The Bottom Line:
The Fairmont Mayakoba is a luxury hotel that combines sustainable tourism with the services and amenities expected at a AAA five-diamond establishment.
Rooms and Rates:
The Fairmont Mayakoba has 401 guest rooms, ranging from traditional hotel rooms to suites to "casitas" (small buildings containing suites, some of which are oceanfront suites with butler service). Rates start at $279 per night as of this writing, but vary widely by season.
You can choose from four restaurants: Las Brisas, El Puerto, La Laguna and Café Maya. Two poolside bars are available, and El Lobby Lounge serves drinks and snacks.
The Fairmont Mayakoba offers traditional resort activities, including tennis, golf at El Camaleón, the Greg Norman course at Mayakoba, the Willow Stream Spa, five swimming pools, beach activities and local tours. The hotel has partnered with Community Tours Sian Ka'an to offer day tours to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. The hotel concierge can arrange for SCUBA diving lessons .
Nearby attractions include Xel-H á, Xcaret Eco-Park, the Mayan ruins at Tulúm and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). You can take a 30-minute ferry to the island of Cozumel for swimming and snorkeling. Shopping and nightlife are moments away in Playa del Carmen.
Small pets are accepted; a $25 cleaning fee will be charged to your room. Pets must be attended at all times and must be on a leash or carried in a pet carrier when away from rooms.
The Fairmont Mayakoba offers accessible rooms. Public areas are wheelchair accessible, and all areas of the complex are linked by wide, paved pathways. The "golf carts" (they are larger than traditional golf carts) that bring guests to and from the oceanfront area do not appear to have wheelchair lifts.
The Willow Stream Spa emphasizes natural treatments and offers two that reflect Mayan tradition, the Yucatán Healing Retreat and Honey in the Heart. The spa emphasizes natural treatments; acrylic nail services are not available.
Sustainable Tourism at Fairmont Mayakoba:
The Fairmont Mayakoba was the first luxury hotel on Mexico's Riviera Maya to embrace the concept of sustainable tourism. The hotel's main complex was built away from the beach to preserve the pre-existing mangrove forest, which is home to many animal species and helps to process natural waste and protect the hotel property from hurricane damage. While this decision resulted in fewer ocean-view hotel rooms, it also made possible the construction of the canal that connects the Fairmont Mayakoba's main complex to the beach area. Guests can walk, bike, take a boat or ride in an extended golf cart between the two sections.
Construction and protection of the canal has resulted in an increase in bird species on the hotel property. Today, guests can watch cormorants and other birds from almost anywhere on the hotel property. The Fairmont Mayakoba is developing a birdwatching program through its partnership with Community Tours Sian Ka'an.
Rooms at the Fairmont Mayakoba are designed to take advantage of natural light and are equipped with air conditioning systems controlled from a central computer so that rooms are not cooled excessively when unoccupied. Furniture is purchased from local vendors whenever possible, which boosts the local economy and saves on shipping costs and fuel consumption.
Ingredients for dishes served at the hotel's Las Brisas restaurant are sourced locally whenever possible.
Hotel employees are trained in sustainable tourism practices, including recycling and waste management, through programs developed by the Fairmont Mayakoba's Green Team.
Contact the Fairmont Mayakoba
The Fairmont Mayakoba is located in the Mayakoba hotel complex on Mexico's Riviera Maya, 42 miles from Cancún International Airport.
Carretera Federal Cancún
Playa del Carmen Km. 298
Playa del Carmen Solidaridad, Quintana Roo
Riviera Maya, Mexico 77710
(800) 540-6088 from the U.S. and Canada
+52 (984) 206-3000 in Mexico
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary facility tour and meal for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.