There are plenty of routine all-inclusive hotels to choose from in the resort area of Cancun in Mexico, but Live Aqua is not one of those. With an array of restaurants that could stand on their own in any resort and service that goes well beyond the basics, this is an adults-only all-inclusive resort that even picky upscale travelers will appreciate.
You can also be sure that your nose will be experiencing nice smells during your whole vacation. Live Aqua is big on aromatherapy. You’ll notice various scents in different parts of the public areas, starting with lobby check-in where you’ll also receive a quick neck massage and a welcome drink. In your room you have a whole range of aromatherapy options that blend scents such as sandalwood, mint, rosemary, ginger, and sandalwood.
There’s also a DJ sending different tunes to different parts of the hotel, so no lame “smooth jazz” to endure when you move down the halls or head to a lounge. The public areas are extensive here, with a lot of garden areas a kid could get lost in—thus part of the adults-only designation at this resort. Some of the restaurants are tucked into the greenery in the shaded parts between the U-shaped building arms, providing a romantic feel of getting away from it all.
The original concept for this hotel was as a gastronomy-focused a la carte hotel with celebrity chefs. Now it’s all-inclusive but the food is still memorable and varied. The original spaces are still stunning, too. Even if you come for a week you’ll not run out of things to try since different outlets specialize in sushi, Italian, Asian cuisine, seafood by the sea, and even a bit of molecular gastronomy. The main buffet restaurant Siete is one of the prettiest of all.
The 371 rooms nearly all have an unobstructed ocean view in one direction or another, though there’s less chance of anything getting in the way the higher up you go and the closer you are to the center of the building. All rooms have a balcony and some of the corner suites have wraparound ones. The 36 suites are the size of a city apartment, starting at 762 square feet.
Minibars are stocked with snacks and drinks that are replenished each day, including beer. During our visit the included Wi-Fi had a strong signal from multiple areas. Room service at any time is part of the all-inclusive plan. Luxurious bathrooms are stocked with an array of soaps and shampoos and twice-daily housekeeping includes turndown service.
There are only two things most guests will pay extra for here. The first is treatments at the spa, which is not huge but has a great reputation. It’s a relaxing and cool space that’s especially popular with guests who end up here in the hot summer months.
The second is cabana rentals at the pool or beach since they require a charge if you’re not in a suite. Live Aqua may have the most extensive swimming pool complex in the city, with the eight pools including an infinity pool, one for laps, and one with a swim-up bar. Since this is an adults-only all-inclusive resort, none of those pools feature screaming kids doing cannonballs. Naturally you can order drinks and food from the waiters who are constantly passing by and sometimes a cart will roll along with ice cream or popsicles.
Since this is a luxury all-inclusive hotel with quality meals and free-flowing name brand liquors, you’ll pay accordingly. Rates start at $250 per person in low season, $400 and up in high season. Paying a couple hundred more gets a suite.
Review and photos by Tim Leffel, who was a guest of Live Aqua Cancun while on assignment for another publication. Video tour from the LuxuryLatinAmerica YouTube channel.