Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Hotspot – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Who loves margaritas by the pool and pampering amenities? Me too. This post is for us!

Many of you have probably been to Cancun but true Mexican relaxation and romance filled resorts await about 45 minutes to the south on the less crowded, more sophisticated Mexican Riviera. The Globetrotting Groom and I recently visited and I’ve got the scoop on two of the area’s best spots for an amazing wedding, honeymoon or both?

The Fairmont Mayakoba is part of the upscale Mayakoba resort community. While the property is built around 240 acres of canals, shoreline and mangrove forests, it has a very intimate feel. You can bike to the beach, take a scenic boat tour or just explore by foot. We stayed in one of the two-story Casitas with an amazingly comfortable king bed, lots of living space, a furnished patio and a very luxurious and oversized bathroom (think soaker tub, separate shower, and marble everywhere).

[Globetrotting Groom says: I liked how the tub felt like it was almost outdoors…it was right in front of a glass wall, that opened onto a private little outdoor space.]

If you’re looking for a plush pad, check out these Oceanfront Deluxe Suites with private infinity pools belowand of course there are plenty of specialty suites and two presidential suites if you’re looking to go all out.

Aside from the beach, you have a choice of so many gorgeous pools (the infinity edge adults only pool is my favorite, and the backdrop for many of my ring shots). Wish I was here right now…

[GTG says: The main pool sort of meandered, with lots of little nooks and crannies to make it feel more private.]

You’ll love the super friendly staff (William makes the best margaritas), laid back ambiance and the lush,tropical grounds.

[GTG says: The staff was amazing, and they remembered our names. And when I wanted to arrange a special romantic surprise for the Globetrotting Bride, the staff helped me plan all the details. They made me look good!]

This place would be a great spot for destination weddings, honeymoons and proposal trips too! And, if you sign up for their free Fairmont President’s Club you get perks such as free internet, phone calls, gym access and more. Check their site for ongoing packages.

Just down the road, The Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya has a completely different vibe. The property is stunning in a very modern, “Miami meets Mexico” kind of way. The pool area is tres chic and so are all the restaurants. If you’re more “martini” than “margarita,” you’ll want to check out the amazing martini menu at the Mandarin Bar.

The tranquil grounds feature six art courtyards with sculptures by local artists, as well as gardens, modern outdoor seating areas and acres of lush tropical forest.

[GTG says: some of my favorite suites were the ones around the art-filled courtyards. One side opens onto the courtyards, and the other side (with the private plunge pools) faces some secluded canals.]

The rooms and suites are decorated in a minimalist style with modern decor, gorgeous artwork, all the comforts of home (ipod docks, Plasma TV, etc.) and enormous bathrooms (think onyx and marble, double rainforest showers, outdoor stone bathtubs, etc.).

Most accommodations offer some sort of water view (Caribbean, lagoon or freshwater lake) and many have private pools and roof decks. How nice are these Palafito villas?

The beachfront Presidential Suite is stunning with two stories, three bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a swimming and lap pool, private butler and the biggest walk in closets I’ve ever seen in a hotel.

[GTG says: Seriously, the kitchen in the Presidential Suite is amazing. Outfitted with top end appliances including built-in deep fryer, steamer, and grill, plus a high-output wok burner. They say the Mandarin Oriental’s chef will come prepare dinner for you, but I don’t think I could let him take over this awesome kitchen. I’d probably spend the whole vacation cooking!]

Wedding and honeymoon packages are available and there are also a number of vacation packages.

[GTG says: What about the luxurious and pampering spas? Even us manly men need to be treated once in a while!] NOTE: The spas are really, really great. I’ll write more about them in a future post so stay tuned.

Both properties offer an ideal location for day trips to the area’s many attractions including Tulum, Xcaret, Chichen-Itza and Coba. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll find Jungle Crossing packages (4×4 trekking with snorkeling and kayaking) and Maya Zip-Line and More (zip-lines, biking, snorkeling and traditional Mayan purification ceremony).

Click here to find out more about the area’s activities.

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