A labyrinth of lagoons and cenotes just 30 minutes from Cancún remained overlooked for centuries—until a group of luxury hotels created Mayakoba, an environmentally conscious, 1,600-acre planned development. Fringed with emerald-green foliage, those waterways, which take guests in boats with thatched roofs past restaurants and pools, form the most stunning component of a resort that includes an eco-friendly, Greg Norman–designed golf course and a thalassotherapy spa. The Fairmont chain offers classic Mexican style—bright colors, wood accents—while Rosewood’s suites affect a modern look, and Viceroy’s 1,500-square-foot villas bring to mind second homes (Banyan Tree and La Casa Que Canta open next year).
Insider Tip: Traveling with kids? Ask the Fairmont’s concierge about tours led by its on-staff marine biologist, who educates guests about sea turtles and other local wildlife.
Room to Book: At the Fairmont, the 458-square-foot deluxe casita rooms give guests a jungle view from a private balcony; at Rosewood’s resort, the deluxe over-water lagoon suites hover, as their name suggests, over the water with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving visitors the feeling that they’re living in the middle of the jungle.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.