When COVID-19 came onto the scene earlier this year, Mexico did what most countries did — they ordered all “nonessential” businesses to close and implemented new restrictions and rules to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Well, Mexico has begun the process of easing restrictions and slowly reopening. Here in the Riviera Maya, the state government determined that tourism-related businesses could begin reopening on June 8th. That authorization to reopen came with occupancy restrictions and a list of new protocols and requirements designed to protect the health of both tourists and staff members. In other words, the new normal.
So, what does the new normal look like at an all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya these days?
We were curious to find out, so we booked a night at UNICO, a beautiful resort located about 15 minutes from our condo, to celebrate Linda’s birthday. Another couple from our complex decided to come along on our research mission/birthday extravaganza.
Here’s an interactive map showing where UNICO is located. You can keep zooming out until something looks familiar:
Safety and Hygiene Protocols
Upon arrival at the main gate, we were immediately given hand sanitizer by the security guard. A second employee with a motorized mist blower began spraying the tires and underside of the vehicle. That was apparently to sanitize the vehicle, but I can’t help but question the effectiveness of this particular measure.
Once we arrived at the lobby, they took our temperature and gave us more hand sanitizer.
The use of masks on the resort property was mandatory for the employees but not the guests. The hotel did encourage guests to maintain social distancing and frequently use sanitizer, which was located throughout the resort.
It was nice to see that the employees were constantly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces touched by guests (e.g. tables and menus).
Since tourism had only resumed a few days earlier, we naturally thought we would be the only guests at the resort. We were surprised to learn that 45 of the 448 rooms were occupied.
That’s still not many people for such a large resort, but as you can see in the photos below, it wasn’t difficult to socially distance ourselves from others.
The beaches in the state of Quintana Roo are still closed to the general public but a concession was made for hotels and resorts to promote tourism.
One of the other things that we noticed is that there weren’t any bar stools at any of the bars and a velvet rope had placed in front of each to keep guests at a distance.
The staff was constantly cleaning and sanitizing. That made us feel very comfortable with staying there and enjoying the property.
Food and Drinks
This was the first time that any of us had stayed at UNICO and we all absolutely loved it. The food quality was excellent and ranks up with some of the top “foody” resorts that we have visited in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. I can’t speak for the others, but I definitely put on a couple of pounds on this mini-vacation.
The drinks were also well-prepared and they had an ample selection of Mexican beer and top shelf alcohol.
The hotel upgraded us to a larger room free of charge. It had a separate living room and two bathrooms. There was a jacuzzi out on the patio too. It was very nice.
I can’t say enough good things about all of the staff at Unico. They were all super friendly and consistently went out of their way to make sure that we had an amazing time.
Let’s Wrap This Up
After being stuck at home for so long, it felt great to finally get out and once again be able to enjoy at least a little bit of what the Riviera Maya has to offer. We had such a great time at UNICO that we ended up staying an additional night.
Just so you know. The majority of the hotels, beach clubs, restaurants and tourist attractions in this area are still closed; however, the good news is that many of them have already announced dates to reopen in the coming weeks and months.
Well, that’s it for today! Hasta luego.