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Hidden away on a secluded beach on the Mexican Caribbean, Maroma is a charming, hacienda-style resort in the old-world style. Its byword is "Handmade Hospitality." Not only is the Mayan-Moorish architecture the personal accomplishment of its architect-owner, all of the splendid furniture gracing the guest accommodations is handmade in his shops and - perhaps most importantly - Maroma's gracious service and friendliness make one feel like a special guest at an informally relaxing private estate. This compound of 36 guest quarters, lovely outdoor-indoor beachside dining room and lush gardens and pools is sequestered behind a thick fringing jungle, giving guests a privacy as complete as the service is warm. Maroma has won the kudos of The New York Times, Gourmet magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report.

Maroma is a 45-minute drive south of the Cancun International Airport in a world unto itself. If you are not looking for the resort, you will drive right by its unpretentious entrance. Once inside the secured but simple gates you drive on almost a mile of unpaved private road through thick jungle, passing small Mayan ruins and finally reaching the resort's handsome entrance portico.

Maroma's guest quarters are spread out in several low-profile, house-style buildings, with each room having its own private entrance. Terraces (or spacious balconies, depending on whether your quarters are on the first or second floor) provide lovely views of the translucent blue water, just steps away across a wide beach. Most of the furniture in the rooms was hewn by local craftsmen using indigenous mahogany and teak. Beautiful hand-painted tiles decorate the walls in the over-sized shower-baths, and floors are of native terra cotta tiles. Even window shutters are handmade, of woven bamboo. Overhead fans circulate the ample ocean breezes, or air-conditioning is an option. One of the nicest touches is hammocks on the verandahs. Between the main house and their guest rooms, guests walk through exuberant gardens on pathways that pass shaded enclaves for sitting or reading.


The wide, white-sand beach is the focal point for informal daytime activities. Swimming, snorkeling or just wading in the shallow, clear water is outstanding, and Maroma's beach - called by some the finest in the Mexican Caribbean - is perfect for long, long walks. For the more active, there are small sailboats and sea kayaks borrowed at no charge from the friendly watersports hut right in front of the main house. Deep-sea fishing and scuba diving can be arranged.

Shopping in nearby Playa del Carmen (15 minutes away by taxi or rental car) includes an abundance of local as well as world-class shops. History buffs will be fascinated by the renowned Maya ruins at Tulum, one hour away, or Coba, a further 25 miles. Maroma's own jungle fringe is a bird-watcher's paradise and a huge botanical garden, carefully preserved by the resort's owners in its natural state.

A variety of spa treatments is offered in an open-air studio right next to a traditional-style Mayan steam hut, right on the beach.


Maroma's indoor-outdoor dining is in the oceanfront main house, which also has a cozy mahogany bar area and living-room-like lounge. The walls are peppered with colorful original art. The lounge is framed by two gracefully curved staircases that lead to a few choice guest rooms and suites upstairs. The food is as sumptuous as the surroundings. Dinners are served by romantic candlelight, by waiters whose unassuming friendliness belies their professional ways. Some guests chose to dress "up" for the high standards of the dining experience, although jackets are by no means required. Lunch can be taken on the outside terraces under palm-dappled shade. Menus for all meals reflect Maroma's traditional Mexico character, but are influenced by the fine, classic European styles of the French chef. Full breakfast is included in the rates.

Inquire for prices. Price includes continental breakfast, transfers from Cancun airport, one snorkeling trip per person


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