Hotel Xcaret Arte is a luxury resort situated in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Owned by Grupo Xcaret, the Hotel Xcaret Arte is an expansive property - it's beauty matched only by its price tag! If you're interested in visiting this adults-only all-inclusive, then this Hotel Xcaret Arte review is for you.
Xcaret Arte is a big place so we have a lot to cover, but rest assured, I'll be guiding you through the features and amenities of the resort, as well as pros, cons, and mild annoyances.
Travel & Chai was not invited to or sponsored by Hotel Xcaret Arte (or Grupo Xcaret), so you can expect a completely honest Xcaret Arte hotel review.
TLDR - Hotel Xcaret Arte Review
We stayed at Hotel Xcaret Arte for just over a week. It's a fantastic resort. Good food, wonderful and friendly staff, and a truly stunning location with some great perks included. Perfect for travellers looking to relax in a luxurious adults-only all-inclusive. It is however very expensive.
Hotel Xcaret Arte Overview
Hotel Xcaret Arte is a new (it was completed in 2021) "all-fun inclusive" resort located in Mayan Riviera, Mexico. The "all-fun" part of their slogan refers to Xcaret Arte guests having free access and transport to all of Groupo Xcaret's theme parks - there are six of them (or seven if think of Xplor Fuego as a different park), and they're all easily accessible using shuttles provided by the resort.
The resort design is heavily inspired by Mexican art. In many ways, it feels like walking through a private gallery. It's a mix of greenery and natural sculptures juxtaposed with interesting architectural design and some luxury finishes.
Your guest bracelet (very warmly fit to your wrist during check-in) can be used around the resort, as well as at the Xcaret theme parks and stores. The bracelet is well made and comfortable (and not an annoyance at all!). It's main function is to unlock your room door, and to let staff know which house you belong to (in case you get lost).
Additionally, they can be used at Xelfie points at all the Grupo Xcaret owned locations.
A minor annoyance was that they don't work as well when it comes to purchases. I was under the impression that I could pay using my bracelet in a "tap and go" manner. This isn't the case. While you don't need to carry your wallet or credit cards at all, charging a purchase to your room is a slightly more involved process (you need to complete a short form each time).
With 900 suites, it's a massive resort, but thanks to the gigantic compound its situated in, the resort never feels too busy or cramped. Each casa is host to a workshop or amenities in-keeping with its theme. These range from pottery to sewing to cooking to music! The workshops are fun, but I wouldn't call them an essential part of the Xcaret Arte experience.
Six casas to choose from
The 900 suites are spread across six casas ("houses"). Each casa has its own personality and benefits. While the casas are different, the suites within are mostly the same, with options such ocean view, river view, and garden view (I recommend ocean or river views). Guests are able to use the facilities, restaurants, and experiences of any other house with one exception: Casa de los Artistas.
The casas at Hotel Xcaret Arte are:
- Casa del Diseño (House of Design)
- Casa de los Artistas (House of Artists)
- Casa de la Pirámide (House of Pyramid)
- Casa de la Música (House of Music)
- Casa de la Patrón (House of the Boss)
- Casa de la Paz (House of Peace)
Casa de los Artistas
Amongst the many houses in Hotel Xcaret Arte is the Casa de los Artistas (House of Artists) - this is considered the exclusive casa (rooms here are also slightly more expensive). Only residents of Casa de los Artistas are permitted inside: there's an exclusive pool here that's very popular with Instagrammers and travel bloggers; as well as the Kibi Kibi restaurant.
All the other casas and their facilities are open to everyone staying at the resort.
Xcaret Arte room review
The resort is made up entirely of suites. Each suite is well planned though most of the standard suites are technically studios as there are no fully separate rooms. That aside, the suites are great: two sinks in the bathroom; a nice rain shower (with attached sauna, depending on the room); a jacuzzi (and a stone hot tub, depending on the casa); and a balcony with a hammock.
All the rooms are equipped with a Nespresso coffee machine and a few espresso pods. This is a godsend for a caffeine lover such as myself.
The rooms are well-serviced, and the staff are incredibly friendly, constantly making sure to leave you little gifts or treats.
I do have a few very mild criticism of the rooms: firstly, only two bottles of water are provided per day (tap water is not safe to drink). You can easily request more, but it'll be a daily annoyance.
Another issue for some might be that the in-room entertainment system is not very intuitive (especially if you just want to watch a little TV).
The junior suite bathrooms are nice with a his and hers two-sink bathroom setup. There's a large rain shower that converts into a sauna (room dependent). A variety of Xcaret-branded toiletries are supplied, which are honey-scented. These are lovely, but I'd still recommend bringing your preferred toiletries with you.
The only negative is the actual toilet (which is a separate room from the bathroom) is a very small, almost claustrophobia-inducing space - to combat this, the tinted toilet window can be made see-through...but do you really want anyone to see you on the toilet?
Cameras are set up around some of the most scenic spots of the hotel and within the various Xcaret theme parks. You use your guest bracelet (these unlock your room as well) to activate a quick photo. All the photos you take can later be purchased via the Photo Pass in the Xcaret app. (Photos from certain excursions are a separate added cost.)
This is honestly a brilliant setup. And so much fun. My wife and I made sure to take multiple photos at every xelfie point we could find!
The hard sell
Before we go any further in this Xcaret Arte review, there is one thing that bears mentioning. It's mentioned all over reddit forums, and quietly ignored in most affiliate or sponsored reviews, but there's no getting past it. On your first day, once you've been checked-in and shown your room, a member of staff will try to upsell you.
This takes place in the form of a free breakfast in exchange for attending a 90-minute presentation, at the end of which, you will be offered a timeshare (and/or some variation of "buy now at a discount, and use by such-and-such date".
I wish I could tell you this was a quick and simple offer, but it's really not. On our visit there, it took a little over 30 minutes to simply refuse the offer to go to the breakfast presentation. The staff member (who was lovely) was almost in tears trying to convince us to go.
She upped the offer from a free breakfast and tour of the exclusive areas to also include a massage at Xcaret Park (not to be confused with one of the very pricey massages in Xcaret Arte's Muluk spa).
Other guests during our stay expressed similar stories.
Breakfast & Presentation
Based on accounts of fellow guests that attended, the breakfast and presentation from the Mexico Destination Club does indeed take about 90 minutes. However, should you wish to negotiate further, expect to lose three to fours here.
Note: If you do plan to return soon, there are some excellent deals available.
The final attempt at an upsell takes place once you've checked out of the hotel, and are waiting for your airport shuttle (provided by the hotel). A staff member will politely suggest that you have plenty of time till your departure so why not get some breakfast and a presentation. Thankfully, this one is much easier to say no to!
Resort & Location
Hotel Xcaret Arte has a stunning and massive property in the Riviera Maya (it's about 15 minutes drive away from Playa del Carmen). The resort is clean, smells great, and is incredibly well-maintained.
There are plenty of pools to relax in (including a massive infinity pool and multiple rooftop pools), several bars (depending on the pool, there may or may not be a swim-up bar), walkways and bridges to explore. Not to mention some truly gorgeous views. At no point did the resort feel too crowded (even peak hours by the pool, we were always able to find a spot).
You'll discover plenty of beautiful views while walking around the resort. There are even a number of rotating food carts and performers so that it feels little different each day.
The beach is small but good enough (we actually spent very little time on it as the pools were fantastic). There is a sargassum (seaweed) issue that many Riviera Maya resorts struggle with, and Hotele Xcaret Arte is no exception.
Beyond the beach and pool, there's a gorgeous river that runs through the resort. You're able to kayak, paddleboard, or just float (lifejackets are mandatory) through it. I highly recommend making some time to visit it.
Restaurants & Food
Check out the Xcaret Arte Restaurants Guide for more information!
There are ten different restaurants to choose from at Xcaret Arte as well as the option for in-room dining (there is a limited 24-hour room service menu). The room service food is honestly "just fine". You won't find many super interesting items from the main restaurants, but the food is passable if it's late and you're hungry.
Reviewers have been raving about the quality of Xcaret Arte's restaurants and the multiple cuisine options available, and the truth is...they're right!
While I wouldn't say that every single dining experience was incredible, the restaurants at Hotel Xcaret Arte are excellent overall...especially by all inclusive resort standards.
Our favorite places to eat were Mercado de San Juan and Cayuco (we'd rotate between them for breakfast every morning). Our favorite dinner was at Tah-xido (the a la carte menu is tastier than the tepanyaki option).
A point to mention however is that the restaurants are one of the exception to the hotel's all-fun, all-inclusive slogan as two restaurants are not included in the standard all-inclusive package.
Xaak is not included at all, and costs (at the time of our visit) USD 149 per person. While Kibi Kibi is included for guests staying in Casa de Artistas. Otherwise, it's USD 120 per person.
Mercado de San Juan is designed to look like a Mexican marketplace. It's colorful, with plenty of revolving food options. The gentleman operating the taco station and I were on a first name basis by the time I left.
Cantina Vi. Ai. Py. has the best tacos in the resort, and is a great lunch option. It's also got a very cool interior. You can try dishes made with insects here too (if you're adventurous). Best Pina Colada in the resort.
Encanta is beautiful and provides a set tasting menu experience. The food was generally good, but we found that they were unable to offer good food substitution choices (even when discussed in advance).
Chino Poblano. Our least preferred restaurant. It was just okay, and the menu was not very inclusive for dietary restrictions.
Kibi Kibi. The food is gorgeous. And the pool in the wall is super cool. But I wouldn't recommend spending extra for it if you're not a guest at the Casa de los Artistas.
Tah-xido. This Japanese restaurant has a la carte and tepanyaki. The tepanyaki is a fun experience but the a la carte menu is better if you're just looking for a tasty meal. We found the cocktails here to be the best overall in the resort.
Cayuco. This is a fantastic breakfast spot offering a buffet next to the main infinity pool. You'll likely be joined by local santinas (think of them as a posh Mexican crow or pigeon) as they often fly around the restaurant. The dinner offered here isn't unique, but is serviceable enough.
Xaak. This isn't included in your stay. It needs to be booked and paid for separately. Unless you're a very dedicated foodie, I wouldn't recommend it.
Arenal is the steakhouse of the resort. It's got a great vibe and lots of food. We enjoyed it less than some of the other guests who raved about it. Your mileage may vary.
Apapachoa is the most ignored restaurant in the resort. It's a vegan spot and bit smaller. The food here is fine. But a slightly tucked away location, and the menus at the other restaurants make this one more of an afterthought.
Be warned! The restaurants are popular, and book up quickly. Make sure to read our Guide to Visiting Hotel Xcaret Arte so you don't have to worry about missing out on anything! The guide will set you up with all the information you need to book the perfect trip for you!
In terms of libations, there is a small coffee shop and a speakeasy (it's hidden behind a taco cart!) on-premises. The El Deseo speakeasy is fun, and looks great. It's a fairly small location though so it gets crowded quickly. The coffee shop is honestly just fine - I wouldn't tell you to go out of your way to try it. It is conveniently located near the shuttle pickup zones, so they're a great way to get a quick cup of coffee before heading out of the resort.
Additionally, all the pools have nearby servers that are happy to get you a drink or snack.
Muluk Spa is gorgeous. It's quite possibly the most beautiful spa I've ever been to. There are a variety of your standard spa treatments available. But these appear to have an increasingly high price tag attached to them. During our stay, a basic 50-minute massage for one person started at USD 325.
Needless to say, we skipped this service. I did however manage to speak to a couple that did partake in the massage. They felt like it was a very good but not an essential experience.
Pro tip: If you're interesting in spending time in Muluk Spa, opt to stay in Casa de la Paz. This casa is located in a quieter corner of the resort, and is attached to Muluk Spa. A perk of staying at Casa de la Paz is limited daily use of Muluk Spa for free.
Nestled in a corner, close to Casa de la Paz, is a large, well-equipped gym. Aside from 7am when the most dedicated of gym-goers congregate for a quick morning workout before enjoying the rest of their day, the hotel gym is mostly always empty.
Xcaret Arte Excursions Review
Included in your stay at Hotel Xcaret Arte are several excursion options - these include transport and access to the seven eco-theme parks operated by Grupo Xcaret, as well as some resort-specific trips.
Xcaret's Theme Parks are:
- Xcaret Mexico - this is a wonderful day out. Floating/swimming along the lazy river was a magical experience.
- Xplor / Xplor Fuego - so much fun. The ziplines are great, and we'll definitely be going again next time we're in the area.
- Xenses - It was okay. The least interesting of the parks, but also the quickest to get through.
- Xel-Há - If you're looking to get a little extra snorkeling in, this park is for you. It's the furthest from the hotel though.
Additional excursions include:
- Xavage - for adventure junkies only. Not unique enough for me to recommend.
- Xoximilco - I'd recommend doing this more if you're in a big group. It's an interesting experience, but the food provided is very subpar.
- Xenotes - The cenotes you visit are all very different. It's a fantastic day out.
- Xichén - great if you're looking for something cultural/historical or if you've not visited Chichén Itzá before. It does get quite hot walking around though. I'd recommend the deluxe version over the Clasico as it has better food and a cenote as well!
- Ferry ride - It's fine. Nothing you won't find elsewhere.
- Catamaran - Meh. See above. It's also open to Hotel Xcaret Mexico guests, meaning you may be sharing your ride with children.
- Tulum Ruins + Xel-Ha - A shorter excursion in Tulum followed by Xel-Ha.
The multitude of excursions add a lot of value to any stay at Xcaret Arte hotel. Unless you're staying at the resort for two weeks, it's almost impossible to try them all (keep in mind that several are full day excursions - most are in the Riviera Maya and Cancun area, but they go as far as the Tulum ruins).
We visited almost everything during our trip, and highly recommend you plan some time to visit the activities that are interesting to you. My personal favorites were Xcaret Park and the Xenotes day trip.
If you need help planning where to go, and when, check out our 7-Day Xcaret Arte Itinerary. Whether you're looking for a relaxed time or more adventure, the itinerary will help you out.
Should you visit Xcaret Arte
Hotel Xcaret Arte is a dream vacation. It's beautiful. The service is warm and attentive. The food is good. And your stay at Xcaret Arte is packaged with so many excursions and activity options that it's almost impossible to get bored.
However, the experience isn't perfect. This level of luxury comes with a very steep price tag. And that only becomes steeper if you want to indulge in the more exclusive restaurants or spa treatments.
The hard sell to engage in a timeshare feels very out of place in a resort like this. It's polite but it feels cheap and tacky. Does it ruin the experience? No, not completely. But it does make you feel unnecessarily awkward for a while.
Should you visit Xcaret Arte? Is it worth the money? Yes. If you can comfortably afford it, it's a trip you likely won't regret.