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Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya 

See the Riviera Maya Guide ›
Carretera Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen, Km 298
Tel: 888 767 3966 (toll-free)
view web site ›'s insider take:

The staff at the Rosewood Mayakoba achieves the perfect service-to-friendliness ratio. Cart drivers meet guests at their doors with open umbrellas during tropical rain showers and waiters quickly memorize cocktail and coffee preferences. The service sets the tone for guests, making the vibe here far more social than at the Mayakoba development's other chichi options, the Banyan Tree and the Fairmont. Much of the development is a protected reserve, and the outdoor Yucatán limestone showers, waterside plunge pools, and sunken tubs in indoor gardens in the 128 suites (none smaller than 800 square feet) play off that nature-focused bent. The stark cubist buildings, on the other hand, seem to shimmer against the azure sky. Though it's tempting to cocoon in your luxe retreat, guests are easily lured out by the contemporary European fare at Casa del Lago, the casual Mexican meals served pool and beachside, and the primo tequilas at the Agave Azul. Even more enticing is the Sense Spa, whose waterside treatment rooms and spa café reside on their own private island. This is, in short, the ideal way to experience Mayakoba.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Water figures big in the design here, and we're not talking just about the curling Caribbean Sea that laps at the resort's edges. All 128 suites are waterfront—some on the bleached-white beach, others on the aqua canals that wind through a dense mangrove forest, which is populated by herons, cormorants, and crocodiles, and along which guests navigate via electric-powered barquito. There are three sculpted public pools, and every suite has its own plunge pool (though the ones fronting a canal don't allow complete privacy). Each suite's trampoline-size tub and separate shower are set against a wall of glass that looks onto a private garden. As a counterpoint to all this fluidity and the jungle abundance, the strikingly modern white cabins have taffy-colored Yucatán limestone on the walls, and decks and slatted sunscreens made of tzalam wood. The resort offers four restaurants—including a raw bar and an organic spa café—plus a deliriously well-stocked tequila library. Part of the Mayakobá Ecological Resorts complex, the Rosewood shares a Greg Norman–designed golf course and a network of waterways with a growing cluster of first-class hotels.

—2008 Hot List

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