Review: Atelier Playa Mujeres a beautiful escape with room for improvement

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QUINTANA ROO, MX – I visited Atelier Playa Mujeres last week just outside Cancun, Mexico. It was my first time visiting the country and my first time staying at an all-inclusive resort in my life. I had a great time staying there with my friend, I want to share my thoughts on the resort with my readers in case you are planning a trip to the resort or want more information.

Feels like paradise

There were plenty of great things about the resort:

Beautiful waterfront views: Playa Mujeres feels like an escape from the world. The bright blue ocean and tropical environment without crowds around means the only people nearby are other vacation guests. Atelier is a convention and business-orientated hotel so most of the people were staying there for the retreat I attended. The only downside of this is the drive is about 40-50 minutes from Cancun International Airport, but once you get through the gates to the resort you are in paradise. From the minute you step on the property the staff is ready to greet you.

Beach access feels private and two major pools: The beach area felt private and there was plenty of space for laying out. Some of the seating is reserved for the hotels vacation club, but regardless you could access the beach if desired. The two pools allowed guests to spend time on different parts of the property. My favorite pool was the big resort pool in front of the beach, where the water felt cooler and there were more swim-up bars. Food service is available while laying out and included.

Friendly resort staff: The staff at Atelier Playa Mujeres was friendly and welcome to guests. This was true whether I was visiting one of their restaurants, visiting a bar, or asking a question at the concierge. I speak English and Spanish so the staff was more comfortable speaking Spanish to me, but they also seemed able to navigate pretty well with other visitors. The bartenders made pretty much any drink you asked for, as long as they had the ingredients. Restaurant service was attentive. Room service usually arrived within 30-50 minutes after calling, faster if you had an emergency.

Spacious and modern rooms: The rooms at Atelier were spacious and comfortable. The beds were great and soft. Pillows were soft and sheets were clean. The bathroom was massive and included a tub and stand-up shower that looks more like a sauna. Rooms include a mini-fridge filled with beer and sodas/juices. There were also snacks and wine available for consumption and can be restocked everyday.

A delicious spaghetti carbonara for lunch at Cilento. Well-made and a huge portion.
Hotel room at Atelier Playa Mujeres.
Our room for most of our stay.

Some things at Atelier Playa Mujeres could be improved..

There were some things that could improved with the property though. Let’s get into it.

Lack of Mexican food: I was excited to try more Mexican food since Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, but there was a shocking lack of Mexican food at Atelier Playa Mujeres. I understand that the resort is catering to guests from around the world who may not have expanded palettes. Still – I would’ve settled for a street taco bar. One of the breakfast buffets did have a quesadilla stand and chilaquiles, but they were simply okay and sort of bland. If you really want to stay on trend, make a birria booth.

Restaurant quality varied wildly: Some restaurants were good and others were simply not. The best meals I had were at the Italian restaurant on property called Cilento, which was unexpected, and sushi at a Japanese and Asian fusion restaurant called Takeshi. The property does have a Michelin restaurant called Maria Dolores, but good luck getting in and it is not included in your hotel stay. The worst restaurant was a steakhouse called Los Abrazos where I ordered a Ribeye that was nothing but fat and very chewy. The second worst restaurant was the pool cafe called Bikini Azul, which served the smallest portion of wings and salad I have ever seen. Literally one piece of iceberg lettuce with a drizzle of dressing. I did not go back. It will take time to figure out where to go, so I would appreciate more information to avoid a bad meal.

Room temperature: It gets really hot in this part of Mexico and we were there in early May. I am sure it gets even hotter throughout the summer. The thermostat was locked and some nights were warm in the hotel room. When I called room service, they were unable to help us lower the temperature and said they are not allowed to change room temperatures, which is odd for a high-end hotel. I have 2-star hotels in the U.S.A. that will allow you to lower the temperature. This can make it hard to sleep at night and there is only one fan in the room.

Restaurant reservations are difficult: The hotel makes guests reserve restaurants in advance, although it has more than enough restaurants for all the guests on-property with the exception of buffets and coffee shops. That makes dinner plans a bit of a gamble. What if you don’t like the food? There are not many other options. Dinner felt stressful, which is not ideal for a vacation. If there is extra space, I think they should allow walk-ins as well. The property doesn’t list menus online or photos of the food at restaurants either, which could help make guests make an informed decision on where to eat.

Needs more free activities and culture: For people who like lounging at the pool or beach, Atelier Playa Mujeres is perfect. If you need more culture and activities, you will be bored quickly at this resort. The resort does have an activity schedule, but most of it just paid tastings for tequila which doesn’t really make sense when alcohol is included with your stay. I think I would be fine with experiencing more culture as an activity. The free nightclub on property played a bunch of rap music from the early 2000s, but I guess I was surprised there was not more Spanish music considering where I was. I do understand the hotel is probably catering more to the clientele, but a Latin night would be nice. San Francisco probably has more Mexican culture than Atelier Playa Mujeres.

The pool at Atelier Playa Mujeres.
Resort pool near the beach at Atelier Playa Mujeres.

Still a great experience and a beautiful escape from home

Overall, Atelier Playa Mujeres is still beautiful and a good vacation spot overall. I wouldn’t rate it a 5-star experience, especially because of the food and lack of control for guests. It felt like a luxury hotel trying to still cut costs. If you are a paying guest, you can probably easily get your value with spirits, which were premium including Black Label and Red Label. As someone who loves food, it was a little disappointing since I didn’t feel like I could get food around Mexico easily. It would be great to expand the food program and also upgrade their website to include photos of the food, menus, and maybe even feedback or reviews from hotel guests. The staff treated us very well and I felt like they have pride in their work and I loved that. Overall, it was still a good escape and I felt like I was in paradise for a few days.

@carloseats

Beautiful sunrise this morninga at Atelier Playa Mujeres. Best way to start the day. #vacation #travel #cancunmexico #cancun #traveltiktok #traveltok #hotelsandresorts #resorts #sunrise

♬ August 10 – Khruangbin

Carlos Eats

May 17, 2024 |

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