Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.
Seadust Cancun Family Resort should really get its own makeover reality show.
The 502-room all-inclusive resort in Cancun's Hotel Zone, built in between a sparkling sea and jungle-like lagoon, is on the cusp of a major transformation that will result in renovated rooms and other infrastructure upgrades.
In fact, the makeover on the 15-year-old Mexican property has already begun. Ever since Playa Hotels and Resorts assumed the management of Seadust Cancun just last February, efforts to raise the hotel’s hospitality standards have been in motion.
PAX, this week, is getting an on-the-ground look at what this means – we’re currently at the hotel, exploring every nook and cranny, and asking questions.
Playa now leads all operations, sales and marketing at this property, which previously served the domestic market, independently, for about five years under the Seadust name.
READ MORE: Playa expands portfolio in Mexico with Seadust Cancun Family Resort
The takeover expands Playa’s footprint in highly-competitive Cancun, strengthening its ability to capture the entry to mid-level family segment.
“Cancun continues to be a strategic area for all-inclusive development and we are excited to take on this property as a show of our commitment and trust in this destination,” said Chief Investment Officer of Playa Hotels & Resorts Fernando Mulet in a statement earlier this year.
PAX checks in
Checking into the hotel yesterday (March 29), some wow-factors that immediately stood out were the convenient location (it’s 15-20 minutes from Cancun International Airport) and a prime positioning on Cancun’s powdery white-sand beach – there’s turquoise Mexican-Caribbean waters on one side and lush Nichupte Lagoon (with mangroves) on the other.
Seadust Cancun features 19 bars and restaurants, which serve a range of flavours, including Mexican, steak, Mediterranean, Italian and Japanese. The specialty restaurants are a first come, first served format, with no limitations.
Many of these venues are lined up in park-like promenade that runs the length of the hotel, which, from the beach, kind of looks like a space ship.
The interior atrium is accented with mini lights, water installations and mini recreations of world landmarks, from Big Ben to the Arc de Triomphe. The hallways of every floor, some 12 storeys high, overlook the action below.
Honestly, from the ground floor, it’s like looking up at hundreds of interior staterooms on a cruise ship. Which raises one question: how’s the echo?
Well, from the inside of our eighth-floor “sunset” suite, we couldn’t hear anything from the open-concept areas. The beds – possibly strategically – are placed a far distance from the door.
Seadust Cancun has four pools: an infinity pool, a kid’s pool, a baby pool and “Club Caribe,” which is an adults-only, lagoon-facing pool and bar space on the property’s second floor. But by the way it’s set up, it feels like a rooftop. Sizzling sunsets happen here.
Guests also have access to Treasure Island Water Park, which includes slides, a pirate ship, water games and more.
Other amenities include a teen playroom, a baby club (for 18 months to age four), a kids club (for ages 5 to 12), tennis courts and The Spa at Seadust, which sits at the end of a glass bridge, over a lagoon.
The hotel’s suites, which come with mini fridges and plush (super comfortable) king-sized or double beds, range in categories, from standard to family to sunset to oceanfront (the latter two come with terrace jacuzzis).
The closet and bathroom areas (in our sunset quarters, at least) are very spacious.
There are premium accommodations, too, such as the Presidential Suite, which offers panoramic views, a master bedroom with a king bed, dining room, living room, and a second bedroom with two double beds.
A glimpse at what’s to come
Last night, we had the pleasure of dining on rice paper stuffed with crab shell and braised veal (among other delights) in the sprawling Presidential space, which isn’t on the market (yet) because it’s in the final stage of renovation.
However, the Presidential Suite offers a glimpse at what’s to come at Seadust Cancun as far as future aesthetic is concerned.
The refreshed design is a trendy template of warm bamboo browns, marble countertops and modern furnishings, which are in contrast to the black-painted wood motif currently seen in all other rooms (which will, the team told us, be upgraded soon).
Similar upgrades will also be made to the property's restaurants, a process that is already underway.
One new feature coming to Seadust Cancun will be a grab-and-go food station in the main atrium that’s focused on wellness. This will offer salads and smoothies, for example.
And, now that the property is in Playa’s hands, the hotel’s staff (which are incredibly friendly and upbeat, by the way) are learning about what it means to deliver “service from the heart” – Playa’s motto – through advanced training.
The hand-on-the-heart gesture, smile and bow performed by staff at Playa properties everywhere is already in action at Seadust Cancun.
All of this is a recipe for one fantastic stay, so keep watch on this one. It will be very interesting to see what Seadust Cancun becomes in six months to a year from now.
If anyone can cast a spell on a hotel, it’s Playa, which has worked its magic to upgrade properties before.
Faith, trust and pixie (sea) dust.
We’re just getting started! Stay tuned for more of PAX’s on-location coverage from Seadust Cancun Family Resort in Mexico.
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