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Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya, Riviera Maya 

Carretera 307, Km 298.8
Playa del Carmen
Mexico 77710
Tel: 800 526 6566 (toll-free)
Tel: 52 984 877 3888
view web site ›'s insider take:

Art and architecture enhance the natural expanse of this tranquil 36-acre enclave, where emerald grass pyramids echo the local Mayan culture, and the 128 white-on-beige rooms form a neutral backdrop for the lush vegetation surrounding them. The decor is a lesson in luxe minimalism, with bamboo floors, glassed-in showers, and sleek wood and rattan furnishings. Twenty rooms are situated beside the region's dreamiest destination spa, with a watsu pool shielded by trees and vines; an outdoor lap pool framed by lawns; and a peaceful, shady café—and that's just the outdoor amenities. Indoors, therapists and trainers soothe and strengthen muscles with Thai massage, jet-lag herbal wraps, and intensive yoga classes. On-site restaurants include the Mex-Asian Ambar, which rises like a UFO above a languid lagoon, and Aguamarina, a casual oceanfront seafood restaurant. One caveat: The exclusivity of the resort can make it feel a bit cold. Couples looking for an ultraprivate getaway might not notice, but social travelers will want to opt for the more friendly Rosewood Mayakoba.

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