Hotel of the week: Fairmont Mayakoba



If anyone could bring a touch of class to an area whose reputation has been damaged by overbuilding and too many package tourists, it's Fairmont. The company which now owns the Savoy, and is overseeing a restoration to its art deco glory days, has shown, in its Mayakoba resort on Mexico's Caribbean coast, that it can also do eco resorts.

Here's a property that looks like it's been built in a nature reserve, given the mangroves, sea grasses and water birds. The vegetation was indeed here first, but many of the birds, including tropical robins and migrating Canadian ducks, are new arrivals drawn to the sybaritic surroundings.

Mayakoba is a small coastal enclave north of Playa del Carmen, which is in danger of going the same way as over-developed Cancun. Here at the Fairmont, peace and sustainability reign in two-storey blocks of "casitas" well-scattered within luxuriant planting.

Casita rooms are sumptuous, with vast bathrooms, forests of dark wood and touches of vibrant colour that signal Mexico. Food, under a British chef, includes authentic Mexican dishes and the breakfast buffet is a multi-cultural treat. Mayan artisans often come in to display jewellery and crafts.

There is a private white sand beach, several large pools, a kids' club and a world-class spa. Heavenly Body, one of the signature treatments, was just that - ask for Magali, though they swear she is not the only therapist with healing hands.

Casita rooms from £175

0845 071 0153

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