the Mayakoba resorts

Mayakoba is a luxury resort development, the concept of its Spanish owner, located about 30 minutes south of the Cancun airport and 10 minutes away from Playa del Carmen. Mayakoba's centerpiece is an 18-hole Greg Norman championship golf course, home of the annual Mayakoba Classic PGA event, but the main attraction is a beautiful sliver of Caribbean beach with the softest, finest white sand on which I've ever walked.

Mayakoba consists of three individual resorts designed and run by three luxury hotel families — Rosewood, Banyan Tree, and Fairmont. I had a chance to inspect each of the Mayakoba resorts during a recent site inspection of the Mexican Riviera Maya. Here's what I think:

Rosewood Mayakoba
We spent three nights here in a Deluxe Overwater Suite — one of the largest suites I have ever seen — but my recommendation is to get even closer to the beach. Book a Beachside Lagoonview Suite or a Beachfront Suite for easy beach access (only 10% of the rooms at Mayakoba are built by the beach). The food at all of Rosewood's restaurants is excellent, and the breakfasts are amazing (and complimentary to Virtuoso guests). For an especially good dinner value, eat at the Beach Club and order three tapas each - a very nice meal for about $24 per person plus tax and service.

Banyon Tree Mayakoba is about privacy. This resort features Asian style architecture and interior design, and each of Banyan Tree's suites has its own private courtyard and swimming pool. Don't think of this as a plunge pool; it's large enough to swim laps. If you're going to Mexico for an authentic Mexican experience, there are better choices, but Banyan Tree offers beautiful rooms with an Asian motif if you seek a private haven in the lap of luxury.

Fairmont Mayakoba is for families. A much larger resort than the other two, the Fairmont has 481 rooms. The center of the resort features a large swimming pool with water slide (for kids only!), and children are entitled to three complimentary hours of Kids Club per day. As with the other Mayakoba properties, golf carts are continually running to shuttle guests to and from the beach — and at the Fairmont, you can even borrow bicycles to get around.

Guests at any of the Mayakoba resorts have charge privileges at the others. A complimentary shuttle service takes you to the other resorts, and you can dine in their restaurants, charging everything to your room.

Mayakoba resorts (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2010 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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