A pristine ecology and rich Mayan traditions make for an unforgettable experience at the Fairmont Mayakoba – Riviera Maya, Mexico
BY CARMEN EDELSON
The luxurious Fairmont Mayakoba resort is set in the Mayakoba gated community, an exclusive enclave along the Riviera Maya. Nestled among 240 acres of tropical forest and surrounded by crystal clear canal waterways and the pristine Caribbean shoreline, the resort achieves a unique balance of luxury and the exotic for an experience unlike any other. You quickly discover what makes this property worthy of its AAA Diamond rating.
Designed as a sustainable, eco-conscious environment, the development of Mayakoba, which means “city on the water” in Mayan, carefully guards the ecology in which it was so meticulously built. The walkways of the hotel are designed to preserve the indigenous mangrove forests and protect the hundreds of species of local birds and animals that inhabit them. The hotel is a car-free zone; covered boats called lanchas, electric golf carts, and bicycles are the only options for getting around the sprawling grounds other than on foot. Located 40 miles south of Cancun, this retreat feels remote but offers easy access to the vibrant town of Playa del Carmen.
Carefully intertwined within mangroves, the Fairmont Mayakoba feels like an extension of its natural environment. Set back from the sea, the 401 rooms and suites are casual, but elegant – boasting spa style bathrooms and balconies with picturesque views of the ocean or tropical forest. There are 34 Casitas, which are clusters of two or four rooms in pretty two-story buildings with a distinctively Asian design, located in the beach and lagoon areas.
There are many activities for the nature lover and the adventurous-at-heart. Fairmont Mayakoba has five pools throughout the property. An array of beach activities and water sports are available for guests including a jet ski and a catamaran to take out at your leisure. Stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking and snorkeling activities are offered free of charge.
The hotel also offers a complimentary nature tour through the mangrove waterways. If you are a bird watcher, don’t forget your binoculars! You will definitely encounter an incredible variety of birds that you have likely never seen before.
El Caméléon, one of the best golf courses in the world, (host of the annual OHL Classic), is located within the Mayakoba Community. The 18-hole, par 72 course was designed by golf great Greg Norman and certified by Audubon International. It is one of the main draws of the resort.
The resort has recently undergone a culinary and design overhaul. Under the direction of world-renowned chef, Richard Sandoval, all four restaurants –Lobby Lounge, El Puerto, Brisas and La Laguna — now offer heightened dining experiences. In keeping with their commitment to maintain environmental sustainability, local and organic foods are used to create the modern Mexican, Latin and coastal inspired dishes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience all of this first-hand with the resort’s cooking classes. Guided by the hotel’s culinary team, guests can tour the main kitchen and prepare local and authentic Mayan recipes.
Named from the deeply rooted strength and flexibility of the willow tree, and the constant flow of a stream, the Willow Stream spa calls on the tradition, mysticism and sensuality of ancient Mayan Culture. With a wide range of treatments categorized to offer relief, restoration or results, the 20,000 square foot facility features 20 treatment rooms including a unique treetop couple’s suite, plus two mineral pools and steam rooms. Also included are a full-service Fitness Center and a Beauty Salon. Once guests book a treatment, they can enjoy access to the spa all day – so take advantage of this perk!
This Mayan treasure offers a rare glimpse into eco-luxury done well. Offering an opportunity for the exploration of a pristine ecosystem along with all the tastes, sights and experiences of Mayan traditions with modern conveniences, this resort is a must-see for the nature and luxury lover.
For more information visit Fairmont Mayakoba
Carmen Edelson is Editor in Chief of the award winning blog, www.Carmensluxurytravel.com.