Fairmont Mayakoba

Family-friendly, value, grand

Carretera Federal Cancun., Playa Del Carmen 77710

(52) 984-206-3000

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At a Glance

The largest and most family-oriented of the Mayakoba properties, the grand scale of the hotel is rendered more intimate by beautifully landscaped gardens, shaded walkways and paths that wind throughout the property, ideal for riding the bicycles the resort provides.

Indagare Loves

  • Spacious rooms designed with families in mind
  • More reasonable rates than the neighboring Mayakoba resorts
  • Popular water slide pool keeps kids entertained for hours


Part of the Maya Riviera’s Mayakoba resort community, the Fairmont Mayakoba has 401 guest rooms located in casitas of various sizes scattered around the forty-five-acre property. Most rooms have views of one of several natural lagoons, which guests can travel across via complimentary lanchas, small covered canal boats. The rooms are spacious and well designed for families. The Signature Casita Rooms, for instance, feature a large master bedroom with huge marble bathroom and dressing area and a living room, which can be outfitted with twin cots and second bathroom. The rooms and bathrooms are attractive, with sleek, contemporary furnishings - not likely to offend anyone but not particularly specific to Mexico.

If the rooms are as nice as those in the best resorts, the service and the crowded feeling of the public areas remind you that what really sets the top properties apart from the next level down is not the infrastructure but the people. Although there are five pools, families tend to pack in around the pool that is not near the beach, possibly because of its popular water slide. At peak holiday times, it gets so crowded that you may not find a chaise if you don’t stake one out early. All restaurants feature a kids’ menu but service can be exceedingly slow.

In addition to a fantastic Willow Stream Spa and 18-hole Greg Norman golf course on the property, the Riviera Maya offers a spate of family-friendly activities from diving or snorkeling in Cozumel (the world’s second largest coral reef) to zipline riding though the jungle or exploring the Mayan ruins of Tulum—many of which can arranged by the hotel. Bottom line: At first glance this looks like a true luxury resort but its size and service give the experience a slightly mass-market feeling. On the other hand, it is only forty minutes or so from the Cancun airport, which is easily reached from both coasts, so for a quick fix of sun in winter, it’s reliable and can be reasonable. Tip: The nicest rooms are the ones on the beach in a private area of the resort. Each of these comes with butler service.

Who Should Stay

There’s definitely a focus on families here, many with very young children, so this might not be the ideal scene for couples looking for a serene, romantic getaway (both Rosewood and Banyan Tree are much better bets in that regard.) Animal-lovers are also well catered to: the resort is not only pet-friendly, but has recently partnered with Pack for a Purpose and Playa Animal Rescue, offering guests the opportunity to help abandoned dogs by donating vet and animal care supplies, which can even be done in person at the Playa del Carmen animal shelter. (As in many developing countries, many stray dogs in Mexico live under fairly miserable conditions.)

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

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