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Government Rejects 3 New Cancun Hotel Projects As Essential Services Verge On Collapse

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The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has rejected three new large hotels that were proposed for the hotel zone of Cancun. The hotel projects worth over $273 million USD would have added over 1350 more hotels rooms to the highly congested hotel zone of Cancun. The area is one of the most sought after locations In the area as it boasts the postcard perfect white sand beaches and perfect aqua blue waters.

Three 12 story hotels were proposed consisting of just under 500 rooms each. Two of the hotel brands were confirmed to be the Grand Island and RIU Riviera Cancun. The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) agreed with the announcement saying that essential services in Cancun’s hotel zone are on the verge of collapse. Basic services such as water and sanitation can not handle anymore development at this time.

“Fonatur is against over development without first respecting the essential services that current exist according to master plans,” Alejandro Varela Arellano who is the Director of of Tourism Promotion said.

“The number of rooms the projects proposed exceeds the capacity of services that exist.”

Environmental Agency Expresses Concern Over Projects

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources was the official governing body that has shut down the hotel projects. Over 60% of the hotels development would have destroyed a natural mangrove vegetation area. Concerns were also expressed regarding an existing sea turtle camp that would be lost to the projects.

The three hotels proposed would have consisted of 432 rooms, 428 rooms and 495 rooms and all 12 stories tall.

RIU Riviera Cancun Has Faced Massive Controversy

This isn’t the first time the hotel project has hit roadblocks. What wasn’t discussed at the recent press conference was that the Riu Riviera Cancun has been under construction for years. Little is known about how far the project has come but it is safe to say that foundation has been laid.

At the end of 2020, Brisas Group of the Cossio family filed an injunction to stop the construction of the new Riu. It was reported that the lawsuit was filed to protect the group’s crown jewel, the Hotel Nizuc which will be next door to the new Riu.

Hotel Riu Palace Las Américas

While construction has remained steady over the last couple years, the RIU Riviera Cancun has faced 17 lawsuits but have won then all. The hotel was given its environment permits in 2015 by the government but a new report in 2016 highlighted that there was a lack of resources to treat waste water in the area.

Only time will tell if the Riu Riviera Cancun will open its doors but so far they seem to have overcome every obstacle put in there way.


The Cancun Hotel Zone is also known as ‘Zona Hotelera’ or ‘Tourist Zone.’ It is a narrow 14 Mile long island where the majority of tourists spend most of their time during their Cancun holiday. The hotel zone is also known for having mega-luxury resorts that people travel all over the world to see. Two of the top rated hotels in the area are the Hyatt Zilara and LeBlanc Spa Resort.

cancun hotel zone

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