Welcome To UNICO 20˚87˚Hotel Riviera Maya: The Crown Jewel Of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula

By Brent Lambert (@FEELguide)

In one of Will McPhail’s brilliant cartoons for The New Yorker, the cartoonist painted a scene of a couple sitting on a tropical beach with looks of deep concern on their faces. The caption read, “Oh no! We’re still us!” In one frame, the artist perfectly captures the existential conundrum that many vacationers experience when they try and get away from their boring lives back home. As one wise sage once famously said, “There’s no such thing as boring places, just boring people.” The ultimate vacation is one in which travelers can return home feeling restored, reinvigorated, and reassured that the lives they are living are indeed exciting and fulfilling, and not boring at all. The ultimate vacation doesn’t just relax you, it also transforms your perception of your life when return home. With these fresh, new eyes a vacation helps you reassess what’s working in your life and what’s not. And at its very best, a dream vacation can literally alter the course of your future. In this regard there is only one choice for your next dream getaway: the pure bliss that is the adults-only UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya, approximately an hour’s drive south of Cancun.

When the doormen open UNICO 20˚87˚’s enormous front doors upon your arrival you will instantly be cradled in the lap of luxury. From the lobby’s vast ceiling hangs an array of stunning amber lanterns, as well as the most inviting hotel bar, leather sofas, and pool table area you’ve ever dreamed of. In fact, if you continue walking on axis through the front door you will head straight out towards UNICO 20˚87˚’s unrivaled pool areas and the ocean beyond. And yes, their two swim-up bars are straight from your dreams. Naturally, pools are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking of 5-star Mexican resorts, but UNICO 20˚87˚ is so much more than this.

UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya features unlimited inclusions such as select spa and beauty treatments and excursions, 448 guestrooms boasting predominantly ocean-views with semi-private swim-up pools on all ground floor rooms and outdoor double-hydro spa tubs on all remaining rooms, in-room mini bar stocked for guest preference and 24-hour room service, in addition to a personal Anfitrión to serve as a local host for every room. Replacing the traditional butler service, the dedicated Anfitrión offers an insider’s guide into the local scene–from hard-to-get reservations to the best kept secret spots, as well as catering to guests’ every whim while on site.

With exteriors designed by Artigas and mind-blowing interiors conceptualized by AvroKO, the hotel’s design is inspired by its locale and the respective native culture. The main intention is to provide guests with a fresh new perspective, approaching familiar aesthetics through a modern lens. The design of UNICO 20˚87˚ is directly inspired by the rich character of the Riviera Maya, and incorporates many natural and handmade materials sourced within the area. The rooms and suites mix modern luxury with familiar rustic moments inspired by the region’s history.

In an interview with Boutique Design, AvroKO’s Adam Farmerie explained the passion that went into each and every detail of the interior design. “Our typical approach to any project is to utilize the materials and skills of the location in which we are working,” Farmerie tells Boutique Design‘s Christina Green. “We also gravitate towards finishes that are more natural. So designing for sustainability was not a difficult task for us.” AvroKO spent months working closely with local manufacturers and artisans who help AvroKO maintain a level of local authenticity to every material choice and design move. “We also found that slabs of local stone were sometimes cheaper than tiled surfaces in this process,” adds Farmerie. “As a result, we ended up with a higher quality feel at a lower budget.”

The AvroKO team also ventured outwards into the heart of Mexico, to such locales as Guadalajara, Oaxaca, and Mexico City, in their search for the most beautiful and storied pieces and artifacts they could find. One of their discoveries was a set of ancient Mexican armor and sabers that now fill the main lobby at the hotel. The lobby’s main concept is to reflect the spirit and bounty of a mythical patriarch’s library.

Greg Bradshaw, another partner at AvroKO, further explains the importance of local craftsmanship in the design of the interiors. “We had to adapt to the techniques of the region, while pushing for certain details we felt were important,” Farmerie tells Green. “The most rewarding aspect, however, is always seeing everything come to life, when the individual operators start to buy into and take ownership of the various stories and narratives that informed the design, and imbue these concepts into the food, bar displays, the music and the service.”

Each of the hotel’s six bars and five restaurants were also designed by AvroKO. “With each space, we tried to find a unique quality while maintaining a level of tonal and material consistency throughout,” said Bradshaw. Boutique Green adds, “Each restaurant takes its inspiration from an industry or landscape in Mexico. For example, the Japanese restaurant celebrates the cultivation of indigenous agave plant, sisal; the Mexican restaurant pays tribute to mescal and tequila production and distilleries; and the beach bar nods to exploration, mapping and the area’s ruins.”

Some rooms are even designed with the PURE® Hypo-Allergenic method, making each room a veritable paradise for sensitive sleepers, especially allergy sufferers. Above and beyond the usual cleaning process, these PURE rooms — which are available upon request — also undergo a rigorous 7-step process which reduces airborne particles and other airborne irritants. Two of these steps include: a state-of-the-art air purification system, as well as the treatment of all coverings and surfaces in the room. The experts at PURE Solutions not only install these special rooms, they also routinely maintain them.

UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya embraces the local in its interior design, as well as from the food and drink, to the spa treatments and selection of curated adventures. Adopting a “no-itinerary-necessary” attitude, on-property culturally inspired experiences and impromptu pop-up programming includes mezcal tastings, cocktail hour by our Executive Mixologist infusing local flavors and ingredients, custom beer gardens and live artistic demonstrations such as “Art Attack” competitions, acoustic sunset jams and more.

Off-property signature excursions are curated with specially added amenities to supplement the cultural adventure, with options ranging from zip-lining overtop the canopy of a lush Mayan jungle to exploring sacred archaeological sites and ruins like Coba and Chichen Itza, or even an intimate dinner on a luxe sail boat while cruising the Mexican coastline. A visit to Coba also comes with a breathtaking tube ride down a lazy river which gently propels you through a winding river path that’s carved itself through a mangrove forest. At UNICO 20˚87˚, guests will meet modern Mexico face-to-face and experience rare access to the region’s most exciting locales and lesser-known wonders.

Of course, intellectualizing about the magnificence of UNICO 20˚87˚ is merely scratching the surface. It’s only in experiencing this hotel’s incredible offerings that one can truly know why it’s so special. If vacations really do help us realize there’s no such thing as boring places, just boring people, then UNICO 20˚87˚ is ready and waiting to make you the most exciting–and relaxed–person alive.

For more information, please visit www.UNICOHotelRivieraMaya.com, and follow UNICO 20˚87˚ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About The Author

Brent Lambert
IG: @FEELguide

Brent Lambert is a Los Angeles-based editor, writer, Entertainment Editor for BELLO magazine, as well as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of FEELguide.com. He also has a degree in architecture, is a Photoshop whiz, and in his spare time dabbles in set design and illustration (portfolio: unifiedFEEL.com).

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