Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Riviera Maya in Mexico.
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. There will be a deliberate mix of European and worldwide properties, super luxury and mid market, branded and independent. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.
Today’s hotel is the Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico. It is reader Chris’ favourite hotel and here is his review:
Getting to the Rosewood Mayakoba Resort in Mexico
Under normal circumstances British Airways has a daily flight between London Gatwick and Cancun. This is the route we flew – on an ageing 777 with the old style World Traveller Plus.
From Cancun Airport to the Rosewood Mayakoba resort it was about a 45 minute drive. The resort arranged an airport pickup for us which went smoothly and was particularly welcoming after the 10 hour flight.
The welcome at the hotel was as you would expect from a five star property. After a long and sweeping driveway surrounded by what the hotel describes as “jungle” we emerged into the open air lobby of the hotel and were met by porters and cold drinks.
Check-in was seamless and we were directed towards our suite. As this was a reward trip from my company we had no choice over the type of room, but we ended up in a Lagoon Suite, which backed onto one of the many crocodile infested (!) lagoons which make up the resort.
It ameant that we were “driven” to our room by a small electric boat boarded from the lobby, arriving at our own private jetty outside the room. It was certainly a unique way of arriving and offered something different compared to the golf buggies of other large resorts.
Our still modest Lagoon Suite was 90m2. Here is a brochure shot of how they look:
It had tall ceilings, a separate seating and dining area, a bathroom with separate toilet and views on to the outside garden.
A roof terrace with shaded day bed was lovely in the evening, but didn’t get much use. To the rear was a patio with lush looking garden which any London flat would be happy to own. We also had our own heated plunge pool.
The suite offered huge amounts of privacy and huge amounts of wildlife on the doorstep. Don’t worry about the baby crocodiles you see swimming near the banks of the lagoons – larger ones get “re-homed” we were told! Although I have stayed in many hotels, this one, combined with it’s unique setting, really had a wow-factor that you don’t find very often.
One of the aspects that features in many reviews of this resort is the service they receive from the hotel staff. Our experience was no different – the efficiency and manner of every staff member we met or passed could not be faulted, and it was exemplified by our butler.
Either the hotel had planted microphones in our room, or our butler could genuinely mind-read (I’m not sure which is more concerning). She consistently anticipated our requests and desires to move around the resort. She would have a buggy arrive to take us to dinner as we stepped out of the door, or rustle up clean glasses and fresh ice just as we arrived back from the beach. It was impressive. You would also occasionally see the butlers on the beach, chatting with their guests, checking everyone was happy or personally delivering food to the sun loungers.
Speaking of the beach, there was certainly enough space to spread out. The inclusion of Evian face sprays, bottled water and a beach attendant who was as efficient as he was subtle, made the whole experience of being on the beach so much more enjoyable.
It was never going to beat a Caribbean island for the idyllic sea colour but the delicious guacamole and chips served to our sunbed made up for it! Service was always efficient and friendly.
Dining at Rosewood Mayakoba
There were seven formal dining options to be used throughout the day, ranging from pizza on the beach to more formal and expensive options in the evening. Breakfast at Casa del Lago, overlooking the lagoon was a highlight, as was the sushi prepared at Agave Azul – easily on a par with decent sushi restaurants I’ve eaten at in London. Not on a par however were the prices. It was easy to spend $250 on a modest evening meal for two, and so it transpired that this was the most expensive free holiday that I’d ever been on.
We didn’t opt to try the spa or the sports facilities while on site, but you do get given a bicycle for the duration of your stay. This is used to get around the resort on the winding but safe pathways, and also to explore the wider area. With tracks around the golf course and neighbouring resort properties, it was a relaxing way to explore the large grounds.
There is criticism, not levied by me, that the resort is not “Mexican” enough. I didn’t find that to be the case, and neither did it bother me. Rosewood is an international chain after all and the touches that were there were more than enough to remind you of your location. The complimentary tequila in the room, plentiful tequila cocktails (which the barman was only too happy to try out on us) and free eco-tours of the hotel waterways and cenotes allowed us to get a feel for the unique geography of the Yucatán Peninsula. If you do want to venture out of the resort, dare I say it that the nearby town of Playa del Carman (a 20 minute taxi ride) is not a great example of what it is to be in the real Mexico either!
The big question has to be, would I return if I were paying with my own money? This trip has certainly ruined us and our expectations of what the service in a five star resort should be like. There is no doubt that with suite prices starting at $600 per night plus food and drinks, this is not somewhere a family of four could easily consider without comparing it with some pretty impressive competitors. Every other member of our group had the same positive views, however.
If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.
Booking Rosewood Mayakoba
HFP’s hotel booking partner, Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, is able to access exclusive Rosewood Elite benefits.
If you book via Emyr, at the same Best Flexible Rate as you will see online, you will also receive:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
- $125 USD spa credit
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary wi-fi
There’s also a ‘4th night free’ offer until 20th December.