Eco-Chic Riviera Maya Escapes

Chanoa Tarle

Senior Contributor

Mexico’s Riviera Maya provides a stunning respite from a world filled with worry, providing travellers with plenty of room for social distancing in delightful, tropical settings complete with jungle and white sand beaches. However, the Mexican coastal area home to such fabulous destinations as Tulum and Playa del Carmen is much more than a beautiful beach escape; Riviera Maya is renowned for eco-friendly (and luxurious) hotels, restaurants and activities. While the area is home to a fair amount of greenwashing, several local businesses are the real deal. Mayakoba, an exclusive, gated, 620-acre destination is home to all four of the eco-chic properties below; the lush enclave is known for exceptional sustainable practices, luxurious privacy and access to the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole El Camaleón Golf Course. Explore all four fabulous hotels...

Andaz Mayakoba Resort

Certified by the Rainforest Alliance, Andaz Mayakoba Resort is a lush, five-star secluded getaway complete with four dining establishments (including elevated Mayan cuisine), two swimming pools, a beach club and vibrant murals by local artist Senkoe. The luxurious property features trails for walking, biking or jogging, watersports such as stand-up paddleboarding and kitesurfing, fine dining featuring local cuisine and more.

Immerse yourself in nature, surrounded by lagoons, mangroves, gardens and canals; choose from ocean or lagoon-view rooms, suites or studios. However, the resort’s attentive service doesn’t end with its guests. They participate in local beach-cleanup and reforestation programs, take the initiative in safeguarding neighbouring wildlife and source sustainable goods. Have an alfresco meal right on the sand, soak in the sunshine from one of two pools or head to the ocean with the peace of knowing you’re making the right kind of impact. Andaz Mayakoba Resort adheres to Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment program for COVID-19 safety.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba makes it easy to enjoy with others or alone with individual docks, plunge pools, outdoor showers and more. You’ll encounter sexy open-floor plans across a selection of eight villas (featuring two to four bedrooms) and 128 suites, as well as two beach clubs, four shared swimming pools and six restaurants. The calming, sophisticated interiors incorporate local materials for both aesthetic considerations and eco-compatibility with the local environment. In fact, Rosewood Mayakoba was named as the number one (in Quintana Roo, the local Mexican state) and number four (in Mexico) for the highest possible level of environmental performance by the Mexican Federal Office in 2019.

Enjoy alfresco dining made possible by an onsite organic garden and sustainable seafood; get around on electric boats, electric golf carts and bicycles. The resort is celebrated for rehabilitating local ecosystems, conserving energy and water and creative reuse practices including using reverse osmosis water to irrigate its landscapes. Rosewood Mayakoba’s COVID-19 protocols are part of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ global Commitment to Care program.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

The five-star luxury resort, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, is an all-villa property (123 to be exact) each featuring its own private pool. Enjoy a unique marriage of Mexican and Asian cuisine and design, including six restaurants and in-villa dining perfect for mid-pandemic Yucatán escapes. Immersed in a lush, natural setting, enjoy tennis courts, boat tours, a beach club and more; it’s as perfect for families as for couples on romantic adventures.

As stunning as its sustainable, environmentally-sound practices lie at the heart of Banyan Tree’s concept. The Rainforest Alliance, EarthCheck Gold and PROFEPA-certified resort features eco-friendly building materials, partakes in extensive recycling and uses very little single-use plastics (along with a program to eliminate them entirely in the near future). Still, their impact is greatest in their local community with initiatives including tree planting and cleanup sessions, protecting marine turtles and educating younger generations on how to care for our planet. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is home to a COVID-19 protocol co-established with Bureau Veritas.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Nestled right on the sand, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort is a tropical paradise featuring over 500 rooms across three sections designed for greater privacy and a more intimate feel. Choose from family-friendly suites or book a room in the adults-only Grand Class... plunge pool, private terrace and all. The options are plenty with a satisfying variety of spacious garden view, ocean view and oceanfront rooms, each stocked with L'Occitane toiletries and a Nespresso coffee machine. The resort offers all-day, alfresco dining via seven onsite gourmet restaurants offering cuisine from Mexico, Italy, Paris and more, including vegan and vegetarian options.

While amenities like jacuzzis and pool and beach concierges are nice, Grand Velas is especially inspiring when it comes to the planet. The resort hires locally and does business with local suppliers, they have reforestation programs and they’re a participant in the Federal Sea Turtle Conservation Program. They excel in water and energy conservation, source local organic ingredients, use biodegradable cleaning products and more. Visit for a memorable experience; return for its impact on Earth. Grand Velas Riviera Maya holds the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel stamp for COVID-19 hygiene protocols.

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