As temperatures drop and snowflakes fall in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts may turn to a toasty tropical vacation getaway. The new year brings new options for upscale lodging on Mexico’s Yucatan coast, in the Caribbean Islands, and in Central American countries that border the sublime Caribbean Sea.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of new hotels opening in the area in 2023, here’s a handful of resorts — in no particular order — that have us excited about frothy drinks, toes in the sand, and expansive ocean views in the coming months.
In February 2023, Goldywnn Resort & Residences opens on a stretch of Cable Beach in Nassau, The Bahamas. As Nassau’s first boutique beachfront resort, it offers visitors modern studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with golf course or ocean views. The signature restaurant OIA fuses Mediterranean and Peruvian flavors, while casually elegant Amara offers international tapas and snacks by the infinity pool. There’s also a full-service spa and personalized butler service in select suite categories.
Scheduled to open in the summer of 2023, the Kimpton Grand Roatan Resort & Spa is a complete renovation and expansion of the former Grand Roatan Resort. It has 126 sophisticated guest rooms, inclusive of 43 suites, seven of which have balcony plunge pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The beachfront resort will have Kimpton-signature amenities and guest perks such as an evening social hour and pet-friendly policies.
The resort’s Kao Kamasa Spa (Pesh for “White City”) offers the ultimate in destination wellness with private treatment rooms and bungalows for innovative and recharging services. The Pesh are believed to be the original inhabitants of Honduras’ Bay Islands and still exist in small numbers on the mainland. The resort has intends to educate about this indigenous people group by exposing spa visitors to the culture through Pesh artifact replicas, art, treatment names, and descriptions.
Longtime fans of all-inclusive, adults-only Sandals Resorts may recall this property: Sandals Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios. It was a Sandals hotel in the early 1990s, then operated under another brand for a while, and now it’s back under the Sandals portfolio. After a top-to-bottom renovation, the new Sandals resort is set to debut in May 2023. Guest rooms include Beachfront SkyPool Suites, which feature glass panels spanning the length of oceanfront balconies. The Coyaba Sky Rondoval Villas have private soaking tubs, an oversized swim-up pool, and an open-air rooftop terrace.
Sandals Dunn’s River has 12 restaurants, but if that’s not enough, guests have complimentary exchange privileges with the nearby Sandals Ochi, so you can enjoy that resort’s pools, restaurants, and bars at no extra cost. Sandals Dunn’s River also includes complimentary green fees at a magnificent 18-hole course that rises 700 feet above sea level in the lush hills of Ocho Rios.
Kanai is the newest luxury development to debut on Mexico’s Riviera Maya in between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. The sustainably focused gated community is set amid a jungle and mangrove reserve. It’s home to the upscale Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, and now The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya is scheduled to open in early 2023. Featuring signature St. Regis service, the property has a spa, fitness center, family and adults-only pools, and dining venues that include Chaya, whose menu features dishes with Eastern Mediterranean flair, and Toro, which focuses on Latin American cuisine.
Perched on an island cliff, the all-inclusive, adults-only Secrets Impression Isla Mujeres is set to make its debut in March 2023, with 125 luxury suites set on a pristine strip of white-sand beach. All rooms have minibars that are refreshed daily and some have hot tubs. Eat and drink your way through eight different restaurants and nine bars. Secrets Spa has six treatment rooms, including three couples’ rooms, plus a hydrotherapy circuit, sauna, and steam room.
The Margaritaville brand continues to expand its roster of resorts with the adults-only, all-inclusive Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Maya slated to open in early 2023. The Margaritaville property sits on a pristine beach near Puerto Morelos with fabulous views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The upscale coastal retreat has 355 suites; nine restaurants and bars, including Mexico’s first and only LandShark brewery; three swimming pools; and the 10,000-square-foot St. Somewhere Spa with fitness center.
Family-friendly Margaritaville Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye is another new offering from Jimmy Buffet’s empire, scheduled to open in mid-March 2023. It features just 55 spacious suites with one- and two-bedroom configurations, a restaurant and two bars, two swimming pools, and a St. Somewhere spa. Arrive by private boat transport to the resort just north of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye, home to the second-largest coral reef in the world. If your vacation plans involve any Margaritaville destinations, be sure to sign up for the free loyalty program Margaritaville Perks.