcony tub at Unico Riviera Maya

Is the price worth it? 

Reading through this review, you’re probably wondering if the price is worth it. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or following me on Instagram, then you know that I’m a budget traveler at heart. I’m all about finding the best deals and authentic local experiences, so why am I over here reviewing an all-inclusive? There are a number of answers to that question but the two main ones are the following:

 1) Despite a higher price tag, the experience at Unico Riviera Maya is an amazing one. When you break down what you are getting with the cost of the room, it is absolutely worth it. I mean a beautiful beachfront property, gorgeous rooms, a selection of incredible restaurants and bars that are all-inclusive, and plenty of activities to personalize your trip.

2) I know that there are many of you in my community who are still hesitant to travel and would feel more comfortable at a resort like this. And let me tell you, if you’re in that boat right now then Unico Riviera Maya is an incredible and safe travel option for you right now.

The Rooms at Unico 20N 87W

Each room comes equipped with the following:

  • (the comfiest) bathrobe and slippers
  • complimentary and stocked mini bar
  • Nespresso coffee maker
  • 2 complimentary sun hats (you have the option to get these personalized)
  • steamer
  • personalized aromatherapy menu

Alcoba Swim-Up Room

Book yourself into the Alcoba Swim-Up room for your own private section of a swim up pool. This a fun experience if you’d like your own section of the pool without the crowds.

swim up pool at mexico resort
Alcoba Swim-Up Room

Alcoba Ocean View & Oceanfront Rooms

All of the Alcoba Ocean View and Oceanfront rooms come with an exterior hydro tub and outdoor balcony lounging area. Honestly, this outdoor bathroom was the highlight of my stay and we used it everyday. From breakfast soaks to late night soaks under the stars with churros and a glass of wine in hand.

tub on balcony at unico riviera maya
Ocean view rooms with a balcony bathtub

Visiting Yucatan, Mexico? Here are some other articles to check out:

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