By Elise Seymour
PUNTA MAROMA, MEXICO
Chablé Maroma is the younger sister of Hamak Hotels’ Chablé Yucatan, which arrived to much acclaim in 2017 and impressed us no end. You can imagine, then, that we were looking forward to immersing ourselves in tranquility and a spiritual connection to Mayan culture in the recently opened Chablé Maroma.
Nestled in a lush and secluded jungle, it’s hard to believe we’re but 30 minutes from Cancun International and that we’ve come from Pearson to poolside in less than five hours.
The Maroma vibe is low-key and intimate. It’s a sun-swept destination that invokes the sense of privacy coveted by celebrities—a noticeable change of pace from the strip’s overcrowded big-box resorts. Thanks to the work of interior designer Paulina Moran, who hails from Mexico City, nature has been allowed to takes the lead. Even when we’re indoors we’re bathed in crisp and creamy whites, tropical wood, glass and limestone. Highlights for us? Indoor/outdoor rain showers that create a private jungle experience, and the good-size plunge pools that each villa sports for the ultimate in discretion and relaxation.
After our “eye-opener” morning pastry basket, it’s revitalizing to start the day with a yoga session on the resort’s white sand beach followed by a sun-soaked snorkel and kayak experience that takes us through the Mesoamerican Reef. Boasting 66 species of coral and more than 500 types of fish, as well as sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and whale sharks, the Mesoamerican is the world’s second largest reef with plenty of creatures to see.
A spiritual spa experience
The main event, however, at this wellness-focused retreat is the incredible 17,000-square-foot holistic spa, where the treatments are inspired by indigenous Mayan rituals. We’re greeted with a blessing ceremony that fills us with positivity and an immediate sense of well-being. The spa manager proudly shows us the garden, where berries and herbs are harvested and integrated into each guest’s healing experience.
Like all elements of Chablé Maroma, the spa has been thoughtfully designed. With a focus on getting our juices flowing before our treatments, we’re introduced to the hydrotherapy circuit: Three rainforest pools of differing temperatures for hot and cold soaks. Then, it’s on to our couple’s treatment. Inspired by the circling rhythms of the sea, there’s not doubt about it: The signature “Spiralling Sea” massage is a guest favourite that leaves us feeling fresh, calm and nicely rejuvenated.
One of several features that put Maroma in a league of its own when it comes to Riviera Maya resorts is its dedication to food and wine. Gastronomy here chases the freestyle culinary concept conceived by Quintonil’s renowned Chef Jorge Vallejo from Mexico City. (Quintonil placed 11th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018.)
Day-to-day food operations are overseen by Executive Chef Luis Quiroz, who hails from Noma (no big deal!) and hosts a one-on-one cooking lesson for us. Accessorized with personalized embroidered aprons and chef’s hats, we have a blast learning how to make several Mexican dishes that honour tradition and use seasonal ingredients direct from the resort’s gardens. Our takeaway—other than a yummy meal—is an understanding of Chef Luis’ mantra of “Focus on the best of the past, while gently pushing boundaries.”
We have an official opportunity to taste Chef’s delightful new evolutions at Bu’ul, Chablé Maroma’s main restaurant. It’s here too that sommelier Augusto expertly introduces us to wine from his bountiful cellar and crafts cocktails from the resort’s fabulous tequila and mezcal collection.
The cherry on top? The wonderful service throughout our stay. Always greeting us with a warm smile, the Chablé staff have nailed attentiveness, anticipating their guests’ needs and the utmost friendliness. Every interaction ends with “It is my pleasure.”
Chablé Maroma, the pleasure was ours.