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Le Blanc Spa Resort––Cancún, Mexico

Blvd. Kukulcan Km 10, Cancún, Mexico

Self–consciously stylish, Le Blanc is a major attempt to overhaul Cancún's image as a generic party destination. Here, the emphasis is on spa indulgences and cool design––though you can still find a party if you want it.

Le Blanc Spa Resort pool

Le Blanc is certainly that: from the marble–floor lobby divided with diaphanous gauze curtains to the gloves on the bellhops, white is the defining element. The effect is simultaneously restful and relentlessly hip.

Compared with some of the mini–cities that occupy Cancún's beach peninsula, Le Blanc is relatively small. All 260 rooms are in a single block, a triangular structure lit inside by an atrium. Handily, the three–sided design gives sea views to nearly two–thirds of the rooms––but to maintain the seamless, sleek facade, there are no balconies, only double doors that open onto waist–high glass barricades.

The rooms––all suites, and almost all in the same standard category––are very nicely done. Certainly larger than many rooms in Cancún, they still don't compare with some luxury properties down the coast in square footage. In terms of amenities, though, guests never have to step foot outside, with 24–hour room service, mini–bars stocked with full–size bottles of premium liquor, and Jacuzzis built for two. Gleaming brushed–steel and shiny black trimmings abound, warmed up with earth–tone faux–suede headboards and alabaster nightstands that glow from the inside.

Down on the ground, a network of infinity pools opens onto the beach, just one of Cancún's many fine patches of sand. One very nice touch: an additional pool on the lagoon side of the building––handy because the east–facing beach is in the shade by mid–afternoon. Le Blanc is the only property in Cancún aside from the Westin to offer a west–side pool for late–day sunning.

The real attraction in this part of the complex, though, is the spa. It occupies the whole basement level of the resort, a vast warren of saunas, pools, lounges, and treatment rooms, all lit softly and filled with ethereal music and fragrance. Spa treatments require extra fees––and guests must pay even to use the steam rooms and other basic hydrotherapy services (or book a separate treatment).

Even as it embraces the new spa culture, Le Blanc hasn't sloughed off some of the old all–inclusive trappings, such as a daily activities roster and shows or theme parties every night (the music tends toward jazz trios and piano–playing crooners). And its food doesn't live up to the "gourmet" hype, though the restaurant settings are certainly lovely, from the mod trattoria feel of Blancitalia to the spare style of Blancorient. (If you're dedicated to a package trip, but want guaranteed good food, Tulum's Azul Blue is a better bet.) Even if its all–inclusive approach might knock it out of the running for most travelers, Le Blanc is great eye candy and a welcome change in Cancún.

Web Address: www.leblancsparesort.com
Total Number of Rooms: 260
Published rates: from $250 to $325 per person, all–inclusive

Review and photos by Zora O'Neill

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