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Xcaret Arte Birthday Trip Recap and Review

I'm thrilled to finally report on my much-anticipated 5-night birthday getaway to Hotel Xcaret Arte this January. For the longest time, I've been sending clients to this wonderland with glowing recommendations. Finally, it was time for my husband and me to see what all the fuss was about ourselves.

Now, did it live up to the hype? Well, we're about to spill all the details - the unmissable highs and the honest lows. Let's get into it!

Quick Facts About Xcaret Arte

  • Available To: Adults-Only (16+), Artistas Casa is 18+

  • Rooms: 900 suites distributed in buildings called Casas: Casa de los Artistas, Casa de la Música, Casa de la Paz, Casa de la Pirámide, and Casa del Diseño. 

  • Restaurants: 10 Restaurants. If you are in Artistas, you have access to Xcaret Mexico’s 12 restaurants as well.

  • Bars: 12 bars

  • Pools: 10 pools

  • Location: 45 minutes away from Cancun International Airport (CUN) and 45 minutes away from Tulum.


Walking into Hotel Xcaret Arte, you quickly realize you've stumbled into a world far removed from your average Cancun beach resort. This beautiful property exudes an authentic and artsy vibe; keeping with it, you won't find the usual all-inclusive entertainment here. If you prefer your vacation vibes to be more 'live band under the stars' than 'DJ drops the bass until 3 am', then you'll love Xcaret Arte.

Upon arrival, the resort's aesthetic brilliance is immediately apparent. Each Casa, or house, is thematically designed to represent a different aspect of Mexican culture, such as weaving, pottery, and music. Simply walking around the resort feels like you're stepping through an immersive art exhibit. The architecture isn't just there for show; it tells a story. For example, Casa Diseño (the house of design) has a lobby adorned with sewing machines, and if you look closely, you'll notice the ceiling lights are actually spools of thread!

The entertainment here is unique. Expect to see things such as an impromptu aerobatics show by the pool or an artist painting en plein air on the lawn. There are nightly shows and, of course, the speakeasy that opens at 10 pm, but other than that, the resort tends to wind down as the sun sets.

Now, I have to be honest about the beach. It left a bit to be desired for a beach lover like me. The area is relatively small and rocky, plus the waves can get a bit rowdy at times. But, in my opinion, the lagoons completely made up for it. They offered the perfect mix of calm waters and secluded cove vibes.

Overall, Xcaret Arte is the perfect luxury resort for the younger crowd (or young at heart) who see a vacation as an opportunity to try new things and indulge in the unique.


While Hotel Xcaret Arte lavishes its guests with various room options - from balcony views to ocean vistas, our room choice of a swim-out suite added a layer of luxury with direct pool access right from our doorstep. The immediate access to a refreshing dip from our terrace allowed for private moments of joy and relaxation.

It's worth noting the exclusive benefits of booking specific suites, such as access to the adults-only Casa de los Artistas. This Casa brings an added layer of privacy and exclusivity, including butler service, which lends a touch of opulence to the experience. Artistas guests also have an exclusive restaurant (Kibi-Kibi), a bar, a swimming pool, a rooftop with a glass pool area, and painting workshops just for guests of this house. Lastly, Artistas guests can also dine at the restaurants at Hotel Xcaret.

Pro Tip: Booking an "adults suite" room category grants you an exclusive ticket to Casa de los Artistas.

Almost every Casa has a rooftop pool, and my favorite was the one at Casa del Diseno. Rumor has it that this one has the best views! We loved that we could order snacks & cocktails here while we relaxed poolside. But not all rooftop pools have food service, so keep that in mind when choosing your hangout spot for the day!


The service at Hotel Xcaret Arte was a mixed bag for me. While amenities like airport transportation and inclusive access to Xcaret parks add immense value and convenience, there were noticeable lapses in service that impacted my overall experience.

First off, the check-in process felt disjointed and overly complicated, with a noticeable push towards selling a travel club rather than welcoming guests to relax immediately upon arrival. Important aspects like room and resort tours were notably absent, leading to initial confusion and a lack of orientation that could easily have been mitigated with a more personalized onboarding process. Because of the lack of guidance, we did not receive turn-down service for the first two nights of our stay. I discovered the button I pressed, which I thought was to request housekeeping service, was the opposite and meant no service. Had we received a proper tour of the room, this would not have happened. Moreover, the lack of clear signage around the resort made navigation more challenging than necessary during the initial days of my stay. This, combined with an inconsistent app that failed to deliver on its promise of ease and convenience, was disheartening.

Additionally, I was taken aback by the hotel's oversight regarding birthday celebrations. Despite bringing this to their attention three times (wish list, at check-in, and communicating with the building concierge), there was no acknowledgement on my special day. This lack of personal touch was not only an isolated incident; clients we booked for a memorable 30th-anniversary trip reported a similar experience. Although we didn't stay at Casa de Artistas, which is known for its dedicated butler service, I firmly believe that the standard of care and attention at such a high-end establishment should not be contingent on room category. The absence of even a simple gesture to mark significant personal milestones fell disappointingly short of the thoughtful hospitality expected from a hotel of such repute.

As I've stayed at a number of luxury resorts in Mexico and beyond, I understand that our expectations may be at a higher standard than most guests. So, it is important to note that clients we have sent to Xcaret Arte in the past remarked that they thought the service was incredible and all staff were friendly and accommodating. Overall, mishaps aside—the staff's intent to please and resolve was evident, showcasing their commitment to guest satisfaction.

Amenities & Experiences

Muluk Spa: A highlight of my stay was undoubtedly the Muluk Spa. I've seen some fancy spas in my time, but this? Unreal. Hydrotherapy here is a must; there are steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, whirlpools, an ice room, and a wellness pool. However, the spa's booking policy posed a bit of a challenge, nudging an otherwise seamless experience towards the brink of inconvenience. Guests can book spa treatments before arrival, but if you only want to experience hydrotherapy, your session must be booked on the day of.

Art Workshops: Embracing art in all its forms, Xcaret Arte offers artistic workshops that can only be booked upon arrival, ensuring each guest has a unique, personalized experience. This approach highlights the resort's commitment to fostering a creative community, inviting guests to explore their artistic inclinations, be it through painting, pottery, or dance.

Xcaret Parks 

The allure of Hotel Xcaret Arte is magnified by its all-inclusive access to the Xcaret group parks. This perk is huge, especially for first-time visitors eager to explore a host of activities. The convenience of having these parks within reach eliminates the need to plan various individual excursions or worry about transportation logistics. Furthermore, for larger groups, the spectrum of adventure-filled experiences to tranquil activities within each park caters to varied preferences.


Xcaret's Xel-Ha Park is a natural aquatic paradise located about an hour from Hotel Xcaret Arte. The unlimited snorkeling and especially the manatee interactions (yes, it costs extra, but so worth it) were out of this world. And those hidden bays? Pure bliss. Of course, there are plenty of adventurous activities to do, but there are also relaxation spots around the park with hammocks, so definitely take advantage. For guests seeking unique experiences, optional activities are available at added costs, including Sea Trek Discover, Jet Boats, Snuba, Power Snorkel, Zip Bike, and Swim with Dolphins, just to name a few.

It's worth noting that Xel-Ha is an all-day park, and guests preferring an earlier return separate from the scheduled Xcaret bus service would need to arrange a paid taxi ride.

Pro Tip: Hit the lighthouse & waterslide early because everyone has the same idea by noon.


Then, there's Xavage. LOVE LOVE LOVE, this park. If you have a shred of love for adrenaline, this place will become your new favorite. From jet boats doing 360 spins to zip-lining and whitewater rafting - it's non-stop action. They also thought of the little ones with a mini waterpark, which is pretty sweet. Like Xel-Ha, the Xavage excursion has only one departure and return time daily. You will leave around 9 am and return around 5 or 6 pm.

Pro Tip: Get in line early for the rafting, or you'll miss out, as it's only available three hours a day.

Xoximilco (floating fiesta)

Xoximilco was a bit of a miss for me. The floating party had all the right ingredients—live music, dancing, and plenty of drinks. It's the food that didn't quite hit the spot for me. It was a bummer as the food at the resort was always excellent, but the vibe mostly made up for it.


I tried this adventure park a few years ago and loved it! Ziplines, discover caverns, and ATVs. The nighttime access, Xplor Fuego, is supposed to be amazing, with everything lit up and even more magical, which is definitely on my list for next time.

Food & Drink

On a brighter note, the culinary experiences at Xcaret Arte largely lived up to expectations. My only critique is that I couldn't help but feel the missed opportunity for beach and poolside snack service. I feel like this would have elevated the luxury experience by allowing guests, myself included, to savor more time under the sun without interruptions. Other than that, I thought the food was incredible! Here are a few of my favorite spots:

Arenal - This place is the comfort food capital of the resort and my personal fave, offering dishes that will put you in a blissful food coma. The spinach empanada was tasty, and the grilled octopus was cooked to perfection. Of course, what's a comfort food journey without ribeye, mac & cheese, and mashed potatoes? Oh, and a pro tip from one foodie to another - saving room for a lemon tart dessert is non-negotiable. Plus, as a bonus, the bar here is gorgeous!

Encanta - For guests who fancy something a tad more upscale - swing by Encanta. With a Michelin Star Chef at the helm, you'll explore the tastes of Mexico with an 8-course meal.

Cantina VI.AI.PY - Cantina is a lunch spot that'll make you forget about the concept of a "light lunch." Here, the duck, pork rind, and octopus tacos steal the show. Plus, the beef & pork enchilada with mole sauce is delicious. This restaurant brings the heart of Oaxaca right to your plate.

Favorite Drinks – Mango Mojito (at the beach), cold-hot margarita (at Encantal), and Frida (at Cantina VI.AI.PY)

Honorable Mentions:

Mercado San de Juan slays the breakfast game with a buffet that's the breakfast equivalent of winning the lottery. And for lunch, Cayuco is a buffet that deserves a standing ovation, especially for their truffle pizza and fresh oysters.

Pro Tip: Make dinner reservations when your reservation is paid in full.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up our Xcaret Arte experience, I'd definitely consider revisiting the Xcaret family of hotels—maybe opting for a stay in Casa Artistas or checking into their more intimate offering, La Casa de La Playa, next time. There's no denying that Hotel Xcaret Arte holds vast appeal for a wide array of travelers looking for luxury with a slice of cultural richness. However, personally, my heart leans towards a more boutique experience where the essence of luxury feels a bit more tailored and intimate.


Looking to plan your romantic Xcaret Arte getaway? Reach out to the expert planners at Travel Queen LLC! As experts in all-inclusive romance, we know what it takes to create the ultimate vacation for you and your sweetheart. So let us help create your most memorable getaway yet!

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