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Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is a former coconut plantation turned idyllic beach resort located on a secluded stretch of the Riviera Maya, on the Yucatán peninsula.
Tucked away among lush gardens populated with exotic birds and iguanas, reside the 63 whitewashed guest rooms and suites. Each accommodation option has its own unique character: some with hammocks reclining on the terrace; others with sunken bathtubs or a rustic outdoor shower; but all housing local artisan creations, echoing the mantra of handcrafted hospitality.
Maroma has four different dining options serving innovative Mexican cuisine. El Restaurante serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with your choice of indoor and al fresco dining - think panoramic sea views and lobster enchiladas. La Cantina is a small offshoot of this, open two nights a week offering home-style, no frills, good quality grub and tequila tasting. You then have El Sol which is the more upscale alternative, with its array of Mediterranean-Mexican fusion dishes and extensive wine cellar to ensure you find the perfect glass to complement your meal of choice. For a sundowner head to beach-side Freddy's Tequila and Ceviche Bar, which has been run by the very same man for 16 years. Who knew there were over 120 different tequilas?
Foodies may also take great delight in a beach BBQ every Friday and cookery lessons in the hotel.
As well as a private sandy beach, the resort's facilities include three swimming pools, two tennis courts (with a resident pro) and a rooftop yoga pavilion with 360-degree views of the jungle and sea. The award-winning Kinan spa has a whole host of local treatments and ancient Mayan healing remedies to sample before you get too distracted by simply roasting in the sauna.
For the water babies among you, superb snorkelling and scuba diving awaits on the colourful reefs just offshore. A full range of watersports is available at the nearby marina, including kayaking, sailing, parasailing, deep-sea finishing and swimming with dolphins. If you prefer to keep your feet on land, rent a four-wheel drive to discover the local Mayan ruins or explore the pristine World Heritage Site of Sian Ka'an, keeping an eye out for numerous fascinating land-based animals. Giant marine turtles gather on the beach between May and September to lay their eggs - a definite photo opp to add to your bucket list.
Why we love it
Maroma is a charming hotel with lots of local flavour, and a totally relaxed ambiance.
Will, Original Traveller