Intro

Andaz Mayakoba is a new resort just north of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico that is within the Mayakoba Resort complex.  The resort is surrounded by canal-like lagoons and tropical vegetation with plenty of nature trails to explore.  With all the canals crisscrossing the various resorts in Mayakoba, it made it feel like a tropical Amsterdam.  While the Andaz resort of located on the beach, it feels more like staying within a nature reserve with an abundance of unique flora and fauna.  Mayakoba has four distinct ecosystems; dune, water canals, tropical forest and mangroves with over 200 species of birds.  This resort is truly a unique experience.

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Andaz Main Entrance

 Booking

I booked two nights using the nightly points plus cash rate of 10,000 points + $125.  I also used my last diamond suite upgrade to get booked into a suite for the stay.  Not a bad deal considering the normal nightly rate for the Lagoon View Suite was $850.  I booked by contacting @HyattConcierge on twitter since it is not possible to apply diamond suite upgrades online and calling is more of a hassle.

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Andaz Boat Pier

Getting There

I flew into Cancun International airport and then proceeded to use Uber to catch a ride to the resort at a cost of about $25USD.  Not bad for a 75km drive which took about 60 minutes.   When I arrived in January, Uber had just begun operations in Cancun and technically Mayakoba is out of their area of operations.  However, Uber drivers don’t seem to have an issue driving you all the way to Mayakoba.  Just don’t expect Uber to pick you up in Mayakoba for your return flight home.  I had the hotel arrange a taxi to pick me when it was time to head home to the airport.  I suggest paying the taxi in Pesos since the driver gave me a USD rate much higher than the daily exchange rate.

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Check-In area called “The Sanctuary” intended to look like a Cenote, sometimes used by the ancient Maya

Check-In

I arrived very early in the morning, but luckily the friendly staff allowed me to check in early and have breakfast at the beach front restaurant. Travel within the resort is only possible by golf cart, bike, foot, or canal boat.

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Check-In Desk

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There are over 200 species of birds in Mayakoba

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Andaz Mayakoba

Room(5/5)

The room was open, spacious, minimalist, with some interesting colorful localized design features.  The suite included two separate balconies and its own private plunge pool overlooking the lagoon.  At first I was a bit bummed I did not get an ocean view suite, but after staying in the lagoon area, I can say I much rather prefer viewing the natural lagoon habitat and spotting all the various birds migrating in the area.

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Room number signs are shaped like a flying bird

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Bedroom

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Bedroom

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Living Room

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Welcome Amenity

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Walk-in closet included robe, beach bag, sandals, and iron

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Bathroom

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Shower

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Soap

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Toilet is in separate room

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Bedroom Balcony

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View from balcony

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Living Room Balcony

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Private Plunge Pool

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View from private plunge pool

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Well lit at night

Property (5/5)

The Andaz Mayakoba Resort is actually clustered into two distinct areas within Mayakoba about 1km apart.  One section near the beach includes several rooms overlooking the ocean with its own pool area and restaurants.  The other area is the lagoon area set in a tropical forested area lined with canals which included pool area, rooms, restaurants, gym, and check-in desk. You can travel between the two areas by riding in golf carts driven by staff or by the Andaz lagoon boats.

What I liked most about this resort is that is was not designed to get an insane amount of people into a small area.  The property is spread out with plenty of walking trails with only 214 guest rooms.  There is nothing relaxing about being stuck at a beach resort with hundreds of people fighting over beach chairs.  With all the different activities going on and various pools spread throughout the property, it is unlikely to feel like the resort if being overrun with people.

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Lagoon view rooms

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Canal view from the walking bridge

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Sunrise on the way to breakfast

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Cool looking palm trees

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Lagoon boat that will take you to the beach area of the resort.

IMG_6981The hotel also offers extended tours of the lagoon that will explain all the various wildlife and birds in the area.  I saw dozens of different species of birds I have never saw before in my life.  It was fascinating.

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Large bird in tree

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Andaz Transport Boat

It is also possible to visit other resorts withing the Mayakoba complex such as the Fairmont or Banyan Tree.  This is great in the event that you get board of eating or spending time at the Andaz.

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba Resort – Canal Entrance

Breakfast (5/5)

Breakfast was included for free since I has a diamond member.  The breakfast spread was among the best I have ever experienced.

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Excellent dining facility in the lagoon area.

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Go early to watch the sunrise and have the restaurant all to yourself.

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Every kind of breakfast food imaginable with local Mexican options.

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Omelette station. Nooice!

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Options for the GF people

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Stuff making me fat

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Cool juice machine

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Honey straight from the honey comb, the only way to eat honey

Food (5/5)

The food was so good here that I couldn’t stop eating.  Everything was well prepared, flavorful, and with great ambiance.  I couldn’t wait for the next meal as soon as I finished the last meal.

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Olla Ceviche

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Ceviche was awesome at Olla Ceviche on a beach. The local amber ale was great as well.

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Olla Ceviche

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Some food I got from the buffet

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So much good food

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At the lunch buffet, you can point to various plates of meat and then the chef will cook it up for you.

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Seafood was amazing

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Various oils

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Fancy food placement

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The food here was not playing around. Very good!

Things to Do

If you have the Citi Prestige credit card, you can use one of your 3 free rounds of golf vouchers at the El Camaleón golf course at Mayakoba.  This is a PGA tour golf course where the OHL classic is held and a round of golf costs $300USD!  So if you have the Citi Prestige credit card, you can experience this course for free.  It was by far the best golf course I have ever played on and this is coming from someone who used to live in Hawaii.

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El Camaleón golf course right on the beach

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Serious sand trap

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Watch out for alligators, but don’t worry, they are small.

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They space out the players on this course so I felt like I had the whole course to myself

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Such a beautiful course

Gym (4/5)

The gym had plenty of treadmills but could have used more lifting equipment.

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Gym

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Hydration Station at the gym

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Great for runners, but why not just run outside on the beautiful trails?

Pool Areas (5/5)

The pool areas were awesome, large, and with many seating options all over the place.  Staff would walk by frequently to make sure you had enough towels or if you would like to order some food or drinks.

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Pool area on the lagoon side

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Pool area at the beach side

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Sunblock or spray tan machine

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Cool fire pit at night time

Service (5/5)

Service was awesome at this place and the people were very friendly, genuine, and welcoming.  Everywhere you went the staff made sure that you were well taken care of and fulfilled any request as soon as they could.  Only area of improvement would be the shuttle service between the two separate locations.  Sometimes it would take a while for a golf cart to arrive if you wanted to go to the other end of the resort.  I’m sure this is something that will get resolved over time.  When I visited, the hotel had only been open for three weeks but it was already being run like a well oiled machine.

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Live music

 Beach (4/5)

When I visited in January, the beach was very windy and the waves were rough.  I’m not sure if that is normal for that time of year.  However, the beach area was still very beautiful nice to walk on.

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Stairs to the beach

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Sunrise on beach

Conclusion

In conclusion, this place is awesome and I’ll be back for sure.  Not many places combine nature, beaches, and luxury in perfect harmony the way this resort does.