Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest Is Coming May 28th. Buy Tickets Now.

The Good Life

Rosewood Mayakobá

| By Adam McCulloch | From Cuba, January/February 2009

Dramatic entrances are par for the course at Rosewood Mayakobá. Guests at this year-old property on Mexico's Riviera Maya, which forms part of the Yucatán's Mayakobá luxury enclave, enter the "lobby," an open-air pavilion with a sweeping modernist roofline, an arresting star-shaped cascading chandelier, and a waterfall that ripples down the stone wall of a spiral staircase. At the bottom of the stairs is an emerald green lagoon, where an electric motor launch offers a silent voyage into a labyrinth of canals.

It's this natural ecosystem of spring-fed water encased by a canyon of limestone that forms the theme of this charismatic resort. After entering one of the 87 lagoon suites (elegantly furnished in river-stone hues using materials such as woven leather, cane and local hardwoods), the curved walls and spiral layout funnel the visitor through marble-tiled rooms, each serving an increasingly intimate function. At the suite's center, having passed through foyer, kitchen, lounge, bedroom and bath, guests step through the shower and into a hidden garden.

Even the spa follows this stone-and-water theme. The focus of the 17,000-square-foot space, located on a private island, is one of the ancient cenotes, or underground limestone springs, that are found throughout the Yucatán and held sacred within Mayan mythology. Spa-goers can enjoy a deep-tissue massage, cleanse mind and body in a traditional temazcal sweat lodge, or simply float in the cenote.

For gourmands, Casa del Lago is the most sophisticated of the four restaurants: two menu standouts are the red snapper with sea urchin vermicelli and suckling pig with apple ravioli. The room's lofty dimensions and glowing, egg-like lanterns provide extra grandeur by night. It's the smaller spaces, though, that make you want to linger. A raw bar called Agave Azul is devoted to a 100-strong Tequila library. The cigar bar's 16 varieties come from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Cuba (Cohibas). Coincidentally, the list also perfectly mirrors the taste of recent guest Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California.

This gentlemen's club vibe is no reason to snub Riviera Maya's excellent beaches. An entire community of 33 ocean suites is just five minutes away by electric cart (or a lazy 10 by launch). Here you'll find the same sophisticated accommodation, plus panoramic ocean views and a bohemian beach scene at the horizon pool and beachfront grill Punta Bonita, which serves lobster tacos and other upscale incarnations of traditional Yucatán cuisine.

For guests preferring bunker sand to beach sand, the 1,600-acre Mayakobá's El Camaléon golf course (designed by Greg Norman) is the first in Mexico to host a PGA tournament—on February 23, 132 PGA pros will tee off for the third annual Mayakobá Golf Classic. Even on the fairway, the draw of water is omnipresent: the water trap on the opening green, for instance, is an ancient cenote from which balls never, ever return.

Visit rosewoodmayakoba.com.

Places Good Life Guide

More in The Good Life

See all
The Cigar Of The Year Meets The Whisky of the Year

The Cigar Of The Year Meets The Whisky of the Year

The best Cigar of the Year and the most exciting Whisky of the Year will be paired together at the …

May 12, 2022
Cigars for Warriors Celebrates 10 Years

Cigars for Warriors Celebrates 10 Years

Cigars for Warriors (CFW), a nonprofit that ships cigars directly to U.S. troops deployed across the …

Apr 20, 2022
Grant’s Revolvers And More Civil War Items At Auction

Grant’s Revolvers And More Civil War Items At Auction

On May 13, Rock Island Auction Co. is putting up several items of Civil War history on the block, …

Apr 15, 2022
An American Dream

An American Dream

Inna Tuler was broke when she fled war-torn Israel in 1991. Today, she’s the head of a California …

Mar 30, 2022
Sweepstakes Winners Get Their Prize: Full Boxes Of The Cigar Of The Year

Sweepstakes Winners Get Their Prize: Full Boxes Of The Cigar Of The Year

Our annual sweepstakes has ended and three lucky smokers have each won a box of Padrón 1964 Anniversa…

Mar 25, 2022
Limited Edition Hine Cigar Cognac On Sale In United Kingdom

Limited Edition Hine Cigar Cognac On Sale In United Kingdom

Hine Cigar Reserve, a cognac specifically made to pair with fine cigars, releases a 25th anniversary …

Mar 14, 2022
z