This new property which opened in February 2021 is from SBE Hotels, which is now owned by Accor, after the group bought 50 per cent of the brand in 2019, and then bought the rest while also ‘merging’ with Ennismore. You can read more here:
Amongst the SBE brands are Mondrian, Delano and SLS. They are all very fashionable, or, as SBE would have it, the brands make up “a global tribe of individuals, partners and progressives.” This Cancun property has been developed by the Related Group along with local partners U-Calli and Inmobilia, and is in a building which is mostly private apartments.
Where is it?
In the ‘gated community’ of Puerto Cancun, a new development close to downtown Cancun and the hotel zone. It is around 30 minutes form the airport, depending on traffic. There are further hotels planned for the area, and it’s also home to the Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina. The area is still being developed but it is good to see that at least some of the mangroves in the area have been preserved.
What’s it like?
The hotel makes up the first four floors (ground floor – or first floor as it is in the US and Mexico – and three floors of rooms) of a 20 storey L-shaped building facing the ocean and the entrance to the marina. The other floors are luxury apartments.
Security is very reassuring, and you go through two attended gates before pulling up at the hotel. The apartments have a separate entrance just around the corner form the hotel, so you don’t mingle with the owners in the lifts, though they do have the use of the pool, restaurants and fitness centre.
My stay was in late April 2021, and the hotel had only been open a few months. The apartments were yet to be occupied (though many of them had been sold), so it was very quiet.
The interior design is by the Italian, Piero Lissoni (Lissoni and Partners), and it is beautifully done, with low sofas and tables, cushions in pale pastels and then bright colours, alternately. The seating area just off the lobby has a pool table and shelves with coffee table books, and lots of comfortable seating. I was less sure about the Mayan-inspired wall decorations in the corridors in the room, which were a bit Keith Haring for me.
The 45 suites are all elegant. Around 75 per cent have sea views, and those that don’t look out over the new developments towards the marina. They start with a Deluxe King at 44 sqm, and then progress up to a Deluxe Suite (77 sqm). Each has oak wood flooring, bathrooms with Deva Beige marble floors, Silver Travertine walls and walk-in rainfall showers, Ciel bath products and the Mayan-inspired wall coverings designed by Lissoni.
My Deluxe Ocean Front room had a sliding door between the bedroom and bathroom, and a work area with a comfortable sofa. The balcony had a couple of chairs and a hammock.
Food and drink
The hotel was still finishing its beach club when I was there (it should open by July this year), but there was an outdoor terrace for the lobby bar and the restaurant Leynia, which is an “Argentinean Grill inspired by flavours from Japan.” I only ate lunch there, but the service was good, and the burger excellent.
There is one meeting room on the second floor seating 12 people.
The hotel has a large (250 metres) stretch of private beach, with a lifeguard and a buoyed-off area for swimming, while further out there are kite surfers and people sailing. It also has a swimming pool with a jacuzzi area at one end. About a 10-minute walk away is a good-sized, high-end shopping mall with restaurants and a cinema with 16 screens.
Bikes are available for use (free of charge) and the fitness facilities and the Ciel spa are superb, much too large for just 45 suites but of course they are also for the use of the apartments – I never saw anyone using them, though this may change over time.
A luxury hotel with great security, a private beach and good food and drink options, with the liveliness of Cancun and the hotel zone a short taxi ride away. I enjoyed the peace and quiet, but as the apartments are occupied and the hotel fills, it could become quite a partly place around the pool and beach bar area.
Uninterrupted sea views and a great restaurant with outdoor terrace.
A morning swim in the infinity swimming pool, then relaxing in a private cabana.
$480 per night for a Superior King, including resort experience fee (10 per cent of room rate, per night), 16 per cent National VAT on accommodation, city, local and county taxes)
SLS Cancun, “Novo Cancún Torre 1”, Bonampak, Puerto Cancun, Zona Hotelera, CP, Cancun, Q.R. 77500; sbe.com/hotels/sls-hotels/cancun