Review: 5-star Nizuc Resort in Cancun, Mexico

Five-star Nizuc Resort is the most luxurious resort in Cancun, Mexico. I should know. I’ve stayed in nearly 20 resorts in Cancun since 2004 (when I began my career in travel). There are some great five-star properties, like The Ritz Carlton Cancun and Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, but nothing truly raises the bar like Nizuc, so I was compelled to do a Nizuc Resort in Cancun review.

In fact, I’ve stayed at Nizuc 3 times now (once for work, twice with friends). I continue to return because there’s nothing else like it in Riviera Maya. From the back-bending service and elevated restaurants to the ultra-private beach and scenic views, Nizuc is truly special and luxurious. It was originally built as an Aman Resort, which sets expectations high. 

Nizuc resort in Cancun.

Before I go into my review, I should mention that I love Cancun for what it is: a resort town. It may not be immersed in culture like other coastal Mexico beach towns (like Playa Del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta) but it’s a great gateway to historic and cultural attractions, as well as sublime islands like Isla Mujeres.

I actually lost my passport once, and I had to get it rushed. Definitely use Rush My Passport if this ever happens to you. Literally the most-hassle free thing I’ve ever done when it comes to last-minute travel stuff. Click the image below.

Cancun has mostly been known as a party beach. There’s a string of affordable resorts and a nightlife strip along the beautiful coast (you can actually get in the water here), which is a great recipe for young folk. In the late-2000s, Cancun attempted to stray from this “party” identity by building luxury properties, and that’s when Nizuc enters. Here’s my Nizuc Resort in Cancun review.

Why we love Nizuc Resort in Cancun (Review)

Nizuc lobby with view

Nizuc, opened in 2013, isn’t even in Cancun proper. It’s located in Cancun’s Punta Nizuc, a former playground for the ex-Mexican president who used it as his own personal retreat.

Nizuc private beach at sunset.

He was spoiled with the resort’s easy 10-minute drive to and from Cancun International Airport, pristine, swimmable waters and rare seclusion, which is why most luxury travelers make a beeline here. The proximity to the airport is a nice relief. You get more beach time!

The prime location already sets it apart (literally and figuratively!), but it’s also nestled deep in mangroves and has a private beach.

Jason Collins and Jetset Ruby at Nizuc.

 It’s also very pet friendly!

Sunset from the lobby at Cancun Nizuc.

As soon as you enter the lobby, you see the amazing views, but also the gorgeous design details with marble floor, shuttered windows and lots of local wood.

Nizuc lobby in Cancun.

Completely tucked away on 29 privately owned acres that’s flanked by both sea and rain forest, Nizuc features 274 upscale suites and villas in a variety of room categories (from ocean-view suites to spacious garden villas), almost half of which are equipped with their own plunge pools. Eighty-five percent of rooms have ocean views, including the popular ocean-view suites in the “residences” from the 2nd floor and up.

Welcome amenity at Nizuc

You’ll be whisked away by your butler in a golf cart and see stunning reflection pools like this as you head to your villa.

Gorgeous reflection ponds at Nizuc in Cancun.

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for the villas on the ground. The bathroom is as big as the main bedroom, and the private outdoor deck is also quite large.

Nizuc pool villa

The pool villas are completely private (you’re walled in your own oasis), with their own private pools, so that you don’t have to see anyone if you prefer.

Nizuc pool villa selfie : )

In fact, there’s a partition where staff can put your in-room dining, so you don’t even have to see staff.

You’ll have to spend time at Nizuc’s main infinity pool. It has a swim-up bar, but in a tasteful way, and gorgeous sunset views. Even the sunrise here is spectacular, and I found myself waking up early in the morning to capture shots.

Nizuc infinity pool sunset in Cancun.

Golf carts shuttle guests from various points: 6 restaurants/lounges (including Thai and Italian), an exceptional 30,000-square-foot ESPA that has it’s own separate outdoor pool, 9 treatment casitas sprawled throughout a lush garden and a water therapy circuit. But I found a lot of therapy just chilling out in my own private pool at night.

Nizuc pool villa at night

The indoor “Thermal Experience” at the spa, which I did spend a lot of time in, includes a steam room, sauna, vitality pool, solarium… the works. The spa radiates at night with low lighting so you can catch a band of stars from the outdoor “chill out” areas. 

Nizuc spa

There’s also a complimentary children’s club… so you can relax at the main infinity pool if you are traveling with a family. Yes, it’s very kid friendly. : )

Private infinity pool in Cancun.

Camping out at the strip of sandy beach or generous-sized main infinity-pool with swim-up bar is what you’ll likely end up doing for the majority of the day.

Here’s the adult section with private pool.

Adult pool at Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico.

The separate adult section is a further sanctuary with a two-tiered pool. There’s a wooden deck and sunken seats tucked away behind thick mangroves and thatch-roof La Punta Grill serving fine Mexican… even gourmet tacos!

Tacos at Nizuc.

The adult pool has insane views of the sea, mangroves and beach. 

Adults-only pool in Cancun.

Nizuc also has a private beach. There’s no crowd of tourists here. It’s just your own private beach, so prepare to take tons of selfies. 

The resort’s linear design themes, angular structures and crafty minimalism may remind you of an Aman Resort (as I mentioned earlier, Nizuc was initially built as an Aman residence in 2008). If you’ve never been to Aman, these are the most prestigious and expensive hotels in the world (rates generally start between $700 to $1000 a night, depending on where you go).

Nizuc private beach in Cancun, Mexico.

I should also mention Nizuc is completely safe. First, it’s a gated resort, and there are security at the gates 24/7. Secondly, security guards are on patrol 24/7 like any other resort in Cancun. Even late at night, when I was stargazing on the beach, a security guard casually walked by and nodded, so yes, they are around!

If you’re going to travel to Mexico, might as well do it in style. Check out our favorite selection of sunglasses at Bloomingdales.

Lastly, be ready to splurge. Rooms at Nizuc aren’t cheap. They start around $600 for double occupancy, and there are more expensive all-inclusive rates that can run close to $800 a night (yes, they do run all-inclusive plans!). That said, either option is worth it, considering the food is among the best in Cancun (it’s a five-star resort, after all!). If you want quality, elevated dining and expect to eat on property every day, go for the all-inclusive rate.

Nizuc also has great deals from time to time. Either way, it’s definitely worth the splurge if you want complete privacy, amazing service, and quite simply, a memorable vacation.

Nizuc private beach.


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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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