9 months ago
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“We’re not masochists!”
The rep at TRS Yucatán, a recently relaunched luxury resort in Riviera Maya (the region just south of Cancún on the Yucatán Peninsula), was laughing at me.
My crime? Inquiring about an early-morning boot camp, something I had tried (though not necessarily enjoyed) at a different resort down the road last year. While I could choose to participate in a variety of fitness and outdoor activities at TRS — yoga, tennis, watersports, even booking a personal trainer — there was expressly no boot camp.
Because a boot camp would contradict the stated goal of the entire operation: “infinite indulgences.”
The TRS Yucatán is a revamped property within the Grand Palladium Resorts of Riviera Maya. Back in November, part of that larger property was rebranded from The Royal Suites by Palladium into the TRS brand, and a $35 million renovation project began.
The upshoot? Newer, more upscale rooms. Adult-only clientele (meaning: no spring breakers). And that new “infinite” mission statement.
“TRS is about premium services and personalized attention,” explains Monica Larcada, the senior marketing manager (North America) of Palladium Hotel Group. “And ‘infinite indulgences’ is an evolution of all-inclusive.”
So what does this motto mean, practically? You’re assigned a butler upon arrival, for starters. It also means the resort is very high-tech: A bracelet on your hand will get you in and out of your room, and a smartphone app acts as your lifeline to all the property’s amenities, whether it’s booking restaurants, tee times or spa treatments.
As another TRS rep put it, “While you’re here, you won’t need to think.”
TRS is an Ibiza-based brand, and they strive to bring the party-island vibe across the ocean. Music is prevalent: there are themed music nights, white parties, a daily three-hour song-and-dance show at a club called Chic, a beach club (Helios), acoustic singer-songwriters everywhere and a centrally controlled DJ system, so the right music is always soundtracking your day.
For food, guests have the choice of 20 different restaurants and bars, including spaces at the other Palladium hotels: the twist is that while TRS guests can go anywhere, Palladium guests cannot use the four eateries on the TRS side of the property.
There are the usual luxury resort amenities: the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness Center has a long list of free and à la carte services (your correspondent had his first pedicure ever, and he’s hooked). There’s also a salt-water infinity pool, snorkeling, kayaking and various sporting and fitness areas (including golf courses, tennis courts, mini-golf, and even archery and rifle ranges).
The property contains 450 rooms (mostly kings, with a few doubles). Some suites have private pools, and a few are on the water with access to private kayaks — the canal-filled property has a Venice-like vibe.
One suite I saw was two floors and had a rooftop jacuzzi with 360-degree views, though I was in a more common royal junior suite. It featured a rather daunting hydromassage bath and a comfy king-size bed. It was also stocked up with plenty of free food and booze. You’re not going to spending a lot of time indoors, so the lack of a big deck or an ocean view wasn’t problematic.
The resort is also huge, so you’ll definitely have to rely on carts to get around. Getting from your room to, say, TRS’s private beach area on the other side of the resort would take a half hour on foot.
What We Liked
* Timeliness: Despite ongoing warnings from staff that we were on “Mexican time,” scheduled events began promptly, meals were served in a timely fashion and snagging a driver (through an app or our butler) usually took less than a minute.
* The Friday morning sunrise cocktail at the infinity pool (I slept in, but one of my consorts called it “best way ever to wake up”).
* The tech was nice: You can order food, mirror a computer or stream your own Netflix through the room’s TV. And having a bracelet that unlocks doors and automatically turns on lights is a godsend for those stumble-in nights.
* The three-hour concert at the nightclub Chic featured great food, endless booze and a parade of impossibly sexy men and women. If you like “seeing a show,” this is Vegas-worthy fun.
* There’s a 24-hour sports bar called Last Call on the Palladium side of the resort. That was trouble for us, but something you may want to consider.
* We were pleasantly surprised at the resort with one unannounced event: A mezcal cocktail station and a special dinner featuring various and unexpected Mexican regional cuisine.
Our TripAdvisor-Style Quibbles:
* The individual pools available in some of the larger suites seemed tiny: more like large outdoor tubs. You’ll probably want just want to hit up one of the more spacious pools within, the larger property (there’s a “secret” pool on the property open until midnight — ask around for it).
* Not the resort’s fault, but future guests: Remember bug spray. I cannot stress this enough.
* The technology comes with expected hiccups: I found it much easier to grab a ride via our butler than using the app. And ordering room service through the TV wasn’t 100% seamless: the screen listed a drinks menu, but we had two follow-up calls after one order insisting that, no, they could not send us cocktails (but our own butler could fetch them if we wanted). Odd.
If You Get Tired of the Resort…
Go see some Mayan ruins in nearby Coba. We had a former architecture grad student give us a great history of both the Mayans and the surrounding area (as in, the region’s really only been a resort area for 40 or so years).
Also, nearby Tulum is the Williamsburg of Mexico.
If you want to skip around resorts in the area, there’s a Guggenheim-endorsed treehouse hotel (with some new art galleries) that’s more back-to-nature and rustic.
To be a little closer to Cancún and the airport, Iberostar is considered one of the best all-inclusives in the world. And you’ll get to try that boot camp.
Cost and important details:
TRS Yucatán is located about 90 minutes from the Cancún airport. Right now, rooms start at $389.
TRS is opening a new hotel in the fall, closer to Cancún and featuring nine restaurants, an underground tunnel for service folk (so they’ll seem invisible) and rooms that will ALL offer an ocean view.