Riviera Maya to Get Fairmont

Hotel to open near Playa del Carmen

By: Lisa Jennings

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. plans to open a 401-room luxury resort near Playa del Carmen as part of a 1,605-acre planned community along the Riviera Maya.

The Fairmont Mayakoba, scheduled to open in 2005, will be managed by Fairmont Hotels in an agreement with developer Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A., of Spain. Fairmont is also investing about $10 million for an equity interest of about 15 percent in the resort, and will have the option of participating in an adjacent vacation ownership complex.

“We are excited to be a part of this exclusive new resort destination on the Mayan Riviera,” said William Fatt, Fairmont Hotels chief executive officer. “Development of this resort is a strategic move to build on Fairmont’s presence in Mexico, where we have already established strong brand identity with our two Acapulco resorts.”

Mayakoba is about 40 miles south of Cancun in the province of Quintana Roo. The Fairmont resort will be comprised of 97 two-story units set throughout the jungle along interior lagoons, including 33 one-, two- and three-bedroom casitas, some with ocean views.

About 30,000 square feet of meeting space is planned, and the resort will include a Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole golf course, one of two planned for the Mayakoba development. The Fairmont will also include a 16,000-square-foot Willow Stream spa with 19 treatment rooms, three restaurants, a health club, tennis courts and a 10,000-square-foot pool, as well as a children’s play area and pool.

The Riviera Maya boasts the world’s second largest coral reef and is a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, including the exploration of underwater cenotes, luminous caverns that were once the source of fresh water for the Mayans.

In addition to the beach, golf and spa options, guests will also have the opportunity to take nature tours through the resort grounds, rich with mangrove trees and exotic flora and fauna, or to visit the local eco-reserve Sian Ka’am.

The Fairmont Mayakoba will also be close to historical Mayan sites, such as as Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza. Nightlife and shopping can be found nearby in Playa del Carmen.