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Stepping out of my private-transfer SUV into the elegant, open-air lobby of Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Kaan, I was struck by this upscale setting that seemed to have sprung up out of a remote forested setting. This was my first visit to Mexico’s renowned Riviera Maya region, and I immediately understood what all the fuss was about. The combination of nature and luxury makes the destination truly special.
Sian Kaan caters to adults only and provides a tranquil setting an hour’s drive from the Cancun International Airport. With 24-hour butler service, gourmet a la carte dining, jaw-dropping buffet spreads, a string of swimming pools and the on-site Bahia Spa, vacationers need never leave the grounds to enjoy a variety of high-end delights. Still, with unlimited exchange privileges at its three adjacent five-star sister properties — Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, Grand Bahia Principe Coba and Grand Bahia Principe Tulum — and connecting trams running throughout the day, guests are guaranteed an even more diverse array of dining and entertainment options. Plus, the other resorts offer access to the Caribbean beachfront.
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Kaan’s signature aesthetic employs a contemporary architectural style that complements the living elements of its tropical setting. Suites in three categories are arranged in quaint, quiet enclaves of two-story, hacienda-inspired structures; each can be accessed via a sprawling set of lush landscaped pathways. These trails weave together the resort’s four lagoon-like pools, five bars and four restaurants.
My garden-level suite exuded polished simplicity. Stylish furnishings, high-end fixtures and artistic touches produced an understated ambiance indoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding-glass panels overlooked my spacious, semi-covered patio, which was surrounded by foliage. Tucked away in the corner, a private outdoor hydro-massage tub stood ready to supply a soothing soak in complete seclusion (and butlers will prepare aromatherapy baths, topped with rose petals, upon request).
Out on the GreenAdjoining the Bahia Principe resort complex is Riviera Maya Golf Club. Here, course designer Robert Trent Jones II has created a spectacular 27-hole championship course incorporating Maya themes and many of the existing elements of the region’s jungle, including mangrove forests, natural lakes and cenotes.
Designed to delight and challenge even the most seasoned players, the inclusion of a golf academy and practice range ensures that the Riviera Maya Golf Club caters to all levels, so that beginners like myself need not feel out of their element. Thanks to some great pointers from a resident golf pro, my inaugural attempts at wielding a golf club yielded somewhat better results that I’d expected, and I suffered only a marginal degree of embarrassment for my very first outing.
Even as I stood on the vast, immaculately maintained grounds, I felt an unexpected sense of immersion into the living jungle all around me. It was truly a treat to tee up while being serenaded from all directions by the sounds of tropical birds on nearby branches.
The DetailsLuxury Bahia Principe Sian Kaan www.bahia-principe.com
Riviera Maya Golf Club www.rivieramaya-golfclub.com