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I first spotted him outside my casita.
He was magnificent, with chiseled cheek bones and piercing brown eyes. I called him Juan Carlos (it just seemed fitting). I often saw him sunning himself as I came and went from my room — he truly was a gorgeous iguana and was only one of the many exotic animals that called the grounds of Fairmont Mayakoba home.
Much like my regal little lizard friend, the 401-room Fairmont Mayakoba is also able to shed its skin. The Riviera Maya property has emerged from its recent renovation looking refreshed.
Fresher FareFairmont Mayakoba features four on-site dining options for guests, each reflecting the unique personality of world-renowned chef Richard Sandoval. The Fairmont Mayakoba recently partnered with Sandoval, who uses his Latin roots to bring both authenticity and creativity to the region’s iconic cuisine.
At The Lobby Lounge, returning guests will be sure to notice the new bar, located within the open-air venue that is draped in sweeping chandeliers. The lounge offers plenty of cozy nooks where clients can relax, take in the views and sample the menu of the Asian/Latin- inspired small dishes. While here, guests should be sure to order at least one of the bar’s signature cocktails (the cucumber mojito may sound a little strange, but I found it to be absolutely delicious).
The Latin-Asian fusion continues with El Puerto restaurant, which was remodeled and reopened its doors in June. Clients can savor plates of sushi and ceviches, as well as sample more than 100 different kinds of sakes and tequila.
A third restaurant, Brisas, boasts a massive wood-burning oven in the heart of the restaurant, where specially selected varieties of wood are used to enhance the flavor of the fare. When dining here, guests are surrounded by ocean views and covered by a thatched palapa. Locally caught seafood, as well as fine cuts of meat, are the hallmarks of the menu.
Modern Mexican is the inspiration for the new La Laguna Restaurant and Lounge, which was the last restaurant to reach completion, opening on the first of this month. While here, guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet or an a la carte lunch and dinner on the restaurant’s terrace.
Elegant ExpansionFairmont Mayakoba lies within Mayakoba, a 600-acre eco-resort community that also encompasses Fairmont’s sister properties, Rosewood Mayakoba and Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and is surrounded by a network of fresh-water canals.
In conjunction with these properties, Fairmont has helped open El Pueblito, a replica of a small village square. The new space is a charming venue for weddings and corporate events. With a capacity of up to 1,000 people, the space is a fun alternative to the traditional ballroom or convention floor venue. In the center of the complex is a large gazebo, flanked on four sides by a functioning Catholic chapel, boutiques and art galleries that display goods from local artists. The square is open daily for guests who would like to shop without having to take a long cab ride into the town center.
With all the new amenities the resort has introduced, it’s important not to overlook the unique attributes this property has long provided its guests. The Willow Stream spa gives clients a chance to relax and rejuvenate with services such as a luxuriating chocolate body scrub and massage. Guests can also tee off on the PGA-certified El Camaleon 18-hole golf course, designed by Greg Norman.
This AAA Five Diamond resort has all it takes to provide a client with a memorable experience, from the unique landscape, the well-appointed rooms, exceptional dining venues and a warm staff — even the cold-blooded ones.
Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Mayawww.fairmont.com/mayakoba