Mandarin Oriental Comes to Yucatan

Riviera Maya resort due to open next year

By: Lisa Jennincgs

The first Mandarin Oriental hotel is scheduled to open late next year in the Riviera Maya.

Currently being developed by Desarrollos Marinos del Caribe (DEMA), the128-villa resort will be located about 25 miles south of Cancun on 36 acres of tropical jungle along the white, sandy beaches of the Yucatan coast.

The property will include protected mangrove reserves, lagoons and streams, and a deep freshwater lake, or cenote. The villas will have views of the cenote, lagoon or Caribbean Sea, with private terraces, plunge pools and secluded garden bathrooms. The villas will be designed with native woods and stone, while still offering the technology and entertainment systems for which the Mandarin Oriental brand is known.

Next to the cenote, a 20,000-square-foot spa is planned, featuring water-based therapies and healthful cuisine. The spa will reflect aspects of ancient Mayan philosophy, which deems that the body belongs to the earth and the spirit to the universe. But as with all Mandarin Oriental spas, therapies will also include more Asian-inspired mind-body-spirit rituals.

“Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya will be a breathtaking hideaway that offers tranquility and well-being to travelers seeking the ultimate sanctuary during their leisure time,” said Edouard Ettedgui, group chief executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. “Our guests will enjoy an unparalleled experience of pampering and rejuvenation in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful locations. Visitors will find a level of privacy and intimacy rarely experienced at luxury resorts, while still enjoying award-winning levels of service for which Mandarin Oriental is renowned.”

A variety of restaurants and bars will offer alfresco dining with ocean views. The resort will have three pools bordering the ocean, the cenote and the spa.

Guests will also have access to two 18-hole championship golf courses within five miles of the resort. And the region offers an abundance of archeological sites representing the region’s ancient Mayan culture.

“We are proud to be working with Mandarin Oriental on the development of this prestigious project,” said Gilberto Borja Suarez, chief executive officer and chairman of DEMA. “When Riviera Maya opens in autumn 2005, this exclusive hideaway will embody Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service philosophy and the unique sense of place inherent to all its hotels.”

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates 18 luxury hotels around the world.