Review: TRS Yucatan Hotel

Adults-only all-inclusive property which forms part of the Grand Palladium Resorts complex on the Mayan Riviera

LOCATION: The TRS Yucatan Hotel is an adults-only all-inclusive property which forms part of the Grand Palladium Resorts complex on the Mayan Riviera around an hour south of Cancun and 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. The resort – part of the Spanish Palladium Hotel Group - re-opened in December 2017 after a $35 million dollar revamp involving the integration of the previous The Royal Suites Yucatan property and the neighbouring Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The wider complex is vast, with a five-minute drive through mangrove jungle between the main entrance and the hotel reception. Once inside TRS Yucatan itself, the feeling of size continues, with a huge vaulted lobby area, but the scale of the property is immediately balanced by a relaxed and private check-in and attentive service. There are effectively two resorts within the resort, with the inland suites surrounded by lush vegetation, and the beachfront blocks benefiting from the sea breeze with easy access to the sizeable triple-tiered infinity pool.

THE FACTS: The expanded all-suite resort features 454 suites and bungalows, the latter situated on a man-made waterway with a canoe moored outside each for easy transportation. Some suites feature private plunge pools and hot tubs, while the spectacular Ambassador Suites boast incredible rooftop views across the jungle in one direction and the Caribbean Sea in the other. Guests at TRS Yucatan can avail themselves of the facilities in the other resorts on-site, so there’s no shortage of activities to try, and the free-to-use Zentropia spa is a haven of peace with a well-equipped gym to boot. Inside the suites, the décor is funky and open-plan, and guests have the option to personalise multiple elements, from the colour of their cushions to the choice of their preferred bottles of spirits which will be topped up throughout their stay. Weddings are big business, and there’s even a consecrated Catholic chapel if a gazebo on the beach isn’t your clients’ thing.

CUISINE: Guests at TRS Yucatan are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, with four a la carte restaurants and a buffet restaurant in addition to the multitude of options available in the sister resorts. If dinner and a show are your customers’ bag, then the spectacular Chic Cabaret and Restaurant is a delightfully kitsch way to spend an evening, but my personal highlight was the Helios Beach Club, a concept inspired by Palladium’s Ibizan roots combining beachfront dining, laidback beats from the resident DJ and a great cocktail list.

EXPLORE: TRS Yucatan is a great base to explore the ancient Mayan civilisations of Tulum and Coba, or cool down in the beautiful freshwater caves, or cenotes, for which the Yucatan peninsula is rightly famed. Even within the resort there is scope to marvel at the local flora and fauna, with the mangrove home to coatis and opossums, huge iguanas lounging in the sun outside your suite, pelicans flying overhead, and even a rare chance to see (but definitely not touch) hatching turtles.

WOW: While the natural backdrop of TRS Yucatan is spectacular, conversely it is the hotel’s approach to technology that is perhaps its greatest standout. Palladium Hotel Group has long been renowned for embracing tech – think biometric scanners to pay for drinks at its Ushuaia property in Ibiza – but the balance struck at TRS Yucatan firmly leans towards enhancing the experience rather than gimmickry. Guests can download an app on their smartphone or tablet to contact their butler directly, order a golf-cart taxi or make a dinner reservation, and also link their devices to their in-room TVs to mirror their social networks or access their personal Netflix accounts. Room keys come in the form of a discreet wristband, and other nice techie touches include in-room sensors which tell staff whether the room is occupied without the need to knock.

RECOMMEND TO: Clients who like to feel special and also want exclusivity without foregoing a choice of facilities. The butler service means you can be waited on hand and foot if you like – but if you’re happy to wait till you’re back from dinner to fill your own bath or eschew the taxi service occasionally to explore the mangrove walkways, then the service can also be delightfully low-key.

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