As ambitious and highly-motivated people, we sometimes get wrapped up in work commitments and responsibilities, leaving little time to nurture our bodies and souls. Three months into my MBA program, I was utterly overwhelmed and stressed. I was not sleeping enough, working out enough, or eating well enough. I knew I needed to hit the reset button, and I knew just the place for it.
It didn't take me long to fall under Rosewood Mayakoba's spell. I can vividly remember my first trip three years ago. The driver weaved miles through the jungle, then finally pulled up to the open-air lobby where I was greeted by name and offered the most delightfully refreshing frozen cocktail, the chaya mojito. Whisked down the spiral staircase to the lagoon, a man in a charming wooden boat waited. After tooling around the lagoon, we arrived at the suite, warmly greeted by the butler. Unreal.
My fourth trip began the same, and although Rosewood Mayakoba looked and felt similar, this trip was much different. This trip was just for me. To relax. To sleep. To sun. To recharge. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a solo trip at least once in your life.
Rosewood Mayakoba offers several different types of suites, and you really can't go wrong no matter which you choose. There are subtle differences in the outdoor patios, bathtubs, and welcome amenities with each suite, making it an adventure even if you've come numerous times.
This trip, I stayed in the beachside lagoonview suite. I was welcomed with el jardinero margaritas, chips, guacamole, and salsa. These suites are the closest to the beach, but also sit on the lagoon. Out one door, I had a sand-filled patio with hammock, and out the other door, I had a plunge pool and lounge chairs overlooking the lagoon. Best of both Mayakoba worlds!
If you are looking for a more secluded suite, I recommend the lagoon suites. You won't be on the sand, but the beach is just a quick bicycle ride away.
After a quick tour, I put on my swim suit, grabbed my chic beach bag, and was off to Punta Bonita to enjoy their famous lobster tacos oceanside.
The Pool + Beach
Punta Bonita is the restaurant that overlooks the pool and beach. Since there are only 130 suites on the property, the pool area is rarely crowded, and the service is outstanding. Before you even realize what you need, your server is there.
The most common sight is glamorous people sipping champagne in the pool. But if I'm in Mexico, I'm ordering a margarita.
And there is no way you could be disappointed with this margarita menu. In addition to the classic margarita, they also offer specialty wellness-inspired margaritas. Some options include the neutral margarita with blueberry and basil (to neutralize toxins), the flow margarita with prickly pear and blackberry (to improve digestion), the strong margarita with passion fruit and ginger (to strengthen and antioxidate), and the pulse margarita with watermelon and basil (to improve heart health).
Sense, a Rosewood Spa, sits on its own island and it is truly a retreat. Everyone who works at the spa is enthusiastic about the treatments and the overall well-being of their guests. The treatment menu is unique and brings in ancient Mayan treatment methods with modern products. If you don't have time for a treatment, you must at least go and experience the facilities.
The building shown above is the new apothecary. Soon, treatment products will be plucked from the garden. Just past the apothecary, there's an outdoor relaxation area with lounge chairs made for a peaceful afternoon nap.
The women's facility is extensive. I like to mix up a coconut oil scrub, apply it and sit in the steam room, shower off, then jump in the cold pool, and finally relax in the jacuzzi. The relaxation lounge is stocked with the best magazines, hot tea, fresh juices, and dried fruits. And if you ask, they'll whip up a glass of the best horchata water you've ever had.
The treatment rooms are in individual huts set back in the jungle. Each treatment begins with a foot scrub and selection of calming music. I have loved every treatment I've experienced, with my favorites being the Mayakoba Signature Island Massage and the Agave Azul Hydrating Experience. But again, you can't go wrong.
I prefer evening treatments because walking back is so enchanting. Basket lanterns, candles, and fire torches illuminate the entire property.
You can enjoy breakfast in your suite, or there is a lovely breakfast buffet at Casa del Lago. The buffet is filled with fresh-baked pastries (even gluten-free ones), meats, cheeses, granola, fruits, and juices. If you're looking for a lighter breakfast, the bar next to Casa del Lago offers fresh juices and smoothies.
My favorite: the Mayakoba omelet which is packed with chunks of lobster. Ahem, with green juice, of course.
One of the reasons I continue to go back to Rosewood Mayakoba is because they take food allergies seriously. I've never had an issue ordering gluten free, and the food is always fresh and flavorful. After my steak tlayuda poolside, my server asked if I wanted some churros for dessert. Jokingly, I said, "only if they're gluten free." He giggled and said, "Give me a couple hours. Let me see what I can do."
La Ceiba was my favorite part of all. Twice a week, they open up their garden, and chefs cook a traditional Mayan meal for 20-30 guests. It sounded like such a lovely concept, I extended my trip a day so that I could experience it. And I'm so glad I did.
We were welcomed with margaritas mixed with fresh herbs from the garden and had plenty of time to mingle with the other guests before dinner began.
The table was simple and beautiful. Due to popularity and guests begging to get in, they opened up 11 seats at the bar. If you have a choice, definitely go for a bar seat. That's where all the action happens.
Ten delicious dishes, plus dessert. All the wine and tequila you can drink. Authentic mariachi entertainment. And best of all, the chance to connect with interesting people from across the world. I will always cherish those memories of what felt like a five-hour party with old friends.
And you know what? That darling pastry chef surprised me with GLUTEN-FREE churros! They were incredible. That's worth a trip to Mexico.
There are no words that could do Rosewood Mayakoba justice. It's magical. And the only way for you to understand is to experience it. If you go to dinner at La Ceiba, you'll hear the same thing from every other guest. Whether you're looking for a solo soul-searching trip, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation spot, this is it.
With overwhelming love and gratitude, thanks to the people of Rosewood Mayakoba for the warmth, kindness, and outstanding service. It was an absolute pleasure to capture and share my experience.
As we go into the holiday season, I hope you remember to take care of yourself. What makes you happy? What brings you peace? How can you enrich your life so that you may be better equipped to serve and lead others? Do more of that.
Photography: Christie McMillan
Sponsored by: Rosewood Mayakoba