Mexico's Mahekal Beach Resort Brings The Best Of Nature To Your Vacation
The trip begins with a cucumber jalapeĂ±o margarita. Why not? Especially when itâ€™s made with freshly hand-pressed juices and spiced, chili rum.
Nestled between the dense Riviera Maya jungle and Playa del Carmenâ€™s longest stretch of beach is Mexicoâ€™s Mahekal Beach Resort. Built more than 50 years ago by a local family, this gem is basking in the glow of a three-year, $16 million re-imagination. But while the Playa del Carmen resort celebrates whatâ€™s new, it continues to be deeply rooted in the tradition, providing an incredibly authentic experience.
The tropical resort was built with accommodations including palapa-style casitas, treehouse bungalows, plunge pools and moon showers. Rather than a high-rise, think thatched roofs and garden pathways.
After settling in and exploring the tranquil property, I was amazed to find that just around the corner are the bustling Fifth Avenue shops and restaurants.
Mahekal is a perfect spot for personal retreats and ideal for destination weddings. Beyond the beautiful beach thereâ€™s much to choose from. Head to the Revive Spa and indulge in its signature massage Angel Veil with Crystal Quartz, or take a bicycle ride into town with the Pedal Playa program. Try the Mayan cooking class held in an authentic culinary casita within the lush gardens. While sipping xtabentun, a tasty Mexican liqueur, participate in a private ancient Mayan ritual and watch chefs prepare Fish Tikin-Xik, steamed to perfection inside a heated pit oven. Follow the festivities with a nap in your casita hammock.
My favorite experience of all started at Vida Aquatica, an on-property dive shop. We geared up for a snorkeling expedition and set out to a wild bush scrub area. After a short walk down a hidden pathway we came upon a cenote (pronounced cey-NO-tay), a secret underwater pool filled with stunning turquoise-colored fresh water so clear you could see tiny fish frolicking all the way to the bottom. Swimming in these magical caves gives you an â€śotherworldlyâ€ť feeling, as though youâ€™re lost in another time. Nearly 7,000 cenotes exist in Mexicoâ€™s YucatĂˇn Peninsula, which are part of a massive underground network of rivers and caves to explore.
Moon Over Mahekal â€“ Watch the moon, stars or meteor showers in your private ocean view palapa, private terrace and hammock, including a Startini cocktail; couples massage at Revive Spa in the VIP couples cabin; dreamy alfresco dinner on the beach; and Once in a Blue Moon snorkel trip.
Amor Aficionado â€“ a getaway engagement-cation, including Marry-Me Margarita â€śon the rocksâ€ť garnished with a glittering diamond; â€śtoes in the sandâ€ť dinner on the beach with a private musician and white-gloved waiters and a photographer, or an epicurean engagement with a traditional Mayan blessing and private lunch at the Mayan Culinary Casita.
Mahekal Beach Resort, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Mexico; mahekalbeachresort.com