Andaz Mayakoba Resort: Luxury gone wild

A bilevel suite at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. The resort features 41 luxury suites.
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It seemed like the right time to take advantage of the peaceful view of the lagoon afforded by my spacious balcony. With a surprise delivery of fresh guacamole and chips set out on the table, I laid back on my plush seating.

I began to happily zone out when before my eyes I witnessed the peculiar ruthlessness of nature: A coati had stealthily climbed up a tree adjacent to my balcony to snatch a bird for dinner. It felt like watching a live-action National Geographic episode, only instead of being in the wilderness, I was staying at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya.

It's about a 30-minute ride from the Cancun Airport to the Mayakoba complex, which also includes resorts by Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood.

Upon arrival at the Andaz, I was welcomed with a refreshing hibiscus cocktail and escorted into an impressive, cenote-inspired open-air lobby.

The Andaz features 214 guestrooms, including 41 luxury suites. With three outdoor pools, each outfitted with cabanas, lounge chairs and umbrellas, the hotel provides ample space to soak up the sun, and with four dining options, guests won't go hungry. 

Each restaurant highlights the authentic cooking techniques of the region while providing a distinctive dining experience. Guests can choose to feast on a range of diverse Latin American cuisine at the dinner-only Casa Amate; eat in a more casual setting at Cocina Milagro, the resort's spacious main pavilion restaurant offering market-to-table dining; or snack on tacos and ceviche at the beachfront eateries of OllaTaco and OllaCeviche, respectively.

Andaz Mayakoba’s Naum Spa. The spa offers customized treatments called Naum Rituals.
Andaz Mayakoba’s Naum Spa. The spa offers customized treatments called Naum Rituals.

Guests can rejuvenate at the 10,000-square-foot Naum Spa. The treatments are called Naum Rituals and designed to call attention to the intention of their visit as well as pay homage to the Mayan gods. Each ritual can be customized down to the type of aromatherapy blends used and includes a Mayan Time of Reflection, the treatment itself and a Mayan Celebration to help guests "reconnect with themselves and the universe."

The Mayakoba resort complex is home to over 200 species of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish. One of the most exceptional experiences offered is a guided ecoboat tour through the area. The service takes you through the canals, enabling guests to spot plenty of wildlife. Everything from crocodiles to great blue herons can be spotted living harmoniously on the property. Furthermore, there are 3 miles of trails that connect the hotels within Mayakoba, should you prefer to walk or bike instead. Also in Mayakoba is El Camaleon, a professional, 18-hole golf course that weaves through a diverse tropical landscape.

Be sure to visit the El Pueblito, a traditional village square in the center of the resort. The bustling "little village" is complete with shops selling authentic Mexican crafts; upbeat musical performances; and an ornate chapel where a Catholic Mass is held every Sunday. Along with Mass, guests can partake in a farmers market on Sundays, where vendors' offerings include indulgent delicacies, beauty products, handmade artifacts, beer and more.

Standard room rates at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya start at $370 per night. Visit mayakoba.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html.

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