Mexico's Beachfront Beauty
The jewel of the Riviera Maya is the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, a perfect snowbird escape.
Lovebirds seeking to escape the snow and ice should fly south to the East Coast of Mexico, also known as the Riviera Maya, a favorite playground for snowbirds seeking to thaw out in sugar-white sand, turquoise waters and abundant sunshine.
Once you land in Cancun, your choices for accommodation, all-inclusive and otherwise, are as abundant as the Yucatan Peninsula’s beauty. But if you want an exclusive and upmarket stay, where the guests around you value their privacy and conduct themselves in a discerning manner, you cannot go past Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, a 20-minute drive from Cancun.
Conceived on a grand scale—a tranquil oceanfront acreage designed as both an homage to the Mayan jungle village that once stood there, and as a magnet for
luxury-seeking travelers. Maroma has the scale of a 5-star resort, but the low key and eco-friendly design contributes to the feeling of a private oasis. Two large pools are discretely positioned within the property’s grounds, and the grand Spanish Colonial lobby, decorated with bold and original artworks, feels more like it belong in a Mexican’s magnate’s mansion than in a brand name hotel.
Depending on your budget (and this is the place to go all out), you have a choice of suites, each with its own style. This is not a cookie cutter property. Each room is designed to resonate with its individual guests. I fell in love with my one- bedroom suite, especially its oceanfront balcony where I could relax and gaze at the azure horizon. At sundown you can take a beer onto your terrace and languish in your private plunge pool, or snooze in your hammock. If you’re lucky enough to snap up one of those suites, you’ll never want to leave. But of course, the beach beckons, and Maroma boasts its own private beach. It is so exclusive that there are always more chaises and umbrellas on the sand than guests, and a server to greet you and fetch the beverage of your choice.
There are many activities and attractions to draw you away from your sweet suite, such as an art class, or a yoga session beneath a soaring palapa, or an exquisite massage from a dedicated and professional therapist in a transcendental Mayan setting. The spa treatments incorporate herbs grown at the spa, and natural and locally made ingredients with remedial properties such as honey from bees, which are carefully tended by the female spa attendants. The homemade hive of indigenous bees is one way of acknowledging the matriarchal society of the Mayans, and also contributing to the wellbeing of the environment. While you are in the spa, visit the gift shop and pick up a bottle of herbal potion to assist you in attracting love or making your dreams come true!
We’d be remiss not to mention the plentiful dining options on property. They are so good you need never leave, not even to experience the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of Playa Del Carmen, only 15 minutes away. While at Maroma we sampled delectable homemade tortillas for breakfast, and pancakes made with local honey and chocolate. For a really exquisite lunch, take part in Chef Gabriel’s cooking classes on the beach where you might try dishes such as freshly prepared guacamole, locally caught prawns in green chilies, or so- fresh-it’s-still swimming- red snapper, blackened with mole spices—and to drink, a healthy lime margarita with chia seeds!
Both El Restaurante for breakfast, and El Sol Tapas & Restaurant for date night dining, serve authentic, top quality Mexican food using locally sourced organic ingredients. For a fun and raucous treat, book out La Cantina or join with other guests for the Chef’s Table of specially selected street food paired with robust and revelatory tequila and mescal shooters. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about the noble art of turning agave into alcohol—while getting delightfully tipsy. For something very casual from, maybe a glass of champagne and some sushi, hang out at Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche on the beach and watch the waves.
To work it off, take advantage of the state-of-the-art gym. And there’s always that endless, tranquil beach to stroll and feel blessed that you rewarded yourself with the romantic brand of luxury that has made Belmond famous.
Gay-friendly factor: Here it is high, with Belmond staff trained to cater to the LGBT traveler. Plus, we can confirm that some of the staff at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa are gay and lesbian themselves, and will warmly welcome you and your mate!
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