Oh wow oh wow, the gal always says when she gets back to Riviera Maya. No matter that it is the rainy season and thunderstorms are predicted for the next few days. The glorious blue sky that matches the sea, and the white white sand… it is little wonder that the luxury hotels xxx far into the natural undergrowth on the east side of the main Highway 307 south from Cancun airport attract aficionados again and again. Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa, one of the most ‘Mexican’ of the resorts, has one American guest, from Chicago, who has been here 60 times (sometimes he makes his reservations direct with Freddy the barman). Overall, says GM Federico Echaiz, 30% of guests here are repeats, and, in total, 60% of travellers are from the USA, mainly Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
They come for the ambience, and the gorgeous greenery, and the service. This is the hotel that has 280 team members to look after only 65 rooms, the place that asks you what time you would like your free wake-up beverage, and of course there is a ledge outside your door so that when you do wake up, look outside and there is a vacuum pot of good coffee, with linens, and local-ceramic mugs. And later, when sadly you are about to leave, at that exact moment someone calls to say there is a bellman ready for your bags. You know all these people’s names, by the way. At breakfast this morning, as I sat down the server, with a big smile, said ‘my name is Moses, what is yours?’.
I had eaten splendidly at dinner last night, with Federico Echaiz (guacamole, to start, is always a good welcome-back-to-Mexico, and sommelier Aaron produced a magnificent Quinta Monasterio Sinfonia de Tintos 2014). Since the hotel got its coveted Forbes Five Star status, a Forbes Five Star package has become popular, the big draw apparently being a Forbes Five Star dinner – Chef Gabriel Kolofón was last cooking at the Ritz-Carlton in Punta Mita. After that, I returned, past some of the thousand-odd sparkling nightlights that are lit every evening, to my favourite room, suite 65, which is ground floor, right on the beach, with indoor and outdoor showers, a gym with Technogym jogger, an outdoor plunge pool and private spa sala (see the video below). And what a blessing, the WiFi is excellent, and even works out on my terrace.
Today I could have taken a complimentary Qi Gong yoga class with Andrea, and a workshop on superfoods, and Aaron is leading a pay-for tasting of Mexican wines. Instead, while I tried a magnificent mango breakfast smoothie and home-made breads that would please even an Austrian baker, I thought of all the USPs of this special hotel. After yet another cup of coffee I went to visit Adelita the parrot, and wished there were time for a Maya Temazcal in the spa, and wished I were here tomorrow, when there will be another release of baby turtles, hoping at least some of them survive after being freed to waddle into the sea. Back once again in my room, I realised the Nespresso machine comes with 36 capsules, surely a record, and my minibar, with Veuve Clicquot, is complemented by a wine rack with half a dozen great labels. No wonder someone has taken the entire luxury hotel for the next four days, for his company retreat – I need to move on. NOW SEE THE VIDEO OF SUITE 65, BELOW