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Photo Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort
Photo Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort

Whatever you do, just don’t call it Cancun. The relaxed seaside town of Playa del Carmen feels worlds away from its notorious Spring Break neighbor, despite being just an hour’s drive along the coast. While it may not be new to the Riviera Maya tourism scene, its charm presents itself as a crowned jewel in eastern Mexico.

Following a three-year and $16 million re-imagination of an authentic and eco-friendly luxury beachfront retreat, Mahekal Beach Resort is the finest inception to the region since the construction of the ancient Mayan ruins. Nestled among the dense Riviera Maya jungle, glistening white sands, and bohemian townie atmosphere, this is where modernity meets authenticity. Don’t come here expecting high-rise hotels; the largely unplugged resort embodies an intimate Swiss Robinson Family feel, evoking raw luxury with high-end finishes and touches of Mayan culture.

Photo Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort
Photo Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort

It’s a tough life at Mahekal. Bungalow-style accommodations featuring private plunge pools and crochet hammocks steps from the Caribbean Sea sweep the scene with an overwhelming sense of calm and tranquility. Four sparkling swimming pools, a seaside hot tub, a Mayan-inspired Revive Spa, and five restaurants and bars offer a transformative breath of fresh air, assuming