Luxury Travel Blog

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June 3, 2016

Luxury, Food & Culture in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya in Mexico is the ultimate destination for combining private cultural, scenic and culinary touring with a quintessential luxury beach vacation. Artisans of Leisure’s private Mexico tours include the top luxury resorts in the Riviera Maya, most notably the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa and the Rosewood Mayakoba.

Located on beautiful Maroma Beach, the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is the perfect location for a relaxing escape to enjoy absolute exclusivity and luxury service on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

The resort’s rooms and suites are spacious, and all have private terraces, giving guests the ideal amount of privacy for a romantic getaway or family vacation.

Indulging in a freshly made quesadilla with your choice of ingredients at breakfast is a must at the Belmond.

The tortillas are homemade and delicious!

The resort can accommodate gluten-free, vegetarian or kosher diets, as well as any other dietary restrictions.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange a private tennis session with a tennis pro at the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa.

The resort also offers water sports such as snorkeling and sailing on a mini-catamaran.

The world’s second largest barrier reef is right off Belmond Maroma’s private beach, which allows for exceptional snorkeling.

The resort’s boutique offers an excellent selection of Mexican textiles, jewelry, chocolates, decorative items and more.

For dinner at the Belmond, you can opt to dine overlooking the beach…

…or on it!

The Riviera Maya is home to a number of ancient Mayan ruins. One of our favorite sites is the ruins in Tulum. This Mayan site was built on the coast and served as a major port for the more inland Mayan city of Coba.

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the ruins provide beautiful views and serve as the perfect backdrop for learning about the history of the site during touring with one of our private guides.

This particular beach is protected for nesting sea turtles. Two species of sea turtles—loggerhead turtles and white turtles—return to lay their eggs every year between June and October.

The architecture of these ruins is typical of the Mayan sites on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Another beach at the Tulum ruins provides the option for a refreshing dip in the sea.

There are hundreds of cenotes–natural pools–in the area, but a favorite is Dos Ojos, which offers exceptional snorkeling and cavern diving. Or you can just go for a swim!

Another favorite is the Grand Cenote…

…with its crystal-clear blue water and adorable inhabitants.

Hotel Esencia is an alternative luxury accommodation on the Riviera Maya for travelers wishing to stay closer to Tulum.

With only 29 suites and villas surrounded by jungle, Hotel Esencia provides an intimate and secluded atmosphere.

Splashes of color accent the hotel’s minimalist yet luxurious style.

The views from Hotel Escencia’s beach are quite nice.

Tulum’s main street, which runs along the coast, offers a number of boutiques as well as casual restaurants. It’s an ideal stop for lunch and a little shopping…

…for lovely sun dresses…

…embroidered Mexican textiles…

…and beautiful bags and wallets made from the recycled leather of saddles used for horseback riding in the region.

After a day of private touring, guests returning to the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa will be met with a cold towel…

…followed by a greeting from the resort’s friendly parrot…

…and this guy!

The spa is a highlight of the resort. It features only organic products, many of which incorporate fresh honey from the spa’s own beehive.

The spa offers a selection of rejuvenating services, all of which can be preceded with time alternating between a private sauna, steam room and plunge pool.

The spa’s floor tiles are handmade and adorned with the fingerprints of the artisans who made them.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange a private wine tasting or private cooking class during a private Riviera Maya tour.

In the evening, the resort’s walkways are beautifully illuminated by candles.

A harpist serenades diners.

Sunset views during dinner.

Artisans of Leisure can arrange many romantic activities, such as a private dinner on the beach.

If desired, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange a private yoga lesson. 

Another luxury resort we like in the area is the Rosewood Mayakoba. While the Rosewood Mayakoba is a larger resort, it still provides privacy, exclusivity and exceptional service. Each of its freestanding suites is nestled among mangroves and has a private plunge pool and 24-hour butler service.

Guests can arrive at their private suites by boat, as many of the suites have a private dock. It’s nice to be able to check in inside your suite rather than at the front desk.

On the property, guests can enjoy a 17,000-square-foot spa, three swimming pools, a beautiful beach, an excellent children’s activity center, an herb and vegetable garden and other facilities.

The spa offers many revitalizing treatments, including a private temazcal–a type of sweat lodge originating from the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica–experience with a local shaman.

The Rosewood Mayakoba is also an excellent destination for families. It has a children’s activity center called Rose Buds that offers cooking classes, painting and other fun activities.

Parents have the opportunity to enjoy a date night as the children’s activity center is open until 11pm.

We love the vibrant colors around the Rosewood Mayakoba’s pool area, including this painted drink stand!

There are an adults-only pool and two family-friendly pools, one of which overlooks the sea.

The resort also grows fresh herbs and vegetables that are used not only in dishes at their three restaurants…

…but also in the cooking classes, which are offered right in the garden! Guests can learn about what was growing in the garden and then picked those ingredients to use while cooking.

The Rosewood Mayakoba offers a daily eco-cruise that takes advantage of the resort’s unique location in a mangrove. During the tour of the lagoon, a biologist describes the local ecosystem and the conservation efforts being made to protect the mangrove.

Subject to boat availability, Artisans of Leisure can arrange a private boat tour upon request.

Another great touring option is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected coastal region in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers a labyrinth of natural mangrove canals in which to learn about the flora and fauna of the region.

Contact an Artisans of Leisure travel specialist to start planning a private, customized Mexico tour that features the best of Riviera Maya and beyond.

Destinations:  Latin America, Mexico

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