Now Open: St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya

Now Open: St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya

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EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Marriott STARS benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked. This is valid for paid stays at BVLGARI, EDITION, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis.

Marriott Bonvoy’s newest luxury property in North America has just opened, though details remain fairly limited…

Basics of the St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya

The St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya has opened as of March 2023. The resort is located inside the 680-acre gated community of Kanai, just 10 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen, and next to the Sian Ka’an Reserve. The resort is located about 40 minutes from Cancun International Airport (CUN), making it an easily accessible destination for those coming from all across North America.

The St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya features 143 accommodations (124 rooms and 19 suites), plus a variety of other amenities:

  • The St. Regis Kanai is suspended above a mangrove forest, with different elements of the hotel connected by elevated walkways
  • The St. Regis Kanai has access to two miles of unobstructed white sand beach
  • The St. Regis Kanai offers butler service to guests in all room categories (some St. Regis properties only offer this to guests in suites)
  • The St. Regis Kanai features eight different culinary venues, including TORO by Chef Richard Sandoval (featuring a Latin-inspired menu), Chaya (a Mexican restaurant, with food inspired by Eastern Mediterranean history), Riviera (which blends blends the South of France and Mayan Riviera), and much more
  • The St. Regis Kanai has a spa with eight treatment rooms, as well as a gym
  • The St. Regis Kanai has several pools and a beach club

One thing that I find quite frustrating — and which clearly reflects how hotels rush to open — is how the property is now open, yet there’s not a single real picture of the resort on the St. Regis’ website. So if you book a stay here, you really have no sense of whether reality will match the renderings.

Below are some renderings of the resort, and hopefully there are some real pictures soon.

St. Regis Kanai rendering
St. Regis Kanai rendering
St. Regis Kanai rendering
St. Regis Kanai rendering
St. Regis Kanai rendering
St. Regis Kanai rendering

St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya rates & points requirements

What’s pricing like at the St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya? Well, initially it’s really steep, though I imagine it will go down a bit over time. Currently rates start at over $800 per night in the off season, and are over $1,200 per night in peak season. Unfortunately that doesn’t include Mexico’s steep 29% tax & service charge, which increases cash rates significantly.

St. Regis Kanai cost in cash
St. Regis Kanai cost in cash

If you are going to book a cash stay at the St. Regis Kanai, I’d highly recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program. This will score you perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 food & beverage credit, a room upgrade subject to availability, and more. Ford is more than happy to help with Marriott STARS reservations, and can be reached at [email protected].

If you’re looking to redeem points at the St. Regis Kanai, the hotel is generally retailing for 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night when there’s standard room availability. Marriott Bonvoy members receive a fifth night free on award stays, bringing down the average cost over five nights to 96,000 points per night.

St. Regis Kanai cost in points

Personally I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so redeeming points here could be a good value compared to the cash cost, especially given the taxes and fees that would be due on a cash stay.

This is a great new option, but…

It’s exciting to see more luxury points hotels in the Cancun area. Just recently saw the opening of the Waldorf Astoria Cancun, and now we’re seeing the opening of the St. Regis Kanai. In the coming months we should also see the opening of the EDITION Kanai in the same complex.

I’m excited about this, in the sense that Cancun is just a short flight from Florida, so this seems like a great getaway for redeeming points. I love visiting Mexico in general, from the friendly people, to the amazing food, to the beautiful scenery.

As far as Mexican beach destinations go, I’m a huge fan of Los Cabos — there are top notch hotels there (including the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal and Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve), the climate is amazing, and I love the rugged desert-meets-ocean landscape.

Unfortunately I don’t quite share the same enthusiasm for the Cancun area, even though it’s so much more convenient to get to. Maybe part of the issue is that it’s too similar to Florida for me, in terms of the climate (the seasons are similar) and the landscape (you have ocean and you have lagoons with crocodiles/alligators).

Similarly, I haven’t found hotels in Cancun to be of the same caliber to those in Los Cabos. They’re typically luxury factories, with hundreds of rooms, while Los Cabos has lots of more intimate properties.

I enjoyed visiting the Andaz Mayakoba, but it’s not a place I have to return to anytime soon. Admittedly if you’re looking to just get away for a long weekend, often a nice resort can be enough reason to pick a destination.

When it comes to this St. Regis specifically, it’s also hard to know what to expect. The hotel is only sharing renderings of what the hotel allegedly looks like, even though it’s open, so it’s anyone’s guess what the property is actually like.

Bottom line

The St. Regis Kanai Riviera Maya has officially opened. The 143-room resort is close to Playa del Carmen and Cancun, so is easy to get to. It would appear that the property has several restaurants, pools, etc., though we’ll have to wait for firsthand reports before deciding just how good this property is.

What do you make of the St. Regis Kanai?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Diego Dave Guest

    "The resort is located 10 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen." Um, maybe at 3 a.m. in a car speeding 100 mph?

    "Next to the Sian Ka’an Reserve." Nope, it's 60 miles from the resort to the entrance.

    Fortunately.

    1. RT Guest

      I just came here to say the exact same thing. Those timeframes are a bit off. It's nowhere near Sian Ka'an.

  2. NB Guest

    If you are even eyeing Mexico, you have to go check out the new FS Tamarindo. Go while it's still relatively affordable. I have stayed at RW Mayakoba, RW Las Ventanas (Cabo), O&O Mandarina, and Tamarindo is simply on another level.

  3. ECR12 Guest

    It’s funny you mention not wanting to return to mayakoba… yet in the linked review: “I’d recommend the Andaz without hesitation and would absolutely return”.

    This isn’t a dig either, I change my mind about places I’ve been (for better or worse) as time passes. Just an interesting observation.

  4. Ron Mexico Guest

    It is not “10 minutes” from playa.
    I guarantee you that. Lol.

  5. Eskimo Guest

    Any information about cartel hitman or dealers operating in the vicinity?

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      There aren’t any in Mayakoba. The cartel there aren’t allowed to hurt US tourists - it’s punishable by death (by the cartels themselves).

  6. Flyingfromny Guest

    It's VERY frustrating that many properties do not have photos of the rooms, especially Marriott hotels. Marriott hotels often will use one generic photo for multiple room types. When we're paying such high prices for luxury properties we NEED to know what we're getting. I'm not going to take it on faith that I will like the room layout or look.

    How a billion dollar industry can fail so miserably, for so long, at something so basic is beyond me.

  7. Jordan Guest

    Rosewood Mayakoba is similar price point but blows away any Marriott I've ever been to. Additionally, mangroves can stink pretty bad so I'm worried this hotel being "suspended" over them could lead to foul smells. Idk, for that kinda price, it doesn't get me excited. Designs looks quite spacey and Iron Man esque.

  8. Sel, D. Guest

    You can once again visit your favorite in Cabo, the Solaz. I noticed it has reopened when I was heading to the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal (WAP) a few weekends ago.

    Also, LOL at white sandy beaches. The St. Regis is set too far back from the ocean as well. There’s too many nice hotels in the area with oceanfront views.

  9. WB233629 Guest

    We stayed at the Etereo (Auberge) in the same complex a few weeks ago. The St. Regis actually opened while we were there. We didn't see the rooms or hotel interiors but walked over to see the pools & restaurants which looked beautiful. They had a team cleaning seaweed off the beach constantly and the beach at the St. Regis is much larger + nicer than at Etereo. Service at Etereo was among the best...

    We stayed at the Etereo (Auberge) in the same complex a few weeks ago. The St. Regis actually opened while we were there. We didn't see the rooms or hotel interiors but walked over to see the pools & restaurants which looked beautiful. They had a team cleaning seaweed off the beach constantly and the beach at the St. Regis is much larger + nicer than at Etereo. Service at Etereo was among the best we have had in North America but price point was much higher and hotel is much smaller. I'd give the St. Regis a chance, especially on points because taxes add roughly 30% to your nightly rate.

    1. Josh Guest

      I stayed at Etereo recently as well. It was really wonderful- I did find the limited food options to be be a bit of an issue- so the having the St Regis and Edition next door should help a lot.

  10. frank Guest

    For that price you can stay at a nice all inclusive hotel....

    1. Andrew Guest

      Not everyone wants an all inclusive. If you aren't a huge drinker than it isn't worth it and usually the food and booze are lackluster. Plus the clientele is very different. I rather pay more for excellent food and quieter guests.

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      EXACTLY. My husband and I are not drinkers and alot of these all inclusive resorts/cruises, lounges, and even premium airplane seats make sense if your getting $100 bucks in free liquor each day. Not so much though when you don't really drink like that.

    3. Stephen Guest

      The Sian Ka'an biosphere area should not be conflated with Cancun or even Mayakoba.

  11. mjonis Guest

    A few items I'd mention:
    1) Anything on the east coast of Mexico (Riviera Maya included) will not have white sandy beaches between March-October. The sargassum seaweed will stain everything ugly brown and it's very smelly. This year will be particularly bad (even hitting Florida as well).
    2) Los Cabos is nice, but the if one is an avid snorkeler or swimmer, you will find that the ocean temps are significantly colder vs....

    A few items I'd mention:
    1) Anything on the east coast of Mexico (Riviera Maya included) will not have white sandy beaches between March-October. The sargassum seaweed will stain everything ugly brown and it's very smelly. This year will be particularly bad (even hitting Florida as well).
    2) Los Cabos is nice, but the if one is an avid snorkeler or swimmer, you will find that the ocean temps are significantly colder vs. the Caribbean and the currents are very strong, so there are very few places (only 2-3 beaches I believe are "safe") in Cabo.

    However, I like both areas, but prefer Caribbean for snorkeling, but for local cuisine/areas, San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are my favorites.

  12. JP Guest

    It's great for your opinion but many people look at Cancun as a location that is easy to get to across much of the US, Canada and UK. Especially those with limited time to get away (ahem, families which you'll start to under stand as your child gets older). For those that don't live in Florida it works out nicely. When you consider the insane flight costs to go to Florida from northern regions, crazy...

    It's great for your opinion but many people look at Cancun as a location that is easy to get to across much of the US, Canada and UK. Especially those with limited time to get away (ahem, families which you'll start to under stand as your child gets older). For those that don't live in Florida it works out nicely. When you consider the insane flight costs to go to Florida from northern regions, crazy hotel costs in Miami, Gulf coast, and the mostly hum drum food options around tourist areas in Florida - Mexico and Cancun are a great alternative. Add to that the cultural aspect of service in Mexico as compared to most of Florida now, it's a great location to go to. Add to that Cabo is usually 30-50% more expensive then you start to see the appeal of Cancun. I'm usually not one to be bashing on you but you've got some blinders on when it comes to judging Cancun.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JP -- I hear you, but I think I also addressed your points in my post and was fair in that regard? I talked about how Cancun offers easy access to a nice tropical climate from so many places, and was just trying to explain that I personally don't love the area because I live in Florida. I completely get the appeal of the area, it's just not for me.

    2. JP Guest

      Sure; however, that was embedded in a whole section that can you classified as 'But...'. I couple sentences that state this area isn't for you but others would appreciate would suffice but you took it to the Nth degree, discussing the WA Pedrigal, luxury factories, etc. Potentially more valuable would be the critique that the whole resort is away from the ocean? Yay lets look out at a forest or a swamp? Additionally, you could...

      Sure; however, that was embedded in a whole section that can you classified as 'But...'. I couple sentences that state this area isn't for you but others would appreciate would suffice but you took it to the Nth degree, discussing the WA Pedrigal, luxury factories, etc. Potentially more valuable would be the critique that the whole resort is away from the ocean? Yay lets look out at a forest or a swamp? Additionally, you could have discussed the St. Regis, JW, or W being built in Costa Muerjes north of the hotel zone that has less seaweed problems.

      Even in terms of luxury factories there are people that do enjoy a high-end resort that has a lot of amenities, several pools, and a number of eating establishments. While you argue it's not small enough to give the luxury feel I can argue that a 100 room or less resort is small and will become boring in 2 days. Again, to each their own. It's your website but beating the same dead horse time after time is awfully like Fox News. It's up to you if you want to trend that way - just calling it out as something I've noticed more recently as a long time reader.

    3. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      LOL JP, comparing Lucky is any way to Fox News is ridiculous. You lost me there. All other points went straight out of my head. One a side note, why do giant luxury factories not become boring after 2 days as well? Because you have more hallways to meander through?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Flyingfromny Guest

It's VERY frustrating that many properties do not have photos of the rooms, especially Marriott hotels. Marriott hotels often will use one generic photo for multiple room types. When we're paying such high prices for luxury properties we NEED to know what we're getting. I'm not going to take it on faith that I will like the room layout or look. How a billion dollar industry can fail so miserably, for so long, at something so basic is beyond me.

3
Andrew Guest

Not everyone wants an all inclusive. If you aren't a huge drinker than it isn't worth it and usually the food and booze are lackluster. Plus the clientele is very different. I rather pay more for excellent food and quieter guests.

2
Eskimo Guest

Any information about cartel hitman or dealers operating in the vicinity?

1
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