Fairmont Mayakoba

Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Of the 240 acres that make up the Mayakoba luxury hotel complex, 45—dotted with tropical forests, shimmering canals, and Caribbean coastline—comprise the Fairmont. Built with an environmentally friendly design (only boats, bikes, and golf carts are allowed on property), the resort can be enjoyed a la carte or as part of an all-inclusive plan, making it an easy choice for family or group getaways. Most of the 401 rooms are set inland, tucked among the dense foliage and deep lagoons, but a selection of upgraded suites are perched closer to the sea. All have bright decor accented by local textiles, soaking tubs, and balconies or furnished terraces, while suites and up have extras like rooftop terraces, private plunge pools, separate living rooms, and butler service. When not relaxing in their rooms, guests can enjoy on-property activities like boating on the canals, hiking on the nature trails, watersports along the reef, and relaxing on the beach or at the treetop Willow Stream Spa, where the treatments celebrate Mayan traditions. The larger Mayakoba development also features a Greg Norman-designed golf course. At the six restaurants and bars, menus feature local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, many of which are sourced from area co-ops, fisherman, and small producers. Should you want to learn more about local flavors, opt for an on-site cooking class or Mexican craft beer tasting.

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My, what big teeth you have

One of the residents at the eco-sensitive, gloriously beautiful Mayakoba resort on the Riviera Maya

Luxury Beach Resort

This AAA 5-Diamond resort is tucked into a jungle-beach setting along the Riviera Maya. The 401 guest rooms (including 34 suites), intertwining with the lush forest and graceful lagoons provide the perfect vacation getaway. The beach at the Fairmont Mayakoba is nothing short of a postcard everyday. White sand beaches a turquoise ocean and attentive staff looking after your every need. If you need to relax on a beach, enjoy great food, service. look no further than this resort.

Cucumber and Habenero Margarita

Overlooking the lagoon at Mayakoba, I enjoyed this interesting concoction of veggies and spice in a glass. Cucumbers are good for you so drink one soon. http://www.fairmont.com/mayakoba

Mexico's Eco-Luxe Mangroves

At the Fairmont Mayakoba hotel in Riviera Maya south of Cancun, rather than a mashup of rooms on the beach, most of the 401 suites are nestled along canals winding through mangrove forest. The result is a full-service hotel that feels like an intimate eco-retreat. From your patio, you’re viscerally aware of the scissor tail sergeant major fish swimming just feet away, the purple wine cup and golden trumpet flowers springing from the shadows, and blue herons flying over the thick tree canopy. “Most of the hotel is behind the mangrove and this is very important,” says Lyn Santos, ecology manager. “There are fish, turtles, crabs and migratory birds here now that were not before, and they’re making babies! So we know we’ve created a whole new ecosystem.” Getting to the spectacular beach is easy with mountain bikes scattered around the property that guests can just grab and go. Or you can hop aboard the thatch-roof “lancha” boats that navigate the canals. “People thought we were nuts when we built away from the beach,” says manager Germain Gallardo. “But our clientele is well educated about sustainability and they respect what we’ve accomplished.” At Greg Norman’s El Camaleón golf course, the golf carts come with GPS to help you get around. I’m motoring along the fairway and suddenly the cart goes dead. Seems I can only go in reverse. Back at the pro shop I learn the satellite technology shuts off the cart’s motor when you drive too close to a protected wildlife habitat.

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