There's something incredibly magical about the Mayan Riviera. The see clear-to-the-bottom aqua colored water and bustling town of Playa del Carmen displaying local flavor, international fashion, and fresh cuisine at every turn calls to me. Loudly. Just the thought of warm weather layered between sweeping cool breezes brings back some of my favorite memories, not just for me, but for most anyone that has ever visited this area just south of Cancun in Mexico.
And although I have been to the Mayan Riviera many times before (eight and counting!), as well as visited the lively city of Playa del Carmen, I have never stayed directly in the thick of it all. Partly because I prefer authentic and "feel a world-away" type places, and partly because I didn't know I could have the best of both worlds. Enter magical Mahekal Beach Resort where Mexican tradition blends effortlessly with design-forward details.
Wanting to take a long weekend to do a little exploring, shopping, and soul searching (while on a beach lounger for a bit of course), Mahekal Beach Resort checked all the must-have boxes. Literally steps from the shop-lined streets, yet nestled in between vast lush gardens, I could only feel as if I had Mexico and the beach all to myself. It also didn't hurt that luxury and a private plunge pool with lounger awaited just steps outside what I referred to as my "palapa heaven."
Wanting to experience as much of the local Mayan culture as I could, my first day I took an unforgettable day trip to snorkel in the el Sueno ceynote nearby. There's a reason why these under-water caves were considered sacred in Mayan times, and I felt instantaneously transported. Once back at Mahekal, I took full advantage of my palapa's butler and rocked my stress away in a hammock as I stared at the waves gently lapping in. That night I leisurely strolled up and down the famed Fifth Avenue and ate at the highly celebrated local restaurant AXIOTE: Cocina de Mexico. I can't even explain the smokey and seductive flavors found in every bite.
My last day I decided to take advantage of the many activities that make Mahekal such a coveted resort: beachside yoga, swimming in one of the many pools, painting Mayan pottery, and sipping a fruity drink (or three!). That afternoon I strolled over to Fuego Beach on the property where I watched the head chef pick out "today's catch" from a local fisherman's boat. I immediately tried out some of the fresh catch at a traditional Mayan cooking class they offered. Not only did I help prepare the sacred meal and partake in the rituals in a private garden, but I watched it being cooked under the ground in the traditional style. A one-of-a-kind experience for certain.
Embracing even more magic that my resort Mahekal had to offer, I visited their spa and indulged in their Angel Vell with Crystal Quartz massage, which I was told helped open and unblock the main seven chakras and restore the body both physically and mentally. I'm happy to report I felt both balanced and blissful after this exclusive treatment. That night at a private dinner on their pristine beach, and couldn't help but get swept up in the sensory delights in the sights, sounds, sips, and seafood.
Whether you favor new and modern, or Mayan and authentic, there is something waiting for you in this spiritual and spirit-lifting destination at the Mahecal Resort in Playa del Carmen, nestled between the mystical old world and new world in beautiful Mexico.
Mahekal Beach Resort
Playa del Carmen, Mexico