Edging quixotic Puerto Morelos—a sleepy, unassuming fishing hamlet located smack dab in Mexico’s more popularly regarded Riviera Maya district—might be reason enough to visit Ceiba del Mar Beach and Spa Resort, were it not for the trove of amenities and opportunities overshadowing its coveted address. Not just a few, mind you, but a veritable cache of “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Located just 20 minutes from the airport in Cancun but world’s removed from the city’s chotchkied overrun, thatched-roof Ceiba del Mar represents something of a hospitality anomaly among the Riviera Maya’s flashier and far less interesting outposts: it is an oasis of indigenous calm where genuine, Mayan-inspired character enjoys a seamless union with modern conveniences and plush appointments. This seamless intermixing of attributes makes for inspired respite complemented by abundant natural beauty—an ivory-white beach bordering brilliant Mexican Caribbean seas, breezy palms, lush greenery, and exotic flowers—that surrounds secluded Ceiba del Mar.
The only resort among Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List honorees for Mexico twice-honored—in 2009 and 2010—to earn perfect scores of 100 in the Best Rooms and Best Service categories, Ceiba del Mar has solidified its standing as the benchmark in high-end hospitality and continues to build its reputation as a preferred destination south of the border by providing a guest “experience” that begins with a refreshing cocktail upon arrival and a personalized check-in process that together sets a surprising but thoroughly appreciated trend (a gift after trudging through customs): you’ll receive attentive but unobtrusive service throughout the length of your reservation. Never once will you be left unattended, but neither will you feel or actually be over-serviced, which is not only something of a feat, but also an art.
Each of Ceiba del Mar’s 88 deluxe ocean-view accommodations, seven of which are penthouses with butler service, is equipped with a private balcony or terrace with hammock and breathtaking views; complimentary wireless access; 24-hour room service; International cable TV and DVD/CD player; nightly turn-down service with complimentary Mexican gift; in-room morning coffee service (a delight); cotton robes and slippers; a separate bathtub and shower; organic bath amenities; twice-daily housekeeping service, and 300-thread count sheets that will wrap you up in heaven for a very sound slumber.
Ceiba del Mar’s picture-book backdrop, artisan interiors and unique event facilities make it equally ideal for group events, meetings and unforgettable destination weddings, many of which are hosted at the resort—and for good, romantic reason. Couples who vow to make their dream destination wedding a romantic reality at Ceiba del Mar can choose from a series of elegant venues at which to tie the knot, or reinvent the meaning of wedded bliss by saying “I Do” on the picturesque shores of Ceiba’s private white-sand beach.
Not only does Ceiba del Mar cater to romance- and serenity-seekers, but also to adventurers, who are encouraged to take advantage of the resort’s location in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula to explore striking the region’s natural wonders, cultural ruins, heritage sites and sunny beaches, all of which are just a short trip away from the resort. Hotel concierge will graciously arrange any trip of your imagining to the area’s most worthy attractions (ask for Amber; a miracle worker behind a desk!).
Those who come to the resort for spiritual renewal will find it at the aromatherapy Spa at Ceiba del Mar. This holistically-focused spa offers a comprehensive menu of progressive spa therapies and its own natural and organic product line. Six spacious treatment rooms and a couple’s suite with private lounge and Jacuzzi terrace; a purifying hydrotherapy circuit with sauna, plunge pools, indoor heated Jacuzzi and steam room; fully-equipped gym; a high-platform palapa for sunrise and sunset meditation; Yoga and Aquafit classes; access to land/sea sports equipment (bikes, kayaks and snorkeling gear), and a salon with grooming services comprise this Zen-like haven.
The Top‘Nikte Massasge, Holistic Massage, and Mayan Goddess Scrub are among the Spa’s popular Mayan-inspired treatments—and all live up to the hype. But earning “don’t miss” status is the spa’s signature Temazcal Ceremony. This ancient cleansing rite led by a local shaman takes place at sunset inside a terra-cotta sweat lodge on the beach. It begins with a seaside chant, an ancestral sounding of the conch shell, and an offering of flowers, and concludes with the reading of hot volcanic stones, which together with an infusion of steam-inducing aromatic herbs used to cleanse and purify the mind, body and spirit. In a word: hot. In two: absolutely mind-blowing.
Even more enticing (because yes, the fantasy actually gets better), Ceiba del Mar also offers a variety of packages year-round, two optional meal plans—the European Plan (EP), which includes a daily a la carte breakfast, and the all-inclusive Luxury Gourmet Plan (LP), which includes all a la carte meals, snacks and top-brand beverages from the resort’s two fine dining restaurants and lounges—and Mesoamerican-influenced wellness events, including 2010’s FITCAMP Cancun and the “Mystical Mayan Adventure” yoga retreat.
Furthering catering to wellness travelers, Ceiba del Mar will host the “Life Is Sweet” springtime yoga retreat, March 27-31, 2011. Sponsored by Elements Yoga and led by noted guru Bernadette Birney, this Anusara-focused event is in keeping with the resort’s commitment to provide guests with exceptional accommodation at all levels, while infusing the retreat with aspects of Mesoamerican culture, Eastern holism and ancient Mayan energies. This luxury yoga and wellness event will feature a comprehensive yoga program, including seven yoga classes and four meditation sessions at unique locales throughout the resort; a luxurious stay (single or double occupancy) in a Deluxe, Junior Suite, Master Suite, or Penthouse; freshly-prepared Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the use of cruiser bicycles, tennis courts, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment; complimentary access to the aromatherapy Spa at Ceiba del Mar; comfortable airport transfers to and from the resort; all taxes and gratuities; a Temazcal Ceremony, and 15% off all other spa treatments.
Authentic character in balance with luxurious modern conveniences make Ceiba del Mar a swoony resort of many moods—a breezy hideaway among the palms that has redefined the typical Mexico vacation. If you want a “getaway” go to Cancun; but if you want to truly get away, head to Ceiba del Mar. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information about Ceiba del Mar, please visit the resort online at www.CeibaDelMar.com.