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FrontRunners: Nizuc Resort and Spa

Spread over 29 beachfront acres some 15 miles south of Cancún, the new Nizuc Resort and Spa (www.nizuc.com) presents a mellow alternative to the spring break–style party palaces of its northern neighbor. The 274-suite retreat—which opened in September on a sandy enclave that once served as a private hideaway for Mexico’s presidents—brings some much-needed authenticity to this mega-developed stretch of Caribbean coast, with native-wood furnishings, massive stone walls sourced from Michoacán, and reproductions of Mayan hieroglyphics. Still, Nizuc’s influences are diverse, with minimalist interiors that evoke a sense of the Far East, six restaurants with cuisine ranging from Mediterranean to Peruvian, and a 30,000-square-foot Espa facility that fuses European therapies with Mayan healing rituals. The resort also offers three infinity-edge pools, two beaches, and, for guests in search of a bit of revelry, two bars and a cigar lounge. 

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