I’ve discovered a place so stellar, so serene, that I’m reticent to share because I want to visit again before more travelers are savvy to its charms. The Viceroy Riviera Maya is every bit as gorgeous and intimate as it looks, and what’s more, the staff so seamlessly takes care of you that you’ll forever use them as the difficult-to-match yardstick for future vacations.
Located 40 miles south of Cancun and seven miles north of Playa Del Carmen, the resort is easy to get to, yet a bit removed from the chaos of other popular Riviera Maya tourist traps. Also, the Viceroy is an adults-only resort, which means that they’ve opted out of catering to families, thus creating the most romantic and quixotic landscape for escape. Yes, it’s a couples’ haven — an amorous retreat and a luxurious getaway that will help you invest in your relationship tenfold.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted, offered a refreshing drink, and given a tour of the quaint property, situated in the Mayan tropical forest, complete with chirping birds and spider monkeys. You’ll notice, as you walk by the resort’s palapa-roofed, lavish, standalone villas (41 in total), all of the little extras — seating areas designed for two, a secluded area for outdoor painting, a romantic reader’s corner for relaxing — while on your way to the grand finale: the pristine, seven-mile sandy beach on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
This resort is the best of both worlds; it has the allure and peacefulness of a petite boutique property, yet it offers everything that you’d expect from a sizeable resort, including a fabulous spa with a full lineup of services (check out the Temazcal Ceremony "sweat hut," which was covered in AFAR), an exquisite gift shop/art gallery, options for food-lovers and craft cocktail enthusiasts, a stunning pool, access to water activities (fishing, diving, sailing, snorkeling, etc.), and the ability to go off the resort for cultural excursions. For interested parties, the resort’s concierge can arrange travel to nearby Xcaret, Cozumel, Tulum, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Chichen Itza.
Pro tip: Sign up for a yoga class on the pier — you can’t ask for a better backdrop as you stretch and bend with the sounds of rolling waves and the feel of the salty sea breeze in your hair.
The resort has two dining options: La Marea Restaurant for fine contemporary Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, and Coral Bar and Grill for casual al fresco gastronomy with a view. Multiple dining epicurean adventures are also available. The resort can set up a romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach or pier to surprise your loved one; you can indulge in a Mexican Tequila and Ceviche Tasting, led by the Maestro Tequilero; and you can dine at the festive Antojeria, a culinary festival of Mexican street fare.
From the in-room Soap Concierge (yep, that’s a thing!) to the luxurious accommodations, featuring a private patio and plunge pool, outdoor shower and hammock, and smooth-to-the-touch Egyptian cotton sheets, you can’t help but to breathe deeper and slow down the pace of your life. After all, isn’t that exactly what you want to accomplish with a beach vacation? Book your trip for two now and you can thank me later.