Mexico’s Riviera Maya coastline stretches approximately 88 miles from the bohemian flair of Puerto Morelos to Sian Ka’an, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and includes Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-há, Tulum and Coba, one of the most beautiful Mayan ruins.
The gateway to the Riviera Maya—Puerto Morelos—is located 14 miles south of Cancun International Airport, while Sian Ka’an is a 102 mile journey. Wedding parties and honeymooners are free to select their destination of choice among a variety of small and large properties near and far from the airport. Here, we offer a few recommendations for weddings, honeymoons and activities.
Weddings & Honeymoons
Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a wonderful new Riviera Maya resort. Banyan Tree celebrated its first year in March 2010, but already has received numerous honors including No. 1 ranking in Trip Advisor’s 2010 Travelers Choice Awards Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the Caribbean & Mexico. The award is well-deserved. Banyan Tree is not just a resort. It’s a haven. A secluded, romantic retreat designed to inspire passion and enhance intimacy between couples. The property employs its own Romance Director; you will even find a romance book in each room.
The romance department created a variety of opportunities for couples to spice up their vacations in and out of their villas. Select an outdoor bath and the romancer’s will adorn the tub with rose petals, decorate your room with scented candles and deliver your choice of wine or champagne. Other intimate moments include a seductive belly dance performance or lesson; a daring couple’s photo session; and a clothing-optional charcoal drawing by a local artist. Not only does Banyan Tree serve gourmet meals at eight restaurants and bars, but the resort features an electric-powered lancha (covered boat) available for tours, and a world-class, full-service spa.
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a luxurious, all-inclusive property ideal for weddings and honeymoons. For weddings, Dreams Tulum offers three packages priced from $899 to $2,799. With seven international restaurants and six lounges, Dreams Tulum caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. In addition, the expansive property features a large free form pool, a quiet pool and a separate children’s pool along with outdoor activities that include sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, tennis and volleyball, and a weekly beach party.
At night, the Dreams Tulum entertainment staff hosts moonlit theme parties, music shows and big screen outdoor movies on the beach. Dreams Tulum’s premium accommodations include a romantic honeymoon suite. When booking the suite for seven nights or more, guests may enjoy Dream’s Eternity Honeymoon Package, complimentary. The package features a tension release massage for two and a private beachfront dinner, plus several other added extras.
Ana y Jose Charming Hotel & Spa is charming and quaint with just 23 suites and cottages. Located along Tulum’s Hotel Zone – a stretch of Riviera Maya coastline filled with boutique hotels – Ana y Jose’s Beach Club is perfect for indoor weddings for up to 150 guests and outdoor beach weddings for up to 600. The hotel’s restaurant can accommodate up to 105 diners or you may host a reception for up to 300people on the beach.
An assortment of additional hotels rest along Tulum’s Hotel Zone, including La Zebra Beach Cantina y Cabanás, a small hotel with 15 suites, cabanas, and rooms; a private swimming pool and a Mexican cantina and bar. La Zebra’s charm stems from its size and intimate setting. The staff knows every guest by name and provides attentive service unmatched by larger properties. The beachfront setting allows one to relax on the beach or in a hammock and enjoy the cooling breeze. La Zebra’s rooms do not have air conditioning; however, the close proximity to the ocean allows a breeze to filter through the property day and night. Down the road from La Zebra sits Coqui Coqui Spa, an even smaller property with only 5 rooms. Though quaint, the hotel shares La Zebra’s quaint hospitality and desire for service excellence. Coqui Coqui’s spa is small – only two rooms – but employs talented therapists.
Along Playa del Carmen’s La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), blocks of shops and restaurants surround the tourist-lined streets, each offering the “best food” and “best prices.” On the WaterSnorkel and Scuba Dive: The Great Maya Reef, the northern hemisphere’s largest coral reef, faces Riviera Maya’s coast providing snorkelers and scuba divers a magical underwater opportunity to discover hundreds of marine species. If you love exploring what lies beneath the water, visit Catamaya.
For those interested in Mayan history, archaeological ruins or history in general, a visit to Tulum’s Mayan archeological site is a must. The site is the only large-scale Mayan ruin on the coast and rests on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For more information about all that Riviera Maya has to offer for weddings, honeymoons and vacations, visit www.rivieramaya.com.