Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya: Indulge in Opulence

Mandarin Oriental Lobby Entrance

If you’re a jetsetter who prefers champagne to tequila shots and enjoys white sand more than steel gray, then check out this incredible property south of Cancun, Mexico. Known for its impeccable service and attention to detail, the Mandarin Oriental’s property in Mexico has brought high-end luxury to the Mexican Caribbean coastline. Like a love letter, even before your arrival the staff at the resort sends you a kind note welcoming you and asking if there is anything extra that would make your stay special or items you might need during your visit.

On arrival, the staff quickly learns your name, and when you see them in the reception or on the paths don’t be surprised if a smiling person greets you by your name. This piece of heaven is set on 36 secluded acres of lush, tropical jungle and the 128-room resort feels like your own private destination. It is rare that you run into anyone, except in the restaurants, poolside or on the beach.

Rooftop pool overlooking the beach

Once you set foot into your luxurious guest room, you won’t want to leave—and there is no reason to. The suites and villas have all the creature comforts you need: a great sound system, mini bar filled with champagne and top-shelf liquors, and 24-hour room service. Each guest room includes its own spacious terrace or garden and most have an outdoor bathtub that the staff is more than happy to fill with aromatic salts. Get a villa or casita with a roof deck and spend the night stargazing while listening to the soft waves of the Caribbean. Be sure to bring your imagination.


The room choices will fit any traveler’s taste. The beachfront casitas sit merely feet from the Caribbean Sea and are ideal for guests who want to gaze at the crystal clear water all day. The casitas are 2-stories, each with a rooftop deck and plunge pool. It is easy to drift away in the pool just staring at the still blue sea. The ground floor is well equipped with a private outdoor bathtub and a deck that leads to the white sandy beach.

Private villas on the lagoon

Just past the beach is a lagoon teeming with tropical butterflies and birds. Nestled against the lagoon’s edge are one and two-story villas. The two-story villas overlook both the beautiful sea and the fresh water lagoon. The roof deck is the perfect place to watch the sun set while sipping a cocktail from the fully-stocked mini-bar. Each roof deck comes complete with lounge chairs, a shower and endless 360-degree views of the surrounding jungle.

On the property, there is a cenote, an underground fresh water river that the Mayans considered sacred. From the Cenote rooms there are mesmerizing views of the pools and jungle. The large bathrooms inside these rooms are private spas, each with rainforest shower and a secluded terrace with a cool stone tub.

Suite interior

For those who want complete privacy, the Grand Selva Suites are ideal. These suites extend over a luxurious 930-square feet, including a separate lounge area. They also have their own private 20-foot plunge pool. The entrance to the suites are via an imposing outdoor exhibition space, displaying a private collection of art and sculpture. The interiors incorporate indigenous woods and stone giving a distinctive Mexican atmosphere combined with opulent Asian touches. Views are over the beautiful natural gardens and the peacefully meandering canal.

Where: 30 minutes south of the Cancun airport

Price: $325 - $1,495 per night

Amenities: Private beach, three swimming pool experiences, 25,000 square-foot world-class spa, beachfront water activities: snorkeling, kayaking and deep sea fishing.

Restaurants and Bars: Aguamarina, Ambar, Cerviche Cha Cha, Mandarin Bar, Pool & Beach Bar.

Children: Yes, and they have a kid’s club.

Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Mexico
+52-984-877-3888 or 1-800-526-6566

Editor's note: This venue is now closed.