Surrounded by a tropical jungle, the Viceroy is the ultimate beach hotel, with decadent dining, private piers, quiet corners & plenty of space to relax.
Before we adopted a “digital nomad” lifestyle, our favorite place to head for a vacation was Mexico. In fact, it was even the country we chose for our destination wedding. So it was with a lot of excitement and a touch of nostalgia that we headed to the beautiful Riviera Maya and the luxurious Viceroy Resort. Coming from San Diego, we did a two-day layover in Miami before heading to Cancun and the sunshine of the Riviera Maya.
The hotel is located about an hour away from Cancun and around 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen, making it well-positioned as a tourist spot. Despite the resort being fully booked during our stay, the spacious grounds are well laid out to afford plenty of space and privacy so that we never once felt overcrowded. Even the stunning pool was never so full of people that we couldn't enjoy a swim and the rest of the resort offers plenty of unexpected spots to steal a quiet moment...even hammocks in the jungle.
All You Have to do is Relax
The great thing about the Viceroy Riviera Maya is that it is designed for ultimate relaxation. There's nothing to do but relax and refresh, so that's exactly what we did. Afterall the hotel is devoted to helping their international clientele indulge in the sensation of full pampering. Tropical cocktails, stunning sunsets over the Caribbean Sea, private villas, aged tequilas, and refreshing ceviches, jungle neighbors, curated wellness programs, ancient ruins and all the other amazing refreshments and experiences that come to mind for a tropical beach getaway, are at your fingertips.
The Riviera Maya is one of the most popular and prestigious resort areas on the Caribbean coastline. Although it is filled with hotels and people looking to experience yoga retreats and explore ancient Mayan ruins, the Viceroy doesn't feel like it's just for tourists. The resort has an open plan that makes it feel like you are in the middle of the jungle, far away from anyone else and with the beach just steps away.
Design at The Viceroy
As we pulled up to the hotel we were immediately greeted by a huge open air lobby, with tropical plants and swaying palms all around...talk about setting the tone! Although we were told that the resort was full, there wasn’t another person in sight, except for the lovely receptionists who were checking us in. After a quick 5 minutes, we were walking through small paths, surrounded by more trees and flowers as we made our way to our private villa. Eventually more villas came into sight but with all the twists and turns, ours felt like a truly secluded space. The hotel is open to the air and the feeling of openness transcends to the tiny pathways that lead to each private villa.
Modern, yet beachy, the majority of the resort is as white as the sandy beaches, but with brilliant pops of color that mimic the bold hues found in the natural wonders of the jungle. The design is well appointed and my favorite part - the natural landscape is always the focal point! All in all, it’s a very relaxing and soothing way to be surrounded.
What to do at the Viceroy
The best thing about the activities at the Viceroy Riviera Maya is that they all revolve around the opportunity to do absolutely nothing. All you have to do is relax, relax, relax! You can relax in one of the beachside cabanas, or you can spend the day at the pool, being catered to. Thanks to the jungle location, you can even head into the lush greenery and find yourself a quiet nook or set of chairs to relax in, or even try your hand at painting.
When you feel relaxed enough, you can refresh by jumping off the private pier into the sparkling tropical waters. Or head to the spa for a treatment. The spa draws on local herbs and ancient Mayan rituals for truly unique experiences. They also offer a full range of massages and facials. You can maintain your fitness routine at the well-equipped gym or take a yoga class that offers sun salutations at the edge of the pier, right on the water.
Everything about the Viceroy is sunny and spacious, so everything from the pool to the spa seems like a magical experience, perfect for couples trying to steal a few minutes of romance. In fact, one of the Mayan ceremonies offered, along with a steaming experience and a cleansing ritual, is a Mayan wedding ceremony.
Our Room at the Viceroy
Our Ocean Front Villa at the Viceroy was huge! Like the rest of the property, it was sunny and spacious and elegantly appointed. Even our welcome drink was completely on par with the emphasis on elegance and tribute to Mexican culture that fills the hotel: two small bottles of Mezcal paired with lime.
An entire room was devoted to the bathroom, which had a deep soaking tub and separate shower, in addition to the outdoor shower that made a convenient spot to rinse off after a dip in our private plunge pool. The bathroom had all the usual appointments, including luxury products from Neil George.
Dubbed an Ocean View Villa, it was conveniently located near the beach as well as the resort's other key points of interest: the restaurant, bar, pool, and ocean. The name doesn't lie either, we had amazing views of both the resort and the ocean.
Dining at The Viceroy
The Viceroy Riviera Maya offers two dining options: a casual beachside grill and La Marea, an upscale dining concept that routinely collaborates with some of the best chefs in the world. Both restaurants offer outdoor seating, so it's impossible to escape from the heat, but our villa features central air conditioning, so it was well worth suffering for. The grill is great for grabbing tacos and margaritas after a day at the beach or for a snack in a beach atmosphere.
La Marea, on the other hand, brings Mexican cuisine to a whole other level. It's an incredible restaurant that refines and elevates what you think of as Mexican cuisine, with much more creativity, and an emphasis on flavor. The restaurant's chef, Jorge Ildefonso frequently collaborates on menus with chefs from all over the world. While we were there, we were fortunate to enjoy his collaboration with Chef Pablo Salas of Amaranta, one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the world. Needless to say, the six-course tasting menu was completely amazing! The standout was the "Suckling pig in Pipian sauce" and the "Salmon Fillet with local pumpkin and asparagus." Although La Marea is outdoors, in the heat, the food was so good that we nearly forgot how hot we were.
How to Get to the Viceroy
The Viceroy is close to Cancun, so we flew in there from Miami before grabbing a taxi to take us to the resort. The drive from the airport to the property is about an hour and most cab drivers are kind enough to stop at 7/11 so that you can grab some snacks to sustain you for the drive. Definitely sipping Coronas on the drive made the time pass by quickly and set the mood for the rest of our stay.
For more information about the Viceroy, Riviera Maya, visit their website: