Driving through the nature trail that leads to the Rosewood in Mayakoba you feel a sense of serenity and proximity to nature before you’ve even entered the hotel. When you do, it just continues on. Set between a lagoon and the Caribbean, the Rosewood offers visitors a rich and tranquil vista no matter where you turn. Villas are either lagoon or beach-facing and golf carts efficiently whisk you to and fro. (Ours was on the lagoon but close to the beach which I liked because I preferred the privacy). All villas are equipped with a heated plunge pool in addition to the two other pools on the property. The beach club has a pool, hot tub, kids’ club and huge kids play area, in addition of course to the spectacular Caribbean sea, where non-motorized water sports are offered free of charge. The hotel also has a catamaran that will take you out for a spot of snorkeling, weather permitting. Additional sports such as jet-skiing (at $80 for 30 minutes) and parasailing can be organized by your butler (see more below).
Being part of the lux Mayakoba complex allows Rosewood clients access to the other hotels as well as the shared facilities such as the tennis court (with a small play area –not much to speak of but my 6 year old enjoyed it) as well as the PGA golf course. Everywhere you will be offered refreshing towels, cold water and bug spray should you need it.
The food at the Rosewood is something I’ve found they could improve on – it doesn’t meet the standard of excellence that the rest of the hotel on other fronts. Two noteworthy culinary events at the Rosewood Mayakoba are the Sushi restaurant and the Chef’s Dinner which happens on Wednesdays and Saturdays (sometimes on additional days during busy weekends). At the Sushi restaurant you can taste the freshest sushi and sashimi some with Mexican flavors, paired with a tequila tasting of your choice. The kid’s menu is inventive, daring to eschew the usual pizzas and pastas and offer dishes within the theme. The Chef’s Dinner is an adult-only scene offered at a flat price where you get to meet the managers and head chef at a family style meal eaten under the Ceiba tree in the chef’s garden. It’s a fun night and great way to meet the other guests you’ve been politely nodding at for the past few days at the beach.
But while the property is stunning, what really stands out is the signature Rosewood service, which at Rosewood Mayakoba, is another level unto itself. At the core of this unparalleled service is the butler, your own personal assistant, who will tend to your needs for the duration of your time at the Rosewood, from unpacking and packing, to booking tours, restaurants, you name it. While there is some variety in the quality (you typically have 2 butlers who rotate days), overall, each butler is clearly trained to make the client’s experience as seamless and effortless as possible and that’s always a huge plus on vacation.
In addition to the butler service, the Rosewood offers additional perks such as nightly movies under the stars for the kids. And this ain’t no ordinary movie set up: giant floaty beds are set up so your little ones can lounge in style while snacking on popcorn, candy and chicken nuggets. At the end of the show, supervisors will bring your child to you where you are in the hotel, or if you are out, your butler will arrange a babysitter (approximately $25/hour and usually a Rosewood employee who may already be familiar to your kids) to bring them back to your hotel room and watch them till your return. Bliss!
On the beach, you will be offered a daily little surprise, like a coconut and basil smoothie that you can add a touch of rum or tequila to, or a glass of champagne on Saturdays (you can buy the Champagne o’ Clock t-shirts that the serving crew wear at the boutique). You will also be offered a complimentary beachside head massage complete with a sunglass cleaning. Tips are not mandatory but are appreciated.
I will say this – at 1000/night plus, you expect top notch service from a luxury resort. Free popsicles on the beach are nice but I believe that a brand really shows its commitment to their customers when things go wrong. As kids often tend to do on vacation, my 6-year old developed an acute stomach ache one night after dinner at about 11pm. Our butler immediately showed up, offering chicken soup or basic meds to help settle her stomach. She checked in an hour later and helped us connect with the doctor an hour later when the pain did not subside. (The Mayakoba hotels have a doctor on site during the day and another on call on night). I was informed that an in-room visit was $150 and we decided to have the poor lady come out past midnight when she was not getting any better. As children do, of course she fell asleep and the butler was quick in calling off the doctor, without mentioning the inconvenience we had caused a the late hour.
In the morning, she was still in pain, and the doctor was esctorted to our room promptly. Her thorough examination took an hour, during which our butler hung around in case we needed anything. It was decided that we should go to the ER, because the cause of the stomach ache was undetermined and an x-Ray would be able to provide more information. I decided I would go while my husband stayed behind with our 8-year old. I was not worried because everyone in the Playa area spoke English and it was a private hospital but I was flooded with relief when I saw that our butler had organized a hotel car and an escort to come with us. It turns out she felt better and we decided not to brave the wait and return back to the hotel but I will always be thankful for Marco (our butler) and Carlos (the gentleman who came with us and handled all our paperwork on a somewhat futile errand). Not only was there no charge for the car on our bill, but Marco prepared a little surprise bath for our little patient that evening which then convinced my son that he should head to the ER as well.
Full marks to the Rosewood for true customer service.
To summarize, I would highly recommend the Rosewood Mayakoba for a luxury family experience. The only thing missing, which I spoke to the manager Lutz about is that they don’t have bikes for kids under the age of 12 which deeply disappointed our son. His rationale was safety, which I get, as the roads are narrow and golf carts whizz past frequently, but i’m sure there’s a way around it. That’s my biggest complaint, and I’m a tough critic.