One of the absolutely most beautiful places I have had the pleasure working at, and enjoying is the Andaz Mayakoba! Andaz Mayakoba Resort is secluded in the private gated-Mayakoba complex, surrounded by tranquil lagoons and lush vegetation with nature trails. It is a super peaceful place, and the hotel is known for excellent service, incredible food and beautiful, bright murals!

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya is located right on the beachfront, just north of Playa del Carmen’s intriguing community of shops, bars, and restaurants. The Riviera Maya coastline and the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea provide endless opportunities for watersports such as stand-up paddling, snorkeling, and kitesurfing.

And, if an active vacation is your thing, then this is the place for you. Once you work up an appetite, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya’s four on-site restaurants showcase fresh local ingredients and authentic cooking techniques. Cocina Milagro is the resort’s poolside pavilion restaurant featuring floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, two open kitchens and a bar terrace. Guests enjoy stunning views of the mangroves while dining. The interior of the restaurant is a combination of stone locally handcrafted tile, local tzalam wood, and stone. Offering breakfast buffet with a market-to-table menu concept with an emphasis on seafood. Get the octopus, and be in heaven!

If active is not your thing,( and don’t worry most of the time, I am a beach and pool lounger myself) consider the spa! Mayan Rituals are big in this part of Mexico for obvious reasons, and I am here for it. The spa offers services steeped in Mayan tradition, offering a time of reflection that could last for minutes, hours or days…depending on the intention or reason.  Naum Wellness & Spa at Andaz Mayakoba will help you to custom create your ritual(s) of choice based upon your intention. The mayan stone was my favorite. This massage induces the flow of vital energy through the stimulation of each of the body’s energy centers, harmonizing your mind, body and spirit, in addition to improving the circulatory system and releasing toxins from the skin. And, it feels FANTASTIC! Read about their amazing treatments here.

For a more formal dining experience, Casa Amate is the place. Open exclusively for dinner and serving diverse Latin American cuisine, Casa Amate has a unique and sophisticated residential concept designed to resemble the home of an eclectic traveler passionate about Latin culture. The restaurant is built around a courtyard overlooking the resort’s surrounding lagoon with a special Amate tree, which gives the venue its name. Each intimate room is specifically designed as one would find in a house including a “Bar Studio”, “Library”, “Estancia” and the “The Comedor.”

Sotavento was my absolute favorite of the resort’s restaurants, inspired by a shipwreck that washed up on the Mayakoba shore, Sotavento is a unique environment that entices guests to live freely “under the wind” (which is how it translates from Spanish!)

I was so relaxed in the casual ambiance while tasting an array of Mediterranean delicacies such as fresh seafood, daily chef specials, light salads and a variety of desserts – all to be enjoyed with your feet in the sand. Take in the spectacular views of the Caribbean sea at this sun-soaked daytime venue that turns into an exciting evening experience. Create magical memories and moments, complete with live music and a fresh ocean breeze.

The hotel has 214 rooms, and well over 14,000 square feet of versatile and uniquely configured event venues. There are gardens, lagoons, even a beautiful tine church for wedding ceremonies. Fore more information on their venues and spaces you can click here. 
What I love most about this property is the people. The service is just beyond personal and I felt like a VIP everywhere I went. My husband, my friend Akeshi and my colleague Chris were all there to work on a photo shoot for the hotel, and we were lucky enough to enjoy a couple of days post shoot. The pool and beach are absolutely beautiful. The weather was spectacular when we were there, I enjoyed that pool more than I can tell you, LOL!
Mayakoba is a place in Mexico that is basically between Tulum and Cancun. It is an easy ride from the airport in Cancun, I believe about 45 minutes or so. Transportation is offered from the hotel, which I recommend. This is a place that is ideal for couples – honestly I would LOVE to produce a wedding here, so those of you out there, I am available! The staff is so wonderful to work with, and the food is excellent, which are two things that are so important to me for a destination wedding. There are incredible vendors available to work with – we LOVE working with Canteiro Weddings for floral and decor! My husband, Collin was our photographer for this shoot, and absolutely loved shooting at this property. Note – Collin and I love working on weddings together and we offer something really special to couples that are looking for destination planning and photography. 😎
I do also believe that this property would be great for a family, a group trip or even a conference. It is just so incredibly accommodating and welcoming. The rooms are open, and have a variety of views too.
Highly recommend you add this to your travel bucket list!
Thank you to the following vendors for their contributions to this incredible shoot! Look for it soon in the next issue of Destination I do magazine!
Photo: @collinpierson // Location: // Floral, Decor + Rentals: @canteiroweddings // Design: @keshevents // Printed items: @smittenboutiquechicago // Planning + Logistics: MDE // Gowns: @dimitrasbridalcouture // Tuxedos: @theblacktux // Hair + Makeup: spa // ✨

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