The Tides Riviera Maya features new beachfront villas. // © 2011 The Tides Riviera Maya
Staying at a luxury hotel in the Riviera Maya should be easy, meaning no waking up early to claim beach chairs, no second-guessing the chef’s culinary delivery and not enduring the ruckus of college students camping out all day at the swim-up bar. The Tides Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen takes luxury, and your client’s vacation, very seriously; so much so that they recently undertook a major renovation to further exceed guests’ expectations. Not only does the property make a visit relaxing and easy, but employees strive to make it effortless, and most repeat visitors will agree that this is one reason why they continue to return. Guests arriving after the Christmas holiday will undoubtedly notice the property’s recent enhancements and additions.
The Tides Riviera Maya — a member of the Tides Collection and operated by Viceroy Hotel Group — is an all-villa resort located 15 minutes from downtown Playa Del Carmen. With just 30 villas (all equipped with an outdoor rainshower, an outdoor deck, a private plunge pool and a hammock), it’s one of the few luxury boutique hotels in the area, and its location is part of what makes it unique. The six-acre property is located deep in the jungle, where spider monkeys and other wildlife roam in the lush forest of palms and guava trees, which creates an authentic, natural ambience at the resort. Within mere steps, you can emerge from the jungle and onto a sugary white beach and the turquoise sea.
Currently, The Tides is adding 11 additional private villas with plunge pools as well as the resort’s first-ever oceanfront and oceanview villa rooms — thus expanding its inventory to 41 villas. Unlike the current villas, the new units will have deep soaking bathtubs, giving couples added incentive to book. The current 30 villas with thatched palapa roofs will receive a contemporary facelift (including a complete interior renovation of the Presidential Villa) to reflect a more modern feel with new furnishings including bedding, lamps and furniture as well as new lighting and DVD players. The new look will be provided by GVA & Associates, a leading Latin American architecture and design firm that specializes in luxury resorts.
Another notable change is to the resort’s food and beverage offerings. Currently, there’s only one restaurant, La Marea, which spans from the pool deck to the two-level lounge. The dining area will be split into two separate restaurants. The restaurant on the rim of the beach will be renamed the Coral Grill & Bar and will feature a Mexican-Mediterranean menu, with dishes fired on the new wood-burning oven. During the day, guests can expect beach food favorites such as burgers and pizza, and dinners, which will feature a “Mayaterranean” menu, will be more inventive. The current restaurant will receive new chairs, new lanterns and new tables and serve as the fine-dining venue, offering refined Mexican cuisine with international influences.
The current lounge, an outdoor sitting area, is also receiving a makeover and will be referred to as the Library Lounge where guests can enjoy snacks and beverages in a comfortable environment throughout the day. The lounge will be stocked with books that guests can borrow.
Return visitors will note that the new fitness center offers brand-new equipment, a new retail boutique offering a range of resort and personal products and a refurbished welcome reception area.
So what won’t change? The burning of copal (a resin from a native tree that Mayans burn to connect humans to Gods through smoke) that is used to bless visitors upon arrival; the traditional, Maya-inspired Wayak spa; the temezcal; the intimacy of the pool (which received refurbishments last year); the soap concierge where your butler will slice off a bar of aromatic, locally made soap for guests when they check-in; the resort’s private 30-foot-long pier where guests can sunbathe, have a romantic dinner, a massage or use the platform for swimming; the streamlined, personalized service; and, of course, the generally effortless pace of being at a luxury resort, which is what had guests falling in love with The Tides in the first place.