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Riviera Maya, Mexico / Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection

Popping up in a new area set to redefine Riviera Maya’s luxury scene, the native mangrove surroundings and mystical Mayan culture put on a spectacle at Kanai’s most bewitching resort.

Unlike the other hotels that line the road between Cancun and Tulum, Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection (Spanish for “ethereal”) made the bold choice not to dip its toes in the sand. Yes, the beach is easily accessible, but it’s the floating bridges through the verdant mangroves that make it a journey worthy of the name. Delivering on its unspoken promise to transport guests to another plain, the invite to switch off from daily distractions is easily accepted, settling into private cabanas and stargazing platforms that make the most of the encircling forest. While inside, the adornment of locally crafted soft furnishings in terrace, hot tub, or plunge pool accented rooms – alongside an ode to Mexico’s artistic side with displayed works by the late Manuel Felguérez – complete Etéreo’s uniquely independent aura.

The realm of experiences between the ocean facing rooms and the jungle outside completes the ode to the region. There’s the in-house botanist team, brought in to help conserve the 500 acres of protected mangroves. They’re the ones to thank for working with local conservation groups and communities to put together some of the ecological activities here, including a non-intrusive exploration that reveals all walks of wildlife from whale sharks and sea turtles to manatees and jaguars. Then a more transcendental tone is felt in SANA spa, where the resident shaman – Yaotekatl – resides, Mayan clay wraps are applied and lunar purification is experienced during full moon ceremonies.

Travel notes:

  • 71 studios and suites; 4 penthouses
  • Visiting practitioners and local musicians put on Mayan fireside blessings, equinox ceremonies and performances
  • The region’s largest reef is just off-shore
  • The first hotel spa in the world to feature wild-crafted Circe Brujeria de Origen products
  • The hotel works closely with local communities, researchers and conservation groups to protect its natural environment and create nature-based experiences
  • Perfect for bigger gatherings, the two-storey penthouses are complete with plunge pool, hot tub and private terraces

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When to visit Mexico

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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