Mayakoba (meaning “village over the water" in the Mayan language) is a 600+ acre exclusive sanctuary located about 35 minutes (about 1 hr with traffic) south of Cancun in the city of Playa del Carmen in the greater area of Riviera Maya of Mexico. It’s an oceanfront gated community, making it a very safe destination for travelers in Mexico, home to 4 award-winning hotels – the Andaz, Banyan Tree, Fairmont, and Rosewood, Mayakoba. The area is known as Mexico’s leading sustainable luxury destination as it was designed to blend and preserve the stunning landscape of the region, which also makes it an exciting place to explore as it has a jungle or tropical forest feel to it while at the same time being oceanfront!
Guide to Rosewood Mayakoba
Arriving at the Rosewood Mayakoba
Rosewood Mayakoba is a luxury resort in Mexico with only suites located on the water, either on secluded lagoons or the ocean. From the moment you land at the Cancun airport, you will be greeted by the hotel’s concierge team to assist you through the airport to the private car service that you arrange in advance with the resort. Even just a ride from the airport is top-notch since they allow you to choose your music on an iPad and have selections of candy and drinks such as water and beer to enjoy during the ride.
Once you go through the huge Mayakoba entrance gates, you will be transported into a tropical jungle that brings you all the feels and excitement for your upcoming trip. Upon arrival at the resort, you will be greeted by your butler, who will assist you with all your needs throughout your stay at the resort. Additionally, you will be offered a delicious welcome drink (with or without tequila) while being transported to your suite by a private boat ride on the lagoon! But wait, the welcome amenities don’t stop there; upon entering your immaculate suite, you’ll be stunned by the décor but also that they have two complimentary drink stations set up in your room with all the ingredients, including full-size tequila bottles, to make your own margaritas or mezcal cocktails during your stay.
The Rooms at the Rosewood Mayakoba
The family-friendly resort has 129 suites that are all large and spacious open concept with living areas, huge bathrooms with soaking tubs and showers with an outdoor feel, and oversized terraces. Many even have private heated plunge pools. All of the suites have a fun contemporary Mexican vibe to them with decorative tile and wood throughout. You really can’t go wrong with any of the rooms; check out some photos of them below:
The Restaurants at Rosewood Mayakoba & Beyond
The resort has a wide variety of dining options for your stay! The dining does come at a price tag with it being a luxury resort, but the staff’s service is top-notch! I will admit that being from NYC, I am a bit of a foodie, so checking out restaurants is a must for every trip. With that being said, I can be a bit picky and set the bar high for food expectations. If interested in learning more about each restaurant and recommendations, see below (P.S. I left ratings for the places we were lucky to dine at) :
Casa De Lago – (Breakfast 5/5, Lunch & Dinner 3/5)
Don’t skip on the breakfast here; it has a wide variety of unlimited options to choose from like traditional waffles, egg dishes with a Mexican twist, or even enchiladas! For dinner, the restaurant transitions to Italian; it was good but wouldn’t rave about it.
Tip: Make sure to get the Churros, and they host a Sunday Brunch with live music, optional all-you-can-drink, and probably the best-fried chicken sandwich ever!
Punta Bonita (4/5) – Situated at the family pool area, you can sip on some margaritas and enjoy a Mexican-style lunch with a view, of course!
Agave Azul (3/5) – It’s a unique casual restaurant serving up Asian-inspired dishes. Many of the dishes have a Mexican twist to them, which certainly is not something you find often. With a wide variety of options on the menu, everyone will be able to find something to enjoy!
Tip: Skip the sushi if you have enjoyed omakase in major US cities or Tokyo before. The fish is fresh but won’t hit at the traditional level you might expect. For example, the soy sauce is clear without much flavor that when I inquired about it, I was told that since the flavors of soy sauce are strong, they dilute it with water.
Zapote Bar – (Cocktails, Small Plates, Dinner)
This is the newest restaurant at the resort, and everyone at it was saying that guests have been raving about it. We only stopped by for cocktails, and they for sure did not disappoint, and it turns into a fun atmosphere at night.
Tip: They host an agave/tequila tasting discovery at 5 pm or 9 pm daily for an entertaining way to try different flavors.
Aqui Me Quedo
Located in the adult-only section of the resort, this is a cute food truck serving ceviches, tacos, and burritos. It’s mostly a lunch spot, but it also has dinner by the sea option available known as “al fresco” hosted on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:00 pm with a standard a la carte dining menu.
Saffron (5/5) – Located at the Banyan Tree Resort
The Rosewood team will quickly provide you transportation to any of the other resorts in the Mayakoba area! Saffron was one of my favorite restaurants of the trip, offering authentic Thai cuisine in a romantic outdoor setting by the lagoon.
Rosewood Mayakoba Special Dining Event Schedule
Many of the restaurants at the Rosewood Mayakoba host special events with fun themes on various nights. Most of them are group-type meals where you are invited to explore different foods and drinks with other guests at the resort. It can get a little challenging to keep track of what is going on and where each night, so here is a simple breakdown of it:
Chefs Garden Party – (highly recommended by the resort staff) Mon., Weds., Sat. at 7 pm, $210 pp
An interactive dinner setting in a beautiful outdoor setting with communal dining where guests partake in a culinary experience together, including cooking demonstrations and tastings.
Sabores De Baja – Hosted at El Pueblito – Mondays at 6:00pm, $125 per adult & $60 per child
Located in “The Plaza” of Mayakoba (not directly on the Rosewood property), stroll through various food stalls and shops before arrive at a table overlooking the lagoon where you’ll enjoy Baja California-inspired food and cocktails.
Mexican Grill – Hosted at Punta Bonita – Thursdays at 6:30 pm, $95 per adult & $45 per child
Enjoy a lively atmosphere ocean side with other guests feasting on tacos and other Mexican specialties straight from an open grill setting. One welcome cocktail is included.
Beach Food Fest – Hosted at Aqui Me Quedo – Sundays at 6 pm, $125 per adult & $65 per child
Enjoy a night with live music overlooking the beach while you taste small Mexican plates paired with different types of tequila, mezcal, or your favorite cocktail.
7 Things to Do at the Rosewood, Mayakoba:
- Relax beachside or at one of the four resort pools
- Watersport activities at the beach
- Play tennis, basketball, bocci ball, or golf at the PGA Tour course El Camaleon
- Exercise or take one of the many classes at the fitness center
- Pamper yourself at the luxurious spa
- Explore the El Pueblito area of Mayakoba
- Excursions such as scuba diving, swimming in the cenotes, cruises, or exploring the Mayan ruins
What to Pack for Mexico:
A travel guide wouldn’t be complete without talking about what to pack for Mexico! As the owner of a custom travel kit business, you know I have some fire recommendations that you can quickly get right here on the site!
- Reef-Friendly Sunscreen – Eco-friendly is in, and Mexico is a destination that makes efforts to keep the reefs safe.
- Mosquito Repellent - especially in the Mayakoba area with the lagoons
- Aloe Mist – Since you will have sunscreen, you won’t burn, right? But an aloe mist can always instantly soothe skin and make you feel refreshed after a hot day in the sun
- Compact & Quick Drying Towel – The resort provides towels, but this will come in handy to easily throw in your beach bag for excursions away from the resort
So should you book a stay at the Rosewood, Mayakoba?
YES! This is one of the most unique resorts; even Travel & Leisure has listed it as #2 of the top hotels in Mexico and as #56 for the top 100 hotels in the world! I would 100% go back and recommend this resort to anyone looking to splurge on a luxury getaway. The grounds and rooms are beautiful, and it’s enjoyable to bike around to explore the jungle-like area. The #1 reason why this hotel is a top destination is the service, though! The workers were beyond friendly, helpful and surprised us daily with luxurious treats to make it an unforgettable experience.
Add this luxury Mexico destination to your bucket list!