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Hotels

Mexico Gets An Overwater Bungalow Resort (It’s About Time)

You no longer have to trek to the other side of the globe to stay in a dreamy stilted bungalow. Mexico’s Riviera Maya is now home to the country's first "palafito" (that's Spanish for bungalow) built over the crystal-blue Caribbean. Lacy Morris checks in.

It’s no secret how much we love Mexico—home to wide-open beaches, colorful colonial towns, gorgeous beachfront resorts, some of the world’s spiciest chilies, and enough tequila to put even the most seasoned drinker to bed. Now there’s another reason to add to our list: El Dorado Maroma by Karisma, Mexico’s first overwater bungalow resort—a style that, until now, was largely found in the far reaches of the South Pacific.

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The adults-only resort, on a secluded stretch of the Riviera Maya, features 30 bungalows called Palafitos (‘stilt houses’ in Spanish). But these are no South Pacific lookalikes; instead, designers took cues from the ancient Aztecas, who built their capital city of Tenochtitlan on (and surrounding) an island in Lake Texcoco. The design is both local and traditional—roofs made with thatched palm leaves, dark zapote wood from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexican white granite, authentic prints and fabrics, and a cool, Caribbean palette of blue, turquoise, and sand that echoes the surroundings.

RELATED: 12 Swoon-worthy Overwater Bungalows

Of course, you can expect the same creature comforts you’d find in any luxe overwater bungalow resort: each Palafito has a glass-bottom floor for checking out sea life, a private infinity plunge pool, an expansive deck with its own outdoor shower and daybed, a ladder that leads directly to the sea (an absolute necessity), and a 24-hour butler at your beck and call.

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It may seem like there’s little reason to leave your room, but then you’d never experience a Mayan herbal treatment at the hotel’s Náay Spathe spa, the freshly caught fish at the waterfront restaurant, or the sugary fine sand that beckons every sun-drenched morning. Sounds lovely, right?

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