Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
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Carretera Federal Cancun
An hour's drive south of Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula, Playa del Carmen is the gateway to miles of soft white beaches, popular snorkeling and scuba diving sites, and the famous Mayan ruins of Tulum. It's grown exponentially in the past decade, with the sprouting up of numerous all-inclusive resort complexes along the beachfront. A more exclusive alternative is the relatively new Mayakoba development, a 600-acre complex first unveiled in 2006 that's home to top-tier luxury-resort(+) More
An hour's drive south of Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula, Playa del Carmen is the gateway to miles of soft white beaches, popular snorkeling and scuba diving sites, and the famous Mayan ruins of Tulum. It's grown exponentially in the past decade, with the sprouting up of numerous all-inclusive resort complexes along the beachfront. A more exclusive alternative is the relatively new Mayakoba development, a 600-acre complex first unveiled in 2006 that's home to top-tier luxury-resort brands like Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, and Banyan Tree. But the first resort to welcome guests here was the Fairmont Mayakoba, and it continues to set the bar high.
Electric boats called lanchitas escort guests on a series of canals à la Venice to the beach, spa, and restaurants. Ninety low-lying casitas sprinkled throughout the lush grounds contain all of its 401 rooms. A marble-tiled bathroom, with separate sunken tub and walk-in shower, and spacious balconies are a few of the standard features.
Bordering the resort, snaking along the coast and inland through the rainforest-like interior, is the Greg-Norman designed golf course, El Camaleón. The par-72 course, including two seaside holes, is home to the PGA Tour in Mexico. After playing a morning round, hit the Fairmont's five pools, including an adults-only infinity pool and a children's pool with fun waterslides. Tennis, sea kayaking, and sailing are also available. In the cooler hours of the day, when the sun is rising or setting, partake in everyone's favorite activity: A quiet stroll along the beach where you can watch the breeze gently sift through the royal palms.
By all means, head off property and experience the sites and culture of the Yucatán. Children will have fun at Xel-Ha, a series of calm, shallow lagoons where you can safely teach them to snorkel. Farther south are the ruins of Tulum. Sixty ancient buildings, dating somewhere between 700 and 1000 A.D., are perched on a cliff directly above a palm-fringed beach.
Head into the town of Playa del Carmen to bargain with shop owners over the price of an embroidered dress, rug, hammock, or quartz sculpture. Then grab dinner at one of the seafood restaurants and dine on langosta (lobster), fresh red snapper, pollo pibil (chicken cooked in banana leaves), or poc chuc (spicy pork with onions and tomatoes), washed down with a cool Mexican beer.
If you prefer to dine by the beach, head back to the Fairmont and book a table at Las Brisas. Its signature appetizer, the sashimi trio, will whet your appetite for more treats. Fresh Pacific yellowfin tuna is prepared three wayswith a lemon twist, topped with foie gras, and served with marinated peppers. As the sun sets and you stare out at sea, you'll find it hard to think of a better place to spend the eveningindeed, your entire vacation.(-) Close
The Fairmont Mayakoba's lavish Riviera Maya accommodations include 401 elegant rooms, including 34 Suites located in a traditional low-rise hotel building and clustered throughout the property in 90 two-story Casitas with two to four rooms each.
Accommodations categories range from generous Fairmont rooms to Presidential Suites.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts manages the neighboring 18-hole El Camaleon designed by Greg Norman, site of the only official PGA TOUR event held outside US or Canada.
Situated in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Fairmont Mayakoba is approximately 42 miles or 70 km south of Cancun, within the Mayakoba resort development; a secure, 240-acre gated community surrounded by canals, shoreline and mangrove forests, which is only accessible via one main entrance point.
Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya's Mexican home is a unique mixture of interwoven cultures. While the host of free spirits and roamers that have long been attracted to this glorious peninsula have lent to the relaxed local culture a European style and flair for gracious living, travelers can bask in perfect solitude on uninhabited beaches, explore eco-parks or enjoy nearby Playa del Carmens exuberant nightlife.
Dining options include La Laguna Grill & Bar, an al fresco restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a tropical atmosphere and featuring a cozy lounge; Las Brisas (AAA Four Diamond), an elegant seaside restaurant featuring contemporary seafood; El Puerto (AAA Four Diamond), located in the main building; and Café Maya, a sunrise-to-sunset market cafe. Tropical cocktails, sushi and live music are offered in the Lobby Lounge and guests can swim up to the bar at Las Olas.
All day in-room dining is also available.
Fairmont is a member of the World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (WHA). The WHA was created to promote conservation, sustainable tourism, and economic development for communities located in and around UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Fairmont Mayakoba has been recognized with the esteemed AAA's Five Diamond Award in 2009, a prestigious honour coveted by properties throughout North America, but bestowed on a select few.
Expert Review of Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
Family Review of Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
Not only decorative, the waterways support lanchascovered boats that ferry the guests, and no cars are allowed in the complex. Travel options are by water, golf carts, bicycles, or simply walking. Allow yourself plenty of time to get pampered at Fairmonts noted 16,000-square-foot Willow Stream spa, then play tennis on one of eight courts or golf at the nearby El Camaleón, part of the 2007 PGA tour.
Why Families Love It:
The waterscapes canals and boats tend to attract young children. The hotel has a good beach and five pools, including a childrens pool with a waterslide, and the concierge can organize snorkeling, diving, and jungle tours upon request. The nearby ecological and archaeological park, Xcaret, exhibits Maya and Mexican culture and works to preserve the local environment and ecology.
The childrens program functions daily, year-round. Children ages four to eight are referred to as Discovery Club Expeditioners, and ages nine to 14 are Adventure Camp Explorers, where, with their parents permission, they may check themselves into and out of the program. Both groups go on treasure hunts, make Mexican toys, fashion Mayan clay masks, create piñatas, and go on daily beach excursions. Morning encounters take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($35). The afternoon program operates from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ($35); the twilight experience operates from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($50 with dinner); and the full day program lasts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($50).
As part of the Master Expeditioner program planned in 2007, teens 15 to 17 may choose five activities per day (fee to be determined). Among the day choices: take belly dance lessons, learn the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, tackle an obstacle challenge, and play blind volleyball. In the evening, teens meet around a moonlit bonfire, go on a boat ride, and take part in a costume party.
Special Events& Activities:
Mayakoba is a 15-minute drive from the town of Playa del Carmen, a good place to shop and people watch.