Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
Mayakoba: A Hidden Treasure of the Riviera Maya
Nestled almost halfway between Cancun and Tulum in Mexico, we discovered the seaside resort of Mayakoba, a luxury refuge in a peaceful and wild setting that will never make you see this region in the same way.
by : Cynthia Quellet- Mar 23rd, 2023
First known as a golfing destination with an 18-hole course that hosts the famous PGA Tour, Mayakoba’s charm has quickly taken on more. With its four luxury hotels scattered among the dense ambient vegetation, this resort offers an upscale experience in every way.
Among them is the Andaz Mayakoba Hotel, built in 2016 at the heart of this 500+ acre estate, bordered on one side by the Caribbean Sea and on the other by a series of lagoons and canals that wind their way through the mangrove.
Andaz Mayakoba: Guided Tour
The entrance is spectacular with an open circular roof lobby overlooking a body of water to admire the cenotes of the region. We are offered, like the Mayas, to throw a pebble into it and make a wish. The tone is set!
The room with view on the lagoon is spacious and well equipped. From the balcony, our eyes are lost in the clear waters of the lagoon which winds through the heart of lush vegetation. You can see fish and turtles while the birds sing cheerfully. We breathe deeply. Logout mode activated!
The hotel, made up of one floor buildings spread over a wide perimeter – and decorated with colorful murals painted by local artists – fits perfectly into the natural landscape. From the suites and rooms on the seafront to the accommodations in the lagoon area, it is easy to get around by bicycle (provided by the hotel) or by golf cart.
We fell in love with the lagoon swimming pool, with its multiple pools that delight young and old both with the varied depths and with the huts fitted out to get in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. The place is as conducive to a siesta as it is to the observation of several species of birds with bright colors and captivating songs. The extent of the hotel allows you to benefit from a remarkable ambient tranquility: whether in the swimming pools or on the beach, you never feel that there are people.
The white sand beach, its cozy cushions and its turquoise waters invite you to deep relaxation. As much as we are delighted to be able to frolic in the clear water with our children without fear of the waves and on a beach cleaned of algae, it is a bit sad that the vast blue expanse is interspersed with several artificial protective barriers.
The cuisine is undoubtedly one of the strong points of the establishment. The quality of the food offered, the service and the presentation are to be commended. Far from the traditional buffets which overflow with food, the choices here are more limited, the dishes served at the table (except for the breakfast buffet) in an enchanting setting. You can taste authentic and seasonal Mexican cuisine, prepared with fresh local ingredients and more international recipes that are deliciously executed. Also note the presence of appetizing gluten-free and vegetarian options.
The two restaurants not to be missed :
Sotavento: On the beach with your feet in the sand, enjoy a meal with Mediterranean flavors at sunset with live music.
Casa Amate: It includes a view of the lagoon, perfect to taste traditional dishes from Latin America.
The recently added all-inclusive offer destabilizes a little at the beginning with its bills to be signed at the end of each drink or meal order but we get used to it! The majority of dishes and several wine options are included in the formula and others are available at an additional cost. We can also go to the restaurants of the other three hotels on the site and have the bill put on our room. Convenient!
SotaventoAndaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
Casa AmateAndaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
Casa AmateAndaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
5 must-try activities
Boat tour on the lagoon
We started our first day with a walk in the heart of the estate aboard an electric boat that sails on the lagoon and the mangroves: 45 minutes of wonder in front of this raw nature where many birds nest, where “small » alligators (removed from the site and transported to a dedicated site once they have grown too big…) and where even spider monkeys play.
Boat tours are free. It is possible to have breakfast on the boat. The meal is extra.
Nature Trail by bike
It was by bike that we set off on the Chemin de la Nature trail to discover the natural treasures of this preserved area. The marked route, surrounded by palm trees and other bright green plants, winds through the heart of the estate and allows you to walk along the golf course, glimpse the meanders of the lagoon and even discover a natural cenote. Obligatory stop and visit with the guide to descend into this cave with clear waters which is home to a colony of 200 bats and plenty of fish. The Mayans went there to meet the spirits.
In the same place is a hive of Melipona bees. The guide invites us to enter the shelter, in the middle of the bees (this species has no stinger so does not sting) to discover them bustling around a tree stump; “surveillance” bee stationed at the entrance to the hive to control access!
Bicycles for children (free) and models with carts are also available to transport the little ones (paying).
Cenote - El PueblitoaNDAZ MAYAKOBA RESORT RIVIERA MAYA
Hot Honey Massage at Naum Spa
We cycle to the Naum spa, discreetly nestled in the heart of the lagoon area, to receive a treatment inspired by traditional Mayan treatments: the Melipona honey ritual. Produced locally by the Melipona bees of Mexico, this honey is credited with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and healing properties that make it an elixir widely used by Mayan healers.
Our few minutes of interrogation on the ease of honey to slip on our skin quickly flew away by feeling the hot liquid spread on our body under the expert hands of Fabiola, our massage therapist. The ambient scent of lavender essential oil helps us let go for the ultimate disconnect during this relaxing full body massage followed by a honey face mask. We slowly come to our senses when it comes time to go under a hot shower to rinse off before applying a honey cream. We end the experience with the sound of a rain stick, with a light spirit and radiant skin. It is clear the next morning that the slight sunburn on our shoulders have disappeared. Magic!
$275 USD for 75 minutes
Spa NaumaNDAZ MAYAKOBA RESORT RIVIERA MAYA
Traditional cooking class
Direction El Pueblito, a pretty square with colorful facades, located a few minutes by cart from the hotel to take a cooking class. Among other things, we learned the secret of a good guacamole and prepared salsa verde and chicken tacos
with the very friendly Chef Sandra and her team. Discoveries, discussions, flavors and tastings await you for this activity which can be done individually, with the family or in groups. A must for an immersion in the local culture!
From $100 USD per person.
For longer stays, consider exploring the Playa del Carmen area and other nearby tourist attractions, such as the Mayan ruins of Tulum and the natural parks of Yucatán. As far as we are concerned, we enjoyed getting together with the family in the heart of nature (far from the cars) to have fun spotting wild parakeets, looking in vain for spider monkeys, collecting shells and resting to the song of the birds, that we have not left the hotel, however well located it is!
Good to know:
– The Andaz hotel, which belongs to the Hyatt group, opened in 2016
– It is composed of 214 rooms
– It is 35-40 minutes from Cancun airport
– 4 species of turtles (among the 7 present in the Caribbean Sea) come to lay their eggs on Mayakoba beach in the spring. A turtle egg protection program has been in place since 2010.
– A coral restoration program was set up in Mayakoba in 2017 to protect the world’s second largest barrier reef and help corals reproduce. Opportunity to meet a biologist on site to learn more about the various local initiatives for the preservation of the environment.
To find out more visit: hyatt.com
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