The water is that seductive shade of turquoise in the ecologically diverse Mayakoba complex just north of Playa del Carmen.

On the grounds of the new Andaz Mayakoba, which opened in December 2016, the fourth hotel in the complex, the lagoon that threads through the property has an abundance of wildlife from crocodiles to 200 species of birds, all of which can be viewed by skimming across the water in the silent resort boats.

But the image that pops up when I think of the hotel is, oddly, the sunscreen machine. The wooden cabinet with a computer screen for selecting your chosen SPF and then your height so that the nozzles adjust accordingly seemed to reflect this new entry’s persona vis a vis the other three hotels (Banyan Tree, Rosewood, Fairmont): it’s a bit more modern, a little hipper, with a sense of fun.

andaz mayacoba
Mayakoba is now a culinary destination as well. (Photo: Estrategia & Negocios)

The design reflects that style as well: a collection of sleek white buildings in local wood and stone with facades based on Mayan glyphs and numerology. The interiors are muted, with light contemporary furniture punctuated by pops of color in Mexican tiles, traditional masks, a collection of bright baskets and painted chests. Among the 214 rooms, 41 suites have plunge pools.

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