"Minutes from the Cancun Airport, yet worlds apart...Live in the Present"
A handful of our Elli Travel team had the good fortune to visit and experience Auberge Resorts’ newest property Etereo, which opened in December 2021. This boho-chic luxury resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a brand new build in the recently developed Kenai area. On the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Etereo is minutes from the Cancun Airport, yet worlds apart and filled with tranquility.
With about 100 rooms, set beach front, and built in harmony with nature’s mangroves, the setting is lush. Upon arrival your butler places a wooden bead bracelet on your wrist; ours was inscribed with “Live in the Present”. Not just for inspiration, these bracelets serve as your room key so you never have to worry about forgetting your key, or the frustration of your plastic key card demagnetizing next to your cell phone. Brilliant!
While Etereo sits on vast acreage in the Kenai development, the resort is compact and no walk is more than 2 minutes, from reception to spa to beach to dining to accommodations. Etereo is the first hotel of four properties to open in Kenai. Rumored to open later in 2022 is St. Regis, EDITION, and an “unnamed” hotel.
Getting to Etereo.
With numerous nonstop flights to Cancun (CUN) from both the West Coast and East Coast, Riviera Maya is a popular coastal destination. After a quick 4 hour flight from New York, you can trade 30 degrees for 80 degrees. Have your passport ready to be stamped at Immigration, grab your luggage, and the transfer from airport to resort is about 40 minutes. You can be on the beach by lunchtime.
Tip: It is worth the cost to have Etereo’s concierge arrange private transportation. Arrival at the CUN airport is always a bit chaotic, with loads of timeshare salespeople in the Arrivals Hall (and they all are in uniforms and look very official). Avoid frustration and opt for private transportation.
Bypassing the chaos, we easily found our greeter with our name displayed on an ipad, and we were escorted into a sparkling new Lincoln Navigator and welcomed with cold water, cold beer, and a local snack. Wifi was available in the car so we could connect with home and office.
Patinated Coral Stone Structures and Modern Mayan References.
Etereo’s modern architecture and use of natural elements blend well with nature’s surroundings. The resort is clustered in 1-3 story buildings, with every room facing the ocean. Stone pathways, stained wooden doors, decorative carvings, rattan and straw art installations, and contemporary lighting fixtures create a luxurious setting with a comfortable vibe.
Who Will Love Etereo.
Fans of Ritz-Carlton’s Dorado Beach and Four Seasons Anguilla will be right at home at Etereo. Set on a long stretch of white-sand beach, Etereo’s standout is their beautiful pool setting. Multi-tiered, with submerged chaise lounges, adjacent pool cabanas, and overlooking the sea, Etereo’s pool is absolutely stunning and one of top pools we have seen.
While we saw mostly couples enjoying Etereo, they are well prepared for families and young children. With multi-bedroom suites, a menu that can cater to requests for Chicken Fingers, and a rocking Kids Club, the whole family will enjoy. There is a splash pad next to the main pool, and a small patch of grass with mini soccer goals to help the kids burn off vacation energy. Sitting at the pool we would occasionally hear cheers of joy from the adjacent kids club and clearly we adults were missing out on something super fun!
Fit for Foodies.
There are two, open air restaurants at the resort, in addition to the beach restaurant El Changarro. Step into the entrance of Itzam and you are greeted by the chefs creating fresh tortilla nibbles to start your meal, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Itzam is an indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking the water and focused on Latin American flavors. The breakfast menu is diverse and ranges from local specialties like Chilaquiles and breakfast burritos, to trendier items like avocado toast and fresh oatmeal and homemade granola. High quality coffee is brewed and everyone’s milk preference is satisfied: oat, soy, cow, almond!
Che Che is a poolside open air restaurant that celebrates Japanese flavors, with uber fresh sushi and ceviche.
Lunch can be offered seated al fresco, or served poolside or beachside at your chaise. Ceviche, tuna burgers, and fresh fish tacos are highlights. Like spicy food? Ask your server to bring you some of the habanero salsa often reserved for locals!
Dinner highlights fresh grilled fish, octopus like we have never seen so beautifully prepared, local steak perfectly sliced, and pork belly that will melt in your mouth. Mexico is known for many things, including their cacao and chocolate, so the chocolate desserts were well worth the vacation calories.
At 7 am, Etereo’s coffee truck El Carrito greets you with fresh brewed coffee and espresso to jump start the day. In the afternoon, El Carrito is open when you leave the beach or pool and head back to your room for a rest. The truck offers afternoon beverages, adult coffees spiked with Kahlua or tequila, freshmade churros and melted chocolate.
While you can hop into Playa del Carmen for shopping, go swim in the cenotes, or tour the ruins in Tulum, you can also enjoy pure relaxation at Etereo with plenty of activity. The watersports hut on the beach has stand up paddleboards and the beach is very calm. Spike ball is set up on the beach for action.
The gym is open 24/7 and is one of the best resort gyms we have experienced. Loaded with brand new Technogym equipment, we felt spoiled with the phone charging pads on our elliptical. Spin bikes, rowing machine, treadmills, and weights galore. Even a deadlift platform for hard core training enthusiasts.
Jesus guided us through “blissful yoga” one morning and was excellent. Not your basic “resort yoga” but a real practice. A stunning studio with unique Ananday cork yoga blocks and mats, Jesus led a 75 minute class that catered to all fitness levels.
Etereo’s spa is equally stunning. Locker rooms resemble the Moroccan Medina, designed with circular walls leading you from the changing area to the pool area and then out to the treatment rooms. Massages are offered with a mysticism and a spiritual focus.
For an hour one afternoon we had the pleasure of meeting Roberto, owner of Pasion de Cacao. Roberto guided us through a chocolate journey, from bean to finished treat, sampling along the way. We learned what makes chocolate bitter, smooth, white, dark, , high quality, and mass market quality. Pasion de Cacao's products are award-winning, 100% Mexican chocolate, and so delicious we could not resist bringing home a pound of assorted chocolates to enjoy.
Espititus de Mexico.
Want to better understand the regional drinks of Mexico? Spend some time before dinner and hear the tales of local lore regarding tequila, mezcal, and other Mexican spirits. Fascinating to sample and hear how they pair the spirits with different foods.
Travelers often ask “is there seaweed in Riviera Maya?” Mother Nature is fickle and we have yet to determine a seaweed pattern in the 8+ times we have visited this area, regardless of month visiting. This time, we visited in February for three days and each day was different and unpredictable. One day the beach and water were clear and free from seaweed. Another day there was seaweed being raked and removed on the beach and loads of seaweed in the water. No pattern. If swimming in the ocean is a must do, keep this in mind. If you are a pool person, you will be in heaven at Etereo. From that heavenly setting you look out at the ocean with a margarita in hand, and will never encounter Mother Nature's fickleness.
Same rates, more benefits.
Elli Travel's rates are the same as those on the website. Book your stay at Etereo, Auberge Resorts Collection with your Elli Travel Advisor to receive the following benefits:
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom (up to $70 USD daily, per room)
$100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
Ask your Elli Travel advisor about Etereo's 4th Night Free and complimentary round trip airport transfers.
Contact your Elli Travel advisor, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure travel arrangements.