Stay: Rosewood Mayakoba
When vacationing south of the border, choosing where to stay among endless resorts, hotels and inns can be somewhat overwhelming. But for a truly singular experience — one laid seamlessly among placid lagoons, thick mangrove forests and pristine white Caribbean sand — allow your wearied eyes to rest upon Rosewood Mayakoba. This swanky, 1600-acre Riviera Maya getaway has your tropical beach dreams trumped.
The resort boasts 128 lavish suites set on the banks of crystal clear lagoons and parallel to a mile of white sand beach. But if the locale isn’t good enough for you (what exactly are you looking for?), rooms feature sumptuous amenities like outdoor rain showers, Bose sound systems, complimentary tequila upon your arrival and rooftop terraces for sunbathing or stargazing. There’s top-notch room service and plenty of quality restaurants to choose from; the stay-in set can also arrange for a private, in-room dinner with Mrs. Right. Catch of the day with Valencian paella and garlic aioli, anyone?
A spa and three tranquilizing pools are playgrounds for further relaxation, and once you’re feeling refreshed, there’s diving and snorkeling opportunities on the Belize Barrier Reef (the second largest reef system in the world) and deep-sea fishing so you can snag the obligatory I-caught-a-marlin photo. Follow that up with tequila tastings for a good (or not so good) nightcap. For the intellectual traveler, the resort even offers lectures on Mayan culture and the Yucatan ecosystem.
Golfers, too, can rejoice. Perhaps the most prominent feature of Rosewood Mayakoba is its 7,000-yard Greg Norman-designed golf course. Named El Camaleon because of its dynamic and challenging landscape, it hosted the first official PGA TOUR event ever held outside of the U.S. and Canada. Whether your golf game goes well or not, this oasis truly embodies paradise and promises a one-of-a-kind getaway for the tropically inclined.