Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Viceroy Riviera Maya an oasis in Playa del Carmen

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“A rustic-glam hideaway, this pristine, upscale resort straddles the beach and lush jungle in its own self-contained oasis. It’s intimate, very private and has tons of Mayan heart and soul, felt through the property’s design, spa, activities and service.”


Along the Yucatan Peninsula, and a 40-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, Viceroy Riviera Maya is situated in the lush and verdant jungle (think guava trees, leafy palms and monkeys) lining a quiet, white-sand beach. It’s very secluded, yet only 20-minute drive to Fifth Avenue (the lifeline of Playa Del Carmen) and a 15-minute drive north to the mangroves of Mayakoba.


Style & character

While this all-villa, adults-only (age 14 and over) resort has all the wow factors you’d expect at a high-end property in the Yucatan (like a domed lobby, oceanfront bar and quiet, hidden nooks), it carefully pays tribute to local Mayan culture with thatch-roof villas, Mayan music piped throughout public areas, a native Cobal scent, an ancient Temazcal (Mayan sweat lodge) and traditional blessing by the in-resident shaman upon check-in. I could feel I was in a special place, and the resort design perfectly integrates with the setting for a truly exotic experience.


Service & facilities

Service is excellent. Guests are equipped with a 24-hour butler who can prepare fresh guacamole or margaritas in your villa, book reservations at top restaurants and arrange all excursions. The resort offers a nature-inspired Wayak Spa with steam room and hot tub, as well as alfresco treatment rooms. Expect the soundtrack of real nature.

There’s a small gym, room service, as well as a central area with infinity pool, two al fresco restaurants, cosy cabanas on the beach and an outdoor library. A traditional Temazcal is offered for those who want to experience the ancient, holistic ceremony. The majority of guests are honeymooners or couples, so you can expect a romantic vibe, as well as services like candle-lit dinners on the beach.

Food & drink

If it’s not grown on premises in their garden, ingredients for both restaurants come straight from the sea or local markets and farms. In an elegant setting with candle-lit tables, La Marea, the alfresco, fine-dining restaurant, adds a contemporary touch on traditional and local Mexican cuisine, like Huauzontle and Oaxaca cheese with butter lettuce and cascabel pepper sauce ($10/£7), shrimp tumbada rice using a rich and delicious Veracruz-style broth ($34/£25) and fresh lobster tail dressed in confit in sausage sauce and butter-strained tamal ($49/£37).

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered at the more casual and oceanfront Coral Grill. I had breakfast in bed on my private patio every morning. The chilaquiles ($14/£10), a traditional breakfast dish in Mexico, with tortilla chips, chicken, red onion, roasted tomato and three-chili sauce, hit all the right spots, and the pancakes with caramelised banana, chocolate chips, cashew and tropical fruits ($12/£9) was truly indulgent.




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