Atelier Playa Mujeres Resort
All-inclusive resorts in Mexico are ubiquitous, but one this is certain: not all are created equal. Make sure to listen to the podcast regularly as Janet (and George!) breakdown some of the best all-inclusive resorts from their extensive travels and experience. Today, we explore one of the resorts just outside Cancun’s hotel zone and give you all the details!
Some compare this gorgeous resort to Unico, and finally, we’ve gotten the chance to visit and confirm the rave reviews. This adults-only (16+ years) resort is just north of Cancun’s hotel zone, about 40 minutes from the airport in Playa Mujeres.
What to Expect When You Arrive
The lobby is immediately impressive when you enter. Upon walking in, the lobby bar, Don Fernando, is stunning. The ceilings are so high (three or more stories) with glass floor-to-ceiling windows directly behind the bar. From this vantage point, you can see the beach, the on-site golf course, and a paradisical vista opening before you as a patron at the bar. Best view in the house! This is the kind of place engineered for you to really want to hang out and spend some time in this space. With great mixology behind the bar, right off the bat, this resort is welcoming and comfortable.
Tickling all the senses, the aromatic attention to detail provided new fragrances everywhere on property. Different and wonderful scents were infused into the common areas – florals, citrus, blends of things which weren’t overbearing but combined all the best smells of the beach destination. To be clear, it wasn’t just a “clean” smell, it was fabulous! That attention to detail emanates the level consciousness the entire resort strives to present to guests.
This modern, contemporary vibe resort has a Mexican flair. The resort, make no mistake, is in the elite category of places Penyak Travel adores. Atelier earns the caliber on par with La Blanc, Unico, and other unmatched top tier resorts. Nothing stands out as any sort of negative attribute. This is a fantastic property.
Layout and Size of Atelier Playa Mujeres
The gigantic resort is L-shaped and supports over 400 guest rooms. This means, for some rooms the lobby and associated bar area could amount to a longer walk due to the sheer size of the property footprint. Alternately, the resort is not situated around the beach – the far end is where the beach access is located from the lobby, so those rooms which have a longer walk to the lobby could be closer to beach access.
Anyone who is mobility-challenged or, if you simply want to book your room adjacent to the property features you most enjoy, for convenience make sure to ask for rooms in the appropriate region of the resort.
Insider Perspective: Junior Suite Oceanview King Room (2408)
To paint a picture of our suite experience, here is what we enjoyed most about our Junior Suite Oceanview King room at Atelier. Huge bonus to start with: the bathroom including a jacuzzi tub for two, rain shower, and double vanity. Not only that, but cool sliding walls also to open the room so you can lay
in the tub with a view and still enjoy the entire room. The comfortable king bed was somewhat central to the room, and we enjoyed frigid cold air conditioning. The balcony was immense and could have fit the tub. For folks who appreciate a great minibar, this one was good and included M&Ms, nuts, and other snacks and was well-stocked with bottled water. Additionally, some red and white wines were also found stocked for us.
Pro Travel Tip: The further toward the top of the L you can be, the closer you are to the beach and pool. The closer you are to the “bottom” of the L, the closer you are to the nightclub. This can mean you’ll hear a little more noise in the wee hours of the night from those vacating the club to get back to their room, sometimes with the giggles.
The Skinny on the Pool at Atelier
Okay—we’re just going to say it: coolest pool award! There are two pools on the property: the all-access main pool and a more “elite access” pool. The main pool is where the action is! This insanely huge pool is close to the beach, also sort of L-shaped like the resort building itself, but in the opposite direction of the hotel “L.” Are you following? Hopefully so, if not, reference some of the photos to keep tracking!
There is a bridge over this massive water feature with TWO swim-up bars – one at each end, so you don’t have to be an Olympian when you get thirsty, no matter where you are in the water, the bar isn’t far. It’s an unbelievable five-minute ‘swim-walk’ or a minute speed swim end to end. You pick the atmosphere – chill vibes on one end or music to match your margarita on the other. Kind bartenders at the El Suspiro or the Limon Y Sal swim-up bars will also customize drinks gladly, with extra touches including fresh fruit garnishes to elevate your experience and potentially even out your blood sugar over the afternoon.
Even in very high occupancy, there was no issue finding a pool chair or a beach chair while at Atelier.
Dedicated attendants in sections of the pool served patrons well, almost like sections of a restaurant. This resort does bring you food while in your pool chair. QR codes for food service make the pool area service even more excellent. Elite mixology with phenomenal drinks and prompt service kept drinks full and smiles wide. This is a modern-day all-inclusive has unbelievable quality food and drinks – don’t let antiquated perceptions of “all-inclusives” from days gone by cloud your judgement on what is available to travelers now. It’s tasty!
Inspira Guests Rooftop Bar and Inspira Pool at El Cielo Sky Bar
Inspira Guests (club level) or timeshare guests have access to this fun rooftop pool. Sexy and incredible, at this special bonus pool, you’ll find round, cushioned loungers all around. There is also a huge outdoor bar (though not swim up.) Incredible views are what you’d expect but boy does this spot deliver! This open-air vantage point is unbeatable for sunset seekers. After 6:00 p.m. other guests can access the bar area.
Hit The Beaches
Mexico’s beaches can be hit or miss in the Greater Cancun area. From firsthand visits, we can say Atelier has a lovely spot. The beach includes tons of seating and servers circulating constantly. Waves in the water were a little sportier than some of the calmer spots in other beach locales. You’re situated on the beach across from Isla Mujeres, but the waves can still get rocky.
Playa Mujeres doesn’t get as much seaweed as other spots along the coast. Note: the seaweed situation is hard to predict fully. It’s Mother Nature and while we can tell you this beach is better than others, just being a beach on the Cancun side of the world makes it susceptible to a little seaweed. The small amount we encountered was not a deterrent from a nice beach hangout.
The water was warm and beautiful. Neat beach bar on the Inspira side. This public beach felt private. Playa Mujeres is a gated community. Drivers scan fingerprints to get in the gate for the whole neighborhood and then there is an additional gate for a resort itself. You won’t ever feel like you’re on a postcard of a busy beach during peak spring break crowding.
Cancun Safety and History
Cancun makes headlines each season, but don’t let this fool you. Cancun is more and more modernized each year. This area is somewhat walkable looking now. If you keep to the resort area, you’re just fine. And really, you won’t want to leave the Atelier property once you arrive, it’s just divine. Safety is really based on individual comfort, but we’ve never had any trouble in this well-developed hotel zone.
Interestingly, we kept hearing about Cancun prior to the tourism boom. Just keep in mind, safety is in the eye of the beholder. As it goes, only about 50 years ago, nothing was where the bustling Cancun resort area is now! That seems truly unbelievable, when you look around at the thriving resort destination now. According to several locals, the government gave the land away for free many decades ago. Over the years, the land started going up in value and now we have a resort mecca!
Eat Your Heart Out: Restaurants and Food
We’re going to start with a bit of a spoiler: There is never a bad meal here. Janet always judges a food and beverage program based on the breakfast and the beef, and even the pickiest eater will never go hungry here. (This, from one of the pickiest eaters ever, self-proclaimed!)
Pool Bar and Restaurant
The restaurant at the pool area has a bar! This is a huge plus! Patrons can sit at the bar of the restaurant if they want to grab a drink and enjoy the atmosphere of the pool area, but maybe not sit down for a formal meal.
The Seventh Floor Steakhouse at Atelier: Los Abrazos
This steakhouse has some serious ambience! Let’s set this up from the outside and then venture into the steakhouse, to address this point. It’s on the top floor. Just to sort of set the scene, there is an infinity pool, a vast bar, and people dressed up everywhere. Isla Mujeres on the horizon sets a lovely backdrop for the sunset. Wine from the bar is delicious, punctuating a great day at the resort.
Then you walk into the seventh-floor steakhouse… First, you notice the massive bar on the inside. You’ll also see a big, beautiful salad bar and charcuterie area. Dark wood is the theme, giving that masculine, classy steakhouse style from the design. The food was unbelievable. The quality of the beef at a resort is oftentimes a great way to measure the overall quality of the resort food in general. After touring 13 resorts in Mexico, Janet says this is the first instance of truly GREAT beef she experienced here! The true test of a five-star resort!
Choices are Everywhere – Other Restaurant Options at Atelier
In addition to the amazing steakhouse, there is an Italian restaurant: Cliento, a downstairs café great for breakfast, a daytime seafood option which flips to a Mediterranean place for dinner. Atelier has a fantastic sushi and Asian-inspired place called Takeshi to dine. Trending more in recent times, a ‘healthy restaurant’ called Alba, across from the gym is an option for those looking to dine fresh and light.
Bonus travel tip: The gym is very nice sized, has great equipment, and is modern. There are towels, a locker room, and a punching bag (George’s new personal favorite!) in the cardio room, and endless bottled water.
Menu Size and Breakfast
These menus are vast, not just a handful of entrees. Choice is the clear theme here! These menus are mini books of appetite-blasting flavors. This is some of the best food ever—it continues to impress at every meal. Atelier boasts a very nice Vegas-style breakfast buffet. Chilaquiles are on the menu and that automatically elevates any resort for Penyak travel, having this amazing Mexican breakfast dish.
Of course, you’ll find a fresh eggs and omelet station. But get this – there is an entirely vegan buffet section! It’s so nice to see contemporary options for people with a plant-based diet to enjoy the all-inclusive experience! Naturally, you’ll still see the hearty “American” breakfast section, with bacon and hashbrowns and eggs. The breakfast breads aren’t left out: pancakes, waffles, and French Toast are all waiting in the buffet line-up. The authentic Mexican section is nearby and there are plentiful fresh fruits and smoothies. An exciting stop at breakfast is the beverage cart – including mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice and Bloody Mary’s. Coffee it must be noted, was excellent.
Coffee Shop (near Atelier Lobby): Cafecito
Even Janet was pleased with their iced latte – since she has a bit of a special order (with a LOT of ice, Skim Milk, and Sugar-free vanilla syrup.) The barista got it, spot on! These are handmade drinks. The coffee shop is sort of a separate area near the lobby, with a bit of a “Mexican Starbucks” vibe. We think it needs to open earlier, as 7:00 a.m. was the opening time despite advertised 6:00 a.m. on the television resort channel, and anyone hitting the beach or who is just an early bird wants coffee well before 7:00 a.m.
This location has what you’d expect from a wine bar: wine and charcuterie. Atelier has exclusive wine – they have exclusive labels in this location. A free wine happy hour and charcuterie hour are also part of the experience, so make sure to plan to attend if you love a little vino. This wine bar has the very nice bottles of wine you’d have to buy by the bottle at other locations, which you can buy by the glass here. This spot is on a terrace behind the lobby bar, overlooking the beach and is about two or three stories up. Smoking is allowed, with lots of cigar enthusiasts, which is the only downfall, so just be aware of that going in, especially if you are sensitive to smoke.
The Bar Scene at Atelier
There are an astronomical EIGHT bars, including a sports bar at Atelier.
The Sports Bar and Mexican Restaurant: La Cantina
The Sports bar has tacos and chips and a smaller bar food menu. This was a little bit different style of service: everything came from the bar. A second level of the sports bar included a balcony level to watch sports on top of a traditional Mexican style restaurant.
Maria Delores by Edgar Nunez
We did not get to experience this spot; it was wildly popular and always full. Frustratingly, you can make dining reservations but only for the next days’ service times. Each day we tried but they were already full. Priority was given to the Inspira level guests for reservations. This is a free perk if you are in an Inspira level room. We have no doubts that it was probably phenomenal!
Activities Available to Guests at Atelier Playa Mujeres
As with any all-inclusive, you’re going to spend a ton of time at the pools and beaches, but you’ll also typically have an array of activities included in your stay, and those available to you for an additional fee.
Whale sharks are immense and awe-inspiring. If you happen to be around during whale shark season, you should consider booking an excursion to see these behemoths up close. The whale shark season is estimated to start in April in the waters surrounding Cancun, with peak migration in June, July, and August.
Ocean Tours Mexico.
We booked with a tour company at the rate of $175/person. This was a half-day excursion. It was a longer day as it was hard to find the whale sharks. 10-12 people were on the boat with us, and then the captain and a guide, too. There were probably ten other boats in a fleet. The captains communicate, and help each other locate the giant fish, so they say they are guaranteed they find them. We were about 17 miles offshore. It was long, and tedious at times but once you see the whale sharks: worth every minute.
This is the coolest thing Janet has ever done on an excursion. The sharks are 25-30 feet long, massive creatures. They are attracted to this area seasonally to filter feed fish eggs. They are a true gentle giant. Entering the water, in with groups of two guests with a guide, you’re able to swim alongside the whale shark for a minute or two. Janet went in three different times. It was quite overwhelming. Trying to keep up with the big creature was exhilarating and the adrenaline was pumping.
As George, iterates, the mouth is huge. Swimming next to one, might make you think of Pinocchio’s journey into the whale’s belly, but rest assured, a whale shark cannot swallow you by accident. But, fun fact, its’ large mouth is well adapted to filter feeding and is approximately five feet wide.
The tour guide brings a GoPro, and you can purchase a video of your party with the whale sharks for an additional fee. At around 12 miles offshore during the journey, there was a massive pod of around 100 dolphins leaping and swimming, following the boat – an uncommon experience, but breathtaking and memorable.
Take advantage of some of these once in a lifetime opportunities and book something fun to do while in paradise, staying at the Atelier Playa Mujeres!
The Golf Course at Atelier Playa Mujeres
If you book into the Inspira category, green fees are included for two rounds with a 7-night stay or more. For a golf fanatic, this is really a nice perk. There is an additional 30% off the next round, also. Rates are a few hundred dollars if golf is your jam! One hole is super near the water, finishing near the beach, so the course looks fun to play.
Estudio – Booking Larger Groups and Families
The Atelier sister resort, Estudio, is the family side of the resort and is located just across the street. At Estudio, there was not a whole lot which stood out to interest older kids and teens, but there is a waterpark for smaller kids. The family guests of a wedding would be happy, and this is walkable, right next door to the Atelier. All adults can transfer back and forth between resorts to enjoy all the amenities of each.
Estudio contains 162 suites, six restaurants, and three bars. The pool area is smaller, so it’s a nice perk for adults to be able to experience both properties.
Planning a wedding or big group? There is a huge convention space, suitable for larger groups and weddings. Book this resort early! By September it had one hundred percent booking for the peak holiday season. It is a more affordable all-inclusive option, so it’s very popular in the Playa Mujeres area.
Bonus Mention at Estudio: Asian Restaurant Sushi belt
The coolest part of the restaurant was the on-demand conveyor belt with sushi delivered! How it works is a small belt, going into a long, thin oval is situated next to the tables. If you see it and want it… take it! The color-coded guide to the rolls or sushi offerings are based on plate color, then you know what the roll being presented passing you is: salmon roll, crab crunch, etc. Very cool addition to a great restaurant!
Pricing Examples for Booking Atelier Playa Mujeres
The Atelier is the best value for an adults-only all-inclusive resort that you will find in this area. It is top notch, the food is amazing, and the resort prices out so well for what you get to enjoy. In general, Punta Cana and Cancun are best value destinations. Atelier is the best value resort at a best value destination.
Pro travel tip: This is a tipping resort, so figure that into what you budget for the vacation.
For two people in September 2022: things are higher right now, demand is high. Starting room category (Junior Suite/$511 night) Inspira Category $825/night) and March 2023 which is more peak season: (Junior Suite $571/night, Inspira Category $854/night.)
Inspira | Timeshare Presentation
Someone will approach you during your stay and try to sell you on their timeshare program. You generally get a massage or something complimentary for attending. They are very pushy, just like all timeshare sales. You can very politely say no thank you, or you will be approached.
Pro travel tip: If you tell them you’re a travel agent, they’ll leave you alone!
A timeshare boxes you in, it’s a slight discount, but you’re really boxed into one destination. No more trying new things! That sounds kind of limiting, right? Right. So don’t give in to the temptation.
Book Atelier Playa Mujeres or Estudio with Penyak Travel Today! Click HERE to request a zero fee quote from us!
Make sure to give Penyak Travel a call if you would like to book your next beachside vacation at the Atelier Playa Mujeres or the family friendly Estudio. Penyak Travel is a no-fee agency and will ensure you have a great time and secure a great price for your next getaway.