The beauty of Mayakoba is that it isn’t just one hotel, or one resort, but that it’s so much more. The old saying that sometimes the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts rings true when you visit this resort, as each piece individually is perfect, but together – they’re pretty magical. To get to know the resort a little more, one morning we took a boat ride all the way through the lagoon and paid a quick visit to each of the hotels!
We picked up our boat, and our amazing tour guide, Maile, at the pontoon at the Rosewood. I quickly noticed that we were in a slightly different boat to the one had arrived at the hotel in, Maile quickly explained that each hotel has their own boats, which are as unique as the hotels themselves, and that the Mayakoba resort has another, separate kind of boat!
As we climbed on and we pulled away from the pontoon, I realised how excited I was to explore the rest of Mayakoba! Just like the Rosewood’s boat, we were traveling in a charming, wood paneled boat and were whizzing along the lagoon.
But you’d never really know we’d gone from one hotel to another as we drifted into the Fairmont … The only change that we noticed was the change in architecture of the buildings and the suites. The Mayakoba resort was built to enhance its surroundings and not to change them, meaning that the lagoon is exactly as nature built it. In fact, Mayakoba are so committed to preserving the lagoon that there are teams of people who go round every day to make sure that it’s clean, healthy and that the plants and birds can continue their daily lives!
We were fortunate enough to be joined not just by our lovely captain and Maile, but by many of the indigenous birds who live in the Mayakoba lagoon. Mayakoba team member James Batt has produced the a beautiful book all about the birds who live in this area, and that and a pair of binoculars were perfect companions on our tour! In fact, Mayakoba kindly also gave us a copy to take home, and it now sits on our coffee table to remind us of our trip.
Not only does each hotel have its own boat, but do you remember La Ceiba that I told you about at the Rosewood? Each hotel in the resort has its own special dinner, meaning that no matter which hotel you’re staying in, you can experience an intimate dinner with other guests over a fantastic menu!
From our lagoon side view, the Fairmont entrance was a classic, modern hotel, and the two pools that we passed (one reserved as a quiet, adults only pool) looked like a relaxing home away from home. With lagoon side guest rooms…
And after seeing the Fairmont, we ducked back under many of the bridges which connect this seemingly endless resort… I say endless, but no matter where you are, you never lose the personal touch. We visited a couple of the other hotels, and whilst the personal service was excellent at all of them, the Rosewood was definitely the hotel which we remembered for its service.
On our first afternoon I was convinced that I’d seen a swimming bird… Andy was convinced I’d had too much tequlia! So you can imagine my delight when I explained this to Maile, and she said I was right! The wildlife at Mayakoba is so varied, and so wonderful that you should let your imagination run wild… And there will probably be something here which fits that description!
The El Cameleon Golf CouRse is the only course in the country which is host to the prestigious PGA TOUR during the annual OHL Classic at Mayakoba! I might be Scottish, but I must admit to being a useless golfer (even if The Old Course is one of my favourite hotels in Scotland!) but I was so impressed by all the thought and care that Greg Norman, the PGA golfer, has put into designing this marvelous course.
A course that winds between lagoon and beach, and all over this magical resort, I can think of worse places to play a round or two!
If you fancy being a little more adventurous, even though you can’t swim in the lagoon, you can take a kayaking lesson and explore the lagoon that way. I wanted to explore our hotel a little more, but on our last morning Andy took a guided kayak tour of the lagoon and said it was an absolute highlight of our stay. A very friendly, knowledgeable guide who he’d highly recommend a trip with.
We sailed on towards the next hotel in the lagoon, the Banyan Tree! A hotel brand that I’m familiar with having stayed with them in Bangkok, Thailand. The Banyan Tree brings Asian hospitality and clean, modern decor to the Mayakoba resort.
As you enter the resort from the lagoon, you pass the main restaurant, Saffron, which I can imagine is an ideal location for a date night, as you look across the water underneath those fairy lights.
The design of this hotel is unmistakably Asian and it made for one of my favourite hotel entrances in the resort.
With the same stars in the lobby as we had seen at the Rosewood…
Back onto the lagoon we heard about another animal that calls Mayakoba home – the crocodiles!
But don’t panic, there aren’t that many – and those that there are are quite small! In fact, we saw a couple very near to the Andaz, the newest hotel in the resort.
We returned to the Andaz for dinner that night, so more on that hotel later!
But there’s more to Mayakoba than just the hotels; it turns out, that if you can’t bear to leave, then you can actually live in Mayakoba at one of their residences! Each of the hotels have their own residences and being an owner entitles you to special discounts in the hotels as well as use of the hotel boats!
And just look how stunning the Rosewood residences are…
As we headed back towards our home for the weekend, Maile told us that while of course you can book a private tour of the lagoon, that if you want to just hop between hotels, there’s a shuttle service which you can hop on and off! Each hotel has its own dock at its reception and some, such as the Rosewood, have another at their beach side areas, so no matter where you are, you can go anywhere else!
And all too soon, we were back home… And headed back to the pool to relax!
Our boat trip was such a special way to see Mayakoba, and I can’t recommend it enough!
Just look at those happy faces…
We were guests of Mayakoba, but would happily return any day of the year!