Hacienda Tres Rios is an eco-friendly beachfront resort nestled within 326 acres of a protected reserve called Tres Rios. Tres Rios is the only place in the Yucatan where three rivers join and merge into the sea, and it is the only Yucatan nature park with three ecosystems within its boundaries–the Mayan jungle, mangrove forest, and coastal dune areas. Only guests of Hacienda Tres Rios have access to the preserve. Within Tres Rios there are opportunities to swim and snorkel numerous on-site cenotes, kayak one of the rivers down to the sea, take guided nature tours, bike jungle paths, and explore the garden and plant nursery. This is definitely a place to enjoy nature and spend family time together while knowing that one’s environmental impact is minimal.
The resort has a strong Mexican hacienda architectural style with its use of arches, pillars, and Spanish baroque-type decorative elements. The lobby is a beautiful example of this style–note the ornate metal chandelier in the recessed ceiling, the archways separating first and second floors, and the ornamental touches on the windows upstairs. The lobby is also a good place to spend time relaxing or visiting with new friends since there are several large groups of comfortable sofas and chairs along with a nearby sports bar.
Just outside the lobby is the lovely Terraza Martini bar–an open-air terrace with an expansive view of the grounds framed by white voile drapery. Guests may partake of afternoon tea, snacks, and pre/post dinner cocktails.
Off from the terrace, arched bridges cross over a river and lead to the adults-only freeform pool with adjacent poolside grill and pizzeria. Crossing two more bridges leads guests to the activities pool with several adjacent Jacuzzis. Palm trees provide shade while loungers and umbrellas surround all pool areas. Despite the fact there is an adults-only pool, staff are often reluctant to make sure children stay at the activities pool unless there is a complaint.
The beach is just a short stroll from the activities pool and definitely has its pros and cons. Although many guests come here to enjoy the beauty of the nature preserve, many may be unaware that the rivers which flow out to sea and the proximity of the mangrove forest does affect the quality of the ocean water. On some days the water is more clear and swimmable, while on others it can be murky with a dark residue which gets washed ashore along with sea grass–this phenomena tends to occur more towards the south end pier. Guests who walk north along the shoreline towards the mouth of the river enjoy more clear water; there are single and double loungers here as well but no umbrellas unless you make a request of the staff. Beach beds are located primarily on the southern beach, but check prior to settling in for the day because some are reserved for timeshare guests.
The spacious rooms at Hacienda Tres Rios provide vacationers with a unique opportunity to house from five to ten guests in larger suites–two bedroom suites can easily accommodate eight to ten guests. Suites themselves are attractively done with orange accent walls and accessories, marble floors, mahogany furniture, while many include an in-room or terrace Jacuzzi (getting a room with such a Jacuzzi is an additional charge).
Hacienda Tres Rios has added two additional on-site activities–the Segway tour, and the “Sense Adventure”. The Sense Adventure is a guided tour of select park areas while blindfolded; guests are encouraged to rely on their other senses to identify objects and their surroundings.
There are many reasons to like Hacienda Tres Rios, but make no mistake, this is definitely a timeshare property. If you paid full price for your vacation, you are not obligated to attend any special “breakfast” or meeting despite what the concierge may say. Pay close attention to “deals” when booking this resort–many such deals are contingent upon attending a timeshare presentation.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Eco-resort, suites accommodate up to 10 people, on-site cenote snorkeling/kayaking/swimming, dining reservations not required
Con: Ocean swimming, WiFi $, timeshare emphasis
Best Suited For: Families who enjoy lots of outdoor activities, eco-resort enthusiasts
No. of Rooms: 273
Room Amenities: King or two queen beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, living room area with sofa bed, coffee table, table and two chairs, mini-bar, in-room safe, flat screen TV, CD/DVD player, coffee maker, telephone, alarm clock with iPod dock, robe and slippers, pillow menu, hair dryer, shower, 24-hr. room service. WiFi is an additional cost for non-owners. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Mangrove Jr. Suite: King or two queen beds. Balcony Jacuzzi is an optional feature and is an additional charge. Mangrove view.
- Ceiba Jr. Suite: King or two queen beds. Balcony Jacuzzi is an optional feature and is an additional charge. Ocean view.
- Casa Grande One Bedroom Suite: Separate bedroom area with king bed, sofa bed, in-room Jacuzzi, coffee table, separate living room/dining room area with sofa bed, dining table and six chairs, armchairs, coffee table, two bathrooms, dbl sinks, two flat screen TV’s, dbl balcony.
- Hacienda Two Bedroom Suite: This two-bedroom suite is a combination of the Casa Grande One Bedroom Suite and the Ceiba Jr. Suite. All together there is one master bedroom, a jr. bedroom, and separate living room area, three full bathrooms, three sofa beds, dining table with six chairs, while most suites have two in-room Jacuzzis and three balcony areas.
- Los Portales Family Suite: This suite is perfect for parties of eight to ten and includes a suite with a king bed and another suite with two dbl beds. In total there are two sofa beds, two full bathrooms, and a connecting entryway. Ocean or mangrove view.
- NOTE: “Ocean view” in many cases translates to “partial ocean view”, unless the guest is a timeshare owner/member. Due to the resort’s “U” shape, many of the guest rooms are far away from the actual beach and ocean.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Two pools (adults-only and activities pool, no swim-up bar in either), two Jacuzzis, spa including a Temazcal hut, fitness center, meditation classes, beauty salon, motorized and non-motorized water sports, access to Tres Rios Nature Park with snorkeling and kayaking tours and opportunities, eco-park tours, nursery tours, Sense Adventure, Segway tours, bicycling/jogging path, hammock section, Bali beds/cabanas, video library, sports bar, theater, pool and beach wait service, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), “Exit Lounge” for departing guests, car rental, gift shop, concierge, tour desk, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet (Casa Las Islas, closed for dinner Wednesday and Sunday), four a la cartes including Asian fusion/sushi (Kotori–no teppanyaki tables), Mexican (El Alebrije), Italian (Porto Bello–12 yrs. of age and older), and international fare (Hacienda Grill). The Caribbean beach buffet party is on Wednesday evening, while the Mexican buffet with live Mariachi music is on Sunday evening. The Hacienda Grill and Victory Sports Bar also serve snacks, while the Patisserie Café de Paris serves coffee, tea, pastries, breads, and desserts. Pizzeria il Forno serves wood-fired pizzas and calzones poolside, while Terraza Martini serves formal midafternoon tea and snacks. No dining reservations are needed at any of these restaurants. Additional dining options are available which cost extra and do require reservations (Chef’s Table and Luna Maya). There are four bars including Terraza Martini, sports bar, tequila bar in the Mexican restaurant, and the poolside bar by the Hacienda Grill. There is no swim-up bar.
Entertainment: The on-site theater hosts nightly shows, casino and karaoke nights, DJ at the sports bar.