Formerly known as Paradisus Riviera Cancun, Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun has worked very hard in the last several years to make this resort one of the premiere family-friendly all-inclusives in the Riviera Maya. The parent company, AMResorts, updated the spa, Jr. Suites, menu selections, fitness center, and re-trained staff in order to give vacationers a fantastic resort experience. The resort itself is set in the midst of a mangrove preserve over a mile off the main highway. The grounds are lush with bougainvillea and various flowering plants, mature palms, well-manicured hedges, and natural flora. The Spanish Colonial style of the buildings mixes quite nicely with the numerous fountains and additional water features, courtyard areas, marble floors, thatched palapa roofs, and open-air public spaces to give this resort a tropical yet sophisticated ambiance. Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun has retained its AAA Four Diamond rating for several consecutive years showing its commitment to service in addition to its stellar amenities.
The general check-in area is a grand space with its high, thatched palapa roof, bronze statues, wrought-iron chandeliers, and comfortable seating options. Guests booked into Preferred Club rooms (an upgraded amenity) are whisked away to the nearby Preferred Club Lounge for their own separate check-in experience. During a stay at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun, many guests tend to congregate at the open-air lobby before or after dinner for drinks at the bar, to make new friends, or to exchange travel stories. There are many enchanting water features surrounding this part of the resort–fountains and shallow pools surround the multiple walkways linking the lobby area, restaurants, and theater.
While the lobby bar is the social hub of the resort, the main pool is the star attraction. This immense freeform pool is large enough to offer several different sections with various in-pool amenities including many built-in loungers and accompanying tables, a swim-up bar, a Jacuzzi in the middle of the northern pool section (look for the Grecian-looking columns), numerous small waterfalls, a central fountain, a gazebo surrounded by more built-in loungers, and a large gradual entry with supportive railing. In addition to the main pool, there are three additional pools onsite including the secluded and quiet Preferred Club pool with its own bar and surrounding Bali beds, the children’s pool over by the Kid’s Club, and what used to be the “sports” pool over by the teen club. Loungers and shade umbrellas are available at both the main and Preferred Club pools; Bali beds, however, must be reserved with the pool concierge a day prior to use. While the Bali beds at the Preferred Club pool are free to Preferred Club guests, Bali beds in other resort areas are an additional cost.
The beach is steps away from the main pool and offers shade palapas and loungers; most loungers are “reserved” with personal items by 8 a.m. This is a wide and lengthy beach area perfect for long walks in either direction–Puerto Morelos is a 40-min. walk south so it’s best to be prepared for the trek. (Those who don’t want to walk to Puerto Morelos can take advantage of the complimentary bicycle tour which the resort offers each morning at 9 a.m.). Ocean swimmers may be somewhat disappointed since this beach section of the Riviera Maya tends to accumulate sea grass or sargassum making it occasionally difficult to wade or swim–staff does their best to collect it several times a day when necessary, but it can be a never-ending battle. Preferred Club guests have several advantages when it comes to enjoying the beach including having access to the beach bar with swings for seats, or having easy access to certain categories of upgraded guest rooms such as Beachfront Jr. Suites which are only steps away from loungers and shade palapas.
All guest rooms include a separate seating area along with a terrace or balcony; some balconies also include a Jacuzzi tub. Room décor consists of light tan walls, mahogany furniture, marble floors, and white linens with brown, orange, or light green accents. All the standards of a comfortable vacation are provided including digital safes, mini-bars, flat screen TV’s, steam irons, coffee makers, robes and slippers, and alarm clocks with iPod docks. Blocks of guest suites have three floors but no elevators.
Since Now Sapphire is located off the beaten track and far from the main road, it is good to know that it does have its own nightclub, theater, special movie nights, and late night activities for both children and teenagers. Daytime activities include bike rides, complimentary hydrotherapy circuit for Preferred Club guests, spa Temazcal ceremony, tennis courts, non-motorized watersports, crazy pool games, and complimentary greens fees at Grand Coral Riviera Maya and El Tinto golf courses.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Grounds, beach bar with swings, large main pool, free WiFi with mobile app
Con: Lots of sea grass, isolated location, some bathrooms have a shower curtain
Best Suited For: Families with children from age 4-9, wedding destination
No. of Rooms: 496
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, mini-bar, digital safe, flat screen TV, sofa, desk, table and two chairs, ceiling fan, alarm clock radio with iPod dock, coffee maker, telephone, clothes steamer, robe and slippers, hair dryer, shower, bidet, toiletries, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi with mobile app download; free international calling to the USA, Canada, and Mexico is also included with the app download. Here is a brief rundown of non-Preferred Club room categories:
- Deluxe Jr. Suite Tropical View: King or two dbl beds, tub/shower combo. Garden view.
(Preferred Club Amenities)
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun also offers an upgraded service called the Preferred Club. Amenities include the following:
- private check-in/out
- exclusive concierge
- exclusive pool concierge
- premium guest room building location
- access to the Preferred Club Lounge with continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, top-shelf liquor, and complimentary computer use
- adults-only pool and bar with reservation-only poolside Bali beds
- exclusive beach bar
- Beachfront Jr. Suites have balcony Jacuzzis
- upgraded mini-bar with small bottles of liquor, toiletries, and room service menu
- pillow menu
- complimentary daily newspaper
- complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit (20 min. p/person, once p/stay)
Preferred Club room categories include the following:
- Jr. Suite Tropical View: King or two dbl beds, tub/shower combo. Garden view.
- Jr. Suite Oceanfront View: King or two dbl beds, balcony with Jacuzzi.
- Jr. Suite Beachfront View: King or two dbl beds, terrace with Jacuzzi. Located on the ground floor with direct beach access.
- Governor Suite: Canopied four-poster king bed, separate living room with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs and ottomans, wet bar, dining room with table and four chairs, expansive balcony with raised Jacuzzi, two full loungers, table and two chairs. Ocean view.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Four pools (main pool with swim-up bar, adults-only pool for Preferred Club guests, children’s and teen pools), spa, Temazcal huts, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts (bring tennis balls), non-motorized water sports, Euro bungee, daily bicycle tour into Puerto Morelos, giant chess, pool floats, pool and beach wait service, afternoon poolside snack delivery, Kid’s Club (ages 3-12), playground, teen club, theater, disco, beach hammocks, Bali beds, concierge, tour desk, gift shop, jewelry shop, car rental, medical services, ATM, and complimentary greens fees at Grand Coral Riviera Maya and El Tinto golf courses.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet restaurant (Market Café), five a la cartes including Mexican (Fresco), Asian (Lemongrass–teppanyaki show tables), Mediterranean (Cibu), seafood (Bluewater Grill), and the adults-only French restaurant (Paramour). Reservations are not required with the exception of the teppanyaki tables at Lemongrass. There is a poolside grill for lunch (Barefoot Grill), and a 24-hr. café (Coco Café) which serves coffee, deli snacks, and pastries. There are six bars including the lobby bar, swim-up bar/poolside bar, Preferred Club pool bar/beach bar, and disco bar.
Entertainment: The theater hosts nightly shows, beach fire show, poolside DJ in the afternoons, live music in the lobby at night, poker night, and an onsite nightclub.