Le Méridien, a longtime luxury favorite on the beachfront between the Caribbean and Laguna Nichupté, was taken over in the summer of 2012 by the Spanish Sandos chain, which extensively renovated the property and turned it into a high-end all-inclusive resort oriented toward adults. Public spaces have taken on a pleasing mix of Art Deco and Maya motifs, while the spacious guest rooms have a crisp, modern look in nearly monochromatic shades of ivory and white. Because of the resort's orientation, no rooms have full water views, but all have partial ocean or lagoon views. All but the standard rooms have balconies or terraces. The well-regarded Aioli is gone; four revamped restaurants now offer international fare, Caribbean dinners, upscale Asian, and molecular (experimental and science-based) cuisine. The European-style Spa del Mar is still the jewel of the property, with 12 treatment rooms, an outdoor whirlpool, steam rooms, and a wide array of treatments drawing upon sea plants and marine algae. Also surviving are the three beautiful cascading infinity pools, though construction of the Secrets the Vine resort next door now shades the pool area by mid-afternoon.
- Christine Delsol