Stretching south from Cancun along nearly a hundred miles of Caribbean coastline, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to tropical jungles teeming with exotic flora and fauna, the world’s second longest barrier coral reef, and the ruin-luscious legacy of the ancient Mayan empire. At its heart lies Mayakoba, an expansive resort community that brings together a triumvirate of luxury hotel brands—Rosewood, Banyan Tree, and Fairmont—along with a collection of elegant residences that boasts a notable architectural and ecological sensibility.
Residences at Mayakoba start in the upper $800,000s, with lagoon and oceanfront settings. Buyers are attracted here from all over the world, according to Carlos Orozco, senior marketing manager of Mayakoba, who says North Americans, Italians, and Argentinians make up the majority of foreign buyers. And despite lackluster performances on some international real estate markets, Mayakoba is enjoying a marked increase in residential sales.
"This year we will sell and close almost twice as much than in 2011," says Orozco. "Despite the worldwide economic situation, the real estate industry is very healthy in this region."
Mayakoba is linked by a nine-mile network of freshwater canals and offers residents and guests access to ten restaurants, three beach clubs, and three spas. Its 18-hole golf course, designed by Greg Norman, is a centerpiece of the community. Winding through three distinct landscapes, El Camaleon’s unique ecology has attracted the attention of golfers everywhere as one of the top destinations in Mexico, along with recognition from Audubon International for its environmental awareness. Stretching over 7,000 yards, El Camaleon is the only course to host a PGA Tour event in Mexico and is home to the highly regarded Jim McLean Golf School, along with practice facilities, including a double-ended, 350-yard driving range.
The Banyan Tree residential community features 125 elegant villas, which can be placed with the resort for rental lodgings. Its villas offer full ownership prices ranging from the mid $800,000’s to $3.4 million, with homes ranging from 4,200 to 6,300 square feet.
Anchoring the Banyan Tree community, a spacious pool and a water court are bordered by second-floor lounges and terraces. All units are located on the Caribbean or situated on one of Mayakoba’s several lagoons or waterways. Each villa comes with its own pool and has lush native vegetation, which provides a natural screen for privacy between neighbors. Designed with unique Mayan architecture and Asian-inspired décor, these homes offer a distinctly romantic environment.
Every aspect of life at Mayakoba is touched by its rich and stylish lifestyle. Pleasures that await owners and residents include the Banyan Tree Spa, a variety of beach clubs, private pools, water activities, beachside bistros and customized off-site excursions to nearby Mayan ruins. From massage treatments by professional therapists to the authentic Thai dishes at Saffron, residents and guests can’t help but feel that all this pampering was made just for them.
Rosewood’s stunning resort community features 128 suites and villas, which are surrounded by emerald lagoons and abundant mangrove forests. Each 800 to 3,700-square-foot villa is built from local limestone and slate, and comes with a private Jacuzzi, plunge pool, and dock. The resort complex also boasts a 17,000-square-foot spa.
The most stunning and eye-catching Rosewood units are those that rest atop pylons above the gentle waters of the lagoon. These 18 modern and streamlined dwellings provide a a get-close-to-nature sensation as they appear to float just above the water. The villas use screens and wooden railings for natural ventilation, walls of white concrete to bring out the tropical glow, and openwork lattices that provide a modern-day accent.
Fairmont’s 47-acre setting offers 401 guestrooms, making it the largest property at Mayakoba. It’s 10,000-square-
foot, free-form pool and waterslide provide plenty of fun for water lovers. And its Willow Spa, which includes 20 treatment rooms and a couple’s suite, offers a welcome sanctuary in the treetops. For those traveling with children, a full-service Discovery Club and Adventure Camp is offered.