a beach with palm trees and buildings

Sunshine, glorious sunshine. When weather takes a turn for the worse, there’s nothing quite like escaping for some winter sun. And when you do, Mexico is always a good idea. Between the food, cultural gems and sandy beaches, there’s a lot to love. And that’s particularly true in Mayakoba.

During a recent trip to Mexico, The Fairmont Mayakoba was the order of business, and the stay did not disappoint. If you’re considering your own trip, here’s what to expect at this fabulous property.

a beach with a building and trees

Located on Riviera Maya, Mayakoba is roughly 45 minutes south of Cancun International Airport. Mayakoba is a gated complex with top-notch security that is home to four 5-star resorts, including Fairmont, Banyan Tree, Rosewood and Andaz.

Situated on a spectacular stretch of coastline, Mayakoba is also surrounded by a lush, tropical mangrove jungle, which offers unparalleled privacy and serenity. Blessed with stunning natural beauty and near-perfect, year-round beach weather, Mayakoba overlooks the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, and is a short boat ride from the world’s second-largest barrier reef.

Fairmont Mayakoba just underwent a major, multi-million dollar renovation of its sprawling 240 hectare property, and the resort is perfectly picturesque and luxurious. Designed to preserve the native mangrove forest, the environmentally conscious resort is thoughtfully built in and around the jungle.

Clear fresh-water canals and tranquil lagoons crisscross the extensive property, which provides not only an exquisite setting, but also helps you to feel at one with nature.

a body of water with a body of water and a boat in it

The Room

The resort has 401 guest rooms and 34 suites most of which are located along the mangrove jungle canals or along the beach.

For my 5 nights at the Fairmont Mayakoba, I stayed in a newly renovated Signature Casita room, which is situated along one of the many canal waterways. During Veteran’s Day weekend, when I was staying at the resort, rooms at Fairmont Mayakoba were priced at $362 and up.

Considering that rooms at neighboring properties started at $821 for Rosewood Mayakoba and $654 for Banyan Tree Mayakoba, this makes the Fairmont a great option for travelers who love high end experiences, but want great value too.

Waking up each morning to the sounds of the jungle and watching the boats cruise by from my balcony was such a delight. The large floor-to-ceiling windows provide an abundance of natural light, which accentuated the exotic woods and warm earth tones, and brought to life the contemporary Mexican-inspired design vibe.

The room had all of the modern features  you would expect at a 5-star resort: a plush king sized bed, large, flat screen TV, desk, indoor and outdoor sitting areas, mini bar and ample closet space and luggage storage. The bathroom was very spacious and decked out in lavish marble, with a double vanity, deep soaking tub and a large rain shower. 

One thing that surprised me about the bathroom was the amenities. Unlike other hotel’s that have travel-sized toiletries, Fairmont Mayakoba had full-size Le Labo products, which are uber luxurious and smell heavenly.

I have never seen bathroom amenities as chic as the Fairmont Mayakoba’s Le Labo toiletries, which were displayed in MARBLE containers – it’s every girl’s dream to be pampered like this on vacation! 

I was also lucky enough to get a tour of the newly renovated beachfront suites, and if you’re looking to splurge on vacation then these are the rooms to book! Located in a more secluded part of the resort, these open-format, high-ceiling bungalows are very spacious and are truly serene.

You can dine, entertain or relax on the wrap-around terrace that overlooks the ocean. And not only do you have a private plunge pool, but the white sand beach is just steps away from your room.

A king-sized bed occupies the generous main bedroom, and there’s a separate living area with a sofa bed, along with two full marble baths, making this the perfect option for families or couples who need a little extra space.

The Guest Experience

a pool with palm trees and buildings

The 6 pools and the beachfront at the Fairmont Mayakoba are some of the most beautiful on the Mexican Riviera, and beach bums and sun worshippers will love their stay at this property!

Catering to kids, as well as for couples, this resort is perfect for either a family or a romantic getaway. In addition, the renovation of the resort’s brand new Maykana beach club is absolutely stunning, and means that you will have all of the modern amenities and facilities just steps from your sun lounger!

There is so much to do and see at the Fairmont Mayakoba that I didn’t leave the resort during my 5 night stay. I totally intended to, but you know — it happens. Included in the $27 per person, per night Resort Fee are the following:

  • Complimentary high-speed Internet
  • 24/7 on-property transportation via chauffeured golf carts
  • Beach chairs, umbrellas, a children’s beach toys 
  • Kid’s club access
  • Fitness center
    • $25 credit for fitness activities (yoga, fitness classes, TRX classes) per room per stay 
  • $40 spa treatment credit per room per stay
  • Bicycles 
  • A variety of non-motorized water sport activities such as: beach kayaking, catamaran sailing, paddle boarding, snorkel gear, and more

In addition, for an extra charge, guests can also partake in the following activities:

  • Championship golf at the home of the PGA tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic 
  • Tennis
  • Spa
  • Tours to sites in nearby Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cancun – popular sites include the Tulum ruins, cenote tours, Chichen Itza, and many more
  • Cooking classes
  • River kayaking 
  • A variety of motorized water sport activities such as: jet-skiing, snorkel tours, scuba diving, boat and yacht rentals, Snooba, banana boat rides, etc.
a boat with people on it
Mayakoba yacht rental

Across the property there are a whopping 10 restaurants and bars that cater to a variety of palates. True foodies and cocktail enthusiasts will love the diversity of the dining and bar options, with many of the venues offering gorgeous views of the ocean or the canal waterways. 

  • La Laguna – La Laguna is rooted in tradition, yet features contemporary and earthy flavors of the legendary Mexican cuisine. A modern taquería, tequilería and mescalería as well as a terrace and private pavilion make La Laguna the ideal spot for enjoying flavorful Mexican cuisine while overlooking the beautiful lagoon.
  • Gaia – Gaia, known as Mother Earth in Greek, is Fairmont Mayakoba’s signature restaurant. As Earth is 71% water, Gaia is a seafood lover’s delight featuring fresh and local seafood from Mexico, as well as from other parts of the world.
  • Ki Beach Bar and Korean Grill – ​​Breezy beach bar by day, sizzling grill by night! Warm your bare feet in the sand and your belly with some hearty, hot-from-the-grill Korean barbecue. Add to that the mixologist-curated tropical drinks and fresh-squeezed fruit juice cocktails, and this beach hot spot is a go-to for many at the resort.
  • Bassano – ​​An Italian trattoria and pizzeria in the heart of the Mayan jungle, guests will enjoy regional Italian dishes in family-style dining.
  • Tauro Steakhouse – Indulge in a spectacular American-style steakhouse dining experience unique in the Riviera Maya. Make sure you come to dinner a little early to imbibe in a delicious cocktail at the Instagrammable Martini Bar.
  • Fuego – Brings the element of fire to Maykana and is open for lunch and dinner. Fuego is located right on the beach, and is a toes-in-the-sand,  Tulum-inspired dining experience that evokes an energetic, yet bohemian feel.
  • Brisas – While a fresh à la carte breakfast is offered daily, the menu transitions into an all-day menu by noon. Highlights include mezze, Mediterranean-influenced shareable bites and tropical cocktails that can all be enjoyed while relaxing and taking in the spectacular ocean views.
  • Aqua – The perfect place to unwind after a long day, Aqua is surrounded by private pool-side cabanas, and specializes in delectable light bites and Latin-influenced cocktails.
  • Hix – Located in the main lobby complex, at Hix guests can share mouthwatering, small-bite, bar snacks over creative cocktails in this beautifully decorated Mexican hacienda-inspired lounge. The huge terrace gives patrons a bird’s eye view of the dense mangrove forest, canals and wildlife below. Come at dusk to spy cute coatis, chattering monkeys and flamboyant parrots.
  • Cielo – This adults-only rooftop bar features an infinity-edge fountain, with sunken lounge areas and fire pits. Relax and sip on cocktails while you take in stunning views of the Caribbean sea or partake in unique, nightly Mayan sunset rituals.
a pool with chairs and tables on a beach
Fairmont Mayakoba’s Cielo rooftop bar is the perfect spot for a nightcap

Accor’s ALL Loyalty Program

ALL points are very simple to redeem: every 1,000 points is worth €20 toward any stay. 5,000 points are therefore worth €100 towards any stay with one of the chain’s many brands. If your stay takes place in a different currency, you get that value converted into local currency.

There’s no arbitrage, like with some other points programs, but with frequent bonuses on earning, and dependably easy ways to redeem, GSTP is a fan of the program.

With the current exchange rate, €100 is worth $104 or £87, so 5,000 points would get you $104 or £87 off a bill at any global Accor property, which includes all Fairmont’s, Sofitel, Raffles, Banyan Tree and many more.

Unlike many hotel loyalty programs, the nice thing is that ALL points can go toward the cost of a room, cover a room entirely, or just go toward the folio when checking out, in case you run up a tab!

Final Verdict

If you are planning a vacation to Mexico then I would hands-down recommend booking at the Fairmont Mayakoba for a fabulous beach getaway! With its new renovation, this resort is perfect for both families and for couples, and is a true 5-star vacation spot for those looking to escape for some sun, fun and relaxation!

a pool with lounge chairs and trees around it

Earlier this month, team GSTP was invited to attend the launch of Fairmont and Accor’s new Beyond Limits experiences program at the idyllic Fairmont Mayakoba.

Yes, it was a press trip and the stay was gratis, but Team GSTP regularly splurges for high end hotels, so it’s not like opinions are swayed by “free”. Gilbert is even known for paying just to avoid any communication with people, but somebody had to do it!

Ceci Sutcliffe

Ceci Sutcliffe is a wanderlusting avgeek and self-professed points and miles junkie. After working in the credit card industry for over 4 years, where she launched one of the most popular premium travel...

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