“Secluded, exclusive, Eden-like beachfront resort on the Maya Riviera”
The rooms and suites at Belmond Maroma were designed to preserve the quiet beauty of the natural environment. They're spread among white stucco 2- and 3-storey constructions and surrounded by a tropical garden of sea-grape trees, coconut palms and hibiscus, giving the impression that the buildings have evolved around the plants, rather than the other way round.
The cool-white rooms are all reached by various walkways and outdoor stairways, adding to the air of exclusivity and privacy. All have kingsize beds (twins on request), luxury bathrooms with sunken baths, CD players and hammock-strung balconies. They're decorated with bamboo shutters (the bamboo is harvested on the property), hand-painted Mexican tiles from Puebla, finely-woven bedcovers and wooden furniture from the hotel’s own workshops.
The Garden View Master Suites are set in the lush vegetation; the smaller Deluxe Garden View Rooms have balconies and are set amid the gardens. The Deluxe Ocean View Rooms are close to the beach and have views of the sea. The Ocean View Junior Suites and Ocean View Master Suites have separate bedrooms and sitting areas that overlook the Caribbean; but most luxurious of all are the Oceanfront 1-Bedroom Suites which have spacious outdoor terraces with private, ocean view plunge pools.
The rooms have minibars but no TVs; however, Belmond Maroma does have a library/TV room where DVDs are available to watch.
The excellent restaurant, rather unimaginatively named El Restaurante, serves haute cuisine to the hautest international standards. Waiters in pristine white uniforms are courteous without being obsequious, and friendly without being intrusive (though the service was rather slow during our visit).
You can have a simple lunch of Yucatan lime soup with chicken and tortilla strips served by the side of the beach, or something more substantial like cochinita pibil (a traditional Mayan pork dish seasoned with achiote and served with pickled onions) accompanied by a bottle of white wine. For dessert you might have to choose between pineapple sorbet, coconut flan and melting chocolate cake. Dinner (freshly-caught lobster is a specialty) is often accompanied by candlelight. Wines are expensive, especially if opting for non-Mexican varieties.
Breakfast, however, is the crowning glory: half a dozen fresh juices, a rainbow platter of every kind of tropical fruit, delicate freshly baked croissants and pastries, a generous portion of eggs ranchero-style and excellent coffee - all delivered directly to your room if you wish.
There's also the resort's tapas bar, El Sol Tapas & Restaurant, which serves Mediterranean dishes in a rustic setting, with a tented roof and sides open to the sea breeze. There's also Freddy's Beach and Ceviche Bar, which specialises in ceviche (the Mexican equivalent to sushi) and tequila - with more than 100 varieties to sample if you're so inclined.
The hotel also hosts ever changing dining experiences to help spice things up; beach barbecues, taco nights, and tequila and wine tastings may all be on offer over the course of your stay.
If you want to eat out, there's a large selection of restaurants and bars in Playa del Carmen, a lively resort town 15 minutes' drive away, or in Cancún. The front desk can arrange transport.
Children are welcome at Belmond Maroma; on arrival kids get an in-room welcome kit and a child-sized kaftan and slippers.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Garden View Master Suites and Ocean View Master Suites can all fit an extra bed for 2 kids under 12 (or one child aged 13 or over). The ground-floor Oceanfront One Bedroom Suites offer a second, separate bedroom that can accommodate two single beds (on request). An Ocean View Master Suite can be connected with a Deluxe Garden View Room on request.