During 2012, my travels took me to five very different destinations throughout the world. I began and ended the year in tropical locations that are part of the United States of America—the Florida Keys and Kauai, Hawaii. Sandwiched in between were Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco, Africa; Riviera Maya, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, located off the coast of Ecuador in South America.
In looking back over these destinations, each spectacular in their own way, I thought about all the places I have temporarily called home—the hotels (and one a floating hotel) where I have laid my head (upon the satin pillowcase I take with me everywhere), but in very different locales. Which were my favorites?
Here is the third, which I am featuring in the order I visited them, with heartfelt thanks to all the staff at each of these world class resorts who made my stay so memorable!
Mayakoba Rosewood Resort
Riviera Maya, Mexico
(Visited May 2012)
The Mayakoba Rosewood Resort is located in Riviera Maya, Mexico, located 40 minutes south of the Cancun airport and 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen. (I visited in mid-May to explore the Mayan world at a critical juncture in the Mayan calendar—the Summer Solstice.)
It features 128 suites overlooking the lagoon or the beach—one of three resorts in a gated 1,600-acre complex that also includes the Fairmont and the Banyan Tree. Connecting the three are 20 acres of crystal clear lagoons bordered by a mangrove jungle. Guests who would like to enjoy the restaurants, spas, and other amenities of the other two are transported to and from via car or boat.
Why stay here?
• Its luxury suites. My lagoon view suite included a luxuriously appointed bedroom, an immense bathroom with garden shower and private toilet. A sitting room with wet bar and stocked refrigerator led to the outdoor terrace with plunge pool, overlooking the lagoons and mangroves. Other suites are beachfront.
Update: Since my visit, the resort has completed a $1.6 million renovation. Eighteen connecting suites are now available to better accommodate families and larger groups. Suites sleep up to six guests each.
• Personal butlers, who are ready to fulfill requests, day or night. May include anything from packing and unpacking luggage, to stocking the fridg with favorite beverages, to reconfirming flights and printing out boarding passes.
• Its carefully maintained ecosystem of dunes, mangroves and freshwater lagoons, home to myriad indigenous species of fish, birds and mammals. The recipient of the Rainforest Alliance’s Sustainable Standard Setter Award in 2011, a new nature trail was opened in December 2012 to allow further exploration of the surrounding habitat.
• To experience an outstanding level of service from servers and other staff who exceed expectations in countless ways.
While you are here:
• Schedule a tee-time at Mayakoba’s 18-hole golf course, El Camaleón, designed by Greg Norman. It has been home to the only PGA Tour event in Mexico—the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
• Luxuriate in the Sense spa, in a private island setting, with treatments based on traditional Maya healing methods. It was named a best spa in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Readers Poll.
• Sample over 100 tequilas in Rosewood’s Azul Raw Bar & Tequila Library. Arrange a tasting, with accompanying seafood ceviches and small bites. Casa Del Lago, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Punta Bonita beachfront grill, open for lunch and dinner, are additional dining options.
• Be prepared to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. You never know who will be there! Paul McCartney, perhaps? Sir Philip Green, British billionaire, retail mogul of TopShop, held his multi-million dollar 60th birthday bash here in 2012, attended by 150 celebrity guests.
Outside the resort:
Explore the Mayan ruins at Cobá and Tulum. Alltournative Tours offers several full or half-day cultural and adventure expeditions into the Mayan world.
Other recent kudos include:
For More Information:
www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/mayakoba or 1-888-Rosewood