Mexico is a firm favourite of honeymooners – its chic credentials even stretch to being featured in the SATC movie (where Carrie spent her post-wedding ‘Mexicoma’). But why has this seemingly unromantic location become such a honeymoon hotspot?
The secret to a great value honeymoon is not just being entertained, but engaging in activities that allow you to work and play together. Very much a diverse travel experience, Mexico fully caters to this need.
In Cancun, couples can tour through ancient Mayan ruins and bask on the palm tree-dotted beaches; in Riviera Maya, they can learn how to salsa dance and some discover some top luxury resorts; in Los Cabos, adventurous couples can dabble in water sports, lavish retreats and romantic beaches, and in Acapulco, couples can enjoy the bustling nightlife, excellent dining scene and stunning landscapes. And that is without even mentioning the remote islands that offer completely secluded getaways.
Whichever area you choose, you can rest assured that Mexico has all the required tools to make your honeymoon special – the people are wonderful, the food varied and superb, and its storied history has left momentous architectural and cultural pawmarks throughout the land. Expect ancient temples, white beaches that are out of this world and a rich cultural smorgasbord that provides for honeymooners of all dispositions. The only question is… where to stay?
Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya
Situated on a heavenly stretch of the Yucatan coast, set within 36 acres of jungle, mangrove reserves and natural lagoons, this super-cool hideaway feels private and exclusive although not far from tourist hub, Cancun.
Each of the 128 ultra-luxe, minimally-decorated villas comes complete with its own secluded garden bathroom and some offer individual plunge pools. A haven for total privacy, it is no surprise that the Asian-inspired guest rooms have been frequented by stars including Sir Paul McCartney and Christian Louboutin himself.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental sets a new standard of holistic well-being that embodies the riches of Mayan philosophy, intermingled with traditional Asian healing rituals. Spend an afternoon enjoying its special Mayan Tzolkin Ritual for a quintessential renewal experience, or take some time to explore the second largest barrier reef in the world, or perhaps head to the Mayan ruins close by in Tulum, Chichén Itza and Coba.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Also on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Banyan Tree Mayokoba, which opened in 2009, is a five-star resort of 132 villas, set amongst the mangroves. Each villa is completely hidden from the next, making it a firm favourite romantic escape of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas – they can count on privacy when leaping out of bed and straight into the pool.
Aside from unparalleled luxury and a staff that brings a sense of Asian hospitality to the Mexican Caribbean, the resort’s Romance Manager is its real selling point. On hand to arrange one-off romantic experiences, whether it is a candlelit dinner on the beach, a private cruise at sunset or a couple’s spa treatment at your villa, the Romance Manager adds that little bit extra.
And with a seven-course tasting menu available from the Tamarind restaurant, Banyan Tree Mayakoba feels as if it were created just for honeymooners.
With the slogan ‘paradise found’, Las Alamandas, a luxury boutique hotel in Costalegre, forms its own lost world of seven sorbet-hued villas and 1,500 acres of unspoilt tropical bliss.
Each of the fuchsia and orange-coloured room has its own theme that incorporate a pleasing mix of designs, fabrics, and crafts, selected from all over Mexico, including Rattan sofas upholstered in canary yellow or shocking pink and Mexican folk art hand-painted artifacts.
The candlelit Oasis restaurant serves fresh and healthy cuisine including sushi, vegetables picked from their own garden and guacamole and huevos rancheros for breakfast, but any wish is the kitchen’s command. In fact, the hotel can organise almost anything. In response to anything you request, the staff will simply say, ‘Of course, this is your home.’ From horse riding and hiking to an ocean-side massage, this is the most relaxed you’ll ever be.
Rosewood San Miguel
Tucked away on a cobbled side street, the Rosewood San Miguel appears to be a beautiful old haçienda, although it is actually brand new. You’ll drive through real cowboy country to get there and be greeted with a margarita at the door, to aid your step into the past.
Situated in the enchanting artists’ village of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World heritage site, the hotel is decorated with a fusion of traditional Mexican artwork and furniture, complemented by modern luxuries such as Frette linen and poolside cabanas.
The world-class Sense spa sanctuary follows a similar theme, offering a full range of therapies that integrate Mexican healing traditions and indigenous ingredients, with state-of-the-art facilities and an extensive treatment list.
The high altitude slows the pace, so fill your days with Pilates classes, Mexican cookery class or watch the sunset on a star-studded sky while enjoying amazing cocktails and moreish nibbles at The Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar.
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso
As its name implies, Las Ventanas is a window to paradise. Perched on the Baja California peninsula on the west coast of Mexico, the desert beach hideaway in Los Cabos mesmerises couples with huge suites, inspired cuisine and a fantastic spa that’s a sanctuary of renewal and revitalization.
The huge bedrooms all have a plunge pool and a wealth of famous fans (Kate Beckinsale honeymooned here and Jennifer Aniston is a regular).You will be greeted by an in-room tequila welcome and fresh fruit that’s replenished daily.
Las Ventanas offer some innovative honeymoon services, in fact, they have a whole ‘romance department’ dedicated to meeting your needs. Services include requesting a handwritten love letter that would be discovered amongst household bills telling your intended about a surprise getaway, an Aphrodisiac Dinner menu for private diners, salsa classes for two or even a message in a bottle to appear whilst bathing at the beach.
From a dinner by the sea to a movie for two on the beach, Las Ventanas makes romance happen.
Image via @ Aplomb