Loc: Arlington, MA
Maroma Beach Resort and Spa . . . not a place I ever thought I’d end up but I’m so glad I did! When our usual February vacation to the BVI was tabled because of the intense work load at Scott’s job, I mourned . . then schemed!
“You are working so hard, you definitely need a vacation Honey! Plus it’s our 20th anniversary so you HAVE to take me someplace special. I understand you can’t go away for 2 weeks . .. how about a long weekend?” I poised this question right after a particularly LONG working weekend and got an exhausted “Yes, book something!”
Since we only had 4 nights, 3 days, I didn’t want to spend 2 days traveling so I looked for a direct, early flight. Cancun, Mexico had the best schedule. I had no interest in the party scene in Cancun or the huge all inclusive hotels . . . so I searched for a small boutique style hotel and up came Maroma Resort and Spa. Full disclosure . . . this was the most expensive vacation we’ve ever booked. But, it was our 20th anniversary and a short get away, so why not make it spectacular!
We landed at Cancun Airport at 9:30 a.m., looking forward to a full day in Mexico. Our Maramo representative greeted us outside the gate and we were wisked away in an immaculate jumbo SUV after being offered cold water bottles and cool washcloths soaked in lavender scented water . . . I think I’m going to like this place! After a 30 minute ride south down the very straight highway, we exit onto the Maroma driveway: an unpaved 5 minute ride through a thick, mature mangrove forest. Several slow, stubborn iguanas cause us to pause along the way until they decide they’ll make way for us . .. sorta like our squirrels lazing in the roads in New England!
Greeted at the al fresco entrance by a beautiful Maroma hostess and a yummy welcome margarita, we had arrived. Our room wasn’t ready yet so after a tour of the main building, we settled down at La Restaurante for an early lunch and of course more margaritas! We wandered about after lunch, feeling tired from our early flight, searching for a good nap spot. We found it by the heated outdoor pool behind the main building. A cushy queen size chaise bed in the shade and out of the wind led to an hour or so of snoozing.
Finally, around 3:30, we were showed to our room, #7. We were happy to be placed in the original section of the resort, right next to the main building with the restaurants and Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche bar . . . we have our priorities! Our first floor ocean view room was magnificent. A patio included a hammock, built in couch and 2 chairs and mosaic tile table for our morning coffee service. Inside, we were surprised with a beautiful flower petal and leaf message on the bed, congratulating us on our anniversary celebration. I found the room very charming and efficiently laid out. No two rooms are alike at Maroma, making it feel more like a guest house than a cookie cutter hotel. Our bathtub was bigger than our whole bathroom at home and tiled in magnificent Mexican tiles with a large rain shower head in the center. Very luxurious!
Turn down service each night leaves a sweet treat and lights either the citronella candles or an aromatherapy candle with a choice of oils. The sheets felt like 5000 count . . . and the mosquito net, while not needed, gave the bed a fun tropical feel.
The beach at Maroma is beautiful, with soft white sand and warm, aqua water. A row of comfortable blue lounging beds line the beach with umbrellas and tables for your drinks. Beach service is attentive and friendly. I loved the tamarind sorbet offered to cool us off a bit. There are only 60 or so rooms here and plenty of spots on the beach so you don’t have to deal with that tacky habit of people “saving a spot” with towels, etc.
Breakfast is included in your room rate and is quite impressive. Coffee is delivered to your room at a predetermined time each morning, so once we arrived at La Restaurante for breakfast we ordered their hot chocolate and BOY is it amazing . . . semi-sweet but with a bit of chili . . . heaven. We tried several of the traditional Mexican breakfast dishes that were tasty and the bread basket of toast and pastries, along with a tray of 3 different jams and butter, could have been a meal in itself.
We purchased the gourmet package which included two dinners. Friday night we attended the K’aak Beach BBQ with fire dancers. It sounds cheesy but they were able to make it elegant and fun. The buffet was fresh and offered many choices and the atmosphere magical with lit chimineas, candles and finally a bonfire on the beach lit by the enchanting fire dancers.
Second night we ate at La Restaurante and enjoyed a fine meal. Scott claims his fish was one of the best grouper preparations he’s had. My red Snapper was also tasty.
Our last night we ate at El Sol Tapas & Restaurant, the more formal dining option. We were greeted with a taste of wine and an amuse-bouche then led into the beautiful dining room. Without meaning to, Scott and I switched from the previous night, me ordering Grouper and he partaking in Red Snapper. My grouper with a coconut curry sauce was delectable.
Our most memorable lunch was sitting on the massive wooden stumps on the beach side of Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche bar after our snorkel trip. Still dripping salt water, we sipped margaritas and dined on Tuna and grapefruit ceviche that was to die for.
Since our trip was short, we didn’t plan on any excursions besides the included snorkel trip to the reef off shore. We were worried that the windy, choppy conditions would make it difficult to swim and see anything but they assured us that the reef was protected and it would be fine. They were right. After a challenging swim out to the dive boat, a 10 minute ride brings you to the second largest coralline reef in the world. It was a bit strange having to snorkel in a group with a guide as we are used to snorkeling by ourselves without rules or parameters, but the dive masters were informative and pointed out some things that we probably would have missed on our own. We saw rays, moray eel, lobster, octopus, spiny starfish, cuddle fish and I spotted a barracuda just before leaving the water. We enjoyed it so much we paid to go out the next day!
Although we didn’t partake in any of the services from the Kinan Spa, we did walk through the facility early Saturday and were enchanted with the calm atmosphere and amazing architecture. When we return I might have to spoil myself with a massage.
Saturday night Scott and I enjoy a Tequila Tasting with Narciso. The brief history of tequila and lesson on properly tasting it and learning the distinction between the different levels was fun and informative. We especially loved the sangrita that is traditionally used to chase after your sip of tequila. It’s sort of a bloody mary mix with orange juice. Very yummy.
The most important thing I can emphasize about this resort is how warm and accommodating the staff are. From the hostesses to the gardener to wait staff and bartenders . . . everyone you encounter greets you with an “Hola, como estas?” Staff introduces themselves and asks for your name and will greet you by name next time they encounter you. I witnessed staff greeting obvious repeat customers with hugs and warm smiles, like old friends. There is nothing stuffy about Maroma. They create an atmosphere of relaxed elegance with their warm service and cashless policy.
The morning of our departure I was melancholy, thinking I’d never experience this magical place again. Scott surprised me with an enthusiastic response that we’d definitely be back . . . it’s too special to not experience more than once.
My photos can be found here on my smug mug page: