Blvd. Kukulcan Km 10, Cancun, Mexico
Standing apart from the standard mass-market vacation competitors, Le Blanc is cool, upscale, and discerning—easily the top luxury all-inclusive resort on the strip.
Le Blanc lives up to its name with lots of cool white interiors, billowing white curtains, and a design aesthetic that immediately makes you feel like there's been a temperature drop here in the tropics. Keeping all this whiteness fresh and clean is no easy task, but the hotel has made the job of remaining on top in this competitive market look easy. Despite a few better all-inclusive resorts opening the past few years, Le Blanc Spa Resort remains the top choice in Cancun proper for indulgence in a true luxury beach hotel.
The greeting from the staff upon arrival is warm, but then it's a chilled towel, a welcome drink, and a lobby that's hip enough to be in South Beach, Miami. With partitioned sitting areas, a gorgeous lobby bar, and sit-down reception, it looks nothing like the usual "pile 'em in and move 'em out" processing centers that pass for a lobby in the more standard all-inclusive resorts in the region.
Assuming you've arrived after check-in time, you'll be whisked to your room and given a full orientation. There's plenty to talk about in these spacious marble quarters. Each one has a whirlpool built for two and each has a stocked mini-fridge and a bar with full bottles of good name-brand liquor like Centenario tequila and Johnny Walker Scotch. There are also nice welcome touches like a bottle of wine, a complimentary beach bag, and some baked sweets that arrive as you’re getting settled in.
A sitting area has stylish furniture and there is a small standing balcony for taking in the view—and every room here has an ocean view. Marble baths have a wide array of Bvlgari toiletries, fluffy towels, robes, and a TV on demand in the main mirror. The technology doesn't stop there: complimentary Wi-Fi, Apple TV, DVD player, and Netflix are included as well. Pillow menus and aromatherapy join nightly turndown service. Electronic safes are big enough for a laptop and espresso makers are ready for a morning jolt. Room service running 24 hours though and is part of the all-inclusive plan.
The standards (Royal Deluxe) are 429 square feet and feel larger in the king versions. The Honeymoon suites are a similar size but the double whirlpool is in a sunken area facing the water instead of in the bathroom. The Royale Junior Suites have more space and natural light afforded by their corner locations. Step up to the Royale Governor's Suite to double the amount of space and get a corner location with a wraparound balcony and terrific views. Much of the year the premium on this suite is less than $100 per person more than the lowest category, so it can be an easy-to-justify splurge. The five Presidential Suites take up the whole top floor of the resort and will make you feel like a head of state with their huge dining room, full living room, office, wet bar, and oversized balcony. (Call to book this one—it's usually not listed on the website's reservation system.)
The spa services are the one thing that’s not part of the all-inclusive plan, but the resort is often offering packages that include a spa credit as part of the deal. Le Blanc has "spa resort" in its name for a reason as the one here gets high marks for its wide array of suites and treatments. More than two dozen spaces serve singles and couples, with dedicated hydrotherapy facilities and a Vichy suite. There's also a beauty salon on site that gets busy before the frequent destination weddings happening here.
You can often tell a great resort from an adequate one as soon as you enter the lobby or your room, but what really sets a place like Le Blanc apart is the quality of its restaurants. This is not a hotel with ho-hum buffets that pile on quantity instead of taking time to delight diners instead. Even the main international buffet restaurant has dishes pretty enough to light up your Instagram feed and tables come with the cloth napkin treatment. The other dinner restaurants are all a la carte, with dedicated spaces for Italian, Asian, and French fusion at Lumiere. Yes, there's one place you can wear a bikini: poolside during the day.
A huge free-form infinity pool with swim-up bar is surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas. Waiters continuously make a circuit fetching drinks and food, or you can sit at outdoor restaurant tables and gaze out at the blue Caribbean Sea. A large pool on the lagoon side doesn't seem to make much sense until you realize the hotel building shades the beach area from afternoon onward and this pool gets the western sun. A smaller pool is off to one side right over the beach and the waiter service extends out to the sand where the resort has its own loungers.
You can find plenty of options to stay in shape on a Cancun vacation if you would like. The large gym here is well-equipped and scheduled classes run the gamut from Pilates to yoga to TRX and "aqua spinning" with custom bikes in a pool. Plus you have the whole long Cancun beach for walking, offering miles of sand and surf in both directions. It's especially gorgeous when the sun comes up on the horizon each morning.
This AAA 5-diamond resort (one of just two in Cancun) is a perennial champ in this area where hotels are numerous but picky luxury travelers have limited options. Le Blanc Spa Resort has stayed ahead of the pack by ensuring a luxurious experience and great service from check-in to check-out, with an eye on all the little details that turn a vacation stay into a memorable experience.
Web Address: www.leblancsparesort.com
Total Number of Rooms: 260
Published rates: from $320 to $590 per person, all–inclusive
Review by Timothy Scott.