BlackBook Does a Revitalizing Weekend at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort, Part II

Continued from Part I

If we thought the prior night’s dinner was on the fancy side, we were ill prepared for the extravaganza awaiting us that night at Sotavento on the beach. Billed as the beating heart of the Yucatan culinary experience, each dish of the all-seafood meal was exceptional, with plate after plate of oysters, grilled shrimp, and crispy snapper, making for a thoroughly immersive dining experience. Thoughtfully, income from sales of one of the special dishes is donated to a charity supporting indigenous women and communities in Oaxaca. After a post-dinner nightcap by the pool, where we witnessed a sweetly elaborate wedding proposal, we wobbled back to our room, having found the evening nothing less than transcendent. 

Feeling a little delicate the next morning, we were soon revived with wind in our hair and sea spray in our face courtesy of the Mayakoba Yacht, billed as the most powerful on the water. An hour-long cruise, fortified by a bucket of mimosas, and we were back on the sand and heading along the beach to a waterside brunch, once again at Sotavento. We took it a little easy at this meal, snacking on simple but luxurious ceviche, an oyster or two, and some (more) grilled prawns. 

Mark Twain famously described golf as ‘a good walk ruined,’ and our prior experiences at the game had done little to disprove that/ Yet there we were teeing up, and all that goes along with it, at Mayakoba’s renowned El Camaleon, the first PGA Tour course in Latin America, and one that winds through the resort’s canals and jungle, and along the ocean. We started at the golf school, where all sorts of high-tech equipment were put into service in confirming how mediocre we were (at best). However, thanks to the patient instructor, after a few grounders our efforts at the driving range started to improve. 

Returning to Cochina Milagro for dinner, we were surprised by the extraordinary musical accompaniment that greeted us: no acoustic-guitar-wielding boomer doing Cat Stevens covers, but a full on soundbath / DJ set up, with gongs and singing bowls – Robert Plant and Bat For Lashes would surely have both approved. The music was fitting, as the restaurant had a new menu of Asian-inspired options such as tuna tataki accompanied by creamy avocado and green tomato salad, lamb kibis with hummus and chipotle sauce, and salmon in mango sauce and curry, scented with fresh coriander, chili oil and seasonal fruits. We indulged gingerly as there were post dinner plans for a long night out.

With all that Mayakoba and the Andaz have to offer, there could easily seem little reason to venture outside the protection of the main gates during one’s stay. But we’d been down the Yucatan a few times and had yet to check out Playa del Carmen; tonight…was the night. A scant seven miles to the south of Mayakoba, we were soon on the buzzing main drag – 12th Street – and bouncing between happening bars with some of the best cover bands we’d ever encountered. It was actually quite enjoyable to get out and see the locals, along with typical touristas, in their nocturnal element. 

Before heading back to reality, there was one more Andaz experience that seemed sort of necessary for winding down the entire experience: an hour-long guided meditation on the lawn overlooking the canal. Presided over by an obviously experienced yogi, we stretched, chanted, and reflected as the sun rose, leaving us utterly zenned out for short trip back to our big city stresses.

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