Mexico is one of the most popular holiday destinations with beautiful beaches, spectacular Mayan temples and delicious food. Tourism initially grew at such a fast rate that some areas became a little over-commercialized. So it’s heartening to discover an area of the coast that is totally unspoiled. Step forward Mayakoba, an eco-friendly resort development on the Riviera Maya where architecture and nature exist in perfect harmony. Biologists and geologists were consulted during the design to ensure that the resort meets the highest standards of conservation. We recently visited this innovative luxury retreat to see for ourselves how it works in practice. We’ll be sharing our experiences and sun-filled photos to give you a taster of this corner of paradise. It’s less than 40 minutes from Cancun International Airport yet close to Tulum, so an ideal location. Let’s take a look around, shall we?
Mayakoba has successfully integrated its four resorts into the landscape whilst enhancing the area’s natural charm. The mangroves have been preserved and guests can admire them when using the Mayakoba Connection Ferry Service, which links the hotels by electric boat. There are also regular complimentary guided boat trips around the extensive grounds. A four and a half kilometer nature trail connects the hotels, golf course and El Pueblito village square and is a peaceful place to walk, run or cycle.
We spotted many birds as well as coati, a member of the racoon family and took lots more photos of the abundant wildlife.
Four Luxurious Hotels
With four 5 star hotels, the only difficulty is choosing which one to stay in! The Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood are joined by the recently opened Andaz. Each one has a luxurious spa, gourmet restaurants and its own striking architecture.
We loved the quirky murals created by internationally renowned Playa del Carmen artist, Senkoe. They really reflect the vibrancy of Mexican culture, don’t you think?
Oh, and did we mention the fantastic swimming pools?
The soft white sand beach is uncrowded and the sea was a lovely temperature on our visit.
You can access each hotel by the beach and there’s a picturesque board walk at the far end near the Banyan Tree.
You could also opt to get around by bike as each hotel has its own set of bicycles that are available for guests to borrow. We loved the cool cruiser bikes at Andaz – you just need to remember to pedal backwards to brake 😉
Delicious Dining at Mayakoba
All four hotels have a wide range of dining options and it’s easy to try them all out as each hotel will simply charge your room. There are a variety of fun ways to get from one property to another – by bike, electric boat, golf cart or a walk along the beach. Mexico is famous for its cuisine and we loved the colourful food presentation. It’s also a lot healthier than I had anticipated, from tapas style Mexican specialties at Punta Bonita at Rosewood…
To fresh seafood at Sands at Banyan Tree, dining at Mayakoba is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. We were lucky to dine in all four hotels and will be sharing lots more foodie photos in upcoming posts.
Whether you prefer a relaxing spa treatment at one of the four hotels or a more energetic activity, there’s something for everyone at Mayakoba. We loved Naum Wellness & Spa at Andaz, which has six treatment rooms and two hydrotherapy spaces. Our couples’ massage took place in an individual pavilion with its own private outdoor space to unwind and enjoy the scenery.
If you’re a golf fan, you will love El Camaleón Golf Course. It hosts the only official PGA TOUR event in Mexico, the OHL Classic. The 18 hole course was designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman to be a real challenge yet pleasurable for all levels. There’s also the Jim McLean Golf School, the only site in Mexico of the number one golf school in America. As for the golf carts that transport guests to and from their rooms, they’re adorned with quotes by famous artists such as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali!
No trip to Mayakoba would be complete without a visit El Pueblito, the Mexican Plaza at the heart of the resort. There are some lovely shops as well as cafés and restaurants, a cookery school and a weekly farmer’s market. As you can see, Mayakoba has it all – you won’t want to leave!
What would your favourite activity be? Have you ever visited the Riviera Maya or Mexico?