We love that Mexico is steeped in tradition and that there is so much to love about it. From the country’s sunny disposition to its serene vibe, there are few places like it on earth. Most of us have already been there many times...we’ve done the spring breaks, the family getaways, and perhaps, the bachelor/bachelorette event destinations. Now, for something newer and different, we recommend the Andaz Mayakoba in the Riviera Maya, a Hyatt concept, as your very next retreat to get away from it all. Once you’re on the ocean with the breeze blowing through your hair you’ll know what true relaxation really is.
Once you hop on a quick flight, from two to three hours from most Texas cities, into Cancun, you’ll soon be on your way an hour’s drive to the serene Andaz, whisked away by a private shuttle arranged by the property. The natural beauty that surrounds the region is also home to an idyllic range of flora and fauna that set the tone for a relaxing adventure. Upon arriving at the grand entrance, the friendly team is there to greet you in front of the large, cenote-inspired water feature. Once given a stone to toss into the aqua element, you’re encouraged to make a wish, or intention, for the stay. I wished for serenity for the next few days, and it came true.
In most of Mexico’s resorts today, a modern sense of design and architecture help you feel like you are somewhere special. At the Andaz, the mostly white and gray color theme of the rooms and suites blend seamlessly into the verdant growth that envelops the resort. Waking up to the exotic birds singing amongong the lagoon’s many haciendas is a treat. After all, Mayakoba is a 620 acre vista filled with lagoons, jungles, and beaches. Think of it as a secure gated community consisting of luxury private residences, as well as three hotels along with the Andaz: Rosewood, Banyan Tree, and Fairmount. The best part of this collaborative is that you can visit these other nearby resorts, enjoy their amenities, and sign it to your room at the Andaz.
“Here, it's an amazing concept to have the four resorts, sharing the same world. We share some activities like the diving center and the lagoon,” stated Andaz General Manager Pascal Dupuis when we had breakfast. “This is all about embracing the culture while you are here. Everything we do, everything we think of...from the activities to the culinary experiences, there has to be the connection. You come as a tourist, you live as a local.” Dupuis goes on to say, “Living as locals, you learn about the Mayan culture. We are so lucky here because Mexico obviously has an amazing diversity of culture, colors, and tastes. Plus, the Yucatán, where we are, has an amazing Mayan cultural connection, with its natural beauty as well.”
At the Andaz in the Riviera Maya, guests are invited to enjoy what might be considered a hidden paradise. It truly is like no other. In the jungle, yet near the ocean, it’s a place where style meets nature at an elevated level. The Andaz’s chic design reflects not only the native Mayan culture, but embraces contemporary design, too. When you arrive, you’ll find 214 guestrooms, including 41 luxury suites...so there’s an option for every visitor. In this lushly preserved mangrove environment, there’s also space for meetings and corporate events since the property offers 14,000 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor meeting space. Want to host a special corporate retreat here? You might get Boss of the Year if you do.
Being on the ocean, the water is an important part of the resort’s attraction. Sunning on the pristine white sand of the Caribbean beach, or at one of two spacious outdoor pools, the tropical vibe is ever-present. The palm trees that sway above lend itself to the tropical paradise feel. For adult alone time in the water, or in one of the many cabanas with beverage and food service available, you can rest assured that the children are also having fun nearby while experiencing the state-of-the-art Kimbo Kid’s Club.
For the ultimate relaxation, the 10,000-square-foot luxe Naum Wellness and Spa, with six treatment areas, can be part of your visit. I had a cacao-based facial, after having crafted my own facial ingredients, thanks to the stellar spa team. While learning about the Mayan culture that originally cultivated the powerful, healing bean from the array of cacao trees nearby, I also felt its complexion-enhancing power. Healing and soothing, the hydrotherapy treatments are also some of the many options, along with various massages that are offered. The spa even provided me with an extra clay tablet mold to use at home. All you have to do is mix it with milk or water.
Want to have one-of-a-kind experiences? This is the place to find them. You can start the day with a two hour private boat tour that weaves through the lagoons and mangroves to truly experience the majestic beauty of the resort. The sights and sounds of Mexico’s nature, including plenty of colorful birds, is the perfect floating view while enjoying a five star breakfast that is served fresh and healthy. Want to keep things moving? Hop on a bicycle for a biologist-led tour of the resorts’ coral reef program to see how the resort is helping to create more sustainable coral nearby that also supports the ecosystem. Back on land, the El Camaleón Golf Club is an18-hole LIV championship golf course designed by legend Greg Norman with a par 72 that winds through the mangroves and sand dunes. The challengingly adventurous course offers customized lessons, while the golf club also features a driving range and a short-game practice facility.
The five uniquely created restaurants and bars at the resort offer culinary experiences to satisfy any taste. Recently, two of its five restaurants were included in the coveted Guia Gastronomica list which highlights the 250 best restaurants in Mexico. First, enjoy an authentic culinary journey through Latin America that can be experienced at Casa Amate, rated as one of the Top 250 Restaurants in Mexico. Dining al fresco, which I recommend at every meal at the resort, I was captivated by the substantial architectural point of view of the venue, as well as the ingenious mix of seasonings and spices that were a part of every dish. Cap off your meal with one of the best desserts I have ever had anywhere in the world – the Fruit Ceviche. From the fresh produce to the freshly caught fish, as well as plenty of vegan options, the sky is the limit for delicious cuisine at the eateries.
The resort’s latest concept, VB (which stands for Vegan Bar), offers a selection of fresh and seasonal vegan dishes or order a delectable smoothie to take on the go to satiate your appetite between meals. Tinta del Pulpo has a wide array of culinary delights inspired by the street food of Central Mexico. It’s fresh, healthy, and over looks one of the Andaz pools. Want to take off your flip flops for dinner? Who doesn’t? For that there’s the restaurant Sotavento, where guests can enjoy a feet-in-the-sand evening with a meal against the backdrop of a stunning Mayan sunset and discover Mediterranean flavors in the venue that is also one of the Top 250 Restaurants in Mexico. Surrounded by tiki torches and with a view into the tide rolling in, it’s a truly romantic meal.
As General Manager Pascal Dupuis muses about the entire resort, “If you are in love with sustainability, nature, experiences, and the perfect location, then Andaz Mayakoba is the place for you.” With so much to offer, what are you waiting for? Visit Hyatt.com/andaz.