Livin’ La Vida Loca on Playa Maroma

February 23, 2011 by


In dire need of a respite from a relentless east coast winter, I headed to the Hotel Maroma Resort and Spa on Playa Maroma in Mexico, about half an hour south of Cancun on the Riviera Maya. A total chill out week of beach walks, great food and an occasional Mezcal did the trick.

Tropical flowers everywhere. Oh how I wish I could have brought some back!

The arched and gated entrance, above, to one of the resort’s private villas. Although they share the resort’s property and amenities, they are separately owned and not part of the resort’s accommodations.

Ah, yes, pray to the Beach Buddha! Just happened upon this one during my afternoon beach stroll.

Entrance to our (significantly upgraded) room…er, apartment. There had been a reservation mixup that left us roomless, but management took extra good care of us.

Built by local Mayan masons twenty years ago as a private home which slowly expanded into a resort, later owned by Orient Express Hotels, then acquired by present owners, Belmond. If it weren’t for the thatched roofs, Maroma’s whitewashed architecture would not look out-of-place in Santorini.

The clean buildings are set against the backdrop of lush jungle-like gardens with winding paths that lead circuitously down to a long stretch of white sand beach. I came across this large Washingtonia Robustus, or Mexican Fan Palm, while walking one of the property’s winding paths.

A lush stone path leads to serenity in the resort’s candlelit Kinan Spa.

Awaiting a bliss-out in the spa’s beautiful enclosed garden is perhaps as heavenly as the treatments themselves.

I thought it was a mongoose in the tree…perhaps a meerkat? These babies were very aggressive, with appetites larger than mine–we had to watch over our poolside snacks!

Ok, I just can’t figure it out. Can anyone identify this plant for me?

I really like how the plants emerge from these logs. I want to replicate this in my own garden. They would work well too for candles, don’t you think?

He spoke to me, and although I had lived in Puerto Rico and Southern California, I couldn’t come up with enough Spanish to respond to…a bird!

The multi-hued parrot was not the only bright splash of color punctuating the hotel’s neutral backdrop. I spotted this couple at breakfast and had to politely enquire about their outfits.

While I thought these were their special Caribbean vacation outfits, these friendly well-coordinated Floridians told me that this colorful garb was their ordinary everyday look: color, color, and more color. I especially liked his neon green socks.

Photo via Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa.

Maroma’s al fresco beachfront breakfast remains, hands down, my favorite meal of the day and often filling enough that some people (not I) skip lunch. On the same patio, we savored late afternoon cocktails, guacamole, assorted ceviches, and I even sampled…fried grasshoppers. Not bad, and no, they don’t taste like chicken.

Photo via Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa.

La Tia Dalia, aka The Tortilla Auntie, brings her handmade fresh tortillas and hot Mexican chocolate to your breakfast table as she has each morning for 19 years.

Take away: Total relaxing and pampering make the days pass all too quickly. Although some large all-inclusive hotels pepper the beach near the Maroma Resort, there is enough distance between them and this uncrowded resort to make the place feel a bit secluded even when the place is fully booked.

Every night at dusk, several guests enter a tiny sweat lodge to experience the resort’s signature temazcal ritual. I did not partake. I chose instead to sip margaritas while watching the sun set softly over the Caribbean.

And on my last morning’s beach walk, I left a little bit of Urban Gardens in the sand…

Belmont Maroma Resort and Spa
Carretera Cancún-Tulum
Km 51, 77710 Riviera Maya
Quintana Roo, México
1 866 454 9351

Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens.

  • Amanda

    Your unknown plant is a banana! Or Musa in latin. You can see by the shape of the flowers they are in a row like a bunch of bananas! 🙂

  • Looks like a banana flower to me.
    Beautiful pictures, lucky you.

  • Oh sorry, didn’t see that Amanda had already identified it!

  • Gorgeous pix! Did you stay at the Maroma Resort on the Riviera Maya, or is there a beach called Playa Maroma?

  • Great photograph of the banana!

  • Robin Plaskoff Horton

    Stayed at Maroma Resort, Ellen. Heaven on earth. Have you been there? It on Maroma beach or Playa Maroma.

  • Lovely photos, next time come to Australia we grow many beautiful plants and trees.

  • OH Gorgeous Photo’s and Yeah its very Loca . Great idea for Garden .Mind Blowing your this post really i loved that . plz tell me Means of “Loca” ?????
    I Think Crazy …..

  • Thaks for stopping by and taking the time to translate 🙂 I’m honoured 🙂

    How exciting with a contest! Of course I’ll have to try make a nice creative container then. For sure I’m gonna enjoy the other participants too.
    I love your blog and I’m gonna link to you today cause I think other should experience your blog too 🙂 Have a great green day!

  • Robin Plaskoff Horton

    Romantic Dinner and Ellinor thank you both so much for your kind words about the blog! I am so glad you are enjoying it, it is my love child! La Vida Loca translates to “That Crazy Life”…I take it to mean, that sort of lazy, loose, happy-go-lucky life. And Ellinor, I will be looking for your container photos!

  • Robin Plaskoff Horton

    Thanks Maggie, I would LOVE to visit Australia! My daughter was there last May and went sky diving over the Great Barrier Reef!

  • Pingback: Travel: Rustic Landscape Design and Green Walls at Nizuc Resort in Mexico's Riviera Maya - Urban Gardens()

The freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for urban gardens and stylish small places.

Visit Robin Horton @UrbanGardens's profile on Pinterest.