I recently returned from family summer vacation at Now Jade Riviera Cancun, a stunning resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
The Mexican Riviera
While I’m not usually an ‘all inclusive’ type traveler, but ironically my first post for this blog was about a family vacation taken to a similar resort called Dreams Nueva Vallarta. Both ‘Dreams’ and ‘Now’ resorts are under the umbrella of the AmResorts Collection. Many of their properties are located in Mexico, and in the case of Now Jade, carved out of dense, low-growth jungle.
Now Jade is located on what is referred to as Riviera Maya, a tourism and resort district that straddles the coastal Highway 307 along the Caribbean coastline, south of Cancun. A string of coastal towns from Puerto Morelos through Playa del Carmen and down to Tulum are situated on the eastern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, gorgeous, pristine beaches stretch along this corridor like glittering gems.
There is a lot of criticism about how the area is becoming overbuilt and the environmental impact that the big resorts have on this exquisite area in Mexico.
I definitely noticed a big difference when we took a day trip to Playa del Carmen where I had visited about 15 years ago. The charming beach town was much more crowded and bustling.
Neverending Amounts of Fun
But, criticism aside, there is something to be said about staying at one of these rambling, decadent, over-the-top resorts. In a word – fun.
My kids are an energetic 14 and 11, and Now Jade Riviera Cancun provided us with more activities than we could realistically participate in. Some of the greatest hits provided by the resort were beach volleyball and soccer, testosterone-infused matches of water polo, Zumba, and epic ping-pong rallies. They both met a posse of other kids to hang around with. For younger children there is an Explorer Club. Teenagers have their own lounge.
Now Jade also has a spa, salon and well-appointed fitness room, theatre, shops and an outdoor evening market. And did I mention bars? There are at least 11 options including a swim-up bar in the main pool. My favorite was the The Mix beach bar where you can swing on a hammock while sipping your favorite beverage.
We splurged and went parasailing for an additional fee, dangling high up in the air above the spectacular white sand beach and turquoise sea. This proved to be one of the trip’s most memorable moments.
Myriad Dining Options
Also included, of course, is food. My 11-year-old son is a huge fan of the buffet concept that he indulged in every morning with relish. There were four other restaurants with different cuisines – Pan Asian, Mediterranean, Italian and Mexican plus a barefoot burger shack and a 24-hour café.
The food wasn’t exceptional but it was abundant and tasty. I made sure to eat guacamole every day.
One adventure I really wanted to make outside of the resort was a day trip to Tulum. It’s famous for it’s well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins. The main structure is a large stone castle perched on a rocky cliff above the beach. We hired an affable and informative driver who took us there then hung out until we were back from exploring.
Now Jade Riviera Cancun
Puerto Morelos Benito Juárez,
77580 Quintana Roo, Mexico