Mukan Resort

Quintana Roo, The Yucatan, Mexico Book from Book from £331 per night

Nine castaway-chic suites and villas set among the white sands and swaying palms of remote Sian Ka'an Nature Reserve
If you don’t like crowds, you’ll be aching to leave the mega-resorts of Cancun far behind and set off into the remote Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve. One of Mexico’s largest protected areas, a handful of exclusive eco-lodges have been allowed to open up here in recent years. In the far south, on a narrow sea-washed peninsula, Mukan is the most spoiling of them all, with just 5 luxurious suites and 5 beachfront villas. To the east, a sweep of palm-fringed beach faces the reef and turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean; to the west it fronts a vast saltwater lagoon.

Arriving by launch is a thrilling adventure, with squadrons of pelicans skimming the water, frigate birds and eagles cutting arcs overhead. Look closely and you might even spot a croc or manatee in the still waters of the mangroves. From top-notch dining and a rooftop spa to low-key watersports and wildlife spotting, there’s enough here to keep even the most restless castaway distracted. Alternatively, kick off your sandals, slump in a hammock on Mukan's all-to-yourself beach and reconnect with nature at its most exotic and secluded.

Highs

    • The isolated location means you really do disconnect from the rest of the world
    • A private white-sand beach, shared between just a handful of guests
    • Everything you need is on site: dining with your toes in the sand, yoga at sunrise, sundowners by the lagoon ...
    • We loved the main villa's open-sided sitting room - a stunning communal area with brightly coloured fabrics and Mexican folk art
    • A nature lover's paradise with howler monkeys, migratory birds, marine turtles and colourful fish

Lows

  • Mukan is so remote that staying for less than 3 nights makes little sense; we'd gladly have stayed a week (budget permitting)
  • The track leading south from Tulum is severely potholed for much of the year; but arriving by launch is a breeze, so don't think about driving
  • Choices at mealtimes are limited, with a set menu at dinner, but everything we ate was delicious
  • Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent: paradise attracts insects too!

Best time to go

Any time between November and the end of June would be the best time to visit. Rains can come between July and October, with September tending to be peak hurricane season.

Our top tips

Don't aim to do too much while you're at Mukan - other than the activities on offer close to the lodge. Think of the resort as a destination in its own right rather than a base for exploring the area, which you can do before you arrive or after you leave.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Family
  • Boutique hotel
  • 10
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 5 beautiful beachfront villas - Nojol (South), Lak'in (East), Chik'in (West) and Xaman (North) - are cosy hideaways for couples, each with a private deck looking out through the coconut grove to the glittering sea. French windows have sliding mosquito screens, while lofty roofs of thatched palapa and furnishings crafted from teak and cedarwood feel authentically Caribbean.

A few metres back from the beach, the 5 ensuite rooms in the main villa are very different, featuring more urbane design. These have muted colour schemes and come with 4m-high rain showers and handcrafted onyx sinks. Lu'um (Earth) and Lik' (Wind) are side by side, mirroring each other's design, with sea-facing balconies. At the other end of the main villa, Ha (Water) and K'in (Sun) also look seawards: K'in has a larger deck with a jacuzzi tub, whilst the forest-facing Ka'ak (Fire) is the only twin.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Given its remote location, we were bowled over by the quality of the food at the on-site Ko'oben restaurant, set among the palms in its own thatched bungalow.

Dinner, following sundowners by the lagoon or down on the beach, takes the form of a 4-course set menu which embraces both local and international influences. Ours featured an exquisitely flavoured sopa de lima followed by a Caprese salad, broiled lobster, then a delicious dessert of crêpes suzette. Included wines are Mexican, and those we tasted - a chardonnay and a merlot - were excellent.

There's plenty of choice on the breakfast menu: you might be tempted to go local with huevos rancheros, chilaquiles or quesadillas. A healthy platter of tropical fruits helps to kick the day off.

Lunch features a range of antojitos or Mexican-style snacks. Don't miss the shrimp aguachile, flavoured with the delicately perfumed limes that are a classic feature of Yucatan cuisine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Make use of the hotel's free paddle boards, canoes and snorkelling equipment and head out to the reef which lies 150m off Mukan's beach. Turtles, dolphins and giant rays can frequently be seen
  • Borrow one of Mukan's bicycles and pedal your way down a bumpy track to the southernmost tip of the Sian Ka'an reserve, where the sleepy village of Punto Allen is as far off piste as anywhere in the Yucatan
  • Take a complimentary yoga class on the sand each morning with Mukan's resident teacher. She also gives massage treatments at the rooftop spa
  • Explore the lagoon on a half-day boat trip, where - along with amazing birdlife - you may see manatee or crocodiles. Fly-fishing trips can also be arranged
  • Stretch out on a shady day bed with your book, music, and sun cream and indulge in a day of sheer relaxation

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

Kids are welcome at Mukan and the guest experience agent organises games and children's activities down on the beach. In truth, this is a place that's better suited to well behaved older children - those who are happy swimming and nature spotting, and who don't need constant stimulation or the trappings of urban life. Also bear in mind that, if the wind picks up, the Caribbean-side beach is a no-go for little ones.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The best rooms for a family are the beachfront villa Nojol, or the newer Family Villa Hunanku. Or you could take 2 adjacent rooms in the main villa, such as Lu'm and Lik.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots, high chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Special requests are accommodated with a couple of hours' notice. Menus are simply delicious and should work for most children; think grilled fish, seafood and classic Mexican snacks, with grilled or boiled vegetables

Kids Activities on site:

Beach games and swimming

Kids Activities nearby:

Fishing, snorkelling, biking, kayaking, nature exploring

Families Should Know:

Mukan is remote and a long way from civilisation and the journey is an adventure in itself

Distances:

  • Airport: 165 minutes (Cancun)
  • Hospital: 120 minutes (Tulum)
  • Shops: 15 minutes (Punta Allen)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for Mukan Resort