Unico 20’ 87’ is a uniquely, undeniable, unparalleled adventure into the future of what guests can expect from inclusive resorts.
If UNICO 20’87′ were a person, she would be a millennial because this hotel is part of a new generation of experiences in the newest locations with some of the world’s most unique offerings.
Whether you are a corporate or independent planner or a DMC, you are all searching for the same thing; fresh, inspired and one-of-a-kind resorts for your clients and events.
Venue rates are no longer the determining factor in deciding which hotel to pick for your next meeting or event. With countless new and emerging trends in social media, event planners have an overwhelming number of options. Whether you’re a millennial, or like me, a millennial in a boomer’s body, you want access to information that will help create a memorable experience with great food, top-notch entertainment, and inclusions to match all the wants and needs on today’s travel wish list.
As someone who specializes in entertainment for corporate events, I get the opportunity to create events to help educate, motivate and celebrate a client’s brand. These events are very important and should not be left to chance. This is why when I was first contacted by an industry colleague last fall looking for ideas for a destination product launch for travel agents and DMC’s, I was excited to share this unique venue known as UNICO 20’ 87” in Riviera Maya. As she brought me up to speed on the property and all it had to offer, I was ready to jump on a plane and go myself.
For this event I was asked to create a soap cutting station, find an artist to create a Mexican-inspired piece of art with centrepieces that were minimal, yet colourful and accessorized in a terrarium. She explained that the owner’s vision was to take traditional Mexico, which is hacienda style and mix it with modern Mexico in a contemporary way.
During the evening of the launch, I knew that this hotel would redefine the meaning of an all-inclusive experience that is both unexpected and immersive and literally the next day I reached out and began to plan the adventure to see for myself.
From the moment, I stepped out of the car with my husband and onto the Unico 20’ 87’ property, we were immediately greeted with impeccable service and attentive staff.
As the sliding doors opened to invite us into the space, my eyes were drawn to the spectacular lobby with its contemporary Mexican feel, warm and elegant furniture, and hand-crafted touches and accents. Its architecture provided a sense of relaxed luxury, a cross between historic and modern Mexico.
I melted into the most comfortable couch in the lobby area, caught my breath and got checked in. I am treated to a cool, lush drink of cucumber, lime, and soda while another young man greets me with four custom scents that I can choose to be sprayed in my room daily. A welcome touch upon arrival.
We then meet our concierge who is wonderful and enormously helpful. The very first thing she directs us to is the hotel app, even helping set it up on our phones. This app tells you anything and everything you could possibly want to know, something I have never experienced before at a resort, but am thrilled to have this with me during my vacation. We have quick access to everything in the resort, including pre-arrival details, dining information and reservations, turndown service, in-room amenities and more. There is no need to pick up the phone, as all the hotel’s services are available from the touch of a button on my smartphone.
We follow our host through a lush and manicured area that opens to the resort’s pools, bars, and surrounding action. I spot an artist sitting under a tent painting straw hats, and I am told that I can find the hats in my room which can be brought down later to customize. I then walk up to a craft cocktail cart and am treated to the cocktail of the day by a master mixologist. There are three pools to plunge into, and of course, I find many floaties at my disposal, a nice touch that you would never usually see at a resort. To say I am excited is an understatement, I am over the moon.
We arrive at our room in love with the clean lines and fine details of hand-crafted local pieces incorporated into the design of the resort; giving the space a sense of modern sensibility. The room opens into a large terrace overlooking the breathtaking views of the ocean and is outfitted with a deep soaking hydro spa tub to relax and unwind in while enjoying the surrounding views. We were surprised to learn that over 90 percent of the 448 guestrooms overlook the ocean, and all the first-floor suites have their own swim-up pools and chaise lounges.
Before our host leaves, she recommends booking times and dates for the five restaurants on the property. She explains that each restaurant has its own unique culinary style offering different options from fine dining, to beachside buffets. Since there is surprisingly diverse cuisine she explains that each chef will bring their own distinct taste and style.
Some options include Mura House with a live sushi bar, Japanese Yakitori & Teppanyaki, and Mi Carissa which is coastal Italian with its own brick oven. We also can try out some modern Mexican at Cueva Siete, which is run by Chef Christian Brave, the winner of MasterChef Mexico. For an all-you-can-eat option, 20’ 87’ Restaurant is an international buffet for breakfast and lunch, which turns into the Blue at night, taking its name from the heels of a white party. The French bistro Café Inez is open 24 hours a day, serving the finest pastries, croissants, smoothies, coffee, and espresso, along with late-night sweet treats that we often neglect to mention when we get home.
We spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring. The next morning, I explore the property with Ilse the hotel’s Sales Director. There is one main ballroom beautifully decorated which can hold 750 seated and is divisible by 3 at 11,603 square feet, 10 breakout rooms, including two which are libraries, dedicated conference managers and outdoor event spaces like El Patio Nayade Terrace and Costera Terrace. Each is equipped with state of the art technologies and their own up to date, tech-savvy AV vendor who is professional, knowledgeable and tuned in.
We decided to take our stay to the next level and immersed ourselves in the true luxury offered by the resort’s unlimited inclusions ranging from golf, spa treatments, local tours, fully equipped gyms and so much more. I started my vacation with a relaxing mani and pedi for $14 and a 2.5-hour invigorating massage, followed by a therapeutic facial and exfoliating wrap for $80. I even had my hair washed and blow-dried twice for $10. We had so many choices it was hard to decide what to do first. The guest experience is paramount, and the private butler service attended to all of our needs. This was the vacation of a lifetime.
When Paula Antoniazzi (Lead Designer) and Andrea Chapur daughter of Roberto Chapur of the Hard Rock Hotel chain got together, their shared vision created something spectacular both in terms of the experience and setting, when you visit this magnificent property everything you see and touch is from the region surrounding the Riviera Maya. Local artists are on display for everyone to see and are for sale all over the hotel.
There is no need to fear if the sun is not for you, there are endless options to make your vacation the one to remember. Consider taking a cooking class or customized adventure, make space for new sins by cleansing the old in a shaman-led ceremony, participate in a yogi detox followed by a spiced juice detox or take part in a mixology class inspired by the seven deadly sins. All you need to do is choose the adventure, and your personal concierge will make it happen for you.
There is no doubt that this property is the one to watch in 2018. It’s an adult-only resort perfect for business people, and is featured in Air Canada’s En Route Magazine, with UNICO on the front cover of their October issue along with the headline that reads, “Go with the floatie: Why you should love all-inclusive resorts.”
Indulge in all things surf, sand, and sun in this one-of-a-kind vacation experience or corporate event that sees no boundary; you won’t be disappointed.
Heart-Centric Entrepreneur, Leader, Mentor, Changemaker, Visionary, Creative & Passionate
Janice Cardinale is President of Cardinale Creative, a content writer for MPI Global & United Colours of Design and the Associate Editor at Canadian Special Events Magazine.
She is a sought-after public speaker on trends in the event industry, has pioneered two businesses, Only Accessories & The Idea Hunter, both of which were sold successfully and has had an incredible 35 years in fashion, design and events.
In 2021, Cardinale Creative was built to give back to the event community as a way to pay it forward. At the heart of this business are the mission projects that Janice curates and executes to raise funds for student bursaries, mental & physical health and event professionals struggling since the pandemic began.
Janice is a board chair for the Event and Creative Design program at Seneca College has served on many advisory board and association committees including MPI both locally and globally. Her ideas continue to gather attention from many in the event industry around the world and her love of events, people and beauty continue to be her driver.
Connect with Janice on LinkedIn ~ Instagram