Introducing Mayakoba: Luxury and Nature on the Riviera Maya

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?

Ecologically friendly

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.

Mayakoba Ecofriendly ResortWe spotted many birds as well as coati, a member of the racoon family and took lots more photos of the abundant wildlife.

Mayakoba bird
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.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba night
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?

Andaz Senkoe Oh, and did we mention the fantastic swimming pools?

Andaz Mayakoba swimming poolBeautiful Beach

The soft white sand beach is uncrowded and the sea was a lovely temperature on our visit.

Mayakoba beach Mexico
You can access each hotel by the beach and there’s a picturesque board walk at the far end near the Banyan Tree.

Mayakoba beach boardwalk
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 😉

Andaz Mayakoba lobbyDelicious 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…

Casa Bonita restaurant
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.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba foodUnique Experiences

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.

Mayakoba spa
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!

Mayakoba PGA golfNo 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?

El Pueblito Mayakoba

  • I had a tour of that beautiful property many years ago. I need to get back for a pampered stay !

    • You definitely should, Tara, it’s probably changed a lot yet it’s all been done so elegantly

  • The swimming pools really look so inviting!

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • They were lovely and there were so many of them! I particularly liked the beachside pool at Andaz as they have a DJ playing there

  • I totally and utterly fell in love with Mayakoba! Love your photos they really show what a vibrant and colourful place it is.

    • Thanks Angie, I know you loved it too and it’s nice to compare notes of the different places we stayed in!

  • Such a gorgeous place- and I love how it’s eco-friendly!

    Le Stylo Rouge

    • That was a huge plus in my book, they really make a lot of efforts to respect the environment

  • What a gorgeous place to escape cold London and soak up some sunshine, would love to hop on a plane to Mexico right now 🙂


  • What a beautiful place and those white sandy beaches look so inviting! I loved the video you put together. The boat tour around the property looks like a lot of fun. Now I’m dying to escape winter and go somewhere warm 🙂

    • I’ll let my hubby know as he put the video together – we both had fun filming it though! It’s really chilly in London today and I wish I was back there right now

  • What a dreamy location! I wish I could move there and live all year long. I bet I’d never grow tired of it 🙂

  • that looks amazing! guess I should add it to my travel bucket list 🙂

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  • Kristen

    So dreamy! And I love that you made a video!!! Thanks for sharing :))

  • Thanks for this comprehensive review of the Mayakoba resort, Suze. It’s been over 15 years since we were in Mexico and I have to admit things change very rapidly there. I see more and more luxury resorts around the country’s mesmerizing beaches. I am very tempted to check out this one.

    • My pleasure, Anda and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with this resort as they’ve got everything you could possibly hope for!

  • Deepika Gumaste

    This is incredible. Looks like you had a wonderful time with dreamy pools, luxurious hotel and scrumptious feast. Wow

  • This place looks glorious! I am so cold right now I need to go

  • A wonderful guide to getting the most out of Mayakoba! The pool area of your chosen hotel looks so dreamy – and you weren’t kidding when you said the board walk was picturesque!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • There were quite a few pool areas, we were spoiled for choice! I also liked the pool with giant inflatables

  • Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe

    This looks like an amazing resort with something for everyone. I’ve not been to Mexico but would consider this place for the dining alone.

    • You should definitely try to visit, Lyn as the food was amazing – a lot of variety and all very tasty!

  • Wow Suze, could definitely have done with a slice of this in today’s freezing weather!!

  • Hayley Rubery

    Sure this looks like the DREAM.. you always give me such wanderlust haha! I’ve never actually been to Mexico but would love to visit (especially after reading this post!).

    Hayley xo

    • I reckon you would love it there, everything is so much fun – the people, the food and getting around on those bikes!

  • We visited the Riviera Maya recently, but didn’t make it to Mayakoba – it looks fabulous! (One place we stayed was the Grand Velas Riviera Maya – also very luxurious and nearby; we loved it there.) Those boat trips around the Mayakoba grounds look like fun :-).

    • You must have been very close by, it’s a stunning area isn’t it. The boat trips were great and I couldn’t believe how many birds and turtles we saw!

  • Sarah E. Albom

    Wow this looks absolutely stunning! I recently went to Argentina – not the same as Mexico, but still Spanish speaking – but there’s nothing like this there.

  • The linked luxury hotels in Mayakoba look incredible! From beaches to bars, boardwalks and yummy restaurants, everything looks perfect and a great place to relax and unwind. I’m putting the Riviera Maya at the top of my Mexico bucket list!

    • It was so handy to be able to visit all 4 hotels, really added some variety to our trip!

  • To say Mayakoba looks fantastic would be an understatement! This is definitely one of my favourite posts and it looks like you had the most wonderful time. I love the colours and vibrancy of Mexico which you’ve captured so beautifully. Also loving all your outfits! Can’t wait to read more of your posts on this trip 🙂

    • I’m very glad that you enjoyed reading it – Mexico certainly felt very vibrant in terms of food and art

  • Vishal

    We are planning a trip to RM and your post have given us a possible destination idea. Photos are so amazing, our 50% decision is made because of them to visit Mayakoba.

    • It’s such an amazing place, I hope that you do get to experience it. I’ll be posting more about it next week so that might sway you!

  • I think I stayed really close to this hotel when I was in Mexico. It’s a magical part of the country. Resort looks so lovely – did you enjoy floating around on that pink flamingo?!

    • Yes I had a great time on the flamingo – I couldn’t get on top of the swan despite a few attempts!

      • Ha ha it’s definitely one of those moments you hope no one’s filming!

  • What an amazing stay. Haven’t been to that part of the country but looks so nic. That mural is just great. 🙂

  • An absolutely luxurious stay. The views are just amazing. I think you had posted the pic of the beach on instagram and even there I was in awe of how lovely it looked.

  • Jennifer @ MatDifference

    I love how the resort seems to blend into the landscape. It looks like it be longs there. That octopus mural is amazing. I would love a post card of just that.

    • And an added bonus is that we got to meet the creator of the mural, Senkoe! I’ll be writing more about that soon

  • Definitely one of my favorite properties! Love the video, Suze. Your photos are beautiful as always. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Travel with Pedro

    That’s one place I really want to visit when I go to Mexico again. Such an amazing property!

  • I’ve yet to go to Mexico- these resorts are incredible. I love that they are eco friendly and beautiful! Pinning this for future travel!

  • The place looks so dreamy!!! Would definitely consider Mayakoba when I travel to Mexico. I am liking it already thanks to your post and the photos! 🙂

  • Love all of your photos Suze! It looks like such a gorgeous place to visit – what a little paradise!!

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