By Laura Eckstein Jones By Laura Eckstein Jones | December 1, 2021 | Lifestyle
Rosewood Mayakoba—the gorgeous Mexican resort located on the Riviera Maya between Cancun and Playa del Carmen—may actually be paradise. Combining a mangrove jungle and sparkling lagoon with a pristine white sand beach; serving uberfresh, locally sourced gourmet food; and offering peaceful, plush accommodations, the luxury property is one that appears on the world’s most discerning travelers’ list of favorites again and again. Now, a revamped wellness program—with stunning new suites to match—is here, taking everything to soaring new heights.
At Rosewood Mayakoba, private boats are on hand to escort guests to their lagoon-adjacent accomodations.
As soon as my car passes through the Mayakoba gates, a sense of well-being washes over me. There’s lush, green jungle and the comforting humidity of the tropics. Singing birds and buzzing insects create a continuous soundtrack, slowly calming my nerves and transforming my mood.
Rosewood Mayakoba’s on-site shaman performs a ritual during the Marry Oneself Ceremony.
Mayakoba, the gated community on the Riviera Maya, consists of four luxury resorts—Andaz Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Fairmont Mayakoba and Rosewood Mayakoba—along with high-end real estate, golf, dining and more, all nestled between the jungle and a glorious white sand beach. While many resorts in this area of Mexico straddle the jungle and the Atlantic, what makes Mayakoba unique is an emerald lagoon that snakes across the property, providing a unique Jungle Cruise-like atmosphere, serving as home to exotic wildlife like alligators.
Upon arrival, a private boat escorts me along the lagoon to the resort’s spa island, a lush area that houses eight two-story loft ed suites along with Sense, A Rosewood Spa. As my personal butler gives me a tour of my own suite, I can’t help but feel an immense sense of gratitude that this space—complete with multiple outdoor areas with a heated plunge pool, yoga and meditation areas, and an outdoor shower; as well as a living room, kitchen and two well-equipped bathrooms—is home for the next few days. Wellness-forward extras (aromatherapy pods for the showers, chakra stones and incense, a circadian lamp and more) are sprinkled throughout. Th e room is chic, comfortable and welcoming—a perfect sanctuary to return to during my stay.
A secluded deck for meditation.
While the spa and wellness programming are major draws, the resort’s incredible dining is also a big part of its appeal. Led by chef Juan Pablo Loza—who opened Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, Calif.—the top-notch dining program off ers locally sourced meals in all of its restaurants, from breakfast go-to Casa del Lago to the seafood-focused Agave Azul for dinner and the new Zapote Bar, which offers lunch, dinner and an inventive cocktail menu. La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen—an open-air garden space that serves uberlocal food over an open flame—is my personal favorite.
Sense, A Rosewood Spa is a true respite. Th e 17,000-square-foot space houses 12 treatment rooms, a pool and a gym, and boasts a breezy indoor-outdoor aesthetic. Many of the therapeutic treatments incorporate ayurvedic practices and indigenous ingredients made from local plants. The Kuxtal Sensory Garden Ritual is one of the most incredible services I’ve ever experienced. Starting with a tour through the spa’s garden, I choose plants and herbs I connect with. Those are then blended into a custom oil that’s used in a deep aromatherapy massage. Accessible via a winding jungle path, the treatment room itself even plays a part.
The resort’s adults-only beach club, Aquí Me Quedo, features plush seating and sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea.
In addition to massages and facials, Rosewood Mayakoba leans into the spiritual, and even partners with a shaman, Fernanda Monteil. I was able to participate in the Marry Oneself Ceremony, a profound experience that celebrates self-love and acceptance on the edge of the lagoon in the jungle. Monteil guides me, reconnecting me to nature, my ancestors and, most importantly, myself. Tears are shed, but ones of joy—a reminder that we all have the intuition we need to make the right decisions and to choose our own path.
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA