Mexico Redeemed...

riviera maya + mayakoba[trip style = sun + beach + luxury] {more pics below}

The Lure Most Canadians and Americans with any penchant for travel have made it down to Mexico at least once. The shining sun, saucy spanish language, vibrant culture, beachfront homes and all-inclusives lure us away from dark and dreary winters. Except for a stop-over in Cozumel, I've always kept my Mexi visits to the Pacific Coastal side, visiting San Felipe (on development trips), Mazatlan and Acapulco. Since my husband and I were almost attacked in Acapulco 5 years ago {thank goodness for my leftover bag from dinner which turned into a weapon of mass no destruction to ward off our 20-something perpetrators}, I wasn't too keen on returning.

Another Chance But I had to give Mexico another chance, it's the Canadian way. We've all had bad travel experiences right? Hoping that a trip on the Caribbean side would redeem my relationship with Mexico, I booked  5 nights at the Fairmont Mayakoba thinking the property looked pretty nice and newish, but not having any clue what I was getting into. {See my review of the Fairmont Mayakoba here.}

The Journey Last Friday, our direct {and reasonably-priced; $522 return} WestJet flight from Vancouver arrived into Cancun about 5.30pm. {Trip Styler Tip = when booking short vacations, always try to secure a direct flight, it enhances your experience by giving you more time at your destination and less time in airports!}. Racing towards Playa Del Carmen by taxi, I was impressed with the condition of the road, number of police checkpoints and mammoth resort entrances on our Formula 1-like journey. I think our 24-year-old taxi driver cut the commute time in half given his Mario Andretti tendencies and 140km/h speed. Then his speed fittingly slowed to a meandering pace, and we came face-to-face with the Mayakoba's statuesque, backlit onyx front gate, surrounded by perfect and poquito palm trees. Based on its upscale and modern design, I knew it wasn't just any resort.

Mayakoba Mayakoba is a sprawling, lush, manicured and master-planned, Spanish-owned resort development 10-mins from Playa Del Carmen. Its front entrance looks different because it's unlike any other development in the area with a series of canals connecting 3 stand-out, luxurious hotels on the property: The Banyan Tree, The Fairmont and The Rosewood. Case in point, Tory Burch just tweeted from The Rosewood 8 days ago. Looks like I just missed her. Too bad really, we could have talked totes and tequila poolside.

Mexico, I'm sorry it took me so long to return. I hope to learn more about your culture, talk more with your locals, eat more of your guacamole, drink more of your cervezas and run more on your beaches sometime soon. Until next time, hasta la vista {see you later}.

I would recommend any of the resorts at Mayakoba, and it just so happens one of my favourite Private Sale travel sites {} is offering 3145sf, garden pool villas at the ultra-luxe Banyan Tree for $390/night. Although this price tag might seem expensive, the service is unreal and each suite comes with a private infinity pool and breakfast.

fairmont mayakoba beach trail + bike {Biking to the beach}

Fairmont mayakoba beachfront pool {Fairmont Mayakoba beachfront pool}

Fairmont Mayakoba Beach {Run or walk forever in either direction}

mayakoba meandering river {One of Mayakoba's meandering rivers}

cenote {Cenote - a well with exposed rocky edges containing groundwater typically found in the Yucatán Peninsula}

la laguna fairmont {Looking toward the Fairmont's adult pool and La Laguna Restaurant}

banyan tree tamarind restaurant {Bouquet of roses given after dining at the Banyan Tree's Tamarind restaurant}

rosewood mayakoba beachfront villas {Rosewood beachfront villas}

rosewood beach loungers {Secluded beach 'beds' beside the Rosewood}

[photos taken by moi in the Playa Del Carmen area, Mayakoba, Mexico}