Give in to pleasure at Chablé Maroma spa retreat, set beside Punta Maroma’s beauty-spot beach on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Like sister stay Chablé Resort & Spa, hidden in the Yucatán’s hinterland, this jungle hideaway excels in tropical escapism: secluded casitas have private pools and dare-to-bare indoor-outdoor bathrooms, and its private beach is blissfully underpopulated. Spa therapists work magic with coffee and ginger scrubs, juniper and cypress oils and quartz crystals. And, in the restaurant chef Jorge Vallejo updates traditional tostadas, tumbada (a Mexican rice dish) and more local favourites, to give a flavour of mod Mexican and Mayan heritage – a philosophy built into this boutique stay’s elegantly structured bones.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $581.25, excluding tax at 29 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $2.00 per room per night on check-in.
Rates usually include à la carte breakfast, with an omelette station, in-room coffee or tea with bread each morning, daily activities, soft drinks from the minibar and entry to the spa and gym. Guests must pay an environmental fee of 20 pesos too.
You needn’t leave your bed to be massaged with herbal compresses or be wrapped in seaweed – a spa therapist will come to you, as requested.
At the hotel
Private beach, spa with a hammam, gym, laundry, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: private pool and terrace, TV, coffee-making kit, a minibar and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
Built of stone from Xucun Village and marble quarried in La Galarza town – with hand-carved sinks and palm weavings from local artisans – each of these jungly nests is pervaded by a true sense of locality. Each one is a winner, with oodles of space in which to play, peekaboo indoor-outdoor showers and a greenery-shielded private pool that almost begs you to skinny dip. If you’re travelling with friends or la familia in tow, you'll be comfortably housed in the three-bedroom Presidential Villas.
Chablé has two placid pools. One is a heated infinity pool overlooking Playa Maroma with a bar and servers ferrying light bites – shrimp and lobster tacos, suckling pig – where you won’t have trouble bagging a sunlounger. The second is an adults-only heated Jacuzzi, part of the vast hotel spa.
Spa spoiling comes naturally to Chablé Maroma: in its adults-only, 17,000sq ft palace of pampering, treatments take a cue from the leafy and sand-dusted surroundings. Journeys inspired by ancient Mayan rituals involve floral balms, citrus and frankincense oils, coffee and tobacco scrubs and locally quarried quartz crystals – plus hip herbal Naturopathica potions. It’s a bit of a romantic, too, accommodating couples in five of its eight deliciously scented cabins. There’s also the Jacuzzi, a plunge pool and a sauna, and the fitness centre has serious Technogym equipment, and healthful snacks and juices are served post workout.
Bring your look-at-me water-baby wear for the pool, and a sturdier swimsuit (and waterproof shoes) for splashing about in a cenote.
The ground floor of the hotel and casitas are roomy enough for wheelchair users; staff are happy to help, if needed.
Over-fours are welcome, but the hotel's best suited to tweens and teens. Up to two kids (US$75 a night) can sleep in the villas. Babysitting is US$20 an hour (plus the cost of a taxi: US$20 before 10pm, US$30 after) and must be booked a day in advance.
Food is locally sourced and organic, and cleaning and bath products are green, too. Local artisans have been handsomely rewarded for their contributions to room decor, too.
Bag a seat on Bu’ul’s terrace and be soothed by the susurrus of the waves.
Shed your beachy trappings for dress-up, date-night spot Bu’ul.
The hotel has three places to eat. Bu’ul – helmed by chef Jorge Vallejo – is the innovative fine-dining joint, housed under a shaggily thatched roof and boasting a sea-view terrace. Vallejo was lured to the coast from much lauded Mexico City restaurant Quintonil, and brings his unique brand of mod-Mex fare with him. Using locally harvested ingredients, he’s refined regional favourites: chilli-inflamed relleno negro stew, lobster with habañero, coal-baked Oaxacan chocolate fondant… And, his menu’s accentuated by an extensive wine cellar. Your second option is Kaban, which is more laid back and where the chef’s happy to tailor dishes to little ones, too (as well as to whip up vegan or gluten-free dishes). Fish is freshly caught, flatbreads have homegrown toppings and clams are cooked up in front of you. And in the Raw Bar, you’ll pile up small plates of oysters, octopus tacos, fish and mango ceviche, stone crab and other deep-sea delicacies.
The Raw Bar isn’t just a spot for under-the-sea-style snacking – here high-quality mezcal and tequila are shaken up with fresh herbs and fruits, for an apéritif – or anytime-itif – for those who’ve outgrown shooters.
In Kaban, breakfast is served from 7am to 11am, then lunch and dinner run till 11pm. Dinner in Bu’ul is from 6pm to 11pm. Poolside snacking is available from 9am to 5pm, and you can sip cocktails at the Raw Bar from 12 noon to 11pm.
A range of local and global dishes are served in room around the clock.
Carretera Federal Cancún – Tulum Km. 51
Playa del Carmen
Sublime spa stay Chablé Maroma occupies a coveted beachside perch in Punta Maroma, along a golden stretch of the Riviera Maya, just north of Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
Cancun International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the retreat. You can fly direct from the UK and major cities in the US; most flights from Asia and Australasia stopover in the US. The hotel can arrange transfers, on request (US$140 for a one-way trip, US$280 return).
There’s free parking and a valet onsite. With Playa del Carmen’s vibrant nightlife a 15-minute drive away, and Tulum’s Mayan monuments an hour’s drive away, it’s well worth acquiring some wheels during your stay.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel’s private stretch of Playa Maroma’s soft sands and calm waters – safe for paddling and swimming – are just steps away. The beach is deserving of its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and it’s privy to views of the world’s second largest reef (just pipped at the post by the Great Barrier Reef), which you can sigh over from a palapa-shaded sunlounger. The spa is the hotel’s headline act, with must-try traditional Mayan rituals, all-natural unguents and a soothing sauna and Jacuzzi. You can join yoga classes here or hit the gym, too.
Beyond the hotel, you can go fishing with the chef for a very fresh dinner or trek into the jungle. Further south, explore the ruins of the Mayan Empire: Tulum’s majestic mediaeval cliff-top fortifications, the mystical Chichén Itzá complex and Coba’s climbable ziggurat. Beguiling blue cenote pools await, too – try Chaak Tun, where stalactites dangle dramatically overhead. Other pulse-quickening water-based pursuits include kayaking, catamaran sailing, kitesurfing and parasailing. For scuba-diving and snorkelling take a day trip to Cozumel island, or head to low-key paradise Isla de Holbox, to spy flamingoes and sea turtles. Between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Akumal village hosts a turtle hatchery, too. Visit in October for the best chance of egg-cracking action.
Stop to snap a selfie by the arched, attention-grabbing Portal Maya Statue in Playa del Carmen’s Parque Fundadores. There’s also a bandstand for live music and a pirate-ship-shaped playground here. Try to catch the daredevil Papantla performers, who spin upside down on ropes suspended from a pole.
There’s little in the hotel’s immediate surroundings, but chef Vallejo will keep you well-fed. For dining out, your best bet is Playa del Carmen. Imprevist serves up duck confit on vanilla-infused mashed potatoes with caramelised figs, and lobster ravioli in a silky fennel and prosecco cream. Basic Foodie transcends its inauspicious name to offer freshly baked organic sourdough, gourmet sandwiches and sweet treats (matcha buns, strawberry tarts, gingerbread). Unassuming caff, Lonchería de Doña Maria has gained a cult following for its traditional snacks: empanadas, tamales and panuchos (a Yucatán delicacy of chicken- and black bean-stuffed tortillas with vegetables), and Babe’s Noodles & Bar has slurpable dishes and spring rolls with inventive fillings (cheese with mango-mint sauce, shrimp with peach and maracuya). For an excuse to dress up, or at least wear something more substantial than a bikini, the Sundowner Yacht Club has classic cocktails, an elegant menu and sunset views that live up to its name.
From the rooftop of Thompson Playa del Carmen, you can spy a soothing vista of sea and sand. Pair this with a pick from the lengthy cocktail or champagne menus (we’ll have a potent Cozumel Coral, with tequila, mezcal and rum, thanks; or the bellini with passionfruit and lemongrass), and you’re set to stay till late.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this spa-toting seaside retreat in Punta Maroma and unpacked their snorkels and artisanal palm weavings from Ayotzinapa, a full account of their leave-the-world-behind break will be with you. In the meantime, kick off your shoes and join us on a stroll through Chablé Maroma on the Riviera Maya…
Chablé Maroma is a live-in-a-bikini – or less – beach stay where romantic secluded casitas, cloaked by jungle greenery, have private pools and no-blush-sparing indoor-outdoor showers. Its Punta Maroma seat is one of the Riviera Maya’s lesser-explored flop-and-drop spots, and the hotel has an exclusive stretch of shoreline for guests’ flip-flops only, overlooking one of the world’s largest coral reefs.
Like sister stay Chablé Resort & Spa, in the Yucatán’s verdant hinterland, this laidback hideaway is schooled in alt wellness. Its spa treatments are inspired by natural elements: the resident sacred Ceiba trees, the Riviera’s flowering plants, the motion of the ocean and sea changes… Hippie-ish argot aside, these massages, scrubs and potions offer soul-deep soothing. Close by, Tulum’s Mayan ruins and cliff-sheltered beach, and Playa del Carmen’s shops and bars, beg to be explored. And, there are cenotes and offshore snorkelling and scuba-diving, to boot. But Chablé’s all about tropical escapism, so we suggest you spend your days bikini-clad, schlepping from spa to beach to pool, propping up the Raw Bar for repeat orders of local-herb–laced mezcal cocktails and making eyes over mod Mexican dishes in Bu’ul restaurant till the stars twinkle overhead…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Chable Maroma’s Guestbook below.
We loved it here. Our stand-alone villa with a pool was very special. The staff were amazing. The villa is stunning and large, with beautiful finishe: the two showers and WCs are a bonus. There are special little extras every day, The resort was quiet, which was perfect for us. We would definitely recommend this resort for another stay. The food is exceptional and all made at the resort. Very impressive!