There should be prizes for deciphering what photos are actually showing. This one, on the left, certainly deserves a prize. It is one of the room service golf-buggies at Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya (one of three luxury resorts that form part of the Spanish-owned, 1,605-acre Mayakoba development, set up by the Chairman of Obrascon Huarte Lain OHL, Juan-Miguel Villar Mir). This particular resort opened in 2007, and its greenery has blossomed, even on to golf buggies, since the gal was last here four years ago.
Now the resort is lush, everywhere. Think Green. Actually think Sir Philip Green, the English fashion tycoon who seems to reside officially in Monaco for tax reasons. He is one of the top-ten party hosts anywhere. He spent what the papers say was £6.5 million on his birthday party here at Rosewood Mayakoba this March: he bought out the entire 128-room hotel for five nights, flew in Chris Brown, Michael Bublé, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder to entertain, and brought his own security staff. Drinks included Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 2009 and Cos d’Estournel 2001, and Kobe hamburgers were among the snacks.
Lady Green, a South African called Tina, organized the whole thing with the assistance of party-planners Banana Split, led by Julian Posner, who says he has done all Sir’s events since his wedding 23 years ago – right now he is in Los Angeles running the Nick Candy-Holly Valance wedding.
The Green guest list ranged from Lakshmi Mittal and Steve Wynn (and Mohamed Fayed) through to Naomi Campbell, Simon Cowell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Hudson, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and a few young contemporaries of the Greens’ daughter Chloe, coincidentally celebrating her 21st birthday at the same time.
From the hotel’s side, GM Graeme Davis says his help-list included 18 top-notch people from other Rosewoods, to supplement his own 420-strong super-team.
Graeme Davis is a patterned-green-sock man, which not only complements the tessellated side of the luxury hotel’s coffee bar but also the green-theme of the entire resort. Wherever you turn it is lushness. That is one of the reasons, he says, why he chose to come here.
He loves the Cancun area. The airlift is tremendous, both to North America, from 2.5 hours up, and good daily flights to Europe (try British Airways) and even Moscow. The airport works, and it is only 35 minutes from the hotel.
Arrive, and you are greeted at the main reception area and ushered into a silent, electric boat for an unforgettable tour of the lagoons through the curving mangrove that make up the terrain here. Remember those diagrams of lungs back in biology lessons at school?
Here you feel the invigorating air as the boat winds it way through little bronchioles of water. A server offers you a skewer of chilled papaya and pineapple. Welcome to Rosewood Mayakoba.
Suite 206, like all the others, looks out over water. The boat pulls up to its wood jetty, you climb eight wood steps to its private deck, big enough for an eight-by-four warmed plunge pool and a couple of loungers. Inside, there are cool marble floors, off-white walls and beige seating. Inner glass-walled ‘air vents’ give a hint of Amangiri in Utah.
There is a big living area, with dining for four: go back through the bedroom to the closet and enormous indoor-outdoor bath area, with a freestanding tub. A bottle of tequila awaits.
On September 26th, 2012, after the entire resort had closed for three weeks, it reopened with an enlarged gym and a new sushi restaurant. Yes, the much-loved Agave Azui tequila bar, with over 100 varieties in back-lit areas on one wall, now also serves superb sashimi and sushi, masterminded by a Japanese-Mexican called Yuder.
You can eat all-green salads, with kelp and kiwi and grapes and lettuces, or you might want to confine your greenery to a small bow on your sushi. I found that sushi, by the way, goes jolly well with a margarita.
In the morning I ran a path through mangrove to the beach, ten minutes each way – a regular shuttle is available for those addicted to buggy transport. Some villas down there are great for those who want maximum privacy, and a sea, rather than a lagoon view.
I personally like 206. After a great swim in the gym’s main pool, it was breakfast time. The copious buffet had a green juice, I don’t know what it was, but the orange juice was magnificent, marvellously tart. It also had every fruit you can think of, including blueberries and raspberries that are better and tastier than those from Scotland.
And, a real plus, there were satellited versions of today’s Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. This is obviously a thoughtful hotel for intelligent guests. I put my head through a sculpture shaped like a giant bagel and felt the day was going well, already.
As I left, Iwan told me how proud he is to work here. ‘All my friends say wow, how did you do that?’. So how did you? ‘I do not know, they interviewed 150, took on seven.’ We need more pride in life.