Recap of the lovely Mayakoba Resort
PHOTO: Rosewood Mayakoba (c) Sery Kim
Finally, the sun! I woke up Friday morning at the Fairmont Mayakoba to the sounds of happy guests loitering outside in the surprisingly cooling sun. After the rains on Thursday, all the resort guests were (I am sure) happy to be outside. Since you really don't have to do hair-and-makeup when you are near a beach, I got ready in five minutes flat before I walked the short five minutes over to the La Laguna Restaurant and Lounge.
If I counted right, La Laguna Restaurant and Lounge is one of seven restaurants on property and the one closest to the massive pool area on the Fairmont Mayakoba grounds. This is where you can find an extensive breakfast buffet, but it's really the views which will wake you up. La Laguna is buttressed on three sides by water: the aforementioned pool, the adult-only infinity pool, as well as the lagoon which is combined with both fresh and salt water.
PHOTO: A fresh-pressed juice at La Laguna Restaurant and Lounge (c) Sery Kim
I had a terrific and healthy breakfast at La Laguna Restaurant and Lounge comprised of this delicious fresh-pressed juice, as well as half of a breakfast burrito and a very good latte. I think if I could do one of those infamous "juice cleanses" on the Fairmont Mayakoba property I would be quite thin!
PHOTO: Me after breakfast at the Fairmont Mayakoba (c) Sery Kim
PHOTO: Can you spot the two turtles? (c) Sery Kim
After breakfast, I boarded one of the lagoon boats for a tour of the Mayakoba grounds. Little did I know that Mayakoba is an entire resort development 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen. It has four luxury hotel properties (Rosewood, Fairmont, Banyan Tree and the brand new Andaz), a PGA tour golf course, as well as residences.
PHOTO: The PGA Tour golf course (c) Sery Kim
For golf fans, the PGA tour golf course was designed by Greg Norman and, for those who love lagoons, the stretch of water runs about six miles. You can catch a ferry, aka a boat, called the "Mayakoba Connection" which will take you between all the resorts.
PHOTO: The pool at the just opened Andaz Mayakoba (c) Sery Kim
We had lunch at the Andaz Mayakoba. The guest chef for lunch was Mexico's own Antonio de Livier, and to say his food was astonishingly fresh and brilliant would be a kindness. Antonio brought so many things which I was familiar with to life with a bright twist. For instance the shrimp tostada below resembled a ceviche but was so hearty and thick, I loved it -- and I hate ceviches because they are typically so boring.
PHOTO: Antonio de Livier's interpretation of a shrimp ceviche (c) Sery Kim
Antonio actually had two ceviches for us three ladies, and we powered through all of it because we didn't realize there was actually a four course lunch menu still to come. WHAT A MARVELOUS MISTAKE!!! I mean, it's an amateur foodie mistake to not ask Chef what is to come, but what we were told was that the shipment of fresh groceries was delayed so he had to improvise. So we just assumed the ceviches were the improvisation, but Antonio went above-and-beyond even that by bringing into his next course a grasshopper infused dish.
PHOTO: The little black things are grasshopper (c) Sery Kim
Now, I am no Anthony Bourdain. I don't eat adventurously, with things like grasshoppers or snake or anything even remotely akin to that, but the dish above turned the grasshopper into more of a salty candy and I demolished it without thinking another second about the dish.
But actually my favorite dish I didn't get a photo of because it wasn't a unique or "pretty" looking dish. Antonio put a perfectly cooked sea bass in the middle of a sea of black beans. On the side was the most delicious rice I've had all year with what Americans would only call "deconstructed" salsa (basically all the ingredients without the liquid tomato juice). Combining all this together into my plate was a messy, ugly looking plate; however, the reality was brilliant. It was fresh, seasoned gorgeously, and I felt healthy bingeing through it -- despite being full on the three previous dishes.
PHOTO: Beer and Dessert (c) Sery Kim
Then there was dessert, a sherbet masterpiece, as well as plenty of alcohol (the wine spritzer was spectacular), and there was no question this was the best meal of my entire trip. In fact, it really made me want to stay at the Andaz Mayakoba so I will have to remember that when I come back!