True luxury, as a friend once told us, is freedom. So when taking a holiday, that means a worry-free mind, watching the real-world thoughts and stresses that accompanied you in the cab ride to a resort melt away like that piece of ice that spilled out from your rum and coke onto the pool deck. Your only worry should be finding creative ways to relax.

Typically, an all-inclusive holiday at resort in Mexico harkens back to high school spring break in Cancun, cheap drinks at Senor Frog’s, some loud, bad poolside version of some loud, bad mainstream musical act, and wet t-shirt contests.

Not so at Unico 20° 87°, which has mastered the art of the all-inclusive at a five-star resort – put your wallet in the room safe and leave it there.

The service, the pool area, the room accommodation, the spa – these are all first rate. But what really marks the place are the dining options. Everyone was raving about Mura House before our arrival, so we made that our first dining stop. Japanese food in the heart of the Riviera Maya – one wonders what you’ll get. Our waiter Eliseo kept the wine topped up as my wife set into Miso soup (very flavorful). I am a picky eater – but the flavour off the rice and lobster dish practically punched me in the nose. Now it was official. We had arrived – that moment when everything else melted away. It started raining hard outside but that didn’t matter. Don’t think about the prices, just choose your meal and enjoy. You can also enjoy Italian fare at Mi Carisa, Mexican at Cueva Siete, steak at 20.87 (which is where you also go for a bountiful breakfast buffet), or world-class coffee and sandwiches at Cafe Inez

Later, lightning danced off the Caribbean as my wife enjoyed a bath on the spacious deck off of our room, while I enjoyed a Cuban cigar. Without dramatizing the point, real luxury is a state of mind. That’s what money can buy.


THE ROOMS: Incorporates many natural and handmade materials sourced from the area. The rooms and suites feature a balance of modern luxury with local rustic moments. Guests are assigned a personalized local host who takes care of all your needs. Rooms are very spacious, with outdoor spa tubs and exterior lounging areas. Head here for virtual tours of the rooms and suites.

WELLNESS: For many, a trip to this region of the world is for the purpose of physical and spiritual regeneration, and Unico delivers on so many levels. Try the hydrotherapy treatment in the Esencia Spa, followed by a couples Swedish massage, followed by a day at the pool, steak dinner at 20.87, then a nine-hour sleep in your King bed, in your PURE Hypo-Allergenic room (seven-step process that reduces airborne particles, with a state-of-the-art air purification system), with the sounds of the Caribbean.