Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Directly on a white-sand beach a few minutes north of Playa del Carmen
The Fairmont Mayakoba is located on a huge tropical estate a few minutes north of Playa del Carmen. Lagoons and thick forests cover most of the area, but the hotel has access to a lovely beach with white sand (and a few choppy waves sometimes). There’s not much within walking distance, but attractions in Playa are just a short drive away.
It used to be the home of the ancient Mayans, and after that a small fishing village, but now Playa del Carmen -- or "Playa," as the locals call it -- is full of exciting nightclubs, popular restaurants, cute boutiques, and resort hotels that sit on lovely white-sand beaches. Because many of the businesses are European-run, the rest of the town retains a hint of European flair. The main tourist thoroughfare of Playa is the cobblestone-lined, pedestrian street Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), but there are plenty of fun outdoor activities for visitors, too, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and sailing. The offshore reef is part of the second largest reef system in the world, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Few properties in Riviera Maya offer the level of privacy the Fairmont Mayakoba does. The 401 contemporary rooms are set amid tropical forests and lagoons, and feature modern amenities, upscale bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and separate jetted tubs, and nice views, either of the lagoons, the forests, or the ocean. Granted, sprawling grounds mean guests will need a golf cart or one of the BMW bikes the hotels provides to move around. Property highlights include a high-end spa, a number of dining options, five attractive pools -- including a 10,000 square-foot main pool, a kiddy pool, and an adults-only pool -- and a great location on a white-sand beach a few minutes north of Playa del Carmen. However, it’s not an all-inclusive resort and there are a few pesky fees.