10 Reasons To Visit The Riviera Maya This Winter!

Winter is almost here and there's no prettier, and easier, place to visit than Mexico's Riviera Maya! The gorgeous coastline from Cancun down to Tulum is dotted with beautiful beaches, and stunning hotels!

We visited the Andaz Mayakoba Resort, which is a stunning oasis and close to the Mayan ruins and cultural offerings the area has to offer! Here are the top 10 things we love about it!

1. Cultura!

Andaz Mayakoba Resort reflects the unique spirit of the surrounding neighborhood inhabited by Mayans going back to the 6th century AD. The resorts breathtaking design reflects this Mayan culture, which brings to life locally inspired and indigenous experiences.  The property itself houses a “cenote” which was known as a place of pilgrimage and spiritual place of practice for ancient Mayan people.

2. Fabulous Digs!

Umm. can we say upscale tropical fabulous accommodations! All rooms at the resort either have a beach view or lush balcony views of such green scenery and mangroves surrounding the property.

3. Cool Rides

The resort property is lush, private – and while its gives an intimate setting – it is a huge property. There are bikes provided throughout the entire property that you can ride throughout nature trails and also to the beach. Sooo beautiful and serene!

4. Cuisine

 We cannot say enough about the FOOD!  WOW!  Andaz offers four amazing restaurants on the property all spearheaded by renowned international Executive Chef Vincent Wallez. All featuring unique design concepts, fresh LOCAL ingredients and authentic cooking techniques

  Here are a few of our faves:

  • Olla Ceviche: How does eating Ceviche poolside or beach side sound? Take your pick!  This place features fresh ceviches and sharing plates, as well as a Tequila bar. YUM.  Personal fave: Scallops Ceviche in COCONUT & Black Octopus Ceviche. Ta die For!
  • Olla Taco: This spot is also poolside & beachside and offers amazing tacos, delish guacamole all to compliment your specially mixed margarita. Personal Faves: Watermelon Salad with cured duck, caramelized nuts & feta feta cheese AND octopus taco.
  • Cocina Milagro: Open for all-day dining, the restaurant has a market-to-table menu concept with an emphasis on seafood. For breakfast, guests can opt for a buffet breakfast, which features tropical fruits, yogurt, fresh juices : an Andaz Mayakoba custom-blended coconut pineapple tea, and Mexican breakfast delicacies including items such as the Motulenos Eggs over corn tortilla with tomato sauce, green peas, cotija cheese, turkey, ham and plantains. Personal Fave: the chicken chilaquiles with green and red sauce – incredible and a local favorite. Don’t forget to have the Jugo Verde (green juice) and do try the Olla De Café (fruit emerged in black coffee – who knew?)! Overall their breakfast buffet is unparalleled. 
  • Casa Amate - Last but certainly not least, my all around personal favorite.  The entire restaurant makes you feel like you walked into a beautiful Mexican home. All rooms are themed Living Room, Dining, and Library etc. Their cuisine is more diverse Latin American and the restaurant is built around a courtyard with a special Amate tree. The Amate is a type of bark paper that has been manufactured in Mexico since ancient times when Mayans would use this “paper” to scribe religious beliefs.  A must if you are staying in the Andaz resort or even if you are close by in Riviera Maya /Playa De Carmen. Perosnal Fave: Stuffed Poblano Pepper w/ Chihuahua Cheese (can you say OMG??) Yellow Soup : Hearts of Plam soup w/ fresh coconut water and the LAMB Dish marinated with cachacha and coconut milk… Ah MAZE ing! Be sure to try a one of the unique cocktails at the Library’s Bar by one of their supreme Mixologists.  BONUS:  If you are there on a SUNDAY be sure to visit their wondrous Jazz Brunch with everything you can imagine (Lamb, Spanish Tortas, Eggs cooked in the kitchen while you watch, Ceviche bar and more. Couple that with a beautiful view of the mangroves and you will be ready to spend the rest of the day there!

5. Spa

Their Naum Spa is a 10,000-square-foot hideaway in the center of the resort. They offer a complete menu of refreshing and rejuvenating services, many of which incorporate indigenous Mayan methods. The décor intended to connect the guests with the jungle setting and envelope visitors in a verdant and lush environment. The treatments, coined ‘Naum Rituals’, were developed based on native Mayan traditions known as rituals, which are reflective of the mind, body and spirit. The spa’s namesake, Naum, is the Mayan God of consciousness and mind. The Naum Rituals were created to pay homage to oneself and the Mayan Gods, and to find harmony based on the guest’s selected area of wellness intention –whether that be Clarity (Tsoolik), Rest (He’lel), Strength (Muuk’) or Connection (Molcintah). Each ritual is a three-part experience, alluding to the balancing nature of the number three with a beginning, middle and end. The Ritual begins with a Mayan Time of Reflection, followed by the treatment experience itself, and concludes with a Mayan Celebration to help guests balance and reconnect with themselves and the universe. The 75-minute treatment it mystical and enchanting.  A must try!

6. Beach

Andaz has the longest and most pristine beach in Mayakoba. It’s stunning white sand beach faces the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Relax on comfortable chaise lounge chairs and umbrellas. Be sure to take advantage of complimentary stand up paddleboard lessons and first demo class of kite surf.

7. EcoTour

Their Eco Boat tour helps bring an exciting new experience to the locale, immersing guests in a hidden paradise with six miles of freshwater canals surrounded by exotic mangroves, lagoons, flora and fauna as well as tropical birds. The setting transported us into a lush natural environment where locally inspired experiences, cuisine and the enriched spirit of my fellow ancient Latinos could be felt.

8. Activities

For those who really want to stay active on vacation – there is a 24 hour gym, nature walks as well as access to El Camaleón Golf Club, a gorgeous 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman and Mayakoba Tennis center.

9. Excursions

Andaz can coordinate tours for you to explore outside of Mayakoba. Some musts are: Chichen Itza – Located two hours from the resort, the famous Mayan ruins and Ek’ Balam Mayan Ruins and Cenote where visitors are allowed to climb the steps to the top of the 96-foot-tall main pyramid. There are also Great bars (check out Zenzi Beach Club), restaurants and nightlife as well. There is a JAZZ Festival in November and LGBT Dance Music Festival in February. Sooooo much to do – you may want to stay for 2 weeks!

10. Yoga

Om on the playa!

Yoga – A must!  Be sure to start your day with early morning yoga on the beach. What an amazing way to become one with all elements of Mexico.