What We Love
- Five swimming pools and a private beach
- The signature treatments at the resort’s Willow Stream Spa
- On-site golf at Mexico’s only PGA course; golfers can have their swing analyzed using the new Trackman IIIe video system at the Jim McLean Golf School
What To Know
- The resort is 45 minutes from Cancun and the scene here is all about relaxing
- The resort is spread out, but there are golf-cart shuttles to help get around the property
- As with all secluded resort properties, the dining options are all on-site
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Swank Riviera Maya sleep set in a private reserve of mangrove jungles and limestone canals along Mexico’s Caribbean coast
The Fairmont Mayakoba is a classic open-air Mexican resort anchored by a large main lobby area with restaurants and lounges. The rest of the jungle-covered grounds are crisscrossed by meandering pathways, canals, lagoons and five swimming pools. Guests are encouraged to explore by borrowing a free bike, and a white-sand beach means there are plenty of quiet places to relax.
Bed and Bath
The resort’s 401 rooms and suites are spread out over the sprawling property, so chances are you won’t see other guests outside public areas. The aesthetic is Mexican-jungle chic and two-story casitas feature palapa-style thatched roofs, private balconies overlooking the saltwater lagoons, and dark wooden furniture and sliding shutters that guard against midday heat. Bright woven fabrics reflect the colors of the Caribbean, while the all-marble bathrooms — with separate soaking tubs and glassed-in showers stocked with Le Labo products — add just the right touch of luxury.
Golf is a main draw, thanks to the PGA-rated Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon Golf Club, which snakes through the jungle and along the stunning coastline. Those looking to relax can partake in a signature treatment at the Willow Stream Spa or head to one of the five swimming pools for some sun. The property’s four restaurants include La Laguna Grille & Bar for casual all-day dining and the more formal Las Brisas for romantic oceanfront meals featuring fresh seafood.
In the Area
Adventurous travelers can snorkel or scuba the famous local cenotes (underwater cave systems) with local outfitters. Playa del Carmen is just 10 minutes away, and its main street, 5th Avenue, is filled with restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Ferries ply the waters from here to Cozumel, where visitors can snorkel and kayak in Chankanaab Marine National Park. Spend a day wandering the overgrown ruins of the ancient Maya citadel of Tulum (about an hour away), or venture even further into the jungle (about a 2.5-hour drive) to the sprawling pre-Columbian complex of soaring stone pyramids at Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
How to Get There
My wife and I stayed here on Honeymoon for a few nights and it was a unique experience. The hotel is part of a huge complex of 5 separate hotels spread out over a very large area. 3 of these hotels are rated “5 Diamond” which is the highest grade for this region and Fairmont is one of them. I think the Banyan Tree is the most expensive of the 3. Fairmont has a stunning golf course and the PGA has been hosted there previously so if that is your interest, look no further. The majority of the rooms are actually self contained “cabins” set within the natural, ‘jungle’ environment and are accessible via hop on, hop off golf buggies and free bicycles. Each cabin is beautifully equipped with very high quality fixtures and appliances - jacuzzi baths, double showers, balconies, king beds and all Jack and Jill sinks. We upgraded to a lagoon view cabin and were lucky enough to see either fish or baby crocodiles (don’t worry, there aren’t any full size ones!) swimming each morning from our balcony. You can take free river boat rides each day or simply use them to access the other resorts if you wish. There is a choice of 4 restaurants, all of which served excellent food - especially the Japanese fusion restaurant - the sushi rivalled that which we had in Tokyo Fish market! The spa is also excellent with a large variety of treatments and even has some rare “stingless” bees to visit. The hotel also has resident tour operators, conference services, shops and photo services to capture your memories professionally.
The best part by far would be the staff. Every single person was happy, polite and fun and they really made our trip. Jorge was a really treat who gave us a comprehensive local beer tasting complete with accompanying local fayre and Austin in the Hix bar was very knowledgeable and really knew his cocktails.
If I have any negative points, they would be that if you’re not all-inclusive, everything is very, very expensive (fairly obvious). Sometimes, there never seemed to be any bikes available, not because they were being used but because they were all collected in for quite a lot of the time. Lastly, at check in with Isabel, we were offered an upgrade to a beach villa for our final night. We didn’t take it as it was an additional $500 and we later found out the the beach restaurant (Brisas - our favourite) was being renovated during the same period which means if we had of upgraded, it would have meant an annoying 15-20 minute walk to get any food from one of the more central restaurants.
I just returned from my wonderful birthday trip to Mexico and my experience at the Fairmont, Mayakoba was nothing short of amazing!!! The food was delicious at every restaurant. I recommend the whole fried snapper. We had it everyday. It was simply Perfect!!! The service was exceptional!!! David, our butler, made sure we didn't want or need for anything! I can't say enough nice things about this place. I didn't want to leave. We contemplated saying another day or two but realized our lives were actively waiting on us. Nonetheless, we are already planning next year's trip.
Fairmont Mayakoba is a unique property, situated within a (though) artificial canal/jungle complex, full of wild life, is one unforgettable experience. We went there during the low season which ended up being very nice as we got the extra attention from the staff throughout the resort areas, and the many excellent restaurants that were there.
There was a bit of a mix up with our room on the first night which was solved quickly and expertly.
The food all tasted amazingly, and though prices were more in line with those found in mid-high range US/Canadian restaurants, that was to be expected so no complaints there.
The beach area was well maintained and well-staffed, with good strategies for managing the seaweed - the seaweed does tend to get a little bit worse in the afternoon during our stay, but nothing unmanageable.
Throughout our stay, the butler that was assigned to us, Daniel was absolutely fantastic. And when he had a (very deserving day off), Jorge who took his stead was also very helpful.
This place ranks very highly on one of the places where we'll sure to be back.