Walking back home after dinner, it makes you feel good knowing that there are about a thousand lit nightlights flanking the walkways back to one’s villa. Luxury is then waking up, next morning, and looking out at a pristine beach, its turquoise loungers, its white sand and blue sky already waiting, and no-one else at this amazing hotel (Belmond Maroma) yet up and about. Room 65, the lower half of a two-floor building with two up, two down, has its own work-out room, with Technogym runner and a pilates ball, and a nicely-warm plunge pool. This, thought the gal, was going to be a good day.
There are lots of Mexican touches about Belmond Maroma. When I arrived the bed was nicely decorated. On a lounger near it saw a bright orange beach bag and a buttercup yellow pashmina. Some of the china is local-floral. And one of the nicest things about Mexico, full stop, is its people. I found that in Mexico CIty everyone wants to help and it is certainly true here, on the Riviera Maya coast.
I went through to breakfast, knowing that Aunty, Latia, would be there before me. In her gorgeously-embroidered dirndl dress, and her hair in the net that is ubiquitous on many men and women in hotels throughout the area, she is sitting there making tortillas. Come and help, she indicated. And that was my cooking lesson for the day, though I admit that I chose non-Mexican from the breakfast menu (it is all à la carte here, no buffet as such but they bring you a tray with a selection of fruits and pastries, and shot glasses of strawberry-topped yoghurt).
We sat outside, soaking up the morning sun, and Aunty came to press her tortillas on her boss, Federico Echaiz, who heads Mexico for Belmond as well as running this luxury hotel. when they arrive. Once they arrive, most guests simply stay put. The chef can produce nearly any kind of food, from sushi through to Italian, with Mexican along the way, and with a spa and a main gym and several pools, and a wine cellar and a Cantina, traditional men’s drinking tavern, there is something for most people. But I had to move on…