Unico 20º N 87º W – if the name doesn’t give away the fact that this resort set out to separate itself from the rest of the pack since its inception, then read on.
Pull up to the lobby with style, highly recommended. Get a VIP transfer from the airport to set the tone from the moment you depart the facility. Checking in to Unico 2087 was a sophisticated experience. The entrance is ripe with nods to of-the-moment decor. With oversized lighting fixtures, one dangling only inches above a water feature. That one captures the attention with its grandiose scale and daring posture above what could truly turn its lights out in one spurt. The hanging macramé throughout the space was punctuated by lush leather furniture. All of this made waiting three minutes for our concierge to do our personal check in a breeze. This region of Mexico seems so routine to so many people but they put a fresh spin on it and elevated the experience like no other.
Activities were not what we have grown accustomed to on the all inclusive scene. Choices varied and were plentiful. We really liked the painting and wine session. Not sure if the wine turned us into acrylic masters or if the instructor, who was as sober as a church mouse, was that good. Starting with a blank square of wood as our canvas, we (within minutes) created a stunning waterfall scene that looked like it was surrounded by a lush tropical jungle. Whatever it was, there is now a new art piece installed in the house. I credit the wine for the newly emerging talent.
Speaking of wine, the selection was also unexpected for an all inclusive. So much so that on the weekend we stayed at Unico, they were hosting their annual Superbia event. If you are planning a trip for next summer, be sure to coordinate it around this gastronomic event. It does not disappoint. There are popup bars with drink specialties, all around the property, and the wine pairings with seven-course dinners is absolutely on point. Do not go off script on the chef suggestions! The summer weekend event is billed as THE BEST OF MEXICO – A JOURNEY FOR THE SENSES, and invites guests to experience an escape to Mexico unlike any other, starting with restaurant takeovers by top chefs in the region. From private cooking and mixology classes to curated poolside events, guests are immersed in all the culture has to offer while surrounded with exquisite art pieces designed by local artisans. Jot this down on your agenda for summer 2022.
The service here is amazing and anything I wanted to do was within reach. So, as discreetly tucked away as the butlers and servers are, they were also exceptionally attentive and saw me pop out of the pool and reach for my towel. My request wasn’t for snacks or which of the casas I would like to take my lunch, but to explore. As anticipated, my wish was granted. Each casa (house) was magnificent in its own right. Artwork made by the interior designer, once discovered, stands out to you. There are stories behind each piece and a common thread in each. I won’t give away the secret as it is yours to discover one day when you visit this exquisite collection of connected accommodations. As we strolled between houses, sometimes taking the front street, the air was warm and the breeze was steady. I imagined living in the 16th century and exploring the city, so my next obvious request was to take a stroll to see what was happening beyond my fabulous accommodations.
Should you book sooner than summer, you will not be disappointed. One of our favorite things is the violinist by the pool during the day. Watching him play for the guests is quite dynamic while still having that relaxing effect that violins tend to have. This is a sophisticated pool by all accounts. Even when the paletas cart comes by, there is an essence of whimsy, but nothing childish about it. Unico gives guests every reason to hang by the pool all day. The service by the pool attendants is spot on; bringing over glasses of champagne or, when it calls for it, buckets with an entire bottle. Why leave, except to run to the restrooms that are only steps away. The way the pool is designed is also unique. They feature daybeds on the decking extending out into the pool. Imagine yourself surrounded by water on three sides, never having to get up for lunch, drinks, or snacks (remember calories do not count on vacation) with enough room for two couples on two daybeds and an umbrella for shade when you want it. These peninsulas of pleasure are what every pool needs. Make a note to snag one for yourself.
Discovering this in the midst of the Riviera Maya, in this part of the Yucatán peninsula, is interesting because many of the properties there do the same thing time and time again; but at Unico they’ve turned a page on the all inclusive concepts and definitely made it feel very à la carte and personalized. It’s an elevated experience from check-in to check-out with your personal concierge communicating with you through the telephone application called WhatsApp throughout your stay. As the kids say, 10/10 would recommend.