I am not a morning person, yet every morning of my hard earned vacation, I will haul myself out of bed at an earlier hour than I can process, to go to breakfast. I am not even usually a breakfast person, but there’s something about breakfast on vacation that enhances the whole experience. Perhaps it’s that I didn’t have to cook it, or clean it up, but it’s one of the memorable features of my trip. If a Hotel is only offering up a continental breakfast, I'm disappointed. In my opinion, “full breakfast for 2 daily” is one of the best amenities offered by our Virtuoso and Preferred partners. It’s not just that I adore the option of having truffle-parmesan potatoes and sliders at 9AM. Or, dessert for breakfast. This complimentary addition to my reservation offers a tremendous value, often ranging from $60-$70 per day. Leaving the hotel early and bummed about missing the perk? It might be included as a room service option. On the morning of a very early checkout from Four Seasons Whistler, I called up Room Service the evening before and requested breakfast at the crack of dawn. The friendly team member who took the order offered to pack breakfast to go for us, and it was all covered by the Preferred Partner daily credit. Don’t leave value on the table!
Behind walls similar to those seen in the movie “Jurassic Park” sits the Mayakoba Resort complex comprising the Fairmont, Banyan Tree and Rosewood properties. It’s hard not to be intrigued by the gates and security checks and the relatively lengthy drive through a bit of jungle to the entrance of the Fairmont. At the door, we were welcomed by name and offered a glass of cold, fruit juice while completing the check-in.
Our connecting deluxe casitas 126 and 128 were perfectly located just a few minutes walk from the Lobby, the Kids Discovery Club, pools and La Laguna, the main breakfast restaurant. The casitas are large spaces for families with huge bathrooms. Rooms are offered with a King or 2 QUEEN beds, true comfort when occupancy is higher than 2 per room (my heart sinks a little when there are 2 double beds in a room for 4 because my son sleeps like the moving hand of a clock). Bottled water was generously replenished in our room each day.
I dislike intensely being nickel and dimed at a luxury property and my greatest pet peeve is costly internet access. Free membership in the Fairmont’s President Club gets you complimentary Wi-Fi daily. The nightly resort fee includes a fun range of transportation to get you around the property - BMW bikes for adults and children (yes helmets are available) and golf carts that run from the Reception area and Spa to the beach 24 hours a day. Also, 3 free hours of the Kids Discovery Club per day. My daughter took full advantage of this time and thoroughly enjoyed the fun and friendly atmosphere. One of the Kids' Counselors has mad face- painting skills. One day she came back to the room looking like a pirate and the next, a butterfly. Kids under the age of 5 eat free off the children’s menu when dining with their parents at the Fairmont.
One of the highlights of our stay was a 45-minute boat ride through the canals of Mayakoba. The boats or “lanchas” accommodate up to 6 people so my family had one to ourselves. Our captain and guide pointed out assorted wildlife and cenotes and we glimpsed some of the accommodations offered by Banyan Tree and Rosewood. We learned quite a bit about the conservation efforts of the Fairmont and its role in maintaining an ecological balance throughout the property. The roofs of the buildings are made with recycled tires and all of the limestone excavated when the Resort was constructed was then used in the walls of the casitas.
If you’re traveling to the Riviera Maya and looking for family-friendly, luxury accommodation, the Fairmont Mayakoba is a great choice. You can even add a meal plan to your stay so that your travel budget is more manageable. Complimentary Virtuoso amenities sweeten the deal.
It takes me at least a day to embrace fully being on vacation. Pre-trip I am always so stressed out trying to get everything to a place I can leave without overwhelming panic. A few hours after I arrive at my holiday destination, I start to unclench the fists my husband always points out I’ve formed, and then slowly, my brow unfurls. By breakfast the next morning, my brain is on “slow” mode, only processing decisions like which book, and pool or beach? Mexico wasn’t the plan for this summer. I wanted to visit Alaska and do a tour of Seattle and Portland. My children were not onboard. They didn’t want to do mandatory sightseeing or spend long periods in a plane or car (fair enough – they are monsters on a road trip.) They wanted to lie on a beach and eat chips and salsa with heaps of guacamole. Fine, throw in a few margaritas for Mama and you’ve got yourself a deal!
Belmond Maroma Beach Resort and Spa is about a 40 minute drive from Cancun airport. Pre-book your airport to hotel transfer because there is an abundance of operators offering taxi services in the terminal and it’s a little daunting. Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) Maroma is a boutique hotel with just 63 rooms and a perfect beach. Clean, serene and beautiful with manicured sand that feels like room temperature flour and warm, turquoise water. Service and food are superb. Children are welcome and those under 12 stay free in their parent’s room. I recommend the Master Suite category for families. Spacious with a huge bathroom and ours had a balcony with a hammock. Be aware that there are no televisions or clocks in the guest rooms.
Belmond Maroma is generous to its guests. Everyone receives hand-made slippers that you can take home with you and a lovely lounging caftan (if you take it, you’ve bought it). Guests are free to use bikes, the tennis courts and the spa's facilities. Every morning, complimentary tea, coffee or hot chocolate are delivered to your room at an appointed time, steaming in large flasks. The organic coconut moisturizer in the bathrooms is heavenly. I’d like a vat of the stuff. The Resort also delights its guests with authentic and unexpected touches. One morning in the dining room, there was a Lady demonstrating how to make corn tortillas and quesadillas. In the evening, a Mariachi Band appeared to serenade each dining table. In the breakfast area, there are jars of Mexican sweets to sample and a divine hot chocolate spiced with cardamom and cinnamon.
My husband has a gluten-free diet and never felt deprived of any food categories at the Hotel. At breakfast each morning, he received a basket of gluten-free pastries and rolls and enjoyed the corn tortillas with guacamole each day. There are gluten-free options on the children’s menu as well.
This is the perfect place for a honeymoon or a restful getaway. Quiet and romantic with dining tables set just yards from the water’s edge. In the evenings, the property is lit with 1,000 candles and the moon.
As an Ambassador of Belmond's Bellini Club and a Virtuoso Advisor, I can offer my clients exclusive amenities and values worldwide. If you have an interest in booking one of Belmond's Hotels, a Rail journey on the Orient-Express or a River Cruise, please contact me for more information.