Villa del Palmar Cancun
Luxury Beach Resort & Spa

Review of Zamá Restaurant at Villa del Palmar Cancun

Table of Contents

Cancun has many beautiful qualities; some are revered and expected. I, for one, anticipated the sight of the iconic turquoise waters, the warm white sand on my feet, and the fun of adventure tours. What I was not expecting was to have one of the best dining experiences in a resort restaurant. I was so pleasantly surprised with the tasting that I had to write a review of Zamá restaurant because when you find something great, you have to share it!

All-Inclusive Plan

Villa del Palmar Cancun

My husband and I were thrilled to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Cancun. This beautiful destination has become our favorite. We’ve visited Cancun many times and were looking for something different. We decided to stay at Villa del Palmar Cancun Luxury Beach Resort & Spa, a AAA Four Diamond-rated resort in an up-and-coming area of Cancun, Playa Mujeres, the perfect change of scenery we wanted. Villa del Palmar Cancun offers a Gourmet Culinary All-Inclusive Plan. This unique all-inclusive plan spotlights the exceptional gastronomy of the region. Looking back, I guess this was my first hint that the culinary experiences would be great. As part of our plan, we could choose from the five specialty restaurants in the resort. For our first evening out, we selected Zamá. The name didn’t offer any clues to the delicious journey we were about to begin.

The Concept – Ancestral Lineage with a Contemporary Flair

Since I was devoted to writing a review of Zamá restaurant, I had to find out the meaning of such a unique name. Zamá was the name the Mayas originally had for Tulum; it means dawn. The region of Cancun holds strong bonds to their Mayan heritage and pays homage through the flavors used, predominantly in Yucatecan cuisine. Situated in the center of the resort, surrounded by the relaxing atmosphere of the large pool areas, it already holds a grander space. Zamá is an open-air concept, perfect for Cancun’s hot days. It is circular with a roof design full of character, something like an elevated hut version if an architect envisioned it.

review of Zamá restaurant

We made reservations and dressed up to enjoy our first date night. Once we arrived, the friendly host greeted us – I have to say part of the excellent experience was the warm hospitality and great service we received. We were quickly seated at a table with spectacular ocean views. Next, our kind and knowledgeable server presented us with the menu. Our taste buds were about to encounter an explosion of flavors.

Yucatan Recipes

The Yucatan Peninsula’s recipes passed down through generations are Zamá’s main inspiration. Their specialty is using the region’s staple ingredients of corn, beans, avocados, chocolate, and pork in creative new ways.

Guest review of Zamá restaurant

After reading through the menu, I was excited and intrigued. I consider myself somewhat of a foodie and relish trying new things. We started our evening with a cocktail because who doesn’t like a cocktail in Cancun, right? The spirits offered were vibrant and exciting, just by the name you wanted to try them. My husband picked Maria Bonita, a refreshing white tequila infused with guava, lemon, and grapefruit with a splash of mineral water. I went the mezcal route and tried a Rosario Castellanos, made with white mezcal, spicy pineapple, and cilantro. They certainly set the stage for a unique experience. Already my hubby was so excited he wanted to review Zamá restaurant himself!

Spirits at Zamá restaurant

I was craving something light for our first course, and I also felt drawn to the originality of a fish vinaigrette, so I ordered an Ensalada de Nopal. This cactus salad was bright with fire-charred cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese. And of course, topped with the most original vinaigrette ever made of oregano and charales (local tiny dried fish, think a dried sardine type), the combination was a hit. My husband loves his tacos! He immediately went for Tacos de Atun. His tuna tacos were not your typical tacos, made with fresh red tuna, onion, chile serrano salsa, and almonds!

We were very excited to try our main dishes. Mexican cuisine is one of our favorites. However, we had no idea how varied it could be. My beautifully wrapped Mixiote arrived with the aroma and vibrant presentation I imagined. Mixiote is a traditional dish that steams delicious recipes neatly wrapped in a maguey leaf. This unique cooking technique perfectly infuses the red adobo flavors into the fish, shrimp, and charred prickly pear in my mouthwatering Mixiote, adding some crumbled goat’s cheese for some tang. My husband ordered Chamorro de Cerdo, a beautifully presented pork shank, on top of a smooth plantain purée, pickled purple onions, and habanero for a hit to his spice-loving palate.


We indulged in the perfect finish lines of dessert, crispy churros with chocolate and a modern take on a classic flan. Yum!

Deserts at Villa del Palmar Cancun

Best Classic Mexican Dishes

Zamá is also open for lunch. We enjoyed our dinner experience so much, we had to stop by and treat ourselves to lunch. As expected, it was indeed a treat. The menu is a light version of the dinner selection, but equally delicious and perfect for a midday meal. It highlights the best classic Mexican dishes, from bright ceviches, fajitas and quesadillas to red, green, and mole enchiladas! I ordered an octopus salad. It came in an exquisite presentation, grilled octopus strips set on an array of bright greens with cherry tomatoes, cambray onions, sesame seeds, olive oil, and olives. With his slightly larger appetite, my beau had to try the Tlayuda, which is something like a Mexican pizza made with a large thin and crispy corn tortilla, black beans, and Oaxaca cheese and topped with avocado, tomato, and, of course, juicy steak.

Tlayuda at Zamá Restaurant

Finally, let me conclude by sharing that of our many visits to Cancun, this was the most special of them all. Maybe it was the fact that we were celebrating ten great years together in a sunny, white-sand-beach paradise or that our all-inclusive plan was a foodie’s heaven. Staying at Villa del Palmar and booking the Gourmet All-Inclusive Plan, was the best decision ever!

White-sand-beach in Cancun

So, if you are looking for good food and a good experience on your next trip to Cancun, let my review of Zamá restaurant inspire you to embark on an authentic journey of Mexican cuisine.


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