It really isn’t too hidden away, but compared to the other all-singing-all-dancing resorts that sweep up Riviera Maya, the dirt track driveway and lack of signage make Chablé Maroma seem like a little secret only the select few know about. The brand took the Yucatan jungle by storm, now it’s time for the coast to get its hands on the impeccable service (there’s three staff members to every one villa), deep wellness focus and sustainability-driven ethos. And much like it’s sister property, Mexico’s ancient ways are celebrated in full, from the villas’ raw-yet-refined furnishings to the traditional experiences like Temazcal ceremonies on the spa’s menu and learning the culinary secrets of the ‘Chi Chis’ – or Grandmothers to us.
Not too big, but not too small, 70 individual casitas make it so there’s a buzz about the place without it being chaotic. There’s the odd child here and there, but the overall atmosphere is very grown-up. Cancun-based designer Paulina Morán, whose work can also be found over in the Yucatan property and Hotel Esencia on the other side of Playa del Carmen, is to thank for that. Her signature way of merging the natural surroundings and local materials make the hotel feel like it has always belonged on the white sand of one of the Mayan Riviera’s best beaches.
…an adventure time-out. Chablé Maroma is aimed at the people who like a side of paradise with their escapades and their spirituality both in their Shaman guided self-discovery and the mezcal they’re sipping on by the pool (the tiles of which are a 60s cyan dream). While the spring breakers live it up in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Chablé’s guests are waking up to fresh pastry and coffee deliveries every morning and taking cooking classes from an expert in Mexican cuisine. But if that pang of wanderlust hits, nothing is too far away.
Chablé is all about the back-to-nature approach so all of the villas have taken the stance to hide away in lush vegetation rather than be out there by the beach, with most being on the first and second floors to put you right amongst the treetops. This is no shortcoming though, it just adds to the feeling of being away from prying eyes. Each a study of Xucun stone and Galarza marble finished with local artisan palm weavings, there’s no going wrong with any of these spacious spots. We do particularly like the Standalone Villas with their views of the sun-kissed gardens when it’s just the two of you, or the two-storey Presidential Villa with its three bedrooms and larger-than-life terrace when there’s more in tow.
The three dining venues pack a punch; Kaban surprises with fresh seafood flavours, Bu’ul restaurant has made the bold decision to only feature a tasting menu, and its accompanying rooftop Raw Bar is unique to the Riviera featuring some best-in-class ceviche and oysters. Then there’s the spa, where well-being journeys are deeply rooted in Mayan mysticism inspired by purification from the ocean, balance from the tree and transformation from the air. Think meditative ceremonies around an ancient spiritual Alamo tree and a four-handed massage, called The Tree of Life treatment, that realigns the body, mind, and soul.
From the second largest coral reef in the world just below the waves to the protected reserve Isla Contoy close by, there’s a wealth of biodiversity right on the doorstep. If you ask nicely though, Maroma will open up its little black book of secrets, revealing some under-the-radar spots that are often bypassed by the tourist crowd. One of these is Kaan Luum Lagoon, a local favourite close to Tulum with colours akin to an agate slice.
Riviera Maya is enjoyable year-round, but October to May is generally the most pleasant time to visit. Humidity is at its highest from July to September, with occasional showers more likely to occur on the Gulf Coast. November to May are the most popular months to visit Baja Peninsula, characterised by warm, generally dry days, whilst July to October tends to be hotter and more humid with the possibility of tropical storms. Mexico City is best visited between March to May; winter brings cool temperatures, whilst June to October can be more humid with a daily short burst of showers.
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